Agenda and minutes

Western Area Planning Committee - Wednesday 20 December 2023 3.00 pm

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

Contact: Ellen Ghey - Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item



To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


There were no apologies for absence received.



Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 November 2023 were considered. Following which, it was:




The Committee approved and signed the minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 November 2023 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 specific 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 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 Wednesday 13 December 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 Friday 15 December 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 explained the rules of public participation and the procedure to be followed at the meeting.


There were no questions or statements submitted by Councillors or members of the public.



Planning Appeals and Updates

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

Supporting documents:


The Chairman invited Kenny Green, Development Management Team Leader, to update the Committee on the pending and determined appeals as per the appeals report included within the Agenda Pack.


Before doing so, Members were informed that on 19 December 2023 (the day prior to the Committee meeting), the Government had published an updated National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which included a number of revisions which materially impacted Wiltshire Council’s decision-making processes. The main implications of the changes were detailed as below:


·       The Government had recognised the benefits of a plan-based system and the new NPPF set out the importance for preparing and maintaining up to date plans which should be seen as a priority in meeting the objective of providing sufficient housing.

·       The Government had made a significant revision insofar as the housing land supply requirement. For Wiltshire Council, in reaching a critical advanced stage in the preparation of the new Wiltshire Local Plan (Regulation 19), instead of the previous 5-year housing land supply, the Council were now required to demonstrate a 4-year supply.

·       Separate to the above, the new NPPF removed the requirement on Councils to demonstrate a rolling 5-year housing land supply if:

a)    their Local Plan was less than 5 years old; and

b)    the Plan, when adopted, demonstrated a 5-year supply.

·       The Government had also confirmed that the standard methodology for housing need was only an “advisory starting point”, and Councils did not necessarily have to follow it when making their Local Plans.

·       The Government also chose not to implement the consulted upon potential changes to the Green Belt.


It was also confirmed to Members that discussions were ongoing with Legal Officers to fully analyse and understand the implications and subsequent course of action for any pending planning applications affected by the new iteration of the NPPF before issuing a decision. Furthermore, it was explained that for pending appeals, officers would anticipate that the Planning Inspectorate would contact the Council, and all other relevant parties, to produce an up to date understanding of the NPPF position and its effect for each appeal.


In response to queries from Members, clarification was given on where the Green Belt lay within Wiltshire, and it was confirmed that a Member briefing note would be drafted by the Spatial Planning Team, and would be circulated as soon as possible in the New Year.


Mr Francis Moreland then presented a statement to the Committee under public participation, which focussed on the revisions to the NPPF, and he expressed the importance and legal basis for reviewing, and where appropriate, re-assessing and bringing back fresh reports to Committee for all relevant planning applications and appeals in light of those changes.


Mr Green then updated the Committee on the appeals report as per the Agenda Pack, with particular attention being drawn to the successful defence of the appeal for application PL/2021/10237, pertaining to the demolition of an existing care home at Staverton. The Committee was congratulated in refusing the application and by identifying the material  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.


PL/2023/05634: Land to the South of The Old Rectory, Warminster Lane North, Upton Scudamore

Erection of a building for the purposes of agricultural storage.

Supporting documents:


Public Participation


·       Ms Barbara Hardy, local resident, spoke in objection to the application.

·       Mr John Spencer, local resident, spoke in objection to the application.

·       Mr Chris Beaver, agent for the applicant, spoke in support of the application.

·       Cllr Carolyn Pollard, on behalf of Upton Scudamore Parish Council, spoke in objection to the application.


The Senior Planning Officer, Julie Mitchell, introduced the report which recommended that the Committee grant planning permission for the erection of a building for the purposes of agricultural storage, subject to conditions.


Key material considerations were identified including principle of development; landscape impacts; heritage matters; highway/Rights of Way matters; and impacts on residential amenity.


Members were advised that prior to the meeting, officers had reviewed the published report mindful of the changes made to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as discussed under Agenda Item 6, Planning Appeals and Updates, and had concluded that there were no material policy differences to report.


Attention was then drawn to concerns raised by third-party representations with regard to the proposed purpose of the building, the amount of land the applicant had identified in blue, the proposed hard standing and ground conditions, and the preservation of the countryside. Members were reassured that the cited proposed floor area of the storage building as set out in the applicant’s Design and Access Statement had been revised to align with the proposed floor plans and elevations as presented to the Committee, and that the original Design and Access Statement had not been a critical determining factor when finalising the officers’ recommendation.


Members of the Committee then had the opportunity to ask technical questions to the officer. Details were sought on the proposed materials to be used for the development, and clarification was required on the difference between the wider agricultural land within the applicant’s ownership and the land to which the storage building related to, all of which being separate from the applicant’s domestic garden. Further questions were raised with regard to any potential future development, the principle of development, and the extent of future permitted development rights.


The four named public speakers as detailed above, then had the opportunity to present their views to the Committee.


The Unitary Division Member, Councillor Bill Parks, then spoke on the application.


A debate followed where Members acknowledged the concerns of the local community and welcomed the robustness of the recommended planning conditions. The revisions made to the application prior to the Committee meeting were also appreciated. The potential uses of the land within the applicant’s ownership (but outside of the application site) were also discussed, and Members explored with officers the merits of removing permitted development rights to protect the countryside character and neighbouring residents’ amenities.


During the debate, a motion to grant planning permission in line with officer recommendations subject to the inclusion of a further condition pertaining to potential future developments, was moved by Councillor Jonathon Seed, and was seconded by Councillor Suzanne Wickham.


Following a vote on the motion, it was:




The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.


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.