Agenda item

Planning Application 18/02588/FUL - Land At Jarman Way, Chard, Somerset


Application Proposal: The erection of 23 No. dwellings, means of access and associated works


The Specialist – Development Management presented the application and outlined the key considerations.  He advised that 35% of the dwellings would be secured for affordable housing through a Section 106 agreement and that the site formed part of a previously approved scheme for 41 dwellings and a care home.


The Specialist – Development Management provided the following updates to the report:


·         The application was 2-starred under the Scheme of Delegation.  If the committee were minded to refuse the application, the final determination would be made by the Regulation Committee.

·         A consultee response had been received from Somerset Waste Partnership raising no objections.

·         The applicant had carried out a parking survey which identified an average space utilisation of 48.5% on street.  The Highway Authority were of the view that the impact of a shortfall in parking provision would not be severe.

·         An additional letter had been received from a neighbouring property raising concerns over the car parking situation on the site.

·         A Construction Traffic Management Plan had been submitted by the applicant and was considered acceptable by the Highway Authority requiring an amendment to Condition 12.

·         The applicant had submitted an interim slow-worm mitigation strategy requiring an amendment to Condition 15.

·         An amendment to Condition 5 was required in order to allow the applicant to commence works to the entrance of the site.

·         The applicant had submitted further information in relation to the marketing of the care home, details of land registry and sales information of two similar sites.

·         An assessment report had been received from the District Valuer confirming that the scheme was only viable for affordable housing and not with the sport and leisure contributions.


The Specialist – Development Management amended his recommendation to remove contributions to sports and leisure facilities based on the report from the District Valuer.


In response to questions, the Development Management Officers confirmed the following:


·         The 48 houses on the site have been built but the applicant has decided that they now wish to change the application and no longer wish to build a care home.

·         A completion notice had not been issued on the original application.

·         The site had never been allocated for employment use.

·         The proposal was a brand new application.

·         The Affordable Housing element had been met on the previous application.

·         The total combined shortfall of parking spaces across both sites would be 26 for residential provision and 35 if the parking strategy standards for visitor parking are included.

·         There was a need for care homes and affordable housing across the district but there was no evidence relating specifically to Chard.

·         A direct marketing exercise had been undertaken with individual providers.


The Committee was addressed by the Applicant and the Agent.  Some of their comments included:


·         23 much needed affordable homes would be delivered, 7 of which would be available to buy as shared ownership.

·         There was no demand for a care home in Chard on this site.

·         No care home providers have come forward.

·         The site would be worth twice as much if a care home were to be built.

·         The Council could not demonstrate a 5 year land supply.

·         No policy in the Local Plan to prevent loss of this land.

·         There were no statutory consultee objections.

·         Parking was acceptable on the site.

·         The site would remain derelict.


Ward Member, Councillor Jenny Kenton commented that the original application was only approved because of the care home on the site.  She highlighted that it was known that there was a need for a care home in Chard and many people drove a long way to visit their relatives. 


During the debate various views were expressed by members.  Some of the views expressed included the following:


·         The conversion across the road did not require planning permission and therefore could not be stopped.

·         When the original application was approved, members genuinely believed that a care home would be built.

·         The value of the site for a residential care home was much higher than for residential purposes.

·         The commercial providers were not prepared to build a care home on that location in Chard regardless of whether it is needed.

·         There was a great need for affordable housing in the area.

·         There was a local need for a residential care in Chard.  There was a waiting list for residential care locally and the nearest availability was in Yeovil.

·         Design and appearance of the proposed dwellings including type of materials and colours was important. Somerset cottage style houses would be preferred.

·         Don’t feel the site has been marketed enough recently for a nursing home.


At the conclusion of the debate, it was proposed and seconded to recommend refusal of the application on the following grounds:


·         No recent marketing

·         Contrary to Policy HG6 – Care Homes and Specialist Accommodation


A vote was taken on the proposal and there were 5 votes in favour and 5 votes against.  The Chairman used his casting vote to support refusal of the application.



That Planning Application No. 18/02588/FUL be REFERRED to the Regulation Committee with a recommendation from Area West Committee that the application be refused for the following reason:


Inadequate recent marketing of the site as a development opportunity for a care home and specialist accommodation – since the site has an extant permission for such a use for which there is a local need - contrary to policy HG6 of SSDC Local Plan


(Voting: 6 in favour, 5 against, 1 abstention)


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