Erection of 54 no. residential dwellings, associated
access roads, car
parking, landscaping and public open space all with unrestricted phasing.
Defer for Section 106 then permit. If Section 106 not completed by 30 September 2019, the decision to be delegated to officers to determine.
Mr Harris introduced the application.
Additional information was reported on the agenda update sheet relating to further representations from Kirdford Parish Council and a third party.
The following members of the public addressed the Committee:
· Mr Luke Smith – Planning Consultant speaking on behalf of Kirdford Parish Council
· Mr Tony Piedade – Objector
· Mrs Lindsay Nutting – Objector
· Mr Paul White – Agent
· Mrs Natalie Hume – Chichester District Council Member
During the discussion members sought clarification on a number of points. With regard to the Neighbourhood Plan, Mr Whitty confirmed that the Plan was made more than five years ago and is now due for review. In response to members’ questions Mr Whitty acknowledged that it might be argued that, as a consequence of its age, the Plan should now attract less planning weight than it originally did. However, in his view the weight it should be given is still significant. In any case, even if the policies of the Neighbourhood Plan are given full weight, Mr Whitty confirmed that the officers’ recommendation to permit the application, which is based on balancing the requirements of the Neighbourhood Plan against other material considerations, would still be to permit the application.
With regard to the issue of phasing, it was explained that the expectations of the Neighbourhood Plan with regard to what form any phasing would take were open to interpretation, however, a key consideration related to this issue ofhousing need. Officers confirmed that it would be unreasonable to impose a planning condition requiring a proportion of the dwellings to remain unoccupied for a period of time once completed (to allow for the gradual introduction of new residents into the village), or for construction to start at one end of the site and finish at the other. With regard to surface water drainage, the applicant would be required to drain their site only, and was not responsible for drainage infrastructure that was downstream of the site. In response to Councillor Oakley’s questions, Mr Harris agreed to review the proposed drainage conditions with respect to protecting any existing on-site drainage infrastructure, and also ensuring that the relevant consents with regard to off-site discharges were in hand.With regard to the possibility of a Community Land Trust developing the site, Mr Whitty confirmed that this was not the proposal that was before members, but confirmed that a change in developer would be likely to further delay the delivery of housing on the site.
Mrs Grange was then invited to discuss housing need in relation to Kirdford and the surrounding parishes. She explained the results of the recent Housing Needs Survey and also clarified the level of affordable housing need in the surrounding parishes. Mrs Grange also clarified that, last year, it had not been possible to house two families in Kirdford and as a result they had to move out of the area. Mrs Grange noted a decline in the number of people on the housing register and explained that unless a person bids for a property in a six month period they are removed from the register and must contact the Council if they are still in housing need and wish to be reinstated. She confirmed that there are households, including key workers, who cannot afford to buy in this the most expensive part of the district but earn above the threshold, set in 2013 to qualify for the housing register which will be one of the considerations of the review of the Allocations Scheme due to be taken to Cabinet in early 2020.
Recommendation to defer for Section 106 then permit agreed. If Section 106 not completed by 30 September 2019, the decision to be delegated to officers to determine.
Members took a thirty minute lunch break.