Agenda, decisions and draft minutes
Venue: The Guildhall, Chard
Contact: Jo Morris, Case Officer - 01935 462055 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 20th November 2019
The minutes of the meeting held on 20th November 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies for Absence
An apology for absence was received from Councillor Mike Best.
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.
Councillor Linda Vijeh declared a personal interest in Planning Application No. 19/00273/OUT**, as the applicant was a fellow County Councillor.
Councillors Sue Osborne and Martin Wale also declared personal interests in Planning Application No. 19/00273/OUT**, as the applicant was known to them as a councillor.
Date and Venue for Next Meeting
Councillors are requested to note that the next Area West Committee meeting is scheduled to be held on Thursday 20th February 2020 at 5.30pm at The Guildhall, Chard.
Members noted that the next meeting of the Area West Committee would be held on Thursday 20th February 2020 at 5.30pm at The Guildhall, Chard.
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.
There were no questions raised by members of the public.
The Chairman urged members to look at possible grant requests in their wards and contact the Locality Manager as the end of the financial year was only a few months away.
Sgt. Rob Jameson from Avon and Somerset Constabulary was welcomed to the meeting. He gave a short presentation on local issues and initiatives. Particular reference was made to the following:
· Operation Remedy and its possible expansion
· The roll out of Smart Markers to help police identify stolen goods
· Anti-Social Behaviour in Chard
· Cattle thefts
· Staff changes
Sgt. Rob Jameson responded to members questions on points of detail.
The Chairman thanked Sgt. Rob Jameson for attending the meeting and for the good work of his team.
The Locality Officer introduced the report which provided an update on the activities and projects carried out by the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership. He explained that members were being asked to agree in principle to continue the SSDC contribution to the core funding in 2020/21.
He welcomed Tim Youngs, AONB Manager to the meeting. With the aid of a powerpoint presentation, the AONB Manager informed members about the following:
· National Landscapes Review
· Colchester Declaration - ambition for nature’s recovery
· New Volunteer Co-Ordinator
· Strategic arts development and training
· Climate emergency response
· Saving Devon’s Treescapes Project
· Nature and wellbeing work
· Project work planned for 2020/21 including engagement with local schools
Cllr. Martin Wale, the appointed representative on the Partnership Management Group commented on the excellent work undertaken and urged members to support the continuation of funding.
The AONB Manager responded to members’ questions and comments on points of detail.
Members thanked the AONB Manager for the work undertaken by the Partnership and unanimously approved the recommendations of the report.
The Countryside Manager presented the report and with the aid of slides gave members an overview of the service delivered by Leisure and Recreation over the past year. This included:
· It was a busy year for Ham Hill Country Park with the purchase of 30 acres of land, funding secured towards a Children’s Roman Trail, expansion of the Orienteering Trail and a Pop Up Museum and Activity Centre.
· A number of successful events were held at Yeovil Country Park including park yoga, a Halloween Trail and Park Run.
· A Community Ranger post had been secured and would work across all areas including engagement work with local schools.
· The volunteer team at Chard Reservoir had been involved with hedge laying and tree planting and also provided help with a number of events including a wildlife project with Avishayes School, Bushcraft and Bug events, and a Forest School taster session funded by Somerset Skills and Learning.
The Leisure and Recreation Manager asked members to consider granting £1,200 from the Area West discretionary budget to fund a Forest School taster session at Chard Reservoir during February Half Term. The taster session would be themed around birds with a bird nature trail, bird feeder activity and activities such as fire lighting and campfire cooking.
In response to a member question, it was confirmed that there was no intention to reduce the main budget for Chard Reservoir Local Nature Reserve.
Members congratulated the Leisure and Recreation Service on all their hard work and unanimously supported the recommendations of the report.
Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
Members noted the update given by Councillor Martin Wale under Agenda Item 8
Ile Youth Centre Management Committee
Members noted the verbal update given by Councillor Brian Hamilton. He referred to the following:
· The building had suffered from a major vandalism incident and the roof badly damaged.
· The insurance for the building had increased as well as the running and general maintenance costs.
· The building received a steady income from the revenue it raised through renting out its car park spaces to local businesses although revenue from users of the building had decreased.
· The building was currently used by the Scout movement, with Beavers, Cubs and Scouts all meeting there.
· Youth clubs and youth training courses no longer run due to funding issues and a lack of volunteers.
· Concern that without more investment of time and effort by the community, the facility may be lost.
Chard and District Museum Society
Members noted the report that had been circulated by Councillor Jenny Kenton.
The Chairman advised that a request would be made for an update report on the Chard Regeneration Scheme to be presented to the February Area West Committee meeting.
Councillor Val Keitch advised that there was still a query over her representation on the Ilminster Forum and asked for her report to be deferred.
It was proposed and seconded to request a report on Historic Buildings at Risk in Area West. A vote was taken on the proposal which was unanimously supported by members.
Members noted the report which gave details of two appeals received.
Members noted the schedule of planning applications to be determined by the Committee.
Application Proposal: Outline application for the development of up to 35 dwellings with all matters reserved except access including the demolition of the existing building and highways works to Claycastle.
The Agency Planner updated that there was an error on page 23 of the report and made an amendment to the site description and proposal.
The Agency Planner presented the application as outlined in the agenda. With aid of a powerpoint presentation he referred to the following:
· The key considerations were outline application, principle of development and access for consideration.
· Access was the only matter for consideration. The appearance, landscaping, layout and scale would be considered as part of a Reserved Matters application.
· Location of the application site and surrounding area.
· Indicative layout showing the central access road through the site.
· 12 of the proposed 35 dwellings would be affordable.
· Photographs of the site showing views of the existing entrance, the commercial building to be removed and the surrounding area.
· 132 written representations had been received in relation to flooding, concerns over the access, additional traffic, no low cost homes, no policy support and change to the character of the area.
· The application was located on the edge of the existing built form of the village.
· Haselbury Plucknett did not have a development area identified in the Local Plan and should be considered as open countryside.
· As SSDC was unable to demonstrate a five-year housing supply policies relevant to the supply of housing were to be considered out of date.
· Haselbury Plucknett had a primary school, pub and faith facility therefore the site was considered to be located within a sustainable location.
· The proposal would result in additional housing which would make an additional contribution towards meeting SSDC’s five-year housing as well as providing a good mix of market and affordable dwellings.
· The principle of development on the site was finely balanced and should be assessed against the harm to the character of the village and landscape setting and the benefits of the proposal. It was considered that the benefits of the scheme outweighed the harm.
· The Highway Authority were of the opinion that the proposal would not result in any capacity issues on the local road network and there were no severe highway safety concerns.
· The public right of way running through the site would be upgraded through a S106 contribution.
· Ecology, drainage, residential amenity and the historic environment had all been identified as being acceptable with conditions proposed to mitigate flooding and surface water.
The Agency Planner concluded that the proposed development represented an appropriate and sustainable form of development and recommended approval of the application subject to conditions.
In response to questions, the Agency Planner and Specialist – Planning confirmed the following:
· All statutory bodies consulted on the application had responded.
· The Local Flooding Authority was the body responsible for providing expert advice and had provided a set of conditions.
· A Viability Assessment could be requested at the Reserved Matters stage.
· Details of the surface water ... view the full minutes text for item 265.