Agenda item

CH/20/00593/FUL Appleton House Farm, Drift Lane, Chidham

Change of use of detached garage, store with games room over to 1 no. 3 bed dwelling.





Mr Mew presented the item to Members and drew Member’s attention to the Agenda Update Sheet providing revised wording for Condition 14 and confirming details relating to the waste treatment plant to ensure the proposal was nitrate neutral and did not result in an increased nitrate level within the Chichester Harbours.  The Agenda Update Sheet also included a further amendment to include the word ‘not’ in reference to resulting in loss of habitat or biodiversity, and an additional clarification regarding foul sewage.


The Committee received the following Speakers:


Jane Towers – Parish Council

Andrew Kerry-Bedell – Objector

Clare Hawkins – Objector

Mr McAra left the meeting


Officers responded to Members’ comments and questions:


With regards to the boundary, Mr Whitty confirmed that regardless of any issues relating to boundaries, planning permission may be granted, as boundary matters were a separate legal issue.  The Council had a duty with all applications in terms of ‘best endeavours’ to ensure the ownership certificate was correctly completed, following submissions from both the applicant and third parties, officers were satisfied that the certificate had been completed correctly, for the purposes of determining the planning application.



With reference to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) paragraph 77, Mr Mew confirmed that the scheme was not being put forward as an exception.  The principle was established through the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) Policy LP1 which referred to windfall sites, and which applied to developments of ten or less and therefore a distinction was required to be drawn between larger developments and this site for a single unit.  With regards to not meeting housing need, the proposal was for a three-bedroomed dwelling, which was not a new build and therefore had to be accommodated within the existing building.  The site was within the proposed wildlife corridor, but both the building, the hardstanding and access were in situ, and the environmental strategy unit had been consulted and did not have any objections to the proposal, and had recommended the inclusion of a condition regarding bat and bird boxes.


With regards to the length of time taken for the application, Mr Mew explained that this was related to the matters of boundary dispute, and the research and correspondence which had been undertaken as part of due diligence to ensure the correct certificate had been secured, and associated revisions of the plans.


On the matter of maintenance of the foul drainage, Mr Mew confirmed a condition had been included to secure the details of the maintenance and a separate planning application was not required for the drainage as this formed part of the proposals.  Part H of the building regulations would apply to the sewerage system and an Environment Agency permit would not be required.


With regards to the character of the area, Mr Mew reminded Members that the proposal was for an existing building and hardstanding, there was no additional built form for the current proposal.  On the matter of the Interim Position Statement (IPS), Mr Mew confirmed that the application was not being put forward as IPS scheme, with the principle established through the NP, therefore the criteria differed.  Mr Mew also advised that the distance from the reedbed to the neighbouring outbuilding was ten metres and thirty metres to the dwelling to the north, and added that building regulations seek ten metres to the nearest neighbouring building.


Mr McAra returned to the meeting


On the matter of neighbouring outbuildings, Mr Mew confirmed that other future permitted development changes which may occur could not be considered, and explained that currently they were used as a home office and games building, and garage.  With regards to the ditch, details had been provided by the agent, and it ran along the northern boundary of the site and to a stream and eventually the harbour, and in terms of the mitigation, the details of the reedbed and treatment plant had been forwarded to Natural England who had no objection to the proposals as part of the necessary assessment, and officers were satisfied that would mitigate the release of nitrates into the harbour.  In regards of the weight that should be afforded to the proposed wildlife corridor, Mr Mew advised this would be limited and was dependent on the function of it and this instance, the proposal was for an existing building and hardstanding.  On the matter of disturbance, the applicants had entered into a unilateral undertaking, and Mr Mew confirmed that there would be no restriction on ownership of pets in the garden area of the existing dwelling.


With regards to thermal efficiency, Mr Mew explained that these details were not required as the application was for an existing building.  Mr Whitty added that there was currently no policy in place for this in reference to existing buildings but building regulation requirements would need to be adhered to.  In relation to asbestos, Mr Whitty confirmed this was also a matter for building regulations. 


Mr Mew provided further historical details explaining that the outbuilding was granted permission in 2005, pre-dating the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan (2016), and required planning permission for any proposed future changes to the building or its use. 


Mr Whitty advised that the principle development was acceptable, although in a rural area, and there was a policy in the NP which allowed for windfall developments, which had been actively been sought to be used by the Parish Council for other developments.  The NP post-dated the Local Plan and did not have the same restriction on requiring windfall sites to be within settlement policy areas.  The question was whether the proposal would have harm on the landscape, character and wildlife corridor.  The proposal was for an existing building and hardstanding, therefore the only change would be to the use, which would result in the building being more heavily used as another dwelling and the Committee needed to determine whether that was of sufficient significance and would change the character of the area.  In terms of the wildlife corridor it was within in the draft Local Plan only, so the key consideration was whether this proposal would impact on the proper formation of the policy going forward.  Mr Whitty advised that the Council’s Ecologist considered that was not an issue with the reuse of a building within the corridor, so there was no conflict. 


With regards to sufficient access to the rear of the building, Mr Mew confirmed there was an existing driveway which would allow access for the maintenance of foul drainage.  On the matter of the sustainability of the location, Mr Mew explained that it was outside a settlement boundary and there would be a reliance on private transport, but the policy been applied in other locations and cited the outline planning permission to the north east of the application site.


Mr Mew confirmed the footprint of the building would remain the same, and Condition 6 included all the details of the required maintenance for the foul water drainage system.  Mr Whitty added that the condition required a management plan which would follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and could be included within the condition and the condition could require that equipment would be maintained in perpetuity. 


On the matter of the ditch, Mr Mew confirmed that officers did not a plan showing the connection to the ditch but that would be secured by way of the condition regarding drainage details, and the outline plan was not at an advanced stage currently and those details would be provided at the reserved matters stage.


Mr Mew confirmed that within the scope of policy 40, it was currently not possible to insist upon installing an air source heat pump, and the applicant was just required to demonstrate how they had considered the measures of policy 40 and the application included solar panels and therefore the policy had been met.  Mr Whitty added that it would be possible for the Committee to add an informative that an air source heat pump should be considered by the applicant and confirmed that would form part of the officer recommendation.


On the matter of nitrate mitigation, Mr Mew drew Members’ attention to the Agenda Update Sheet and the revised wording of Condition 14 which reflected the appropriate assessment that had been sent to Natural England to which they had no objection and therefore officers were satisfied that the proposal would provide adequate mitigation.


In a vote Members agreed the recommendation to permit.


Recommendation to Permit agreed, subject to Section 106, the conditions and informatives as listed, including the additional informative regarding the consideration of an air source heat pump.


Members took a ten minute break


Supporting documents: