Venue: Council Chamber - The Guildhall. View directions
Contact: Simon Wright Interim Democratic Services Officer
Public Participation Period
Up to 15 minutes are allowed for public participation. Participants are restricted to 3 minutes each.
No statements were made during the public participation period.
i) Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 1 March 2023.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on Wednesday, 1 March 2023 be confirmed and signed as an accurate record.
Declarations of Interest
Members may make any declarations of interest at this point but may also make them at any time during the course of the meeting.
In relation to agenda item 6b planning application 145047, and agenda item 6c planning application 145735, Councillor Ian Fleetwood declared a non-pecuniary interest that he was County Councillor for Bardney and Cherry Willingham. He stated he had not been actively involved in any of the respective Parish Council discussions. He had heard comments made in passing by some residents but had not expressed a personal opinion and would therefore continue to chair the meeting during the applications and participate in the discussions concerning these applications.
In relation to agenda item 6a planning application 145688, Councillor Mick Devine declared that he had expressed his opposition to the proposals during the initial stages of the planning process at the outline approval. As such, he expressed that was pre-determined and would declare a prejudicial interest when the Committee reached this item. He stated he would leave the chamber whilst this item was to be considered.
In relation also to agenda item 6a planning application 145688, Councillor Boles stated that he was a local Member but that he had had no previous involvement in the application and would therefore participate in the debate.
Update on Government/Local Changes in Planning Policy
Note – the status of Neighbourhood Plans in the District may be found via this link
Before inviting the Planning Officer to present his regular update on local and national planning issues, the Chairman referred briefly to the possibility of RAF Scampton being used for providing accommodation for immigrants whilst their applications for asylum were being processed and stated that this matter would not be discussed at this evening’s meeting. It was probable that the issue would arise at a future date.
The Planning Officer advised that in relation to the consultation on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), West Lindsey’s comments had been submitted last month.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) had issued a consultation in relation planning fees and performance. Details could be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/increasing-planning-fees-and-performance-technical-consultation
The consultation sought views on the following proposals relating to planning fees and improvements in the performance of local authorities:-
· An increase in planning fees by 35% for major applications and 25% for all other applications.
· The introduction of additional fees for bespoke or ‘fast track’ services.
· The imposition of an annual inflation-related adjustment to planning fees.
· The ring-fencing of additional fees income.
· The doubling of the fees for retrospective applications.
· The removal of the ‘free-go’ for repeat applications.
· The introduction of a prior approval fee for the permitted development right allowing the Crown to develop sites within the perimeter of a closed defence site.
· The building of planning capacity and capability within local authorities, including dealing with the challenges in recruitment and retention, and how these could be addressed.
· The reduction of the Planning Guarantee from 26 weeks to 16 weeks for non-major applications.
· Improvements in the quality of the local authority planning service by monitoring more performance measures.
A response was being prepared which would be shared with the Committee in due course.
Further consultations had been initiated by the DLUHC relating to the following:-
DLUHC Environmental Outcomes Reports: A new approach to environmental assessment – The consultation would close on 9th June 2023. Details could be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/environmental-outcomes-reports-a-new-approach-to-environmental-assessment
DLUHC – Technical Consultation on the Infrastructure Levy – The consultation would close on 9 June 2023 and details could be found at:
The implications of these consultations for WLDC were being assessed within the context of formulating an appropriate response.
It was reported that the draft Local Plan had been found to be sound subject to a number of modifications and a report would be taken to the Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee Meeting on 13 April. In the event that the Plan was adopted on 13 April, it would become the Development Plan against which all decisions were made. This meant that at the next Committee meeting decisions would be taken against the policies contained in the new Plan.
With regard to local issues, the following information concerning Neighbourhood Plans (NPs) was submitted:-
Note: Councillor M. Devine left the Chamber for the item at 6.39 pm.
