Agenda and minutes

Northern Area Planning Committee - Tuesday 16 April 2024 2.00 pm

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

Contact: Matt Hitch  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


Apologies were received from:


·       Cllr Nic Puntis – substituted by Cllr Ashley O’Neill

·       Cllr Martin Smith – Substituted by Cllr Clare Cape


Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve and sign as a true and correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 28 February 2024.

Supporting documents:


On the proposal of the Chairman, Cllr Chuck Berry, seconded by Cllr Gavin Grant, it was:




To approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 28 February 2024 as a true and correct record.


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.


There were no Chairman’s announcements.


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 and others will have had the opportunity to make representations on planning applications and other items on the agenda, and to contact and lobby their local elected member and any other members of the planning committee, prior to the meeting.


Those circulating such information prior to the meeting, written or photographic, are advised to also provide a copy to the case officer for the application or item, in order to officially log the material as a representation, which will be verbally summarised at the meeting by the relevant officer, not included within any officer slide presentation if one is made. Circulation of new information which has not been verified by planning officers or case officers is also not permitted during the meetings.




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 Tuesday 9 April 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 Thursday 11 April 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 Committee noted the rules on public participation.



Planning Appeals and Updates

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

Supporting documents:


The Committee considered the contents of the appeals update for the period between 16 February and 5 April 2024.


Cllr Gavin Grant raised concerns about the decision of the Inspector to overturn the refusal of PL/2021/09852, Land to the East of Waitrose, A429, Malmsbury, a proposed self-build residential development. It was noted that Wiltshire Council’s Highways Team had raised safety concerns, that the proposed development would breach the existing settlement boundary and that it would be contrary to the Malmsbury Neighbourhood Plan and Wiltshire Core Policy. There had been several road safety incidents at the supermarket entrance on the opposite side of the road to the proposed development and it was in close proximity to a roundabout. The Inspector had been critical of Wiltshire Council for their failure to respond to the need of self-builders.


In response to questions, the Development Management Team Leader, Adrian Walker, explained that there was a policy requirement for authorities to give suitable development permission for enough serviced plots of land to meet the demand identified for self-build housing. The Inspector had found that Wiltshire Council had not demonstrated that it has granted enough permissions to meet the demand for self-build development in its area, so had given significant weight to this factor in their decision making. The Development Management Team Leader shared the Committee’s disappointment at the Inspector’s findings. He explained that he would discuss with the Head of Development Management the cost implications and likely success of challenging the Inspector’s decision. He also noted that Spatial Planning would be able to provide up to date figures of demand data for self-build housing to update the Committee.


The Committee discussed the possible wider implications of the Inspector’s findings about self-builds in relation to Neighbourhood Plans and the emerging Local Plan.



On the proposal of Cllr Grant, seconded by Cllr Dr Brian Mathew, it was:




To recommend that Development Management appeal the decision of the Inspector to overturn Wiltshire Council’s decision to refuse the application for PL/2021/09852, Land to the East of Waitrose, A429, Malmsbury. The delegate the Development Management Team Leader to make further enquiries.


The Committee noted that they would like to receive the letter to the Inspector if Wiltshire Council did challenge the decision.


In response to a query about the costs awarded in relation to PL/2022/09773, Land adjacent to Rockwell Cottage, the Development Management Team Leader explained that the awarding of costs at an appeal was not dependent on whether a decision was overturned but could be awarded in cases where there were unnecessary delays. The Vice-Chairman, Cllr Howard Greenman, noted that there had been changes to policy since the application was submitted including around the five-year land supply. 


Cllr Steve Bucknell sought further information about his request for the Committee to be provided with an analysis of planning appeals, showing how many had been allowed and dismissed. Development Management Team Leader explained that he had made enquiries and passed the request on to the administrative team.


The Committee discussed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


PL/2022/05412: Land off Dog Trap Lane, Minety

Proposed Development is for a battery storage facility and ancillary infrastructure (Revision of PL/2022/00404)

Supporting documents:


Public Participation


·       Mr Ian Anderson spoke in objection to the application.

·       Mr Martin Pollard spoke in support of the application.


The Development Management Team Leader, Adrian Walker, introduced a report which recommended that the application for a battery storage facility and ancillary infrastructure be approved. It was noted that the application was a revision of PL/2022/00404. Key details were stated to include the principle of development, as well as its impact upon agricultural land, heritage assets, the landscape and residential amenity. 


Attention was drawn to a late representation regarding potential archaeological finds. The Development Management Team Leader confirmed that this representation would not change his recommendation and that Wiltshire Council’s archaeologist was satisfied that sufficient information had been provided.


The Development Management Team Leader noted that the proposed development would introduce an uncharacteristic industrial form of development to the site. However, he explained that the planning balance was in favour of the development, as it would bring clear public benefits by improving energy security, through storing excess energy, and saving carbon emissions. The proposed development was in a suitable location, not being in a protected landscape or on the best agricultural land. It would benefit from access to a National Grid point of connection as well as the highway network. The Development Management Team Leader highlighted that the site was bounded by woodland to the north and east as well as an area of scrubland to the south. Acoustic fences and additional planting would be also installed to further screen the development and enhance biodiversity. Given the exiting woodland and mitigation measures to be put in place, he felt that there would be no unacceptable noise or visual impacts. Changes to the landscape character would be localised.


Members of the Committee then had the opportunity to ask technical questions of the Development Management Team Leader.


A large number of questions were asked about the environmental impact of the proposed development.


It was noted that in 2019 Wiltshire Council had resolved to seek to make the county of Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030 and had committed to become carbon neutral as an organisation by 2030. Details were sought about the weight that should be given to these goals in the Committee’s decision making when they sat alongside the Council’s planning policies, adopted in 2015, and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).


In response, the Development Management Team Leader explained that Core Policy 42 (Standalone Renewable Energy Installations) supported the principle of development. However, he explained that as the 2030 pledges were a policy of the Council, they did influence the weight that was given to certain planning policies. Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy 2022-27 set out a clear commitment to increase the uptake of renewable electricity generation and storage. These goals also aligned with the government’s commitment to enable energy to be used more flexibly and advice in the NPPF that Local Planning Authorities should help to increase the use and supply of renewable and low carbon energy.


The Development Management Team  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


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.