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Forest of Dean District Council
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Coleford
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GL16 8HG

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Arthur Thomas

The Forest of Dean District Council - Agenda for Development Control Committee on Tuesday, 8th November, 2011, 2.00 pm

Agenda and minutes

Development Control Committee
Tuesday, 8th November, 2011 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Coleford

Contact: Joanne Moore 

Listen to this meeting: Play Audio

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Norman Stephens. The Chairman informed the committee that Councillor Dave East would be representing Councillor Stephens at the meeting.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 2011 (attached)

Minutes:

The non-exempt minutes of the meeting on 11 October 2011 were agreed and confirmed as an accurate record of that meeting.

3.

Urgent Business

The chairman to identify any items of urgent business.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business at this meeting.

4.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest in any matter to be discussed at the meeting.  Members and officers are requested to identify the nature of the interest and indicate whether it is personal or prejudicial.

Minutes:

Councillor Philip Burford declared a prejudicial interest in item 5.5 of the agenda, P1679/11/FUL, The Orchard, Chapel Lane, Redmarley, due to a trading relationship with the applicant’s brother. Councillor Burford said that he would leave the meeting for consideration of this item.

5.

Schedule of applications pdf icon PDF 510 KB

To consider the schedule of applications as prepared by the Group Manager for Planning and Housing. Please refer to report PH.89.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Chairman, Councillor Terry Glastonbury, referred to the schedule of planning applications, as prepared by the Group Manager for Planning and Housing under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and to the late material circulated prior to the start of the meeting. (Late material refers to information submitted to the council following publication of the agenda). The Chairman announced that there would be four public speakers speaking at the meeting, speaking on items 1, 2 and 3 of the schedule of applications. The applications are recorded in the order of the agenda. The Chairman reminded the committee to keep their comments relevant to the debate and, where possible, to avoid repeating previous observations.

5.1

P0807/11/FUL Land Off St Annes Way, St Briavels

Erection of 3 detached dwellings

Minutes:

Erection of 3 detached dwellings

 

Please refer to the late material circulated before the start of the meeting

 

Development Control Manager, Clive Reynolds, referred to the late material and to the site visit that had taken place the previous month. He also referred to a letter from St. Briavels Parish Council, which he believed had been sent direct to members, expressing the parish council’s objections to the development and outlining several local concerns. The Development Control Manager also referred to a tree preservation order served on several trees surrounding the site. Outlining the impact of the proposed development on the trees, he informed members of a third reason for refusal, as detailed in the late material.

 

The Development Control Manager said that, whilst aware of the amount of correspondence that the application had generated, it was important not to lose site of the fact that the proposed dwellings were outside the settlement boundary and therefore clearly in conflict with local planning policy. He said that there were also several other factors to consider, including the impact of the development on the existing street scene, (in terms of the positioning and height of the properties), which was also unacceptable. With the aid of a visual display, the Development Control Manager informed members that, since the recent site visit, the applicant had provided a revised drawing of the proposed street scene, which had demonstrated how inappropriate the development would be in relation to the adjoining bungalow. On this basis, the recommendation remained one of refusal.

 

Public speaking

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, the public speaker advised the committee that the key matter to consider in relation to this application was the principle of the development. He said that, in very simple terms, he accepted that the council’s hands were tied and that there was very little alternative other than to refuse the application when considered in relation to the council’s adopted local plan. However, on the premise that the local plan was out of date, the speaker said that a more realistic option would be to allow local villages to evolve and not become too sterile. He said that, in his opinion, the trees surrounding the development would only benefit the scheme by helping to create a natural foil between the properties and the village. Urging the committee to consider the proposals carefully, the speaker said that he believed the development was a fitting way forward. He also made reference to a legal agreement previously entered into to deliver highway improvements and said that, in delegating authority to officers, the applicant would be able to submit a more appropriate design for the scheme.