The Chairman introduced the first application of the meeting, planning application 145688, which sought the approval of reserved matters relating only to appearance, landscaping,layout and scale, following the grant of outline planning permission for 49 dwellings (ref 136577) on 30 October 2019 on land to the west of Horsley Road, Gainsborough. (Access had been determined at the time outline permission had been granted, and was not a reserved matter seeking approval).
The application had been submitted to the Committee at the request of the local Member and at the request of this Committee on 1 May 2019 when it had been resolved to grant outline permission. The Minutes of the Committee had recorded that any future applications for planning permission, outline permission or reserved matters for this site should be heard by the Committee. The Planning Officer presented the report, concerning which there were no updates, and summarised the history of the site.
The Chairman explained the arrangements for speaking at the Committee and invited Mr Brian Reynolds, the applicant, to address the Committee:-
“Good evening, Chairman and Members. My name is Brian Reynolds and I am the London director for North Country homes and, not surprisingly, I am in support of this application. I will not keep you any longer than necessary and so simply, I'd like to thank the Planning Officers, their supporting consultants and staff for the professional and timely manner in which this application had been dealt with. I would ask the Committee to support their professional advice. I would like to say thank you for hearing me; I am here to lend my physical support to the application.”
The Chairman then invited the Democratic Services Officer to read out a statement from Mrs Dawn Anderson (on behalf of herself and her husband), who had objected to the application:-
“Our objection to the building of 49 houses on the land next to our property has previously been submitted. Whilst we appreciate Gainsborough is being 'rejuvenated', there are already new build sites all over the town, these being Foxby Lane, Bowling Green, Hillcrest Developments, Warren Wood and Thonnock Vale. Yes, people need a place to live but surely these developments are more than adequate and there is no need for more residential development. It would be more prudent to develop the infrastructure of the town to offer more facilities than building another 49 properties. Two GP surgeries were inadequate before all of the above building works commenced. The Council should consider the size of the town itself and how all these new residents are to be catered for in a relatively small market town. A further 49 payments of council tax from the building of these new properties will not revive the town's fortunes but it will seriously impact the existing residents of the immediate area. If the “voting committee” were directly involved and living next to a building site would ... view the full minutes text for item 113.
The Chairman introduced the next application of the meeting, planning application 145047, seeking permission for the erection of 8 dwellings on land at Good’s Farm, Meadow Lane, Reepham. The application had been brought before the Committee because of objections from the Parish Council and other third parties and having regard to the history of the site.
The Planning Officer presented the report and in so doing referred to an objection from Mr. D World of 1 Church Lane. This address was one of those referred to in the report as objecting to the proposal. Mr. World had commented along the following lines:-
“My comment from more than 2 weeks ago about the process relating to the above application has never appeared on the WLDC website and no apparent reference to it has been made. I wrote expressing my concerns at the manner in which this application had been communicated to the public: -
“The latest amendments to the application fail to respond to the many comments, concerns or objections submitted. They do, however, appear to respond to the Conservation Officer’s and other local authority officers’ comments which have not been made public. It leads me to question whether the 9-month long process/evolution of this application is fair or transparent.”
Mr. World disagreed with the conclusion of the Conservation Officer and with the limited weight applied to the Draft Neighbourhood Plan.
The Planning Officer advised that the Neighbourhood Plan had undergone Regulation 14 consultation last year. It was now undergoing its final stages of consultation, with the final draft production after addressing feedback. This was prior to submission by the Parish Council for inspection. (The next Stage was submission to WLDC – Regulation 16 (submission), and then WLDC would consulton the plan. All comments received were then collated, and would form part of the consideration of the Inspector appointed for the Examination)
As the Neighbourhood plan was at Regulation 14 stage only, limited weight could be attached to its policies. WLDC had no knowledge of what representations might be made in support or objection other than those made by WLDC when the Neighbourhood Plan had undergone Regulation 14 consultation last year. It was now undergoing its final stages of consultation, with final draft production after addressing feedback. This was prior to submission by the Parish Council for inspection.
