Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Committee Room (Area East) - Churchfield. View directions
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Minutes of Previous Meeting
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on Wednesday 10th July 2019.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on Wednesday 10th July 2019, copies of which had been circulated, were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies for absence
An apology of absence was received from Councillor Charlie Hull and Councillor Colin Winder.
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 Tony Capozzoli, Henry Hobhouse, Paul Rowsell, William Wallace and Colin Winder.
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 Robin Bastable declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in agenda item 15 as he knew the applicant.
Councillor William Wallace also declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in agenda item 15 as he knew the applicant.
Councillor Lucy Trimnell advised that she no longer had an interest in agenda item 16.
Date of Next Meeting
Members are asked to note that the next scheduled meeting of the committee will be at the Council Offices, Churchfield, Wincanton on Wednesday 11th September at 9.00 am.
Members noted that the date of the next scheduled meeting of the Committee would be at the Council Offices, Churchfields, Wincanton on Wednesday 11th September at 9am.
Public Question Time
There were no questions from members of the public.
Reports from Members
Councillor Hayward Burt requested that the local plan consultation workshops, which were due to take place towards the end of August, were publicised well in advance of the event. He added that social media could be used to promote the event.
Councillor Mike Lewis explained that overgrown thistles were causing concern for some residents. He added that these were on land which was privately owned and that the owner was absent. He questioned whether there was anything that could be achieved by SSDC. He was advised that the Parish Council should write a letter to the landowner to request that the area is cleared.
He also requested figures to detail the number of S215 notices that had been issued in South Somerset, particularly in Area East, since the commencement of the Local Plan in 2006.
The Chairman advised that the Annual Town and Parish Meeting would be held on Tuesday 10th September at 6pm.
He also advised that training for Town and Parish Councils was scheduled for September to enable them to view planning application on the website. The date for this had not yet been confirmed. He would ensure that the details for this would be circulated once a date had been arranged.
He explained to members that a planning pre-application presentation/discussion would take place immediately after the meeting to seek members views on a future planning application within Area East. He added that a similar meeting would be held in October.
Sue Place, from the Balsam Centre, introduced her report. She summarised the history of the Balsam Centre and highlighted some points from her report. These included;
· The charity was established in 1999, however did not fully operate until 2001-2002.
· National Lottery funding has been a huge help to the charity, however these grants were no longer being provided.
· The four main priorities of the charity were Best Start in Life, Social Inclusion, Mental Health and Community Hub.
· The Growing Space charity were based at the Balsam Centre.
· The centre has grown considerably and now has 30 members of staff and the centre was very busy.
· The Maternal Mental Health project is funded by Red Nose Day.
· The centre worked holistically in order to meet the needs of the clients.
· Work was being carried out to try to help people struggling with loneliness, this included home visits.
In response to a question from a member, she explained that the children’s nursery, Conkers, was in the process of moving back into the Balsam Centre. She advised that Conkers would operate in a smaller area than the existing nursery space.
In response to another question, she explained that it was difficult to apply for grants from the MOD. She explained that in previous years, the MOD have provided financial support, however as it was difficult to know the addresses for MOD staff living in Wincanton and surrounding areas, and this made it hard to fund-raise.
She also advised members that lottery grants had been successful over previous year and that the centre was currently applying for a match-funding grant from the national lottery fund. She added that they are always working on their fundraising strategy.
Members offered their support to the Balsam Centre and thanked her for attending.
Members noted the report.
Mike Rowlands, Operations Manager SSCAT addressed the Committee to
He explained that there was an error contained within the second paragraph of the report detail. July 2013 should read 2023.
He advised members that the SSCAT had previously received grants from the national lottery, however this had now come to an end and that they were now struggling for funding.
He explained to members that the financial support which had been received from Town/Parish Councils, as well as the District Council, had been essential to allow the SSCAT to operate. He added that regular donations were also received and a significant donation had been received from the Friends of Wincanton Community Hospital.
He informed members that an aging mini-bus needed to be replaced and that a smaller mini-bus needed to be purchased. An application would be made to SSDC shortly for some additional funding towards a new mini-bus.
He advised members that the users of the transport often commented that the service was very important to them and referred to statistics contained within the report.
