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Agenda item

20/11232/FUL - Lime Yard Adjacent To, Grimstead Road, West Grimstead, SP5 3RQ

Change of Use from storage, processing and distribution of lime to storage, processing and distribution of horticultural products, with the addition of one building.

Minutes:

Public Participation

Ms L Paramor spoke in objection to the application

Mr R Flower (Agent) spoke in support of the application

Cllr E Hartford spoke on behalf of Alderbury PC

Cllr M Fry spoke on behalf of Grimstead PC

 

Attention was drawn to additional information which had been published in Supplements 1 & 2 to the agenda, which detailed the Ecology Officer’s response and additional comments.

 

The Senior Planning Officer, Lynda King presented the application for a change of use from storage, processing and distribution of lime to storage, processing and distribution of horticultural products, with the addition of one building.

 

It was noted that the application should have been a major application and advertised in the press. The application had now been advertised and consultation would end on 15 July. Due to this, any decision would need to be delegated to Officers to implement following close of the consultation period and consideration of any new matters arising.

 

The main issues which had been considered to be material in the determination of this application were listed as Principle/retention of rural employment, Neighbouring Amenity and landscape, Highway Safety, and Ecology and drainage.

 

The site had been used for lime preparation since the 1980s.The application sought Change of use, to the production of horticultural soils.

 

Points noted were that there would be an average of 2 HGVs movements per hour from the site. The roller shutter doors would be closed during the drying operation and would be conditioned.

 

The owners operated another site at New Milton, photos of that site were shown and explained as part of the presentation.

 

The application had generated Objections from Grimstead Parish Council; and Alderbury Parish Council with a further 9 letters of objection from third parties.

 

The NPPF and Core Strategy both supports the diversification of agriculture and other land based rural business, this application was the latter.

 

Previous appeal for a B2 and B8 use were dismissed, a copy of the Inspector’s decision was provided in the agenda pack.

 

There were no current conditions on the hours of use. This application would enable there to be some conditions to control the level of usage on the site.

 

The Local Plan Policy and the Salisbury Plan looked to protect employment.

 

It was considered that there would be no harm to the local amenities.

This was a unique site and it would be very difficult to find an alternative anywhere else.

 

The application was recommended for approval with conditions as set out in the report and additional conditions recommended by the Council’s Ecologist, which were set out on the Supplements to the agenda.

 

Members of the Committee had the opportunity to ask technical questions of the Officer, where it was clarified that there was an ancient woodland with priority habitat to the south of the site, this was not an SSSI. The site lies within  an SLA. The amended plan included showed the revisions required by Ecology and was the final plan.

 

The plans included a pond to collect excess water runoff. The nearest dwelling was approx. 100m from the boundary on West Grimstead side, there was also the inclusion of a noise bund.

 

A noise assessment had taken place and been assessed by the Council’s Environmental Health Officers.  The assessment had taken place on the application site and surroundings, as well as the applicant’s existing operation, as demonstrated by the microphones in the submitted photographs.

 

The proposed facility would create approx. 5 or 6 new positions of employment.

 

The coniferous boundary on the southern side blended in with the woodland.

 

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

 

Some of the main points raised were, the level of impact on the nearest residential dwellings, the summary of issues submitted by objectors was felt to have been inadequate in capturing the level of detail provided.

 

Associated dust from diesel fumes coming from the lorries, and the impact on resident’s health.

 

The damage to wildlife living near the site.

 

The loss of enjoyment of the copse by the groups that currently used it, which included Scouts and Explorer Scouts

 

Whether there was an original condition on the lime yard permission that stated the land would be re-instated to its former use once the lime yard was no longer operational.

 

The need for economic growth, the suitability of the site, the reduced environmental footprint of the applicant.

 

The Alderbury PC and West Grimstead PC both spoke in objection.

 

Unsuitability of the rural lanes to carry HGV traffic, knock on effect of the local villages being used as cut throughs when Sat-navs were in use despite the weight restriction.

