Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Planning Control Committee - Thursday, 15th February, 2024 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, District Council Offices, Letchworth Garden City

Contact: Committee Services- 01462 474655  Email: committee.services@north-herts.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

169.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Members are required to notify any substitutions by midday on the day of the meeting.

 

Late substitutions will not be accepted and Members attending as a substitute without having given the due notice will not be able to take part in the meeting.

Decision:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Nigel Mason, Sean Nolan, Terry Tyler and Ian Moody.

 

Having given notice, Councillor Ian Mantle substituted for Councillor Mason and Councillor Dave Winstanley substituted for Councillor Nolan.

Minutes:

Audio recording – 1 minute 54 seconds

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Nigel Mason, Sean Nolan, Terry Tyler and Ian Moody.

 

Having given notice, Councillor Ian Mantle substituted for Councillor Mason and Councillor Dave Winstanley substituted for Councillor Nolan.

 

 

 

 

170.

NOTIFICATION OF OTHER BUSINESS

Members should notify the Chair of other business which they wish to be discussed at the end of either Part I or Part II business set out in the agenda. They must state the circumstances which they consider justify the business being considered as a matter of urgency.

 

The Chair will decide whether any item(s) raised will be considered.

Decision:

There was no other business notified.

Minutes:

Audio recording –  2 minutes 30 seconds

 

There was no other business notified.

 

 

171.

CHAIR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Members are reminded that any declarations of interest in respect of any business set out in the agenda, should be declared as either a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or Declarable Interest and are required to notify the Chair of the nature of any interest declared at the commencement of the relevant item on the agenda.  Members declaring a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest must withdraw from the meeting for the duration of the item. Members declaring a Declarable Interest, wishing to exercise a ‘Councillor Speaking Right’, must declare this at the same time as the interest, move to the public area before speaking to the item and then must leave the room before the debate and vote.

Decision:

(1)   The Chair advised that, in accordance with Council Policy, the meeting would be recorded.

 

(2)   The Chair drew attention to the item on the agenda front pages regarding Declarations of Interest and reminded Members that, in line with the Code of Conduct, any Declarations of Interest needed to be declared immediately prior to the item in question.

 

(3)   The Chair clarified matters for the registered speakers.

 

(4)   The Chair advised that Section 4.8.23(a) of the Constitution applied to the meeting.

Minutes:

Audio recording – 2 minutes 33 seconds

 

(1)   The Chair advised that, in accordance with Council Policy, the meeting would be recorded.

 

(2)   The Chair drew attention to the item on the agenda front pages regarding Declarations of Interest and reminded Members that, in line with the Code of Conduct, any Declarations of Interest needed to be declared immediately prior to the item in question.

 

(3)   The Chair clarified matters for the registered speakers.

 

(4)   The Chair advised that Section 4.8.23(a) of the Constitution applied to the meeting.

172.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

To receive petitions, comments and questions from the public.

Decision:

The Chair confirmed that the registered speakers were in attendance.

Minutes:

Audio recording – 4 minutes 36 seconds

 

The Chair confirmed that the registered speakers were in attendance.

173.

20/02412/FP LAND BETWEEN 53 AND 81 AND LAND REAR OF 7-53, WATERDELL LANE, ST IPPOLYTS, HERTFORDSHIRE pdf icon PDF 321 KB

REPORT OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION MANAGER

Erection of 52 dwellings including open space, landscaping, local area for play, and associated highway works (as amended by plans received 09/03/23 and 30/08/23)

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That application 20/02412/FP be GRANTED planning permission subject to the reasons and conditions set out in the report of the Development and Conservation Manager.

 

Minutes:

Audio recording – 5 minutes 50 seconds

 

The Senior Planning Officer gave a verbal update and advised that there was an update to the Sustainable Transport Heads of Terms. Regarding  which Condition 18, on the advice of the Highways Officer this will not be amended and will be as the original from the meeting in September 2023.

 

The Senior Planning Officer presented the report in respect of Application 20/02412/FP supported by a visual presentation consisting of photographs and plans.

