Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting using Zoom meeting software. View directions

No. Item



To approve as a correct record the minutes of previous meetings held on 24 March, 14 April, 26 May and 14 July 2021. The draft minutes can be viewed at:


The minutes of the previous meetings held on 24 March 2021, 14 April 2021, 26 May 2021 and 14 July 2021 were approved as correct records and would be signed by the Chairman.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Malcolm Cavill and Tiffany Osborne.


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 Neil Bloomfield, Malcolm Cavill, Adam Dance and Crispin Raikes.

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

Councillors are requested to note that the next Area North Committee meeting is scheduled to be held at 2.00pm on Wednesday 27 October 2021, and will be a virtual meeting using Zoom.



Members noted the next meeting of Area North Committee was scheduled for Wednesday 27 October at 2.00pm, and would be a virtual meeting using Zoom.



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 agreed in April and July to amend Part 3 of the Council’s Constitution to allow its remote meetings to function as consultative meetings and delegate decisions to the Chief Executive.



Reports From Members


As appointed representatives on the Huish Episcopi Leisure Centre Board, Councillor Crispin Raikes noted that he and Councillor Tim Kerley had received an email about the Leisure Centre possibly going to an external provider, He informed members that a meeting of stakeholders would be taking place in early October, and if possible he would provide an update to the next Area North meeting.


Councillor Neil Bloomfield wished to thank the Locality Team for their help regarding grants. He also asked whether the Council would be looking to move back to in-person meetings soon with the actual committees making decisions? In response, the Chairman requested the Case Officer (Strategy & Commissioning) to follow up the query.


Councillor Clare Paul noted that ABP (Food Group) at Langport had multiple vacancies across different roles, and were trying to actively recruit, if members knew of anyone looking for work.



Area North Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 133 KB


The Chairman noted that the item on the Somerton Conservation Area would be removed from the Forward Plan, as the item needed to be postponed due to resourcing. One of the ward members acknowledged he had also had a discussion with the Director (Service Delivery) and was aware of the situation.


There was no further discussion and members were content to note the Forward Plan.


Planning Appeals (for information) pdf icon PDF 33 KB


Members noted the report that detailed the planning appeals which had ben lodged, dismissed or allowed.


Schedule of Planning Applications to be Considered by Committee pdf icon PDF 145 KB


Members noted the Schedule of Planning Applications to be determined at the meeting.


Planning Application 21/01275/S73A - Butterwell Farm, Lower Pitney Road, Pitney. pdf icon PDF 503 KB


Proposal: Re-development of farm to include alterations to the farmhouse, erection of 2 new build dwellings and alterations, extensions and conversion of barns to form 3 further dwellings (Section 73 application to vary condition 2 (approved plans) of approval 17/01176/FUL & 17/01177/LBC) to replace Units 2 & 3 with a single unit and associated garage (Part retrospective).


The Specialist (Development Management) introduced the application and provided members with some updates:


·      There was an application for listed building consent running concurrently with this S73A application. Members were reminded that with the revised Scheme of Delegation the application for listed building consent would be delegated to officers.

·      Since the agenda had been published, comments from Ecology had been received, and they had requested a preliminary ecology assessment - however this was not considered reasonable at this stage as the matter had been dealt with when the original application had been considered.


The officer then presented the application in detail and reminded members of the existing approved layout, and clarified the proposal for consideration in this S73A application. She noted construction had already commenced across the wider site in line with the extant approval. Key and other considerations were highlighted, and she referred to the comments of the Parish Council and explained why it was considered unreasonable to apply conditions as suggested by the Parish Council.


The applicant addressed members and noted that market demand in the locality was for larger homes, and he had already had interest regarding the proposed larger dwelling in this current S73A application. The reduction in number of dwellings would also decrease the density of the development. He noted that the existing approval for the 1 and 2 bed dwellings were never approved as affordable homes and they had always been intended for full market housing at the upper end of the scale.


Ward member, Councillor Gerard Tucker, noted the history of planning for development of the site spanned several years, and the opinions of the Parish Council had been similar throughout. He also noted that a parish plan had been undertaken in 2007 and was currently undergoing a refresh - the wants and wishes of the community regarding future development was that smaller homes were needed. He referred to four policies in the Local Plan and when also considering the parish comments, he did not support the application.


The Specialist (Development Management) responded to points of detail, including clarity about the following:

·        Sustainability

·        Whether considered a Q-class conversion

·        The retrospective element


During a further short discussion, varying comments were raised including:

·        There are facilities in Pitney including a village hall and farm shop, as well as the nearby public house.

·        Acknowledge and understand the comments of the Parish Council.

·        The principle of development has already been approved.

·        Share disappointment regarding the 5-year land supply and phosphate issues, but these are partly out of our control.

·        Acknowledge the Parish Council feel strongly about this application and it may have helped to hear their rationale and not just via the ward  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.