 

 

The design, bulk and general appearance was out of character with the surrounding area. Associated smell from the sterilisation of soil. Verge erosion caused by HGVs. Wildlife in the wood would disappear.

 

Local Member Cllr Richard Britton spoke to the application, noting that whilst he could see the merits of the application and the attraction of the site to the operator there were three key headings.

 

Neighbouring amenity – the creation of a 3m bund was recognition that there was a noise issue.  Although there was mention that the roller door would be kept closed during operation, he felt there would still be a noise issue for the closest neighbours. Presuming that some sort of HGV would be used to manoeuvre the material the beeping of a HGV would plague the residents.

 

The woods contain protected species – the application site would be part of the foraging and natural movement of the protected species, which he felt was an important consideration. Ecological report – there were 3 conditions in the report to protect the habitat and habits of the wildlife on that site.

 

Vehicular movement – In addition to the issue of all of the other vehicle movements, employees would also likely drive there not ot mention trade people visiting the site and any technicians. All of this despite the previous inspector saying that the roads and lanes around the site were unsuitable for this nature of associated traffic.

 

Cllr Britton (the Chairman) then moved the motion of refusal against Officer recommendation, on the grounds of being detrimental to highway safety,  residential amenity (by reason of noise and dust) impact on ecology, and therefore contrary to Saved Policies C6, E19 and CP50 and CP57 of the Core Strategy.

 

This was seconded by Cllr Hocking.

 

The Committee was invited to discuss the application, the main points included the Highways impact and the congestion on the A36. How the business would operate without any external lighting, as that was prohibited until a plan had been put forward. 

 

Clarification on the reasons for refusal, were explained by the Chair as reflecting the Inspectors reasons for refusal. 

 

Whether an additional 2 HGV lorry movements an hour would have much impact on the flow of the A36 which was a major trunk road.

 

Clarification on whether there was an existing condition attached to the lime yard application which the Officer confirmed that there was no requirement to return the land to agricultural use.

 

The sites location and impact on the neighbouring amenity.

 

That Highways had not previously objected and that the Inspector had not agreed with that previously.

 

Vehicle movements or access only via the A36 could not be conditioned.

 

The offer by the applicant to agree to a later start time of 07:30 hrs if approved.

 

The 2012 decision pre-dated the NPPF and the Core Strategy and that this type of operation was in compliance with national policy.

 

The Committee then voted on the motion of refusal against Officer recommendation for the reasons stated above.

 

Cllr Oliver recorded his descent in the voting process as he was not comfortable that Chair was the local member and also able to use a casting vote.

 

Legal advised that it is the chairs prerogative to use his casting vote regardless of the application area.

 

It was:

 

Resolved

 

Subject to delegation to Officers following the closure of the consultation period and that raising no further substantive issue not already covered, that application 20/11232/FUL – Lime Yard, adjacent to Grimstead Road, West Grimstead be REFUSED for the following reasons:

 

 

The site is located in the open countryside which is designated as a Special Landscape Area. The adjacent woodland is designated as a County Wildlife Site and Ancient Woodland Priority Habitat. The site is located within close proximity to a number of residential properties. According to local residents, the site has been in limited use for the last 10 years, and hence, the current operation of the site has had limited impact on the surrounding area. The surrounding highway network is characterised by narrow and twisting lanes without proper footways.

 

Whilst the reuse of the site would potentially create rural employment opportunities, this benefit is considered to be outweighed by the potential harm that would result due to the inevitable increase in the useage of the site, which will significantly increase the amount of noise and dust disturbance generated; increase the amount of vehicles accessing the site and surrounding highway network, and also increase the requirement for the artificial lighting of the site. Whilst some restrictive conditions could be imposed on the use and operation of the site, the Council considers that such restrictions would not be enough to limit the harmful impact of the proposal on the local highway system, the protected species and habitats on and adjoining the site, or on residential amenity.

 

The proposal is therefore contrary to the aims of adopted saved policies C6 & E19 and policies CP50 and CP57 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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