Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Sedgemoor Room, Bridgwater House, King Square, Bridgwater, TA6 3AR. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services Email: democraticservicesnorth@somerset.gov.uk 

Media

Items
No. Item

74.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutions.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Brian Bolt and Gill Slocombe, Councillor Lance Duddridge attended as substitute for Councillor Slocombe.

75.

Minutes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To approve the minutes from the previous meeting.

Minutes:

Resolved that the minutes of the Planning Committee - North held on 16 January 2024 be confirmed as a correct record. Councillor Filmer requested that Proposers and Seconders of applications be recorded and the Chair of the committee agreed that this would be actioned for future minutes.

76.

Declarations of Interest

To receive and note any declarations of interests in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting.

(The other registrable interests of Councillors of Somerset Council, arising from membership of City, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes: City, Town & Parish Twin Hatters - Somerset Councillors 2023 )

Minutes:

Councillor Matt Martin declared a pre-determination in Application 50/20/00054 as he had made comment on the proposal previously.

 

Councillors Bob Filmer, Alistair Hendry, Alan Bradford, Lance Duddridge and Hilary Bruce all declared an Other Registrable Interest as they were members of an Internal Drainage Board but took no part in discussions on these applications.

 

77.

Public Question Time

The Chair to advise the Committee of any items on which members of the public have requested to speak and advise those members of the public present of the details of the Council’s public participation scheme.

 

For those members of the public who have submitted any questions or statements, please note, a three minute time limit applies to each speaker.

 

Requests to speak at the meeting at Public Question Time must be made to the Monitoring Officer in writing or by email to democraticservicesteam@somerset.gov.uk  by 5pm on Wednesday 7 February 2024.

Minutes:

Details of public speaking are captured under the minutes of the appropriate application.

78.

Major Planning Application 36.22.00024 Inwood Farm, Cannington Road, Nether Stowey, Bridgwater, TA5 1HY pdf icon PDF 169 KB

To consider an application for the change of use of agricultural field for the provision of caravan pitches and continuation of existing caravan site for use by HPC workers until 31st December 2025.

Erection of welfare building and bus shelter.

Development of a footpath from site to Nether Stowey village.

Decision:

Resolved:

 

To defer the application for further information and to allow a period of re-consultation for any material changes made to the application.

Minutes:

The planning officer requested that the committee defer this application as it had come to light that the description of the application was incorrect and that this had resulted in a material change therefore the application would need a re-consultation.

 

The Chair Councillor Pearce proposed the deferment and this was seconded by Councillor Martin.

 

 

Resolved:

 

To defer the application for further information and to allow a period of re-consultation for any material changes made to the application.

 

(Unanimous)

79.

Major Planning application 50.20.00054 Land At, Combe Batch, Wedmore, Somerset, BS28 pdf icon PDF 400 KB

To consider a hybrid (full and outline) application. Full application for the erection of 26 No. dwellings and formation of access, associated open space, landscaping and parking. Outline application with some matters reserved for 4 No. self build plots.

 

Decision:

Resolved:

 

That application 50/20/00054 be refused permission for the following reasons:

It was considered that the proposal would have an adverse impact on the street scene and the setting of the area, given that the transitional nature of the site.

It was also considered that there would be an adverse impact on the character of Wedmore.

There was further concerns expressed due to the raised nature of the land impacting on the impact of the area.

 

It was considered that the application was contrary to Policies D2 and D26.

 

Refusal reasons to include the impact on policies to the Wedmore Neighbourhood Plan to be delegated to the Service Director and in conjunction with the Chair of the committee and the proposer of the resolution.

Minutes:

Councillor Matt Martin left the room before consideration of this application as he had declared himself to be pre-determined.

 

The planning officer introduced the application to the committee with the assistance of a power point presentation. She confirmed that members of the committee had undertaken a site visit the previous week due to the lag in time for the application to be considered. The proposal was a hybrid application with the full application for the erection of 26 dwellings with the formation of access, open space, landscaping and parking and an outline application for 4 self build plots. The application had been deferred from the committee in July 2023 to consider various issues and the agent provided additional information relating to materials to be used, planting plan, pedestrian links from the site to the surrounding area and changes to the properties at the front of the site with chimneys added, therefore the application was re-advertised in August 2023.

 

The committee were addressed by 5 residents in opposition to the application and their comments included:

 

·       Land needed to be protected for wildlife and open land, and compliance with Biodiversity Net Gain

·       No community or Parish Council support

·       Combe Batch is not suitable for pedestrians and access has poor visibility and on the brow of a hill

·       Flood and drainage issues

·       This site was not put forward in the Neighbourhood Plan for development as other sites more suitable

·       No further need for Affordable Housing in Wedmore

·       Wedmore is not a sustainable place to live

·       Prominent site into the village and would have an adverse impact on the village and surrounding area, land undulates

·       Design did not meet the local character

·       No safe access to the village or pavements in the area

·       Damage to an ancient hedge and ecology will be affected

A letter was read out from an ex-Sedgemoor District Councillor and a representative from the Parish Council also spoke who reiterated the above points especially not meeting the local infrastructure policies.

