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To receive any apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Jean Dunseith and Cllr Kate Wheller.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest
Cllr Peter Barrow declared that he had predetermined Application No WP/28/00914/FUL - Marchesi House, Poplar Close, Weymouth. He wished to speak for 3 minutes as a public speaker, however, he would not take part in the debate or vote on this application.
Cllr David Gray declared that he had predetermined Application No WP/28/00914/FUL - Marchesi House, Poplar Close, Weymouth. He would not take part in the debate or vote on this application.
Cllr Kelvin Clayton stated that he had not predetermined Application No WD/D/18/002368 - Former Mountjoy School, Flood Lane, Bridport and had not participated in the debate or vote during its consideration by the Bridport Town Council Planning Committee. He would therefore take part in the debate and vote on the application. He further stated that he had been unable to attend the site visit in respect of Application WP/28/00914/FUL - Marchesi House, Poplar Close, Weymouth and confirmed that he was not familiar with the site.
Cllr Susan Cocking stated that she would take part in the debate and vote on Application No WP/19/00162/PIP - Land adjacent to Former Gatehouse, West Way, Southwell Business Park, Portland as she was not previously a member of the Portland Town Council Planning Committee and had not predetermined the application. She further stated that she had not attended the site visit in respect of Application No WP/28/00914/FUL - Marchesi House, Poplar Close, Weymouth, but as she was familiar with the site, would take part in the debate and vote on this item.
Cllr Louie O'Leary stated that he had not attended the site visit in respect of Application No WP/28/00914/FUL - Marchesi House, Poplar Close, Weymouth, but as he knew the location of the site very well, he would take part in the debate and vote on this item.
Cllr Nick Ireland stated that he had not predetermined Application No WD/D/16/000378 - Land South of Warmwell Road, Crossways and had not been involved in consideration of the previous application. He would therefore take part in the debate and vote on this application.
Cllr Sarah Williams stated that she had not predetermined Application No WD/D/18/002368 - Former Mountjoy School, Flood Lane, Bridport. Although a member of the Bridport Town Council Planning Committee when previous applications for this site had been considered, she had left the room when this particular application was considered. She would therefore take part in the debate and vote on this application.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 8 August 2019.
The minutes of the meeting held on 8 August 2019 were confirmed and signed.
Members of the public wishing to speak to the Committee on a planning application should notify the Democratic Services Officer listed on the front of this agenda. This must be done no later than two clear working days before the meeting. Please refer to the Guide to Public Speaking at Planning Committee.
Representations by the public to the Committee on individual planning applications are detailed below. There were no questions, petitions or deputations received on other items on this occasion.
To consider the applications listed below for planning permission
Members considered written reports submitted on planning applications as set out below.
Demolition of existing flats & erection of 18 Houses &13 Flats in two blocks.
Cllr Peter Barrow and Cllr David Gray moved to the public seating area of the room and did not take part in the debate or vote for this application.
Cllr Kelvin Clayton did not take part in the debate and abstained during voting on this application.
The Senior Planning Officer presented the application for the demolition of the existing flats and erection of 18 houses and 13 flats, comprised of 100% affordable housing within the Defined Development Boundary for Weymouth. The scheme would offer a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership that would assist in meeting the high level of local housing demand. There were presently 1777 people on the Weymouth & Portland housing register and the housing team would have an input into the allocations with regard to a local letting policy. The scheme was considered suitable in terms of highways standards.
Members were shown the proposed site plan, aerial view and a number of artists impressions and photographs detailing the change in level of the site from north to south and the relationship of the site to the surrounding area, in particular, to Southill Primary School. The potential for construction traffic to interfere with the footpath had been recognised as a potential safety issue and could be dealt with via a construction management plan to cover matters such as vehicle movements/timing and wheel washing.
The Development Manager referred to the update sheet containing minor amendments to the wording of the recommendation and condition 5 that had been circulated to the Committee at the meeting.
Beth Chalker addressed the Committee in objection to the application, raising issues in relation to overbearing, density of dwellings per hectare in comparison with other areas of Southill, increase in number of occupants, traffic and noise, impact on road safety and width of the existing footpath. She considered that the application contradicted Adopted Local Plan policy ENV12 in relation to the design and positioning of buildings and asked whether a full impact analysis had been carried out for Southill Primary School.
Jonathan Dixon addressed the Committee in objection to the application, drawing attention to the density of the development and Adopted Local Plan Policy ENV16 in relation to the impact on amenity given the threefold increase in numbers of people living on the site. The deficiency in the allocated parking would see an increase in numbers of vehicles parking in Sycamore Road.
Stephen Hairsine addressed the Committee in support of the application, highlighting inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the local press with regard to the development. He stated that although stress had been caused by the length of time, the residents of Marchesi House were in support of the scheme and many objections had been addressed at the last open day. Ongoing uncertainty was unnecessary and he urged the Committee to approve the application.
