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To authorise the Chairman to sign the minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on the 13 February 2020 as a correct record of the proceedings.
The Chairman was authorised to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2020 as a correct record of the proceedings.
Apologies for Absence and Substitutes
An apology for absence was received from Councillor J.M. Johnson.
It was noted that Councillor J. Barnes was present as substitute for Councillor J.M. Johnson.
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.
Declarations of interest were made by Councillors in the Minutes as indicated below:
J. Barnes Agenda Items 7 and 8 – Personal Interest as an elected Member of East Sussex County Council.
Mrs Earl-Williams Agenda Items 7 and 8 – Personal Interest as an elected Member of East Sussex County Council.
S.J. Errington Agenda Item 7 – Personal Interest in so far as she had signed a letter of objection against the application in August 2017 prior to becoming a Councillor in May 2019 and remained open-minded.
K.M. Harmer Agenda Item 7 – Personal Interest in so far as she was a former Member of SPINDAG prior to becoming a Councillor in May 2019.
L.M. Langlands Agenda Item 7 – Personal Interest in so far as she had signed a petition against the application prior to becoming a Councillor in May 2019.
S.M. Prochak Agenda Items 7, 8 and 9 – Personal Interest in so far as her husband is Chairman of the local Campaign to Protect Rural England who made comments on the applications.
R.J. Thomas Agenda Item 7 – Personal Interest as a member of Bexhill Environment Group and Sussex Wildlife Trust.
H.L. Timpe Agenda Item 7 – Personal Interest as a member of Bexhill Heritage.
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.
DECISION: REFUSE (OUTLINE PLANNING)
Members had visited the site which was an area of land situated to the south of Barnhorn Road (A259T) and to the south west of Spindlewood Drive. The site currently comprised of five agricultural fields divided by mature hedgegrows and tree belts, as well as an area of ancient woodland immediately adjacent to the south west which extended into the Pevensey Levels (PL). The PL was designated as a European Ramsar Site and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI). The land sloped generally from north to south and east to west towards an existing water course, the Cole Stream along the south eastern boundary. The land was allocated within the Council’s Development and Site Allocations Plan adopted in December 2019 – Policy BEX9: Land off Spindlewood Drive, Bexhill.
The proposal was for outline planning of a residential development of circa 160 dwellings (including 30% affordable housing) with all matters reserved for future approval except access. Consideration was given to all statutory, non-statutory and third-party representations, including documentation received from Natural England (NE) and comments from a local Development Action Group known as SPINDAG. Members also had regard to an Appropriate Assessment (AA) under the Habitat Regulations.
Members heard from spokespersons from SPINDAG, representing many of those people objecting to the scheme and from a spokesperson for the applicant, in addition to both local Ward Members and Planning Officers. They also heard from the Council’s Barrister and a spokesperson from NE. Members asked a series of questions in relation to several issues. These included: matters relating to the Habitats Regulations and the AA procedure; potential foul and surface water drainage solutions and the possible adverse impact on the PL; the deliverability and effectiveness of the long-term maintenance and management of the drainage system; potential overtopping of the Cole Stream; climate change and the likelihood of increased risk of flooding due to increased levels of rainfall (including the view that current modelling assumptions were out of date and did not take into account current and increasing extreme weather events); impact on the landscape character as a result of possible land raising to accommodate the development an any new drainage system. Members stated that the 2017 Act took priority over other planning considerations and that required the Committee to be confident ‘beyond scientific doubt’ that the proposed mitigation would ensure that there was no adverse effects on the PL in perpetuity. Members were not convinced that mitigation could be absolutely relied upon and were not satisfied that even with the most robust system with double lining of ponds and pipes, even the best design could not remove all risk from accidental or malicious damage, or a failure due to poor workmanship undetected at the time, or the failure of the management company charged with ensuring the proposed system did not fail. As the development could have a life of one hundred years or more and during that time the system ... view the full minutes text for item PL19/128.
DECISION: GRANT (FULL PLANNING)
1. This permission is granted as an alternative to that granted under Application No. RR/2017/1714/P on 15 November 2018 to the intent that either permission, but not both, shall be implemented in respect of Passing Bays 1 and 5 only.
Reason: To minimise the extent of works within Pannel Lane, an historic routeway, and thus maintain the character and appearance of the rural lane located within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, having regard to Policies OSS4 and EN1 of the Rother Local Plan Core Strategy and Policies DEN1 and DEN2 of the Development and Sites Allocations Local Plan 2019.
2. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans and details:
Drawing No. as submitted with the application:
Revised red-line diagram from Drawing No. 4824-01 Rev.A, Passing Place 5
Revised red-line diagram from Drawing No. 4824-01 Rev.A, Passing Place 1
Enlarged extract from Drawing No. 3717/09 Rev.A, Passing Place 5
Enlarged extract from Drawing No. 3717/09 Rev.A, Passing Place 1
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. Construction of the passing bays are only to be undertaken in accordance with the following reasonable avoidance measures (RAMs), having regard to the potential for protected species in the area:
· Clearance work should be undertaken during the ‘active’ season, i.e. from end of February to mid-October.
· A Suitably Qualified Ecologist (SQE) is to conduct a fingertip search of habitats to be cleared, immediately prior to works starting.
· The clearance to be supervised by the SQE after the fingertip search has been undertaken.
· In the unlikely event that a Great Crested Newt is found, works would cease to assess the next steps which may include gaining a European Protected Species Licence from Natural England, prior to works re-starting on site.
4. Prior to commencement of the works details of the SQE shall be provided to the Local Planning Authority along with a timetable for the RAMs and completion of the works.
Reason: These details are required prior to commencement of works to ensure the protection of protected species in accordance with Policy EN5 of the Rother Local Plan Core Strategy and DEN5 of the Development and Sites Allocations Local Plan 2019.
5. The proposed passing places shall be surfaced with tarmac and the passing places shall be created in accordance with the approved plans and in agreement with the Highway Authority, prior to commencement of the use of the campsite as specified in the associated approved application RR/2017/1714/P.
Reason: To provide for the free flow of traffic on Pannel Lane in the interests of road safety for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic, having regard to Policies CO6 (ii) and TR3 of the Rother Local Plan Core Strategy.
1. With regard to Condition 4, the Applicant is reminded that these ... view the full minutes text for item PL19/129.
DECISION: GRANT MODIFICATION OF Clause 1 of the Fourth Schedule, to read:
1.1 Prior to Occupation of the 15th Dwelling to pay the County Council the Education Contribution.
1.2 Not to Occupy or cause or allow the Occupation of any more than 14 Dwellings until the Education Contribution has been paid to the County Council; in full.
(Councillor Prochak declared a personal interest in this matter in so far as her husband is Chairman of the local Campaign to Protect Rural England who made comments on the application and in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct remained in the room during the consideration thereof).
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.
To note the date and time for future Site Inspections
Tuesday 14 April 2020 at 8:30am departing from the Town Hall, Bexhill.
Tuesday 14 April 2020 at 8:30am departing from the Town Hall, Bexhill.