Agenda and minutes
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To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 18th November 2020.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on Wednesday 18th November 2020 were approved as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman.
Apologies for Absence
An apology for absence was received from Councillor Sue Osborne.
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.
There were no declarations of interest.
Date and Venue for Next Meeting
Councillors are requested to note that the next Area West Committee meeting is scheduled to be held at 5.30pm on Wednesday 7th April 2021. This will be a virtual meeting using Zoom on-line meeting software.
Members noted that the next meeting of the Area West Committee would be held on Wednesday 7th April at 5.30pm and would be a virtual meeting using zoom on-line meeting software.
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 from members of the public.
There were no announcements from the Chairman.
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:
· Staff changes including the appointment of Michelle Haimes as PCSO Supervisor and new PCSO appointments in Ilminster and Chard;
· A joint operation being undertaken to tackle an increase in rural theft;
· Virtual engagement that has taken place over the past year;
· Initiatives due to commence following the end of lockdown restrictions.
Sgt. Rob Jameson responded to members’ questions on points of detail in relation to Operation Remedy and levels of crime rates during the coronavirus pandemic.
At the conclusion of the item, the Chairman thanked Sgt. Rob Jameson for attending the meeting.
Councillor Martin Wale summarised his report as outlined in the agenda updating members on the Police and Crime Commissioners Panel. He responded to members’ queries and comments on points of detail in particular the appointment of the Deputy Commissioner and the budget.
Members thanked Councillor Martin Wale for all the work he had undertaken as a member of the Panel and for keeping members well informed.
The Property and Development Project Manager informed members that there had been good progress made on the Leisure Centre despite the bad weather and the implications of the covid restrictions. He reported that there were no delays with the supply of materials and that the roof was nearing completion with some of the brickwork on part of the site now complete and the scaffolding removed. The demolition of the Boden Street public toilets was now complete and the area would be linked to the High Street with a new footway and further improvements would be made through tree planting.
During the discussion, members commented that it was positive to see progress being made on the site without too many delays and praised the contractors for their professionalism and the manner in which they had conducted their work and for also donating to the Lords Larder Food Bank in Chard.
The Chard HSHAZ Project Manager updated members on the public realm schemes and advised that technical designs were submitted to Somerset County Council for their review and approval in February. A Cultural Consortium was formed in the Autumn led by local partners including Chard Town Council and Somerset Art Works and a bid submitted for additional funding for a HSHAZ Cultural Programme. Next steps of the project would involve progressing discussions in relation to legal agreements, planning ahead for tendering for construction contractors and the scheduling of the works.
Members expressed their thanks to the Officers and the Chard Regeneration Board for all their work in progressing the projects.
The following updates were made to the Area West Committee Forward Plan:
· A presentation on the Community Infrastructure Levy governance to be added to the Forward Plan for May.
· Councillor Martin Wale, as the appointed representative on the Partnership Management Group to give a verbal update as part of the Blackdown Hills AONB report due to be considered in April.
A member requested a report on Historic Buildings at Risk in Area West to come forward as a matter of urgency as there were some buildings in Crewkerne that were of serious concern. The Director for Service Delivery agreed to action this request.
Members noted the report which gave details of appeals that had been received, allowed and dismissed.
Members noted the Schedule of Planning Applications to be determined at the meeting.
Application Proposal: Display of 1 No. hanging sign (Retrospective)
The Specialist – Principal Planner presented the application as outlined in the agenda. He advised that Bath House Hotel was a listed building and located within a Conservation Area and the Heritage Action Zone. He explained that the application was retrospective and that the hanging sign was currently located in front of the first floor blank central window. One issue of concern was that the plans received did not accurately show that there was a fixing bracket at the base and external bulky lighting. The Specialist – Development Management concerns related to the size of the advertisement and one of the key heritage assets being used as the location for the sign.
The Specialist – Principal Planner suggested that the vote for the Listed Building Consent application (Agenda Item 14) be taken prior to the vote for this application.
