Venue: Wessex Room - The Corn Exchange, Market Place, Devizes, SN10 1HS. View directions
Contact: Matt Hitch Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Democratic Services Officer)
To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.
Apologies were received from:
· Cllr Sam Pearce-Kearney
· Cllr Stuart Wheeler
· Cllr Paul Oatway QPM
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 1 December 2022.
On the proposal of the Chairman, seconded by Cllr Nash, it was:
To approve the minutes of the previous meeting, on 1 December 2022, 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.
To receive any announcements through the Chairman.
There were no Chairman’s announcements.
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 Thursday 16 February 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 Monday 20 February 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 Chairman detailed the procedure for the meeting and the procedures for public participation which were set out at item 5 of the agenda.
Planning Appeals and Updates
To receive details of the completed and pending appeals, and any other updates as appropriate.
On the proposal of the Chairman, seconded by Cllr Wallis, it was:
To note the report on completed and pending appeals.
To consider and determine the following planning applications.
The following applications were considered:
PL/2022/09068 - Woodpeckers, Berhills Lane, Seend, Melksham, SN12 6RR
Erection of two new three bedroomed dwellings and associated vehicular access.
· John Armstrong (Armstrong Architecture) – spoke in favour of the application
· Chris Sleightholme – spoke in favour of the application
Meredith Baker, Senior Planning Officer, introduced the report which recommended that planning permission be refused, for reasons detailed in the report, for the erection of two new three bedroomed dwellings with associated vehicular access.
The officer advised that the site was located at the edge of the hamlet of Sells Green within the Melksham Community Area. The land was stated to be used for residential purposes but was considered by the local planning authority to be agricultural land. The site was bounded by trees to the north and south, with a small woodland area to the east. She explained that the settlement area was not identified for any type of growth by the settlement strategy and therefore, for the purposes of assessing the planning merits of the proposal, the site would fall within the open countryside. The site bordered open countryside and was outside of the defined limits of development.
She explained that, as the site was not deemed to be brownfield land, the application conflicted with Core Policy 1 and Core Policy 2 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy as well as SP11 of the Seend Parish Neighbourhood Plan. By reason of its siting, design and layout of the dwellings, together with the associated residential paraphernalia within the open countryside, the proposal would be harmful to the visual amenities of the area and to landscape character. Furthermore, due to its distance from local services and amenities the proposal would result in a heavy reliance of use of the private motor transport in conflict with the principles of sustainable development and contrary to Core Policies 60 and 61 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy.
In response to technical questions to the Committee the Legal Representative Ros Trotman (Thrings Solicitors) explained that in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) land in built up areas, such as residential gardens, are excluded from the brownfield definition and the application site had been deemed by the Senior Planning Officer to be in a built-up area. The Committee were informed that there was insufficient evidence on the balance of probability to say that the land had been in continuous residential use as a garden for 10 years. It was also confirmed that the site had no known archaeological significance.
Members of the public then had the opportunity to present their views, as detailed above.
In response to the issues raised during the public participation about the impact of the development on its surroundings, the planning officer explained that the layout and siting would be harmful to visual amenities and landscape character contrary to Core Policy 51 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy.
So the Committee had something to debate, the Chairman, seconded by Cllr Dr Mathew, proposed the application was refused for the reasons outlined in the officer recommendations.
A debate followed where some Members commented that they felt the plot to be nicely situated and ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
PL/2022/09381 - Newlands, Hyde Lane, Marlborough, SN8 1JN
The change the use of an existing building from a (Class C3) residential use to (Class C2) student accommodation in association with Marlborough College.
· Oliver Kirby-Johnson – spoke in objection to the application
· David Ripley – spoke in objection to the application
Meredith Baker, Senior Planning Officer, confirmed that there was an error in the pack and the red line on pages 49 and 51 had been superseded. The correct boundary line was shown on page 38.
The officer then introduced the report which recommended that planning permission be granted, for reasons detailed in the report, to change the use of an existing building from (Class C3) residential to (Class C2) student accommodation, in association with Marlborough College.
The officer advised that the change of use to student accommodation was considered to comprise sustainable development with no unacceptable planning implications such as highways or safety impacts. The development was considered to accord with the Development Plan and therefore was being recommended for approval subject to conditions.
There were no technical questions asked by the Committee.
Members of the public then had the opportunity to present their views, as detailed above.
The unitary division Member, Cllr Jane Davies, spoke in opposition to the application. Cllr Davies explained that, although not in a conservation area, the property was in an area designated as being an area of special quality within the neighbourhood plan. She noted that being located in the area of special quality was referenced in the reasons for the refusal of a nearby application. She also highlighted that Marlborough held a dark skies festival and was part of an area of outstanding natural beauty, so raised concerns about external lighting at the property. Furthermore, she reported privacy concerns from neighbours being overlooked by the proposed external fire escape and asked that if planning grounds were insufficient to refuse the application, conditions could be imposed to restrict its usage.
In response to issues raised during public participation and the unitary Member statement, the planning officer reassured the Committee that external lighting would be controlled through the third condition included within the recommendation, which stated no external lighting could be installed on site unless details had first been submitted and approved by the local planning authority and unless it met the appropriate environmental zone standards. She highlighted that the ‘area of special quality’ was referenced in the report in the context of the designated conservation area not the neighbourhood plan as that is how it had been referred to by a member of the public in their representation on the application. In any event, the officer advised that the proposed change of use was not considered to cause harm to the character and appearance of the area. She also noted that the external staircase was situated approximately 27 metres from the property boundary, so was deemed to be acceptable.
So that the Committee had something to debate the Chairman proposed a motion to approve the application in line with the officer recommendation, which was seconded by Cllr Dr Mathew.
A debate followed where Members discussed whether screening could be controlled by way of condition ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
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.