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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions

Contact: Tara Shannon  Email: tara.shannon@wiltshire.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

84.

Apologies

To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Adrian Foster who was substituted by Cllr Helen Belcher.

85.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

Prior to asking for declarations of interest, the Chairman highlighted that there was strong public interest in the application to be considered and that Members may have been canvassed by many interested parties. He therefore felt it would be helpful to remind Members of the requirements of Protocol 4 of the Wiltshire Council Constitution, the Planning Code of Good Practice, which sets out guidance on pre-determination and sound decision making. The Chairman read paragraphs 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6 and 11.3.7 and highlighted the importance of listening to everything said at the meeting prior to coming to a decision.

 

While there were no declarations of interest, due to comments made at the previous meeting where the application was considered, Cllr Rob Yuill read a statement for transparency and the avoidance of doubt. He clarified that he had worked in the waste industry for 18 years, 10 of which were spent working in waste plants of different types as a health and safety professional where his role encompassed the health and safety of the plants themselves, the operatives at the plants and anyone affected by the plants. He had also previously been the Portfolio Holder for Waste. As part of that role, he had a relationship with the waste team at Hills, regarding collecting household waste. This was a totally different part of the company to that making the application. He did not feel that this history affected his ability to take part in the debate and vote and he would consider the matter with an open mind.

 

86.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.

Minutes:

The Chairman made an announcement stating that it had been drawn to his attention that following the last meeting of the Committee in respect of this application some members of the Committee had received correspondence directed to them personally which contained threats. 

 

The Chairman recognised that planning applications could generate differing and sometimes strongly held views. However, he stated that planning committees, including this Committee, provided an important quasi-judicial function on behalf of the Council.  They often had to determine competing interests of the community in respect of land use. The Members who made up these committees made collective decisions based on the planning merits of applications and after receiving professional advice from officers. They did this without fear or favour.

 

It was therefore unacceptable for any person who may disagree with the outcome to address any threatening correspondence to Members.  This not only risked interference with a recognised democratic due process, but it could also be distressing to the elected Member’s family when such threats were received at their home address.

 

The Chairman had discussed this aspect with officers, including the Head of Legal Services on behalf of the Monitoring Officer, who had recommended that should there be any repeat of such behaviour any elected Members of the Committee should immediately refer any such correspondence to the Monitoring Officer for consideration, and further action. This may include, if appropriate, referring the matter to the Police.

 

The Chairman hoped this would not be necessary.

 

87.

Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.

 

Statements

 

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.

 

Questions

 

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 11 April 2022 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 13 April 2022. 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.

Minutes:

The Chairman detailed the rules on public participation. Ordinarily the procedure allowed for three objectors, followed by three supporters, to speak for three minutes each. In further accordance with procedure, due to the large scale and controversial nature of the application, the Chairman had extended his discretion to allow up to six speakers each for objectors and supporters.

88.

20/06775/WCM: Northacre Energy from Waste Facility, Stephenson Road, Northacre Industrial Estate, Westbury, BA13 4WD

Amended energy from waste facility to that consented under planning permission 18/09473/WCM.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Public Participation

Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP spoke in objection to the application.

Lorae Alford spoke in objection to the application.

Ian Cunningham spoke in objection to the application.

Bill Jarvis spoke in objection to the application.

Philip Harcourt spoke in objection to the application.

Lynn Roberts (Arla Foods) spoke in objection to the application.

Alex Young spoke in support of the application.

Ed Dodd spoke in support of the application.

Cllr Val Jarvis representing Dilton Marsh Parish Council spoke in objection to the application.

Cllr Mike Sutton representing Westbury Town Council spoke in objection to the application.

 

Andrew Guest (Head of Development Management) presented a report which recommended that having taken into account all relevant new material considerations together with the environmental information previously considered, to grant planning permission for the proposed development, subject to the conditions as before for application 20/06775/WCM for an amended energy from waste facility to that consented under planning permission 18/09473/WCM, for the Northacre Energy from Waste Facility, Stephenson Road, Northacre Industrial Estate, Westbury.

 

The officer stated that the Committee would recall that the application was considered at the meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee on 22 June 2021 where the Committee resolved to approve the application. As the Committee supported the application it was referred to the Secretary of State (SoS) for his consideration as to whether it should be called-in for his determination before any planning permission were issued. On 31 March 2022, notification was received that the SoS did not wish to call-in the application.

 

The officer explained that planning law stated that if the Council became aware of new material considerations, then the relevant law required it to have regard to the considerations before finally determining the application. In such a situation where the initial decision was made by a planning committee, the consideration of new material considerations should also be by the planning committee.

 

In the time since the application was first considered by the Committee, new material considerations, such as changes to policy and legislation had arisen, which meant that the Committee needed to consider the new material considerations. It was highlighted that the focus of the Committee should be limited to the new material considerations only, and not matters which had not changed and were fully considered and debated upon when the application was first considered. Matters which remained unchanged were stated to be:

 

·         Land use – in the development plan the land was allocated for strategic waste use.

·         That energy from waste was preferable to land fill in the hierarchy.

·         The planning history of the site.

·         The design and impact of the site.

·         Intended methods of operation.

·         The amount of waste to be processed, approximately 243,000 tonnes, which would power approximately 54,000 homes.

·         The consequences of not approving the application were the same, in that residual waste would be sent to landfill or to incinerators elsewhere.

·         The facility would require an environmental permit which would deal with emissions and site operational matters. The Environment Agency  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88.

89.

Urgent Items

Any other items of business, which in the opinion of the Chairman, should be taken as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

 

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