Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil.
Contact: Jo Boucher, Case Services Officer (Support Services) - 01935 462011 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minutes of previous meeting
To approve the minutes of the Area South Committee held on Wednesday 6th February 2019.
The minutes of the Area South Committee held on 6th February 2019 copies of which had been circulated, were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies for absence
Apologies for Absence were received from Councillors Cathy Bakewell, Rob Stickland, Graham Oakes, Peter Seib and Alan Smith.
Declarations of Interest
In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also "prejudicial") in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting.
Members are reminded that they need to declare the fact that they are also a member of a County, Town or Parish Council as a Personal Interest. Where you are also a member of Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council within South Somerset you must declare a prejudicial interest in any business on the agenda where there is a financial benefit or gain or advantage to Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council which would be at the cost or to the financial disadvantage of South Somerset District Council.
Planning Applications Referred to the District Council’s Regulation Committee
The following members of this Committee are also members of the Council's Regulation Committee:
Councillors Peter Gubbins, Mike Lock, Tony Lock and David Recardo.
Where planning applications are referred by this Committee to the Regulation Committee for determination, Members of the Regulation Committee can participate and vote on these items at the Area Committee and at Regulation Committee. In these cases the Council's decision-making process is not complete until the application is determined by the Regulation Committee. Members of the Regulation Committee retain an open mind and will not finalise their position until the Regulation Committee. They will also consider the matter at Regulation Committee as Members of that Committee and not as representatives of the Area Committee.
The Chairman advised that he had a personal interest in agenda item 8 as he was a board member on the Yeovil Refresh Programme.
Cllr Tony Lock, Cllr John Clark and Cllr Sarah Lindsay advised that they also had a personal interest in agenda item 8 as they were also members of the Yeovil Refresh Programme.
Public question time
A member of the public addressed the committee to highlight concerns that he had with two planning applications which were currently being considered by the planning department. One application was for a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) on Mitchelmore Road. He highlighted that this would have a significant impact on the local residents as there were already issues with parking on the road, pointing out that there were already other HMO’s on this same stretch of road.
He also pointed out a second application which was for Park School. He felt that the application was out of keeping with the area and that application would provide high density housing.
Members noted his comments but added no comments of their own.
Steve Elliott addressed the committee informing members of the forthcoming Yeovil Half Marathon. He informed them that it was to take place on Sunday 31st March 2019. He said that the course was to follow the same route as last year, with the start line on South Street and the finish line in the Quedam Centre. He informed members that he anticipated that over 2000 runners would take part and that there would also be an organised fun-run.
There were no Chairman’s Announcements.
Councillor David Recardo advised members that he had the privilege to present the Countryside Rangers and volunteers with the ‘Best Park 2018 Five-Star Award’ from South West in Bloom. He explained that the judges were extremely impressed when they visited the park and he offered his praise to the Countryside Team.
Reports from representatives on outside organisations
This is an opportunity for Members who represent the Council on outside organisations to report items of interest to the Committee.
Councillor John Clark, representing the Westfield Community Association, advised that building work for the Community Centre has commenced on 21st January and that the foundations for the building were now in place.
Andy Coupe, Somerset County Council’s Strategic Manager Infrastructure Programmes with the aid of slides presented members with an update of the Programme of Works.
He updated members on the works in progress and gave an overview of the future programme including:
· The Lysander Road junction had now commissioned, however some works to the footways were still required. He added that some further signage was also due to be installed. He indicated that initial feedback about the operation had generally been positive, explaining that the performance of the junction would be monitored.
· All the junctions were working independently of each other and upon completion of all the schemes, they would all be working as one.
· The Westlands through-about had been commissioned in early February. He felt that the junction was generally performing well, stating that journey times had noticeably improved, during peak times, especially from the Cartgate link.
· He explained that he was aware of concerns regarding vehicles exiting Bunford Lane and confirmed that this was being reviewed. He also commented that final works to permanent signage and footways was still required.
· Concerns had been noted over the strobing effect of the low level lighting used along the airfield between the Westlands and Bluebell junctions. This was being reviewed.
· There were no further updates to the works on the Bluebell Roundabout, however the schemes designer’s response to the interim audit was being finalised and any required work would be undertaken at the earliest opportunity.
· He had been in discussion with Asda to agree when the new Asda access would be opened.
· The works at Copse Road had now been commissioned, however these were currently operating on temporary configurations during the daytime with a one-way system in place. He noted that the permanent configuration will need to operate when the night time closures affecting Preston Road Roundabout were in place because the one way system on Western Avenue would need to be removed each evening and reinstated in the morning in order to give access to the Houndstone Retail Park during the evenings.
· The Stourton Way cycle route was continuing to progress. He hoped that the remaining works could be expedited.
· He advised that work was taking place on the north-eastern corner of the Preston Road roundabout and that some sections of the retaining wall had been completed. The next phase of works, which would commence on Monday 11th March, was to remove the existing roundabout and carry out the necessary drainage and ducting works ready for the new road layout. This would require night-time road closures, details of which had been published. These works had been timed to coincide with the Asda Petrol Filling Station works to minimise overall disruption for both the public and the business. During the evenings, the only access to the Roundabout will be from Bunford Lane and into Lufton Way. Western Avenue would be open during the evenings to maintain access to the Houndstone Business Park. Access to Asda would remain from Preston Road.
The Chairman advised that there were members of the public that wanted to speak on this agenda item.
Comments made by the first member of the public included;
· A quote which related to proposed access and layout works to Middle Street proposed in 2003 was referred to. The quote included comments made by Councillor Tony Lock and the Chairman of Area South Committee at that time, stating that the works in Middle Street were a great improvement and provided greater access to disabled people. She questioned why these improvements would now be changed.
