Agenda and minutes
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To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 27 February 2019.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 27th February 2019 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chairman, subject to the following:
· Councillor Webster had given her apologies for the meeting.
· There were numerous reference to the word judgement that needed to be replaced with judgment.
Declarations of Interest
To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.
Councillor Tim Metcalfe declared an interest in Agenda Item 4(1), and reported that, as his interest was a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other registrable interest, he would be leaving the meeting during the course of consideration of the matter however would make a representation to the Committee as Ward Member.
Councillors Emma Webster, Graham Pask, Richard Crumly, Peter Argyle and Alan Law declared an interest in Agenda Item 4(1), but reported that, as their interest was a personal interest, but not a disclosable pecuniary interest, they determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote on the matter.
Schedule of Planning Applications
(Note: The Chairman, with the consent of the Committee, reserves the right to alter the order of business on this agenda based on public interest and participation in individual applications.)
(Councillor Tim Metcalfe declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 4(1) by virtue of the fact that Springs Farm was a neighbouring farm that was sometimes used by his own business and on occasion he worked with the applicant. As his interest was a disclosable pecuniary interest, he would be leaving the meeting during the course of consideration of the matter and would take no part in the debate or voting on the matter however, he would speak on the item as Ward Member.)
(Councillor Emma Webster declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 4(1) by virtue of the fact that the applicant was known to her and she had worked with them in the past. As her interest was personal and not prejudicial or a disclosable pecuniary interest, she determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote on the matter.)
(Councillor Graham Pask, Emma Webster, Peter Argyle and Alan Law declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 4(1) by virtue of the fact that they had been lobbied on the item)
(Councillor Tim Metcalfe left the meeting at 6.34pm)
The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(1)) concerning Planning Application 18/03195/FULMAJ in respect of the change of use of land from agricultural to equestrian use; associated paddocks and bridge; and retrospective application for stable block, manége, track, and 4 staff flats in stables.
Michael Butler introduced the report to Members’ of the Committee, which recommended conditional approval, and ran through the key points. Over ten letters of objection had been received. It was a retrospective application for change of use from agricultural to equestrian.
Mr Butler reminded Members that fencing was not for consideration by the Committee as it was covered by Permitted Development Rights (PDR). He suggested that if Members were minded to approve the application then they might wish to consider removing PDR on the site.
Mr Butler highlighted that footpath issues were a main area of public concern as there were ongoing rights of way issues relating to the site. In recommending the application for approval, Officers’ considered that this would in no way compromise future decisions taken by the Council on the site, regarding footpath issues.
Regarding the objection raised by the Environment Agency, Mr Butler stated that following a telephone conversation during the week, he was confident that concerns raised could be overcome.
Mr Butler drew attention to point one on the update sheet and highlighted that the applicant should read Springs Farm Limited and not Mr Otaibi.
Mr Butler drew attention to information on the update sheet with regards to conditions, which detailed that conditions one and seven could be removed. Finally he clarified that information circulated by the applicant’s agent to all Members of the Committee was not ‘new’ information.
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Richard Farrow, Parish Council representative, and Lucy White, agent, addressed the Committee on this application.
Mr Farrow in addressing the Committee raised the following points:
· He was representing the ... view the full minutes text for item 61.(1)
(Councillor Tim Metcalfe re-joined the meeting at 7.30pm)
The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(2)) concerning Planning Application 18/02635/COMIND in respect of the conversion and redevelopment of land and buildings at Shalford Farm; wedding shop, estate farm shop, overnight accommodation, bakery and cookery school, restaurant and yoga studio, biomass boiler and associated parking and landscaping.
Michael Butler introduced the report to Members’ of the Committee, which recommended the application be refused, and ran through the key points. The application had been called in by the Ward Member, irrespective of the Officer recommendation to refuse planning permission.
Mr Butler drew attention to the update sheet, which detailed the Environment Agency had formally removed their objection to the application and were recommending conditional permission.
