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 15th July 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Paul Maxwell, Ben Hodgson and Tricia O’Brien (due to IT issues).


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 made by Members of the Committee.


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 16th September commencing at 5.30pm.  It is anticipated that this will be a virtual meeting using Zoom on-line meeting software.


Members noted that the next meeting of the Area West Committee was scheduled to be held on Wednesday 16th September 2020 at 5.30pm 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.


There were no questions from the public.


Chairman's Announcements


There were no announcements from the Chairman.


Area West Committee - Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 82 KB


During discussion, it was confirmed that some of the reports would be delayed as officers had been redeployed during the Covid-19 pandemic.  It was confirmed that the reports on the Ilminster Forum and Meeting House Arts Centre, Ilminster, would be presented in October 2020.  It was also confirmed that the request to inspect trees at the Chard Eastern Development site would be followed up and a report date agreed.



That the Area West Committee Forward Plan be noted.



Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:


Members noted the report which gave details of appeal received.  It was mentioned that one appeal had resulted in an award of costs against the Council.



That the report be noted.



Schedule of Planning Applications to be Determined by Committee pdf icon PDF 88 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 pdf icon PDF 819 KB


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


The Interim Planning Lead officer introduced the report with the assistance of a power point presentation of maps and photographs of the site, and, advised that the site sat between the Keir site to the north which already had permission for 200 houses and the Persimmon site to the south which currently had an application pending for housing.  All of the site was within the allocated Chard Eastern Development Area in the Local Plan.  The access from the site to Holbear to the west of the site would be a pedestrian and cycle access only.  The only vehicular access would be from the A358 and a bus stop was proposed just outside the access point.  Having gone through a viability assessment the affordable housing element had reduced from 35% to 19% and the affordable housing was mainly to the west of the site.  Both Chard TC and Tatworth and Forton PC recommended refusal of the application and 16 letters of objection had been received citing community safety, lack of infrastructure, density and lack of contributions to new roads and schools.  But the site was allocated for development within the Local Plan and his recommendation was to approve the application.  He concluded that the Highway Officer from SCC was in attendance to clarify any highway issues.


In response to questions from Members, the Interim Planning Lead officer and the Highway Officer clarified:-


·         The proposed garages were 6m x 3m for a single garage and 6m x 6m for a double which was the larger size.  This was the external dimension.

·         The approximate walking distance to the town centre was 15 to 20 minutes and the trading estate, school and Tesco store were 20 to 25 minutes.

·         There was no detail on primary and secondary school capacity and the point at which new developments would trigger the building of a new school.

·         The Transport assessment figures were assessed on their own merits and the cumulative impact was for the LPA to consider as part of their review of the Local Plan when considering the impact of the development on the Convent junction in the town centre and the roads around the town.

·         The Lead Local Flood Authority had been consulted on the position of the attenuation pond and were aware of the adjacent Persimmon development site.

·         The housing officer had been consulted on the affordable housing element but their location along the A358 could be checked as the policy was to spread them out across the development.

·         The Lead Local Flood Authority were working on a water attenuation guide for developers.

·         Electric Vehicle charging points could be channelled throughout the site.

·         A bollard could be part of a condition to obstruct the vehicular use of the pedestrian access to Holbear.

·         The garages would be considered as safe storage for cycles and for those properties without a garage there would a secure loop  ...  view the full minutes text for item 325.


Planning Application: 20/00536/REM - Howley Farm, Howley, Chard pdf icon PDF 389 KB


Application for reserved matters following outline approval of 18/03895/OUT seeking approval of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale


The Specialist Planner introduced the application for an agricultural workers dwelling in the hamlet of Howley which was within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  She used a power point presentation to show maps and photographs of the site and the proposed dwelling and its proximity to the listed building and farm buildings.  There was an existing public right of way and authorisation to cross it would have to be obtained from the County Council.  The site was on a steep hillside and the proposed dwelling was to be dug into the hillside with 2m retaining walls around it.  The setting of the dwelling would be above the existing listed building which would impact upon it and cause harm.  The public benefit of the application was not sufficient to offset that harm and for this reason, it was proposed to refuse the application.


In response to questions from Members, the Principal Planner advised:-


·         There were no objections to the application from any of the statutory consultees or neighbours.

·         The Conservation officer felt the harm to the listed building was in the low to medium category.

·         Outline permission for a dwelling had already been granted.

·         There had been engagement with the Agent and a previous design had been proposed which had less impact upon the setting of the listed building.  Unfortunately, that proposal was not taken forward, possibly because of the levels at the site.

·         The planning officer for the AONB had not objected to the application from a landscape perspective.

·         The older outbuildings were included within the curtilage of the listed building.

·         The listed building was Grade 2.

·         The houses to the north of the site were more modern and were not listed.

·         The proximity of the proposed dwelling to the listed building impacted upon and disrupted the setting of the listed building to an unacceptable degree.

·         The agricultural occupancy condition was imposed at the outline permission stage.


The Agent for the applicant advised that the original position of the dwelling was moved as agreed at the outline permission stage to its current position, some 1.8m lower than before.  The house would be 1 ½ storeys with no dormer windows to ensure it sat comfortably within the context of the listed building and the sloping site.  There were no objections from the AONB.  The dwelling would be affordable to construct and would allow the farmer to live on site with quick access to his livestock.  The alleged harm to the listed building was outweighed by the benefits of an agricultural workers dwelling on site.


The Ward Member, Councillor Martin Wale, said he had received no objections to the application from local residents or from the AONB.  The site was on the edge of the hamlet and he felt the proposal would not affect the listed farmhouse as it was already surrounded by farm buildings.  The house would be dug  ...  view the full minutes text for item 326.