Mr. World had stated that only now that the Conservation Officer’s report had been communicated to Members of the Planning Committee, could Members of the public access it. His concern was over incorrect assumptions and the omission of factors for consideration, namely: -
The re-positioning of the Highway on “The Green”. He had stated that the Conservation Officer had indicated this this would harm the character of The Green by some loss of the green verge, however, the proposal mitigated this with the extension of green verges on the northern side of the road. Mr. World felt that This would lead to an alteration of the curb-less green verge.
He had stated ... view the full minutes text for item 114.
The Chairman introduced the next item, planning application 145735, which sought permission for the erection of 20 affordable dwellings on land to the south of Wesley Road, Cherry Willingham. The proposed development comprised 4 one bedroomed bungalows, 10 two bedroomed houses and 6 three bedroomed houses. The application had been brought before the Committee for determination as it was a re-submission of planning application 142360 which had also been considered by the Committee.
The Chairman invited the Planning Officer to present the report, concerning which there were no updates. The report detailed the background to the site and summarised the previous consideration given to development on this site.
The Chairman welcomed the agent for the applicant, Mr. James Collins, who addressed the Committee along the following lines:-
“My name is James Collins and I am speaking on behalf of the applicant, Cherry Tree Homes. The proposal is for an entry level exception site for 20 affordable homes which meet the requirements of paragraph 71 of the NPPF. The application is a re-submission following the refusal of a planning application for 21 affordable homes on the same site in November 2021.
The proposed scheme for affordable homes demonstrates exceptional reasons to justify the granting of a residential scheme in such a location. The proposal will help to meet the identified unmet need for affordable housing in the Cherry Willingham area in response to the West Lindsey housing register.
We have prepared a Section 106 agreement to ensure that the site is designated for affordable houses only. The 106 agreement has been agreed with the Council.
The layout, scale and density of the proposed scheme complies with the relevant design principles from the Cherry Willingham Neighbourhood Plan and policies LP17 and 26 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan.
At the previous Planning Committee in November 21, Members had raised concerns over the roadway running through the previous Phases 1 and 2 of the site, suggesting it was unsuitable to support a third phase of residential development. Further objections had suggested that the site is not in a sustainable location. The Committee had subsequently refused the application on the basis that the proposal does not prioritise safe, easy and direct pedestrian access, contrary to Policy D1 of the Cherry Willingham Neighbourhood Plan.
It is the view of the applicant and the consultant team that this reason for refusal is deeply unfair and is not justifiable for a number of reasons. The existing roadway running through phases 1 and 2 has been designed to an adoptable standard to ensure safe and direct pedestrian and vehicular access. As an adoptable road it is suitable for construction vehicles and the Highways Authority has accepted this. The adoption agreement for the roads is nearing completion.
Concerns were also raised that the road network through phases 1 and 2 has many bends and that this makes the phase 3 site less accessible. This is incorrect. The access routes through the previous phases have been designed in accordance ... view the full minutes text for item 115.
The Chairman introduced the next item, planning application number 145788, which sought outline planning permission for the construction of four dwellings and access on land adjacent to Westgate, Scotton. The application had been brought to the Committee for determination because of objections received from the local Member and the Parish Council. The report set out the history of the site.
The Chairman invited the Planning Officer to present the report and in doing he made reference to a further objection which had been received after the publication of the report.
The objection had been submitted by the owners of the restaurant at 20 Westgate. It had been contended that there were discrepancies in the plans submitted in that the distance between garage number 18 and garage number 20 could not be achieved. It was however reported that these distances had been checked and were accurate and the objection did not warrant any material change the report recommendation.
The Chairman invited the Democratic Services Officer to read out a statement of objection submitted by Karen Ibbeson as follows:-
“Westgate is the main thoroughfare through Scotton. It is not a wide road and buses do struggle to pass on certain sections of the road. It is also used by multiple HGVs, farming traffic, residents and visitors vehicles. The road regularly has cars parked from the local pub past the entrance/exit of the proposed planning application. The single vehicle width entrance/exit means a driver’s vision is restricted by a property that is further up that road. Parked cars on the road will make the single vehicle entrance/exit even more dangerous for everyone.
