Agenda item

CC/20/03226/FUL - 23 Lavant Road, Chichester, PO19 5RA

Redevelopment of the site with creation of 5 no. flats and parking, landscaping and associated works.





Mr Mew presented the item to Members and drew Members’ attention to the information provided in the Agenda Update Sheet which listed further details from the applicant’s agent regarding the size and location of the mitigation land within the Donnington Manor Farm estate which connected directly to a ditch network in Chichester Harbour and further confirmed the planting of ten trees.  The Agenda Update Sheet also provided information that the applicant had forwarded a letter to the Committee in response to the City Council’s objection to the application, and clarified the context of the nitrate mitigation proposals.


The Committee received that following speakers:


Keith Bartlett – Objector

John Halliday – Objector

Peter Doust – Objector (statement read)

Paul White – Agent


Officers responded to Members’ comments and questions:


With regards to the land selected for nitrate mitigation, Mr Mew explained that it was not necessary for it to have been in continuous agricultural use, Natural England reviewed land over a ten year period, and there was evidence of the land having been ploughed during that time.  With regards to the development over-looking the neighbouring property to the north and loss of light, Mr Mew responded that the window on the northern elevation of the proposed development would have obscured glass and be fixed shut below 1.8 metres in height, and a condition could be added to secure this matter.  The balconies had screening along the boundaries, which could also be secured by condition to ensure the retention of screening, and Mr Mew added that some over-looking of the rear of the gardens would be expected within a residential area.  Mr Mew reminded Members that the impact on neighbouring properties was not raised in the previous submission and therefore the Inspector did not make any comments in this regard.   On the matter of the sub-division of land for nitrate mitigation use, Mr Mew explained that this was acceptable and land for this use was likely be secured in small parcels.


Members were reminded that the Council did not currently have a five year land supply for housing, and this development would add to the supply.  With regards to the loss of dwellings and cumulative impact along Lavant Road, this was not a conservation area and therefore only a prior-approval application was required if buildings and structures were to be demolished.  Mr Mew also explained that the Inspector did not just consider other apartment blocks in the road but would also review the locality, the street pattern and space between plots.


On the matter of loss of light, Mr Mew advised that this was contained in guidance and the 25 degree rule was not part of planning policy.  In this location there was an access track which gave separation to the north to No. 23A and screening along the boundary. Mr Mew added that the landscaping condition could be enhanced.



Mr Whitty advised that it would not be acceptable for a determination to be delayed in order to await other applications within the vicinity coming forward.  Mr Whitty further explained that there was an Inspector’s decision, which was a material consideration.  It would be unreasonable to question the Inspector’s decision, as it was not done at the time, and as recognised by the Inspector, the Council did not have a policy to protect the character of the area.  Mr Whitty advised that a move away from the character of an area is not necessarily an issue, but the quality of the development that is constructed in its place, and that if the Committee chose to refuse the application on that basis it would result in grounds for an award of costs at appeal.  Mr Whitty added that the Inspector was not questioning the principle of the nitrate mitigation, but commented that there was no mechanism to the secure the land.


With regards to the loss of trees, Mr Mew confirmed that this would include twelve trees, four shrubs and two hedges which were not classed as grade A.  The Inspector had been satisfied, but a condition could be added to require a two for one replacement. 


Mr Whitty added that with regards to climate change, part of the proposed mitigation scheme included the planting of trees, and also advised that highlighting the matter of neighbours being over-looked had not been raised by the Committee on the previous application and therefore, it was unreasonable to raise it at this time.  Mr Whitty confirmed that an informative in relation to tree planting could be added.  The tree planting would be secured through a S106 agreement and this would also afford protection to land to prevent future farming within the location of the allocated area.


In a vote Members agreed the recommendation to defer for Section 106 then, Permit, subject to no objection from Natural England regarding an appropriate assessment.


Recommendation to Permit agreed.

Supporting documents: