Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee
Thursday 13th February 2020 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bexhill-on-Sea

Contact: For all enquiries please contact Email: julie.hollands@rother.gov.uk  Tel: 01424 787811

Items
No. Item

PL19/107.

Minutes

To authorise the Chairman to sign the minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on the 16 January 2020 as a correct record of the proceedings.

Minutes:

The Chairman was authorised to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 16 January 2020 as a correct record of the proceedings.

PL19/108.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutes

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J. Barnes (substitute), Mrs D.C. Earl-Williams and J.M. Johnson.

PL19/109.

Disclosure of Interest

To receive any disclosure by Members of personal and disclosable pecuniary interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Member regards the personal interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.  Members are reminded of the need to repeat their declaration immediately prior to the commencement of the item in question.

Minutes:

Declarations of interest were made by Councillors in the Minutes as indicated below:

 

A.S. Meir         Agenda Item 16 – Personal and Prejudicial in so far as he had predetermined his decision regarding Application No. RR/2018/2726/P Pett Level Road.

PL19/110.

Planning Applications - Index pdf icon PDF 119 KB

Minutes:

Outline planning permissions are granted subject to approval by the Council of reserved matters before any development is commenced, which are layout, scale, appearance, access and landscaping.  Unless otherwise stated, every planning permission or outline planning permission is granted subject to the development beginning within three years from the date of the permission.  In regard to outline permissions, reserved matters application for approval must be made within three years from the date of the grant of outline permission; and the development to which the permission relates must begin no later than whichever is the later of the following dates: the expiration of three years from the date of the grant of outline permission or, the expiration of two years from the final approval of the reserved matters, or in the case of approval on different dates, the final approval of the last such matters to be approved.

           

In certain circumstances the Planning Committee will indicate that it is only prepared to grant or refuse planning permission if, or unless, certain amendments to a proposal are undertaken or subject to completion of outstanding consultations.  In these circumstances the Head of Service Strategy and Planning can be given delegated authority to issue the decision of the Planning Committee once the requirements of the Committee have been satisfactorily complied with.  A delegated decision does not mean that planning permission or refusal will automatically be issued.  If there are consultation objections, difficulties, or negotiations are not satisfactorily concluded, then the application will have to be reported back to the Planning Committee or reported via the internal-only electronic Notified ‘D’ system by means of providing further information for elected Members.  This delegation also allows the Head of Service Strategy and Planning to negotiate and amend applications, conditions, reasons for refusal and notes commensurate with the instructions of the Committee.  Any applications which are considered prior to the expiry of the consultation reply period are automatically delegated for a decision.

 

RESOLVED: That the Planning Applications be determined as detailed below.

PL19/111.

RR/2019/2525/P - Mountfield - Park Pale Meadow, Mountfield Lane pdf icon PDF 252 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RM

DECISION: REFUSE (FULL PLANNING)

 

The Committee had visited the site as part of their site inspections.  The proposal was to remove planning Conditions 6 and 7 attached to Planning Permission Reference No. RR/2019/1370/P.  On 16 August 2019, the Committee had approved a change of use of agricultural land to part equestrian including retrospective planning permission for stable buildings, a tack room and store shed, as well as an improved access to the track.  In approving the application, the Committee added a further three conditions (5, 6 and 7).  The Applicant considered that Conditions 6 and 7 were unreasonable.

 

Consideration was also given to the revised information regarding Condition 2 which was circulated to Members prior to the meeting; this information showed a revised location of the store shed.  The Committee heard from the local Ward Member who was present at the meeting and was not in favour of supporting approval of the application.  Objections were also noted from Mountfield and Brightling Parish Councils.

 

Members felt that the decision they had made in August 2019 and the additional conditions applied were, having regard to paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Practice Guidance pertinent and reasonable and should remain. They wanted to ensure that the application referred to the Applicant only and that once the permitted use had ceased the land would be restored to its agricultural use and condition to protect, in the long-term, the character and appearance of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  It was Members’ view that without these conditions, the development would not be acceptable as the use of the land and the remains of the buildings in perpetuity would not conserve the AONB.  Therefore, Members considered that the application should be refused.   

 

Councillor Mrs Barnes moved the motion to refuse (Full Planning) and this was seconded by Councillor Coleman.

 

Resolution voted on – the motion was CARRIED.

 

REASON FOR REFUSAL:

 

1.     Planning permission RR/2019/1370/P was for the retrospective change of use of land to part equestrian with additional development including stables, a tack room, a store shed, improved access and track, and new hard standing in front of stable block. The development is in the countryside, designated as part of the High Weald AONB. Having regard to Policy DC02 of the Development and Site Allocations Local Plan (DaSA) (emerging at the time of permission RR/2019/1370/P but now fully adopted) proposals for equestrian development should, individually and cumulatively, safeguard the intrinsic and locally distinctive character and amenities of the countryside, with particular regard to the conservation of the AONB (Policies OSS4, RA2, RA3, EN1 and EN3 of the Rother Local Plan Core Strategy, Policies DEN1 and DEN2 of the DaSA and paragraph 172 of the National Planning Policy Framework also apply). The Council considers that in determining permission RR/2019/1370/P full regard was had to these various policy objectives and Conditions 6 and 7, having also considered paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework and  ...  view the full minutes text for item PL19/111.

PL19/112.

RR/2019/2376/P - Beckley - Manroy Engineering, Land on the North-West Side of Hobbs Lane pdf icon PDF 379 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

DECISION: GRANT (TEMPORARY PLANNING PERMISSION) DELEGATED (SUBJECT TO RECEIPT OF AN APPROPRIATE TRAFFIC/DELIVERY/DESPATCH MANAGEMENT PLAN)

 

CONDITIONS:

 

1.     This planning permission expires on 20 February 2021. At the end of this temporary period the premises shall revert back to a Class B1 business use.

Reason: To enable the Local Planning Authority to assess the effect of the Class B8 storage or distribution use on the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers and the local highway network, in accordance with Policies OSS4 (ii), CO6 (ii) and TR3 of the Rother Local Plan Core Strategy and Policy DEN7 of the Development and Site Allocations Local Plan (DaSA).

 

2.     The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plan and document:

Location Plan on Drawing No. 07~5007~02, dated Oct 2019.

Traffic/Delivery/Despatch Management Plan.

Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning, as advised in Planning Practice Guidance Paragraph: 022 Reference ID: 21a-022-20140306, and to ensure the development has an acceptable impact on the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers and the local highway network, in accordance with Policies OSS4 (ii), CO6 (ii) and TR3 of the Rother Local Plan Core Strategy and Policy DEN7 of the DaSA.

 

NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK: In accordance with the requirements of the Framework (paragraph 38) and with the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015, the Local Planning Authority has acted positively and proactively in determining this application by assessing the proposal against all material considerations, including planning policies and any representations that have been received and subsequently determining to grant planning permission in accordance with the presumption in favour of sustainable development, as set out within the National Planning Policy Framework.

PL19/113.

RR/2019/2591/P - Westfield - Ashmore - Land at, Westbrook Lane pdf icon PDF 468 KB

Minutes:

RM

DECISION: GRANT (FULL PLANNING)

 

The Committee had visited the site as part of their site inspections.  The proposal was for the erection of one dwelling on the southern side of Westbrook Lane.  The site adjoined the development boundary of Westfield and was within the countryside and High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

 

Members heard from the Applicant who outlined the history of the site, as well as the local Ward Member who was present at the meeting and was in favour of supporting approval of the application.  It was also noted that Westfield Parish Council supported the application and felt that the development would improve the area.  Members asked questions in relation to potential encroachment issues regarding the public footpath which ran along the boundary and whether access would be maintained at all times during and on completion of the development.  The Applicant assured Members that the public footpath would remain accessible at all times and would not be compromised by the development.  He also advised that the property was intended for himself and his family to occupy.

 

Members discussed the acceptability of the proposal and in weighing up all the issues, including the lack of a current 5-year supply of land for housing, considered that the development would not have an adverse impact on the landscape, character of scenic beauty of the High Weald AONB.  The current site was considered an eyesore with dilapidated buildings and Members felt that the new dwelling was attractive and of appropriate design and therefore would improve / enhance the location.  Local community and transport facilities were within easy access and therefore the property, in their opinion, was within a sustainable location.  Members accepted the Applicant’s reassurance that the public footpath would be maintained.  The Committee granted full planning permission subject to the inclusion of relevant standard conditions (delegated to officers to consider) including additional appropriate ecological assessments / surveys being completed. 

 

Councillor Mrs Barnes moved the motion to approve (Full Planning) and this was seconded by Councillor Coleman.

 

Resolution voted on – the motion was CARRIED.

 

CONDITIONS:

 

1.     The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.

Reason: In accordance with section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended by section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004). 

 

2.     The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved drawings/details:

Drawing No. 3 revision A dated 13 April 2006

Drawing No. 4 revision A dated 20 April 2006

Drawing E (ground floor), revision A dated 13 April 2006

Drawing E (first floor), revision A dated 13 April 2006

Drawing No. 1168-01 dated September 19

Drawing No. 1168-02 dated September 19

Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning, as advised in Planning Practice Guidance Paragraph: 022 Reference ID: 21a-022-20140306.