In response to questions, the Specialist - Principal Planner and Specialist – Development Management informed members of the following:
· There had previously been a sign located within the reveal of the window;
· As the site was located within the Heritage Action Zone where a grant scheme to restore historic buildings was being administered there was a need to ensure that existing buildings were treated sensitively to compliment the work that was being undertaken to enhance Chard's historic environment;
· It was for members to balance between the harm to the heritage and public benefit or to consider whether the proposal could be achieved by moving the sign to one side of the blind reveal window;
· The application for advertisement consent was received in 2019 but without Listed Building Consent the scheme could not be approved unless both issues were considered. The Listed Building application was not received until October 2020;
· Holyrood Street would be one of the focuses of the Heritage Action Zone and this building would be one of the highlights of Holyrood Street. It was hoped that the standard of other buildings along the street would be improved through the grant scheme;
· A smaller sign would sit more comfortably on the building;
· If members were minded to approve the sign, the external lighting would remain unapproved as it was not included on the plans submitted. Members could delegate a decision to receive an accurate drawing of the sign as it had been displayed.
The Committee was addressed by the Applicant’s Agent. He said that the applicant had considered the other location suggested by the Conservation Specialist but explained that the sign had been located in its current location because it respected the symmetry of the building and favoured neither entrance which were both of equal importance. The sign occupying the blank central window space did not retract from it but enhanced it. He advised that the internal wall immediately behind the blank central window had been used to secure the sign which was better than using the less secure brickwork elsewhere.
The Ward Member commented that although he was not supportive ... view the full minutes text for item 365.
Application Proposal: Listed Building Consent for the display of 1 No. hanging sign (implemented)
The Specialist - Principal Planner presented the application as outlined in the agenda report. He suggested that the vote for Listed Building Consent be taken prior to the vote on Planning Application 19/02588/ADV.
It was proposed and seconded to approve the application contrary to the Officer’s recommendation subject to the submission of accurate drawings to represent the sign as it had been displayed to include the external illumination and lower bracket. A vote was taken and the application was approved. There were 10 votes in favour, 4 against and 1 abstention.
Application Proposal: Reserved Matters planning application following Outline approval 14/02141/OUT and amended under 19/03483/S73 for up to 110 residential dwellings (Use Class C3) including layout, scale, appearance and landscaping.
With the aid of a powerpoint presentation, the Specialist – Principal Planner gave a detailed presentation on the application. Points covered during the presentation included the following:
· Outline of the site location plan and surrounding area.
· A background to the previously approved applications.
· Location of the Link Road and alignment of the road throughout the site.
· The previously approved access and junction design which would service the proposed scheme and involved the removal of trees.
· The Reserved Matters application before members included the appearance, design, landscaping, layout and the scale of the housing scheme within the site.
· Photographs showing the site location, access, removal of trees, site topography and location of the spur road to service the employment land.
· Layout and infrastructure of the site.
· Location of the play and recreational facilities.
· Proposed house types and materials.
· The scheme provided a predominately 2-story housing layout with few residential neighbours.
· The layout generally followed the framework that had been established in the previously approved schemes.
· The scheme provided parking standards to county requirements.
· The scheme provided a tree lined street and retained the existing hedgerow with further tree planting to create a green route through the site.
· Acoustic fencing was being proposed along the boundary between the development and the Eden Building.
· A condition was being proposed to deal with the issue of phosphates.
The Specialist - Principal Planner recommended an amendment to Condition 1 to emphasise that the Plans Condition would not sanction works that were otherwise governed by the access arrangements which had been previously approved. He advised that the reason for the amendment was that Taylor Wimpey had submitted minor modifications to reduce the number of trees to be removed to 3.
The Specialist - Principal Planner reminded members that outline planning permission had previously been approved to establish the access and the provision of the link road and consideration was only being given to an area inside the site relating to layout, scale, appearance and landscaping. He was satisfied that noise impacts were being managed by condition and a solution had been agreed to the onsite phosphate issues. He was therefore recommending approval of the application.
In response to member questions, the Specialist – Principal Planner confirmed the following:
· The number of trees proposed for removal was reduced to 3. Ultimately, the Highway Authority would have their own duty of care to deal with safe road structures and safe retaining structures. If the Highway Authority were to dispute Taylor Wimpey’s detailed designs, there could be issues with keeping at that number. All parties were working to reduce tree loss and the outcome would be better than the loss of 8 which was the number of trees originally approved to be removed.
· The trees already removed were ones which were approved for removal in previous plans.
· The triggers for ... view the full minutes text for item 367.