Agenda and draft minutes
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Contact: Stephen Chard / Jessica Bailiss
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 7 August 2019.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 7 August 2019 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chairman, subject to the following amendments:
Item 14(1) – 19/00344/COMIND – Stonehams Farm, Long Lane, Tilehurst
Member Questions to Officers, second paragraph, third sentence:
He was of the understanding that all non-residential developments required an ‘excellent’ rating for BREEAM.
Debate, second paragraph, second sentence:
Visibility along the single track section of Long Lane was poor and often reached the stage where several vehicles had to attempt to pass each other at the same time.
Item 14(3) – 19/01171/FULD – Blacknest Farm, Brimpton Common
Member Questions to Officers, third paragraph, second sentence:
Mr Pearson stated that they were almost identical and the former application was refused under delegated powers.
Comment was also made on the conditions for the following item:
Item 14(2) – 19/00772/RESMAJ – Land adjacent to Primrose Croft, Reading Road, Burghfield Common
Reference was made in the debate, which then formed part of the Committee’s resolution, for approval of this application to be subject to the receipt of satisfactorily amended plans for plot 4. However, David Pearson (Development Control Team Leader) clarified that it had not been necessary to add this as a condition as the applicant’s agent submitted amended plans for plot 4 the day after the Committee.
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.
There were no declarations of interest received.
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.)
The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(1)) concerning Planning Application 19/00031/FUL in respect of a retrospective application for the erection of two day rooms, two mobile homes and two touring caravans for occupation by gypsies/travellers. The application also sought retrospective approval of new access onto the highway and hardstanding, and the erection of fencing.
Michael Butler, Principal Planning Officer, introduced the report and highlighted the following points:
· The application had been due to be considered at the Committee on 17 July 2019, but was deferred as a result of concerns over Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). Detailed submissions had since been provided relating to SuDS and appropriate conditions had been formed on this point should approval be granted.
· The southern boundary of the site abutted a railway line and Network Rail had been consulted. Network Rail had no objections subject to the proposed revised wording of condition 13 (land stability). It had also been confirmed with Network Rail that if, in future, any land stability issues which might arise from the raised site should impact upon Network Rail land, the landowner would be held liable and not the Council.
· Mr Butler clarified that no domestic permitted development rights applied to mobile homes as they were termed caravans and not dwellings per se. As such no condition was required to remove such rights as they did not exist on the site.
· The Officer recommendation to grant planning permission was very much ‘on balance’. It was rare to recommend approval for a retrospective application which was outside a defined settlement boundary, however the application was recommended for conditional approval as it was considered to provide an exceptional case.
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Mr Jack Lovell, Parish Council representative, Mr Tony Renouf, objector, and Mr Brian Woods, agent, addressed the Committee on this application.
Parish Council Representation
Mr Lovell in addressing the Committee raised the following points:
· Woolhampton Parish Council strongly opposed the application.
· The erection of pitches followed by a retrospective planning application should not be tolerated. The correct, lawful process should be followed.
· The site was greenfield land and outside the defined settlement boundary.
· The requirement for West Berkshire Council to provide pitches was not relevant.
· The Parish questioned whether a more standard application on greenfield land outside of the settlement boundary would be granted. They did not feel this would be the case.
· There was no evidence that alternative and more suitable sites had been sought.
· Gypsy/traveller status was not originally claimed by the applicant. The report stated that this point had been rectified, but the Parish questioned how this had been confirmed by Planning Officers. Rigorous checks were needed.
· The Parish did not feel that the requirements of Policy TS3 (detailed planning considerations for traveller sites) of the Housing Site Allocations Development Plan Document (HSA DPD) were being sufficiently covered. There had been no detailed assessment of the suitability of the site.
· The rights of the settled community needed to be considered.
· The application should be refused ... view the full minutes text for item 18.(1)
A date of 11 September 2019 at 5.30pm was agreed for site visits if necessary. This was in advance of the next Eastern Area Planning Committee scheduled for 18 September 2019.
Before closing the meeting, Councillor Alan Law announced that this meeting was David Pearson’s last as lead officer for the Committee after fulfilling this role for 18 years. Bob Dray was taking on this role. On behalf of the Committee, Councillor Law gave thanks to Dave for his professionalism and for the excellent advice he had provided to Members over the years.
Dave explained that an operational decision had been taken for himself and Bob Dray to swop roles. Dave would take on responsibility for householder applications and therefore might still make a ‘guest’ appearance at Committee.
Dave stated that it had been a privilege to work with the Committee and its Members. He admired Members for their commitment in serving their local communities. Dave concluded by saying that he had thoroughly enjoyed his work with the Committee.