application - Phase 1 (Full application) comprising 119
residential dwellings, new access from Manor Road,
public open space, landscaping and associated works. Outline planning
application for Phase 2 for up to 74 dwellings and
associated infrastructure (with all matters reserved).
MrsJohnson left the table for the next item to which she had declared a prejudicial interest.
Mr Bushell introduced the application and presented a series of slides.
Additional information was provided on the agenda update sheet relating to the applicants details, information regarding meetings between the applicant and Selsey Town Council and additional third party objections, further clarification for the Surface Water Drainage section of the report, amendment of conditions and additional conditions.
The following members of the public addressed the Committee:
Mr Michael Sully – Parish Council
Mr Brendon Hogan – Objector
Mr Christopher Dean- Objector
Mr Andrew Brown – Objector
Mrs Lisa Jackson – Agent
Mr David Smith – Agents Drainage Consultant
Mr Timothy Johnson – CDC Member (represented by Mrs. Donna Johnson)
During the discussion members sought clarification regarding the weight to be given to the Neighbourhood Plan which had not yet reached referendum stage, the number of proposed dwellings relative to the strategic Local Plan allocation for Selsey, whether the highways advice on the previous application had lapsed and required review, the number of proposed three storey dwellings, figures for bat and bird boxes, triggers for conditions, the complexity of surface water drainage solution relative to anticipated tidal and inland water levels, the robustness of the liner and its anchors for the attenuation pond, the siting of a play area in the middle of the Phase 1 central open space area, and the optimum angle for the installation of the photo voltaic panels. Mr Kier advised that the design of the surface water drainage proposals was the result of significant consultation between the Council’s Drainage Engineer and the applicant’s consultant. The attenuation pond was to be widened, deepened and lined to exclude groundwater and increase its volume. It would be brought online with controlled release of water at no more than existing greenfield rates into the Southern Water sewer and then discharge through the surface water outfall to East Beach, which had significant capacity. The discharge from the proposed future care home on the adjoining land parcel outside of the application site would be upstream of the attenuation systems. In respect of the pond liners failing or requiring repair, these would be the responsibility of the estate management company to maintain and resolve any issues, but the liners had an estimated life of upwards of twenty years.
Mr Bushell responded that the Neighbourhood Plan had reached an advanced stage of preparation and although not yet a ‘made’ plan it had been though Independent Examination and found to be sound. In this regard the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that at this stage the Plan can be afforded significant weight in terms of decision making. With regards to the highways issue, the assessment had been based on the uplift of an extra 34 dwellings, from the previous permission for a 139 dwellings, which had been assessed at 159 dwellings. The uplift of 34 dwellings would result in an additional 19 traffic trips during the am peak period and 18 traffic trips during the pm peak period. The outline planning permission for the139 dwellings scheme permission lapsed in September 2018, therefore relatively recently in planning terms. To substantiate refusing an application on highway grounds the Council via the highways authority would need to demonstrate a severe impact from the ‘uplift’, and the conclusion was that the impact in this case would not be severe. With regards to the equipped play area (LEAP) in the main area of open space, it was acknowledged that this was centrally placed but that it would still result in useable space around its periphery. There was no requirement on this application for a formal sports pitch, but the exact position of the LEAP could be adjusted as part of the landscaping condition to ensure the scheme maximized the amount of useable space. Mr Bushell advised that the photo voltaic solar roof panels, were to be positioned on roofs at an optimal angle of not more than 25 degrees either side of south and that it was to be conditioned that they were installed prior to first occupations. Maintenance/replacement thereafter would be the responsibility of the householder. Mr Day confirmed the optimal position for the photo voltaic units was 20-25 degrees either side of south, but sub-optimal was still worthy of pursuit where the panels were not over-shadowed. On this site the applicant was proposing 76% of dwellings would have the solar PV panels which was a much higher provision than had currently been seen else-where.
Members sought clarification regarding whether householders would be required to replace photo voltaic units when they failed due to age. Mr Whitty responded that this would be up to the householder to make such a decision but compelling householders by condition to ensure this took place would not be a reasonable requirement.
Members sought clarification regarding the 2015 Local Plan in relation to expected works on the junctions of the A27, the capability of the sewerage treatment works for foul water disposal, the increase in school places and drainage issues for the site. Mr Bushell drew the Committees attention to the report and responded that Highways England (HE) had been consulted and had not raised an objection. With regard to the upgrades on the A27 junctions and the Council’s Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), HE had requested an extra contribution of £175K, based on the additional 54 dwellings, this being the uplift from the previously permitted 139 and the excess of the committed Local Plan housing numbers for this site. The foul waste would discharge to the Siddlesham Treatment Works and Southern Water had indicated they were able to provide foul sewage disposal to service the development. With regard to school places, the applicant had cited that the development would realise a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) receipt of approximately £2m which potentially could support additional school provision if such a future need was substantiated. Mr Bushell clarified that the drainage strategy was included in the report and agenda update sheet, which explained the preferred option, but it was also recognised that there may be future development on adjoining land such as a new care home for which drainage arrangements would be required. The developer had offered two drainage solutions in addition to the ‘base’ option and at the appropriate time, those design solutions would be assessed as to establish which was technically the most efficient to service all required development. Mr. Bushell responded to the request for further clarification regarding the plans and explained that soak-a-ways were shown on the central area of open space as part of the SuDS strategy.
Members sought further clarification with regards to the amount of energy to be gained from solar panels. Mr Day responded that based on the 2018 UK average domestic electricity consumption per dwelling, energy generated from the solar panels could represent a potential reduction of 17% of the electricity consumption across the whole of Phase 1 of the site and that fabric efficiencies to building regulation standards would be additional to this reduction.
