Construction of 8 no. dwellings, access, landscaping and associated works.
Defer for further information.
Ms Stevens presented the report to the Committee. She highlighted the site location and informed the Committee that the site was located between the settlements of Hermitage and Southbourne. Whilst the development site fell outside the settlement boundaries it was considered to be contiguous with the Hermitage settlement boundary, as the gardens of houses located within the boundary backed onto the development site.
Ms Stevens explained that as the housing supply policies within the Local Plan are out of date and the authority is unable to demonstrate a five year housing land supply, the application should be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that the application conflicts with the NPPF or, any impacts from the development would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the NPPF. She informed Committee that during the application process the development scheme had been amended to address officer concerns of over development of the site and design of the buildings. Consideration has also been given to the adopted Interim Position Statement for the delivery of housing in the absence of an up to date five year supply of housing.
Officers consider that the proposed site is in a sustainable location having good access to local amenities, established rights of way and bus routes.
Ms Stevens explained that many of the trees surrounding the site were protected by TPO’s; although, 19 trees (that had been assessed by the Tree Officer) would be removed as part of the development, however a further 68 new trees would be planted. Ms Stevens also highlighted some of the other ecological proposals that would be installed as part of the development including bird and bat boxes.
Ms Stevens highlighted the wall to the south of the site and explained that this was classified as a heritage asset. The original proposal had sought the complete removal of the wall, however, in consultation with the Heritage Officer it had been agreed that part of the wall would be removed to provide a new access point with an inward curve which would be constructed from the original bricks removed. Ms Stevens informed the Committee that a condition is proposed to secure the details of the brickwork.
Ms Stevens informed the Committee that the proposed site would generate approximately 6.5kg nitrogen per year; a nitrate mitigation scheme had been developed and was considered acceptable.
The Committee received the following representations;
Cllr Amanda Tait – Parish Council Representative
Mr Christopher Bowring – Objector
Mr Paul White – Agent
Cllr Jonathan Brown – Ward Member (statement read by Fiona Baker)
Officers responded to Members’ comments and questions as follows;
On the matter of where waste water generated from the site would be discharged; Ms Stevens informed the Committee that the waste would be discharged through the public network to the Thornham site. Mr Whitty confirmed that there was a headroom capacity of 427 at Thornham and as such it would be able to accommodate the additional waste. He acknowledged that this may change depending on what applications come forward in the future, however, the Committee cannot make a recommendation or refusal based on what might happen in the future. Mr Whitty explained that the reason Southern Water had not been consulted was due to the size of the development, any response received would most likely be a standard advice note that is supplied for developments of this size.
On the matter of whether the site was classified as a brownfield site, Ms Stevens confirmed that the site was a brownfield site.
With regards to site access for the maintenance of the TPO trees; Ms Stevens highlighted the access gateway on the site plans and confirmed that there was a pedestrian access provided to the trees.
On the matter of the ditch and drainage network at the site; Ms Stevens confirmed that this was already in situ at the site. She confirmed that the drainage was covered by condition, but agreed that negotiations could be held with the developer to ensure that where possible the ditches were maintained as ‘open drains’ as part of the discharge of conditions.
On the matter of the Southbourne Neighbourhood Plan and what weight it carried; Mr Whitty informed the Committee that the existing Neighbourhood Pan was agreed in 2015, and was afforded the same weight as the existing Local Plan, taking in consideration the fact that there is no five year housing land supply. He explained that because there is not a five year housing land supply, sites which are not included within a settlement boundary are not excluded from being developed. Mr Whitty explained that the site had not been tested as a ‘strategic gap’ and therefore the claim that the site was a strategic gap could be afforded only a limited amount of weight.
With regards to informatives; Ms Stevens acknowledged that there were no informatives included within the report but confirmed standard informatives would be necessary.
With regards to the conditions; Ms Stevens agreed that with regard to construction management the standard wording to include control of litter could be included, along with the condition that any access road would need to be constructed to ensure that it was capable of supporting a 26 tonne HGV.
With regards to the discrepancy in the report over the amount of nitrogen produced from the site; Ms Stevens confirmed that the correct figure was 6.5kg, the higher figure quoted in the report is from the original proposal.
Mr Whitty acknowledged the Committee’s concerns regarding the Neighbourhood Plan, however, without a five year housing land supply he advised that the Planning Inspectorate would be minded to support any appeal.
Acknowledging concerns raised by the Committee regarding maintenance access to both trees and the ditches, Mr Whitty advised the Committee to defer the application to allow officers to further negotiate with the applicant.
Cllr Oakley proposed that the Committee defer for further information. Cllr Briscoe seconded this proposal.
In a vote the Committee agree the proposal to Defer for further information
Recommendation; Defer for further information, regarding the access and maintenance of existing trees and maintenance of the ditch and drainage network.
The Committee took a 25 minute break.