 

The committee then heard from the planning agent for the application who stated that the proposal would be a betterment to Wedmore, Housing Needs Assessment proves affordable housing needed and for smaller houses. A new pavement will be provided and it was considered that there would be low visual impact on the surrounding area and that the listed buildings would not be impacted. The properties would be sustainable and the 4 self-build properties element reflected the local self-build list. There were appropriate conditions proposed.

 

Officers responded to matters arising from comments made and clarified the following:

Ø  That the Biodiversity Net Gain legislation only came into force on Monday 12 February 2024 and will apply to major applications received after this date.

Ø  The application complies with the Housing Needs Assessment which was compiled independently from the Council although the Affordable Housing Manager agreed the findings; however Members were reminded that the assessment was always a snapshot in time

Ø  Drainage and flood risk were conditioned and agreed by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

Planning Application 45.20.00019 Habitats Regulation Assessment pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To consider a Habitats Regulation Assessment for Planning Application 45.20.00019

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

That the Habitats Regulation Assessment Report dated September 2023 and associated provision be endorsed by the Development Committee, as the competent authority. In reaching the decision to agree the Habitats Regulation Assessment, the Council considers that the proposed development, if approved, would not have an adverse impact on the integrity of a European site.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Lance Duddridge left the meeting and Councillor Martin returned to the meeting both before the consideration of the following applications.

 

The planning officer introduced the Habitats Regulations Assessment that the committee needed to endorse on the basis that the proposed development would not have an adverse impact on the integrity of a European site.

 

The committee were advised that there had been some concerns about bats and Ecology, however a number of conditions were proposed including the protection of bat routes from excess lighting and hedges to remain in place.

 

The recommendation was proposed by Councillor Pearce and seconded by Councillor Bradford and the vote was unanimously in favour.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Habitats Regulation Assessment Report dated September 2023 and associated provision be endorsed by the Development Committee, as the competent authority. In reaching the decision to agree the Habitats Regulation Assessment, the Council considers that the proposed development, if approved, would not have an adverse impact on the integrity of a European site.

 

81.

Planning Application 45.20.00019 Higher Halsey Cross Farm, Radlet Road, Spaxton, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5 1JA pdf icon PDF 184 KB

To consider a planning application for the erection of an agricultural worker's dwelling and formation of access.

 

Decision:

Resolved:

 

That Planning Application 45/20/00019 be approved as the committee considered that the proposal would not result in an adverse visual impact and would be in character in the local landscape and would not be contrary to Policies D2 and D19 of the Sedgemoor Local Plan.  Conditions to be delegated to the Service Director to be agreed in conjunction with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the committee; these conditions to include plans, agricultural occupancy, time, ecology, hedgerow protection, visibility splay, materials, control on additional trees, lighting, landscaping and footpath diversion.

Minutes:

The planning officer introduced the application to the committee with the assistance of a power point presentation, He provided confirmation that the footpath would be diverted around the site, a new access would be created to the dwelling and that the hedge would be retained. The officer considered that the design of the dwelling was suitable, although there would be a visual impact as a result of the siting on the opposite side of the highway to the main holding.

 

The committee were addressed by a supporter of the applicant who stated that they considered that the proposed dwelling was required to be close to the animals as the applicants had a duty of care to them but a buffer zone was required for Health and Safety and biosecurity.

 

The Division Member Councillor Caswell was also in support of the application as it was considered that there would be no adverse impact on the area, highways and the dwelling was needed for the family.

 

The agent addressed the committee explaining that the size of the dwelling had been reduced and there would be no adverse visual impact on the landscape and that there was an essential need for the dwelling.

 

During discussion, Members made the following points:

That they considered there was a functional need for the new dwelling

That there would not be any adverse impact on the highways

The design of the property reflected the rural nature of the area

Suggest that additional landscaping especially trees could be conditioned

That the footpath diversion should be conditioned

 

It was therefore proposed by Councillor Hendry that the application be approved subject to conditions to be agreed but to include conditions relating to the plans, agricultural occupancy, time, ecology, hedgerow protection, visibility splay, materials, control on additional trees, lighting, landscaping and footpath diversion. This was seconded by Councillor Bradford.

On being put to the vote, the vote was unanimously supported.

 

Resolved:

 

That Planning Application 45/20/00019 be approved as the committee considered that the proposal would not result in an adverse visual impact and would be in character in the local landscape and would not be contrary to Policies D2 and D19 of the Sedgemoor Local Plan.  Conditions to be delegated to the Service Director to be agreed in conjunction with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the committee; these conditions to include plans, agricultural occupancy, time, ecology, hedgerow protection, visibility splay, materials, control on additional trees, lighting, landscaping and footpath diversion.

82.

Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 47 KB

To consider a report for Planning Appeals Received for January 2024.

Decision:

To note the report on Planning Appeals Received in January 2024.

Minutes:

To note the report on the Planning Appeals Received in January 2024.