Agenda item

Planning Application 19/03241/OUT - Land East of Keepers Lodge, Little Norton, Norton Sub Hamdon.


Proposal: Outline application for the erection of 1 No. dwelling with all matters reserved except access.


The Case Officer presented the application as detailed in the agenda report and highlighted the key considerations.


The Agent then addressed members and some of his comments included:

·         He and the applicant agreed with the recommendation, approach and conditions detailed in the officer report.

·         A similar application had been approved at another location nearby.

·         The proposal did not require any hedges to be removed and simple measures could be taken to protect the Ash tree of local concern.

·         Income from the self-catering holiday business at Little Norton Mill would part fund the proposal.


Ward member, Councillor Mike Hewitson, noted Little Norton was an isolated settlement and as such he was concerned about the impact on the environment and local area. Whilst the aspirations for virtual meetings were acknowledged, he noted some members of the community were unable to access meetings in such a way, as was the case for the immediate neighbours of this application. He shared with members the relevance of the Ash tree of concern and that it had been planted to commemorate the birth of a family member, and he also commented that:

·         he had similar concerns to the Parish Council

·         shared the view of the Tree Officer regarding the potential impact on trees

·         shared the view of some of the objectors that the proposal was against some policies in the NPPF.

·         concerns had been raised locally about highway safety as the junction to the lane was on a sharp bend and farm traffic often used the lane.


During discussion, several members expressed concerns about the proposal including:

·         The site is quite a distance from the local shop, possibly almost 2.5km, and there is little pavement.

·         The site is in the foothills of the Country Park.

·         Feel it is an inappropriate site for such development and not in a sustainable location.

·         There have been prior refusals in nearby vicinity.


The Case Officer and Specialist (Development Management) responded to points of detail, including:

·         Clarity about the planning permission and appeal on the neighbouring site.

·         Distance to the local shop based on SSDC mapping system was approximately 1.2km and confirmed there was little pavement but some street lighting along the route.

·         Advice was to omit reference to case law in any planning reason if minded to refuse the application.


At the end of debate it was proposed to refuse the application, contrary to the officer recommendation, on the grounds of sustainability and policy SS2, environment and being against policies EQ2 and EQ5 and also against policies in the NPPF. The Case Officer then suggested the exact wording for the two reasons for refusal, which was agreed by members.


On being put to the vote, the proposal to refuse the application was carried unanimously.



That members of Area North Committee recommend to the Chief Executive that planning application 19/03241/OUT be REFUSED, contrary to the officer recommendation, for the following reasons:


01.   The proposal would provide a new dwelling in an unsustainable location, isolated from key services, which has not been appropriately justified. By reason of the lack of a safe means of access, by foot or cycle, the application site is poorly related to local services and as such will increase the need for journeys to be made by private vehicles. The proposed development therefore constitutes unsustainable development that is contrary to policies SD1, SS1, SS2 and TA5 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-2028) and to the aims and objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework.


0.2  It has not been demonstrated that the proposal will not result in the loss or harm of trees, resulting from the access off the highway into the site thereby adversely affecting local distinctiveness, contrary to policies EQ2 and EQ5 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-2028) and to the aims and objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework.


(Voting: unanimous in favour)

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