Would all emergency vehicles be able to access the proposed dwellings safely without having to reverse down the private access road?
The application is for four dwellings and now altered to 3 bedrooms. This means you are going to have a lot of vehicles and pedestrians using this single vehicle width entrance/exit that narrows towards the end of the proposed private access road. I do understand that there is going to be a passing place were the dwellings are going to be built, but there is going to be a lot of reversing up and down this narrow private access road.
Each dwelling will have a minimum of two vehicles, eight vehicles estimated, and even more when they have children with cars, or visitors to the dwellings, who arrive by car.
There are no pavements on this private access road, therefore pedestrians cannot safely enter/ exit the proposed dwellings safely if a car is using the private access road. The health and safety of pedestrians and vehicles using a narrow single track private access road definitely has not been addressed by the developers.
Who is going to be responsible for the maintenance of this private access road? We already have a private access road off Middle Street and it’s a very damaged road full of deep potholes. Private access roads are fine for a single dwelling, but not a good idea ... view the full minutes text for item 116.
The Chairman moved on the next item, planning application number 145741, for the removal of existing buildings and the construction of four dwellings at The Old Rectory Residential Home, Sturton Road, Saxilby. The application had been brought before the Committee for determination at the request of Saxilby Parish Council who were concerned that the proposed development conflicted with the policies contained in the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Planning Officer’s report summarised the history of the site. It was confirmed that there were no updates to draw to Members’ attention.
The Chairman invited Mr. James Rigby, agent for the applicant to address the Committee which he did so along the following summary:-
“Thank you Chairman and good evening Members. My name is James Rigby, I am a Senior Associate at Knights plc and a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. I am here this evening to speak in favour of the application on behalf of the applicant.
Firstly, I am pleased that the application is supported this evening with a strong recommendation from your Officers that the application before you should be approved. Indeed, the report prepared by your Officers is comprehensive and provides a detailed appraisal of the scheme against the policies of both the Local Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan.
This application was originally submitted in October last year and we have carried out extensive discussions with your Officers which have seen the scheme revised for the number of dwellings reduced from six to four. Alongside the reduction in dwellings, a number of important changes have been made in relation to the siting of the dwellings, ensuring that the footprints are set outside the root protection areas of the boundary trees. This generous setback allows these trees, which are typically between 15 and 20 metres in height, to continue to dominate the street scene on the approach into the village from the north. The Council’s Tree and Landscape Officer has raised no objection to the application.
The amended scheme has also sought to address a number of concerns raised by the Parish Council outlined in their initial consultation response. The existing access to certain roads will now no longer be utilised and this will be stopped up if planning permission is granted.
All four dwellings will be served from an improved access from Broxholme Lane.
The homes immediately east of Sturton Road will continue to face onto the road and contribute positively to the street scene as set out in your Officer's report. The application seeks approval for the demolition of the existing structures on the site. It is important to state that the Council's Conservation Officer has raised no objection to the loss of the Old Rectory stating that, and I quote, “there is no architectural interest visible to consider. This a non-designated heritage asset through its architectural merit.”
The application was also supported by a Heritage Impact Assessment prepared by an historic building specialist. This assessment concludes that the fabric of the former Old Rectory has ... view the full minutes text for item 117.
The Chairman introduced application item 6(f), number 145504, seeking planning permission to erect a replacement dwelling and change the use of an existing log cabin accommodation to staff facilities in association with the business at Willowbanks Stables, Pelham Road, Claxby, Market Rasen.
Although the report recommended approval, the development would conflict with criteria d of LP55 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan. Therefore, in accordance with Section 1j of Part IV of the Council’s Constitution the application was required to be considered by this Committee.
