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Agenda item

17/12043/FUL - Methuen Park, Chippenham

Minutes:

Public Participation

Meghan Rossiter, agent, spoke in support of the application;

John Owen, applicant, spoke in support of the application;

Spencer Crowder, applicant, spoke in support of the application.

 

The case officer, Charmian Eyre-Walker, introduced a report which recommended planning permission be refused for the erection of 66 dwellings with access via Methuen Park. Key issues highlighted included the loss of employment, urban design, affordable housing, trees, landscape, public open space, drainage, public protection matters and lack of S106 agreement. Reference was made to late items.

 

Members of the Committee then had the opportunity to ask technical questions of the officer which focused on: the designated school for children living on an adjacent mixed housing and employment development; Conversion of commercial buildings to housing under permitted development rights; Market price for the land at Methuen Park; site density compared to adjacent development site; Availability of public open space within the site; Lack of S106 Agreement; The level of affordable housing; Proposals for stacked parking arrangements.

 

Members of the public then had the opportunity to address the Committee, as detailed above.

 

Councillor Peter Hutton, Division Member, spoke in support of the application and thanked officers for their views and opinions during the consideration of the application. The main points focused on: the piece of land remaining unused for 15 years; The availability of community facilities within the vicinity of the development site; Potential to provide affordable housing within walking distance of employment opportunities;

 

At the start of the debate a proposal was moved by Councillor Peter Hutton and seconded by Councillor Gavin Grant to grant planning permission based on Core Policy 35, subject to the Head of Development Management Services being given delegated authority to agree conditions including Section 106. During the debate the main points raised were: High density of the site; lack of amenities on site; location of the site and proximity between two employment sites and A350 dual carriageway; Issues of stacked parking on site; Current lack of employment sites to meet demand within Chippenham; Available information about the marketing of the site.

 

During debate, as indicated above, a motion to grant was moved by Cllr Hutton and seconded by Cllr Grant. Following a vote the motion was lost. A motion to refuse was then moved by Cllr Trotman and seconded by Cllr O’ Neill, and it was:

 

Resolved

 

To refuse planning permission, for the following reasons:

 

1.    The proposal would lead to the loss of a major employment allocation of land, which is part of the strategic objective set out in the Wiltshire Core Strategy to deliver a thriving economy to provide a range of jobs in Wiltshire with dependence on retaining the availability of and enhancing existing employment sites. The loss of this site would also be contrary to the aims of the Wiltshire Core Strategy which seeks to protect Wiltshire’s most sustainable and valued employment areas by applying policies to favour employment uses on these sites. The proposal would therefore be contrary to the aims of the Wiltshire Core Strategy and to Policy CP35 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy and the advice within section 1 of the NPPF in particular.

 

2.    The application does not satisfactorily demonstrate through a robust and comprehensive marketing exercise that its retention is no longer warranted. This would be contrary to the employment led emphasis of the Wiltshire Core Strategy and the requirements of CP35 of that document together with advice in Section 1 of the NPPF.

 

3.    The proposal does not make provisions to secure contributions to affordable housing; education; public art; waste collection and re-cycling; the ongoing provision and maintenance of open space. The application is therefore contrary to Core Policies 3, 43, 45 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy and saved policy CF3 of North Wiltshire Local Plan 2011.

 

(Informative: The applicants have expressed a willingness to make off site contributions to POS and to enter into discussion about other requirements, so that this reason could fall away)

Supporting documents:

 

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