The next application was introduced, application number 143410 for 4no. semi-detached dwellings on land north of Normanby Rise, Claxby, Market Rasen. The Committee heard there had been three further representations received and these were summarised as follows.
“LCC Highways: My preference would be for them to look at providing 2 spaces per dwelling. Thanks
Local Resident: Wold Haven Normanby Rise Claxby: Despite a few cosmetic changes and moving forward of these houses, the fundamental problems of building density, parking and suitability for an AONB have not been addressed.
Reducing the development to two (perhaps detached) properties would be a far better solution.
Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service Manager: I have reviewed the revised plans for the four properties. I note that this is largely a return to the original submission for the site, so our concerns remain in terms of the localised impact upon the character of the nationally protected Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
We continue to support the views of Claxby Parish Council, that the plot is too small to accommodate the proposed four residential properties and that these do not link to the existing character of adjacent properties in Normanby Road.
The difficulties in the density of the dwellings proposed for the site is further evidenced by the County Council Highway’s response and its recommendation of the need for two car parking spaces per property - so a minimum of eight bays in total would be required, before allowing for any additional capacity for visitor parking.
As indicated by other respondents, I’m assuming that the previous planning application for four properties (planning ref: 98/P/0066) as detailed in the applicant’s submission, was for a much larger plot and is effectively now null and void and predates the current planning policies and guidance as covered within the Local Plan and National Planning Policy Framework.”
The Chairman stated there were three registered speakers and invited the first, the representative of Claxby Parish Council, to address the Committee. Mr David Beer made the following statement.
“Thank you Chairman and Members of the Committee. I am representing Claxby Parish Council. The parish council has already objected to the proposal for four houses on this small site, on the grounds that it's an overdevelopment of the site in a rural village in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Following the objection, the plans were then altered to remove one half of the proposed development, leaving the other half of the site open for future development. After objections to the second proposal, this further alteration to the application reverts to what is essentially the same design of four semi detached houses, albeit slightly smaller, and the parish council objects again on the same basis. It's an overdevelopment of a small site in a small village in an AONB. It will put a strain on the infrastructure, The sewage treatment plant is already at capacity. With a potential of at least two cars per household it would also have a huge impact on traffic on Normanby Rise, which is already a busy thoroughfare. There'd be great difficulty of access onto the properties from the narrow road and inadequate space has been allowed for the parking and turning on the forecourt of the properties. This could cause problems of residents and guests being forced to park on the narrow and busy road. The design of the properties has not given thought to problems of parking for cars and space for storage of bins for example.
The style of property in the proposed development doesn't blend in with the existing houses in the village. The report alludes to previous planning application for four dwellings at this location. Outline planning was granted for four dwellings on the 12th of March 1998. However, the plot in question was much bigger and covered all the land up to the property at the rear, Langham House. So it was probably three or four times the size of the plot on which the development is now proposed.
The parish council is not against development on this site per se and we suggest that two detached properties or two semi detached properties in the centre of the plot, and in a design that's in keeping with the other properties in the village, would be much more appropriate. The developer suggests there's a need for this type of property to attract younger families to the village but history has shown that young families don't do well in Claxby because there are no facilities and transport is needed to get to schools and shops and amenities. We found that young families move out just under a short time because of this. So that is the objection from Claxby Parish Council. Thank you for your time.”
The Chairman thanked Mr Beer for his statement and invited the next speaker, Agent for the Applicant Mr Sam Marriott, to address the Committee. Mr Marriott made the following statement.
“Evening Chairman, Committee. I'm Sam Marriott from Mother Architects agent this application.
Back in September, following design changes that were made following a public consultation event we held within the village, we had a provisional call to committee for this application, with officer’s recommendation for approval, including conditions sent to us for confirmation. It was pulled the last minute. The LPA was suddenly and surprisingly adamant that the important open space allocation under LP23 was still valid on the site with a live outline permission in place for housing. The existing permission makes no mention of LP23 which is presumed to be due to multiple historic permissions for residential developments on the site.
Initially when challenged it was admitted by the LPA that the allocation was a last minute drag and drop exercise when forming the digital mapping for the Central Lincs Local Plan, with no review from 2006 and potential in error for doing so. Clear examples of LP23 errors can be seen locally, including half of the classrooms in Osgodby primary school, three houses in Binbrook, and omissions of various public open spaces. These have been demonstrated to the LPA in a document but dismissed as likely to be resolved under review of the local plan.
