Agenda, decisions and minutes

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No. Item


Minutes of Previous Meeting

To approve as a correct record the minutes of Area East Informal meeting held on 12th January 2022.


The minutes of the previous meeting held on the 12 Januray 2022 were approved as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman.


Apologies for Absence


An apology for absence was received from Councillor William Wallace.


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 Sarah Dyke, Paul Rowsell and William Wallace.

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 are asked to note that the next scheduled meeting of the committee will be held virtually using Zoom virtual software on Wednesday 9th March 2022.


Members noted the next meeting of Area East Committee was scheduled for Wednesday 9th March at 9.00am and would be a virtual meeting.


Public Question Time


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


Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman informed members that Area East Committee had been invited to visit The Newt to view the Roman Villa Museum. He explained that The Newt had a current planning application for an internal access road to the museum site and was concerned that visiting the site could be seen as a conflict of interest and asked members for their views.


Councillor Robin Bastable explained that he has had recently visited the proposed planning application site with Shepton Montague Parish Council, and whilst there did view the museum, but that he did not express any opinion on the proposal at the time.


Councillors were in agreement with the Chairman to wait until a decision had been made on the planning application before accepting an invitation to visit the Museum.




Reports from Members


Councillor Mike Lewis expressed road safety concerns on the A303 between Sparkford and Podimore where construction works had commenced. He explained that he has already brought this to Somerset County’s attention. The Chairman offered to speak to the Police Inspector at Yeovil.




South Somerset Community Accessible Transport Update pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Additional documents:


Ian Broad introduced himself to members as the newly appointed Operations Manager for the Community Accessible Transport (CAT) bus. He gave members a brief update, explaining that they were starting to see an increase in the number of CAT bus users which was encouraging but that the next year was going to be a challenging year in terms of fundraising. They were in the process of budgeting for the next year and were planning to use the next few months to develop and promote the CAT bus to increase passenger numbers.


During a short discussion, members expressed their support for the CAT bus. The Operations manager responded to some questions raised, including;


·         He had seen a 25% increase in numbers since starting his role 3 weeks prior. The aim was to maximise the number of users on an individual bus.

·         There was 2 shopping bus routes a week where somebody coordinated the trips and the buses would be full.

·         Currently running 4 vehicles with a 5th being delivered in 6 weeks’ time.

·         The only source of funding was the annual parish council precept allowance, then they would be looking at external funding. A grant had been receievd on the bus that had recently been purchased.

·         As operations manager the role was to ensure the CAT bus ran efficiently and also to manage fundraising.

·         Aim to improve the profile and increase awareness of the community bus.

·         As the vehicles come to be replaced it would be valid to look at sustainable transport.

·         Would gratefully provide some comms to members so that they could support with increasing the awareness of what the services can provide.


The Locality Manager confirmed he will contact the operations manager of the CAT bus to bring a report back to Area East with an update on the revenue situation and look into a support with a fundraising strategy.


At the end of discussions Councillor Colin Winder proposed that Area East continue to fully support the CAT bus, provide financial and management advice where appropriate and that members would urge the new council to continue to support and fund the CAT bus. The proposal was seconded and area east members were unanimous in agreement.




Community Grant to Brewham Village hall Restoration Project - Phase 2 External works (Executive Decision) pdf icon PDF 284 KB



                        That Area East members recommend the Chief Executive;



award a grant of £10,557 to Brewham Village hall Restoration Project, Phase 2 external works (50% total costs), the grant to be allocated from the Area East capital programme and subject to SSDC standard conditions for community grants (appendix A)




Councillors are asked to consider the awarding of a grant of £10,557 to Brewham Village hall Restoration Project, Phase 2 external works.


(Voting: Unanimous)


The Locality Officer presented the report that asked members to award a Community Grant of £10,557 to Brewham Village Hall Restoration Project. She gave apologies for the representative of the village hall who couldn’t attend the meeting due to work commitments.


Ward member Councillor Robin Bastable informed members he had visited the village hall recently and commented on the sympathetic and efficient restoration work that had be completed so far. He commended the efforts of all involved and felt the work would preserve the building for years to come and fully supported the project.


There was a short discussion on insulation details and it was suggested that the thermal image camera could be used to indicate the quality and performance of the insulation.


Members indicated their full support of the project. It was proposed and seconded to approve the application and members were unanimous in awarding £10,557 to Brewham Village hall restoration project.




                        That Area East members recommend the Chief Executive;


award a grant of £10,557 to Brewham Village hall Restoration Project, Phase 2 external works (50% total costs), the grant to be allocated from the Area East capital programme and subject to SSDC standard conditions for community grants (appendix A)




Councillors are asked to consider the awarding of a grant of £10,557 to Brewham Village hall Restoration Project, Phase 2 external works.


(Voting: Unanimous)


Phosphates Update pdf icon PDF 112 KB


The Lead Specialist, Built Environment explained that he was attending Area East on members request to give a brief summary of where the five Somerset Councils are in terms of managing phosphates but also to explain what work was being done to engage other national parties to be involved with the increasing problem of the phosphate impacts on development across Somerset and beyond.

