Agenda, decisions and 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 meeting held on 4th July 2018.
The minutes of the Area South Committee held on 4th July 2018 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 and Wes Read.
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.
Councillor Gina Seaton declared a personal interest in Item 13, Planning Application 18/00176/REM as she is a member of West Coker Parish Council.
Councillors David Recardo, Graham Oakes, Mike Lock, Tony Lock, Rob Stickland and Alan Smith all declared a personal interest in Items 14 Planning Application 18/01122/FUL and Item 15 Planning Application 18/01743/FUL as they are members of Yeovil Town Council.
Councillor Kaysar Hussain declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Item 15 Planning Application 18/01743/FUL as he is related to the applicant. He would leave the room during consideration of that item.
Public question time
Mr James Routledge addressed the committee and expressed his frustration with the current situation regarding a planning application at the former Olds Motor Group site in Yeovil. In response the Chairman explained that from recent discussions he had with the Lead Planning Officer he understood, although could not guarantee, that the application would be brought to committee in October.
There were no Chairman’s Announcements.
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 Rob Stickland updated members on the Yeovil Youth Review Steering Group. He explained the current position of the Westfield and Milford Youth groups stating there had been a reduction of Anti-Social Behaviour at Westfield and an increase of membership for the Milford group. He wished to thank YMCA Mendip and Yeovil Town Council for all their support in achieving the benchmark standards.
He also reported that he had now been elected as Vice Chairman of the Yeovil Crematorium and Cemetery Committee and had received excellent feedback regarding the services of the Crematorium. He also noted the judge’s comments of the South West Bloom who had listed the Cemetery and were very impressed with its presentation.
Councillor John Clark reported that the demolition figures for the Westfield Community Centre had now been agreed. Over £800,000 had been raised and that final questions to the big lottery will be finalised in the next few weeks.
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 Stourton Way southern toucan crossing had been commissioned and northern toucan crossing would be commissioned soon. The works to the cycleway would be completed during the next couple of months.
· Good progress been made with the works at Copse Road where the scheme had commenced in advance of the original contract programme.
· The mini-roundabout trial on Preston Road had proved successful helping to avoid the need for temporary traffic lights and affording access to other areas of the site. The retaining wall on Lufton Way had been completed early and the current works involved construction of the retaining wall on the north west corner of the junction. The improvements on Western Avenue would take place in sections to fit in with construction of the retaining walls on the south east and north east corners.
· The works at Bluebell Roundabout were largely complete. He noted that both positive and negative comments had been received about the new junction configuration. He explained the traffic signals were not be expected to improve traffic conditions immediately as traffic flow is restricted due to lane closures and traffic management. He said the full benefits would only be achieved once all works had been complete but the decision was made to switch on the traffic signals to aid the movement of pedestrians across the junction. He pointed out that as with any new junction or road layout, the changes would take time to get used to, but confirmed that the site would continue to be monitored and adjustments to the signals would be made to ensure that it ran as efficiently as possible.
· Good progress was being made at Westlands Roundabout. He noted that traffic management proposals were being developed for the next phases of works that would involve using night time road closures to reduce impacts as far as possible.
· Significant early progress had been made at Lysander Road roundabout. Following feedback from members, the opportunity had been taken to undertake some night works during the summer holidays which had helped to accelerate the programme and reduce impacts.
He noted that it was a complex construction project and that it had been necessary to be flexible with the programme. Some elements of work had taken longer than planned while others had started early and ahead of schedule. Overall, 6 of the 7 elements were currently programmed to be completed within the overall timescale originally envisaged. Beyond that, work would be limited to one junction at the end of the programme with the intention to complete the work by early Summer.
He stated that it would be possible to deliver the scheme by the original stated dates, but to do so would cause unacceptable impacts. Indeed, a careful balance needed to be struck ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
(voting: 9 in favour, 6 against, 0 abstentions)
Steve Haigh from Radio Ninesprings addressed the committee and explained to members the benefits of a local radio station for Yeovil including providing hands on experience and benefits to Yeovil College students and the opportunity for advertising for local businesses. He explained this was a ‘not for profit’ organisation and hoped the radio station would be up and running later in the year and that the funding would go towards stage 3 of the project to provide sound proofing and complete fit out of the studio at Yeovil College.
The Specialist - Strategic Planning then presented the report explaining the rigorous assessment process undertaken. He believed all relevant detailed information had now been received to support the application to achieve the shortfall in the cost of setting up the new community radio station.
During discussion he noted the comments from members and responded to questions including:
· Appreciated the concerns raised regarding the sustainability of the station should the figures not be met, however assured the costs can be met through advertising and sponsorship and satisfied that all information had now been provided.