However the crux of the problem with the LPAs position, regardless of the likely mapping error is that LP23 open space allocation should no longer be applicable on the site regardless, as there’s a live outline permission for residential development and there's multiple historic planning permissions for housing. This is not only our view as the agent, it's the initial legal view of a legal adviser who has sat and advised at this very committee on legals many times. It's also the opinion of our planning consultant, the previous manager here, Oliver Fitch-Taylor who oversaw the Central Lincs Local Plan as this policy come to fruition, and he has produced a detailed response, which the LPA have. Alongside these challenges to the LPA, we've also been consistently proactive in efforts to design a scheme that both conforms with LP23, a policy of no design requirement, and deliver appropriate and quality infill housing development.
Initially, we halved the number of units to two on the site, leaving an area completely clear. When asked about this land, it is our view that if the LPA were correct in the application of LP23 this land could not be developed as it would be protected. For reasons unclear this was disagreed, we again revised, based on feedback, and presented four units which has been considered this evening. The existing hedges to be retained with a full depth for soft landscaping behind to drastically screen the frontage along with the central driveway replacing the previous proposed dual entrances, the driveway now offers a clear view from public realm directly between the cottages, reserving both the feeling of openness and ensuring an entrance no wider than needed for a single home, it is also heavily planted to maintain a perceived break in the streets.
Still, it is the LPA’s view that this still conflicts with LP23. It is becoming increasingly clear that recommendation for refusal is based solely on an impossible application of LP23 on land with residential permission already granted, causing a domino effect across multiple policies. Every mention of appropriate location within the local plan has been drawn down on giving the appearance of robustness in the officer’s recommendation. It's crucial to remember in September, this application was set to come to committee with recommendation for approval, and the scheme has been improved multiple times since then,
When LP23 is put to one side, both the current report and September's recommendation make it clear that the proposal conforms with all relevant policy. It is not considered to adversely affect any residential amenity. It is not considered to be overdevelopment. For context of the scale of this site, the village church or surrounding greenery and footpaths would fit comfortably within it. The proposal would retain the core shape and form of the settlement, provide three additional units which is within the remaining seven unit growth allowance, be of an appropriate housing type of appropriate gardens amenity and parking.
As confirmed in officer’s report the application conforms to the letter when reviewed against Central Lincs Local Plan policies when LP23 is negated. The proposal is for high quality family units on a good size infill site in a wholly appropriate location. The exact type of development the local and wider policy supports. It will see the delivery of homes the policymakers repeatedly state to strive to support. It is hoped that this evening’s committee will offer that support too.
I believe most agents will openly admit it's not many times they feel a sense of relief when an application comes to committee. With this instance, we welcome the opportunity. The scheme is in an unfortunate position of stalemate, self-inflicted by the LPA. The key to unlocking it is at this committee. To have a well-designed scheme that we, as a practice are genuinely proud of, reviewed on its merits and put to democratic vote. Thank you”
The Chairman thanked Mr Marriott for his time and advised that the third speaker, Councillor Tom Regis, Ward Member, had submitted a statement to be read aloud. He asked the Democratic Services Officer to read the statement, which she did as follows.
“Following the Parish Council’s original objection to the application for 4 semi detached properties on this small site, the plans were then altered to remove one half of the proposed development, leaving the other half of the site open for future development. The Parish Council objected to this on the grounds that the building of two properties on the left half of the site would not be in keeping with the line of existing properties on the road, as it would leave an unnecessary gap. This proposal was also seen by the Parish Council as a ploy to build two properties now, then apply for a further two properties at a later date.
After objections to the amended plans, the most recent alteration to the application reverts to what is essentially the same design as the original, of 4 semi-detached houses (albeit slightly smaller) and the Parish Council wish to object again on the same basis, that it is an over-development of a small site in a rural village in an AONB.
The Parish Council is not against development on this site per se, and would suggest that 2 detached properties, or two-semidetached properties in the centre of the plot, with plenty of land and garden or recreation area around the properties would be much more appropriate.
The style of property in the proposed development does not blend in with existing houses in the village and the council would be more inclined to approve a design for 2 properties that is more in keeping with other properties in the village.”
The Chairman invited comment from Planning Officers and it was explained that the proposal was considered to be overdevelopment of the site, with a smaller development being in keeping with the area.
Members of the Committee expressed support for the refusal, on the basis of the proposal being over-developed for the land and surrounding area. There were concerns raised regarding amenities for young families and the amount of hard surfacing contained within the proposal. It was felt that a more sympathetic development could be produced.
Having been moved and seconded, the Chairman took the vote and it was unanimously agreed that permission be REFUSED.