Agenda and minutes

Strategic Planning Committee - Tuesday 25 April 2023 1.30 pm

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

Contact: Tara Hunt  Email:


No. Item



To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


Apologies were received from Councillor Elizabeth Threlfall, who was substituted by Councillor Richard Britton.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2023.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2023 were presented for consideration.  


Subject to the amending of minute 31 to include apologies from Councillor James Sheppard, it was,




To approve and sign as a true and correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2023, subject to the amendment of minute 31 to include apologies from Councillor James Sheppard.


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.


The Chairman announced that following the meeting there would be a private training session for Members on the 5 year housing land supply.


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 10.20am 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 18 April 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 20 April 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.

Supporting documents:


The planning appeals update was received as set out in the agenda.


In response to a query it was clarified that the hearing for the Land off Melksham Road, Holt appeal would be held on 13 June 2023.


Members also sought details on the costs for the Westbury Incinerator appeal. Officers explained that information received from the applicant was currently being considered by the legal team, so there was no confirmed figure at present. The applicants had given a total cost figure of approximately £400,000, with an expectation for Wiltshire Council to pay 25% of that cost. Members felt that this was unrealistic.


20/07643/FUL - Land at Janes Oaks Farm, Mere, Warminster, Wilts, BA12 6LH

Change of use of land to use as a residential caravan site for 4 gypsy families. Laying of hardstanding, access improvements and erection of two amenity buildings.

Supporting documents:


Public Participation

Shaun Lyons spoke in objection to the application.

Bill Price spoke in objection to the application.

Quentin Skinner spoke in objection to the application.

Philip Brown (agent) spoke in support of the application.

Councillor Lesley Travers of Mere Town Council spoke in objection to the application.


Lynda King (Senior Planning Officer) presented a report which recommended that planning permission be granted, subject to conditions, for application 20/07643/FUL, Land at Janes Oaks Farm, Mere, Warminster, Wilts, BA12 6LH for the change of use of land to use as a residential caravan site for 4 gypsy families. Laying of hardstanding, access improvements and erection of two amenity buildings.


Key details were stated to include the principle of the development, impact on highways and impact on character, appearance and visual amenity of the locality.


The officer explained that the site was situated approximately 1km south of Mere in the open countryside and was not within the Cranbourne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The site was previously agricultural land. The application was for a change of use of land, to a residential caravan site with 4 pitches, each comprising of 2 caravans, made up of a static/mobile home and a touring caravan. There would also be 2 amenity buildings on site and a package sewage treatment plant. The access to the site was to be revised to locate it away from a tree with a Tree Protection Order (TPO).   


The officer took the Committee through the presentation slides for the application as published in agenda supplement 1. The road approaching the site was relatively narrow and the passing bays would need to improved, therefore a condition regarding this had been included as part of the recommendation. The condition of the site, which was overgrown and rather dilapidated, pre-dated the applicants ownership of the site.


The relevant planning policy was explained by the officer, as per the details in the agenda. Particularly relevant was Wiltshire Core Strategy (WCS) Core Policy 47 (CP47).


Work was progressing towards the council’s Gypsy and Traveller Development Plan Document (DPD), and to inform this a recent Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTAA) had been undertaken. The council had not met is requirement to have a 5 year supply of pitches and a need for 79 pitches over the period 2022-2027 had been identified. This was a material consideration. 


There had been significant local objection to the proposal, but there had been no objections (subject to conditions) from statutory consultees. The application met with local and national policy and therefore was recommended for approval.


Members of the committee then had the opportunity to ask technical questions of the officer. Clarification was sought around condition 17 and the passing bays. In response the officer explained that the land was all part of the public highway and no third-party land was required. It had been agreed that the passing places could be widened. Regarding the wording of the condition and where it referred to passing/waiting bays and then  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.


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.