 

3.     No development shall take place until phase 2 species surveys (in accordance with  ...  view the full minutes text for item PL19/113.

PL19/114.

RR/2019/1600/P - Westfield - Redlays Farm, Cottage Lane pdf icon PDF 413 KB

Minutes:

DECISION: REFUSE (FULL PLANNING)

 

REASON FOR REFUSAL:

 

1.     The scale and siting of the barn would involve the use of large quantities of fill to level and raise the ground level extending the farming structures towards the south landscape and field. This would result in significant changes to the landscape character, particularly in long views to it from both the south and west public footpath. These changes and elevated levels would also exacerbate the prominence of the proposed barn to the southern field of the farmyard cluster of buildings, and result in an incongruous man-made feature out of keeping with and harmful to the natural landscape setting of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The proposal is contrary to adopted local Policy OSS4 (iii), RA3 and EN1(i) (viii) and paragraph 172 of the National Planning Policy Framework and Local Plan Development and Site Allocations Policies DHG9 and DEN2.

 

NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK: In accordance with the requirements of the Framework (paragraph 38) and with the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015, the Local Planning Authority has acted positively and proactively in determining this application by identifying matters of concern with the proposal and determining the application within a timely manner, clearly setting out the reason for refusal, thereby allowing the Applicant the opportunity to consider the harm caused and whether or not it can be remedied as part of a revised scheme.

PL19/115.

RR/2019/1562/P - Westfield - Redlays Farm, Cottage Lane pdf icon PDF 417 KB

Minutes:

DECISION: REFUSE (FULL PLANNING)

 

REASON FOR REFUSAL:

 

1.     The proposed barn is larger than that which would reasonably be required having regard to the level of storage indicated by the applicant. As such there is no demonstrable agricultural need for it. Furthermore, the scale and siting of the barn would involve the use of large quantities of fill to level and raise the ground level extending the farming structures towards the south landscape and field. This would result in significant changes to the landscape character, particularly in long views to it from both the south and west public footpath. These changes and elevated levels would also exacerbate the prominence of the proposed barn to the southern field of the farmyard cluster of buildings, and result in an incongruous man-made feature out of keeping with and harmful to the natural landscape setting of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The proposal is contrary to adopted local Policy OSS4 (iii), RA3 and EN1(i) (viii) and paragraph 172 of the National Planning Policy Framework and Local Plan Development and Site Allocations Policies DHG9 and DEN2.

 

NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK: In accordance with the requirements of the Framework (paragraph 38) and with the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015, the Local Planning Authority has acted positively and proactively in determining this application by identifying matters of concern with the proposal and determining the application within a timely manner, clearly setting out the reason for refusal, thereby allowing the Applicant the opportunity to consider the harm caused and whether or not it can be remedied as part of a revised scheme.

PL19/116.

RR/2019/2657/P - Bexhill - 121 Ninfield Road, Sidley House pdf icon PDF 368 KB

Minutes:

DECISION: GRANT (FULL PLANNING)

 

CONDITIONS:

 

1.     The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.

Reason: In accordance with section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended by section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004).

 

2.     The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans and details:

Location Block Plan, Drawing No. DR-B-1003-S4-P01, dated 18 November 2019

Proposed East Elevation, Drawing No. DR-B-2204-D1-C01, dated 18 November 2019

Proposed North Elevation, Drawing No. DR-B-2205-D1-C01, dated 18 November 2019

Proposed West and South Elevations, Drawing No. DR-B-2206-D1-C01, dated 18 November 2019

Proposed West Elevation, Drawing No. DR-B-2207-D1-C01, dated 18 November 2019

Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning, as advised in Planning Practice Guidance Paragraph: 022 Reference ID: 21a-022-20140306.

 

NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK: In accordance with the requirements of the Framework (paragraph 38) and with the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015, the Local Planning Authority has acted positively and proactively in determining this application by assessing the proposal against all material considerations, including planning policies and any representations that have been received and subsequently determining to grant planning permission in accordance with the presumption in favour of sustainable development, as set out within the National Planning Policy Framework.

PL19/117.

Probity in Planning - Revised Guidance Note on the Role of Councillors and Officers pdf icon PDF 206 KB

Minutes:

In November 2009, the best practice advice from the Local Government Association (LGA), “Probity in Planning: the role of Councillors and officers” was adopted.  The revised edition was then adopted in April 2013.  A further revised and updated version dated December 2019 had now been produced by the LGA which was disseminated to the Planning Committee Members’ at the meeting.

 

The revised guidance reflected on changes to legislation and the 2019 National Planning Policy Framework.  It clarified how Councillors could get involved in planning discussions on plan making and on applications, on behalf of their communities, in a fair, impartial and transparent way.  Three areas were specifically highlighted, as the advice had significantly changed or been updated, namely how Councillors dealt with social media; predisposition, predetermination or bias; and the role of legal support.  The purpose of the guide was to assist Members in their community engagement role whilst making good standards of probity.  The Committee was encouraged to familiarise themselves with the updated guidance.

