Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: The Guildhall, Chard

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

Items
No. Item

156.

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 17th April 2019

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 17th April 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

157.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Brian Hamilton, Robin Pailthorpe and Anthony Vaughan.

158.

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 and Sue Osborne.

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 Mike Best declared a personal interest in Planning Application No. 18/00754/FUL – Millers Garage, 22A East Street, Crewkerne as a member of Crewkerne Town Council.

159.

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 17th July 2019 at 5.30pm at The Guildhall, Chard.

Minutes:

Members noted that the next meeting of the Area West Committee would be held on Wednesday 17th July 2019 at 5.30pm at The Guildhall, Chard.

160.

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:

The Committee was addressed by two members of the public in relation to Planning Application No. 18/03808/FUL – 6 Vicarage Close, Chard.  Comments made related to the following:

 

·         Expressed disappointment that the application had been not considered by the Area West Committee as there were several letters of objection submitted in relation to loss of light and highway safety.

·         Raised concerns over the entrance to the property being out of scope with standing advice from Highways.

·         Appropriate procedures not being followed under the Planning Scheme of Delegation.

 

The Chairman advised that the Lead Specialist – Planning would provide a written response to the comments made.

161.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman made no announcements.

162.

Area West Committee Meeting Arrangements pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Minutes:

The Locality Team Manager explained that as it was the start of a new municipal year it was an appropriate time for members to review the start time for Area West Committee meetings.

 

During the discussion, members supported the start time to remain at 5.30pm.  Members noted that The Guildhall would be the main venue for Area West Committee meetings but were of the view that if there was a major planning application to consider in relation to one of the other towns in Area West a suitable venue in that town should be considered.

 

RESOLVED:

That the start time for Area West Committee remains at 5.30pm.

 

(Voting: unanimous)

163.

Chard Regeneration Scheme Update Report pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Minutes:

The Property and Development Project Manager introduced the report which updated members on the Chard Regeneration Scheme project.  She explained that the Project Team were currently working with Somerset County Council on the internal design of the library hub building.  The next steps for the project team would include working with the Architects to develop the design and consulting with the Stakeholder Group on the proposals.

 

Members thanked the Property and Development Project Manager for her update report.

 

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted.

 

164.

Area West Committee Outside Organisations - Appointment of Members 2019/20 (Executive Decision) pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the following appointments be made to Outside Organisations for the municipal year 2019/20:

 

Outside Organisation

Representation 2019/20

 

A Better Crewkerne & District (ABCD)

Mike Best

 

Blackdown Hills AONB

Martin Wale (Substitute Jenny Kenton)

Chard and District Museum Society

 

Jenny Kenton

Crewkerne Heritage Centre

Robin Pailthorpe

 

Ile Youth Centre Management Committee

Brian Hamilton

 

Ilminster Forum

Val Keitch

 

Meeting House Arts Centre, Ilminster

Val Keitch

 

Stop Line Way Steering Group

Sue Osborne

 

 

(Resolution passed without dissent)

 

Reason: To appoint members to outside organisations for the municipal year 2019/20.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the following appointments be made to Outside Organisations for the municipal year 2019/20:

 

Outside Organisation

Representation 2019/20

 

A Better Crewkerne & District (ABCD)

Mike Best

 

Blackdown Hills AONB

Martin Wale (Substitute Jenny Kenton)

Chard and District Museum Society

 

Jenny Kenton

Crewkerne Heritage Centre

Robin Pailthorpe

 

Ile Youth Centre Management Committee

Brian Hamilton

 

Ilminster Forum

Val Keitch

 

Meeting House Arts Centre, Ilminster

Val Keitch

 

Stop Line Way Steering Group

Sue Osborne

 

 

(Voting: Resolution passed without dissent)

 

Reason: To appoint members to outside organisations for the municipal year 2019/20.

165.

