Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions
Contact: Tara Hunt Email: email@example.com
To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.
Apologies were received from Cllr Carole King.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 25 April 2023.
The minutes of the meeting held on 25 April 2023 were presented for consideration, and it was,
To approve and sign as a true and correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 25 April 2023.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.
In relation to agenda item 7, 20/08618/FUL - Land west of A429 (Crudwell Road), North of Malmesbury, Wilts – Cllr Elizabeth Threlfall declared two matters for the sake of transparency. These were:
· That Cllr Threlfall was a Member of the Strategic Planning Committee and was also a local division Member for the application and had called it in along with another unitary division Member.
· That the landowner for the application was the Charlton Park Estate. Every year they held a festival called the Womad festival and this was the largest event in Cllr Threlfall’s division. They had gifted her two 4 day passes to the event, which had a face value of £260. However, the Cllr only attended the event for 2 hours on 2 of the days and as such the pro-rata value was thought to be less than £50. This had been recorded on the Cllr’s gift register in accordance with procedure.
Cllr Threlfall stated that she had sought advice from both Democratic Services and Legal and was advised that none of the above precluded the Cllr from taking part in the debate and vote.
Cllr Threlfall confirmed that she had an open mind, with no bias and that she was not predetermined. The Cllr would listen to everything said during debate with interest and would make her decision following the debate.
To receive any announcements through the Chair.
There were no Chairman’s annoucements.
The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.
Members of the public who wish to speak either in favour or against an application or any other item on this agenda are asked to register no later than 10.20am on the day of the meeting. If it is on the day of the meeting registration should be done in person.
The rules on public participation in respect of planning applications are linked to in the Council’s Planning Code of Good Practice. The Chairman will allow up to 3 speakers in favour and up to 3 speakers against an application, and up to 3 speakers on any other item on this agenda. Each speaker will be given up to 3 minutes and invited to speak immediately prior to the item being considered. Representatives of Parish Councils are included separately in the speaking procedure, please contact the officer listed for details.
Members of the public will have had the opportunity to make representations on the planning applications and to contact and lobby their local member and any other members of the planning committee prior to the meeting. Lobbying once the debate has started at the meeting is not permitted, including the circulation of new information, written or photographic which have not been verified by planning officers.
To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution which excludes, in particular, questions on non-determined planning applications.
Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on Wednesday 9 August 2023 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on Friday 11 August 2023. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.
Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.
The procedures for public participation were detailed and noted.
Planning Appeals and Updates
To receive details of completed and pending appeals, and any other updates as appropriate.
The planning appeals update was received as set out in the agenda.
A member of the public, Francis Morland, had registered to speak to the item. The main points raised included that he believed that Wiltshire Council did have a 5 year Housing Land Supply (HLS) but was choosing not to demonstrate it. He raised issues with the methodology used by the Council to calculate the 5 year HLS. He also cited appeals which he felt should have a bearing on matters, and that many appeals for sites on windfall greenfield sites were allowed. He raised concerns that some appeals were not included in the report.
Mr Morland then highlighted the decision of the Committee on 11 January 2023 regarding 15/04736/OUT - Land south east of Trowbridge and the fact that the deadline for the S106 agreement had passed and permission had neither been granted or refused.
In response the Chairman stated that whilst he would be pleased if we had a 5 year HLS, the methodology to calculate the 5 year HLS was what it was and they had to work with it and go on the figures officers provided.
The Chairman clarified that appeals got reported to the Committee which the application had originally been to. The appeal he was concerned was missing had been reported to the Northern Area Planning Committee.
The Chairman explained that regarding the resolution for 15/04736/OUT - Land south east of Trowbridge, it had been delegated to the Head of Development Management to refuse planning permission if the S106 was not agreed. The S106 agreement involved in that application was extremely complicated and whilst the deadline had passed, a timeline had been developed that the officers expected the applicant to adhere to. At present they were adhering to that timeline, and whilst that continued to be the case, they would not refuse the permission, so the agreement was still being worked on at present.
20/08618/FUL - Land west of A429 (Crudwell Road), North of Malmesbury, Wilts
Installation of a solar farm comprising ground mounted solar PV panels with a generating capacity of up to 49.9MW, including mounting system, battery storage units, inverters, underground cabling, stock proof fence, CCTV, internal tracks and associated infrastructure, landscaping and environmental enhancements for a temporary period of 40 years and a permanent grid connection hub.
Peter Grubb (agent) spoke in support of the application.
Robin Aird spoke in support of the application.