 

In response to this statement, Development Control Manager, Clive Reynolds, refuted the suggestion that the local plan was out of date and informed members that at a recent appeal, the Planning Inspector had upheld the council’s decision to refuse an application based on information included in the council’s adopted plan. Responding to the suggestion that the council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.1

5.2

P1160/11/OUT Land Rear of 27 - 41 Coalway Road, Coalway

Application to extend the time limit of planning application P0962/06/OUT

Outline application for the erection of dwellings and construction of vehicular access.  (Renewal of consent)

Minutes:

Application to extend the time limit of planning application P0962/06/OUT

Outline application for the erection of dwellings and construction of vehicular access.  (Renewal of consent)

 

Please refer to the late material circulated prior to the meeting

 

Development Control Manager, Clive Reynolds, presented the late material relating to this item and informed the committee that the applicant had recently submitted a further coal mining risk assessment, for which the council was currently awaiting the views of the Coal Authority. He said that indications from the mining risk assessment had suggested proposed development of the site was, in principle, a viable option. On this basis, the Development Control Manager advised members to consider delegating authority to officers to approve the application, subject to there being no objection from the Coal Authority. Should no objections be raised from the Coal Authority, the application would be brought back to the committee for further consideration.

 

The Development Control Manager reminded members that this application was to extend the time limit of an existing permission at the site. He said that government advice in such circumstances was that, unless there was evidence of material changes affecting the site, (and in this instance no changes had been identified), permission should be granted. Therefore, whilst conscious of the level of local concern that existed regarding the impact of the proposed development, the Development Control Manager said that, with no new material considerations for a site that had previously received planning permission in the past for an identical development, the recommendation was one of delegated permission, subject to a satisfactory response from the Coal Authority.

 

Public Speaker

Firmly opposing the application, the speaker said that there had been a significant number of local objections to the proposed development. The speaker referred to the late material that had been circulated at the start of the meeting and said that, in his opinion, the council appeared to be glossing over concerns about personal and property safety. He said that the council had failed to mention the unknown mine workings at the site and had made no reference to the impact of the development, (including any works associated with the development), on the village. Describing the site as hazardous and emphasising the potential dangers that might exist from underground mine works, the speaker urged the committee not to delegate authority to officers until it had received the outcome of the response to the coal mining risk assessment from the Coal Authority.

 

Committee consideration

Local members, Councillors Paul McMahon, Maria Edey and Frank Baynham reinforced the views of the public speaker and agreed with his suggestion to wait for a response from the Coal Authority before making a decision. (Non- committee members, Councillors Maria Edey and Frank Baynham attended the meeting as observers). Councillor McMahon referred to the genuine concerns of the parish council and local residents in relation to the safety of the site and Councillor Baynham believed it was important to gain a clear perspective from the Coal Authority. Councillor Edey  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.2

5.3

P1490/11/FUL 1 Brooklyn Cottages, The Cross, Clearwell

Erection of a two-storey rear extension

Minutes:

Erection of a two-storey rear extension

 

Principal Planning Officer, Emma Norgate, said that this application was for an extension to an unlisted building and that the site for the development was within the Clearwell Conservation Area. The recommendation was therefore to grant planning permission.

 

Public Speaking

Opposing the application, the speaker outlined the history and background to the property. Referring to a parish council meeting on 27 September 2011, the speaker said that the parish council had been unanimous in their objections due to the proposed height of the extension, the visual impact of the proposals, the loss of light and the impact on neighbouring properties. The speaker said that, from a personal perspective, she objected to the domineering height of the proposed extension and to the impact the development would have on her adjacent property. She said she believed it was both unnecessary and unfair to share a pathway with the neighbouring property, especially when she had existing rights of perambulation. Upholding the objections of the parish council, the speaker also believed the proposed extension would be out of character with the surrounding conservation area.

 

Committee Consideration

Local member, Councillor Arthur Thomas, endorsed the strength of feeling and comments that had been made by the parish council and by the neighbour living in the adjacent property. He said he believed the public speaker’s earlier statement had made it evidently clear that the proposed development was not without question and required careful consideration. Invited to speak as fellow local member and as an observer at the meeting, non-committee member, Councillor Terry Hale, said that, despite discussions with the case officer and although offering a better alternative than that currently offered, he believed the proposed extension was out of keeping with the surrounding area. Both Councillor Thomas and Councillor Hale suggested that a site visit might be useful in helping the committee to reach its decision.

