Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: The Guildhall, Chard

Contact: Jo Morris, Case Officer - 01935 462055  Email: jo.morris@southsomerset.gov.uk

Note: Please note that Planning Application No. 18/03093/FUL has been withdrawn from the agenda 

Items
No. Item

225.

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 16th October 2019

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 16th October 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

226.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Sue Osborne and Anthony Vaughan.

227.

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 Regulation Committee

The following members of this Committee are also members of the Council's Regulation Committee:

Councillors Jason Baker, Sue Osborne and Linda Vijeh.

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.

Minutes:

Councillor Val Keitch declared a personal interest in Planning Application No. 19/00911/FUL – Land at Boozer Pit. Merriott as the Applicant’s daughter was an acquaintance.

 

Councillor Martin Wale declared a personal interest in Planning Application Nos. 18/04057/OUT** - Land East of Mount Hindrance Farm, Chard and 19/00074/FUL** - Land East of Crimchard, Chard as the ward member for Blackdown & Tatworth and a resident of Wadford.

 

Councillor Jenny Kenton declared personal interests in Planning Application Nos. 18/04057/OUT** - Land East of Mount Hindrance Farm, Chard and 19/00074/FUL** - Land East of Crimchard, Chard as she lived close to the application sites.

 

Councillor Martin Carnell declared a personal interest in Planning Application No. 19/01219/FUL as he lived at Nursery Gardens which was adjacent to the application site.

 

Councillor Dave Bulmer declared a personal interest in Planning Application No. 19/01219/FUL as a member of Chard Town Council.

228.

Public Question Time

This is a chance to ask questions, make comments and raise matters of concern.

Parish/Town Councils may also wish to use this opportunity to ask for the District Council’s support on any matter of particular concern to their Parish/Town.

Anyone wishing to raise matters in relation to items on the agenda may do so at the time the item is considered.

Minutes:

There were no questions raised by members of the public.

229.

Date and Venue for Next Meeting

Councillors are requested to note that the next Area West Committee meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday 11th December 2019 at 5.30pm at The Guildhall, Chard.

Minutes:

Members noted that the next scheduled meeting of the Area West Committee would be held on Wednesday 12th December 2019 at The Guildhall, Chard.

230.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that the December Area West Committee meeting would be a planning only meeting due to the Election being held on 12th December 2019.

231.

Community Grant to Merriott Village Hall (Executive Decision) pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED:

That a grant of £11,500 be awarded to Merriott Village Hall, the grant to be allocated from the Area West capital programme and subject to standard conditions for community grants (Appendix A)

 

Reason:  To award a grant towards the cost of Solar Array and Battery Storage for Merriott VIllage Hall.

Minutes:

The Locality Officer introduced the report which asked members to consider the awarding of a grant towards Solar Array and Battery Storage for Merriott Village Hall.

 

The Committee was addressed by a representative from Merriott Village Hall.  He explained that the project was to install solar panels on Merriott Village Hall and that the hall was currently heated by air source heat pumps.  Members were informed that the management committee had recently undertook a project to double glaze the windows and insulate the roof and this project was a further project to make the hall more sustainable and to reduce carbon footprint.  The use of the hall in the evening would not coincide with the generation of solar panels therefore batteries would be installed to store the electricity generated during the daytime for use in the evenings.  Members were informed that the Village Hall Committee also planned to install car charging points in the future which would generate income for the hall and make it more sustainable financially in the long term.

 

In response to a question regarding the funding plan, members were informed that unfortunately funding had not been secured from The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation and the outcome of other funding would be known within six weeks.

 

The Ward Member expressed his support for the project and referred to the Council declaring its recognition of a climate change emergency and the development of the Environment Strategy.  He said that the hall was extremely well run and well used and hoped that members would support the application.

 

Members unanimously supported the Officer’s recommendation outlined in the report.

 

RESOLVED:

That a grant of £11,500 be awarded to Merriott Village Hall, the grant to be allocated from the Area West capital programme and subject to standard conditions for community grants (Appendix A)

 

Reason:  To award a grant towards the cost of Solar Array and Battery Storage for Merriott VIllage Hall.

232.