Adrian Walker (Development Management Team Leader) presented a report which recommended that planning permission be granted, subject to conditions, for the installation of a solar farm comprising ground mounted solar PV panels with a generating capacity of up to 49.9MW, including mounting system, battery storage units, inverters, underground cabling, stock proof fence, CCTV, internal tracks and associated infrastructure, landscaping and environmental enhancements for a temporary period of 40 years and a permanent grid connection hub.
The officer showed the Committee the slides relating to the application, whilst explaining key details.
The site was located in open countryside North of Malmesbury. Plans of the site were shown and it was highlighted that the grid connection point was approximately 6 km away to the East, this would be connected to the solar farm by an underground cable. Access to the site would be via the A429. The site was not in a protected landscape but was close to the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which was about 800m to the West.
The solar panels would be fixed, facing South, with a maximum height of 2.8m and an angle of 25 degrees above horizontal. Slides of how these may look on site were shown along with the grid connection point.
There was an ecological mitigation and enhancement plan for the application. This included habitat creation and enhancement of grassland. There would be a biodiversity net gain which exceeded that which was required.
The site was on agricultural land, which was mostly grade 3b or grade 4. 10% of the land was grade 3a (good quality), that equated to about 6.2 hectares. This fell below the limit which would concern Natural England. The land could still play a part agriculturally and environmentally as livestock could graze amongst the solar panels.
There would be a minor adverse effect on the landscape. The cumulative impact on visual amenity was also considered as there were several solar farms in the area, and a cumulative impact would occur when you could see two or more developments from one viewpoint. However, in this instance you could not see this site and other solar farms from the viewpoints.
Construction of the site was estimated to take 4 months, which could cause some temporary disruption.
Both the local and national planning policy context was to support renewable energy projects if the impacts were (or could be made) acceptable.
It was explained that at present solar farms covered 0.1% of the land in the UK. This would likely increase to 0.3% of the land in the UK in order to help meet the net zero targets. This was far less than the land used for farming or even for golf courses. The proposal would help to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It was also a temporary change, albeit for 40 years. There would be no adverse effect on protected species or ... view the full minutes text for item 53.
PL/2022/09532 - Land at Romsey Road, Whiteparish, Salisbury, Wilts
Outline application (all matters reserved except external access) for residential development of up to 25 dwellings with access to Romsey Road, parking, opens space, landscaping and drainage.
Ivor Ellis spoke in objection to the application
Hollie Sturgiss (agent) spoke in support of the application.
Matt Allsopp (applicant) spoke in support of the application.
Lynda King (Senior Planning Officer) presented a report which recommended that planning permission be granted, with conditions and subject to an S106 agreement, for an outline application (all matters reserved except external access) for residential development of up to 25 dwellings with access to Romsey Road, parking, opens space, landscaping and drainage.
Key details were stated to include the following: the application was before the Committee as it was contrary to policy, due to the site being outside the settlement boundary of the village. However, as Wiltshire Council did not currently have a demonstrable 5 year Housing Land Supply (HLS), then the application could be considered for approval.
The officer ran through the slides for the application, the site was a field on the edge of the village, although it was contained by existing properties. Hedgerows would be reinforced, and the application would result in an improvement in biodiversity. There was a significant additional area of landscaping at the back of the site. The access points to the site were shown, a footpath would be added on the inside of the hedge boarding the site. There was an existing footpath along the outside edge of one side of the site, which was not part of the site and was not affected by it. The path inside the development would link to the existing footpath. There was a bus stop adjacent to the site and a pedestrian crossing point as the road only had a pavement along one side.
The village of Whiteparish had grown in a linear fashion over time, to the South East and West along the roads.
The application was an outline application, with all matters reserved except for access. The development would go no further south than existing surrounding development and the houses faced over open space giving a pleasant edge to the site.
The accommodation mix was detailed, 60% were 2 and 3 bedroom houses, there would also be some 1 bedroom units and some 4 bedroom units.
The parish council were generally supportive of the application; however, they would have preferred the percentage of affordable housing to be 50% rather than 40%. The officer explained that would not be policy compliant, so the amount remained at 40%. Increasing the percentage of affordable housing would also have affected the viability of the application. The proposal would bring a significant benefit to the settlement in terms of affordable housing as there had not been any development there for some time.
Few objections had been received, and the local primary school had been supportive, as they were struggling with pupil numbers which affected their viability, and the development would likely bring families with young children to the village.
Issues raised by those opposed to the application included highways safety, the speed of traffic, and that there was no footpath. The ... view the full minutes text for item 54.
Any other items of business, which in the opinion of the Chairman, should be taken as a matter of urgency.
There were no urgent items.