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Agenda item

APPLICATION NUMBER: PL/2022/01547 - The Drying Fields, Castle hill Lane, Mere.

Demolition of existing garage and erection of a new 2 bedroom dwelling.


Public Participation

Jack Garner spoke in support of the Application

Lesley Traves spoke on behalf of Mere Town Council


The Planning Team Leader Richard Hughes presented the application for Demolition of existing garage and erection of a new 2 bedroom dwelling and noted the site visit which had taken place earlier that day.


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


Material considerations were:


  • Principle for the development, tilted balance and 5 year housing land supply
  • Visual impact on the character of the Conservation Area, impact on the streetscene.
  • Impact on neighbouring amenities
  • Highway safety
  • Biodiversity
  • The planning balance


The application had generated 3 letters of objection and an objection from Mere Town Council.


The site was described as being in the urban fabric of the settlement with the proposed dwelling higher in comparison to the barn building next door.


The Officer noted the location of the proposed bin storage under the canopy area shown in the plan.


There were no technical questions of the Officer.


Members of the public as detailed above, then had the opportunity to speak on the application, the main points included the Applicants family connection to the local area, and the positive engagement with the conservation and planning officers.


The proposal met the current building regulation and sustainability factor. Materials would be locally sourced, and the design would complement the existing surrounding buildings and be of a high quality.


Access concerns of the town council were not supported by Highways.


The Town council representative stated an objection to the application, on grounds of over development of a small site. Concerns regarding the size of the smaller second bedroom were also raised, suggesting that space standards were not being adhered to.


In addition, there was a lack of amenity space and bin area and a low quality accommodation which would require 2 parking spaces on a road which they considered to be busy, narrow and dangerous.


Concerns regarding the Highways safety due to being on the corner, the logistics of entering the property at an upper level due to the split level of the front and rear, due to different road heights.


Local Member, Cllr George Jeans, who was on the Committee, spoke to the application noting he usually supported smaller unit developments and asked the committee to judge the application on its merits. He stated that the site visit had highlighted the issue of the location on the corner.


A residential development there would mean vehicles moving their cars in and out of the narrow lane, with an apex of approx. 9m high.


He disagreed with the Highways assessment, noting that parking spaces in the evenings were full.


The development would alter the open space in a conservation area as the cottages there were low on the streetscene, and the development was high.   


Despite there being bin storage there was no washing line, and the dwelling was of a poor quality.


Cllr Jeans then moved the motion of Refusal, against Officer recommendation, on the grounds as stated above.


Cllr Brian Dalton seconded the motion.


The Chairman noted that on inspection and after visiting the site earlier that day, he felt that the application was a of a first-class design and believed that it did fit with the streetscene. The property next door was a workshop and would tower above this building. It amounted to an infill which would enable people that had grown up in the area to achieve affordable housing


The Committee then voted on the motion of refusal. The motion failed.


Cllr Sven Hocking then moved the motion for Approval in line with Officer recommendation.


This was seconded by Cllr Andy Oliver.

It was;



That application PL/2022/01547 be Approved as per the Officer recommendation, with the following conditions:


1. The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.


REASON: To comply with the provisions of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.


2. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans listed in schedule:


Site and Location Plans received 15th March 2022

Proposed Streetscene ref 0901 Rev P02 dated 13/5/22

Proposed Plans & Elevations ref 0010 Rev P03 dated 13/5/22

Revised Heritage Impact Assessment and Design and Access Statement received 13/5/22


REASON: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.


3. No development shall commence above slab level on the dwelling hereby approved until details of:


i) the materials (stone and clay tile) to be used on the walls and roof of

the development and the source of natural stone to be used

ii) brochure details for the windows and front doors

iii) 1:10 details for the dormer windows

iv) rainwater goods (to be heritage style)

v) measures for biodiversity net gain (such as bat boxes / tiles and swift / bird bricks) have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.


The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details before the dwelling is occupied and the agreed details shall be maintained on site thereafter.


REASON: The matter is required to be agreed with the Local Planning Authority before development commences above slab level in order that the development is undertaken in an acceptable manner, in the interests of visual amenity and the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and to secure biodiversity net gain for the site.


4. No external stonework shall be constructed on site (either on the dwelling or the external stone finish for the retaining wall on Castle Street), until a sample panel of stonework, not less than 1 metre square, has been constructed on site, inspected and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The panel shall then be left in position for comparison whilst the development is carried out.


Development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved sample.

REASON: In the interests of visual amenity and the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.


5. The development hereby permitted shall not be first occupied until the whole of the parking area has been consolidated and surfaced (not loose stone or gravel). The access shall be maintained as such thereafter.


REASON: In the interests of highway safety


6. Notwithstanding the submitted details, the proposed development shall not be occupied until means/works have been implemented to avoid private surface water from entering the highway.


REASON: To ensure that the highway is not inundated with private surface water.


7. No part of the development hereby permitted shall be first occupied until the access & parking spaces [2 No] have been completed in accordance with the details shown on the approved plans. The areas shall always be maintained for those purposes thereafter.


REASON: In the interests of highway safety.


8. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (or any Order revoking or reenacting or amending that Order with or without modification), no window, dormer window or rooflight, other than those shown on the approved plans, shall be inserted in the roofslope(s) of the development hereby permitted.


REASON: In the interests of residential amenity and privacy and the character of the Conservation Area.




Highways: The applicant is advised of the need to submit plans, sections and specifications of the proposed retaining wall alterations/works for the approval of the Highway Authority in accordance with Section 167 of the Highways Act 1980.

(For information, this relates to retaining walls which are wholly or partly within 4 yards (3.65metres) of a street and which is at any point of a greater height than 4'6"(1.40 metres) above the level of the ground at the boundary of the street nearest that point.)


The application involves an extension to the existing/creation of a new vehicle access/dropped kerb. The consent hereby granted shall not be construed as authority to carry out works on the highway. The applicant is advised that a licence will be required from Wiltshire’s Highway Authority before any works are carried out on any footway, footpath, carriageway, verge or other land forming part of the highway. Please

contact our Vehicle Crossing Team on vehicleaccess@wiltshire.gov.uk  and/or 01225 713352 or visit their website at http://wiltshire.gov.uk/highways-streets  to make an application.


CIL: The applicant is advised that the development hereby approved represents chargeable development under the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (as amended) and Wiltshire Council’s CIL Charging Schedule. A separate Community Infrastructure Levy Liability Notice will be issued by the Local Planning Authority. Should you require further information with regards to CIL please refer to the Council's Website



Protected Species: The applicant should note that under the terms of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and the Habitats Regulations (2010) it is an offence to disturb or harm any protected species, or to damage or disturb their habitat or resting place. Please note that this consent does not override the statutory protection afforded to any such species. In the event that your proposals could potentially affect a protected species you should seek the advice of a suitably qualified and experienced ecologist and consider the need for a licence from Natural England prior to commencing works. Please see Natural England’s website for further information on protected species.



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