Erection of 1 no. dwelling and associated landscaping.
Mr Mew presented the report to the Committee.
Mr Mew informed the Committee that whilst the proposed site location was outside the settlement boundary and not in a location that would normally be considered for the construction of a dwelling, the application was being put forward under paragraph 79(e) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF);
‘79(e) the design is of exceptional quality, in that it:
· Is truly outstanding or innovative, reflecting the highest standards in architecture, and would help to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas; and
· Would significantly enhance its immediate setting and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.’
He confirmed that the application does meet the criteria to be considered under paragraph 79(e). In addition he informed the Committee that the applicant had incorporated advice of two Independent Design Review panels as part of the application process, both of which concluded that the design met the criteria of paragraph 79(e). Mr Mew reminded the Committee that under paragraph 129 of the NPPF the advice of the design review was a material consideration.
The Committee received the following speakers;
Mr Richard Hitchcock, Chairman Westbourne Parish Council – Parish Council (statement read by Mrs Fiona Baker)
Mr Robert Hughes – Agent (statement read by Mrs Fiona Baker)
Officers responded to Members’ questions and comments as follows;
On the matter of the ‘weight’ of influence carried by the Westbourne Neighbourhood Plan, Mr Whitty explained that the NPPF and the Local Plan sit as an umbrella to all Neighbourhood Plans; meaning that Neighbourhood Plans must be in general conformity with both the NPPF and relevant Local Plan. A neighbourhood plan cannot prevent application of national or local policy; it is developed to supplement it. Therefore it is officer’s recommendation that this application is not in conflict with the Westbourne Neighbourhood Plan and does meet the criteria of NPPF 79 (e). With regards to the site causing any visual harm Mr Whitty explained that the design concept had been developed from the Landscape Assessment and officers felt that visual harm (if any) was minimal.
On the matter of refuse collection; Mr Mew explained that refuse would be collected from an existing track adjacent to the proposed site location which already serviced neighbouring properties. Mr Mew informed the Committee that he had contacted CDC waste services who had confirmed that the applicant had contacted them and that refuse would be collected from this location.
On the matter of visibility splay and the impact upon the ancient woodland, Mr Mew informed the Committee that WSCC highways had not required any removal of trees to achieve the visibility splay and therefore there is no anticipated impact to the Ancient Woodland.
On the matter of Condition 24; Mr Mew explained that this was there as a mechanism to secure what is required for a paragraph 79 house. In particular, recoding the sustainability measures and innovation technologies that are being used in the construction and how findings can inform other future developments.
On the matter of ancient woodland and Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs); Mr Whitty confirmed that a TPO could be put on a woodland as a whole, as oppose to individual trees. However, a TPO would not put a moratorium on any tree felling, it would just require the necessary permissions to be granted before any felling or works were undertaken. Mr Whitty informed the committee that a TPO could not be made at this meeting; if one were to be made it would be done so through a separate process. In addition Mr Whitty explained that the proposed landscaping scheme included with the application does seek to control and enhance the trees on site.
On the matter of Condition 3; Mr Mew confirmed that no development could commence until the requirements in condition 3 had been satisfied.
Cllr Briscoe proposed that the Planning Committee defer their decision, until after the Planning Committee have visited the site. This was seconded by Cllr Bowden.
Following a vote Members’ agreed to Defer the report recommendation.
Recommendation to defer until a site visit by the Planning Committee has been completed.
Cllr McAra left the meeting at 1.05pm
Cllr Oakley re-joined the meeting at 1pm
*Members took a five minute break