Area West - Draft Area Chapter 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Locality Team Lead introduced the report and explained that members were being asked to agree the priorities that would be included in the Area Chapter for 2020/21.  The items included in the Area Chapter would help deliver specific local areas of work and projects.  The Area Chapter had been produced from priorities discussed and identified at the Members Workshop held in July.

 

The Area Chapter would be delivered by the Area + teams and the Locality Team would continue with the work programme to support section 106 facilities and community grants.

 

Members suggested the following amendments to the key priorities for Area West:

 

·         Removing the word social isolation and replace it with support social inclusion by maintaining the network of volunteer led health walks and other activities through promotion, training and support.

·         It was felt that the priority to develop options to improve community transport links to Crewkerne Station should be made broader as more bus services had been withdrawn in Crewkerne.

·         Replacing the word Maintain pressure to deliver Stop Line Way with Increase.

 

At the conclusion of the debate, members agreed the priorities for the Area subject to the suggested amendments to be presented to District Executive for consideration for inclusion in the Council Plan.

 

RESOLVED:

That members agreed the priorities for the Area subject to the suggested amendments to be presented to District Executive for consideration for inclusion in the Council Plan.

 

233.

Area West Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Minutes:

Members were informed that the reports on the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Chard Reservoir Half Term Activities due to be considered in December would be postponed until January.

 

RESOLVED:

That the Area West Committee Forward Plan be noted as outlined in the agenda subject to the following amendments:

 

·         Reports on Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Chard Reservoir Half Term Activities moved to January.

 

234.

Schedule of Planning Applications to be Determined by Committee pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the schedule of planning applications to be determined by the Committee.

 

Members were informed that Application No. 18/03093/FUL – 32 Ditton Street, Ilminster had been withdrawn from the agenda.

235.

Planning Application 18/04057/OUT** - Land East of Mount Hindrance Farm, Mount Hindrance Lane, Chard pdf icon PDF 948 KB

Minutes:

Application proposal: Outline application for mixed development comprising residential development of up to 295 dwellings, provision of a floodlit full size football pitch, unlit full size training pitch and community sports pitch with associated multi use clubhouse, spectator facilities and vehicular parking area; hub for local neighbourhood facilities and other community uses, public open space, landscaping, drainage and other facilities; associated vehicular and pedestrian accesses, land regrading, associated infrastructure and engineering works.

 

The Agency Planner updated the report and advised that Condition 1 required an amendment to make reference to the application being outline.  He also proposed amendments to Conditions 29 and 30 to include an implementation and retention clause.  The S106 agreement also required an amendment to include the management of public open space.

 

The Agency Planner presented the application.  He explained that the proposal was an outline application and the site was located on the northern side of Chard although the site was located within the parish of Combe St Nicholas.  The site was mixed agricultural use comprising 23.1 hectares and Crimchard Road was located along the western boundary with the hamlet of Cuttifords Door to the north.  Members were shown the indicative layout and informed that the means of access was for detailed consideration and would be taken from Thorndun Park Drive.  The proposal sought permission for up to 295 dwellings, 3 football pitches, leisure facilities and open space.  The main football pitch would be at the heart of the proposal. 

 

The Agency Planner explained that a similar application was submitted in 2012 which was refused and dismissed at appeal on material consideration.  He highlighted the summary of appeal on the Inspector’s decision.  The Agency Planner outlined the key considerations which related to: Outline Application – Access for consideration, Principle of Development, Highways, Landscape, Ecology, Flooding, and Chard Town Football Club.

 

The Agency Planner reiterated that the application was for outline permission with all matters except for access shown indicatively to be determined at a later stage within the detailed reserved matters application.  The site was located outside of the development area for Chard however as the Council could not demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply, applications should be considered in the context of presumption in favour of sustainable development and applications should be granted unless any adverse impacts would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits. 

 

Members were informed that Highways considered the proposal to be acceptable subject to further work being carried out on the Travel Plan which would be dealt with at the reserved matters stage.  The Council’s Ecologist had requested further mitigation measures which could be adequately achieved at the reserved matters stage.

 

The Agency Planner’s recommendation was for approval subject to conditions and a S106 agreement.

 

Members raised questions in relation to the following:

 

·         Consideration of the cumulative effect on the surrounding area

·         The exact location of the access to the site

·         Definition of a Haul Road

·         Emergency access arrangements onto Crimchard

·         Impact on the Convent Link Junction

·         Queried whether the access  ...  view the full minutes text for item 235.

