Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee
Thursday, 17th May, 2018 6.00 pm

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    Contact: Kate Batty-Smith  Democratic Services Officer

    No. Item



    To receive any apologies for absence.


    It was noted that an apology for absence had been received from Councillor D P Murphy.



    Appointment of Substitute Members

    To note appointments of Substitute Members.


    It was noted that Councillor J S Back had been appointed as a substitute member for Councillor D P Murphy.



    Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 37 KB

    To receive any declarations of interest from Members in respect of business to be transacted on the agenda.


    There were no declarations of interest.



    Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

    To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 19 April 2018 (to follow).


    The minutes of the meeting held on 19 April 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman. 



    Items Deferred pdf icon PDF 47 KB

    To consider the attached report of the Head of Regeneration and Development.


    The Chairman noted that there was one deferred item listed which remained outstanding.




    Application No DOV/18/00317 - Land rear of Wincolmlee, 46 Salisbury Road, St Margaret's Bay pdf icon PDF 37 KB

    Outline application for the erection of a detached dwelling


    To consider the attached report of the Head of Regeneration and Development.

    Additional documents:


    The Committee was shown a plan and photographs of the application site which was situated at the bottom of the rear garden of a property known as Wincolmlee.   The application sought outline planning permission for a detached dwelling, with all matters reserved.   The site fronted onto Victoria Avenue which was not a maintained public highway and in poor condition.   There had been no change in circumstances since outline planning permission was granted in 2015 for the same proposal and plot.  The proposal was firmly in line with the Council’s Local Plan policies.  Two further representations had been received since the report was written.  The first raised no new matters which had not already been covered in the report.   The second was from the parish council which, whilst it raised no objections, did not want this to be taken as approval.  The Committee was advised that condition xi) was a condition imposed by the previous Planning Committee.  However, it was no longer considered to meet the tests for conditions and its removal was therefore recommended.  However, a suitably worded informative could be added to seek the applicant’s best endeavours to undertake works of repair to the road during construction. 


    Councillor B W Butcher referred to the planning history of the site, stating that concerns raised previously could be overcome by the imposition of conditions.  Whilst he recognised that the access was narrow, the fact remained that it was used by other drivers and they and the new occupant would be jointly responsible for its upkeep.  Councillor J S Back referred to an in-fill development at no. 52.  The proposal complied with Core Strategy Policy DM1 and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  He was confident that Officers would ensure that the final design of the property was in keeping with the character and appearance of the area, and was of the view that there were no planning grounds on which to refuse the application.   


    Councillor B Gardner expressed frustration that planning permission for a dwelling on the site had been kicking around for nearly 20 years but had yet to be implemented.   The failure by the applicant to build on the site had contributed to the Council not being able to meet its 5-year housing land supply.  


    The Chairman expressed sympathy with Councillor Gardner’s viewpoint but stated that it was not a defensible ground for refusal.    In response to concerns raised by Councillor M J Ovenden regarding the potential loss of trees and hedges, he reminded Members that it was an outline application only with the details to be agreed at the reserved matters stage.  Whilst the application was in line with policies, the dwelling would need to be sensitively designed in order to overcome issues such as overlooking and loss of privacy.   Councillor P M Wallace stated that there was considerable weight behind the application given that it was policy-compliant and had been approved at appeal by a Planning Inspector.   However, the devil was in the detail and, for this reason, he sought reassurance that reserved matters would come back to the Committee for determination. 


    Following concerns raised by Members regarding delays in implementation, the Planning Consultant confirmed that it would be possible to impose a condition that required reserved matters to be submitted within one year of the decision, with commencement of the development to take place within two years of approval of the reserved matters.  As well as two informatives regarding design and the road, it was suggested that condition v) should be amended to refer to the retention of existing planting along the boundary with Quiet Shades, with details of replacement planting to be submitted.


