Planning & Development Committee – 17th April 2019

Notes & Decisions of the Planning and Development Committee Meeting

Held on Wed 17th April 2019 at the John Lampon Hall at 7.30pm

Planning Committee Members: Bob Tyrrell (Chairman), Brian Butcher (Vice Chair), Chris Stevenson, Andrew Savage, Murray Harlow and Laura Walkingshaw (Parish Clerk) Next meeting:

Wed 15th May 2019, John Lampon Hall, Lexden Rd at 7.30pm

Apologies:  None
Members of the public present: 9 members of the public
Declarations of Interest: Cllr Tyrrell declared an interest in Item 2, Planning Application 190960

It is the aim of the Parish Council to seek a high standard of design for all new developments and extensions in the Village.

Item 1:            To receive any pre-application representations regarding proposed planning applications

Item 2:            Current planning applications:

Location Proposal Application No. and link to CBC planning website Object / Support / Observations Decision or Recommendation Comments by Planning Committee
Copperfield House,         10 Firmins Court,         CO6 3BQ Proposed single storey rear extension 190643 Support Decision The Parish Council has no comment, except to state that it is pleased to see the trees are to be retained.
122 Colchester Road, West Bergholt,
Proposed side and rear extensions with proposed loft conversion and changes to the front elevation 190922  Observation Decision The Parish Council do not object to an extension to the property in principle, however bearing in mind that the Application Form states that there will be no change to the parking arrangements, it would like to be assured that there will still be two useable parking spaces after the extension has been added.
120 Colchester Road,
CO6 3DB   (Recommendation only)
Modified rear two storey extension 190960 Support Recommendation Cllr Tyrrell redeclared an interest in Planning Application 190960 and took no further part in the discussions. The Parish Council had no comment.

Appeals lodged and previous comments noted:

  Additional Comments by:
182761 179 Colchester Road, West Bergholt, CO6 3JY Appeal lodged
08 May 2019
This proposal is outside the village envelope and therefore contrary to Colchester Borough Council’s policy on no development outside settlement boundaries.

The application does not form part of the West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan proposals and the argument in the Planning Statement regarding the 5-year housing supply is specious.

180733 Land Adj Armoury Road, West Bergholt (NEEB Holdings) Appeal lodged
09 May 2019
(Apr 18) This application is in the wrong location and at the wrong time. It is outside of the settlement boundary, both as is and as proposed. It is premature and contrary to Colchester Borough Council’s emerging Local Plan and West Bergholt’s draft Neighbourhood Plan.

Aside from the principle objections, strong arguments can also be made that there is not the infrastructure, school places or facilities to support this application. The entrance onto the development on Armoury Road is insubstantial, on a single lane, unadopted track along the Essex Way footpath.

(Jun 18) The Parish Council’s previous objections to this planning application still stand, although the proposed amendments may deal with our concerns with regards the Armoury Road access, it will only lead to bigger problems. Maltings Park Road and Coopers Crescent are private roads and are substandard by ECC highways standards and based on our experience the likely implications for traffic and parking in what would be an expanded brewery estate are all too predictable, including:

  • huge problems with on-street parking,
  • lack of space for vehicles to use the roads, especially large delivery vehicles,
  • unsafe walking and cycling environment,
  • neighbour disputes over parking,
  • blocked driveways,

Overall, this is a community safety and obvious social problem for existing and potentially new residents which we can see only too clearly as it is a tight road layout already.

(Jul 18) General

  • The PC finds is unacceptable that a clear an obvious deviation from present Local Plan policies, and the clear direction of travel set out in the publication draft of the Local plan and the Reg14 WB NP is to be over-ruled by an officer recommendation to allow the application
  • Such a decision is counter to all the collaborative work undertaken between the community, PC and CBC which has taken place over the years
  • What is the point of having Local and NPs if applications can come forward and be judged against a benefit and harm set of criteria?
  • The PA for both the White Hart and NEEB site off Colchester Road have been turned down on policy-based criteria, so the same logic should be applied to this application
  • The PC calls for the application to be turned down

Sustainable Development Principles

  • The committee report attempts to show that despite clear deviation from policies that the development is of benefit to the community. The case made in the report is narrow and over-stated. In particular benefits for economic, environmental and social aspects have been claimed which will not accrue directly to the community and further that obvious harm has been ignored and not covered by the report
  • Furthermore, in the same section of the report the Local Plan (SS15) and NP sections, although faithfully summarised, have not been used to show that these are the areas which truly show sustainable development principles are at play.

Economic criteria

  • Employment benefits have been claimed. There is nothing unique about the benefits claimed in terms of how these would benefit the local community. Construction employment benefits whilst not disputed, do not accrue to the village as they would take place wherever the housing in the village was constructed – in the area in the NP for example; the New Homes Bonus similarly is a general CBC benefit and not one which assists the village; housing benefits will accrue from other sites such as those in the NP

Social Criteria

  • Social benefits from 30% social housing again is not a benefit which will uniquely accrue because of this site, and the NP sites will also seek this level of provision.
  • Wider benefits claimed are only mitigation and not net benefits.
  • Harm has been ignored. In particular the harm caused from construction traffic entering narrow sub-standard roads causing damage, noise, nuisance and a road safety problem.
  • Once built the additional traffic which although it can access the site from the highway, will exacerbate the totally inadequate internal road layout that exists, which already does not meet Manual for Streets criteria and has not been adopted.