236.

Planning Application 19/00074/FUL** - Land East of Crimchard, Chard pdf icon PDF 865 KB

Minutes:

Application proposal: The erection of 142 dwellings together with associated infrastructure including access/highway improvements, drainage and attenuation, play area, open space and landscaping.

 

As this application was closely linked to Application No. 18/04057/OUT88 – Land East of Mount Hindrance Farm, Mount Hindrance Lane, Chard it was proposed and seconded to defer the application to a future meeting of the Area West Committee to allow for more detailed and up to date information to be presented.

 

A vote was taken and it was unanimously approved to defer the application.

 

RESOLVED:

That Planning Application No. 19/00074/FUL** be DEFERRED to a future meeting of the Area West Committee to allow for more detailed and up to date information to be presented.

 

(Voting: unanimous)

 

237.

Planning Application 19/01219/FUL - Land at Crewkerne Road, Chard pdf icon PDF 935 KB

Minutes:

Application proposal: Proposed offices, warehousing and research and development buildings

 

The Agency Planner presented the application with the aid of a powerpoint presentation.  The proposal was for the construction of 7 commercial buildings to be provided for research and development, warehousing and office accommodation.  The site was located on the eastern side of Chard with access to the site from the A30.  The development was proposed to be delivered in 2 phases with buildings 1, 2 and 3 located in the south west part of the site forming the first phase.  He referred to the left hand elevation which dropped down in scale to the west.  The buildings would be low rise and comprised of a mixture of materials including brick and metal cladding.  Members were informed that a 3 metre timber acoustic fence would be located along the western boundary and landscaping was proposed to provide screening and a green setting.  The Agency Planner referred to the key considerations which were Principle of Development, Highways, Landscape, Employment, Design and Layout.  The Agency Planner’s recommendation was for approval subject to conditions.

 

In response to questions, members were informed of the following:

 

·         Currently there was an open field to the east of the site and it would be onerous to request acoustic barriers be put into an area that had no development currently proposed.  It could be looked at in the future if there were to be residential development.

·         The Environmental Health Officer considered the proposals to be acceptable.  The buildings would be further insulated to protect from noise generation.

·         The proposal would allow the company to grow and provide more employment.

·         There would be increased landscaping and planting along the A30 with new hedging at the access point.

·         Building 1 would be for office accommodation and Buildings 2 and 3 would be a combination of research and development and warehousing.

 

The Committee was addressed by the Applicant’s Agent.  He said that Numatic had always shown generous consideration to its staff and neighbours.  The development would be an extension to Numatic’s adjacent site and there were no noise elements being proposed on the site with manufacturing being maintained on the main site.  The development would allow the company to grow by up to one third over the next five years.  The road link to the A30 would be constructed first to allow construction traffic to access the site directly without having to pass through the town centre.  The new road would reduce a lot of the traffic from the town centre.  He advised that neighbouring properties would be protected by a 3 metre acoustic fence and landscaping.  At the request of a neighbour the forklift entry had been redesigned and would be located 75 metres to the nearest boundary.  He confirmed that more planting was being proposed on all boundaries and a nursery area for slow worms.  

 

The Committee was then addressed by the Applicant.  He explained about the history of the company and the need for expansion over the next  ...  view the full minutes text for item 237.

238.

Planning Application 18/03093/FUL - 32 Ditton Street, Ilminster pdf icon PDF 635 KB

Minutes:

This application was withdrawn from the agenda and not considered at the meeting.

239.

Planning Application 18/03718/S73A - Sandyhole, The Former Sunday School, Bull Bridge Lane, Merriott pdf icon PDF 422 KB

Minutes:

Application Proposal: Application to vary Conditions 3 (opening hours) and remove condition 7 (obscure glazing on windows on the eastern elevation) of approval 17/03983/FUL.

