Agenda and minutes

Western Area Planning Committee - Wednesday 8 May 2024 3.00 pm

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

Contact: Ellen Ghey  Email:


No. Item



To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from:


·         Cllr Jonathon Seed, who was substituted by Cllr Mike Sankey

·         Cllr Stewart Palmen, who was substituted by Cllr Gordon King

·         Cllr Edward Kirk



Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 10 April 2024.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 April 2024 were considered.

Following which, it was:




The Committee approved and signed the minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 April 2024 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 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 and others will have had the opportunity to make representations on planning applications and other items on the agenda, and to contact and lobby their local elected member and any other members of the planning committee, prior to the meeting.


Those circulating such information prior to the meeting, written or photographic, are advised to also provide a copy to the case officer for the application or item, in order to officially log the material as a representation, which will be verbally summarised at the meeting by the relevant officer, not included within any officer slide presentation if one is made. Circulation of new information which has not been verified by planning officers or case officers is also not permitted during the meetings.




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 Tuesday 30 April 2024 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 Thursday 2 May 2024. 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 Simon Smith, Development Management Team Leader, to update the Committee on the pending and determined appeals as per the appeals report included within the Agenda Pack.


The eight determined appeals were detailed, with Members being informed of the successful defence of six. Particular reference was made to three of the six dismissals being for new housing that were flatly rejected by the planning inspectorate upholding the Councils position on being able to demonstrate a 4-year housing land supply and compliance with the NPPF.  The Committee was informed of two contrasting decisions for applications PL/2023/01275 and PL/2023/07769, both of which being retrospective applications for household fencing, whereby one appeal was allowed, and one was dismissed – thus emphasising the importance of planning context.


It was also highlighted that the appellants for three of the applications had applied for costs against, and it was confirmed that each of those applications were roundly rejected.


Cllr Clark wished to thank the officers involved in defending the Land off Ashton Road, Hilperton appeal which had come about following a committee overturn.


Following which, it was:




The Committee noted the appeals report for the period 1 March 2024 to 26 April 2024.



PL/2023/07518: Avonpark Village, Winsley Hill, Winsley, BA2 7FF

Demolition of existing buildings (comprising 85 Care bedrooms), and proposed partial redevelopment and erection of new buildings to provide 71 Extra Care units and associated communal facilities (Use Class C2), parking and landscaping.

Supporting documents:


Public Participation

Ms Fleur Hitchcock, local resident, spoke in objection to the application.

Mr Philip Haile, local resident, spoke in objection to the application.

Mr Guy Flintoft, applicant, spoke in support of the application.

Mr Patrick Clark, adviser to the applicant, spoke in support of the application.

Mr Michael Ross, Chairman of the Avonpark Residents Committee, spoke in support of the application.

Cllr Graham Bostock, on behalf of Winsley Parish Council, spoke in objection to the application.


The Senior Planning Officer, Steven Sims, presented a report which recommended approval for the demolition of existing buildings (comprising of 85 Care Bedrooms), and the proposed partial redevelopment and erection of new buildings to provide 71 Extra Care Units, associated communal facilities (Use Class C2), parking, and landscaping.


It was highlighted that Members of the Committee had undertaken a site visit on Wednesday 1 May 2024.


Key material considerations were identified, including the principle of development; Wiltshire’s 5-year housing land supply; viability; impact on the openness of the Green Belt; impact on the character of the area/Cotswold’s National Landscape/public footpaths; impact on the living conditions of neighbouring residents; and ecology, highway, and drainage issues.   It was also noted that the proposal is not regarded as “major development” for the purposes of interpreting paragraph 183 to the NPPF.  Also in the presentation, it was confirmed that officers are concluding that the site is regarded as previously developed land and would not have a greater impact on the openness of the green belt, thereby constituting an exception as set out in paragraph 154(g) to the NPPF.


Attention was then drawn to some late alterations to the wording of Condition 2 (the approved plans condition which appeared on page 92 of the published agenda) which reflected minor changes to plan drawing references.


Members of the Committee then had the opportunity to ask technical questions to the officer. Clarity was sought on the age limits of future residents, the operating hours of construction vehicles, as well as the effects of this development on the residual housing needs.


Members raised further queries about the potential impacts on the amenities of existing occupants, neighbouring residents, the increase to the height of the buildings, and the landscape and character of the area.


It was noted that Members were disappointed that a Council Highways Officer was not able to attend the meeting and further clarification was sought on the suggested highways and access improvements. In response, it was emphasised that the access plan was indicative only, and planning conditions would secure the necessary detailed highway works as well as a Construction Management Plan – which would need to be approved by the Council prior to works commencing.


The Committee was informed that there were no technical objections in relation to highways, drainage, landscape impacts or urban design matters.


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


Councillor Johnny Kidney, as the Local Unitary Member, then spoke to the application with particular  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Urgent Items

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



Cllr Trevor Carbin tabled an urgent item pursuant to the consented application PL/2021/09777 for ten affordable (rental) dwellings which obtained planning permission on 6 October 2022 following the completion of a S106 legal agreement.


During the discussion, Cllr Carbin sought a statement of support from the Committee to ensure that when it comes to nominations/property allocation, the affordable homes satisfy the Council’s policy in terms of qualifying persons for the 10-house scheme.


A motion to request an update from officers was moved by Cllr Trevor Carbin and was seconded by Cllr Ernie Clark.


After which, it was:




The Committee requested an update at the next meeting from officers in relation to the consented application PL/2021/09777.