 

RESOLVED: That Cabinet be requested to recommend to Council that the best practice advice ‘Probity in Planning: for Councillors and officers’ second revised edition 2019 be adopted as guidance and incorporated into the Council’s Constitution.

PL19/118.

New Homes Bonus Scheme and Rother's Award for 2020/21 and Housing Delivery pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Minutes:

During 2011-2028, the Council’s Core Strategy Local Plan target required 335 units / dwellings to be built per annum.  As a result of several years of under delivery, the rate now equated to 458 units / dwellings per annum.  Actual delivery remained low at approximately 200 units / dwellings per annum.

 

In February 2019, the Government published the results of the Housing Delivery Test (HDT) which was an annual percentage measurement of the number of net homes delivered against the number required.  Rother’s HDT result equated to 69%, calculated from actual housing delivery of 697 units out of a requirement of 1,008 over the previous three years.  Subsequently, the Council produced an Action Plan with specified actions to identify how delivery could be improved.

 

As at 1 April 2019, the Council’s housing land supply was 3.73 years.  This measure compared housing targets (including any under-supply against them) to the number of dwellings which were deliverable and likely to be completed within five years.  At present there was an insufficient supply of deliverable housing sites to meet the five year housing land requirement.  The revised position would be produced on 1 April 2020 and published during the summer 2020.  The Council’s Local Plan was in the early stages of being updated which would explain how specified targets would be addressed / met.

 

The New Homes Bonus (NHB) was introduced by the Government in 2011.  A grant paid to local councils to reflect and incentivise housing growth by granting planning permission for new homes etc.  In 2020-21, the NHB pot had reduced, with Rother’s shared expected to be £247,126 (45% less than the previous year).

 

Members acknowledged that the lack of five year supply of deliverable housing sites and the HDT result were significant material considerations when determining planning applications.  It was essential that all planning applications were considered on their planning merits, in accordance with the development plan and favourably, unless material considerations determined otherwise.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

PL19/119.

Member Overturns at Planning Committee pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director which detailed the number of Member overturns from 2016 to present day.  Since 2016, the Planning Committee had considered 275 applications, 38 or 14% of which had resulted in Member overturns.  A breakdown of the overturns that were approved and refused was detailed at Figures 1 and 2 respectively to the report.

 

It was noted that in terms of refusal overturns, 74% had been subject to an appeal (14) of which 57% were allowed by the Planning Inspectorate.  Over the four year period refusals with officer recommendation (committee and delegated decisions) had resulted in 249 appeals of which 28% were allowed.  There was a significant difference in “allowed” appeals against officer recommendation (57%) and those with officer recommendation (28%) which impacted on workload and resources to manage the appeals process.

 

Ongoing relevant training would be organised to assist Members with maintaining and improving decision making, as well as improving appeal decision performance.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

PL19/120.

Undetermined Major Planning Applications pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the report on the current status of 23 undetermined Major Planning Applications.  Out of 23, 13 were under consideration, eight were subject to a Section 106 obligation, one had been amended and re-advertised and one was not considered a valid application and was awaiting formal withdrawal.

 

The Committee requested that future reports included more detailed explanation where the application status was stated as “under consideration” and an expected time for the application to be reported to the Committee. 

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

1)    the report be noted; and

 

2)    future reports include more detailed explanation where the application status was stated as “under consideration” and an expected time for the application to be reported to the Committee.

 

(Whilst Councillor Mier had declared a personal and prejudicial interest in this matter in so far as he had predetermined his decision regarding Application No. RR/2018/2726/P Pett Level Road at the start of the meeting; the item was not individually discussed, therefore in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct he remained in the room during the consideration thereof).

PL19/121.

Planning Statistics for the Quarter September to December 2019 pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Minutes:

Members gave consideration to the report of the Executive Director on the planning statistics for the quarter September to December 2019.

 

The Committee requested that future reports included the previous three periods of data to establish trends in performance.

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

1)    the report be noted; and

 

2)    future reports include the previous three periods of data to establish trends in performance.

 

PL19/122.

Appeals pdf icon PDF 195 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the report on Appeals that had been started, allowed or dismissed since the Committee’s last meeting, together with the list of forthcoming Hearings and Inquiries.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

PL19/123.

To note the date and time for future Site Inspections

Tuesday 10 March 2020 at 8:30am departing from the Town Hall, Bexhill.

Minutes:

Tuesday 10 March 2020 at 8:30am departing from the Town Hall, Bexhill.