Scheme of Delegation - Development Control - Nomination of Substitutes for Chairman and Vice-Chairman (Executive Decision) pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED:

That Councillors Mike Best and Paul Maxwell be appointed to act as substitutes for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman in the exercising of the Scheme of Delegation for planning and related applications.

 

(Voting: Resolution passed without dissent)

 

Reason: To appoint two members to act as substitutes for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman in the exercising of the scheme of delegation for planning and related applications for the municipal year 2019/20.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That Councillors Mike Best and Paul Maxwell be appointed to act as substitutes for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman in the exercising of the Scheme of Delegation for planning and related applications.

 

(Voting: Resolution passed without dissent)

 

Reason: To appoint two members to act as substitutes for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman in the exercising of the scheme of delegation for planning and related applications for the municipal year 2019/20.

166.

Area West Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Minutes:

The Locality Team Manager advised that a grant application would be coming forward to the August meeting and that a report on Historic Buildings at Risk would be included on the Forward Plan for October.  Members asked that a report from the Police and the Highway Authority also be added to the Forward Plan.

 

RESOLVED:

That the Area West Committee Forward Plan be noted as attached to the agenda subject to the following additional reports:

·         Reports from members on Outside Organisations – dates to be added

·         Grant Application - August

·         Historic Buildings at Risk – October

·         Avon & Somerset Constabulary – January

·         Highway Authority  - TBC

 

167.

Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted the report detailing four planning appeals, two which had been received, one which had been refused and one which had been dismissed.

168.

Schedule of Planning Applications to be Determined by Committee pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that he would be taking the planning applications in the following order: 18/02808/FUL, 18/03822/FUL, 17/04328/OUT**, 18/00754/FUL.

169.

Planning Application 18/02808/FUL - Land at Beetham, Higher Beetham, Whitestaunton pdf icon PDF 439 KB

Minutes:

Application Proposal: The erection of general purpose agricultural building

 

The Specialist – Development Management presented the application as detailed in the agenda and outlined the key considerations.  He explained that there were two existing agricultural buildings on the site and that planning applications to extend both of the buildings had been previously refused by the Committee.  He explained that the applicant had submitted a Landscape Assessment which concluded that impact on the landscape would be moderate.  Mitigation was proposed in the form of a hedge and bank to the southern end of the group of buildings and setting the floor level two metres below the existing building.  With regard to the private water supply, he advised that the Council’s Environmental Health Department did not object to the proposal and were satisfied with the results of the water sample taken.  No objections were raised on the basis of odour due to there being a sufficient distance from nearby dwellings.    He concluded that the proposed scheme was considered acceptable subject to conditions and therefore recommended approval of the application.   

 

In response to questions from Members, the Specialist – Development Management confirmed:-

 

·         The building would be mostly used for silage and manure storage.

·         The proposed location of the building was different to the previously refused application.

·         This proposed development offered less visual impact when viewed from the road.

·         The distance to the nearest dwelling was considered acceptable.

·         The building would not be used for intensive livestock rearing.

·         There was no reason why the existing buildings to be demolished could not take place prior to commencement of the proposed development.

·         There was no adverse impact on the Right of Way.

·         Materials would include Yorkshire Boarding which tended to weather down.  It was difficult to apply a colour to concrete.

·         Condition 7 could refer to agreeing a finished height for the hedge if members felt this was necessary.

 

The Committee were then addressed by two people in opposition to the application.  Their comments included:-

 

·         Concerns that other land owned by the applicant would be developed.

·         No business justification for the development.

·         Reference to the concerns raised by the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership.

·         Visual and accumulative impact on the AONB.

·         Concerns over seepage of waste and effluent from the buildings causing contamination of the private water supply.

 

The Applicant’s Agent advised that the two previous applications had been refused due to the impact on the water supply.  This application was different and was for a general agricultural building.  He confirmed that only a small area of the building would be used to rear calves.  He referred to the application being supported by a Landscape Visual Assessment in order to set out the impacts of the development and proposed mitigation including lowering the level of the building and creating a new boundary.  He asked members to support the application in order for the business to remain viable.

