Agenda and minutes
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Minutes of Previous Meeting
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 9 December 2020.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 9th December were approved as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman.
Apologies for absence
Apologies for Absence received from Councillors Lucy Trimnell due to her requirement at the school where she works, and Councillor Paul Rowsell.
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.
Councillor William Wallace declared a Pecuniary Interest in Agenda item 12: Planning application 20/01667/FUL as he is the applicant. Councillor Hayward Burt declared a personal interest in the same item and explained he would not be voting on this item.
Date of Next Meeting
Members are asked to note that the next scheduled meeting of the committee will be held virtually using Zoom virtual software on Wednesday 7th April 2021 at 9.00am.
Members noted that the next meeting of Area East Committee was scheduled for 9am on Wednesday 7th April 2021, and would be a virtual meeting using Zoom meeting software.
Public Question Time
There were no questions from members of the public present at the meeting
Purchase of Infrared camera.
The Chairman informed Members that he had researched a suitable infrared camera attachment that was easy to use to take pictures of houses for the purpose of locating heat loss, and would pass the information over to the Locality Manager Tim Cook who would be organising the purchase. He also confirmed the money would be used from the current financial years Area East Discretionary fund.
Councillor Sarah Dyke queried the procurement process and the need to include the Environment COP to have a joined up approach.
Tim Cook, Locality Manager explained he would be liaising with relevant officers regarding the procurement and was involving the Environment COP to complete the purchase.
The Chairman explained that the purpose of this initiative was that householder could contact the Parish Environment champion to take pictures so that they can look and deal with any heat loss in their homes.
Reports from Members
There were no reports from Members.
The Locality Manager presented the report to Members. He explained that a governance review in 2017, sponsored by Area East gave recommendations that had been adopted and actioned, and the organisation had changed from a trust to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. This meant they were then eligible for rate relief and therefore lower business rate costs. A management committee had also been established to deal with the day to day operation.
The pandemic had greatly impacted the sports ground in terms of reduced income. They had received Government funded business grants during each lockdown, £25000 in the first lockdown and around £15 000 during the tier system and second lockdown.
The appendix in the report confirmed that one of the main challenges was the age and configuration of the building, with little or no funds in reserves for repairs and maintenance.
He explained that is was difficult to assess the need for support at this time as the new operating model had little time to be embedded. He recommended a further report in 6-12 months when there was a clearer picture. In the meantime, they could seek Section 106 funds for changing room and pitch provision, and look at the possibility of a capital grant to help with some improvements required.
A representative from The Wincanton Sports Trust addressed Members and informed them that the sports ground management company did still exist but the process of closing this had started. He anticipated that the income for the upcoming year would be about £16,000 and that unavoidable outgoings, based on last year’s figures would be £28,000 - £29,000. Income would normally be made up from bar sales, the hiring of the facilities, and donations from members of the public. The figures did not include any provision for maintenance and repairs. Any assistance that the District Council could bring to support would be appreciated.
The Chairman explained to Members that under a previous agreement, SSDC would provide support to the sports centre and the Wincanton Town Council would support the sports ground.
Councillor Colin Winder recalled a meeting held at Churchfields some time ago when the agreement was made between all representatives. He said that he had a copy of the minutes and he would pass a copy to the sports trust so they could discuss this with the Town Council.
In response to Members questions, the representative for the Sports ground gave the following information:
· The Sports ground would be survivable over the next 6 months.
· The Pavilion cost a lot of money to maintain and was too large for the number of users, but would also be too expensive to change this.
· Regarding the land that was owned by County Council, Alder King and other local land owners were looking to review any developer interest.
· They had received the second half of the grant from Town Council for this year, but they had precepted less for the coming year than last year and felt there was a reluctance to provide ... view the full minutes text for item 237.
There was nothing new to be added and Members were content to note the Forward Plan.
Members noted the report that detailed the planning appeals which had been lodged, dismissed or allowed.
Members noted the Schedule of Planning Applications to be determined at the meeting.
Councillor William Wallace, having previously declared a pecuniary interest, left the meeting before consideration of this item at 10:00.am
Proposal: Erect dwellinghouse and construct access thereto.
The Specialist, Planning presented the report and with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, she proceeded to show the site and proposed plans, including:
· Adjusted plans to ensure the footpath can remain in place. If a diversion was necessary, an application would need to be made for this.
· Confirmed the site was not within the Somerset levels catchment area.
· The materials to be used would be natural stone, slate and timber doors and windows, a standard traditional design.
· Key Considerations being the Principle of development. This being a countryside location, the development would be contrary to the Settlement strategy policies.
· Yenston did not have any required services.
Based on the Local plan policy principles, the recommendation was for refusal.
The Applicant addressed the committee and gave some of the following comments:
· The proposed development was a house for the applicants to move into, freeing up a family home in Yenston.
· They had lived in the area for 20 years and intend to stay in the area.
· As a family, they had always walked to Henstridge via Whitechurch Lane and deemed this as a safe walk/cycle route.
· Wanted this to be considered as an in fill property between 2 dwellings.
The Agent addressed the committee and gave some of the following comments:
· Pointed out that the agricultural building to the east was in fact a dwelling.
· Yenston was seen as part of the parish of Henstridge and that Yenston was a cluster forming the parish.
· There were no Objections from the Henstridge Parish Council nor any 3rd parties.
· An Ecologist that was employed confirmed there were no issue with ecology at the site.
During discussion, a number of comments were raised, some of which included:
· Related to policy SS2, Yenton is part of Henstridge, and Henstridge has the necessary services required for sustainability.
· The area is rural and semi-rural, car use would be inevitable and felt that the sustainability issue didn’t apply.
· Queried if the walk to Templecombe was safe for pedestrians?
· Was the build aimed at being carbon zero?
· We should be encouraging people to move into the area who can contribute.
· Would want an EV charging point added.
· Felt the development goes against SSDC policies.
· Could a condition be put onto the material to be in keeping with the area?
· Felt the development was an in fill and helped to keep the applicant in the area whilst downsizing and freeing up a larger property for another family.
The Applicant responded to questions raised by Members informing them that there was no footpath to Templecombe and that they were going down the environmentally friendly route with the proposed development.
At the end of the discussion it was proposed and seconded to approve the application on the grounds that the site was sustainable, Yenston is a cluster within the Parish of Henstridge.
In response ... view the full minutes text for item 241.