Members sought further clarification with regards to the circulated photograph of surface water on the site from one of the speakers about whether there would be an issue with both surface water and ground water and the potential failing of the proposed means of surface water disposal .. Mr Kier responded that any water falling on the site would be collected by the Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), which would then be directed to the attenuation basin and then released into the Southern Water surface water sewer at a restricted rate. Any failure of the system would be responsibility of the management company to address.
Members sought further clarification with regards to the value of a site visit, and if ground water would ingress into the attenuation basin. Mr Kier responded that the basin would be lined with an impermeable membrane to avoid this occurring. Mr Whitty advised the Committee that they could request a site visit should they consider they had insufficient information based on the report and having seen the slides, but that a site visit may not be helpful in terms of their assessment/understanding of technical drainage issues.
Mr Whitty further advised that there were two main considerations; a ‘higher level’ issue in relation to policy; and drainage matters. The drainage solution was not unusual and using lined ponds was an accepted method. A management company would take responsibility for any failures in the system and any required repairs. There were 150 dwellings allocated for Selsey in the Local Plan as a strategic allocation and he advised Members that this was a minimum and not a maximum figure. Any additional ‘windfall’ dwellings were not included in the figures. 110 dwellings had been permitted and built on the East Beech Walk site to the east, leaving 40 required to meet the minimum number under the Local Plan. The site had a recently expired permission for 139 dwellings, and therefore had previously been found to be acceptable in principle by the Council for housing development. The current application made better more efficient use of that land for housing which government policy supported. The proportional uplift in total housing over what had previously been agreed was small when factoring in the status of Selsey as a settlement hub. These were factors which would be taken into account by an Inspector should this application be refused. Mr Whitty concluded that the proposed development was acceptable, pointing out that the Neighourhood Plan had re-drawn the Selsey settlement boundary line to now include the site. If for whatever reason the Neighbourhood Plan was not completed, there would be a remaining requirement under the Local Plan for Selsey to allocate land for a further 40 dwellings to deliver the 150 in total.
Members sought further clarification in regards to the current surface water system, particularly as manhole covers were not sealed. Mr Kier confirmed that the proposals for the SuDS were sufficient to accept water, and therefore there should not be any issues with drainage.
Members sought further clarification with regards to the surface water drainage system, the reason for which the dwellings proposed were not in accordance with the ‘fabric first approach’ principles, which would have provided assurance regarding the carbon neutrality position of the site, and the lack of capacity regarding the B1245. Mr Whitty re-iterated that the drainage system was considered to be appropriate and that conditions would ensure it was maintained. Mr Whitty advised that the Committee’s decision must be based on evidence, the proposed drainage strategy was an accepted approach, there was no evidence before the Council to counteract the information, and therefore no reason for refusal on these grounds. In terms of the highway matters, a severe impact must be demonstrated for a proposal to be refused and this had not been evidenced in this application. With regards to sustainability, developers were proposing that minimum building regulation requirements of fabric insulation would be met its just that in this regard they had not gone as far as developers at other developments recently considered by the Committee. . The criteria of current Local Plan 40 had been followed, which required developers to assess their site and establish a range of options to address energy saving. Rather than majoring on an enhanced fabric approach the developer had instead chosen to meet the necessary criteria through the installation of photo voltaic units. This was an acceptable approach.
Members sought further clarification with regard to the Management company potentially going into liquidation and Mr Whitty confirmed that conditions were included with regards to how the management company was operated, and that the company was likely to take charges from residents.
Members sought further clarification with regards to the provision for hedgehogs, trees numbers and screening at the rear of the Asda store, sustainable transport, community facilities, cumulative impact of traffic, number of dwellings cited in the Neighbourhood Plan, and biodiversity gain from the development. Mr. Bushell drew the Committees attention to the report and the landscaping condition, and within that condition, developers would be encouraged to include measures to encourage hedgehogs. The scheme would provide a large attenuation basin, which would be landscaped and provide significant biodiversity benefits. Mr Bushell could not provide the number of trees due to be planted, but the indicative drawings received to date, showed a significant degree of planting around the site, and the parameter plan for Phase 2 indicated a green corridor along the north site boundary with Park Lane. The sustainable transport provision had been captured within the travel plan condition which would include liaison with the County Council’s travel plan co-ordinator. The applicant would also be required to demonstrate how first occupants at the site were to be made aware of the travel opportunities available.
Mr Whitty confirmed that the Selsey Neighbourhood Plan does not allocate any land for new housing on the basis that there was already provision for 110 dwellings at East Beech Walk, and the previous permission on this particular site for 139 dwellings. Both these two sites were now shown in the Neighbourhood Plan as being within the revised settlement boundary for Selsey. Cumulative impact on the highway was considered as part of the Local Plan which also took into account the up-lift in the number of dwellings. With regards to photo voltaic life expectancy, the Council was not expected to understand what may happen at a future date in terms of future technical innovations to minimise energy consumption but had to take a balanced view in relation to what was being proposed now.
Members sought further clarification with regards to the document forwarded from Selsey Town Council concerning conditions and section 106 requirements linked to the permission for the previous scheme for 139 dwellings. Mr Bushell confirmed that planning conditions from the previous scheme had been rolled forward where still applicable and relevant but that application was made at a different time, prior to the introduction of the Community infrastructure Levy (CIL) which now dealt with many of the infrastructure obligations that were in the previous S.106.. The Chairman confirmed that there were a number of matters outstanding from the previous application, being progressed. With regards to community facilities, the Chairman also confirmed these would be included within CIL funding.
The Chairman requested that the affordable rented houses should be first let to those with a local connection to Selsey, which Mr Bushell agreed would be put in place.
Recommendation to defer for S106 then Permit agreed.
The Committee took a 15 minute break.