Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting using Zoom meeting software. View directions

No. Item




The minutes of the previous meeting held on 15th September 2021 were approved as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman.


Apologies for Absence


An apology for absence was received from Councillor Robin Pailthorpe.


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 of Next Meeting


Members noted that the next meeting of the Area West Committee would held on Wednesday 17th November 2021 at 5.30pm and would be a virtual meeting using Zoom on-line meeting software.


Public Question Time


There were no questions from members of the public present at the meeting.


Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman reminded everyone present that in order to enable members to continue holding remote, virtual meetings, Full Council had agreed in April to amend part of the Council’s Constitution to allow its remote meetings to function as consultative meetings and delegate decisions to the Chief Executive (or the relevant Director in the Chief Executive’s absence) in consultation with those meetings.


This was extended at Full Council on 8 July 2021 for a further 6 months.


The Chairman informed members of the Future Chard Strategy Consultation Event taking place on Saturday 23rd October, 8.30am-2.00pm, Monday 25th October, 9.00am-4.00pm and Tuesday 26th October, 12 noon – 8.30pm at The Guildhall, Chard. 


Area West Chapter Update 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Additional documents:


The Locality Team Leader presented the report, which provided members with an update on the 2021/22 Area Chapter for Area West.  She gave an update from the Lead Specialist – Communities on the project ‘Develop new initiatives to tackle longstanding issues of health and inequality and social inclusion’  listed under Healthy, Self-reliant Communities on page 12 of the agenda report which was unavailable at the time the agenda was published.  Members noted the following:


·         £12,000 had been awarded to Chard Connect to resource their work

·         A grant would be awarded to the Food Bank to help with increased demand

·         Discussions were taking place with the Chard Leisure provider with regard to providing free seasonal leisure vouchers to disadvantaged groups

·         Work was being undertaken on the promotion and roll out of the Household Support Grant in Chard to help adults without children cope with cost pressures this winter


With regard to Community Grants, the Locality Team Leader informed members that there was £8,000 remaining in the revenue budget to be spent by the end of the financial year.  If members were aware of any groups within their wards who would benefit from a community grant further information was available on the Council’s website.


In response to a question, members were advised that the two pending grant requests were from Combe St Nicholas Running Track and Ark Indoor Activity Space and both would be coming forward to the Area West Committee for a decision in the next couple of months.


There were no further questions and members were content to note the report.


Area West Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 205 KB


The following amendments were made to the Area West Committee Forward Plan:


·         Combe St Nicholas Running Track grant application to be added to the Forward Plan for November.

·         Ark Indoor Activity Space grant application to be added to the Forward Plan with a date to be confirmed.

·         Members noted that Cllr Martin Wale was no longer the representative on the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Panel.

·         An update on Historic Buildings at Risk had been omitted from the Forward Plan in error.



That the Area West Committee Forward Plan be noted.





Planning Appeals (for information) pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:


Members noted the details of planning appeals that had been received, dismissed and allowed.


Schedule of Planning Applications to be Considered pdf icon PDF 126 KB


Members noted the Schedule of Planning Applications.


Planning Application 20/03733/FUL - Willeys Farm, Forton, Chard pdf icon PDF 552 KB


Application Proposal: The conversion and extension of an existing agricultural shed into 2 semi-detached dwellings


The Specialist - Principal Planner presented the application as detailed in the agenda, and with the aid of a powerpoint presentation, continued to show the site and proposed plans.  He advised that there was an existing stone agricultural building on site currently used for agricultural storage and that the application proposed to construct two dwellings over that footprint and to use part of the paddock to create two garden areas.  He outlined the key considerations which were class q and fall-back position, scale of development, local associations and accessibility to services and facilities.  The Planning Officer recommended that the application be refused. 


In response to various questions, the Specialist – Principal Planner informed members of the following:


·         There would be new upper floors across the entire structure.

·         Some of the walls could be retained although it was likely to be more of a new build rather than a conversion.

·         The rule of thumb for walkability to facilities was 400 metres.

·         Some of the materials could be retained but there would also be a lot of new material because of the scale of the structures being created.

·         It was confirmed that a condition could be attached to retain some of the materials.

·         The Manor Farm site was currently under construction and delivered a heritage benefit with a mix of units including holiday units and new builds.

·         The bus service (bus stop outside the Manor Farm scheme) provided an opportunity to use an alternative mode of transport.

·         There would be a need to rely on the use of a car to access facilities.

·         There were no issues with the application in terms of landscape.

·         Class Q could be a fall back but there would need to be evidence that it would be implemented and some reason why the alternative was a better outcome.

·         The application was not considered to be an exceptional dwelling in the countryside.  It was a pair of dwellings proposed to sit in a rural location and was a familiar design.


The Committee was addressed by one of the joint applicants.  He referred to his family ties to Forton and explained some of his family history.  The application was to build two four bedroom homes for their families and the proposal was the only viable option as prices for new houses in the village and beyond were out of price range.  The size and scale of the buildings were no larger than the houses granted at Manor Farm 200 yards away which it was felt had already set a precedent and there were many other houses of a similar size in the village.  The design made use of the existing features of the barn and the dwellings would be fit for purpose and futureproof.  The dwellings would be made as sustainable as possible with the use of photovoltaics and air source pumps using local tradesmen.  The Parish Council were in support of the proposal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.