Environmental Criteria

  • Environmental benefits are claimed due to the site not being visible to the remainder of the village and because the landscape will not be compromised. However, the harm caused by the loss of amenity value placed on the open nature of the site has been ignored. Also, there will be a degradation of views from those who live locally. Landscape quality must be viewed from the point of those who can view it not just for those to whom it is hidden
  • We doubt that significant biodiversity will be promoted by a site which removes so much open space and that hedgerows will not be maintained or be rich in flora or fauna.

In Conclusion

  • The benefits have been over-stated, are general in nature, and even those that would accrue give little benefit to the community, only benefiting the Borough in a very general sense or are mitigating pressure placed on the community and its facilities by the development itself
  • Obvious harm has been ignored
  • The role of the LP and NP has been undermined
  • The pejorative nature of the assessment is summed up by the statement “…it is considered to be a logical rounding-off of the settlement”. Since when has this been an over-riding consideration. The WB settlement boundary resembles in many respects the coast of Norway! Is it CBC’s intention to “round-off” all the odd open and undeveloped spaces and similarly try to prove nil harm!!
180732 Land Adj Colchester Road, West Bergholt (NEEB Holdings) Appeal lodged


09 May 2019
(Apr 18)

This application is in the wrong location and at the wrong time. It is outside of the settlement boundary, both as is and as proposed. It is premature and contrary to Colchester Borough Council?s emerging Local Plan and West Bergholt?s draft Neighbourhood Plan. Aside from the principle objections, strong arguments can also be made that, as it is not part of integrated planning over the course of the next 15 years, there is not the infrastructure or facilities, such as the capacity of the existing surgery and pharmacy, to support this application. The proposed development, situated outside the Settlement Boundary, is viewed as inappropriately located by a significant number of the residents of West Bergholt and by the Parish Council. Its location exacerbates rather than prevents the coalescence of settlement patterns between Colchester and West Bergholt. There are no exceptional circumstances which would justify any departure from such policies. In addition, it would result in another junction not far from the current Maltings Park, and is a significant distance away from the main village facilities leading to an increase in vehicle use. With regards to the housing, the existing Local Plan is against this location for such development and Colchester Borough Council?s emerging draft Local Plan has already indicated elsewhere a more appropriate and sustainable area for the main housing development in the West Bergholt Parish over the next 15 years. These proposals dovetail into those of the similarly emerging West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan resulting from four years of consultation with residents and local businesses. In both cases, the site continues to be outside the Settlement Boundary

ACTION – Cllr Tyrrell will update these comments, which the Clerk will then put on headed paper and circulate to all members of the Committee for approval, prior to submission to the Planning Inspectorate by the 8th and 9th May 2019.

The Committee recommended to all residents present at the meeting that they send their objections once again to the Planning Inspectorate even though they had already sent a response via the CBC planning portal.

Item 4:            Review Planning Decisions:

Appeal Pending CBC Decision Date CBC Decision WBPC Decision Date Object / Support / Observ. Application No. Location Additional Inform.
O/S O/S 12/12/2017 Object 173127 Land adj. to Hill House Farm Appeal Launched 02/08/2018
O/S 31/12/2018 Refused 21/11/2018 Object 182761 179 Colchester Road Appeal Launched 03/04/2019
O/S 07/08/2018 Refused 18/04/2018 Object 180733 Land adj. to Armoury Road Appeal Launched 04/04/2019
O/S 15/06/2018 Refused 18/04/2018 Object 180732 Land adj. to Colchester Road Appeal Launched 04/04/2019
O/S 27/03/2019 Observation 190789 Land adj Alcrofts Lodge, Bures Road
O/S 27/03/2019 Support 190437 Rosaville, White Hart Lane
O/S 20/03/2019 Object 190423 89 Chapel Road
O/S 20/03/2019 Object 190690 Springbourne, Spring Lane
O/S 20/03/2019 Support 190648 Doctors Surgery, 1-3 Doctors Surgery
O/S 20/02/2019 Support 190344 Farmhouse Rookery Farm
O/S 20/02/2019 Observation 190345 Farmhouse Rookery Farm Listed Building
O/S 18/07/2018 Object 181458 32 Colchester Road
02/04/2019 Approved 18/12/2019 Object 183024 Roundwood, 48 Lexden Road
01/04/2019 Approved 20/03/2019 Observation 182231 149 Chapel Road Revised drawings
28/03/2019 Approved 20/02/2019 Support 190240 90 Mumford Road
27/03/2019 Approved 20/02/2019 Observation 190230 22 Mumford Road

Gladman Appeal Hearing – the timetable of the inquiry is as follows:

Submission of proofs of evidence 16 April 2019
Witness names and anticipated duration for:

  • Opening and closing statements
  • Evidence in chief
  • Cross examination of other parties’witnesses

Copy of LPA even notification lettet

23 April 2019
Inquiry (time, date and venue) 10am on 14 to 17 & 21 to 22 May 2019 in The Council Chamber, Town Hall, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1LZ
Estimated number of sitting days 6
Decision issued on or before TBA

ACTION – Clerk to contact Sue Jackson/Simon Cairns of CBC to find out when West Bergholt’s representative needs to be at the inquiry and if there is a process of examination.

With regards 89 Chapel Road – Cllr Tyrrell spoke to the Planning Officer, a decision has yet to be made.

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