 

Vote

Councillor Philip Burford proposed and Councillor Jane Horne seconded that the decision be deferred to allow members to visit the site. A recorded vote was taken and members,

 

RESOLVED to defer the decision to allow members to visit the site

 

For (15)

Councillors James Bevan, Philip Burford, Gethyn Davies, Dave East, Frankie Evans, Terry Glastonbury, Val Hobman, Jane Horne, Gabriella Kirkpatrick, Paul McMahon, Graham Morgan, Lynn Sterry, Arthur Thomas, David Thompson and Roger Yeates.

 

Against (0)

 

Abstentions (0)

5.4

P1596/11/FUL Old Goods Station Yard, High Street, Blakeney

Erection of 17 dwellings with ancillary works (Renewal of Consent)

Minutes:

Erection of 17 dwellings with ancillary works (Renewal of Consent)

 

Please refer to the late material circulated prior to the meeting

 

Principal Planning Officer, Emma Norgate, presented the late material relating to this item and drew member’s attention to the revised recommendation for delegated authority to grant permission subject to the completion of a satisfactory unilateral undertaking to secure affordable housing and contributions towards public transport and for the management of a play area. The planning officer said that this application applied to the same concept as that considered under item 5.2 of the agenda, in that it related to a renewal of consent to extend the time limit for implementation of a current planning permission that had been allowed on appeal in 2009.

 

Committee consideration

Responding to questions, Principal Planning Officer, Emma Norgate, informed members that the proposed development was compliant with central government policy to provide 40 per cent affordable housing and subject to appropriate conditions relating to drainage.

 

Vote

Councillor James Bevan moved the revised recommendation and Councillor Terry Glastonbury seconded the proposal. A recorded vote was taken and members,

 

RESOLVED to delegate authority to the Group Manager for Planning and Housing and the Group Manager for Legal and Democratic to grant permission subject to the completion of a satisfactory unilateral undertaking to secure 40 per cent affordable housing and contributions of £9180 towards public transport and £27,455 towards the management of a play area. If the unilateral undertaking is not concluded on or before 3 January 2012, delegated authority to be given to the Group Manager for Planning and Housing to refuse the application.

 

For (14)

Councillors James Bevan, Philip Burford, Dave East, Frankie Evans, Terry Glastonbury, Val Hobman, Jane Horne, Gabriella Kirkpatrick, Paul McMahon, Graham Morgan, Lynn Sterry, Arthur Thomas, David Thompson and Roger Yeates.

 

Against (1)

Councillor Gethyn Davies

 

Abstentions (0)

5.5

P1679/11/FUL The Orchard, Chapel Lane, Redmarley

Erection of replacement dwelling

Minutes:

Erection of replacement dwelling

 

Please refer to the late material circulated prior to the meeting

 

Principal Planning Officer, Tony Pope said that this application related to a full application for a replacement dwelling. Presenting the late material relating to this item, the planning officer confirmed that the revised recommendation was to delegate authority to the Group Manager for Planning and Housing to grant permission, subject to there being no adverse response from the parish council.

 

Local member, Councillor Peter Ede, said that this application had the full support of both himself and the parish council and from local residents. He said that he was pleased the planning authority and the applicant had worked together to resolve any planning issues and that he did not foresee any problems relating to the replacement of this dwelling. On this basis, Councillor Ede said that he hoped the committee approved the recommendation and delegate authority to grant planning permission.

 

Committee consideration

Having declared a prejudical interest, Councillor Philip Burford left the meeting for consideration of this item.

 

Councillor James Bevan expressed concern about the proposed height of the building and said that, although still quite high, he was pleased the height had been reduced. Responding to a question from Councillor Frankie Evans, Group Manager for Planning and Housing, Peter Williams, confirmed that the applicant would be moving out of and removing the mobile home from the adjacent site, if planning permission was granted.

 

Vote

Councillor Terry Glastonbury moved and Councillor Jane Horne seconded the motion. A recorded vote was taken and members,

 

RESOLVED to delegate authority to the Group Manager for Planning and Housing to grant permission, subject to there being no adverse response from the parish council.

 

For (13)

Councillors James Bevan, Gethyn Davies, Dave East, Frankie Evans, Terry Glastonbury, Val Hobman, Jane Horne, Paul McMahon, Graham Morgan, Lynn Sterry, Arthur Thomas, David Thompson and Roger Yeates.

