Agenda item

Planning Application 2023/1036/FUL Land North Of Wallbridge Gardens Frome Somerset

To consider an application for the erection of 1no. dwellinghouse.



Application for the erection of 1no. dwellinghouse.


The Officer’s Report stated that this application related to a narrow, wedge-shaped parcel of wasteland. The site itself occupied space between a rank of garages and the modern flat development on Great Western Road and comprised of grass and scrub vegetation. The site was accessed using a narrow access lane that cut between the rows of residential properties belonging to Wallbridge Gardens.


The site fell within development boundary of Frome and within the Mells Valley Bat Consultation Zone and BSG Coal Resources Areas.


In the summary, the Planning Officer’s report stated that the proposed development would result in a single additional dwelling where there was a shortfall and would generate associated economic activity that would support local shops and facilities. However, the development would be cramped and contrived and did not satisfactorily relate to the local context. It would also be to the detriment of the amenity of the future occupiers of the already approved nearby 4-bedroom dwelling by removing the majority of outside amenity space and would result in a poor living environment for the future occupiers of the proposed dwelling being considered.


On balance therefore, the proposed dwelling was considered to generate significant and demonstratable harms that were not outweighed by the benefits and was therefore recommended for refusal.


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


The Committee was then addressed by Councillor Helen Kay who had declared at agenda item 3 that she was pre-determined for this application and therefore she would not take part in the debate or vote. She would, however, speak as Divisional Councillor. She made a number of points regarding the amenity of the future occupiers of the already approved nearby dwelling and suggested adding an extra reason for refusal regarding the access. Councillor Kay then moved to the public gallery for the duration of the debate and vote.


The next speaker was the agent for the applicant. He made the following points:


  • It is in a highly sustainable location and there was already planning permission given for a house nearby.
  • The reasons for refusal given by the Planning Officer were subjective.
  • The garden size would larger than gardens nearby, there would be good size windows and the site would be less dense than nearby sites.
  • There had been no objections to the appearance of the building or objections from highways, Frome Town Council or local residents.
  • The benefits of providing a 2-bed dwelling would demonstrably outweigh any harms.


Members had a brief discussion regarding the proposed parking and turning area for the site and noted that exiting would be very difficult.


At the conclusion of the debate, it was proposed by Councillor Martin Lovell and seconded by Councillor Martin Dimery to refuse the application in accordance with the Officer’s recommendation.


On being put to the vote the proposal was carried with 7 votes in favour, 1 vote against and 1 abstention.




That planning application 2023/1036/FUL be REFUSED in accordance with the Officer’s recommendation.


Votes – 7 for, 1 against, 1 abstention.


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