· Confirmed £36,000 had already been received from various other funding partners as set out in the agenda report.
The Communities Lead explained the independent application process undertaken by the Authority and explained the history of the application and how the need had been established. She advised members that this application was before them in line with the discretionary grants scheme and it was for members to decide the way forward with this application.
During member’s discussion, several comments were made including the following:
· Noted the length of time this application had taken, however noted the broad community support and other funding partners.
· Concern raised regarding the location of the transmitter.
· Yeovil was in need of a local radio station and need to embrace and support it.
· Concern over the large amount of money requested.
· Concern over the sustainability of the project, however noted this was a registered charity and not for profit organsisation.
During discussion it was initially proposed and seconded to approve the application with a grant up to £1000. However on being put to the vote this was lost by 4 votes in favour, 11 against and 1 abstention.
A subsequent proposal was then made to approve a grant for up to £5000. On being put to the vote this was also lost by 6 votes in favour, 8 against and 2 abstention.
At the conclusion of the discussion it was proposed and seconded to approve the grant application as per the officers’ recommendation. On being put the vote this was carried by 9 votes in favour, 6 against and 0 abstentions.
(voting: 9 votes in favour, ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
The Specialist – Strategic Planning presented the report and highlighted to members the four key priorities identified by members of the Area South workshop that took place in July. She explained these priorities would need to be further developed in liaison with the Chairman of Area South committee.
During discussion members’ raised several comments including the following:
· Useful and informative workshop held in July.
· Voiced support that priorities for Area South had been identified and put forward to be included within the Council Plan.
· Believed these priorities would provide indicators for further actions to be developed.
· To insure the Birchfield Group continues.
· Frustration over the limited powers regarding the loss of local community transport and deprived of any transport options.
· Questioned the responsibility of the traffic flow within the Yeovil area believing the Yeovil Refresh should take some responsibility.
· Voiced support for the need to not only repair existing youth facilities within the area but to fully ‘update’ facilities with the provision of a major pump track/skate park for the area.
The Locality Manager noted the member’s comments and assured members that points raised, although not all necessarily a major priority, would be developed and actioned under the locality work being developed. He explained the commitment of the Area Plus teams to help take to the next level but as new would take some time to develop.
The Specialist – Strategic Planning advised that further discussion would also take place with the Chairman before these priorities are taken to DX.
The Communities Lead presented the report and reiterated that the Yeovil Refresh Report would be brought to the October committee. She also suggested that a report on the update of the Area Plan be brought to committee in February 2019.
Councillor Peter Gubbins suggested that the presentation regarding the update and design of the crematorium be brought to the December committee as the planning application for the chapel had now been submitted and was hoped would be approved by this date.
Councillor Peter Seib suggested that the Somerset Highways maintenance programme report be put back to February 2019 to allow for the report to include the lessons learned from this winter.
(Voting: Without dissent)
Members noted the Planning Appeals.
Members noted the Schedule of Planning Applications.
Application for Reserved Matters following approval 13/01869/OUT to include approval of appearance, landscaping, layout and scale for the erection of 97 dwellings, Land at Bunford Hollow, West Coker BA20 2HE
The Area Lead Planner presented the application as detailed in the agenda and with the aid of a powerpoint presentation showed the site and proposed plans. She noted the application has been two starred for reasons explained at the beginning of the report. She also updated members that:
· The application to vary the section 106 agreement which had been submitted at the same time as this application had now been withdrawn, therefore this application is supported by the requirements of the original Section 106 agreement including affordable housing. She did expect a new application be submitted at some stage in the future however the viability of that application would be considered at that time.
· Conditions regarding the Biodiversity enhancements and bin storage be amended so that compliance be required after development reaches damp proof course rather than prior to commencement.
The Area Lead Planner referred to the key considerations being the principle of the development, landscape impact/setting of Listed Building, highways and affordable housing. She considered the site already had outline permission and considered the scale and materials acceptable with the site surrounded by trees much of which are to be retained.
She explained a thorough assessment had been carried out by Historic England and noted the Highway Authority had raised no objection. She explained that given the authority could not demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply and the amendment to bring back development from the western edge of the site she considered the public benefits outweigh any substantial harm to the historic assets of the area.
The Area Lead Planner believed this was well designed scheme for the area and her proposal was therefore to approve the application and the conditions as set out in the agenda report with the amendment to conditions regarding biodiversity and bin storage.
In response to members’ questions the Area Lead Planner and Senior Planning Adviser confirmed that:
· All archaeological issues had been addressed for this site.
