Erect 25 No. dwellings with garages, form vehicular access
The Area Lead (Major Applications – Eastern) presented the application to erect 25 dwellings with garages and vehicular access.
He explained that the application was being reconsidered due to the fact that the Planning Inspectorate issued their decision on an earlier application for residential development of 30 houses on this site, on the same day as the Planning Committee considered the current application for 25 houses. The appeal was dismissed, however the Inspector highlighted several issues which related directly to this committee’s suggested reasons for refusal. The appeal was therefore a material consideration that needed to be taken into account in the decision making process.
The MSANP had been approved at referendum and should be given full weight as if it were part of the Development Plan for the Council.
The Inspector considered the most relevant NP Policies to the appeal were: MSA 1 (housing need) and MSA 14 (character) the context of which were explained to committee members
The Inspector had no particular problem with the design of the scheme for 30 units. The proposed development had been amended to address previous concerns raised with layout and density and the scheme has been reduced in the number of houses and parking spaces.
There were no objections from the Housing Enabling Officer in terms of layout and noted that the proposed affordable houses should be seen as an additional benefit of the scheme.
The proposed parking and layout were considered in the context of Milborne St Andrews by the Officer. The relationship of parking areas was not dissimilar. It was considered that the movement and parking of cars were a part of everyday life and the applicant had addressed the concerns raised previously about neighbour amenity.
The Officer also considered the proposal in light of the Site Assessment Criteria of the MSANP. In his opinion the application would not undermine the Neighbourhood Plan and was recommending it for approval.
Oral representation against the application was received from Mr J Mardell, Mr S Bulley and Ms J Witherden on behalf of the Parish Council. Their objections related to the number of alternative sites with planning applications pending in the area and felt there was no case for breaching the existing settlement boundary. A holistic approach should be taken, there had been a 48% increase of housing in the area and the previous application had been refused at appeal. It was felt that this application had been given undue prominence. Time had moved on since the Inspectors decision and he had not indicated that he would have approved the scheme for 25 homes. There was no current housing shortfall in the area.
Oral representation in support of the application was received from Mr R Lock, Ms S Maitland-Gleed and Ms S Southwood of Wyatt Homes.
The supporters believed the application met the criteria set out in the Neighbourhood Plan and was one of the four preferred sites for future development. Local schools and businesses were struggling and the area needed more families to support these facilities, the application site had been out of use for 20 years and there were many young people who would welcome the opportunity to buy homes in the village. Wyatt Homes had a good reputation in the village for building high quality sustainable homes.
In response to member questions, Planning Officers confirmed that full weight should be given to the Neighbourhood Plan as if it was part of the Development Plan.
With regard to what could be done to properties adjacent to the corner of the development to reduce noise and disturbance, the Area Lead (Major Applications – Eastern) suggested that a low boundary brick wall could deflect noise, as the number of parking spaces in the new scheme was reduced this would also allow for a good amount of landscaping and tree planting.
Proposed by Cllr B Ridout, seconded by Cllr C Jones that an additional condition be added to include both hard and soft landscaping to reduce any possible noise disturbance.
The addition of the heathland infrastructure would come forward as a benefit for community and dog walking, the other benefit of the scheme would be the affordable housing which would give some weight to balancing the benefits of the scheme.
The committee members debated the merits of the scheme and were advised that the additional speculative applications in the village were not part of the Neighbourhood Plan and numbers were still under negotiation. They felt it was important not to go against the spirit of the Neighbourhood Plan and the residents of the village, the Neighbourhood Plan allowed for the allocation of development on Green Field sites as long as it was sustainable. The land had not been used for 20 years, was currently waste land with no benefit as it was. Rural schools were struggling and more children and family houses were needed
Proposed by Cllr C Jones, seconded by Cllr L Fry
Decision: That the application be delegated to the Planning Manager to grant planning permission subject to securing planning contributions through the signing of a S106 agreement, the addition of a condition to ensure both soft and hard landscaping were incorporated in the scheme and the conditions outlined in the appendix to these minutes.