 

In response to questions from Councillor David Levett the Senior Planning Officer stated that the footpath remained as part of Condition 18 and that there had been a misunderstanding regarding the bus stop upgrade which had now been resolved.

 

The Chair invited Mr Anthony Frayne to speak against the application. Mr Frayne thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:

 

·       The infrastructure due process had been ignored as stated in Appendix A.

·       There was a flood risk on the proposed area.

·       The Local Authority and the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) had begun discussion in May 2023 regarding the flood risks. The local residents had requested to be included in these meeting.

·       The LLFA stated that a Local Authority maintenance plan would be required for the maintenance of any trenches, the residents requested to be included in these meetings for transparency and fair planning.

·       No staff were in place to discuss the concerns of the residents and there were doubts that any imposed conditions would be fulfilled.

The Chair thanked Mr Frayne for his presentation and invited Ms Wendy Weller to speak against the application. Ms Weller thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:

 

·       There were concerns regarding the infrastructure which had not been addressed.

·       There were ongoing concerns about flooding, light pollution, the position of the playground and parking on Waterdell Lane.

·       There was a lack of ecological mitigation in the scheme, no solar panel or solar together schemes and there were concerns regarding how the developer would be held accountable.

·       There were ongoing concerns regarding communication between the developer and residents.

The Chair thanked Ms Weller for her presentation and invited Councillor Claire Strong to speak in support of the application. Councillor Strong thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:

 

·       The footpath discussed at the September meeting had now been agreed.

·       One bus stop had now been upgraded and there had been an amendment to 6.1 of the report.

·       The Section 106 (s106), agreement met the Heads of Terms for sustainable transport.

The Chair thanked Councillor Strong for her presentation and invited Mr David Fletcher as the agent of the applicant to speak in support of the application. Mr Fletcher thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:

 

·       The application had been returned to the Committee to secure s106 money for Special Education Needs (SEND).  ...  view the full minutes text for item 173.

174.

23/00563/FP LAND ON THE SOUTH OF, OUGHTONHEAD LANE, HITCHIN, HERTFORDSHIRE, SG5 2NA pdf icon PDF 451 KB

REPORT OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION MANAGER

Erection of 43 dwellings, access from Lower Innings, associated internal roads, parking, landscaping, amenity space and open space.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That application 23/00563/FP be DEFERRED to a future meeting to allow for the applicant to review the potential for a pedestrian access point to the southeast of the application site, and for the wording and requirements of recommended Condition 8 regarding the Local Cycle/Pedestrian Network Audit to be reviewed.

 

Minutes:

Audio recording – 22 minutes 4 seconds

 

The Senior Planning Officer gave a verbal update and advised that:

 

·       The remaining s106 matters had been agreed by the applicant. These included funding for Oughtonhead Common, waste services and Hitchin swim centre.

·       There was an error at Paragraph 4.3.5, the affordable housing column should include one 4 bed dwelling, the total remained at 17 affordable dwellings.

The Senior Planning Officer presented the report in respect of Application 23/00563/FP supported by a visual presentation consisting of photographs and plans.

 

The following Members asked points of clarification:

 

·       Councillor Val Bryant

·       Councillor Ian Mantle

·       Councillor Dave Winstanley

·       Councillor David Levett

·       Councillor Louise Peace

In response to the points of clarification the Senior Planning Officer advised that:

 

·       There was one main road access to this site at Lower Innings and four pedestrian access routes onto Oughtonhead Lane.

·       The majority of dwellings had garages, and the plans highlighted the storage areas for refuse bins.

·       There had been a separate application approved for the access to this site.

·       The application only had vehicular access from the north via Lower Innings, access from Bowlers End did not form part of the application.

·       A draft travel plan had not been submitted with this application however, this would form a Condition of the approval of the application.

·       No response had been received from the Rights of Way Officers.

·       The biodiversity net gain was highlighted at section 4.3.65 of the report and there would be a net gain of 6.91%.

