Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Henhayes Centre, Crewkerne

Contact: Jo Morris 01935 462055  Email:

No. Item


To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 15th November 2017


The minutes of the meeting held on 15th November 2017, copies of which had been circulated, were taken as read, and having been approved were signed as a correct record of the meeting.



Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Marcus Barrett, Amanda Broom, Carol Goodall, Angie Singleton and Martin Wale.


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 Mike Best, Angie Singleton and Martin Wale.

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 Jenny Kenton declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Planning Application No. 16/01967/COU – Land OS 5743 The Drift, Forton.  She indicated that she would leave the meeting prior to consideration of the planning application.


Councillor Andrew Turpin declared a personal interest in Planning Application No. 16/01967/COU – Land OS 5743 The Drift, Forton, as he was a member of Tatworth & Forton Parish Council when the application was considered by the Parish Council.



Date and Venue for Next Meeting

Councillors are requested to note that the next Area West Committee meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday 17th January 2018 at The Guildhall, Chard.


Members noted that the next meeting of the Area West Committee would be held on Wednesday 17th January 2018 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.


Mr D Laughton addressed the Committee with the following question:


Would it be possible for Area West Committee to discuss and recommend to SSDC the idea of releasing a Fund of not less than 2 Million pounds from the Regeneration budget direct to Chard Town Council to enable Regeneration to commence in the very near future?


Town Council would be aware of projects such as landscaping, refurbishment and other aspirational projects to enhance the town centre and should be allowed to get on with it rather than wait another few years as proposed.


The Chairman advised that she would forward Mr Laughton’s question to the Chief Executive and the Chard Regeneration Board who would be asked to provide a response.


Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman wished members of the Area West Committee a Happy Christmas and New Year.


Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Additional documents:




That the report be noted;



That it be agreed in principle to continue SSDC contribution to the core funding of the AONB Partnership of £6,000 in 2018/19, subject to confirmation of Area West budgets in February 2018.


Reason:  To update members on the work of the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership and agree in principle to the continuation of core funding.


(Voting: unanimous)






The Area Development Lead (West/East) 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 welcomed Tim Youngs, AONB Manager to the meeting.  With the aid of a powerpoint presentation, the AONB Manager informed members about the following:


·         The AONB have been consulted on 15 out of the 35 planning applications in the SSDC part of the AONB;

·         The AONB have been consulted on the South Somerset Local Plan Review and Issues and Options Consultation;

·         The 2019-2024 AONB Management Plan review process is currently underway.  The objectives of the plan cover areas such as landscape, cultural heritage and tourism.  A workshop aimed at partners/stakeholders would be held on 25th January 2018;

·         Volunteering in the Blackdown Hills AONB including volunteering portal, working with partners and volunteering across 2 AONB’s;

·         Nature and Wellbeing Project – Watch at Folly Farmyard, Chard memory café, Manor Park Primary School, Green days accessibility walks, mindfulness, art and nature;

·         Blackdown Hills Natural Futures Project;

·         Ecological Training.

During discussion, members paid tribute to the work undertaken by the AONB and particularly mentioned the value of school visits.  Members unanimously approved the recommendations of the report.


The Chairman thanked the Area Development Lead (West/East) and the AONB Manager for their reports.




That the report be noted;



That it be agreed in principle to continue SSDC contribution to the core funding of the AONB Partnership of £6000 in 2018/19, subject to confirmation of Area West budgets in February 2018.



Area Development Plan and Budget - Half Year Progress Report pdf icon PDF 185 KB

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The Area Development Lead (West/East) introduced the agenda report updating members on the progress of projects and work taking place in Area West.  He gave an update on the Town Centre Events Programme and advised that since the launch of the programme 7 enquires had been received.  A total of 3 applications had been submitted and the relevant members would be consulted on these applications prior to any decision being made.


In response to questions and comments, the Area Development Lead (West/East) informed members of the following:


·         There were back filling arrangements available to fill any gaps in delivering projects due to staff changes in Area West;

·         The Housing Needs Survey for Merriott would be distributed locally in January.


The Chairman thanked the Area Development Lead (West/East) for his report.




