Decision details

Planning Application 2020/0960/FUL - The Queens Arms, Wraxall

Decision Maker: Planning Committee - East

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


2020/0960/FUL - The Queens Arms, Wraxall


Full application for the demolition of existing buildings and erection of 7no. dwelling houses with associated vehicular access and parking (revised scheme).


The Officer’s Report stated that this application had been referred to the Planning Board as it was a departure from the Local Plan. The Recommendation was for approval.


Ditcheat Parish Council had recommended approval as the scheme would be an improvement to the local character but access onto the A37 should be improved.


Other consultees such as the Highways, Drainage and Environmental Protection Officer’s had no objections, subject to various conditions. There had been 1 letter of objection, 1 of support and 2 neutral from local residents. Objections included that it would be wrong to demolish historic buildings, it represented overdevelopment and there were poor local facilities and infrastructure.  Letters in support said that it would provide an improvement to the current street scene.


The Officer Report continued that as the Council could not demonstrate a 5-year housing land supply, the tilted balance as set out in Para 11(d) of the NPPF was engaged. The tilted balance said that permission should be granted unless any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies in the Framework taken as a whole. The delivery of 7 new homes was a recognised benefit and given significant weight. Economic benefits would also be delivered both through the construction period and through the lifetime of the development. There would also be some environmental benefits through the biodiversity net gain.


In conclusion, the Officer’s Report said that given the history of the site, the principle of development was considered acceptable in this case as the harms did not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits to the scheme.


Also, following the submission of further information on the proposed package treatment works, the application was concluded to be nutrient neutral, which was accepted by SC Ecology and Natural England. Subject to the inclusion of conditions as recommended, the application was considered to be acceptable in all other regards including ecology and impact on bats, highway safety, drainage, design and layout, amenity, archaeology and contaminated land and was therefore recommended for approval subject to conditions.


The Planning Officer explained the application to the Committee with the assistance of a PowerPoint presentation.


The Committee was then addressed by the agent speaking on behalf of the applicant. His comments included:


        The principle of development for new residential dwellings had previously been accepted by the Council.

        The submitted Habitats Regulation Assessment had been accepted by the Council’s Ecologist and Natural England.

        The Planning Case Officer had accepted the proposed layout, design and density of the development.

        The Planning Case Officer had confirmed that the proposal would not have any harmful impact on the character and appearance of the area or the amenity of future occupants and nearby properties.


In the discussion which followed, Members made comments regarding the materials from the demolished buildings. They were keen to ensure that the materials would not be wasted and should be re-used. The Planning Officer confirmed that a Waste Management Plan could be included in the conditions. A soft landscaping condition was also requested to be included in the conditions.


Another Member was concerned about the size of the gardens and commented that they were not large enough to enable occupants to grow their own food or for children to play. The Planning Officer responded that there was no policy on garden size and it was down to the discretion of the Local Planning Authority.


Other points made by Members included:


        Not keen on tandem parking. The Planning Officer advised there was nothing in the planning guidance to restrict its use in planning applications and in this case was considered acceptable.

        Could permitted development rights be removed to ensure the small gardens were retained and not built over. The Planning Officer advised that there were options to remove permitted development rights but they would have to meet the relevant tests and there would need to be a robust justification to do this.

        Could cycle route signage be included including warning signs for cycle crossing points. The Planning Officer advised that for a development of 7 dwellings it would not pass the test to include these.

        Could we ensure that the hardstanding materials used were permeable? The Planning Officer advised that there was a surface water drainage condition and a hard landscaping condition which could include consideration of a permeable surface treatment.


At the conclusion of the debate, it was proposed by Councillor Edric Hobbs and seconded by Councillor Tony Robbins that the application be approved in accordance with the Officer’s Recommendation outlined in the Report, with the addition of planning conditions regarding soft landscaping and a site waste management plan. On being put to the vote the proposal was carried by 9 votes in favour, 1 vote against and 2 abstentions.




That planning application 2020/0960/FUL be approved in accordance with the Officer’s Recommendation subject to the addition of planning conditions regarding soft landscaping and the site-waste management plan.


That delegated authority be granted to Officers to agree the wording of the additional conditions regarding soft landscaping and the site-waste management plan.


Publication date: 02/05/2023

Date of decision: 02/05/2023

Decided at meeting: 02/05/2023 - Planning Committee - East

Accompanying Documents: