Residential development of 18 Dwellings with associated works including vehicular access and parking.
Francis Moreland spoke in objection to the application.
Chirs Beaver (agent) spoke in support of the application.
Dr William Scott – Semington Parish Council, spoke in objection to the application.
Jemma Foster (Senior Planning Officer) presented a report which recommended that permission be delegated to the Head of Development Management to grant full planning permission subject to the prior completion of a Section 106 legal agreement to cover the contributions identified in Section 10 of the report, and subject to the conditions outlined in the report, for PL/2022/01367 - Land off St George's Road, Semington, Melksham, for a residential development of 18 Dwellings with associated works including vehicular access and parking.
The officer highlighted the late representation from Francis Moreland who felt that Wiltshire Council could demonstrate a 5 year HLS based on the Drynham Lane Trowbridge Appeal Decision and how other south west authorities calculate their housing land supply figures. In particular the inclusion of windfall sites. An officer from Spatial Planning had prepared a response which was read at the meeting as follows:
“The NPPF allows for an inclusion of a windfall allowance within its anticipated housing land supply, subject to matters that are set out in NPPF 71. The Council include such an allowance within its five-year housing land supply and supply over the medium and long term. The Council review the factors that affect delivery from windfall sites as part of its annual review of housing land supply. Such factors, including the approach set out in the development strategy and historic delivery, will vary between authorities. As such, the method for calculating future windfall for one authority (such as that for Cotswold District Council as quoted by Mr Morland) is not necessarily directly transferable to that for Wiltshire. Any revisions to the windfall allowance within the housing land supply position will be documented in updates to the Council’s annual Housing Land Supply Statement.”
The officer explained that the reason for this relatively small application being brought to Committee was because it involved a departure to the policies of the statutory development plan.
The officer took the Committee through the presentation slides for the application, highlighting that the application was in a gap between already existing houses and others that were currently being built. The houses were of a similar design to those currently being developed to the North and would be carbon neutral.
Members had the opportunity to ask technical questions of the officer.
In response to questions the officer confirmed the developer was the same for this site and the houses already being developed to the North. There was no benefit to the developer to putting in the applications separately, affordable housing figures had to meet regulations on both sites individually. However, figures could be rounded down for each application.
Members of the public then had the opportunity to present their views, as detailed above.
Councillor Jonathan Seed, the local division Member (Melksham Without West & Rural) spoke in objection to the application. He expressed the opinion that it was extraordinary that the Committee was being asked to consider an application clearly in breach of the Council’s own policies. He also emphasised that since Semington Parish Council had been largely supportive of previous planning applications, it would be wise to pay heed to and respect their opposition to this application.
In response to public participation the officer stated that the Council had to use the 5 year HLS figure as it was published. It was not known if or when proposed changes to the NPPF would be adopted.
Councillor Trotman proposed a motion that the Committee accept the officer recommendation to approve the application as detailed in the agenda. The matter of the 5-year HLS did not sway him and he felt that the application seemed to be a natural infill of a gap, which rounded-off the village. He deemed it a good plan, especially factoring in the carbon-efficient houses. Councillor Sheppard seconded Councillor Trotman’s motion.
During debate the poor condition of the single-track road to the site was raised. The officer responded that highways officers had twice considered access to the site and had deemed it acceptable.
Members also discussed the 5 year HLS and whether Semington had a Neighbourhood Plan in place. It was confirmed that whilst a plan was being developed, it had not been adopted and was not at a point where it could be given weight. Councillors further reflected on the importance of neighbourhood plans.
At the conclusion of the debate, it was;
To defer and delegate to the Head of Development Management to grant full planning permission subject to the prior completion of a Section 106 legal agreement to cover the contributions identified in Section 10 of the report, and subject to the conditions set out below –
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 Construction works involving activities audible at the edges of the site shall be restricted to the following times:-
(a) Mondays - Fridays 07:30 – 18:00hrs
(b) Saturdays 08:00 – 13:00hrs
(c) Not at all on Sundays or Bank and Public Holidays.
No burning shall take place on site.
REASON: In the interests of the amenity of the area.
3 Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (or any Order revoking or re-enacting or amending that Order with or without modification), the garages hereby permitted shall not be converted to habitable accommodation.
REASON: To secure the retention of adequate parking provision, in the interests of highway safety.
4 No dwelling hereby approved shall be first occupied until its associated access, turning area and parking spaces have been completed in accordance with the details shown on the approved plans. The areas shall be maintained for those purposes at all times thereafter.
REASON: In the interests of highway safety.
5 No dwelling hereby approved shall be first occupied until its windows serving the en-suites and bathrooms have been glazed with obscured glass only to an obscurity level of no less than level 3. The windows shall thereafter be maintained with obscured glass in perpetuity.
REASON: In the interests of residential amenity and privacy.
6 No development shall commence above slab level until details of how nest and roosting places for building dependent species such as swifts will be incorporated into the dwellings have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall then be completed in accordance with the approved details.
REASON: In the interests of enhancing the local and natural environment.
7. No development shall commence on site until a programme of archaeological work to demonstrate that the development hereby approved has been carried out in accordance with the approved Written Scheme of Investigation (submitted to Wiltshire Council on 22nd August 2022) has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
REASON: To enable the recording of any matters of archaeological interest.
8.No development shall commence on site until a Drainage Construction Management Plan has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The Drainage Construction Management Plan shall include monitoring of, and measures to retain the existing vegetation across the site, together with drainage arrangements during the construction phase. The development shall be carried out at all times in accordance with the approved details.
REASON: To ensure that the site can be adequately drained during the construction phase.
No work shall commence on site including ground works/excavation, site clearance, vegetation clearance and boundary treatment works, until a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The Plan shall provide details of the avoidance, mitigation and protective measures to be implemented before and during the construction phase as recommended in Section 4 of the Walkover Survey report prepared by All Ecology (November 2021) including but not necessarily limited to:
a) Ecological protection areas/buffer zones and tree root protection areas around retained hedgerows and trees including details of specification of physical means of protection, e.g. temporary fencing.
b) Mitigation strategies for protected/priority species, such as reptiles, amphibians, nesting birds, badger and hedgehog.
c) Work schedules for activities with specific timing requirements in order to avoid/reduce potential harm to ecological receptors; including details of when a licensed ecologist and/or ecological clerk of works (ECoW) shall be present on site.
d) Key personnel, responsibilities and contact details (including Site Manager and ecologist/ECoW).
e) Timeframe for provision of compliance report to the local planning authority; to be completed by the ecologist/ECoW and to include photographic evidence.
Development shall be carried out in strict accordance with the approved CEMP.
REASON: To ensure adequate protection and mitigation for ecological receptors prior to and during construction, and that works are undertaken in line with current best practice and industry standards and are supervised by a suitably licensed and competent professional ecological consultant where applicable.
10 No development shall commence on site including site clearance until a Landscape and Ecology Management Plan (LEMP) has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The LEMP shall specify the design and location of features required as mitigation as outlined in Section 4 of the Walkover Survey report prepared by All Ecology (November 2021) and required by the Biodiversity Net Gain Preliminary Design Stage Report prepared by All Ecology (July 2022) the including, including but not exclusively:
a. New hedge planting in the public realm including protective measures and buffers.
b. Enhancement of retained hedges.
c. Protective measures and buffers for retained hedge at the northern boundary.
d. Hedgehog paths through any solid fences.
e. Integral bird swift boxes and bird homes.
f. Reptile/ amphibian hibernaculum.
g. Integral bat boxes.
h. Hedgehog homes.
The LEMP shall also include long term objectives and targets, management responsibilities and maintenance schedules for each ecological feature within the development including but not limited to:
1. Retained and new hedges and trees.
2. Attenuation basin/ pond and associated aquatic vegetation and wetland meadow grassland. 3. Wildlife corridor.
4. Wildflower meadow.
5. Native and non-native hedgerow planting.
The LEMP shall also include a mechanism for monitoring success of the management prescriptions, incorporating review and necessary adaptive management in order to attain targets and detail of the legal and funding mechanism(s) by which long-term implementation of the plan will be secured. The LEMP shall be implemented in full and for the lifetime of the development in accordance with the approved details.
REASON: To ensure the long-term management of landscape and ecological features retained and created by the development, for the benefit of visual amenity and biodiversity for the lifetime of the scheme.
11 No external light fixture or fitting shall be installed at the application site unless its details are first submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The submitted details must demonstrate compliance with Section 4 of the Walkover Survey report prepared by All Ecology (November 2021). The light fixture or fitting must be installed as approved and maintained as such thereafter.
REASON: To avoid inappropriate illumination of habitats used by bats.
12 The development hereby approved shall be carried out in accordance with the drainage strategy reference 877-ER-01 dated 10th November 2021 received by the Local Planning Authority on 18th February 2022.
REASON: To ensure the site satisfactorily drains and does not lead to flooding elsewhere.
13 Prior to the occupation of the 18th dwelling the fence and gate to be erected around the ‘Wildflower Corridor’/’Wildlife Meadow’ at the rear of units 10-13 shall be completed. Thereafter this area will remain private and inaccessible to the public, with access only for maintenance purposes.
13 All soft landscaping comprised in the approved details of landscaping shall be carried out in the first planting and seeding season following the first occupation of any part of the development or in accordance with a programme to be first agreed in writing by the local planning authority, whichever is the sooner; All shrubs, trees and hedge planting shall be maintained free from weeds and shall be protected from damage by vermin and stock. Any trees 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 by the local planning authority.
All hard landscaping (which shall include all elements of the ‘Play Trail’ and the ‘Self-binding gravel path’ and related bench and log seating) shall also be carried out in accordance with the approved details prior to the first occupation of any part of the development or in accordance with a programme to be agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.
REASON: To ensure a satisfactory landscaped setting for the development and the protection of existing important landscape features.
14 The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans:
· 18th February 2022 877: 01 (location plan), 07 (Maintenance Area Management Plan), 10 (HT Floor plans and elevations), 11 (PB floor plans and elevations), 12 (CR floor plans and elevations), 13(HN floor plans and elevations) 14 (AG floor plans and elevations), 15 (2B4P floor plans and elevations), 16 (2B4P D Floor plans and elevations), 17 (3B5P floor plans and elevations) BIP (Boundary Identification Plan), 155 (External works, drives, kerbs, pavers)
· 2nd March 2022 877: 151 (External works details – walls, fences, railings),
· 21st June 2022 877: 08 rev A (street scenes), 122 -1 (drainage details), 141 Rev B (external works layout), 142 Rev A (drainage layout), 148 -1 &148-2 (swept path analysis), Planning materials Schedule, Semington Material Board,
· 5th August 2022 877: 05 Rev B (Planning layout), 09 (boundary identification plan), 50 Rev B (ecological parameters plan), 21/498/02D (detailed landscape Plan)
REASON: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.
1 This permission shall be read in conjunction with an Agreement made under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1990 and dated the [INSERT].
2 In order to discharge the archaeology condition above, the work is to be carried out by qualified archaeologists following the standards and guidelines for such work as set out by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA). The costs of the work are to be met by the applicant.
3. The applicant is advised that the development hereby approved may represent chargeable development under the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (as amended) and Wiltshire Council's CIL Charging Schedule. If the development is determined to be liable for CIL, a Liability Notice will be issued notifying you of the amount of CIL payment due. If an Additional Information Form has not already been submitted, please submit it now so that we can determine the CIL liability. In addition, you may be able to claim exemption or relief, in which case, please submit the relevant form so that we can determine your eligibility. The CIL Commencement Notice and Assumption of Liability must be submitted to Wiltshire Council prior to commencement of development. Should development commence prior to the CIL Liability Notice being issued by the local planning authority, any CIL exemption or relief will not apply and full payment will be required in full and with immediate effect. Should you require further information or to download the CIL forms please refer to the Council's Website https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/dmcommunityinfrastructurelevy.