    RESOLVED:   (a) That Application No DOV/18/00317 be APPROVED subject to the following conditions:


    ii) Reserved matters to be submitted within 1 year of the date of this permission;


    (ii) The development hereby permitted shall be begun not later than 3 years from the date of this permission; 


                                        (iii) Built in accordance with the approved drawings;


                                        (iv) Soft/hard landscaping works to be submitted;


    (v) Retention of existing planting along the boundary with Quiet Shades and details of replacement planting to be submitted;


                                        (vi) Details of boundary treatment to be submitted;


                            (b) That powers be delegated to the Head of Regeneration and Development to settle any necessary planning conditions in line with the issues set out in the recommendation and as resolved by the Planning Committee.


                            (c) That all reserved matters be brought back to the Planning Committee for determination. 


                            Informative: The Planning Committee requests that the applicant uses his best endeavours to undertake works of repair to Victoria Avenue during construction.


                            Informative:  The Planning Committee advises the applicant that, due to the sensitivity of the site in relation to surrounding buildings and the conservation area, the design, layout, scale and use of materials for the new dwelling will need to be sensitive and carefully considered in order to ensure that the prevailing character and appearance of the area is preserved.       



    Application No DOV/17/00996 - Upton Fields, Rear of Millfields, Coldred Road, Shepherdswell pdf icon PDF 66 KB

    Change of use of land to a stud farm and for the keeping of horses and the erection of 3 no. blocks, containing 9 no. stables, boundary fencing and gates and sub-division of land into 10 no. fenced and gated paddocks (part retrospective)


    To consider the attached report of the Head of Regeneration and Development.

    Additional documents:


    Members viewed plans and photographs of the application site.  The Principal Planner advised that the application sought planning permission for the change of use of the land for the keeping of horses and as a stud farm on a site which occupied a relatively discreet location.   There would be nine stables grouped together in three blocks.  The application was part retrospective as some blocks had already been erected.  However, building works had stopped as soon as the applicant became aware that planning permission was required.  Kent County Council’s (KCC) Public Rights of Way (PROW) team had raised no objections, providing there was no obstruction to PROW ER77 which ran along the western edge of the site.   Since the report was written, an additional representation had been received which raised no objections in principle but sought reassurance that the change of use would not generate mud on the road.  On the latter point, KCC Highways had been consulted and a condition would be imposed relating to the surfacing of the access track for the first five metres.


    In response to Councillor Back, the Chairman clarified that once permission for a change of use had been granted, the land would no longer be considered as agricultural land.  Any subsequent application to erect a dwelling on the site would therefore have to be submitted through the normal planning permission route.  The Principal Planner also clarified that the applicant lived sufficiently close that there were no concerns in relation to the safety and welfare of horses and foals. 


    Following concerns raised about arrangements for the disposal of manure, the Principal Planner confirmed that conditions could be added to prohibit bonfires on the site and to ensure that the manure trailer was stored well away from houses.   The condition could be suitably worded to ensure that any variation in arrangements would need written approval.   An informative would also need to be added in relation to the PROW.


    RESOLVED:   (a)  That Application No DOV/17/00996 be APPROVED subject to the 

                                  following conditions:


                                        (i) Approved plans;


    (ii) Materials as approved;


    (iii) Boundary treatment (including removal of close-boarded fence);


                                        (iv) No external lighting; details to be submitted;


                                        (v) Stud farm – no livery, riding stables or gymkhanas;


                                        (vi) Limit to 12 horses;


    (vii) No paraphernalia/storage outside buildings; details of storage to be submitted;


                                        (viii) 5-metre access track surfacing; details to be submitted;


                                        (ix) Drainage details;


                                        (x) Hard and soft landscaping; maintenance period;


    (xi) Provision for manure storage and disposal, details to be submitted; no manure to be burned on site and storage in the approved location; any variation to be submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority;


    (xii) If use ceases, all structures to be removed from land and site restored to its former condition.


    (b) That powers be delegated to the Head of Regeneration and Development to settle any necessary planning conditions and matters in line with the issues set out in the recommendation and as resolved by the Planning Committee.


    Informative: Public Right of Way – advise no works or stopping up without the express consent of Kent County Council PROW Unit



    Application No DOV/17/00879 - Access and 105 Lewisham Road, River pdf icon PDF 47 KB

    Erection of a detached dwelling, formation parking area, demolition of existing garage, demolition of existing conservatory and extension of existing driveway (Amended description, amended drawings, re-advertisement).


