Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Guildhall, Chard

Contact: Jo Morris, Case Services Officer (Support Services) - 01935 462055  Email:

No. Item


To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 20th February 2019


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 20th February 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Marcus Barratt, Amanda Broom and Dave Bulmer.


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.


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 on Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 5.30pm at The Guildhall, Chard.


Members noted that the next meeting of the Area West Committee would be held on Wednesday 17th April 2019 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.


There were no questions raised by members of the public.


Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman announced that the public consultation event held on Saturday 16th March on the Chard Town Centre Regeneration Scheme including plans for the Boden Mill site was well attended by over 500 people.  Members would receive an update report at the April meeting.


Citizens Advice South Somerset (CASS) pdf icon PDF 43 KB


The Chairman welcomed Angela Kerr, Chief Executive Officer, Citizens Advice South Somerset (CASS) to the meeting.  With the aid of a powerpoint presentation she informed members of the work and future development of Citizens Advice South Somerset.  Points mentioned during her presentation included the following:


·         CASS were spending a large amount of time supporting clients in Area West with claiming personal independence allowance and dealing with debt issues.

·         The service has increased its involvement with elderly and vulnerable clients due to more people living independently.  The types of issues being dealt with included financial safeguarding, management of money and mate crime.  Fundraising was currently being undertaken for a dedicated case worker.

·         Pilot with Yeovil College offering services for students.

·         Assist Advice Pathway - a specialist service assisting people with acute mental health support needs during their recovery and resettlement.

·         Advice and service available for people living with cancer.

·         Continuation of Employment Advice Evenings.

·         Addressing debt and poverty for clients in housing need in partnership with SSDC.

·         Volunteers continue to increase year on year.

·         Cuts to the core funding from Somerset County Council and the remodelling of the advice service to work more collaboratively with other citizens advice services and organisations.

·         Setting up a different approach to Citizens Advice and offering clients the opportunity to have telephone call back appointments.

·         Investing in web chat and increased digital advice.

·         Universal Credit Help to Claim – a new service across the country funded centrally through the Citizens Advice Network.


It was agreed that a copy of the powerpoint presentation and the Citizens Advice South Somerset Business Plan would be emailed to members. 


The Chief Executive Officer, Citizens Advice South Somerset responded to member’s questions on points of detail.


The Chairman thanked Angela Kerr, Chief Executive, Citizens Advice South Somerset for attending the meeting and for all the work that the service undrtakes.



Reports from Members on Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:


A Better Crewkerne and District


Members noted the report submitted by Councillor Mike Best.


Crewkerne Museum


Members noted the report submitted by Councillor Marcus Barrett.


Area West Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 86 KB


Members noted that the Area West Delivery Plan would be considered at the June or July Area West Committee. 


A request was made for an update report on Buildings at Risk in Area West and in particular the Vinney Bridge Mill site in Crewkerne.



That the Area West Committee Forward Plan be noted as attached to the agenda subject to the above amendments.



Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:


Members noted the report detailing two planning appeals that had been dismissed.


Schedule of Planning Applications to be Determined by Committee pdf icon PDF 86 KB


Members noted the schedule of planning applications to be determine by the Committee.


Planning Application 18/01917/FUL** - Land Off Shiremoor Hill, Merriott pdf icon PDF 750 KB


Application Proposal: Erection of 39 No. dwellings and associated works including access, open space, parking, landscaping and drainage infrastructure


The Specialist – Development Management updated members with the following information:


·         Further letters had been received raising concerns over the need for housing, loss of greenspace and ecological impact.

·         Parish Council comments had been received in response to amended plans raising concerns over plot 39, culverting the stream and issues with the right of way.

·         A letter had been received from Merriott Heritage Trust raising concerns over the impact of the scheme with regard to the right of way.

·         Discussions had been held with the Applicant over reducing pre-commencement conditions.

·         The final District Valuer report had been received which concluded that the Affordable Housing could be provided but it was not viable to provide education and off-site play and space facilities.

·         On the basis of there being no forthcoming education contributions a meeting was held with County Education.  In view of there being capacity issues in the local primary school, the Education Authority were formally objecting to the application.  The application would therefore need to be referred to the Regulation Committee for final determination.

·         The Specialist – Development Management would normally go back to the District Valuer to try and seek a reduction in Affordable Housing provision in order to secure the education contribution but this had not been possible due to time constraints.


The Specialist – Development Management presented the application and outlined the key considerations.  He advised that the principle of residential development on the site had been previously established and the current proposal was a standalone application from the outline proposal. 


