Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil BA20 2HT. View directions

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

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Items
No. Item

68.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutions.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Henry Hobhouse and Jeny Snell.

It was noted that Councillor Kevin Messenger was attending as a substitute for Councillor Henry Hobhouse.

69.

Minutes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To approve the minutes from the previous meetings held on 19 December 2023 and 9 January 2024.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved that the minutes of the Planning Committee - South held on 19th December 2023 be confirmed as a correct record.

Following a short explanation, the Lead Specialist (Built Environment) asked members that the following post meeting note be added to minute 64 Planning Application 16/05500/OUT – Land South West of Canal Way, Ilminster of the minutes of Planning Committee - South held on 9th January 2024.

‘Subsequent to the meeting, the applicants have confirmed in writing their agreement to fund the proportion of the cycle route 33 improvements that the developer and Somerset Council agree to comprise a CIL compliant contribution and for this to be secured by the relevant S.106 Agreement’.

Members agreed to this amendment and the minutes of Planning Committee - South held on 9th January 2024 were then confirmed as a correct record.

 

70.

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:

There were no declarations of interest.

71.

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 24 January 2024.

Minutes:

A member of the public addressed the committee and raised frustration surrounding the lack of information and communication from the Planning service regarding his planning application and the process involved for determination.  He felt there had been a disregard of his requests and an inexcusable length of time taken to respond and sought clarification regarding these issues raised.

 

In response the Chair explained the operation of the Planning service was not a matter for the Planning Committee and noted that the Lead Specialist (Built Environment) acknowledged his concerns and would look to progress this matter.  He also advised that Councillor Ros Wyke was the Lead Member for Economic Development, Planning and Assets should he wish to progress his concerns further.

72.

Planning Application 21/01035/OUT - Land OS 6925, Coat Road, Martock. pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider an outline application for up to 100 dwellings with associated works including access, public open space and landscaping.

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

That planning application 21/01035/OUT for up to 100 dwellings with associated works including access, public open space and landscaping at Land OS 6925, Coat Road, Martock, Somerset be APPROVED, subject to the prior completion of a section 106 planning obligation, the imposition of conditions as per the officer recommendation as detailed in the agenda report and two additional conditions to require that an application is made for a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) and to incorporate the Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) within the construction phase.

 

(voting: 6 in favour, 2 against, 3 abstentions)

 

Minutes:

The Planning Officer presented the application as detailed in the agenda report, and with the aid of a Powerpoint presentation highlighted key elements of the proposal including:

·         Site and location plan.

·         An indicative layout with proposed development to the east of the site, and with open space and planting to the west.

·         The phosphates solution included a package treatment plant and phosphates credits which had been purchased from the scheme agreed by the Council.

·         Discharge of the water course will require separate agreement with the Environment Agency and Internal Drainage Board.

·         Proposed access to site and proposed works to connect off road path into Martock.

·         Martock Neighbourhood Plan acknowledges site acceptable for development.

·         Reference to housing figures in the Local Plan – acknowledgement that Martock already above the number in the Plan, however the figures in the Local Plan were not a maximum.

·         Identified the Stapleton and Coat green gap.

·         The key considerations were the principle of development and highway safety.

·         Highways were content with the proposal subject to Section 106 obligations and conditions.

 

He confirmed the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) had not objected to the proposal and introduced the Officer from the LLFA who provided members with a detailed explanation of the discharge rates and consideration given to this application.  She confirmed the site was outside most of the surface water flooding area and suggested a detailed drainage condition be included to secure these measures are in place.

 

The application was recommended for approval subject to planning obligations and conditions as set out in the agenda report.

 

Five members of the public addressed the committee in objection to the application. Some images had been submitted which were included in the officer presentation, and some of their points raised included:

·         Concern regarding the proposed drainage within the site due to the flow and discharge of surface water from other catchment areas.

·         Recent flooding made Coat Road and other roads within Martock impassable and with no new detailed information being provided to solve the flooding and safe access issues which remain a concern.  The application should be deferred until these matters have been dealt with.

·         The green gap between Coat and Martock is a high landscape sensitivity area which should be protected and that the proposed development will significantly impact this area.

·         Who will be responsible for the tree planting and green gap?

·         Originally identified for 55 houses and not 100 as now proposed.

·         This is a case of cramming houses into a small gap.

·         This will significantly increase the need for travel and congestion to the local surrounding road network.

·         Local facilities such as the local doctor’s surgery and schools cannot cope.

·         This proposal should be considered after the 2028 once the true impact on the other developments are built out.

·         Concern regarding the package treatment proposals and safety concerns around the outflow of sewage with no supporting documentation evident.

 

The Engineering consultant for the applicant, then addressed the committee as a supporter of the application, some of his  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.

73.

Planning Application 23/02111/FUL - Land South of Camp Road, West Coker, Yeovil. pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To consider an application for a solar PV farm and associated infrastructure including battery energy storage and access arrangements and cable run to supply renewable electricity to Leonardo.

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

That planning application 23/02111/FUL for Solar PV Farm and associated infrastructure including battery energy storage and access arrangements and cable run to supply renewable electricity to Leonardo at Land South Of Camp Road, West Coker, Yeovil be APPROVED, subject to the imposition of conditions as per the officer recommendation as detailed in the agenda report and with the revised wording to conditions 12, 16, 17 and 20 to provide clarity.

 

(voting: 10 in favour, 0 against, 1 abstentions)

 

 

Minutes:

The Planning Officer presented the application as detailed in the agenda report.  For clarification and with the aid of a Powerpoint presentation provided members with the following update and revisions to the conditions as summarised:

·         Condition 12 – replace wording ‘completion of the development’ with ‘completion of the soft landscaping’.