The Chairman invited the Planning Officer to present the report which set out the history of the site and other relevant matters.
The Chairman then invited the applicant, Sophie Richmond, to address the Committee:-
“My partner and I have built the equestrian business from scratch, along with the continued support of West Lindsey. We have grown the business from a willow coppice plantation to a thriving equestrian centre where we attract visitors from all over the country, including many Olympic and Team GB members who come to train and compete on our site.
We employ two full-time and three part-time members of staff and we also employ many casual workers during our busy show season. We currently the live in the 1 bedroom log cabin, which was built a few years ago when the business was much smaller. My partner and I now have a six month old daughter called Poppy. The log cabin size and location is not really suitable to bring up a family of any size as it only has one bedroom. Therefore, the replacement dwelling will allow us to live in a suitable home on site, which meets modern family living standards.
We have worked with a Planning Officer and agent and have come up with the design of a property that we believe satisfies all parties. We believe that the replacement dwelling will enhance the area of Claxby and allow us a chance to grow our family and business. We currently do not have any staff or mess room facilities on site, so this proposal allows the log cabin to become an essential part of the business as a staff welfare unit for our ever increasing number of staff. Thank you for your time.”
The Chairman thanked the speaker for her comments, and opened up the debate to Members of the Committee.
The Committee was very supportive of the application which would allow the continued operation of what had now become a successful business, with all the economic benefits that this brought to the District, and the attraction to the site.
Accordingly, it was proposed, seconded and unanimously agreed that planning permission should be GRANTED subject to the following conditions:-
Conditions stating the time by which the development must be commenced:
Reason: To conform with Section 91 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).
Conditions ... view the full minutes text for item 118.
The Chairman introduced the final application, planning application number 146066, seeking permission for the erection of a two storey dwelling with garage and orangery; the renovation of an existing granny flat/summer room and the renovation and extension of a granary/workshop and covered garage space to form one new dwelling on land adjacent to 12-14 High Street, Scotter. The application had been referred to the Committee for determination following objections from the Parish Council and other third parties, particularly around the scale of the development.
There were no public speakers on this application and the Chairman invited the Planning Officer to present the report. The Planning Officer reported that since publication of the report another objection had been received – from the occupier of 20 Sands Lane, Scotter who had stated:-
“When I purchased my property I was happy with the two bungalow proposal but the new 2 to three storey dwelling would in inhibit my privacy.”
The Planning Officer had a further update. He advised that since the publication of the Committee report, a Structural Condition Inspection Report by Mason Clark Associates dated 16 March 2023 had now been submitted and approved by the Conservation Officer.
It was now proposed to replace recommended pre-commencement condition No.2 in the published Planning Committee report with the following to be observed during the course of development:-
“2. The development shall be carried out in full accordance with the recommendations contained within the Structural Condition Inspection Report by Mason Clark Associates dated 16 March 2023.”
Members noted this amendment to the report.
With no registered speakers, the Chairman opened the item for discussion and many thanked the Planning Officer for the high quality photographs/illustrations of the site/proposed new dwellings. In response to a query about the usage of 12-14 High Street, the case officer explained that these were the address points for knowing where the site was situated.
it was proposed, seconded and unanimously agreed that planning permission should be GRANTED subject to the following conditions (which now included the new condition referred to above):-
Conditions stating the time by which the development must be commenced:
The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.
Reason: To conform with Section 91 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).
Conditions which apply or require matters to be agreed before the development commenced:
The development shall be carried out in full accordance with the recommendations contained within the Structural Condition Inspection Report by Mason Clark Associates dated 16 March 2023.
Reason: To ensure the works will not result in the collapse of this Non designated heritage asset and to ensure the use of appropriate methods of repair in accordance with the NPPF and Policy LP25 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan.
Conditions which apply or are to be observed during the course of the development:
With the exception of the detailed matters referred to by the conditions of ... view the full minutes text for item 119.
The determination of appeals was NOTED.