18/03230/FUL - Land at Limington Road, Ilchester
Application Proposal: The erection of an agricultural building for the storage of farm machinery.
The Area Lead Planning Officer presented his report to members. He explained that since the agenda had been published, he wished to add that Ilchester Parish Council, the adjoining parish, had pointed out that the site was prone to flooding.
He explained that the application was for a storage building and using a PowerPoint presentation he provided images to show the proposed building and photographs of the site.
He explained to members that the applicant had not provided evidence to support the agricultural need for the building. He also advised members that the site was situated in flood zone 3b, in which government advice on allowing development was clear; permission should only be given for water compatible or essential use. He informed members that he was recommending that this application be refused for this reason.
A representative of Limington Parish Council addressed members. She explained that neighbours in the parish which had commented on the application, had all pointed out that the area floods. However, she advised that the proposed building would not make the flooding worse. She explained that there was a lack of employment in the area and that employment to allow people to stay in the area should be encouraged.
The applicant addressed members. She advised that the building was solely for storage and security. She explained that she was aware that the site floods, however the ditches had been cleared and rain water from the roof would drain into a soakaway.
Councillor Tony Capozzoli, the Ward Member, addressed members. He explained that the whole of Ilchester was in a flood zone and that farms needed to be sited somewhere. He hoped that the business could be supported.
The Senior Planning Advisor highlighted the importance of the flood zone, detailing that the site was in a flood plain. He explained that the potential for approving this application would set an unacceptable precedent across the district and felt that the application should be 2-starred and referred to Regulation Committee in line with the Scheme of Delegation.
Members expressed their disappointment that this had not been highlighted before the report had been published. Another member pointed out that there were already two storage units on the land.
During the discussion, members questioned whether the storage building could be raised off the ground to try to alleviate some of the flooding issues.
The Area Lead Planning Officer felt that this wouldn’t improve the issues as displacement of water was the main concern and highlighted once more that the site was in a flood plain.
In response to a members question, he advised that the additional structures/storage units on the site did not have planning permission.
The Senior Planning Advisor requested that he was provided with additional time to consult the Senior Legal Advisor and Planning Lead Specialist, in response to this a member suggested that the application be deferred.
The proposal to defer the application was not seconded.
During the discussion, members were concerned that enforcement action would be taken should the application be deferred and felt that the application should be resolved.
Ways to alleviate the concern over flooding were discussed, including raising the building up and the provision of gravel ditches.
Members questioned whether the application could be two-starred now that the agenda had been published and felt that the reasons to refer the application to Regulation Committee would not be clear to members of the public.
The Senior Planning Advisor reiterated his concerns over flooding and requested time to discuss the application with the Senior Legal Advisor and Planning Lead Specialist.
One member suggested that the application should be withdrawn or deferred to allow time for the Senior Planning Advisor to confirm whether the application needed to be two-starred, in line with the Scheme of Delegation.
The Senior Planning Advisor agreed that this would allow him time to discuss the application with the applicant to look at options to find a way forward.
One member commented that a Legal representative should have been present at the meeting. Another member commented that it would be unfair to refer this application to Regulation Committee.
Following these comments, the Area Lead Planning Officer and Senior Planning Advisor agreed that the application would not be referred to the Regulation Committee and explained that the issue of two-starring applications late in the planning process would be looked at for the future.
It was proposed and seconded that the planning application be approved subject to conditions to ensure that the existing buildings on site would be removed, materials would be agreed with the planning authority and that no livestock would be kept in the building.
On being put to the vote, this was carried unanimously.
RESOLVED: that planning application 18/03230/FUL was approved, contrary to the officer recommendation, for the following reason;
01. The principle of agricultural development is considered to be acceptable in this countryside location as adequate agricultural justification has been presented. The proposal would have no adverse impact on highway safety, visual amenity, residential amenity and flood risk in accordance with policies TA5, TA6 and EQ2 of the South Somerset Local Plan and the aims and objectives of the NPPF.
Subject to the following conditions;
01. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans: Block plan, location plan, ML0001,01, and ML0001, 02
Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.
02. 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.
03. No part above floor slab level of the building here permitted shall be erected until a scheme of flood alleviation measures has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning authority. The scheme, once approved, shall be fully implemented in accordance with the agreed timescales and thereafter retained and maintained unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Plan Authority.
Reason: In the interests of flood prevention and in accordance with the aims and provisions of the NPPF.
04. No work shall be carried out in relation to any of the below elements until particulars of that element have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority:
- materials (including the provision of samples where appropriate) to be used for the external walls and roofs;
- all hardstanding and boundaries
Once approved such details shall be fully implemented unless agreed otherwise in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
Reason: To safeguard the character and appearance of the area in accordance with policy EQ2 of the South Somerset Local Plan.
05. Within three months of the occupation of the building hereby approved all storage containers (of the shipping container style) shall be removed from the land and no further containers installed without the prior written consent of the Local Planning Authority.
Reason: In the interests of visual amenity and minimising flood risk in accordance with policy EQ2 of the South Somerset Local Plan and the aims and objectives of the NPPF.
06. The building hereby permitted shall not be used for the accommodation of any livestock whatsoever.
Reason: In the interest of animal welfare and in accordance with the aims and objectives of the NPPF.