To consider the planning applications contained in the list.
(a) No 1 on the Plans List (18/00171/FULL – Change of use of agricultural land for the erection of a dwelling with associated garden area and access, formation of ponds, and creation of access track – land at NGR 316200 113609 (Adjacent to Carlingwark), Clayhidon)
The Area Team Leader outlined the contents of the report highlighting by way of presentation the location of the site set within the Blackdown Hills, the access to the site, the existing site plan, detailed area plans for the proposals, a plan of the current dwelling including the garden area, floor plans for the various levels and elevations and sections plans. Members also viewed illustrative sections which identified the fall of the land, perspectives of the application, the landscape masterplan and photographs from various aspects of the site and from across the valley which included perspectives from a distance. The Officer highlighted paragraph 79 of the National Planning Policy Framework which required any development in the countryside to be of exceptional quality, truly outstanding or innovative.
Consideration was given to:
· The view of the applicant who believed that the proposed design was of exceptional quality, the use of beech was innovative, the fact that local residents and the Parish Council supported the development.
· The views of the Parish Council who had been involved in the proposal from an early stage, the design was exciting and innovative and the thoughts of local residents who supported the application.
· The views of the Ward Member who supported the proposal, it had the support of local people and had gained the support of the AONB Team, he felt that the application was sensitive to the area, the project would involve local traders and that this was a one off innovative proposal.
· Whether the proposal was of exceptional quality
· The thoughts of the Design Panel
· The use of timber across the whole of the project.
RESOLVED that planning permission be refused as recommended by the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration.
(Proposed by Cllr R L Stanley and seconded by Cllr Mrs C A Collis)
(Vote: 6 for; 5 against)
i) Ms Annett (Applicant) spoke;
ii) Cllr Kallaway spoke on behalf of Clayhidon Parish Council;
iii) Cllr F J Rosamond spoke as Ward Member;
iv) A proposal to approve the application was not supported.
(b) No 2 on the Plans List (18/01598/FULL – Erection of a self-supporting tree house, replacement of existing summerhouse with cabin on stilts and change of use of existing shed/adjoining garden for the siting of one cabin all for holiday use – land at NGR 295315 124977 (Whitehall Farm) Morebath).
The Area Team Leader addressed the meeting highlighting the additional condition proposed on the update sheet. He provided answers to questions prior to outlining the application:
With regard to the plans that had been submitted, these had dimensions and site positions for the holiday accommodation. This was a full planning application recommended for approval with conditions and a phasing additional condition which would ensure that permission 16/00422/OUT could not be implemented in addition to any permission granted under the current application.
With regard to the 2 written questions that he had previously replied to, he reiterated his response: with regard to the S106 agreement, he referred to the current committee report and with regard to the S106 agreement as part of the previous approval on part of the site, this was a planning application for a different proposal and therefore a S106 agreement would not be required with this development which is considered to be policy compliant with planning conditions to be imposed to restrict the use of the holiday accommodation. With regard to the grant funding, in terms of the proposal being reliant on grant funding, the economic viability of the project was not a planning consideration for this type of application as there was no policy requirement for this to be provided for holiday accommodation. However, it is noted from discussions with the applicant and the Economic Development Department that there was no guarantee that grant funding would be given to the proposal with the applicant still submitting the planning application in any event. If the application was to be dependent on the grant funding and this was not received, then the case could be made that any planning permission approved for holiday accommodation would not be implemented as a result.
The Highways officer had visited the site and had been involved in all of the applications on the site, the access had been addressed in the previous application and the proposed scheme would use the same access. He explained that there was an extant permission on the site which was a material consideration. With regard to the impact on neighbouring properties, he provided a plan which showed the nearest neighbours to the site. With regard to reference to the local amenities, the pipework such as the drainage system would be similar to any other development, the access arrangements would be a civil matter between interested parties. The impact of lights from passing traffic had been considered and it was felt that there would not be any additional noise issues with no objections raised from the Public Health Department. With regard to the loss of hedges, whilst the vegetation could not be relied on to screen a development, the setting on site of the holiday accommodation and distances involved were considered to be acceptable. With regard to opening times and whether this would be a good site for holiday accommodation, a business case and marketing strategy had been provided and with regard to any impact on the neighbours amenity, this had been addressed in the report.
The Officer then informed the meeting of the planning history on the site and outlined the contents of the report by way of presentation, highlighting the site location plan on the western edge of the village of Morebath, the elevations of the building that had been approved and the block plan of the current proposals for the tree houses and replacement of the existing summerhouse, the entrance plan, sewage plan, the elevations and proposed floor plans of the holiday units, the detailed plans of the tree houses and a plan identifying the nearest neighbours and the distances between those properties and the development site.
Consideration was given to:
· The number of visitors per unit and whether a register would be kept and inspected
· The pathway to the lower units
· The views of the objector who raised issues of concern with regard to the impact of the development on nearby residents, the height of the units were not suitable for the area and they would impact on the privacy of the neighbouring properties, there would be overlooking issues, traffic and parking problems and road safety issues. Morebath did not have a shop or a pub and there was also concern with regard to the behaviour of the tourists.