Cllr Peter Barrow addressed the Committee as the Dorset Council Ward Member for Radipole. He confirmed that the 200 objections were truthful representations of the community, who did not ... view the full minutes text for item 34.
Erection of up to 8 dwellings.
The Senior Planning Officer introduced the "permission in principle" (PIP) application for up to 8 dwellings on a site forming part of the car parking area serving the Atlantic Academy at Southwell Business Park. The detail would form part of the technical detail consent at a later stage. Although outside the defined development boundary, the site was located next to existing housing which carried significant weight given the shortfall in the council's 5 year housing supply.
Members were shown a site plan, street views and photos of the car park.
The Section 106 Agreement attached to the school/academy planning permission included a car park management plan and travel plan to be put in place. The site of the application had originally been allocated for staff parking, however, alternative arrangements for parking nearer the school buildings meant that this area of the car park was no longer used. An update of the car park management plan could be pursued with the academy and dealt with as a separate matter.
Andy Matthews, Chairman of the Portland Community Partnership, addressed the Committee in relation to aspects that had been overlooked during discussions with Portland Town Council, including the safeguarding of minerals extraction and the Neighbourhood Plan ECON2 to protect and extend the Southwell Business Park that included the car park area that was the subject of the application. He concluded that it would be premature to accept the application on this basis and in light of other brownfield sites that had been identified that could have been taken account of in the 5 year land supply.
Mr Drayton, the agent, spoke in support of the application. He said the proposal was well located next to existing residential development and that the site had not been used by the Academy for parking for some time.
In response to the issues raised during public participation, it was explained that all detailed considerations, including minerals matters would be considered and addressed at the technical details stage and did not preclude a decision being made on the PIP application.
Members were mindful of the need for housing and that this application avoided the use of greenfield sites.
Proposed by Cllr Kelvin Clayton, seconded by Cllr Nick Ireland.
Decision: That the application be approved subject to the conditions outlined in the annex to these minutes.
Erection of 38 retirement living apartments with communal facilities, car
parking & landscaping.
The Senior Planning Officer presented the application for the erection of 38 retirement living apartments with communal facilities, car parking and landscaping on the site of the former Mountjoy School.
A slide of the location plan showed the proposed site plan with access off Flood lane, 28 car parking spaces to the rear of site, proposed 1 and 2 bed apartments and nearby listed buildings. An aerial photo showed the wider area that included Morrisons, Sydney Gale House and Palmer's Brewery. Amendments made during the application process included widening of the landscape buffer.
Updates to the wording of the recommendation and conditions 8 and 10 had been included in an update sheet that was circulated to the committee at the meeting.
Four further representations in support of the application had been received that raised no new reasons other than those that were already included in the report.
The Highways Officer stated that the footway fronting Flood Lane would be widened to 2m, with little traffic on the east of the site where it became narrower. The parking arrangements were compliant with the Adopted Local Plan and evidence provided by the applicants suggested that people living in the 2 bedroom properties would not necessarily have 2 cars. There were good bus routes in the area with links to cycle routes.
Carla Fumgovi, the agent, spoke in support of the application. She said that the scheme had been significantly amended since it was first proposed and would be in keeping with the area. It would provide better accommodation for older people in the context of an aging local population. In addition, a contribution to affordable housing would be made.
Cllr Sarah Carney, Bridport Town Councillor, stated that the Town Council had strongly objected to this application on two previous occasions. She asked the Committee to view the proposal in the context of child poverty, unaffordable rents and a shortfall in key worker housing in the area and that an affordable housing scheme would be more appropriate. The report did not have regard to the climate emergency or the local or neighbourhood plans.
Although some members were disappointed that this was not an affordable housing scheme, the contribution towards affordable housing was seen as beneficial in providing appropriate housing elsewhere in the locality rather than on a site for sheltered accommodation.
Members were also concerned about flooding, particularly in light of the condition in relation to a flood warning and evacuation plan. It was explained that the amended recommendation was subject to the holding objection being withdrawn by the Flood Risk Management Team and that such a condition was common to ensure there were mitigation measures in place in the event of a flood.
Members questioned the need for retirement homes in the context of the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan which had a policy for retirement living based on proven need when there was an abundance of retirement flats in the area, some of which were vacant. However, there was a demonstrable need ... view the full minutes text for item 36.
Full planning permission for the erection of 99 open market dwellings
& affordable dwellings, a new doctors surgery, a replacement village hall, a car
park, a new village green, new vehicular and pedestrian accesses and works to
Warmwell Road. An outline application for the erection of 401 open market and
affordable dwellings, the provision of 2.5ha of employment land, new vehicular
and pedestrian accesses, roads, footpaths and cycleways, a car park for the
proposed Site of Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) and 2 pumping
stations; and a full application for the change of use of 22.4ha of land to Site of
Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG).