    To consider the attached report of the Head of Regeneration and Development.

    Additional documents:


    The Committee was shown plans and photographs of the application site.  The Planning Officer advised that the application sought planning permission for the erection of a single storey dwelling in the rear garden of 105 Lewisham Road and the demolition of the existing garage.  The proposed dwelling would be accessed via a track leading off Cowper Road.  Permission was also sought to demolish the existing conservatory on the side of 105 Lewisham Road and the extension of its front driveway to increase the off-street parking provision for no. 105.  Since the report was written, four additional representations had been received, including one from River Parish Council noting the administrative changes.  One representation had been circulated to Members. None of these representations raised any new matters.  If approved, it was recommended that condition (vii) should be amended to refer to refuse collection.


    In respect of the access track, it was confirmed that there was good visibility on the track which was already being used by five or six other dwellings.  Due to the length of the track, a sprinkler system would be installed to address fire safety concerns.  The proposal was acceptable in policy terms and also in respect of its design and impact on residential amenity and highways.   


    Some representations had referred to pre-application advice.  It was clarified that, whilst the initial advice from Officers had been negative, this had related to a different scheme which had proposed that the access would be via Lewisham Road.   The advice given by Officers had gone on to state that a scheme with rear access, like the one proposed, might be appropriate.        


    Councillor P M Beresford raised concerns about the ownership of the access track and visibility from the track onto Cowper Road.  She was also concerned about the adequacy of fire safety measures and suggested that a site visit should be held.  Councillor Gardner supported the proposal for a site visit, expressing concerns about the width of the track for construction traffic.   The Planning Officer confirmed that the access track was owned by one or two property owners who had afforded rights of way over the track to nos 88 to 105 for parking/garage use.  Informal discussions had been held with KCC Highways which had raised no concerns regarding visibility.  She clarified that fire safety was a matter for Building Control and could not be controlled by planning conditions.   In response to concerns raised about refuse collection, she confirmed that the track was 110 metres in length.  Whilst guidance on refuse collection suggested that 25 metres was the acceptable maximum carrying distance for bins, this was only guidance and not a requirement.  


    Councillor Bond expressed surprise that access via Lewisham Road had not been viewed more favourably by Officers.   Councillor Wallace raised concerns about the impact of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area, and the potential for similar applications to come forward if permission were granted.  He also attached considerable weight to the fact that the parish council was opposed to the proposal and that the ward Member had suggested a site visit.   Councillor Butcher spoke in favour of the proposal, stating that the access track was wider than suggested and that it was unlikely that the bungalow would cause problems with overlooking when it was surrounded by two-storey properties.  In his view, the benefits of the proposal outweighed any harm that might be caused.     


    The Planning Solicitor advised that precedence could be considered as a material planning consideration, and some weight could therefore be attributed to it in the decision-making process, particularly where an application was contrary to policy. 


    The Chairman clarified that the advice given at the pre-application stage had been based on that proposal’s proximity to no. 103.  He was also aware of discussions which would allow the applicant to have his refuse bins collected from Lewisham Road, subject to a covenant being agreed.  In respect of the latter, the Planning Officer confirmed that if such an arrangement was agreed, further details would be required to establish the width of the space at the side of the house.      


    RESOLVED:   That, notwithstanding the Officer’s recommendation, Application No DOV/17/00879 be DEFERRED for a site visit to be held on Tuesday 19 June to enable Members to assess: (i) access arrangements; (ii) visibility for vehicles exiting onto Cowper Road; and (iii) Refuse arrangements (including whether bins left on Cowper Road will impede pedestrians/vehicles), and  Councillors S F Bannister, P M Beresford, B Gardner, F J W Scales and P M Wallace (reserve: Councillor D P Murphy) be appointed to visit the site.



    Appeals and Informal Hearings

    To receive information relating to Appeals and Informal Hearings, and appoint Members as appropriate.


    The Committee noted that there was no information to receive regarding appeals and informal hearings.



    Action taken in accordance with the Ordinary Decisions (Council Business) Urgency Procedure

    To raise any matters of concern in relation to decisions taken under the above procedure and reported on the Official Members' Weekly News.


    The Committee noted that no action had been taken since the last meeting.


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