P2106/11/COU Woodgate Sawmills Ltd, Buckstone Close, Mile End, Coleford
Decision maker: Development Control Committee
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Change of use of land from forest waste to storage in association with existing sawmill. Erection of security fencing
Please refer to the late material circulated before the start of the meeting
Development Control Manager, Clive Reynolds, drew member’s attention to the late material and to an additional letter of representation that had been received. He said that the officers of the council were extremely sensitive to the issue of forest waste and that this matter had been carefully considered. He said that the area concerned was in part severed from the adjoining forestland by virtue of the approved access road. He thought it was also noteworthy to mention that the sawmill in question was ultimately the type of use that could be associated with forestry land.
Expressing concerns about the proposed change of use of the land, the speaker said that,
‘whilst he appreciated that the main disruption to the site was due to the new road, (for which planning permission had already been granted), he also had several concerns about the proposal. He said that,
a. I am aware of the large body of concern regarding protection of the Statutory Forest and including Forest Waste,
b. Forest Waste protection is vital in that it is a known fact that there is more diversity in forest fringes, which includes forest waste, than the main body of any forest,
c. The exchange land proposed is in another part of the forest; therefore I think that preventing further loss or change in this area should be considered as vital in this application,
d. The area in question is a further linear expansion of the sawmill site. Its enclosure, as opposed to the open access road, will create a further constriction of the access for wildlife to the forest waste from the main forest,
e. The protection and considerations within the Core Strategy have not been mentioned and they should be forming a very material consideration in any planning decision, as any Appeal Inspector would, especially as this Council is now likely to adopt it at the 23 February meeting,
f. As planning decisions can be lost in time then, if you agree with my concerns of further extensions being detrimental to the area, I hope that you will consider looking for some restriction to be placed on the deeds to this land.
This can be a mutual agreement between the two parties before this application is passed, based upon the planning authority policies to protect Forest Waste. A ‘reverter clause’ could be used by the Forestry Commission, such that this area is limited for storage associated with the sawmill and if at any time this business ceases then this parcel of land will revert to open forest. It will be a strong indicator to any future purchaser of the sawmill site with the intention of further development. It will be a strong indicator to any future purchaser of the sawmill site with the intention of further development. It will also be an indication on the council’s records, for any future planning committee, of the concerns regarding protection from further damage to the amenity of this area’.
Local member, Councillor Paul McMahon said that, although he had no objection to the public speaker’s concerns, having visited the site the previous day, he had found the site to be very well organised. With this in mind, he believed the proposed development would be of less detriment to the site than that created by the current use and that the land swap proposal was acceptable. The local member said that, whilst acknowledging the town council’s concerns, he did not consider this significant enough reason not to support the application. On this basis, Councillor McMahon moved the recommendation and Councillor Norman Stephens seconded the motion.
Councillor Philip Burford said that, whilst agreeing with the local member’s viewpoint, it might be beneficial for the committee to consider imposing an additional condition for the land to be returned to its current use, should the owner not use the land for storage. Councillor Norman Stephens, (as seconder to the motion), did not see a problem in accepting the additional condition. Councillor McMahon, however, felt that the suggestion was unnecessary and did not accept the proposal.
Having reinforced the usefulness of imposing an additional condition for the reasons stated earlier in the meeting, Councillor Burford proposed an amendment to the recommendation and requested officers consider appropriate wording for the suggested condition. Councillor Gabriella Kirkpatrick seconded this proposal. A recorded vote was taken and members,
RESOLVED to accept the amendment
Councillors James Bevan, Philip Burford, Gethyn Davies, Frankie Evans, Jackie Fraser, Val Hobman, Jane Horne and Gabriella Kirkpatrick
Against (3) Councillors Terry Glastonbury, Norman Stephens and Arthur Thomas
A second recorded vote was taken, (on the substantive motion), and members,
RESOLVEDto grant planning permission, as detailed in the schedule of applications and subject to the information included in the late material. Planning permission also subject to the inclusion of an additional condition to return the use of the land to its original use, should the owner of the site not use the land for storage.
Councillors James Bevan, Philip Burford, Gethyn Davies, Frankie Evans, Jackie Fraser, Val Hobman, Jane Horne, Gabriella Kirkpatrick, Paul McMahon, Norman Stephens and Arthur Thomas.
Against (1) Councillor Terry Glastonbury
Publication date: 18/05/2012
Date of decision: 17/01/2012
Decided at meeting: 17/01/2012 - Development Control Committee