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Agenda item

APPLICATION NUMBER: 20:00337.FUL - Land to East of Odstock Rd, and to South of Rowbarrow, Salisbury

Erect 95 dwellings together with garages, car barns, and refuse/cycle stores. Lay out gardens and erect means of enclosure. Creation of new vehicular access to Odstock Road. Lay out internal roads, including drives and pavements. Provision of associated public open space, play areas and landscape planting.


Public Participation

Peter Durnan (COGS) spoke in objection to the application

Nicola Liscombe (Salisbury Area Green Space Partnership) spoke in objection to the application

Philip Saunders (Agent) spoke in support of the application

Annie Riddle spoke on behalf of Salisbury City Council


Supplement 2 containing late correspondence, had been uploaded to the online agenda pack. This included a revised condition 16 relating to noise and third party comments from COGS, Salisbury Civic Society and Salisbury City Council, confirming previous objections.


The Planning Team Leader, Richard Hughes presented the application which was for the erection of 95 dwellings together with garages, car barns, and
refuse/cycle stores. Lay out gardens and erect means of enclosure. Creation of new vehicular access to Odstock Road. Lay out internal roads, including drives and pavements. Provision of associated public open space, play areas and landscape planting. A slide showing the location of the site was shown and explained.


The application was recommended for Approval with conditions as set out in the report attached to the agenda.


Material considerations noted in the report included:


• Principle of development, policy and planning history;

• Design, scale and impact to the amenity of the area/Landscape Impacts

• Heritage impacts/archaeology

• Parking/Highways Impact;

• Ecological Impact/River Avon Catchment Area

• Drainage

• S106 matters


The natural mature screening along the existing Rowbarrow site was detailed on slides in both summer and winder for comparison. Rights of Way, linkages and paths were also shown.


The site was a housing allocation site in policy H3.4 and had been assessed to be suitable for around 100 dwellings.


The original proposals for 108 dwellings, had been reduced following consideration of archaeological and statutory consultee concerns which had raised issues.


The original layout proposed 108 dwellings, however due to constraints on the site and the discovery that there may be more archaeological artefacts to be avoided and areas of ecological sensitivity, following further consultation the proposals were revised twice. The current proposals for consideration at Committee include a reduction of dwellings to 95.


Comments within the report from the landscape and ecology officers noted required adjustments, however it was suggested that these could be managed by applying additional conditions.


What was shown was not the final landscaping measures for the site, plans would need to be further approved by the Landscape, ecology, and archaeology teams prior to commencement.


A land bank was in place between the existing Rowbarrow estate and the proposed development, which was owned by the developer of the adjacent development. Thus, the applicants of this scheme had no control over this bank.


Highways were satisfied with the development in terms of the parking requirements and the scheme included planned Highways works to Odstock Road.


An affordable housing scheme formed part of the proposals.


Members then had the opportunity to ask technical questions of the Officer, where it was clarified that the mature trees did have a TPO and were protected.


Clarification around the established protected tree belt line, the Saxon cemetery, the location of the archaeology area and the trackway was sought. The Officer details the locations of all on the slides.


The ownership of the open space (archaeology area) after completion of the development was queried, it was noted that it would remain in the ownership of the developer or be handed over to the Management company for the site. Queries around the possibility of the Salisbury City Council taking the area on were raised, it was noted that it was normally a separate matter between the parties outside of planning considerations, but this issue would usually be included in the S106 Legal clauses.


The red line area which included a section of the road was queried, where it was confirmed the road was owned by the Council.


There were no conditions which prevented future development in the archaeological area as permission would be required to carry out any development there anyway. The Officer noted that in this instance what would be more common, was that the space would form various functions, such as an archaeological function. The New Forest Strategy also required an area of these larger sites to have a conservation measure, which would need to be protected.


The impact of reducing the number of dwellings on the site was discussed, it was noted that the less dwellings on a site which had been assessed to be suitable for around 100, would impact on the council’s delivery targets of new houses. There would also be a financial impact to the developer, and a reduction in S106 contributions.  


The compression of the site due to avoidance of the need for the open space was raised, clarification around the density of the dwellings and associated increase of traffic movements was requested.


The Officer drew attention to the Highways section in the report, specifically the Transport Assessment. A density calculation was not available at the meeting, however the Officer noted that in comparison to the existing Rowbarrow site, it was roughly the same or possibly slightly less.


The number of houses below the access road, nearest the lower tree line, was noted as being approximately 15.


Members of the public as detailed above, then had the opportunity to speak on

the application.


Some of the main points included the breakage to the shared path on the east side of the development, requiring pedestrians and cyclists to give way to vehicular traffic. Access for Emergency service vehicles and the impact for other road users. Preservation of Landscape Heritage assets and the archaeological importance of the site.