In response to questions, the Specialist - Development Management confirmed the following:


·         Stonewater had not entered into pre-application discussions.

·         93 parking spaces would be provided which was below the optimum standard.

·         The District Valuer had confirmed that the scheme was not viable to provide contributions towards the provision of sport, play and strategic facilities and education provision.

·         Discussions could be held with the applicant to look at whether the Affordable Housing element of the scheme could be reduced to provide some of the other obligations.

·         The scheme would add to the 142 units already consented giving a total of 201.

·         In response to a comment over the design of the road, it was noted that the Highway Authority had raised no objections to the road or the access.

·         The application was CIL liable.  15% of the total received would go to the Parish Council.

·         County Education had requested a contribution after outline permission was granted following a review where new pupil yields and costs were introduced.

·         The Highway Authority were recommending a Travel Plan.

·         The applicant could apply for government grant funding to up the number of affordable dwellings above the policy requirement.

·         Adopted Village Plans formed part of the Local Plan.

·         The additional 9 dwellings were not considered to be so adverse to warrant refusal of the application.


The Committee was addressed by the Parish Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 141.


Planning Application 18/03373/COU - Chaffcombe Waste Transfer Station, Chaffcombe Road, Chard pdf icon PDF 395 KB


Application Proposal: Change of use of existing transfer station site to aggregate storage/sales and parking of heavy goods vehicles


The Senior Planning Advisor informed members that the consultation period on the amended plans did not close until 28th March 2019 and therefore recommended that the application be deferred.


Ward Member, Councillor Sue Osborne raised concerns with regard to the member liaison procedures followed under the Planning Scheme of Delegation with regard to this application. The Senior Planning Advisor explained that as long as the scheme was brought to Committee for decision, public scrutiny issues were addressed, but Committee should not make a decision until the consultation period was over and he apologised for this oversight.


It was proposed and seconded to defer consideration of the application until after 28th March 2019.  On being put to the vote the proposal was carried by 11 votes in favour.



That consideration of Planning Application No 18/03373/COU be DEFERRED until after the consultation period for amended plans has closed.

(Voting: 11 in favour)



Planning Application 18/02588/FUL - Land At Jarman Way, Chard, Somerset pdf icon PDF 658 KB


Application Proposal: The erection of 23 No. dwellings, means of access and associated works


The Specialist – Development Management presented the application and outlined the key considerations.  He advised that 35% of the dwellings would be secured for affordable housing through a Section 106 agreement and that the site formed part of a previously approved scheme for 41 dwellings and a care home.


The Specialist – Development Management provided the following updates to the report:


·         The application was 2-starred under the Scheme of Delegation.  If the committee were minded to refuse the application, the final determination would be made by the Regulation Committee.

·         A consultee response had been received from Somerset Waste Partnership raising no objections.

·         The applicant had carried out a parking survey which identified an average space utilisation of 48.5% on street.  The Highway Authority were of the view that the impact of a shortfall in parking provision would not be severe.

·         An additional letter had been received from a neighbouring property raising concerns over the car parking situation on the site.

·         A Construction Traffic Management Plan had been submitted by the applicant and was considered acceptable by the Highway Authority requiring an amendment to Condition 12.

·         The applicant had submitted an interim slow-worm mitigation strategy requiring an amendment to Condition 15.

·         An amendment to Condition 5 was required in order to allow the applicant to commence works to the entrance of the site.

·         The applicant had submitted further information in relation to the marketing of the care home, details of land registry and sales information of two similar sites.

·         An assessment report had been received from the District Valuer confirming that the scheme was only viable for affordable housing and not with the sport and leisure contributions.


The Specialist – Development Management amended his recommendation to remove contributions to sports and leisure facilities based on the report from the District Valuer.


In response to questions, the Development Management Officers confirmed the following:


·         The 48 houses on the site have been built but the applicant has decided that they now wish to change the application and no longer wish to build a care home.

·         A completion notice had not been issued on the original application.

·         The site had never been allocated for employment use.

·         The proposal was a brand new application.

·         The Affordable Housing element had been met on the previous application.

·         The total combined shortfall of parking spaces across both sites would be 26 for residential provision and 35 if the parking strategy standards for visitor parking are included.

·         There was a need for care homes and affordable housing across the district but there was no evidence relating specifically to Chard.

·         A direct marketing exercise had been undertaken with individual providers.


The Committee was addressed by the Applicant and the Agent.  Some of their comments included:


·         23 much needed affordable homes would be delivered, 7 of which would be available to buy as shared ownership.

·         There was no demand for a care home in Chard on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 143.