Agenda, decisions and minutes
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Minutes of Previous Meeting
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 8th July 2020.
The minutes of the Area East Committee held on 8th July 2020 were approved as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman.
Apologies for absence
One apology of absence was received by Councillor Lucy Trimnell.
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 Henry Hobhouse, Paul Rowsell and William Wallace.
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.
There were no Declarations of Interest.
Date of Next Meeting
Members are asked to note that the next scheduled meeting of the committee will be on Wednesday 14th October at 9.00am using Zoom virtual meeting software.
Members noted that the the next scheduled meeting of the committee would be held at 9.00am on Wednesday 14th October 2020 using Zoom virtual software.
Public Question Time
There were no questions from members of the public present.
There were no announcements made by the Chairman.
Reports from Members
Councillor Mike Lewis commented that District Executive decided that Queen Camel neighbourhood plan request for settlement boundary did not meet the local plan nor the National Planning Policy Framework. Other members who have communities seeking a neighbourhood plan would need to take that into consideration.
The Locality Manager presented his report and asked members to note the development of the food and drink directory. Some projects have been delayed as a result of covid19 and others approached differently. Annual play days as an example could not go ahead in a safe environment so play boxes were given out across South Somerset.
Members commented on the economic and environmental benefits of the food and drink directory.
In response to members questions the locality manager made the following comments:
· Referred to Appendix B outlining the detail of the food and drink directory and explained it was looking to focus on a ‘buy local’ scheme.
· The budget for play days will exist for next year, the details to be worked out at a later date.
· Tree planting would be supported within the communities and he would look into any schemes that are ongoing at the moment.
The committee were then asked to note the report and endorse the allocation of spend of £2,000 to support the development of a food and drink directory. All members were in agreement and approval was unanimous.
RESOLVED: That Area East Members:
· Noted the report
· Endorsed allocation of spend on the following projects:
£2,000 from the Area Discretionary/Project revenue budget to support the development of a food and drink directory.
Reason: To consider allocating funding towards supporting the development of a food and drink directory.
The Commercial Property, Land and Development Manager presented the report. He made reference to the report being put to the District Executive meeting the week before and that approval had been granted. He explained that the building will soon be empty and he went through the options that were available before a decision was made. The proceeds of the sale will be ring fenced for the Wincanton regeneration project.
During a short discussion members made the following comments:
· Hopes that the police moving would not reduce the numbers of police and PCSO’s in the area.
· The geographical position of the Churchfields building being in the centre of the proposed East Unitary authority, did District Executive discuss this.
· Email circulating from the police advertising for PCSO’s to join the police.
· The new police office is progressing.
The Commercial Property, Land and Development Manager responded that the shape of the future of Somerset is unknown and Yeovil and Shepton Mallet already have sizeable office accommodation. The future plans will be up to the new organisation.
Members were then asked to note the recommendations on the report.
Councillor Hayward Burt commented on the recent new government planning paper and asked that a report and discussion on planning policy to be added to the forward plan.
The list of planning appeals was noted by members.
Members noted the schedule of planning applications to be determined by the committee.
Proposal: The erection of a single storey extension to dwelling.
The Planning Officer presented the application as detailed in the agenda and with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, proceeded to show the site and proposed plans. Updates:
· The Conservation Specialist had given their view on the proposed scheme and formally objected to the proposals based on the property being considered as a non-designated heritage asset and that the integrity of the original barn would fundamentally change the character.
· There is no permission for change of use of land to allow for the parking area but this does not bear on the consideration for the application of this extension.
· Amended plans were submitted by the applicant on Thursday 3rd September showing amendments, which included a full apex gable roof as opposed to a flat roof. However these were incomplete and could not be considered as valid.
His key considerations were the extension to a converted agricultural building (EQ2) and the impact on a Non-Designated Heritage Asset (EQ3) and Materials not in keeping. In conclusion the application was recommended for refusal.
One resident then addressed the committee in objection to the application. Some of his comments included:
· Without the small objection of the parking space, he would be happy that the plans were approved.
· The extra parking space would require the applicants to cross his land to park there.
· There is already adequate space for parking.
The applicants then spoke in favour of their application. Her comments included:
· Tried to include a minimally invasive design that was approved from pre planning with 2 advisory notes;
1. To consider windows being overlooked by neighbours
2. To show adequate parking
· They were advised to proceed with the application.
· Felt the flat roof was not sympathetic to the area after speaking to a local neighbour and submitted amended plans for a full gabled roof.
· Parish Council gave Full approval.
· Nothing had been noted on the pre planning application referencing the
Non-designated Heritage Asset
· The existing glazing is not of high quality and is in poor state of repair with poor heat efficiency.
· Felt that the option to extend on the other side of the property, which was proposed in the planning report, would impact the original layout of the courtyard and the cutting down of a mature tree.
· Their understanding was that the land for proposed parking had equestrian use and so there was scope to put down hardstanding in front of gateways.
Councillor Mike Lewis spoke to say that the application being considered today is not what the applicant wants.
Ward Member Councillor Charlie Hull was in support of the applicants proposal and doesn’t feel the extension will detract from the building after visiting the property.