 

Ward Member, Councillor Martin Wale raised a number of concerns with the application which related to the following:

·         Visual impact  ...  view the full minutes text for item 169.

170.

Planning Application 17/04328/OUT** - Land West Of School Lane, Ashill pdf icon PDF 797 KB

Minutes:

Application Proposal: Erection of 10 dwellings and associated works including the formation of 2 No. accesses (outline)

 

The Specialist – Development Management presented the application as detailed in the agenda and explained that the application was an amended application from that originally proposed.  The amended proposal was an outline application for the erection of 10 dwellings and associated works including the formation of two accesses.  The layout of the site had been designed to allow for a greater view of the church.  She advised that the site was located within a sustainable location and as the Council could not demonstrate a 5-year housing land supply, the scheme would make a valuable contribution towards meeting the Council’s housing needs.  She considered that the proposal would result in less than substantial harm to the setting of the listed Church and the public benefits of the proposal outweighed the harm. She recommended that the application be approved subject to conditions.

 

In response to questions from Members, the Specialist – Development Management confirmed:-

 

·         The site was considered to be within a sustainable location.

·         The size of the site had been reduced compared to the original application.

·         The Regulation Committee had approved an application for 25 dwellings in Ashill.

·         The level of development was supported by Policy SS2.

·         An area TPO covered the whole site.

·         Historic England were of the view that any harm would need to be outweighed by the public benefit.

·         The original application site extended along the roadside.

·         The dwellings at the top of the site had been removed to open up the views through to the Church.

·         Many of the trees located in the orchard were old and had become wind-thrown.

·         The majority of the proposed dwellings would be two-storey.

·         There was a need for housing across the district.

 

The Committee was addressed by a representative of Ashill Parish Council and four people in opposition to the application.  Concerns raised related to the following:

 

·         No support for the development within the village.

·         The need to protect this piece of greenbelt.

·         Impact upon the setting of the Grade II listed church and loss of views.

·         The existing orchard was an important setting to the cider house.

·         No environmental impact assessment had been undertaken.

·         Concerns about impact on wildlife located on the site.

·         Increased vehicle movements.

·         Concerns over increase in flooding in Kenny where properties already flood.

·         The need for adequate drainage provision and maintenance.

·         No proven need for additional housing.

·         Limited bus service.

·         Lack of facilities.

·         Unsustainable location.

·         Services must include adequate supply of water.

·         The proposed two storey properties will be overbearing to neighbouring properties which are predominately bungalows.

 

The Committee was then addressed by the Applicant’s Agent who explained that he had worked closing with Planning Officers in revising the application.  He referred to the proposed development assisting with the Council’s 5-year housing land supply and being supported by Policy SS2.  He advised that the vehicular access was considered acceptable by the Highway Authority.  He said that there would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 170.

171.

Planning Application 1800754/FUL - Millers Garage, 22A East Street, Crewkerne pdf icon PDF 867 KB

Minutes:

Application Proposal: Demolition of existing building and the change of use of site to a tarmac ‘pay and display’ car park for 60 vehicles to include lighting columns

 

Councillor Mike Best declared a personal interest in the application as a member of Crewkerne Town Council.

 

The Specialist – Development Management presented the application as detailed in the agenda and outlined the key considerations.  He explained that the application had been deferred by the Area West Committee in June 2018 in order for outstanding concerns to be resolved with the Town Council.  Following discussions, it was proposed to construct a 1.8 metre high wooden fence running the entire length of the boundary.  He proposed an amendment to Condition 2 to include the latest plan number and an additional condition in relation to the erection of security fencing during demolition of the site.  In respect to the concern about creating a rat run, he advised that traffic calming measures would be installed within the car park and that the District Council would be able to monitor and address any issues.

 

The Committee was addressed by a representative from Crewkerne Town Council.  She commented that the Town Council welcomed the application for a much needed long stay car park.  She raised the concern that the car park could attract anti-social behaviour at night and suggested that bollards be put in place when the car park was not in use. 

