Agenda and minutes

Northern Area Planning Committee - Wednesday 31 January 2024 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices, Monkton Park, Chippenham, SN15 1ER. View directions

Contact: Ellen Ghey  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from:


·       Councillor Chuck Berry



Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve as a true and correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 December 2023.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 December 2023 were considered.


Councillor Howard Greenman acknowledged the tributes made to Councillor Tony Trotman during the last meeting and requested that further details were included. Cllr Greenman noted his long-standing working relationship and friendship with Cllr Trotman and expressed his deep sense of loss at his passing. Cllr Trotman’s kindness, compassion, and courteous demeanour were emphasised, and all Members reiterated how missed he would be in his local community and to all those who had the pleasure of knowing him over his lifetime. 


Following which, it was:




The Committee approved and signed the minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 December 2023 as a true and correct record, subject to the inclusion of further detail in respect of the tributes made to Councillor Tony Trotman.



Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.


There were no declarations of interest.



Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.


Councillor Howard Greenman as the Vice-Chairman in the Chair, paid tribute to Councillor Bob Jones MBE who had also sadly passed away since the last meeting of the Committee. The Committee held a minute’s silence in honour of Cllr Jones and Members subsequently praised his dedication to representing his residents in Cricklade and Latton, alongside the attentiveness and diligence he gave to all aspects related to his position as a Councillor.



Public Participation

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 minutes before the start 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.


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 24 January 2024 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 26 January 2024. 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 Chairman explained the rules of public participation and the procedure to be followed at the meeting.


There were no statements or questions submitted.



Planning Appeals and Updates

To receive details of completed and pending appeals and other updates as appropriate.

Supporting documents:


Councillor Howard Greenman invited Adrian Walker, Development Management Team Leader, to update the Committee on the pending and determined appeals as per the appeals report included within the Agenda Pack. 


Members requested that further historic and up-to-date data was included within the report moving forward to allow for comparisons between relevant figures such as the numbers of appeals received, allowed, and dismissed. Thus, enabling Members to assess the impacts of the decisions made by the Committee and further understand those decisions made by the Planning Inspectorate which Members felt was particularly pertinent considering the recent revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published on 20 December 2023.


Following which, it was:




The Committee noted the appeals report for the period 24 November 2023 to 19 January 2024.



PL/2022/09258: Minety Substation, Minety, Wiltshire, SN16 9DX

Proposed extension of existing substation comprising installation of 400/132kV transformer, 3no. 400/33kV transformers, circuit breakers, construction of retaining wall and 33kV switchroom, formation of access road, culverting of watercourse, erection of fencing and associated works.

Supporting documents:


Public Participation


There were no named public speakers.


The Development Management Team Leader, Adrian Walker, introduced the report which recommended that the Committee grant planning permission, subject to conditions, for the extension of the existing substation comprising the installation of a 400/132kV transformer, 3no. 400/33kV transformers, circuit breakers, construction of retaining wall and 33kV switchroom, formation of access road, culverting of watercourse, erection of fencing, and associated works.


Key material considerations were identified including the principle of development; landscape and visual impacts; impacts on neighbouring amenity; highway and public rights of way issues; environmental impacts; the safeguarding of protected species and/or habitats, and ancient woodland.


Attention was drawn to the late representations that had been submitted following publication of the agenda, one of which being from a Wiltshire Council Ecology Officer with regard to the impacts on the biodiversity of the application site. In order to demonstrate compliance with Core Policy 50 and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the development must compensate for the resulting significant harm to biodiversity. As the development was unable to achieve this within the application site, compensation must be delivered via an off-site woodland compensation scheme. A contribution to the Council for the delivery of a woodland compensation scheme would be acceptable as a last resort in this exceptional case where the planning balance was being resorted to. Officers highlighted that the contribution could be secured by a Unilateral Undertaking (UU) where a Section 106 was not required. It was confirmed that the current recommendation did not include a UU, and it remained to approved as in the officer’s report.


Officers then highlighted that as per Agenda Supplement 2, an amendment had been made to the recommended conditions in which Condition 5 had been split to separate the demolition, site clearance, and vegetation clearance from the commencement of the development.


Members of the Committee then had the opportunity to ask technical questions to the officer. Details were sought on if the project could be described as that of national significance as per Paragraph 186c and Footnote 67 of the NPPF, biodiversity net gain requirements, and the need for the proposed expansion. Other questions related to the protection of bird nesting and the surrounding ancient woodland, engagement with local partners such as Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and the Forestry Commission, and the impact of the proposed access routes on nearby communities.


In response, officers clarified that although Paragraph 186c and Footnote 67 of the NPPF noted nationally significant infrastructure projects as an example, it was not limited to that, and Members were reassured that both the applicant and Wiltshire Council officers were doing all they could to control any harm to the ancient woodland. Furthermore, it was explained that the applicant, as a national provider, had explored all options to mitigate the loss of biodiverse land and had stated that there was no suitable land available to purchase to assist with the applicant’s biodiversity net gain requirements of 10%. It was advised that compulsory purchase of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Urgent Items

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.