In response to a members question, he explained that the requirement for drivers to need special PCV D1 licences had been avoided as there was a new exemption for short distances, which was good news for the SSCAT bus and its drivers and volunteers.
The Chairman offered his thanks to the Parish and Town Councils that had donated funds, and asked that this continue again this year. He also advised that he would look into whether any S106 or CIL money could be made available.
In response to another question from a member, the Operations Manager explained the fares for journeys, and regrettably advised that there could be an increase in fares next year.
In summary, he confirmed that detailed figures to show the number of passenger journeys from each parish in Area East could be provided.
Members noted the report.
The Specialist Strategic Planning Officer presented her report to members. She reminded members that the priorities included within the report, had been identified at the members’ workshop, which was held in July. She explained that the priorities would be referred to District Executive for consideration for inclusion in the Council Plan.
One member commented that the requirement to complete housing needs surveys when requested, should be ranked at a higher-level priority.
Another member commented that broadband should not be listed as one of the most important priorities, as there was little further that could be done to achieve this. However, another member felt that it was important that broadband remained as a high priority.
The Specialist Strategic Planning Officer explained that the three most highly ranked priorities would be referred to District Executive for consideration for inclusion into the Council Plan and that the remaining priorities could be considered for the Area Chapter of the Council Plan.
Following the discussion, it was proposed and seconded that broadband should remain as a highly-ranked priority and that the priorities should be agreed as detailed in the agenda report for referral to District Executive for consideration for inclusion in the Council Plan.
On being put to the vote, this was carried 9 votes in support, with 1 against.
RESOLVED: that members;
1. agreed the proposed corporate strategic priorities to be presented to District Executive for consideration for inclusion in the Council Plan.
2. Agreed that the other priorities raised at the workshop will be developed into the Area East Chapter in collaboration with the chair of the committee.
(voting: 9 in support, 1 against)
Members noted the Area East Committee Forward Plan.
Members noted the Planning Appeals which had been received.
Members noted the Schedule of Planning Applications to be determined by Committee.
Application Proposal: Outline application for the erection of five dwellings.
The Planning Specialist presented his report to members. Using a PowerPoint presentation, he displayed images to show photographs of the site and plans to show the location of the site. He also provided images to show the indicative layout of the proposed dwellings. He also pointed out the position of dwellings that were being constructed on land adjoining the site.
He explained to members that there had been some local concern that the dwellings would merge the village of Keinton Mandeville with Barton St David. He added that the site was considered to be in a sustainable location and was considered to be suitable for this level of development.
He also pointed out that there were no objections from SCC Highways or from the Environmental Health Team.
He explained that the application was for outline permission only, and that the final layout of dwellings could be amended.
He pointed out an error in the report. The reference to Sparkford should read Keinton Mandeville and pointed out that an additional condition should be added to ensure that a footpath along the front of the development is provided. He also explained that Sycamore House was not a listed building and that this was an error within the report.
A representative from the Barton St David Parish Council addressed the Committee. He explained that he was also representing the Keinton Mandeville Parish Council. He explained that both the parish councils objected to the planning application as the proposal would join two very different and historical villages. It would provide an undesirable ribbon of development and would affect the setting of a listed building and wall. He also expressed concern over pedestrian safety and the proximity of the dwellings to the existing farm buildings.
The planning agent addressed the Committee. He explained that the site was part of Keinton Mandeville and open views could be seen north of the proposed dwellings. He added that there was a clear visually and physical gap between the two villages. He suggested that it was a logical form of development between Sycamore Farm and the development which was being constructed on land adjoining the site. He explained that historically, the parish boundary was a further distance from the site.
He advised members that a pedestrian walkway would be provided along the frontage of the site. He also explained that the applicant had lived in the village for many years and that one of the proposed dwellings was a bungalow for him to move into and would also provide housing for other family members.
Councillor Paul Rowsell, Ward Member, spoke in objection to the application. He explained that there had been many new homes built in Keinton Mandeville and felt that this development would be too much for the village.
Councillor Tony Capozzoli, Ward Member, addressed the Committee. He explained that support should be given to local farmers. He also pointed out that the application was for outline ... view the full minutes text for item 52.
