Agenda item

Planning Application: 16/02289S73 - Donyatt Garage, Donyatt, Ilminster


Application Proposal: Application to vary condition 02 (approved plans) of planning permission 12/02295/FUL to amend site layout


The Area Lead Planner explained that the original plans for the erection of 3 dwellings were approved with a boundary wall and pathway along Boundary Lane with a parking area at the rear.  When development commenced it had become clear that the buildings had not been built strictly in accordance with the approved plans. Each of the buildings had been shuffled along towards Crow Lane and the boundary wall had decreased the width of the road.  Members were informed that part of the boundary wall had now been demolished and the telegraph pole was in the process of being re-sited.  The Area Lead Planner confirmed that she was satisfied with the side window not being obscurely glazed.


The Area Lead Planner updated members with details of further emails received between a local resident, the District Council and the County Highway Authority regarding the location of the highway splay and the safety of the access in terms of visibility.  The County Highway Authority had commented that the removal of the wall was acceptable and was also content with the visibility subject to the removal of the telegraph pole.


The Area Lead Planner recommended approval of the application as outlined in the agenda report subject to an additional condition requested by the County Highway Authority requiring bollards to be placed either side of the air conditioning unit which was located on the side of the dwelling.


The Committee was addressed by the Chair of Donyatt Parish Council.  Concerns raised related to the following:

·         Restricted line of vision for vehicles attempting to leave Crow Lane towards Chard.

·         Telegraph poles adding to poor visibility and risk to drivers.

·         Reduced visibility splay.

·         New rear curved boundary car park wall restricts cars from turning.

·         Width of Crow Lane obstructed by Air Conditioning Unit.

·         The need to establish whether the road has been built upon.


Members noted the comments of two people in objection to the application.  Comments made related to the following:


·         Uncertainty over ownership of strip of land bordering Crow Lane.

·         Reduced width of Crow Lane.

·         Non-compliance in relation to providing appropriate documentation to clarify issues.

·         Concerns over the wall obstructing visibility.

·         The adopted highway being built upon.

·         Highway drain and pipework illegally removed and now part of the foundation of the house.


The Applicant’s Agent advised that the Applicant had purchased the site in good faith with full planning permission in place and the site boundaries clearly shown.  He explained that the Applicant had chosen to build natural stone walls to enhance the local character which meant that the buildings had moved slightly.  He referred to the land issue being an unfortunate occurrence.  He explained that part of the site being owned by Somerset County Council had been missed in the conveyancing of the land.  He emphasised that everything had been done to try and mitigate the situation and all the measures suggested by the Highway Authority had been agreed.


The Service Manager - Highways Development Management explained that with regard to the issue of the width of Crow Lane and the wall, the Highway Authority did not keep records of the width of every carriageway but held an indicative plan.  The road record had a definitive line of the carriageway of the edge of the Garage forecourt and because this was taken into the development there was no point of reference to establish exactly where it was. Following investigations, it was believed that the boundary wall was either on or immediately adjacent to where that was likely to have been but they were not able to be definitive which had been referenced throughout numerous communications.  The removal of the wall meant that there was the same width of the carriageway that would have been there previously even with the air conditioning unit on the side of the property.  She confirmed that there had never been any formal turning provision on the highway.  With regard to the visibility at the front of the development, she confirmed that the visibility provided was in accordance the Manual for Street document. 


The Ward Member referred to there being information that was either inaccurate or no one was able to verify.  She supported the views of the Parish Council due to their local knowledge of the area but also accepted that it would be radical to ask the developer to take the properties down.  She was of the view that a solution needed to be found and that further discussions were required to solve the issues and was therefore unable to recommend approval of the application. 


During the discussion on the application members made a number of comments which included the following:


·         Queried whether the boundary wall could be conditioned or part of it removed to improve the visibility.  In response, the Area Planning Lead clarified that she would need to speak to the applicant as it could involve a lot of work particularly bearing in mind that the visibility splay was as it was approved in 2012.

·         Expressed support for the deferral of the application to allow negotiations to take place.

·         Concern over the air conditioning unit overhanging the public highway.

·         Reduction of the boundary wall would increase visibility.


The Service Manager - Highways Development Management confirmed that the air conditioning unit was more than likely clear of what was the adopted highway and was therefore suggesting a reflector marker post to avoid accidents and these would not sit beyond the width of the air conditioning unit.


It was proposed and seconded to defer the application to allow negotiations to be held between the Applicant, the Area Planning Lead and the County Highway Authority to look at reducing the height of the wall in front of the new development to improve visibility and the re-positioining of the air conditioning unit.  On being put to the vote the proposal was unanimously approved.



That consideration of Planning Application No. 12/02295/FUL be DEFERRED to a future meeting of the Area West Committee to allow negotiations to be held between the Applicant, the Area Planning Lead and the County Highway Authority to look at reducing the height of the wall in front of the new development to improve the visibility splay and the re-positioning of the air conditioning unit.


(Voting: unanimous in favour)

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