The close proximity of the dwellings to the tree belt, the impact on the open space of the development the TPO’s, and particularly that the trees had been planted as a commemoration to the Queen’s Jubilee were also noted as having significance.


The site having been identified in the Council’s Site Allocations Plan in 2020 and the need to provide housing was noted, along with planned improvements to RoWs and the sustainability of the site.


No identified need for community facilities on the development site in preference to local financial benefits. A benefit to the area of the 2.5-hectare open space.


Statutory consultees were in support of the proposal.


The Salisbury City Council reiterated its objections to the proposals, highlighting its view that the plans were asking too much of the site now that there were archaeological needs and suggested the benefits of a site visit for Members if they were not familiar with the location.


Reference was also made to the very large trees and associated fears that property owners living closet to them may have. The rare orchids on site and the addition of a condition to require installation of bird, bat and other wildlife features on each property.


Local Member, Cllr Sven Hocking, spoke to the application noting that the development had generated a lot of interest locally.


He noted that there had been changes to the proposals along the way, including the replacement of dwellings away from the cemetery and the discovery of the archaeological site, which had impacted on the size of the developable area.


He highlighted the importance of open space and space for people to live, given the restraints brought about by the pandemic over the last two years. He compared the houses and gardens to a postage stamp and that he felt the proposals amounted to overdevelopment.


He did not feel that some of the points previously raise around environmental issues had been addressed and felt that developers should be contributing to improvements by providing certain measures at the point of development rather than the owners having to install measures at a later stage at a higher cost.


The community facilities in the existing Rowbarrow estate were noted as consisting of a church hall and a local shop for approx 1500 houses, resulting in there being nowhere for people to go and meet. The pandemic had highlighted the need for facilities to socialise, which he felt should be a consideration for developers and that despite there being a financial contribution instead of the provision of the facilities, there would be nowhere for the facilities to be placed at a later date.


The design and street scenes shown were not pleasing on the eye and he felt that Salisbury having its historic character deserved more of an attractive design.


The dwellings on the site would be inhabited by families with children who would need school paces. The school at the other end of Harnham was not in the catchment area for this location.


He noted that he would like to see the removal of the 15 houses on the southern side of the access road removed with further consideration and alterations to making the development more special, environmentally greener and a good place to live.


He felt that there would be some form of development on the site and suggested that if the application were refused, the applicant could go to appeal and be approved. 


In light of the outstanding reports from Landscaping and Ecology he put forward the idea of working with the developer and partners to come up with a proposal that was nearer to something that all could agree with.


Cllr Hocking then moved the motion of Deferral to enable further discussions to take place between the Applicant, the Planning Team and any other relevant parties, to resolve the issues which had been discussed and to come back with a revised application. 


This was seconded by Cllr Nabil Najjar.


The Committee was invited to discuss the application, the main points included the large scale, future maintenance and associated issues relating to the tree line.


The plan for the road to cut through the cycle route, inclusion of facilities such as a MUGA and a play area were discussed, as were possible options for future ownership of the open space.


The non-determination deadline was noted as having past due to ongoing discussions with developers over the last 2 years. 


Concerns over Historic England’s input in the report were noted in relation to an Iron Age Holloway, running down where the 15 houses were planned.  Suggestions for a stronger condition requiring a full archaeological assessment of the entire site were put forward, to establish what exactly was on the site.


There was mixed support for the refusal and the deferral options.


There was disappointment regarding the lack of a 5 year land supply which

it was felt brought pressure on the Committee to consider applications such as this in a favourable way.


A request was made for the Chairman to feedback dissatisfaction with the delay in the Core Strategy provision of a 5 year land supply to the relevant Officers/Members.


Other areas of discussion touched on the sensitivity of the site and the support for a more elegant development than that proposed. Overdevelopment due to the dwelling numbers for what was a now much reduced space, the encroachment on the treeline and the potential national importance of the archaeology were all given as reasons to defer the application.


Cllr Hocking requested that the following areas for discussion with developers should include:


1.   More information related to the impact on the important archaeology on the site

2.    The submission of additional matters related to the ecological and landscape issues/conditions

3.    Reconsideration of the vehicular access with regards to cyclists

4.    Adjustment of the number of dwellings and the spine road

5.    Explore the future operation of the open space and play areas by the city council with maintenance money via a S106

6.    That consideration be given to the MUGA being located on the development site


The Committee then voted on the motion of Deferral.


It was;




That application 20.00337.FUL be Deferred to allow for discussions between the Applicant and the Planning Authority to reach a mutually agreed position on aspects of the development as listed above.



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