 

Against (0)

 

Abstentions (0)

5.6

P1680/11/FUL Land Off Chartist Way, Staunton

Erection of 15 affordable dwellings

Minutes:

Erection of 15 affordable dwellings

 

This item was withdrawn from the schedule

5.7

P1681/11/FUL Land Off Chartist Way, Staunton

Erection of 15 affordable dwellings

Minutes:

Erection of 15 affordable dwellings

 

This item was withdrawn from the schedule

5.8

P1688/11/FUL Land adjoining Hartpury Primary School, Over Old Road, Hartpury

Erection of a new village hall building, provision of car parking facilities, creation of a play area and multi-use games area and construction of a new vehicular access.

Minutes:

Erection of a new village hall building, provision of car parking facilities, creation of a play area and multi-use games area and construction of a new vehicular access

 

Please refer to the late material circulated prior to the meeting

 

Principal Planning Officer, Tony Pope, presented the late material relating to this item and drew member’s attention to the revised recommendation and to additional notes 3 and 4 and to additional conditions 11 to 15. The planning officer said that this application was for the revision of an approved scheme and that, although the application had been recommended for delegated permission, the additional responses that had been outstanding had now been received, the details of which had been included in the late material. The revised recommendation was therefore to grant permission, subject to the conditions in the schedule of applications and to the additional conditions included in the late material.

 

Committee consideration

Members welcomed the proposals and praised the design of the village hall.

 

Vote

Councillor Philip Burford moved and Councillor Jane Horne seconded the revised recommendation. A recorded vote was taken and members,

 

RESOLVED to grant planning permission, subject to the conditions as detailed in the schedule of applications and to the additional conditions and notes referred to in the late material

 

For (15)

Councillors James Bevan, Philip Burford, Gethyn Davies, Dave East, Frankie Evans, Terry Glastonbury, Val Hobman, Jane Horne, Gabriella Kirkpatrick, Paul McMahon, Graham Morgan, Lynn Sterry, Arthur Thomas, David Thompson and Roger Yeates.

 

Against (0)

 

Abstentions (0)

6.

Sites Inspection Panel

a)     To confirm that the next sites’ inspection panel will be held on Tuesday 15 November 2011

 

b)     To consider any new applications put forward by members or by the Group Manager for Planning and Housing. These sites will be in addition to any which may be identified during the meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the next sites inspection panel be held on Tuesday 15 November 2011, and that the following sites be added to the itinerary for that day: -  

P1984/11/OUT

Rothdean Limited, Station Street Business Park, Station Street, Cinderford GL14 2LG

P1975/11/FUL

Former Longhope C of E Primary School, School Lane,

Longhope GL17 0LG

P2218/11/FUL

Lynden House, Moat Lane, Taynton GL19 3AR

P1835/11/FUL

Millers Orchard, Bulley, Churcham, GL2 8BJ

P2044/11/OUT

Land adjoining Millenium Cottages, Jubilee Place,

Staunton GL19 3RS

P2011/11/FUL

Delkatina, Newnham Road, Blakeney, GL15 4AE

P1490/11/FUL

1 Brooklyn Cottages, The Cross, Clearwell, GL16 8JU

P211011/FUL

Land adjacent to Poolway Farm, Gloucester Road, Coleford

 

It was also agreed to make a site visit to the National Dive Centre, Chepstow, to view the completed development when next in the vicinity of the site. A request was also made to visit a site at Longcroft, Moat Lane. Development Control Manager, Clive Reynolds, advised the committee that such a visit could only take place when a valid planning application had been received for the site.

7.

Performance Management pdf icon PDF 210 KB

To consider report PH.90 regarding the performance of the enforcement team for the period 1 January to 30 September 2011.

Minutes:

Before considering report PH.90, Committee Chairman, Councillor Terry Glastonbury, informed members that Principal Enforcement Officer, Andrew Grenyer, would be retiring from the council on Friday 11 November 2011. On behalf of the committee, Councillor Glastonbury wished Mr Grenyer a long and happy retirement.

 

In presenting report PH.90, Development Control Manager, Clive Reynolds, gave an outline of the performance of the enforcement team for the period up to and including 30 September 2011. The Development Control Manager said that the report identified a reduction in the number of complaints received, which might be a consequence of the recent downturn in the construction industry. He informed members that of the investigations undertaken up to the end of September 2011, 83 per cent had been investigated, (and a course of action agreed), within 25 days, as compared to 72 per cent for the same period the previous year.

