Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Guildhall, Chard

Contact: Jo Morris, Case Officer - 01935 462055  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Jenny Kenton, Garry Shortland and Anthony Vaughan.


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.


Councillor Martin Wale declared personal interests in Planning Application Nos. 19/02401/FUL and 18/04057/OUT** as the Ward Member.  He also declared a personal interest as he lived in the vicinity of Planning Application No. 19/02401/FUL and in close proximity to Planning Application Nos. 18/04057/OUT** and 19/00074/FUL**.


Councillor Martin Carnell declared a personal interest in Planning Application No. 19/00074/FUL** as the Ward Member.


Councillor Dave Bulmer declared a personal interest in Planning Application No. 19/00074/FUL** as a member of Chard Town 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 22nd January 2020 at 5.30pm at The Guildhall, Chard.


Members noted that the next scheduled meeting of the Area West Committee would be held on Wednesday 22nd January 2020 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.


The Committee was addressed by two members of the public in relation to the planning application submitted by Lidl for the erection of a 2.4 metre hoarding around the perimeter of the site located on Boden Street, Chard.  Concerns raised related to the following:


·         Visual impact on nearby properties

·         Impact on the value of nearby properties

·         Effect on the access into the town

·         Concerns about the rubbish accumulating in the area

·         Businesses being affected in the town due to decrease in footfall

·         Lack of information over future plans for the old Lidl site

·         Boarding up of the area would be an eyesore

·         The site should be maintained and kept clean until plans for redevelopment are published and not boarded up

·         No lighting on the site


The Ward Member, Cllr. Jason Baker noted the comments raised and confirmed that the lighting surrounding the Lace Mill car park and the Library was now working and should be staying on throughout the night.  He also advised that the planning application was shortly due to be considered by Chard Town Council and urged the members of the public to attend the meeting to express their concerns.


Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman made no announcements.


Area West Committee - Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 89 KB


Members noted the Forward Plan as attached to the agenda.



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



Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee noted the report which gave details of four appeals received and one appeal dismissed.



That the report be noted.





Schedule of Planning Applications to be Determined by Committee pdf icon PDF 74 KB


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


Planning Application 19/02401/FUL - Ridgeleigh, Chardleigh Green, Wadeford pdf icon PDF 515 KB


Application Proposal: The erection of 2 No. dwellings and the erection of a detached garage to serve Ridgeleigh and alterations to existing vehicular access


The Specialist – Planning presented the application as detailed in the agenda and outlined the key considerations which were principle of development – sustainability, visual amenity, residential amenity and highway safety.  She advised that the application was recommended for refusal based on sustainability.  She explained that Wadeford was a small settlement with only a pub in the village so was not considered to be a rural settlement under Policy SS2.  The site should be treated as open countryside and was therefore not considered to be an appropriate location for new development.  The site was close to Combe St Nicolas however you would have to walk along a busy road to access the village facilities and the nearest pavement was 350 metres away.  She concluded that the site was considered to be an unsustainable location for new build development and therefore recommended refusal of the application.


In response to members’ questions, the Specialist – Planning confirmed the following:


·         The distance to the public house was approximately 263 metres.

·         The reason for refusal was on sustainability grounds only.

·         Each application should be considered on its own merits.

·         Wadeford lacked services and was not within walking distance to any services.

·         There was no record of any pre-application advice given.

·         Wadeford did not meet the minimum requirement of providing 2 key services as outlined in Policy SS2.


The Ward Member, Cllr. Martin Wale expressed his support for the proposal and noted that there had been no objections to the application.  He did not consider the location to be a greenfield site but a site in a hamlet that was connected to Combe St Nicolas which had many facilities and services.  The site was a garden in a row of houses which he considered to be ribbon development along a road with plenty of room on the site for two dwellings.  He noted that the bus route went past the site and the bus stop was located further down the road by the pub.  He considered the site to be sustainable and recommended that the application be approved.  


During the discussion, members made the following comments:


·         Properties were located close by

·         The site was a garden and not a field

·         The location was considered to be sustainable

·         There was already a property on the site

·         The space could adequately accommodate two dwellings

·         The site was also close to Chard


It was proposed and seconded to approve the application.  The Lead Specialist – Planning suggested to members the following reason for approval based on the issues raised during the debate:


Located within the parish of Combe St Nicholas and close to Chard, the proposed site is in a sustainable location on a bus route which represents an acceptable scheme in accordance with ST1 and SS2 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-2028) and the National Planning Policy Framework.


Conditions suggested by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 249.


Planning Application 18/04057/OUT** - Land East of Mount Hindrance Farm, Mount Hindrance Lane, Chard pdf icon PDF 948 KB


Application Proposal: Outline application for mixed development comprising residential development of up to 295 dwellings, provision of a floodlit full size football pitch, unlit full size training pitch and community sports pitch with associated multi use clubhouse, spectator facilities and vehicular parking area; hub for local neighbourhood facilities and other community uses, public open space, landscaping, drainage and other facilities; associated vehicular and pedestrian accesses, land regrading, associated infrastructure and engineering works.