That the report be noted;



That the current position on community grants and other project budgets held by Area West be noted.




Section 106 Obligations pdf icon PDF 109 KB

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The Section 106 Monitoring Officer presented the report as detailed in the agenda.  He advised that there had been no recent legislative changes since his last report.  He was pleased to inform members that there were a number of projects to come forward in Area West and hopefully the collected contributions would appear on the next monitoring report.


During the ensuing discussion, the Section 106 Monitoring Officer noted the comments of members and responded to questions on points of detail regarding specific sites.

A member comment was made that the developers should be urged to commit sooner during the development stage of projects, as from experience some works such as play areas were only enforced well after the development was completed.

The Chairman thanked the S106 Monitoring Officer for his report.


That the report be noted and the actions taken in respect of the monitoring and managing of the Section 106 Planning Obligations be endorsed.




Area West - Reports from Members on Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 81 KB

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Crewkerne Museum

Members noted the report by Cllr. Marcus Barrett updating members on Crewkerne Museum.



Area West Committee - Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 147 KB


The Community Lead advised that Inspector Tim Coombs would also be attending alongside Sergeant Rob Jameson for the Avon & Somerset Policing Update in January.


In response to a member comment regarding Transformation, the Community Lead advised that Members would receive the detailed design work for locality working direct and that there was insufficient time to accommodate an item as part of the committee cycle.


Members were content to note the Area West Committee Forward Plan as outlined in the agenda.



That the Area West Committee Forward Plan be noted as attached to the agenda report.




Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 21 KB


Members noted the appeal received as outlined in the agenda.


Schedule of Planning Applications to be Determined by Committee pdf icon PDF 87 KB


Members noted the schedule of planning applications to be determined as outlined in the agenda.



Planning Application: 16/01967/COU - Land OS 5743 The Drift, Forton pdf icon PDF 587 KB


Application Proposal: Change of use of land to private gypsy site consisting of 4 No. pitches and associated development


The Planning Lead reminded members that the decision on the application was deferred at the October meeting to enable an ecology survey and an assessment of the water supply to be undertaken.  He updated members with the following information:


·         An ecology report had been undertaken.  The survey concluded that the plans were unlikely to have a significant adverse impact on wildlife.  In response to the survey, the Council’s Ecologist had suggested an additional condition regarding external lighting.  The Area Lead confirmed that he would amend Condition 8 to include his suggested condition;

·         A further letter had been received from the agent outlining that they had undertaken a water survey concluding that the spring would supply adequate water for the development and wouldn’t harm third parties supply of water in The Drift and surrounding area;

·         A further letter had been received from one of the neighbours to the development disagreeing that the spring would provide sufficient water and raising concerns over contamination;

·         A letter had also been received from a water specialist on behalf of the neighbour questioning the robustness of the water assessment.  A response to the letter had been received from agent’s consultant stating that as a licence was not required there was no need for further testing;

·         The Council’s Environmental Health Officer accepted that there was sufficient water supply based on the evidence provided.


The Area Lead referred to the key considerations and explained that whilst the Council was making good progress towards meeting its pitch target there was still a need for pitches.  In terms of highway impact the Highway Authority consider that the development will not have a harmful impact and concluded that the visibility at the junction of The Drift with the A30 was acceptable.  There were also no concerns with the increase in traffic.  The Landscape Officer considered there to be no significant adverse harm to the landscape.


With regard to previous applications on the site, members noted that four applications for single residential dwellings had all been refused on the grounds of being outside the development area and on highway grounds.


The Senior Legal Executive advised members that water supply was not generally a material consideration.  The dispute arising did not preclude members from granting the application and that legal action could still be taken to resolve the water issue subsequently to permission being granted.  If the application was to be granted and a subsequent problem was to arise, the Council would have discretionary powers to intervene.


In response to a member question, the Planning Lead confirmed that the development would not have an impact on dormice.


The Committee was addressed by R McGuigan, S Webb, and C Jarvis in objection to the application.  Points expressed included the following:


·         Four applications have previously been refused on the site in the past and another two in the 1960’s;

·         Other adjacent land was unsuitable for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 94.