Application Proposal: Outline application for the demolition of outbuilding, formation of new vehicular and pedestrian access and erection of 3 discount market homes for local residents, 1 retirement bungalow and 4 dwellings with associated access, parking and garaging
The Planning Specialist presented his report to members. He explained that the proposal included affordable homes for local residents. Using a PowerPoint presentation, he provided images to show the location of the site and photographs of the site. He also provided images to show the existing dwellings on the land adjoining the site.
He explained to members that there had been some local concern over the mix of houses and the scale and appearance of the dwellings, however he pointed out that the application was an outline application only and that the access was the only matter being considered, rather than the design. He confirmed that there were no highway objections.
He pointed out that 37.5% of the proposed dwellings would be affordable homes for local people.
He also made the Councillors aware that although this proposal sought to provide affordable housing and this was very much welcomed, had the scheme been proposed as 100% open market then the scheme still would have received a positive recommendation for approval given the 5yr land supply matter and status of Policy SS2.
Members of the public addressed the Committee to speak in objection to the proposal. Their points raised included;
· Local materials should be used. Concerned about the appearance of the dwellings.
· The road is dangerous and cars park on the road.
· Additional cars parking on the road will make emergency access difficult.
· There are no shops in Horsington and the school is at full capacity.
· This additional dwellings will result in a 13% increase in dwellings in Horsington, which is too many and excessive for a small village.
· 2 or 3 dwellings would be a more acceptable amount.
Members of the public spoke in support of the application. Their comments included;
· The Parish Council supported the application.
· There is a housing shortage.
· It is difficult for local families to remain in the village and affordable homes in the village would make this easier.
· The site is an ideal infill, in a sustainable location and is outside of the Conservation Area.
· There is a pub, school and a church in the village. The train station is only 1 mile away.
· The number of residents in the village is reducing year after year. Many of the homes are families’ second homes.
· There are no other homes in the village that are affordable.
· Affordable dwellings would allow families to remain in the village and for children to go to local primary school.
The applicant addressed the Committee. He explained that having lived in the village for many years, he would like to remain in the village with his wife, but needed a bungalow. He added that he had been involved with many community projects over the years and hoped that the affordable ... view the full minutes text for item 53.
Application Proposal: Demolition of existing garages and the erection of a new dwelling with carport.
The Lead Specialist – Planning, advised that the application had been two-starred in line with the scheme of delegation and would be referred to the Regulation Committee should the Committee resolve to approve. This was due to the remote rural location of the site, the lack of justification for approval and to ensure consistency of decision-making across the district.
The Planning Officer presented his report to members. He explained that the application had been referred to Area East Committee as the Chairman felt that the recommended reasons were refusal were not valid as the site was no further from the town centre when compared to the new development on Frome Road.
He explained that the site was approximately 900m from the nearest pavement, and situated close to a few existing dwellings.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, he provided images to the site and plans to show the proposed dwelling.
He pointed out that the site was some distance from the town centre and that the site was not considered to be within a sustainable location, and advised members that he recommended that the application be refused.
The applicant addressed the Committee. She explained that one of her neighbours to the site walks to the town centre daily. She advised members that it was a safe walk to the town centre, using lanes and public footpaths. She also informed members that her family had lived on Dropping Lane for many years and that she hoped to remain living there.
Councillor Lucy Trimnell, Ward Member, spoke in support of the application. She explained to members that she had considered purchasing a property along Dropping Lane and at that she considered the proximity to the town centre. She explained that the site was a similar distance to the town centre than the home she purchased instead, which was situated on Cuckoo Hill. She explained that it was difficult to walk to the town centre from Cuckoo Hill due to patchy streetlighting and poor footpaths. She felt that it was safer to walk to the town centre from Dropping Lane as there were no parked cars, the speed limit was 30mph and the road was much quieter. She pointed out that this site has always been considered as being part of Bruton.
During the discussion, members questioned whether there was specific guidance, which had been used to determine that the site should be considered to be in a rural location.
The Planning Officer advised that a consistent view from the Planning Inspectorate considered the distance to be approximately 800m, however confirmed that the walkability of the distance was also a factor that had been considered in this case.
One member pointed out that the site was within the parish of Bruton and that the town had all of the facilities required to meet policy SS2. He felt that this was not a remote location. Other members agreed ... view the full minutes text for item 54.