The Chairman introduced planning application number 139024, a retrospective application to change the use of a residential swimming pool to a private teaching pool at The Waterhouse, Main Street, Burton, Lincoln. The Committee were advised there were no updates to the report and the Chairman confirmed there were three speakers to the application and invited the first speaker to address the Committee.
The first speaker introduced himself as Mr Andrew Allison, agent for the applicant. He reiterated that this was a retrospective application for the use of the residential swimming pool to be changed to a private teaching pool, providing lessons for disabled children and children with learning difficulties. He explained how the lessons worked, with a maximum of four children in one lesson and parents accompanied them at all times. He explained that there had been no issues on their two years of operating and lessons only ran for four hours a day and solely on weekdays. He highlighted that this had been reflected accurately in the Officer’s report and they were accepting of all the conditions recommended by the Officer. Mr Allison noted that Councillor Cotton as Ward Member had objected to the access and parking arrangements however it was clarified that access was off Middle Street, not off the hill access on Main Street, and the Highways Agency had not objected. The suggested widening of the access by 900mm would provide the access to the site that the Highways Agency had agreed and the applicant had confirmed this would have no impact on the tree frontage. Mr Allison reiterated the importance of the swimming lessons for the children who swam there and explained that they often could not cope with public leisure facilities. He stated that the loss of the facility would be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the children affected.
The second speaker introduced himself as Mr Michael Hayes-Cowley, the applicant. He explained that he was not running the change of use of the pool as a business venture. He stated that his motivation to become involved in providing swimming lessons for disabled children was his personal involvement with a child who had had many health issues and the way he had seen swimming to have been her main release. He stated that he wanted to be able to use his private pool to be able to give that opportunity to others who otherwise would not be able to access such facilities. He thanked the Committee for their time.
The Chairman then invited Councillor David Cotton, Ward Member for Saxilby, to address the Committee.
Cllr Cotton referenced the access to the site and accepted it was off Middle Street, although he raised some concerns regarding the speed of traffic along the road. He noted that the Parish Council had raised concerns and the change of use had only come to light because of complaints made by residents. He asked of the Committee to consider proposing a site visit in order to see the arrangements first hand. Cllr Cotton commended the applicant for their intentions but suggested that there was no way of knowing how the venture had been run over the previous two years as it had been running without the knowledge of the relevant authorities.
Note: Cllr D. Cotton withdrew from the Chamber at 6:44pm.
With no further update from the Officers, the Chairman invited comment from Committee Members. A Member of Committee felt the Officer had covered all eventualities with the proposed conditions and that it was an acceptable change of use. She moved the Officer recommendation.
Another Committee Member commented that it would be useful to see how the business worked and whether it was suitable and therefore proposed a site visit.
There was further support from Members of Committee and the proposal to move the Officer recommendation was seconded.
Following discussion regarding concerns about the permission to change use setting a precedent in the area and also whether the property could subsequently be sold for other business use, it was proposed to amend the recommendation in order to ensure the permission was allocated to the current applicant and would cease if he sold the property. The Legal Advisor noted that the applicant was not the company running the lessons and so the link to an individual would need to be precise. It was therefore proposed that the amendment be delegated to Officers to ensure it was accurate.
With the agreement of the original proposer and seconder, the amended proposal was put to the vote and it was unanimously AGREED that permission be GRANTED subject to conditions and that it be delegated back to Officers to assign the permission to the relevant party, with the expectation that a change of applicant would return before the Committee.
Note: Cllr D. Cotton returned to the Chamber at 6:53pm