· She also referred to public consultation which took place on the 9th and 10th March 2018. She had not been aware of the consultation and questioned whether it would have been accessible to disabled members of the public.
· The findings from the public consultation had not been published. She had not seen any evidence that the proposal was supported by the community.
· It was pointed out that a public petition had been submitted in objection to the proposal. It was also pointed out that objections had been included in the local newspaper and on social media, however these objections and concerns had not been addressed within the report.
· Disabled visitors to the town centre would be disadvantaged.
· 20 or more disabled parking spaces would be lost.
· The proposal is unacceptable. Too few disabled spaces will be available and they will be too far from the town centre.
· The report states that there are no equality and diversity issues, however this is incorrect.
The Chairman clarified that the consultation took place in the Quedam, details of which were published online and in the local newspaper. He advised that ‘Access for All’ were consulted and that there would be opportunity for further consultation. He also added that disabled parking spaces were not being eliminated, they were being moved to an alternative site.
The Regeneration Programme Manager addressed the Committee. She advised that this was an update report and that no decisions were being made, so there were no equality and diversity implications which would be directly affected by this report. She also advised that the official consultation had not begun. This consultation would be carried out by Somerset County Council and she was expecting an announcement on this shortly.
Another member of the public addressed the Committee. Her comments included;
· She advised that she started the petition. She noted that the spaces would be relocated, rather than removed and advised that the petition was to retain the disabled parking on Middle Street.
· She was pleased that access to the town centre was a priority, however the proposal would make the situation so much worse for disabled visitors to the town centre. The plans will make Yeovil less accessible for people with mobility impairments and inaccessible for others.
· She hoped that she would be able to discuss these concerns with the ward members in further detail and invited councillors to visit the town centre with her to share ... view the full minutes text for item 69.
The General Manger, Yeovil Crematorium addressed the Committee. He advised that following the opening of the Crematorium in 1971, they are currently averaging 1,800 cremations a year. He pointed out where other crematoriums were located, highlighting that the Yeovil Crematorium covers vast catchment area. He used a PowerPoint presentation to provide images of the site and plans to show the proposals.
Some of his comments included;
· The building needs updating and that the chapel only seats 96 people, adding that the waiting area is small.
· The chapel is dark and has no natural light.
· The vestry is poorly located and is away from the area where families congregate.
· The cloister area is looking tired and needs improving, however it is a covered area and a fish pond is located here.
· The book of remembrance chapel is oversized and not situated in an ideal location.
· The floral tribute area requires some updating.
· The garden of remembrance is becoming full and requires a lot of maintenance.
· The chapel needs to be updated.
He explained that a design had been developed which would reduce the size of the existing chapel and would create a larger waiting area. Some of the features of the design included;
· The existing waiting room would be converted into a new vestry.
· A family waiting room would be created next to the vestry.
· The proposals would include a small chapel as well as a main chapel which would seat 160 people. A viewing room would also be provided with one way glass to allow viewings separate from the main chapel.
· A shower room and upgraded offices would be provided for members of staff.
· A new car park has been provided. A rear access has been provided for construction traffic.
During the discussion, members noted that this was is an important part of Yeovil’s future.
The General Manager confirmed that the work would commence in the summer.
The Chairman thank the General Manager and the Specialist – Architecture and Projects for their hard work on the project and for attending the meeting.
The Case Officer, Support Services presented the report and advised that there were no updates to the Forward Plan.
(Voting: Without dissent)
Members noted the Planning Appeals.
Members noted the Schedule of Planning Applications.
Application Proposal: Extension to rear of existing building and provision of PV panels to front elevation
The Specialist Officer – Planning presented her report to members. She explained that the application was for a single storey extension to an existing building at the Country Park in Yeovil.
Using a PowerPoint presentation she provided photographs of the site and images to show the proposed plans. She also pointed out the position of the proposed solar PV panels. She also advised members that the proposal included some hard surfacing and an outside seating area close to the existing building.
She explained to members that some objections to the application had been received and the history of the site has been raised as a concern. She pointed out that these concerns had been addressed within the report.
She considered that the size of the extension was modest and felt that this would have a limited impact on the surrounding area. She added that the building was some distance from neighbouring properties and felt that the extension would not have a demonstrable impact on residential amenity
She also felt that the solar panels would not be duly obtrusive. She also pointed out that there had been no objections from the highways authority or from the SSDC Highways Consultant with respect of highway safety or parking concerns.
Members of the public spoke in support to the proposal. Their comments included;
· Since the café opening in 2014, it has been a great success and is enjoyed by many visitors.
· There are many events planned at the country park and the café will be busy. An extension will allow rangers to use the additional space during busy times.
· Items sold in the café provide a profit to be spent within the country park. An increase in size will provide additional retail space.
· The café is important to the Countryside Team, schools, the community and is a great social place. It draws people to the park from the wider area.
· Currently a screen is used to provide a separate area for training and ranger use, however this reduces the size of the café area considerably and restricts access to the side doors.
· An extension would allow the seating area to be increased.
· The park has received many awards.
· A decade ago the park was a dark and intimidating place to visit, however the rangers and the volunteers have transformed the site into a pleasant and welcoming place.
· The buildings hosts many learning events for children and will attract tourists to the area.
· The Parish Council supports the application.
Councillor Andy Kendall, Ward Member, spoke in support of the application. He was pleased that PV solar panels had been included within the proposal. He also requested clarification over whether the application would be permitted development if it wasn’t owned by SSDC. He also felt that CCTV should be installed.
The Specialist Officer – Planning advised that the application would not be within permitted development rights due to the size ... view the full minutes text for item 74.