Mr Butler stated that the update sheet also contained further information as to why the applicant’s agent considered the provision of a shuttle bus to be effective and viable in transporting both employees and visitors to the site. Mr Butler stated that the Officer view was that the site would not become sustainable through the provision of a shuttle bus. The Highways Officer had also not altered his recommendation for refusal as a result of the proposed shuttle service.
Mr Butler concluded that the update sheet also contained answers to queries raised by Members at the site visit. He confirmed that the number of employees would rise from seven to 31 if the application was approved. Footpaths around the site were not considered by Officers to assist the sustainability of the site. Finally Mr Butler confirmed that the distance from the application red line site boundary to the farm house was 41 metres.
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Mary Cowdery, Parish Council representative, Martin Caiger-Smith, objector, and Josh Dugdale and Steven Smallman, applicants, addressed the Committee on this application.
Parish Council Representation
Ms Mary Cowdery in addressing the Committee raised the following points:
· Members who had attended the site visit would have noted that the site was located within a quiet part of rural West Berkshire.
· If the development was to be approved the visual aspect of the site could then be likened to being in the middle of an urban area like Thatcham.
· Peace and quiet was what residents had been seeking when moving to the area.
· There had been concerns raised regarding the potential light pollution from the development. The community of Brimpton wanted to retain their dark night sky. Approving the proposal would increase light and traffic in the area.
· The site, if approved, would be used twenty four hours per day, seven days a week and would result in lorries travelling to and from the site for delivery purposes.
· The site was not on a bus or cycle route. Ms Cowdery did not feel that the shuttle bus proposal would work as visitors would wish to come and go as they pleased. The shuttle bus could help to shuttle people around the site however, would not be suitable for taking people ... view the full minutes text for item 62.
The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(3)) concerning Planning Application 18/03367 in respect of outdoor riding arena.
David Pearson introduced the report to Members of the Committee, which recommended conditional approval, and ran through the key points. Mr Pearson highlighted that an objection to the application had been received from a consultant from the North Wessex Downs AONB. Officers’ felt that previous concerns about the application had been rectified and therefore were proposing conditional approval;
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Simon Dimick and Trevor Furse, applicant/agent, addressed the Committee on this application.
Mr Simon Dimick in addressing the Committee raised the following points:
· The application was for a private equestrian arena for training and exercising of his client’s horses.
· The manége would be within the garden area of Manderley.
· Frilsham Parish Council had no objection to the application if approval was given as long as use was restricted to private use only and there was no external lighting.
· There was no other reason for the manége apart from his client’s passion for riding and taking part in competitions. His client’s children also shared a passion for riding and therefore the arena would provide a safe environment for them to ride in.
· 17 objections to the application had been received and Mr Dimick highlighted that these were largely anonymous. Immediate neighbours had no objection to the proposal.
· Objections suggested that Mr Dimick could use equestrian facilities elsewhere however, the roads close to the site were not suitable for riding on. Adjacent fields were also not suitable for riding in as they were particularly boggy in the winter and often froze.
· The manége would be used for dressage purposes and there was not a local arena close by available for hire and therefore a long journey would be required.
· In 2016 a proposal had been submitted that put a stable block in the adjoining field however, objections had been raised to this and therefore the stables had been erected in the garden area. A previous application to place the manége in line with the road had been criticised and therefore the current proposal would place the manége in the same vicinity as the stable block.
Member Questions to Agent
Councillor Richard Crumly referred to the comments from the AONB, which implied that approval of the application would lead to urbanisation of the site and asked Mr Dimick for his thoughts on this. Mr Dimick was of the view that comments from the AONB Consultant illustrated that they did not fully understand the application. The manége was a structure, however, it in no way urbanised the area in his view.
Ward Member Representation
Councillor Quentin Webb in addressing the Committee raised the following points:
· The application under consideration had been discussed on numerous occasions in the past and the current application proposed the manége be brought into the garden area rather than in an open field.
· Councillor Webb was of the view that the comments from the AONB were overstated.
· Councillor ... view the full minutes text for item 63.
Purpose: To inform Members of the results of recent appeal decisions relating to the Eastern Area Planning Committee.
Members noted the outcome of appeal decisions relating to the Eastern Area.