·       Solar panels for the majority of dwellings had been secured by the approved plans, and not as a condition of the approval of the application.

In response to points of clarification the Development and Conservation Manager advised that:

 

·       Access to this site had been previously granted and this application was for the housing development and associated traffic of the new dwellings.

·       The absence of a draft travel plan would not be a reason to refuse an application and would normally be added as a condition when granting an application.

The Chair invited Mr Hugh Love to speak against the application. Mr Love thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:

 

·       They had attended and objected to the application for access to this site.

·       There had been 97 comments on this application, only 1 comment was in support of the application.

·       There were concerns regarding pedestrian safety at the access point to this site.

·       There were concerns regarding the traffic flow which should be reviewed prior to the development commencing.

·       There were concern regarding priority rights on Lower Innings and how traffic queues and associated pollution would be managed.

·       Residents of Lower Innings had further concerns as they already struggled to get their cars and refuse bins out for collection.

The Chair thanked Mr Love for his presentation and invited Mr Neil Dodds to speak against the application. Mr Dodds thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including  ...  view the full minutes text for item 174.

175.

23/02650/FP LAND SOUTH WEST OF AND ADJACENT TO LODGE COURT, TURNPIKE LANE, ICKLEFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE pdf icon PDF 223 KB

REPORT OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION MANAGER

Erection of eight dwellings comprising of 3 pairs of semi-detached dwellings (6 x 3-bed) and two detached 4-bed dwellings including integral garages (plots 1 and 8) with a new access spur from the Lodge Court, on-site parking, landscaping. (Amended description only).

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That application 23/02650/FP be GRANTED planning permission subject to the reasons and conditions set out in the report of the Development and Conservation Manager, with the addition of Condition 20 to read:

 

“Condition 20:

 

Prior to the first occupation of the first dwelling a scheme of sustainability measures for all the dwellings is to be submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority and implemented on site.

 

Reason: To address the climate emergency in accordance with Local Plan Policy D1.”

Minutes:

Audio recording – 1 hour 38 minutes 32 seconds

 

N.B. Councillor Mick Debenham declared an interest and left the Council Chamber at 21:09.

 

The Chair advised that Councillor Peace was to speak as a Member Advocate against this item and would therefore move to the public gallery and not take part in the debate or vote.

 

N.B. Councillor Louise Peace moved to the public gallery at 21:10.

 

The Development Management Team Leader provided an update that:

 

·       A supplement had been published correcting errors on the report.

·       The agent had emailed a statement for the Committee which had been published on the 15 February 2024.

The Locum Planning Lawyer stated that the email from the agent was to be disregarded as it was submitted late.

 

The Development Management Team Leader presented the report in respect of application 23/02650/FP supported by a visual presentation consisting of photographs and plans.

 

The following Members asked points of clarification:

 

·       Councillor David Levett

·       Councillor Tom Tyson

·       Councillor Daniel Allen

·       Councillor Dave Winstanley

In response to the points of clarification the Development Management Team Leader stated that:

 

·       The had been objections from neighbours regarding the felling of a lime tree as stated under policy 4.3.19 of the emerging Ickleford Neighbourhood Plan however previous applications had allowed the felling of this tree.

·       There were still live applications granted for this site, including an application for 5 dwellings.

·       PV panelling was not included in the application but could be added as a condition.

·       Policy D1 would cover the addition of a new condition for an environmental management condition which could include PV panels, air pumps and renewable energy.

The Locum Planning Lawyer clarified that any new conditions would need a valid reason.

 

The Chair invited Parish Councillor Phillip Crowe to speak against the application. Councillor Crowe thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:

 

·       Ickleford did not need any new developments, planning had recently been granted for 40 new dwellings as well as a development at Turnpike Lane as agreed in the Local Plan.

·       There were concerns regarding the lack of pavement in front of the development, which would be hazardous to pedestrians.

·       There was no provision for visitor parking on the site.

·       The sewerage system in Ickleford was Victorian and not sufficient for water deluges. 

