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To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor David Bowler, who was substituted by Councillor Clare Cape.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
To approve as a true and correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 5 April 2023.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.
There were no declarations of interest.
To receive any announcements through the Chair.
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 19 April 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 21 April. 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.
No questions had been received from councillors or members of the public.
The Chairman explained the protocol for public participation.
Planning Appeals and Updates
To receive details of completed and pending appeals and other updates as appropriate.
Councillor Gavin Grantmoved that the Committee note the contents of the appeals report included within the agenda. It was seconded by Councillor Howard Greenman.
To note the Planning Appeals Update Report.
PL/2022/00728 - Land adjoining Malford Farmhouse, main road, Christian Malford, Chippenham, SN15 4AZ
Proposed Erection of 5 No. Dwellings (Class C3) comprising three bungalows and a pair of semi-detached dwellings and associated works.
Senior Planning Officer Becky Jones presented a report that outlined the proposal for theerection of 5 No. Dwellings (Class C3) comprising three bungalows and a pair of semi-detached dwellings and associated works. The Officer explained that the proposal was recommended for approval subject to conditions and noted thattrees and hedges formedthe boundary to the site as well as a watercourse on the north boundary. The Officer advised the Committee that one ash tree was proposed to be removed for constructing an additional access point, and that apolytunnel on site was to be retained.
The Committee sought clarity on the dual-access arrangements, the proposal’s compliance with the neighbourhood plan concerning the number of permissible properties on the site and the flood risk posed.
The Local Unitary Member, Councillor Howard Greenman, spoke to the application. He noted that Christian Malford crafted their neighbourhood plan about five years ago, and that the site in question was allocated prescriptively on account of the perceived flood risk. He described the contentious nature of the neighbourhood plan allocation, specifically concerning the use of the word “approximately” with regards to the number of dwellings on the site. Councillor Greenman speculated that the reason that no members of the public or Parish Council had come forward to speak to the application was because they were disenfranchised with the planning process, and concluded by saying that he would be voting against the Officer recommendationbecause he believed that four dwellings should be on the site rather than five.
At the start of the debate, The Chairman moved a motion that planning permission be granted, which was seconded by Councillor Chuck Berry.
Councillor Jacqui Lay voiced her discontent with having two access points, with one on to a busy road. She spoke to the process of formulating a neighbourhood plan and the loopholes that are often found within them. She suggested that she was minded to vote against it on account of it going against the neighbourhood plan, but also suggested she may have to abstain. Councillor Grant voiced sympathy and solidarity for neighbourhood planners and for Councillor Greenman and noted that he considered these dangerous times for planning. He explained that in his mind, the community had been clear that they sought four buildings on the site, not five. He noted that this vote was a symbolic one that would be reflective of the Committee’s stance towards neighbourhood plans.
The Chairman noted that the issue at stake was whether this specific application was acceptable or not, not whether the wording of the neighbourhood plan was adequate.
Councillor Steve Bucknell explained that he understood the temptation to refuse planning permission. However, he noted that should the Committee refuse permission on the basis that five dwellings was more than “approximately four”, they would lose at appeal. He explained that he could not see anything in this application that merited ... view the full minutes text for item 34.
PL/2022/06692 - Calne Baptist Church, Castle Street, Calne, SN11 0DX
Demolition of the existing Church, The Manse and associated storage buildings. Construction of a church and community centre with 2no. residential dwellings.
· Luke Gilliam spoke in objection to the application.
· Linda Gholson spoke in objection to the application.
· David Jode spoke on behalf of Suzie Bedo in objection to the application.
· David Beresford-Smith spoke in support of the application.
· Stan Woods spoke in support of the application.
· Adrian Male spoke in support of the application.
· Councillor Robert MacNaughton spoke on behalf of Calne Town Council.
Senior Planning Officer Ruaridh O’Donoghue presented a report that outlined the proposal for the demolition of the existing Church, The Manse and associated storage buildings and the construction of a church and community centre with 2 No. residential dwellings. Officers recommended that permission be granted subject to conditions. The Planning Officer explained that the site was situated on the edge of Calne and outlined the site plan showing access off Castle Street. He showed the Committee that the site waslargely surrounded by housing and flats, with the park and canal to the south. Part of the site was within the Calne Conservation area, but not the church itself. The Planning Officer stated how the church was considered a non-designated heritage asset, before going on to describe the proposed church. The building was to be essentially split in two, with a worship space on one side and a community space and residential flats on the other, with a central lobby dividing them. The Planning Officer further outlined the proposed mixture of materials and contemporary style, withcar parking along access way and in front of church building. There were to be 20 spaces in total, with four reserved for the residential flats, onefor disabled parkingand three for electric vehicles. Explaining the officer recommendation, the Planning Officer outlined how in the view of officers, new residential development was acceptable in principle, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)was supportive of new community facilities, the site was deemed large enough to accommodate the proposed works, it was considered to behigh-quality design, with the improved energy efficiency also regarded positively. The Planning Officer further stated that the heritage concerns raised were understood but went on to say that the proposal was not considered contrary to policy, with officers deeming the loss of the heritage asset to be justified in light of the benefit outweighing the harm, especially when the plan for memorials to be relocated inside the new church was factored into consideration.The Planning Officer explained that the site was not subject to significant flood risk, nor would it increase the flood risk to nearby areas. The Planning Officer concluded by making the following points: neither the Council ecologist or archaeologist raised any objections;there was sufficient separation provided to avoid odour or loss of light to nearby buildings; no unacceptable noise or disturbance was anticipated from the proposed site and thatthe ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
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.