 

The Specialist – Planning presented the application with the aid of a powerpoint presentation.  She explained that the application for the Former Sunday School Building was approved in February 2018 subject to a number of conditions.  The application was being made to vary condition 3 to allow the business to operate until 9pm on a Wednesday and 11pm on a Friday and Saturday and to remove condition 7 – obscure glazing on windows to the eastern elevation.  She advised that condition 7 was yet to be implemented.  Members were shown various photographs of the site including the eastern elevation and the windows which overlooked the graveyard and the views from inside the building.  She explained that the application was recommended for approval but subject to the permission being for 2 years to allow a review of the neighbour amenity and parking due to the extended opening hours.  She explained that conditions were being imposed to stop the use of loud speakers or amplifier equipment and to restrict use of the outside space.  She concluded that based on the proposed conditions it was felt that the impact on amenity and highway safety was satisfactorily addressed.

 

In response to a member question regarding other premises in the village, the Ward Member confirmed that there was a public house located further down the road which opened until 11pm and a social club on Lower Street which was open late on a Friday and Saturday.

 

The Committee was addressed by a representative from the Parish Council.  Points raised related to the following:

 

·         The Parish Council had supported the conversion of the building which was proving a benefit to the community and had a good working relationship with the owners however they did have similar reservations about the application.

·         The Parish Council still requested that the windows be obscured for the privacy of people visiting the churchyard.

·         With regard to late night opening, the Parish Council had no concerns with the current owners but there would be no control over any new owners in the future and therefore concerns were raised over the neighbour amenity.

·         There were some parking issues being experienced from people using the facility.

·         The Parish Council were unable to support either of the proposed changes.

 

The Committee was then addressed by the Applicant’s Agent.  Points raised related to the following:

 

·         Planning Policy EQ3 of the Local Plan concerned the Historic Environment and was in place to ensure that heritage assets were preserved and enhanced.  Obscuring the lower half of the windows would harm the character of the listed building and from the outside it would spoil the buildings appearance and would not promote a high standard of design.

·         The graveyard could clearly be seen from Church Street.  Users of the graveyard did not have any privacy and any number of passers-by could see into the area.

·         The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 239.

240.

Planning Application 19/00911/FUL - Land At Boozer Pit, Merriott, TA16 5PW pdf icon PDF 443 KB

Minutes:

Application Proposal: Erection of 2 dwellings

 

The Specialist – Planning presented the application as outlined in the agenda with the aid of a powerpoint presentation.  She explained that the site was located on the north eastern edge of Merriott and the proposal sought the infill of two detached dwellings.  She referred to the site previously having an appeal in 2015 as there was a refusal on an outline application for 6 dwellings, 2 of which were affordable housing.  The appeal was dismissed on the impact of the character of the area and sustainability.  At the time of the appeal, it was acknowledged and assessed on the Council having a 5 year housing land supply.  With regard to this application, she explained that the circumstances were different and the Local Plan was adopted in March 2015 and at the time of the outline application it had very little weight.  The Council was currently unable to demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply therefore Policy SS2 currently carried little weight. 

 

The Specialist – Planning explained that amended plans had been received and were acceptable to revise the design of house 1 to reflect the character of the area and to lower the ridge height on house 2. She advised that access to the site had been given consent in 2012 and was already in place.  The Specialist – Planning outlined the key considerations which were principle of development, impact on visual amenity, impact on residential amenity and impact on highway safety.  The Specialist – Planning recommended approval of the application subject to conditions.

 

In response to questions, members were informed of the following:

 

·         As the application was for under 10 dwellings, an affordable housing contribution would not be sought.

·         There was sufficient distance between the properties to alleviate any adverse overlooking.  House 1 would be 33 metres from Farmhouse Cottage to the north.  House 2 would be 10 metres from Half Moon House and there would be no windows on facing elevations.

·         Education capacity was not taken into consideration on applications of this size.

·         All comments received were taken into consideration in assessing the application.

·         The site was some distance from the Conservation Area and was therefore not considered as part of the application.

 

The Committee was addressed by a representative from the Parish Council.  Points raised related to the following:

 

·         The Parish Council did not support development on good greenfield sites.

·         The site was located outside of the residential area of the village.

·         There was poor pedestrian access to the village from the site.

·         The village had a comprehensive housing survey which showed an overwhelming need for affordable family homes.

 

The Committee was then addressed by two people (who were also speaking on behalf of a number of residents in Merriott) in objection to the application.  Concerns raised related to the following:

 

·         No proven need for three bedroomed properties in Merriott.

·         Queried why no garages had been included on the properties.

·         No consideration has been given to the loss  ...  view the full minutes text for item 240.