Agenda and minutes

Northern Area Planning Committee - Wednesday 1 March 2023 2.00 pm

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

Contact: Cameron Osborn - Email: 

No. Item



To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from the following:

  • Councillor Chuck Berry, who was substituted by Councillor Peter Hutton
  • Councillor Dr Brian Mathew

·       Councillor Jacqui Lay.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve as a true and correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 1 February 2023.

Supporting documents:




To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 1 February 2023 as a true and correct record.


Declarations of Interest

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


Councillor Howard Greenman declared he was the Local Divisional Member for the applications and had been supporting the Parish Council. He explained that he would speak only as the Local Divisional Member and not vote.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.


The Chairman explained the venue’s fire safety protocol.


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 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 22 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 24 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.


Rights of Way and Village Green Applications

To consider and determine the following rights of way and village green applications.


The Committee then considered the following Right of Way and Village Green applications.


Commons act 2006 - sections 15(1) and (2) Applications to register land as town or village green - land adjacent to Seagry road, Lower Stanton St Quintin

To consider the Advisory Report, dated 9 January 2023, submitted by Mr William Webster of 3 Paper Buildings, appointed by Wiltshire Council as the Commons Registration Authority (CRA), to Act as an independent Inspector to:


·       preside over a non-statutory public inquiry, held on 8-9- November 2022 at Stanton St Quintin Village Hall, to consider two applications made under Sections 15(1) and (2) of the Commons Act 2006, to register land adjacent to Seagry Road, Lower Stanton St Quintin, as a town or village green (TVG), and

·       produce an advisory report to include a recommendation to the CRA to assist in its determination of the applications.

Supporting documents:


Public participation:


  • Mr Malcolm Reeves spoke in objection of the applications.


  • Mrs Kathryn Reeves spoke in objection of the applications.


  • Mrs Elizabeth Cullen spoke in support of the applications.


  • Councillor Roger Starling of Stanton St. Quintin Parish Council spoke in support of the applications.


  • Councillor Howard Greenman, the Local Divisional Member for Kington, spoke in support of the applications. He drew attention to the contentious nature of the applications and encouraged the Committee to listen to what the public had to say.


Senior Definitive Map Officer Janice Green presented an Officer Report on the site in question adjacent to Seagry Road in Lower Stanton St Quintin. The report outlined the details of the site and the nature of the Committee’s role as the Commons Registration Authority (CRA). The report also highlighted the relevant Advisory Report, dated 9 January 2023, submitted by the independent Inspector, Mr William Webster, and the non-statutory public inquiry held on 8-9 November 2022 over which Mr Webster presided. The report’s final recommendation to the Committee was that Wiltshire Council accepted the Inspector’s own recommendation that the applications be rejected on the grounds that the criteria for registration laid out in Section 15(2) of the Commons Act 2006 had not been satisfied.


Councillor Gavin Grant asked about whether there was any further guidance on the law on what qualified as “significant use” of the area in question. The Officer identified the locality, as identified by the applicant, as the whole parish of Stanton St Quintin, rather than just Lower Stanton St Quintin, and that even then, use was liable to be low because of the road dividing the parish. Even in just Lower Stanton St Quintin, there were approximately 79 houses, of which there would be even fewer recreational walkers and children. Councillor Grant pressed for a qualification of “significant use” and indeed of “frequency of use”, to which Legal Advisor Trevor Slack referred to the question of evidence, citing a lack of evidence indicating significant or frequent use. Councillor Grant posited that informal and infrequent usage was likely to be less documented and so more founded on anecdotal evidence. The Legal Advisor referred to the thoroughness of the Inspector’s Advisory Report and the investigations that preceded it, suggesting that such anecdotal evidence would have been considered.


Councillor Hutton asked when this matter could be revisited were the recommendation upheld. The Officer referred to a Judicial Review of the process within three months with permission of the court. She also stated that the Parish Council could reapply immediately provided they did so with substantially more evidence.


Councillor Steve Bucknell and Councillor Nic Puntis discussed with the Legal Advisor whether coming to a different conclusion to the Inspector based on the same evidence was sufficient. Councillor Bucknell referred to the lack of investigative powers at the Council’s disposal, asking whether this equated to a reliance on evidence being provided by an external source. The Legal Advisor reiterated that the Committee was acting in a quasi-judicial capacity and was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


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.