The Chairman introduced the first application of the evening, application number 141702, for the siting of 65 single story modular park homes for the over 55s on Saxon Way, Bardney. The Committee heard that the site was allocated in the local plan for development and saw the proposed site plan for 65 modular units (park homes) and expectation of layout and appearance. There would be a Section 106 completed as part of planning permission for a restriction of over 55s only. An off-site affordable homes contribution of £101,890 and an NHS contribution of £41,112.50 towards a loft extension and subsequent alteration to the ground floor at a new surgery at Woodall Spa.
The Chairman invited the first of the registered speakers to address the Committee. Cllr Robin Darby made the following statement.
“My name is Robin Darby and I'm a Councillor on Bardney Group Parish Council. The conditions imposed on the development prior to the commencement of any work had been noted. These include the foul and surface water, landscaping scheme, external lighting scheme, individual driveway parking and boundary trees and hedging.
I’d like to raise further points relevant to the application. The application form submitted on 20th of October 2020 states siting of 69 single storey modular homes for over the 55s. The traditional brick and mortar development means that the developer builds the homes to sell in phases or completed project. There is no timetable in any of the submitted documentation that indicates the number of hard standings and park homes that will be completed. It is doubtful that the company will build all the hard standings and purchase all the homes, and move them onto the site. It is more likely to a number of hard standings will be built and the homes moved on to the site when purchased.
The concern is a protracted stop start construction phase, and the destruction caused to the local residents. And also when the site and associated landscaping will be completed.
There is also a concern regarding the trigger point for the S106, and the possibility that it may not be reached and the site becomes a mixture of park homes and moveable caravans.”
The Chairman introduced the second speaker, Mr Michael Braithwaite, to address the Committee.
“I’m Michael Braithwaite a chartered town planner and agent to the applicant Bowbridge (B&MR) Limited. Thank you for the opportunity to speak on this matter. The application site benefits from extant planning permission for 98 dwellings reference 120613, which is part implemented by the development of properties on Saxon Way and Norman Way, including 19 affordable dwellings. The site is also allocated in the adopted local plan site CL 1144 for 73 dwellings.
The principle of development is therefore well established through both the development plan, and planning application process, and history for the site. The proposal is to replace the remaining traditional built dwellings subject to the approval with 65 modular bungalows referred to as park homes, which will be restricted to occupancy by people over the age of 55.
As your officer report highlights there is a growing unmet need for dedicated housing for this age group, highlighted by the strategic housing market assessment prepared to support the local plan, West Lindsey Housing Strategy 2018 to 2022, the LIN report commissioned by West Lindsey District Council on behalf of all the authorities in the greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership area, and the Lincolnshire homes for independence blueprint, considered by the West Lindsey Prosperous Communities committee on 26th of January 2021.
Your officers have considered the form of the proposed form of development is a popular form of development for over 55s, where it is provided elsewhere in the district. The use of park homes is also considered to be an affordable route to home ownership if you see the inspector’s decision letter referred to in the committee report. The original consent require the provision of six more affordable housing in addition to the 19 units already provided on Saxon and Norman Ways.
The current proposal, in addition to providing an affordable route to homeownership, does not generate as much value as traditional build residential scheme. As such a contribution towards offside provision of one affordable dwelling has been negotiated, taking into consideration the findings of the report prepared on behalf the applicant and assessed by the consultants on behalf of the council.
We know the affordable housing provision for the dwellings on the local plan allocation will be 20 dwellings, or 21% with an extra dwelling provided off site. This contribution together with contribution towards health care provision is considered by your officers to meet the requirements of your policy. We request that you give favourable consideration to this application, which will deliver much needed housing to meet the needs of older people in West Lindsey. We note your officers have considered proposals in front of view this evening are in compliance with your planning policies, and will meet the needs identified in the West Lindsey Housing Strategy. Thank you again for the opportunity to speak on this matter.”
The Chairman thanked the speakers and invited further comment from the Officer. He noted the Parish Councillors concern over the deliverability of the site. It was an allocated site and a residential development. The first phase was built around Saxon Way and had not been developed since but was not currently contributing to the Council’s five year housing land supply. Planning policy guidance was clear that local authorities should not be putting conditions on capping when developments were to be completed by. It was a different form of development than the traditional brick and mortar type but there was no reason that park homes would be slower than that or vice versa.
The Chairman thanked him for his comments and opened discussion with his own questions. He found it disappointing that, under Section 106 there was only a £101,890 contribution to the community when it would normally be a contribution of c.£1.5m on a site this size. The site had porous surface and drainage facilities in other parts of village were not working as they might. The NHS contribution of £42,000 was admirable but may cause a waiting list while transferring between Bardney and Woodall Spa. He also stated he was contacted by a resident with concerns over the boundary.
The Officer responded about the contributions that the council had had assessment of the works and there were questions over viability. The NHS contribution had come from them and it needed to be clear that the contribution would benefit the Bardney branch. Anglian Water had been consulted over the drainage and stated there was capacity for foul water. The Committee could make a decision over the type of boundary if they thought it was relevant.
The Chairman asked Members for their comments.
Note: Councillor O. Bierley declared a non-pecuniary interest in that he knew the speaker Mr Braithwaite.
Members asked if the housing would be available to the over 55s in just West Lindsey or in the whole country and if they would be freehold or leasehold. Also whether there would be a network of footpaths connecting the site with local amenities. The Legal Adviser explained that as these were market dwellings they would only be secured for over 55s and did not meet the legal test to be secured for local people via a s106 cascade. .
On being proposed and seconded, and with the addition of the following conditions:
Condition 7 - the boundary has a seven foot high fence between 110 Wragby Road and the site
Condition 11 – for footpaths to connect off Field Lane to the north east corner
The Chairman took the vote and it was unanimously AGREED that the decision for permission to be granted, subject to conditions, be delegated to Officers, to enable the completion and signing of an agreement under section 106 of the Planning Act 1990 (as amended) pertaining to:
· A restriction to occupation of all 65 units to the over 55’s
· An off-site affordable homes contribution of £101,890
· An NHS contribution of £41,112.50 towards a loft expansion and
· subsequent alterations to the ground floor at a new surgery at Woodhall
· Open space on the site including a management and maintenance plan.