· Confirmed the Local Lead Flood Authority were satisfied with the proposed drainage scheme.
· Believed by retaining the majority of trees screening the site and the proposed walled hamstone entrance, considered this proposal was of a quality design and in keeping with the area.
· Appreciated concerns should the applicant submit a future application to vary the Section 106 legal agreement, however this would be a separate issue and does not preclude members from determining the application at this time.
The agent then addressed the committee stating the principal of development had already been established and that this application was to approve the appearance, landscaping and layout scale of the scheme. The applicant had worked closely with all parties to provide a scheme that benefits the community with the inclusion of 34 affordable homes, LEAP and open spaces with financial contributions towards recreation, highways and education. He said ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
Change of use of former public house to 8no flats with associated internal, external works and parking, Great Western Hotel, 47 Camborne Grove, Yeovil BA21 5DG
The Planning Officer presented the application as detailed in the agenda and with the aid of a powerpoint presentation showed the site and proposed plans. He noted the application was now part retrospective as internal works have already been undertaken together with replacement windows.
He referred to the key considerations being the Asset of Community Value, principle of development, unauthorised works, pedestrian/highway safety and parking provision and sustainability.
He explained the pub had been subject of a Community Right to Bid and following due process the Council decided not to enter the property onto the list of Assets of the Community (AVC). He explained a new application has since been received however this planning application must be determined on the basis of the information provided to members at this time. He also confirmed that following investigation regarding the commencement of unauthorised internal works on site, the applicant was requested to stop works, they complied with this request and therefore no further works have taken place on site since that time.
The Planning Officer acknowledged the main issue was the lack of parking provision not in accordance with standards, however believed the sustainable transport network in the area would help mitigate any adverse impact on the area and encourage sustainable development. He therefore concluded that after considering all of the responses and issues, as outlined in the agenda report, his proposal was to approve the application and the conditions as set out in the agenda report.
Two members of the public then addressed the committee and spoke in objection to the application. They raised several concerns including:
· The scheme showed no consideration for local residents with the parking provision to be unacceptable.
· The proposed 8 flats would create a significant increase in vehicles wishing to park within the area.
· Roads within the area were already to full capacity and the addition of many more cars would be harmful to pedestrian safety with emergency vehicles unable to get through.
· Questioned the reliability for residents to depend solely on public transport with the area already badly served by the local bus service.
· Confirmed the nearby train station cannot be used by local residents to park their vehicles.
The agent then addressed the committee and explained the former owner had tried their upmost to keep the public house a viable business, however the current owner had bought the property in good faith. He understood the pub had not been well used in recent years and that other pubs and restaurants were available within close proximity of the site and being within walking distance of the town centre. He also appreciated concerns regarding the parking in the area but confirmed that 3 additional spaces would be created on the site along with a new secure cycle store. Given the site was situated in a highly sustainable location he believed ... view the full minutes text for item 14.
(Councillor Kaysar Hussain left the room during consideration of this item).
Erection of single storey rear extension to dwelling, 12 Roping Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA21 4BD
The Planning assistant presented the application as detailed in the agenda and with the aid of a powerpoint presentation showed the site and proposed plans. She explained the application had been brought before committee as the applicant is related to a committee member.
She referred to the key considerations being the impact on residential and visual amenity and the impact on highway safety. She noted that Yeovil Town Council were in support of the application and although concerns had been raised regarding the future use as a possible House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) this was a separate issue and does not preclude members from determining the application at this time.
She also confirmed the materials to be used would be of red brick which she considered acceptable and therefore her recommendation was to approve the application and the conditions as set out in the agenda report.
Following a short discussion members voiced their support for the application and satisfied that concerns regarding the HMO and materials had now been addressed.
There being no further debate it was then proposed and subsequently seconded that planning permission be approved as per the officers recommendation as set out in the agenda report. On being put to the vote this was carried unanimously.
That planning application 18/01743/FUL be approved for the following reason:
01. The proposal, by reason of its size, scale and materials, respects the character of the area and causes no demonstrable harm to residential amenity in accordance with the aims and objectives of Policy EQ2 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-28) and the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012).
SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING:
01. The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.
Reason: To accord with the provisions of section 91(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
02. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans date stamped as received 03 July 2018 and reference:
Drawing number: 1529-02C - Ground Floor Plan and East Elevation
Drawing number: 1529-03B - South and South Elevations and Section
Drawing number: 1529-04A - Site Plan and Location Plan - date stamped as received 18.06.18
and the external surfaces of the development shall be of materials as indicated on plan reference 1529-02C - Ground Floor Plan and East Elevation and no other materials shall be used without the prior written consent of the local planning authority.
Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.