Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Previous Meeting


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 17th June 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman subject to the inclusion of Cllr. Martin Carnell under Minute 296. Apologies for Absence.


Apologies for Absence


An apology for absence was received from Councillor Garry Shortland.


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 on Wednesday 19th August 2020 using Zoom virtual meeting software.


Members noted that the next meeting of the Area West Committee was scheduled to be held on Wednesday 19th August 2020 using Zoom virtual 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.


The following question was submitted by a member of the public:


The speed limit entering Chard on the A358 from Ilminster becomes 40mph and then reduces to 30mph as it reaches the junction with Thorndun Park Drive.


This is even though the road between Thorndun Park Drive and the crest of Hornsbury hill has street lights, homes and footpaths on both sides, with these physical attributes most people would expect the speed limit to be 30mph. The majority of the drivers appear to be exceeding this as they are aware the speed camera is no longer active which makes entering the road from any of the dwellings a risky manoeuvre.


I would like to request the speed limit of 30mph to be moved to beyond the junction that leads to Cuttifords door.


The benefits of this change would be as follows; reduced risk of an accident or injury with lower speeds, a drop in noise pollution with vehicles no longer accelerating up the hill, possible lower emissions, easing movement across the carriageway for pedestrians with a slower moving traffic flow, improved safety when exiting the junction at Cuttifords door again due to slower moving traffic and poor visibility at this corner.


This action is unlikely to add any time to journeys through Chard as the majority of drivers will have to wait at the crossroads in the centre of town, but this proactive action could possibly save a life.


I am aware that this can be accepted by your department as a similar change happened in Puddlebridge.


This change would be gratefully received by all of the residents who live along this section of road and all feel as I do.


Some members commented that moving the speed limit to a junction would be extremely dangerous and suggested that it be moved back to Hornsbury Mill, or where the current 40mph limit starts.  It was felt that the speed limit should start where there was good forward sight of the signs to slow down accordingly. 


The Chairman advised that he would ask Officers from Somerset County Highways to look into the matter and provide a response to the question.


(Subsequent to the meeting, a response was provided by SCC Traffic Management that the road does not qualify for a 30mph speed limit under Department for Transport guidance).


Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman advised that the Committee was now a full decision making meeting, held under the Local Authorities and Police and Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 as part of the Coronavirus Act 2020.


He confirmed that voting would be by a named vote and Councillors wishing to speak should indicate using the blue ‘raise hand’ icon.


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


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


Planning Application: 19/01053/FUL** - Land at Thorhild, Tatworth Road, Chard, TA20 2NJ pdf icon PDF 817 KB


Proposal: Proposed residential development for the erection of 94 dwellings, formation of vehicular access from Tatworth Road and associated works


The Chairman advised that unfortunately the County Highway Officer was unable to attend the meeting due to IT issues which he was looking to get resolved as soon as possible.  It was therefore proposed and seconded to defer the application to a Special Meeting of the Area West Committee so that the County Highway Officer could attend to answer questions.


A vote was taken and Members unanimously agreed to defer the application to a Special Meeting of the Area West Committee.


Councillors and members of the public would be notified as soon as possible when the application would be discussed.



That Planning Application No. 19/01053/FUL** be DEFERRED to a Special meeting of the Area West Committee to enable the County Highway Officer to attend.


(Voting: unanimous)



Stop Line Way Progress Report pdf icon PDF 482 KB


The Locality Officer presented the report which gave an update on the progress of the Stop Line Way project.  He advised that in partnership with Officers in Development Control, discussions were taking place with Developers who own land within the Chard Eastern Development Area to try and progress the route forward.


In response to member questions and comments, the Locality Officer advised the following:


·         He was aware of a previous dispute over a piece of land in Tatworth.  The issue was still to be resolved and would be discussed with the Developers in the coming weeks.

·         The Stop Line Way went through the housing estates and the industrial areas to get out to Tatworth.  The intention was to use the old railway line arcing around the side of Chard.  There were parts of it that weren’t able to be used which would be discussed with Developers to try and tie the route together.

·         With regard to funding the Knowle St Giles Project, he was still looking at how S106 contributions would be used. There was a change in land ownership and negotiations were still taking place.  The project was in its funding stage and he was looking at various funding sources to support the project.


At the conclusion of the debate, members commented that they were pleased that progress had been made on the project and were content to note the report.



That the report be noted.



Area West Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 82 KB


A member referred to a substantial tree on the Keir development site on Tatworth Road in Chard that was currently being taken down which had been established for many hundreds of years.  He felt that there was a need to assess the significant trees in the Chard Eastern Development Area and whether any of the trees on other plots required tree preservation orders.  


The Director – Strategy & Commissioning confirmed that the SSDC Tree Officer could be asked to carry out an assessment on the site and the surrounding area and bring a report back to a future meeting.



That the Area West Committee Forward Plan be noted.



Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:


Members noted the report which gave details of appeals that had been received, dismissed and allowed.


Cllr. Martin Wale made an observation that most of the appeals outlined in the report were Officer delegated decisions.


Cllr. Sue Osborne referred to there being a significant amount of appeals in July and questioned whether this was a rising trend and just in Area West or also in other Areas as well.



That the report be noted.