 

The Committee was then addressed by two people in opposition to the application.  Their comments included:

 

·         The proposal would add to traffic in an already busy area of people enjoying the children’s play area, Aqua Centre, Henhayes Centre and the George Reynolds Centre.

·         Access from East Street through Henhayes to South Street has the potential to become a ‘rat run’.

·         Traffic lights installed at West Street would be a better option.

·         Unless an automatic barrier is fitted on the exit it will become a ‘rat run’

·         Proposed exit route not practical. At certain times of the day the road is restricted to one way by lorries and coaches.

·         At certain times traffic is already backed up along South Street.

·         Increased risk to pedestrians leaving Henhayes Recreation Ground.

 

Ward Member, Councillor Mike Best explained that the South Somerset Parking Strategy had identified a shortfall of long stay parking and there were parking difficulties at peak times especially for people working in the town.  He was disappointed that there was not enough room to provide an in and out junction but this was the only site available, although not ideal there were no other options available at the current time.

 

It was proposed and seconded to approve the application as per the Specialist’s recommendation as outlined in the agenda subject to:

 

·         An amendment to Condition 2 to include the latest plan number.

·         An additional condition for the erection of security fencing around the site during demolition of the site.

 

A vote was taken and the application was unanimously approved.

 

RESOLVED:

That Planning Application No. 18/00754/FUL be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 171.

172.

Planning Application 18/03822/FUL - Batstone Farm, Priddles Lane, Combe St Nicholas pdf icon PDF 398 KB

Minutes:

Application Proposal: The change of use and conversion of existing outbuilding to form a dwelling and the removal of agricultural storage building

 

The Specialist – Development Management presented the application and outlined the key considerations as detailed in the agenda.  He advised that the site was located in an isolated location and the building was still in use as a cattery and was therefore not considered redundant.  The Specialist’s recommendation was for refusal.

 

In response to questions from Members, the Specialist – Development Management confirmed that:

 

·         Half of the building was subject to change of use, the remainder was for agricultural use.

·         There were 3 buildings located on the site.

·         The development did not qualify for change of use under Permitted Development Rights.

·         A 10 minute walk to the nearest services and facilities was considered to be an isolated location.

 

The Committee was addressed by the Applicant who confirmed that the restricted half of the building was still in use but would close later in the year.  The other half of the building had been redundant for 15 years.  She explained that the building was of brick and block construction.  In referring to the enhancement of the landscape setting of the site, she felt that the planting of additional hedges and trees would assist in enhancing the visual appearance of the area. Reference was made to a number of similar applications in the vicinity that had been allowed.  She advised that the site was within walking distance of Combe St Nicolas and confirmed that the application had full support from the Parish Council.

 

Ward Member, Councillor Martin Wale did not consider the site to be located in an isolated location and had access to the services and facilities within Combe St Nicolas.  The proposed development had no effect on the visual impact of the AONB.  He referred to other applications within the vicinity that had been allowed that were within a more isolated location.  He noted that the shape and style of the building would not be altered and considered that the installation of windows and French doors would enhance the immediate surroundings.  He concluded that the proposal was in accordance with Policy SS1 and supported the reuse of an existing building.

 

The other Ward Member, Councillor Jenny Kenton supported the proposal and could not see the development causing any harm.

 

During the discussion, members supported the comments made by the Ward Members and felt that the development would enhance the area and was not considered to be located in an isolated location.  The building would cause no harm to the landscape and make good use of existing buildings.

 

It was proposed and seconded to approve the application contrary to the Specialist’s recommendation for the following reasons: 

 

·         Acceptable size, scale and materials

·         Reuse of an existing building

·         Enhance landscape setting of the site

·         No harm to highways

·         No harm to residential amenity

Conditions suggested by the Specialist and agreed by members included:

 

·         Time limit

·         Plan

·         External materials

·         Visibility splays

·         Soft  ...  view the full minutes text for item 172.