·         Condition 16 – replace wording ‘before completion of the development’ with ‘following completion of the habitat and protected species mitigation and compensation measures identified in the LEMP’.

·         Condition 17 – replace wording ‘completion’ with ‘energisation of the project’.

·         Condition 20 – include the word ‘facilitate’ to now read ‘The BSMP must prescribe for measures to facilitate safety during construction,’ and include wording ‘and must have due regard for the containment and disposal of firewater.’

 

Following the submission of a Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) report she also confirmed the LLFA having seen the report had no reason to change their recommendation.

 

She then proceeded to highlight key elements of the proposal including:

·         Site and location plan along with location of proposed cabling.

·         Closeness of heritage assets.

·         Confirmed all footpaths are to be retained.

·         There would be more ability to retain surface water on the land.

·         Gateway access and location of CCTV within the site.

·         Proposed security around the battery storage containers.

·         All hedgerows and trees to be retained around the site.

·         Clarified this application is to supply renewable electricity to local business Leonardo.

 

She proceeded to detail the reasons for approval and highlighted the key considerations summarised as follows:

·         Landscape Impact – believe impact not so adverse to refuse and taking into account clear benefit for new energy.

·         Loss of agricultural land – The land around the panels can still be used for grazing sheep. This is a temporary permission for 40 years.

·         Battery Storage – Issues raised do not outweigh the benefits with conditions imposed for battery safety plan.

·         Use of existing Leonardo site/ economic benefit – Full consideration had been given for the possibility of Leonardo using their own site, however a Sequential Location Assessment was undertaken which outlined why other onsite locations or buildings were not viable.

 

The application was recommended for approval subject to the conditions as set out in the agenda report and with the revisions highlighted by the Planning Officer.

 

Two members of the public addressed the committee in objection to the application. Some of their points raised included:

·         Raised concern around the guarantees for decommissioning and worries an extension may be granted.

·         Who would be responsible and accountable for the management of the site.

·         Impact on noise and air pollution and the reflection of solar panels given the close proximity of helicopter test flights in the area.

·         Concern regarding the flood mitigation measures.

·         Raised fire safety concerns regarding the battery storage.

·         Impact on biodiversity.

·         Site is in the wrong place and too far from Leonardo factory site.

 

The applicant addressed the committee, some of his points raised included:

·         Would provide direct renewable energy source to Leonardo’s factory site in Yeovil and help  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

Planning Application 22/02118/OUT - Land West of Silver Street, South Petherton TA13 5AN pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider an outline application for the demolition of single garage, and the erection of 40no dwellings (26 market & 14 affordable); considering access only, with all other matters reserved.

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

That planning application 22/02118/OUT for the demolition of single garage, and the erection of 40no dwellings (26 market & 14 affordable); considering access only, with all other matters reserved at Land West of Silver Street, South Petherton be DEFERRED, to allow for further information regarding landscape and highways and the presence of a Landscape Officer and Highways Officer to be present at the next possible Planning South Committee meeting.

 

(voting: 7 in favour, 0 against, 2 abstentions)

 

 

Minutes:

The Planning Officer presented the application as detailed in the agenda report.  With the aid of a Powerpoint presentation highlighted key elements of the proposal including:

·         This was an outline application to consider only access and the principle of development.

·         Indicative site layout and location plans.

·         Proposed staggered access to site.

·         Location of existing garage to be removed to allow for footpath to the site.

 

He proceeded to detail the reasons for approval and highlighted the key considerations summarised as follows:

·         Principle of development – South Petherton was a sustainable location, noted the Council’s lack of five-year housing land supply, Highways had not raised any objections and a satisfactory phosphates solution had been agreed.  He acknowledged the access requires a significant engineering solution and there would be a significant change in the street scene.

·         Impact on the character of the area –Site can be developed without harm to conservation assets and neighbouring properties or amenity.

 

The application was recommended for approval subject to planning obligations and conditions as set out in the agenda report.

 

Four members of the public addressed the committee in objection to the application. Some of their points raised included:

·         Elevated site that can be seen for miles around, this view should be protected for overall character.

·         Referred to appeal decision in 2019 where inspector refused six houses due to significant harm to the area.

·         Contrary to policies within the Local Plan.

·         Concern regarding pedestrian and highway safety with lack of footpath provision to local facilities.

·         Increase in traffic through Silver Street in what is already a very busy congested road with no footpath provision.

·         Countless wildlife will be destroyed.

·         Current housing commitment already greatly exceeded in South Petherton.

·         Impact on local facilities with the Post Office and bank already closed.

·         Site outside development area.

·         Contrary to South Petherton neighbourhood plan.

·         Flooding risks and the impact on the increase in surface water run-off.

 

A representative from South Petherton Parish Council addressed the committee.  Some of his points raised included:

·         Referred to speed surveys carried out with evidence of huge volumes of traffic already using the road. This development will only exacerbate these issues to an already congested area.

·         Unacceptable safe access, rights of way and with lack of footpaths to local school and facilities will be a danger to pedestrians.

·         Contrary to policy with a need to secure safe access for all.

·         Site is of varying levels and would be impossible to achieve safe access.

 

Division member, Councillor Jo Roundell-Greene addressed the committee and voiced her objection to the application.  She felt the access would scar Silver Street in what is a charming part and entrance to the village.  She said it was contrary to policy EQ2, a danger to residents who would not be able to safely access amenities and felt it would not enhance the area in any way.

 

Division member, Councillor Adam Dance also addressed the committee. Some of his comments included:

·         Raised concern regarding highway and pedestrian safety due to increase in traffic  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

Appeal Decisions (for information) pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted the planning appeals.