Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Second Floor Meeting Area Council Offices Market Street Newbury. View directions
Contact: Jenny Legge
Note: This meeting will be streamed live here: https://www.westberks.gov.uk/westernareaplanninglive
Minutes of the meetings held on 3 November 2021 and 15 December 2021 will be available for the next meeting of this Committee.
The Minutes of the previous meeting were not available to review.
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.
Councillors Phil Barnett and Andy Moore declared personal interests in Agenda Item 4(2). As their interests were personal and not prejudicial or a disclosable pecuniary interest, they determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote on the matter.
Councillor Carolyne Culver declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 4(1). 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.
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 Carolyne Culver declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 4(1) by virtue of the fact that it was situated within her Ward and she is a resident of neighbouring East Ilsley. 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).
The Chairman wished to thank the officers involved for making the extraordinary site visit possible.
1. The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(1)) concerning Planning Application 20/01336/OUTMAJ in respect of the Institute for Animal Health, High Street, Compton. Approval was sought for a hybrid application: 1) Outline planning permission (all matters reserved with the exception of access), for development comprising of up to 160 residential units (Class C3), the provision of landscaping, construction of access and street lighting, car and cycle parking, other associated infrastructure, sustainable drainage systems, engineering works and mitigation measures including the construction of internal roads. The proposal included at least 1.75 hectares of employment land (Class B1) associated with the retention of the Intervet building and a playing field (Class D2) associated with the retention of the existing Cricket Pitch. 2) Full planning permission for the demolition of existing buildings, structures and hardstanding along with preparatory works including earthworks, remediation, utility works and associated mitigation measures. The change of use of land including the creation of public open space and wildlife area.
2. Ms Lydia Mather, Senior Planning Officer, introduced the report to Members, which took account of all the relevant policy considerations and other material planning considerations. In conclusion the report detailed that the proposal was acceptable in planning terms and officers recommended that the Service Director – Development and Regulation be authorised to grant planning permission subject to conditions and the completion of a S106 legal agreement.
3. The Chairman asked Mr Paul Goddard, Team Leader – Highways Development Control, if he had any observations relating to the application. Mr Goddard made the following points:
· There was an existing access on to the High Street which was acceptable with regards to width, geometry and sightlines. Although some further detail regarding sightlines was required, it was considered achievable and was being secured by condition.
· There were other accesses on to Churn Road that served existing commercial premises, some of which would be retained within the proposal. The accesses to Churn Road would act as emergency access as the site is a cul-de-sac.
· Pedestrian routes from and across the site / the public rights of way were acceptable to the Council.
· The site had an existing use and it was suspected that consented uses on the site had a higher level of traffic generation than this proposal. However, Transport Assessment assessed the proposal as if there was nothing there. The area was surveyed extensively at numerous junctions, and it was also modelled using traffic modelling software. No junctions were found to have capacity issues, including the junction on to the A34 at East Ilsley (which ... view the full minutes text for item 34.(1)
(Councillors Phil Barnett and Andy Moore declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 4(2) by virtue of the fact that they were members of the Planning and Highways Committee on Newbury Town Council which had considered this application. As their interests were personal and not prejudicial or a disclosable pecuniary interest, they determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote on the matter).
72. The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(2)) concerning Planning Application 21/01911/FULD in respect of Land Adjoining 11 Pond Close, Newbury. Approval had been sought for the removal of derelict garages and the erection of two houses and two flats, together with associated landscaping and parking, and had been refused by this Committee at its meeting on 3 November 2021 for (1) Highway safety and general amenity, and (2) zero carbon development reasons.
73. Following advice from planning policy and an accompanying legal counsel’s opinion regarding the correct interpretation of Policy CS15 under the current policy context, the Committee was being invited to consider whether a fresh resolution would be required in respect of the zero carbon development reason for refusal. It was not proposed to re-open the debate regarding the Highway safety and general amenity reason for refusal.
74. Mr Simon Till, Principal Planning Officer, introduced the report to Members, which took account of all the relevant policy considerations and other material planning considerations. Mr Till highlighted the concerns regarding the second reason for refusal, in that it was based on a misinterpretation of planning policy in terms of seeking zero carbon energy on a minor development. Mr Till explained in more detail the advice received since the 3 November 2021 meeting which, in summary, was showing there is no policy basis on which the Council could lawfully require residential development to come forward on a zero carbon basis, and that the requirements of policy for zero carbon energy only applies to major residential development.
75. In light of the above, the Planning Officer's recommendation was for a refusal on the basis of the first reason for refusal only (highway safety and general amenity), and the omission of the second reason (zero carbon development).
76. The Chairman asked Mr Paul Goddard, Team Leader - Highways Development Control, if he had any observations relating to the application. Mr Goddard referred to the concerns he expressed at the meeting on 3 November 2021 which had included: (1) That parking on the site for residents had been lost some years ago when the land was sold, and the Council does not have any policies to protect parking facilities like that from what is a private land transaction; (2) That highway reasons had not been a consideration when refusing the previous, much larger planning applications for this site; (3) The proposal complies with the Council’s parking standards, and; (4) The difficulties with access being cited as a reason for refusal given the proposed improvement works to Pond Close as part of the development. Mr Goddard reiterated ... view the full minutes text for item 34.(2)