Some of the key points he raised included;


·         The history of the phosphate situation and how the phosphate calculator had been created.

·         The phosphate calculator was a tool that allowed applicants and agents to understand the likely phosphates emissions before and after development to create a differential which was the level of phosphate mitigation they would need to deliver.

·         This process has allowed some developers to use existing land, upgrade existing cesspits and other small scale solutions to allow smaller housing developments but not currently strategic scale development.

·         One significant project delivered 110 house in Crewkerne where the applicants were able to fallow a large amount of land to provide an offsetting through not spreading phosphate fertilizer on that land.

·         Working with Royal Haskoning to produce a follow up report that would be an interim measure that would set out where the most effective land management solutions would come from in terms of wetlands etc.

·         The aspiration was to produce a supplementary planning document that set out how phosphate mitigation could be delivered so that applicants would not have to produce individual mitigation solutions.

·         Land based mitigation would require either Local Government or 3rd party bodies to identify and deliver land management based solutions.

·         The level of mitigation required is dependent on the efficiency of local sewage treatment works. This creates an inequality in terms of planning.

·         Habitat Regulation Assessments require Natural England’s sign off.

·         The five Somerset councils wrote to Defra and what was the ministry for housing, communities and local government last year requesting they consider funding infrastructure improvements.

·         Additionally, the council’s requested that central government should apply pressure to Ofwat (Water Services Regulation Authority), who sign off on the improvement plans of Wessex Water and others to improve their programmes for phosphate stripping where this is not currently programmed.

·         The solutions that have been put into place so far generally comprise interim measures. 

·         There was currently a lack of coordination and focus in terms of the national bodies involved in the process.  The solutions need a coordinated approach at government, non-governmental organisation level, and those associations that represent the various interests involved.

·         The Council is working with housing associations to see if they can free up development opportunities by retro fitting current housing stock. This again was only a short term solution.

·         From an operational perspective, the phosphates mitigation work has doubled the workload for each impacted application.

·         More guidance in relation to land management solutions will be online, likely in March

·         Land management solutions are unlikely to be the long term primary solution given the likely land take involved. There needs to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.


Area East Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 285 KB




The forward plan was noted with the addition of;


·         Revenue and fundraising update for the CAT bus

·         Update on Area East funding available – March 2022.


Planning Appeals (For Information) pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:


Members noted the report that detailed the planning appeals which had been received, dismissed or allowed.


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


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


Planning Application 20/03423/FUL - Land East Of Coombe Cross , Stowell Lane, Horsington, Templecombe, BA8 0DD pdf icon PDF 494 KB


Proposal: The erection of 2 No. self-build passiv-houses with associated access and landscaping.


The Planning Specialist (Development Management) presented the application as detailed in the agenda report, and with the help of a PowerPoint presentation proceeded to show the site and proposed plans.


He highlighted his key considerations to members and concluded that the proposal was considered to be acceptable with no significant and demonstrable adverse impact on the character of the area, visual amenity, residential, flood risk biodiversity or the Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar Sites.


The Agent addressed members and made a number of points, including;


·         The applicant had worked hard to address the initial concerns that the officer had with the visual impact of the proposal, and the size and scale had been reduced as well as the reduction of the residential curtilage.

·         In the absence of a 5-year-land-supply there was a need to supply housing in suitable locations in the district.

·         The need for more 3 bedroom properties as commented by the local parish council had been noted by the applicant.

·         Both properties would be occupied by local families who have been residents of South Somerset and want to stay in the district.

·         The properties will be built to passiv-house standards and will have the highest levels of insulation and ground source heat pumps.

·         The location was considered sustainable for small scale development.


Ward Member Councillor Hayward Burt noted the effort made by the applicant in addressing the issues with the initial application. He had asked the application to be heard at Area East Committee to enable objections from the Parish Council and others to be heard.


In response to a member’s question, the Planning Specialist confirmed the land was currently classed as agricultural land in planning terms.


There was a short discussion between members and a general consensus that the amended plans were much improved and the reduced size and scale was more acceptable. Councillors were supportive of the passiv-house build standards and discussed sustainable construction techniques, and expressed the view that there should be mechanisms in place to ensure that this was followed through. There were some concerns with the lack of footpaths and that the bus stop location was on a main road with no footpath.


There were no further comments and it was proposed and seconded to approve the application with an additional condition relating to sustainable construction techniques to ensure the proposal was built to passiv- house standards. On being put to the vote the proposal was approved with eight votes in favour, and one abstention.


RESOLVED:   That members recommend to the Chief Executive that planning application 20/03423/FUL be APPROVED subject to the conditions as detailed in the officer report, including an additional condition relating to sustainable construction techniques to ensure the proposal is built to passiv-house standards, and subject to the prior satisfactory completion of a planning obligation by way of unilateral undertaking made pursuant to Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requiring that the development  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.