The Agency Planner updated the report and advised that Condition 1 required an amendment to make reference to the outline status of the application.  He also proposed amendments to Conditions 29 and 30 to include an implementation and retention clause.  The S106 agreement also required an amendment to include the management of public open space.  He advised that 21 letters of objection had been received since the last Committee meeting in relation to the proposal not confirming to the Chard Regeneration Strategy, no employment, no capacity at local school, harmful to the landscape, roads have no capacity for further cars, detrimental impact on wildlife, flooding and drainage issues, impact on Cuttiford’s Door, loss of amenity land and loss of agricultural land.  A further letter of representation had also been submitted regarding quality of due diligence checks on the applicant’s submitted information, lack of clear demonstration of checks and approval process of reports, inaccurate representations of the objections from the public, incomplete analysis of construction impact on surroundings and errors in the traffic survey and access statement.  The comments of the Lead Officer in response to the points raised were noted by members.


With the aid of a powerpoint presentation, the Agency Planner gave a detailed presentation outlining the following:


·         The application site and surrounding area.

·         The access was for detailed consideration.

·         Key considerations were outline application – access for consideration, principle of development, highways, landscape, ecology, flooding, Chard Town Football Club.

·         Indicative plans of the site and artist’s impression of the scheme.

·         Location of the football pitches, proposed stadium, community hub, open space, village green, planting/woodland area and residential development area. 

·         Summary of the Appeal Inspectors Decision on the previous application which was dismissed at appeal and its relevance.

·         Various photographs were shown around the site including the junction leading into the site, views across the playspace, top of the access road looking across the site, existing access road and parking restrictions proposed.

·         Plan showing existing access road and parking restrictions.

·         Acceptable landscape setting.  The proposed layout included a 30 metre buffer with a tree belt to reduce the landscape impact.

·         Proposed emergency access points and bus stops.

·         Ecology measures proposed.

·         The site was at low risk of flooding and surface water could be controlled.

·         Drainage was acceptable subject to conditions.

·         Location of the proposed pedestrian island, signalling lights and zebra crossing to encourage walking from the site into town.

·         The Council did not have a 5 year housing land supply therefore policy states that policies that restrain housing delivery are not up to date and therefore  ...  view the full minutes text for item 250.


Planning Application 19/00074/FUL** - Land at East of Crimchard, Chard pdf icon PDF 865 KB


Application Proposal: The erection of 142 dwellings together with associated infrastructure including access/highway improvements, drainage and attenuation, play area, open space and landscaping.


The Agency Planner updated that Barratt Homes had offered to increase their Section 106 payment by £20,000 towards the feasibility work required for the Chard link.  A further 19 letters of objection had been received since the last Committee meeting reconfirming that the proposal does not conform with the Chard Regeneration Strategy, no capacity at the school, harmful to landscape, no further capacity for cars, detrimental impact on wildlife, flooding and drainage issues and loss of agricultural land.  The same letter which had been submitted on the previous application had also been submitted on this application.


The Agency Planner gave a detailed presentation on the application which covered the following:


·         The key considerations associated with the application were principle of development, highways, ecology, flooding, visual impact, layout, scale and design and residential amenity.

·         Summary of Appeal Inspector’s decision and its’ relevance.

·         Site layout and surrounding area.

·         Access details to the site.

·         Proposed highway improvements and footpath links.

·         Location of the play area and open space.

·         Location of the surface water attenuation area and ecological habitat enhancements.

·         New planting along the southern and northern boundaries and instant hedging along the western boundary.

·         The proposed development would make provision for 50 affordable dwellings.

·         The Council did not have a 5 year housing land supply therefore policy states that policies that restrain housing delivery are not up to date and therefore sustainable development should be granted permission unless adverse impacts outweigh the benefits. 

·         No objections raised from Highways.

·         The Council’s Ecologist did not object to the proposal and had recommended mitigation conditions.

·         An Environmental Impact Assessment could not be insisted upon.

·         Flooding and drainage measures were both satisfactory.

·         No objection in terms of Landscape setting.

·         Layout offers an arrangement that allows future residents and existing neighbouring residents to enjoy a good level of residential amenity in terms of overlooking and general loss of privacy.


The Agency Planner concluded that given the lack of demonstrable harm and the benefits that the scheme would provide in the provision of housing including affordable dwellings, economic benefits during construction and new occupants in the town the application was recommended for approval subject to conditions and the completion of a Section 106 agreement.


In response to members’ questions, the Agency Planner confirmed the following:


·         The position of the turning head;

·         The new application for 142 dwellings required new supporting information.  Any reference to 110 dwellings was an error in the report.

·         There was little difference between 110 and 142 in terms of landscape impact.

·         The Landscape Assessment identified that the site had a high capacity for development.

·         The 110 dwellings may have included many more larger dwellings and often intensification of the site was because the units had become smaller.  It was for members to judge whether the proposals were a cramped form of development judged against existing patterns of development to the south.

·         The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 251.