Planning Application 21/02927/HOU - Chapel Cottage , Lower Street, Merriott, TA16 5NL
- Meeting of Area West (Informal), Wednesday 16th February 2022 5.30 pm (Item 87.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 87.
Application Proposal: Formation of an internal window opening and the installation of 10No. solar panels on 2No. garages
(Having declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in the application, Councillor Paul Maxwell left the meeting during consideration of the item).
The Case Officer presented the application as outlined in the agenda report together with Planning Application 21/02928/LBC. He explained that the proposed formation of an internal window would be located within an existing partition wall within the interior of the Grade II listed building. The installation of 10 solar panels was proposed on an external garage attached to the south side of the building. The dwelling was located within the Merriott Conservation Area and was located close to another Grade II listed building.
The Case Officer proceeded to show members the south and west elevations of the property and overview of the roof layout plan with and without the solar panels in place. There would be a total of four panels on the lower garage and a total of six on the higher garage. The parapet wall on the far west face of the garage would conceal the solar panels due to the thin profile of the unit and the low pitch of the panels. The Case Officer referred to the proposed minor internal works and advised that a small window would be formed within a brickwork partition that separated the dining room with the chapel. The new window would resemble the original architectural features of the listed building.
The Case Officer advised that as the partition which formed the divide between the chapel and the dining room was not part of the original listed building and was a blocked up brick work partition the formation of a small opening within the area was not considered to be harmful to the significance of the listed building and therefore deemed acceptable. With regard to the installation of the solar panels, the Conservation Specialist had concluded that the impact on the setting of the listed building and conservation area was deemed to be acceptable however it was established that there would be low level less than substantial harm to the setting but given that the panels would be installed about the roof of non-historic addition to the property it was deemed that the level of harm would be at the lowest end of the scale. As a level of harm had been identified, the development required a public benefit in order to be considered acceptable and in this case it was considered that because the development would contribute to tackling climate change this would provide an environmental public benefit and would on balance off set the low level of substantial harm identified. The applications for household and listed building consent were both recommended for approval.
There were no questions from members.
The Committee was addressed by the Applicant’s Agent. She advised that the formation of the proposed window opening was to provide visual connection between the chapel and the dining room, the chapel currently being a dark and gloomy room which was underused because of the lack of natural light. The reason for installing solar panels was so that the applicant could generate renewable electricity to charge two cars. The solar panels were the most slender that could be sourced and efficient in terms of productivity.
There being no debate, it was proposed and seconded to approve the application as per the officer recommendation as outlined in the agenda report. On being put to the vote, the proposal was unanimously carried.
That Members of the Area West (Informal) Committee recommend to the Chief Executive that Planning Application 21/02927/HOU be APPROVED as per the officer recommendation outlined in the report for the following reason:
01. The proposal, by reason of its size, siting, materials, design and limited interference with the historic fabric, causes no demonstrable harm to visual and residential amenity, biodiversity or highway safety and shall provide opportunities for micro-generation, the installation of the solar panels shall cause low-level less than substantial harm to the setting of the Grade II Listed Building though the public benefit achieved from the renewable energy infrastructure is sufficient to offset this level of harm, in accordance with Policies SD1, EQ1, EQ2, EQ3, EQ4, TA5 & TA6 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-28) and the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.
SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING:
01. The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.
Reason: To accord with the provisions of section 91(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
02. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans and details referenced:
· Location Plan: Drawing No. TQRQM21265101636102/2121
· Proposed Ground Floor Plan: Drawing No. 2121-02
· Sections A-A & B-B As Proposed: Drawing No. 2121-04
· Proposed West & South Elevations/Section Through Roof At Eaves: Drawing No. 2121-05B
· Proposed Roof Plan/Section A-A: Drawing No. 2121-11B
· Proposed Site Plan: Drawing No. 2121-11
· Preliminary Technical Information Sheet - CanadianSolar (HiKu Mono: 400W-425W)
· Mounting System for PV (registered 13th January 2022)
Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.
03. The external surfaces of the development shall be of materials as indicated in the application form and no other materials shall be used without the prior written consent of the local planning authority.
Reason: To ensure the proposed development is completed in accordance with Policy EQ2 of South Somerset Local Plan and the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.
01. The developers and their contractors are reminded of the legal protection afforded to bats and bat roosts under legislation including the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. In the unlikely event that bats are encountered during implementation of this permission it is recommended that works stop, and advice is sought from a suitably qualified, licensed and experienced ecologist at the earliest possible opportunity.
02. The developers are reminded of the legal protection afforded to nesting birds under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). In the unlikely event that nesting birds are encountered during implementation of this permission it is recommended that works stop until the young have fledged or then advice is sought from a suitably qualified and experienced ecologist at the earliest possible opportunity.
(Voting: unanimous in favour)