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Agenda item

PL/2022/09381 - Newlands, Hyde Lane, Marlborough, SN8 1JN

The change the use of an existing building from a (Class C3) residential use to (Class C2) student accommodation in association with Marlborough College.



Public participation:


·       Oliver Kirby-Johnson – spoke in objection to the application

·       David Ripley – spoke in objection to the application


Meredith Baker, Senior Planning Officer, confirmed that there was an error in the pack and the red line on pages 49 and 51 had been superseded. The correct boundary line was shown on page 38.


The officer then introduced the report which recommended that planning permission be granted, for reasons detailed in the report, to change the use of an existing building from (Class C3) residential to (Class C2) student accommodation, in association with Marlborough College.


The officer advised that the change of use to student accommodation was considered to comprise sustainable development with no unacceptable planning implications such as highways or safety impacts. The development was considered to accord with the Development Plan and therefore was being recommended for approval subject to conditions.


There were no technical questions asked by the Committee.


Members of the public then had the opportunity to present their views, as detailed above.


The unitary division Member, Cllr Jane Davies, spoke in opposition to the application. Cllr Davies explained that, although not in a conservation area, the property was in an area designated as being an area of special quality within the neighbourhood plan. She noted that being located in the area of special quality was referenced in the reasons for the refusal of a nearby application. She also highlighted that Marlborough held a dark skies festival and was part of an area of outstanding natural beauty, so raised concerns about external lighting at the property. Furthermore, she reported privacy concerns from neighbours being overlooked by the proposed external fire escape and asked that if planning grounds were insufficient to refuse the application, conditions could be imposed to restrict its usage.


In response to issues raised during public participation and the unitary Member statement, the planning officer reassured the Committee that external lighting would be controlled through the third condition included within the recommendation, which stated no external lighting could be installed on site unless details had first been submitted and approved by the local planning authority and unless it met the appropriate environmental zone standards. She highlighted that the ‘area of special quality’ was referenced in the report in the context of the designated conservation area not the neighbourhood plan as that is how it had been referred to by a member of the public in their representation on the application. In any event, the officer advised that the proposed change of use was not considered to cause harm to the character and appearance of the area. She also noted that the external staircase was situated approximately 27 metres from the property boundary, so was deemed to be acceptable.


So that the Committee had something to debate the Chairman proposed a motion to approve the application in line with the officer recommendation, which was seconded by Cllr Dr Mathew.


A debate followed where Members discussed whether screening could be controlled by way of condition to address privacy concerns raised by neighbours. They also discussed the potential privacy and health and safety issues in the event that the platform at the top of the external fire escape were to be used as an area for socialising.


At the conclusion of the debate, it was:




That planning permission be GRANTED subject to 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:


Location Plan - Drawing No. MC/NL/LP2 dated 29/09/2022 and received 25/01/2023

Site Plan - Drawing No. MC/NL/SP3 dated 20/10/22 and received 25/01/2023

Proposed Plan + Section Through - Drawing No. MC/NL/002 dated 28/09/22

Elevations - Drawing No. MC/NL/001 dated 14/10/22


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


3. No external lighting shall be installed on-site until plans showing the type of light appliance, the height and position of fitting, illumination levels and light spillage in accordance with the appropriate Environmental Zone standards set out by the Institution of Lighting Professionals in their publication “The Reduction of Obtrusive Light” Guidance Note 01/21 (reference GN01/21), have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The approved lighting shall be installed and shall be maintained in accordance with the approved details and no additional external lighting shall be installed


REASON: In the interests of the amenities of the area and to minimise unnecessary light spillage above and outside the development site.



4. The external staircase hereby permitted shall be used solely for access purposes and not as a balcony or similar amenity area.


REASON: In the interests of residential amenity.


5. The change of use hereby permitted shall not be implemented until a scheme of hard and soft landscaping, to provide additional screening along the boundaries with neighbouring properties, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  The submitted hard landscaping details shall include the height, positioning and design of any new screening.  The soft landscaping details shall include species, height at planting, positioning and planting densities.  All landscaping works shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details prior to the first occupation of the building in connection with the use hereby permitted or in accordance with a programme to be agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  All shrubs, trees and hedge planting shall be maintained free from weeds and shall be protected from damage by vermin and stock. Any tree or plants which, within a period of five years, die, are removed, or become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of a similar size and species, unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.


REASON:  Insufficient details have been provided and are required in the interests of residential amenity.





1. 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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