8.

Tree Preservation Order (TPO.185) pdf icon PDF 4 MB

To consider confirmation of Tree Preservation Order, DF TPO 185, Graces Pitch, Newent. Please refer to report PH.91.

Minutes:

Sustainable Team Leader, Alastair Chapman, presented report PH.91, seeking confirmation of Tree Preservation Order DF TPO 185, Graces Pitch, Newent. The Sustainable Team Leader informed members that a tree preservation order had been served on this site to protect two holly trees and a yew tree. Due to an objection to the order, the committee was now required to consider confirmation of the order. The committee noted that an additional letter of support had been received, increasing the total number of letters of support to 3 letters.

 

Unanimous in their decision, members agreed that it was important to protect and preserve trees that did not constitute any harm in any way. Report PH.91 was noted and the committee confirmed the tree preservation order. A recorded vote was taken and members,

 

RESOLVED to confirm TPO 185 for the preservation of two holly trees and one yew tree at Graces Pitch, Newent

 

For (15)

Councillors James Bevan, Philip Burford, Gethyn Davies, Dave East, Frankie Evans, Terry Glastonbury, Val Hobman, Jane Horne, Gabriella Kirkpatrick, Paul McMahon, Graham Morgan, Lynn Sterry, Arthur Thomas, David Thompson and Roger Yeates.

 

Against (0)

 

Abstentions (0)

9.

Enforcement Review pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To review the council’s current practice of considering enforcement reports as exempt business. Group Manager for Legal, Democratic and Human Resources, Marie Rosenthal, to present report PH.92.

Minutes:

Solicitor to the Council, Marie Rosenthal, presented report PH.92, regarding a review of the council’s procedures for considering enforcement reports at planning committee meetings. The Solicitor said that, following concerns from some committee members that enforcement reports should not be considered as exempt information, Chairman of the Committee, Councillor Terry Glastonbury had requested a review of the legal position.

 

The Solicitor said that, following a complaint to the Information Commissioner in 2008, regarding the publication of an enforcement report on the council’s website, the Information Commissioner had advised the council that publication of that particular enforcement report had been an unfair and unlawful processing of the individual’s personal data and a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998. In response to the Information Commissioner’s determination, the council subsequently carried out a further review due to concerns about possible additional breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.  Advice given during the review process was that enforcement reports qualified as exempt items under Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. Following the review, the planning committee subsequently resolved to consider enforcement reports as exempt business to ensure that the council minimised the risk of challenge, and to allow for comprehensive reporting of alleged breaches of planning control.

 

The Solicitor informed members that, following the request from the Chairman of the Committee to undertake a further review of the position, the council had consulted a barrister expert in data protection matters and had undertaken detailed research, involving references to the Local Government Act and national guidance. The Solicitor advised members that the outcome of this review had identified that it was possible to make a clear distinction between personal data and other types of data referred to as plain data, with no reference to personal details relating to the landowner or person to whom enforcement action might be taken.

 

The Solicitor gave a detailed outline of the recommendations included in report PH.92 and informed members that, should the committee choose to consider enforcement reports in public, members would be required to base their decision on information relating to only the land in question and not to any individuals concerned. Furthermore the committee would be restricted in the amount of background or indirect information it could refer to during the debate and not make references to any individuals concerned. Responding to questions, the Solicitor confirmed that to continue to consider enforcement reports as exempt business was also an option.

 

In response to the solicitor’s advice, Chairman of the Committee, Councillor Terry Glastonbury expressed concern about the restrictions considering enforcement action in public might impose. Referring to the sensitivity of the situation, Councillor Jane Horne said that she was reluctant to discuss enforcement matters in open session and that she preferred to leave the situation as it was. The majority of other members also agreed with this perspective and expressed concern about the risk of a challenge to the council, (and individual members), should personal comments or information breach the Data Protection Act. Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Exempt Business

To consider, and if so agree, to resolve, that under section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in schedule 12A of the said act and that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

Resolved that under section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in schedule 12A of the said act and that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

11.

Exempt minutes

To confirm the exempt minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 2011 (attached).

Minutes:

The exempt minutes of the meeting on 11 October 2011 were agreed and confirmed as an accurate record of that meeting.

12.

Next meeting

13 December 2011

Minutes:

13 December 2011