·       Four years ago the land had been cleared in preparation of a development, this land had now been reclaimed by wildlife.

·       The development was not in keeping with the rural area.

·       The residents objected to this development.

In response to a point of clarification from Councillor Tom Tyson, Councillor Crowe confirmed that there was only a footpath on the opposite side of the road to the development.

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Crowe for his presentation and invited Mrs Kate Sargent to speak against the application. Mrs Sargent thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:

 

·       This was the fourth application on this site.

·       Ickleford did not have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 175.

176.

23/01392/FP LAND REAR OF 33, HIGH STREET, GRAVELEY, HERTFORDSHIRE, SG4 7LA pdf icon PDF 274 KB

REPORT OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION MANAGER

Erection of four detached 4-bed dwellings, including parking, landscaping and creation of vehicular access off Turf Lane (as amended by plans received 21/08/2023).

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That application 23/01392/FP be GRANTED planning permission subject to the reasons and conditions set out in the report of the Development and Conservation Manager.

 

Minutes:

Audio recording – 2 hours 14 minutes and 24 seconds

 

N.B. Councillors Louise Peace and Mick Debenham returned to the main Chamber at 21:44.

 

The Senior Planning Officer gave a verbal update and advised that:

 

·       There was an ecology condition included in the application, and no development could take place until a construction management plan had been submitted in writing and approved. This had been agreed by the agent and applicant.

·       There had been a request from Ecology for a plan to manage the 10% Biodiversity of the site, however this was not required under the Environment Act, and policy NE4 of the Local Plan due to the size of the development.

The Senior Planning Officer presented the report in respect of Application 23/01392/FP supported by a visual presentation consisting of photographs and plans.

 

In response to a point of clarification from Councillor Daniel Allen, the Senior planning officer stated that the dotted line indicated the visibility splays on the road.

 

The Chair invited Mrs Gill Shenoy to speak against the application. Mrs Shenoy thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:

 

·       The development would not provide any affordable housing.

·       Plot 4 of the development would block out the light to an existing house and would not comply with the Right to Light 1959 act.

·       There would be a distance of 25 feet from the back door of plot 4 to an existing house.

·       There were concerns that the access opened onto a busy newly improved cycle lane and bridleway.

·       The development was situated near a blind corner and there was no footpath to the school.

·       The development was on a very busy narrow road.

·       Trees had recently been felled in the area without permission.

In response to a point of clarification from Councillor Daniel Allen, Mrs Shenoy stated that the trees had been cut down 6 months ago.

 

The Chair thanked Mrs Shenoy for her presentation and invited Parish Councillor Helen Lumley to speak against the application. Councillor Lumley thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:

 

·       There were concern regarding the traffic access onto Turf Lane and the nearby cycle way.

·       Turf Lane was a narrow dead-end road with frequent users and high risks due to blind corners.

·       The dwellings were not in keeping with the local area or the needs of the area.

·       The ridge height of 8 metres would affect the quality of life of nearby residents.

The Chair thanked Councillor Lumley for her presentation and invited Councillor Dominic Griffiths to speak against the application. Councillor Griffiths thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:

 

·       The road width at Oak Lane and Turf Lane was a car and half wide.

·       Under the Construction Management Plan only the construction site would be widened, and it was questionable whether a large lorry would be able to turn into either road.

The Chair thanked  ...  view the full minutes text for item 176.

177.

APPEALS pdf icon PDF 9 KB

REPORT OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION MANAGER.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the report.

Minutes:

Audio recording – 2 hours 27 minutes 59 seconds

 

The Development and Conservation Manager presented the report entitled ‘Planning Appeals’ and informed the Committee that:

 

·       There had been three appeals lodge since the last report.

·       There had been three decisions made since the last report, two appeals of had been dismissed and one had been allowed.

·       There was a summary of each decision in the report.

In response to a question from Councillor David Levett, the Development and Conservation Manager stated that the Secretary of State had indicated that an update would be provided before the 11 March 2024 regarding the Gravely Solar Farm.