Ward Member Councillor Tony Capozzoli commented that the extension roughly mirrors what is already existing and supports the application. He would like to see a condition that the roof is an apex roof.
Ward Member Councillor Paul Rowsell echoed Councillor Lewis in that the application ... view the full minutes text for item 199.
Proposal: The erection of a double garage and formation of new access.
The Planning Officer presented the application as detailed in the agenda and with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, proceeded to show the site and proposed plans. He noted that the property is located in the Marston Magna Conservation Area.
Updates: The Tree Officer provided an objection on initial plans. Since the plans were amended the updated comments were received after the report was submitted.
His comments included:
The intentions for the roadside hedge were unclear and the two tall trees were also not shown on the submitted layout drawing. The amended proposal appears likely to require the removal or damage to the roots. He continued to object to the proposal on the basis that they are contrary to the Council objectives to preserve the quality and historic character of the Conservation Area.
The Planning Officers’ key considerations were the domestic garage to serve a dwelling and an additional access and hardstanding, The Conservation Area wouldn’t be impacted as long as existing landscaping is retained. Conditions regarding the new access and hardstanding would need to be signed off prior to the first use.
The tree comments were submitted after the Officers final report so members may need to consider this. The application, being finely balanced, was recommended for approval.
Vice Chairman of Marston Magna Parish Council spoke in objection to the application. Some of his comments included:
· The road is busy being located near Perry’s Recycling where a number of lorry’s use the road every day.
· The property has three entrances already.
· Concerns that the hedge at the front could be compromised if the hedge was cut back.
· The hedge running along the footpath is also going to be cut back considerably.
· Garage to be timber clad, but the last application with timber cladding was turned down.
The Planning Officer confirmed to members that the new access would not be located in the vicinity of the Public right of way
Ward Member Councillor Mike Lewis commented on the plans showing no access from the public right of way. The pictures of the hedges in the report showed little to no maintenance of the hedges inhibiting the visibility of the entrance and could a condition be included to maintain them at the front and alongside the public right of way. He felt that the application could be approved but conditions could be added to make it more acceptable.
In response to a query from The Chairman, The Lead Specialist, Development Management confirmed that the comments from the Tree Officer were accepted as they could still be taken to the committee meeting and be heard from members before a decision was made.
After a short discussion, Members raised some of the following points were raised:
· Proposed a further condition to install an EV charger on the site.
· Approve the application with the additional conditions that were proposed.
· Moving the hedge could compromise the hedgerow.
It was then proposed to approve ... view the full minutes text for item 200.
Planning Application 20/00962/FUL - Change of use of agricultural land to garden; the erection of a garden store; amendments to dwelling design (roof height, fenestration and internal layout of east wing); deletion of approved access driveway (17/02438/REM) and the formation of a replacement access and driveway, Meadow House Lower Kingsbury Milborne Port PDF 403 KB
Proposal: Change of use of agricultural land to garden; the erection of a garden store; amendments to dwelling design (roof height, fenestration and internal layout of east wing); deletion of approved access driveway (17/02438/REM) and the formation of a replacement access and driveway.
The Lead Specialist, Development Management presented the application as detailed in the agenda and with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation proceeded to show the site and proposed plans.
Her key considerations were:
· The loss of agricultural land. After checking the agricultural land classification for the site, it is grade 3a meaning not high quality, therefore an objection could not be raised on that basis alone.
· Landscaping and character of area, the scheme was considered to soften the edge of the boundary as it goes into the countryside, there are also bio diversity benefits with the proposed planting.
· The proposed new access would be considered as an improvement, as it will protect the trees sited near the old access that was approved.
In conclusion, the recommendation was for approval.
A Milborne Port Parish Council Representative then addressed the committee and some of his points included:
· The Junction at the top of the road is close to the access point where there is also access to a public footpath and a post box. Line of sight remains questionable, as there are often parked cars at the top of the hill.
· The steep hill into the property was queried as to whether emergency vehicles would have access to the property.
· Highways report refers to standing advice only and an independent expert hasn’t confirmed this.
· There are flooding issues at the site and pictures show flooding over the winter.
· In the Reserve matters approval, the landscape officer stated there should be no ‘creep’ to the North of the site, and this application seems to be doing just so.
The agent then addressed the Committee on behalf of the applicants. Some of her comments included:
· All comments from residents and Parish councils have been considered and a number of changes have been made to satisfy these concerns.
· The Garden is supported by the local plan and a logical completion of the settlement edge.
· The area of land is already bounded by gardens on three sides, which contains it. The proposed native hedge along the boundary would provide a buffer to strengthen the settlement edge.
· The new access would mean the trees near to the original approved access will be unaffected. The width of Lower Kinsgbury is also wider at this point.
· No physical development proposed in the flood zones 2 and 3, only landscaping proposals.
Ward Member Councillor Sarah Dyke highlighted the pros and cons to the application and discussed some of the following points:
· The new access does develop the area of agricultural land but recognised the ‘rounding off’ of the boundary.
· Concern for the residential immunity for hilltop view, however the alternative access saves the destruction of a stone wall and protects the root area of the trees with ... view the full minutes text for item 201.