· The views of the applicant with regard to the peaceful retreat that he was trying to create, there would be little impact on neighbouring properties as there would be additional screening and no light pollution, the development would be good for local employment and good for tourism in the area.
· The views of the Parish Council with regard to the proposed and additional conditions, the history of the site, the environmental impact of the development on the local community, over development of the site, whether the site could grow into an unregulated campsite, the narrow roads in the area, noise issues, how the groundwork would be retained and whether the site/business was sustainable.
· The views of the Ward Members with regard to the entrance to and the steepness of the site, the lack of business plans available, the height of the tree houses and the impact on local residents, possible noise issues, the lack of control set out in the previous applications, whether the business would work for the community in the long term and whether it was sustainable and whether the proposal fitted with the historic location.
· Whether further information was required
RESOLVED that Members were minded to refuse the application and therefore wished to defer the application for consideration of an implications report to consider the following issues:
· The impact of the proposal on the environment
· General traffic issues
· Design issues
· The economic impact of the development and whether it was sustainable
· Possible overdevelopment of the site
· The impact of the proposal on adjacent properties.
(Proposed by Cllr R L Stanley and seconded by Cllr Mrs H Bainbridge)
i) Cllrs B A Moore and R L Stanley made declarations in accordance with the Protocol of Good Practice for Councillors dealing with Planning Matters as they knew several of the objectors;
ii) Cllr B A Moore declared a personal interest as his property had a building with a holiday let, this was not used and there was no intention to use it;
iii) Cllr Mrs H Bainbridge declared a personal interest as she owned a holiday letting business 8 miles from the site;
iv) Mr Veltink spoke in objection to the application;
v) Mr Reynolds (applicant) spoke;
vi) Cllr Hatton spoke on behalf of Morebath Parish Council;
vii) Cllrs B A Moore and R L Stanley spoke as Ward Members;
viii) The following late information was reported: 9 January 2019: a further proposed condition - the phasing of the development hereby approved shall ensure that no works to construct Treehouse 2 and the site 3 cabin as shown on Block Site Plan 1 and Block Site Plan 2 shall begin until Treehouse 1 is fully constructed, together with completion of the site access, parking and turning area as shown on Block Site Plan 1.
To prevent overdevelopment of the site and to allow for further assessment of the traffic generation to the site through any alternative proposal in the interest of highway safety and to ensure that adequate on-site facilities are available for traffic attracted to the site.
(c) No 3 on the Plans List (18/01685/FULL – Change of use of agricultural land for the siting of 3 safari tents, formation of car park and formulation of the site – land at NGR 278407 93548 (adjacent to Chimneys Cottage, Cheriton Bishop).
The Area Team Leader outlined the contents of the report highlighting by way of presentation the site location plan close to the A30, the proposed block plan which showed the proposed access and parking facilities, the proposed landscaping bunds and location of the safari tents and photographs from various aspects of the site. There had been no objections from the Conservation Officer with regard to the impact on the adjacent listed building and a full business case had been submitted.
Consideration was given to:
· A management plan for the site and any noise impact and how this could be monitored
· The views of the agent with regard to the pre application liaison with planning officers, screening and landscaping of the proposal, the market research that had taken place and the fact that the Highway Authority had no issues with the proposal.
· The views of the Parish Council with regard to the loss of agricultural land, the site was outside the settlement limit, the scale of the proposed tents, the impact on the countryside and the need for a landscaping plan and effective screening, possible increase in traffic in the area and the impact of any commercial vehicles accessing the site.
· The views of the Ward Member with regard to some of the concerns raised which had been answered within the report, proposed screening, the need for semi-mature planting to the north of the site, whether low level lighting could be conditioned and refuse and recycling on the site.
· The views of the Economic Development Officer
RESOLVED that planning permission be granted subject to conditions and informative notes as recommended by the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration subject to an amendment to Condition 7 to consider low level lighting, an amendment to Condition 9 with regard to the planting of semi- mature trees as part of the landscaping plan and an additional condition (11) to consider details of recycling storage on site.
(Proposed by Cllr B A Moore and seconded by Cllr F W Letch)
i) Cllr P J Heal made a declaration in accordance with the Protocol of Good Practice for Councillors dealing with Planning Matters as he had been at the parish Council meeting when the item had ben discussed;
ii) Ms Bailey (Agent) spoke;
iii) Cllr Milton spoke on behalf of Cheriton Bishop Parish Council;
iv) Cllr P J Heal spoke as Ward Member;
v) Cllr R L Stanley requested that his vote against the decision be recorded;
vi) Cllr Mrs H Bainbridge requested that her abstention from voting be recorded;
vii) The following late information was reported: Response from Cheriton Bishop Parish Council – 7th January 2019
Cheriton Bishop Parish Council met on the 10th December and resolved to object to this application because there were already several similar sites in the area and this would represent over development in a rural area. Concern was expressed about screening not being provided for the surrounding countryside views. Should this application be passed the Council would wish the following conditions to be attached: That the glamping site stayed as one unit with the house (i.e. could not be sold separately) and that the site was limited to the three tents that are shown on the application. So that it does not increase in size.