The Area Lead – Major Applications Western Team introduced the hybrid application for a full planning application for the erection of 99 open market and affordable dwellings, a new doctor's surgery, replacement village hall, car park, a new village green, new vehicular and pedestrian accesses and works to Warmwell Road; an outline application for 401 open market and affordable dwellings, the provision of 2.5ha of employment land, new vehicular and pedestrian accesses, roads, footpaths and cycleways, a car park for the proposed Site of Alternative Natural Green Space (SANG) and 2 pumping stations; and a full application for the change of use of 22.4ha of land to the SANG which was situated within 5km of heathland.
Updates to conditions had been circulated to the Committee at the meeting.
The minerals extraction area would be dealt with by a separate application and a separate condition to ensure that extraction took place prior to development.
Members were shown a map of the proposed layout of the full permission that included 99 dwellings, of which 34 affordable housing units had been secured. A total of 1844 people were on the housing register and 42 people on the Crossways register.
Other elements of the full permission including a replacement village hall and new GP surgery were also highlighted. Discussions were ongoing with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) regarding the provision of a new surgery in order to meet future demand in Crossways.
The application had been brought back to the Committee as the applicants wished to change the phasing in relation to the village hall. The GP surgery had also been included in the phasing condition, as well as a condition in relation to the provision of electric charging points for vehicles.
Jan Wardell addressed the Committee on behalf of the Rambler's Association, referring to the DEFRA guidance on rights of way which encouraged applicants and local authorities to address public rights of way at an early stage in the planning process. Unless proposals for new paths were set out in planning documents it was difficult to get a decent path at a later stage which often resulted in footpaths on estate pavements.
Chris Fry, the agent, spoke in support of the application. He stated that there were serious viability issues and therefore the scheme could not cannot carry any further obligations or limiting conditions. He was aware of the process in respect of public footpaths and gave an assurance that the proper negotiations would be entered into going forward to ensure good public links through and into the site that were currently not available.
The Highways Officer stated that although the proposal was to significantly increase the number of dwellings at Crossways, the development was on one side of Warmwell Road which was a 40mph highway and much of the quarry traffic had gone. Highways England had recognised an impact at Max Gate in Dorchester which had a particularly bad accident record and therefore wished to secure funding from this development to deliver ... view the full minutes text for item 37.
Duration of Meeting - Time Limit
A vote to continue the meeting was taken in accordance with Part 2, Paragraph 8.1 of the Council's Constitution as the meeting had been ongoing for a period of 3 hours.
Decision: That the meeting be extended for a further period to allow the business of the meeting to be concluded.
Demolition of existing building and provision of car park.
The Senior Planning Officer introduced the application for the demolition of the former Council Offices at North Quay, Weymouth providing slides of the location plan, car park layout, front elevation of building and photographs of the view of the former Council Offices from the Town Bridge, the existing car park and building, historic buildings to the west and the view to Holy Trinity Church. He stated that removal of the building would open up development opportunities, providing an interim step as well as opening up views of the area.
Key planning matters were outlined including the principle of demolition, heritage, archaeology and highways considerations. No cycle store had been included in the proposal due to the conflict with vehicle movements which was in accordance with policy in relation to car parks. Provision of cycle facilities were available at both ends of the Westham Town Bridge which was near the locality.
Since publication of the agenda, the Environmental Health Officer had confirmed that he was content with the scheme and endorsed the conditions in the report.
Nigel Ewens, Founder and Director of Jurassic Coast Holdings, addressed the Committee, saying that it would be irresponsible and a waste of the council's own resources to demolish the building before a planning application for future development was realised and all other options had been evaluated. He questioned why 6 alternative bids in March 2019 had not been given serious consideration.
Rex Johnson referred to National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Section 14 which encouraged the conversion of existing buildings. He highlighted the need for the Council to act responsibly in light of climate change and stated that the proposal had no environmental benefit, would harm the conservation area and demolish an important part of the town's heritage.
Graham Perry, a resident of Weymouth and shop owner, questioned the demolition of a re-usable building at huge economic and environmental cost. He asked the Committee to consider the application in the context of the climate emergency, the area's economic and housing issues and that getting the building back into use should be a priority.
The Senior Planning Officer outlined the relevant planning history and stated that this application should be viewed as the first step to realise redevelopment of the site. The policy background was clear that this was appropriate in the Conservation Area and in the context of Adopted Local Plan Policy Wey7.
Cllr Louie O'Leary stated that the building was old fashioned and would require money to refurbish. It was now dilapidated and not maintained whereas demolition would allow the site to be redeveloped at a later stage.
However, not all members held this view. They questioned the lack of provision of cycle storage when there was provision at Westham Bridge which was also a car park; encouraging further car use; that the declaration of a climate emergency was a material consideration; re-use of the building; provision of affordable housing in light of the social housing crisis and that if approved now the car ... view the full minutes text for item 39.