Agenda item



Erection of 9 dwellings (3 x 2-bed, 4 x 3-bed and 2 x 4-bed) including parking, landscaping and installation of vehicular access off of Chambers Lane (as amended by plan nos. PL003D, PL009A, PL108A _ L01A received 02/01/2024).


RESOLVED: That application 22/02205/FP be GRANTED planning permission subject to the reasons and conditions set out in the report of the Development and Conservation Manager.



Audio recording – 52 minutes 20 seconds


N.B Councillor Mick Debenham declared a personal interest and left the Council Chamber at 20:22


The Chair advised that Councillor Louise 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 20:22.


The Senior Planning Officer provided an update that:


·                     The comments from the Conservation Officer comments were now on the website, confirming no detrimental impact on the character.

·                     The nearby public house had no impact on the property development.  There was sufficient separation from the site and the nearby farm, with scrub to the perimeter.

·                     The Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) had raised no objections and as the application was now for fewer than 10 units, there was no obligation to consult the LLFA.

·                     The site plan had been amended on the 5 March 2024.


The Senior Planning Officer presented the report in respect of application 22/02205/FP supported by a visual presentation consisting of photographs and plans.


The following Members asked points of clarification:


·                     Councillor David Levitt

·                     Councillor Nigel Mason

·                     Councillor Dave Winstanley

·                     Councillor Daniel Allen

·                     Councillor Tom Tyson


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


·                     In the past this site has had four appeals, all which have been dismissed.

·                     This development was no longer on Greenbelt land.

·                     This was the second recent development in Ickleford and there was concern about the infrastructure in a small village and whether this is at breaking point.

·                     Larger development sites were asked to look at the cumulative impact of the site.  This did not apply to this site, which was seen as a “windfall site”. 

·                     There was a transport assessment submitted with this application.

·                     Sustainable energy ground source heat pumps would be installed in properties.

·                     The site would generate traffic during peak hours.  However, Highways had confirmed they had no concerns.

·                     The side of the carriage way would be widened with a footpath.

·                     The adjacent burial ground was protected under planning law and provided no concern to the development.


The Chair invited Parish Councillor Ray Blake to speak against the application. Parish Councillor Blake thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the committee with a verbal presentation including that:


·                     Residents were proud of this green setting, together with the nearby Plume of Feathers public house and cottages.

·                     The Local Plan had been adopted and the site was not consistent with national policy and contains much flora and fauna.

·                     The cemetery is a peaceful setting which would be compromised.

·                     There was insufficient room for exits and entrances to the development. 

·                     The area contains many wildlife corridors and Chambers Lane itself was narrow in places. This would provide problems for emergency vehicles and on site HGV.

·                     The parking for the development was also considered insufficient.

·                     The sewage system in the area will find the addition of properties impossible.  The area already floods after downpours.

·                     After the recent development at Bowmans Mill, it was considered that this site was not needed.


In response to the points of clarification from Councillor David Levett, Parish Councillor Blake advised that the adjacent burial ground was a recent burial site from 2010 onwards.


The Chair thanked Councillor Blake for his presentation and invited Councillor Louise Peace, as Member Advocate, to speak against the application. Councillor Peace thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:


·                     The flood risk of the site appears low but rises to medium to high risk on Chambers Lane. A drainage plan should be confirmed for the area and permission should not be granted until information is available.

·                     The biodiversity report was out of date, and a new report had not been provided by the applicant. Biodiversity will be offset elsewhere, possibly Oughtonhead Common.

·                     Ickleford was considered a conservation area, with 2 listed buildings and burial ground adjacent to this development. The street scene will significantly change due to this application and it would have an impact on the conservation and heritage area.

·                     When development originated on this site, it was originally inside the green belt and has now been removed, but the land area itself has not changed.

·                     This application should be refused due to the heritage of the area, rather than the green belt status previously assigned to it.


In response to the points of clarification from Councillor Nigel Mason, Councillor Louise Peace advised that:


·                     There was a referendum on the Ickleford Neighbourhood Plan on 14 March 2024. The more developed the plan becomes towards its conclusion, the more weighting could be applied to it in considering applications.

·                     The Ickleford Neighbourhood Plan cannot contradict the Local Plan or National Planning Policy Framework.

·                     The Alleyfield burial ground is mentioned in Policy C2 of the Local Plan. This policy states that any existing facility would need to be provided elsewhere.  The Trust managing the burial ground strongly object to moving the burial ground as the quality will be reduced.


The Chair thanked Councillor Peace for her presentation and invited Mr James Porter, as representative of the applicant, to speak in support of the application. Mr Porter thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:


·                     The development was now inside the village boundary and outside the green belt.

·                     Chambers Lane is to be widened and a footpath added and access to buildings on Arnolds Farm site would be accessed from this route.

·                     Additional visitor parking had already been objected to and recommended to the parking numbers now in the final layout. 

·                     Additional footpath access has not been included as it would not follow guidance as secured by design for new developments.

·                     A landscaping strip and emission of one house has reduced the density of the site.

·                     The biggest visual change is the removal of the hedge on Chambers Lane, increasing width and visibility.  This followed the character of the area. 

·                     The development comprised nine well designed houses, which would be a positive contribution to the village.


The following Members asked points of clarification:


·                     Councillor Dave Winstanley

·                     Councillor Tom Tyson

·                     Councillor David Levett


In response to points of clarification, Mr Porter advised that:


·                     In 2021 the area was an open field. Since then, the area was now teeming with wildlife. Although there was a shortfall on biodiversity net gain on site, a financial contribution had been discussed to offset this. An amount had been discussed but not finalised.

·                     It was confirmed that the separation between the site and the burial ground would be maintained by the tree hedge line and these would be added to.


In response to points raised the Senior Planning Officer advised that:


·                    The site had now been removed from the greenbelt.

·                    A heritage assessment had been carried out by an external consultant.

·                    The application had been discussed by the housing inspector. 

·                    No objections have been raised by statutory consultees.

·                    Clarification was given to members that this covers biodiversity for the site.

·                    The study phase 1 had been carried out by the environmental health officer, with continuing issues.

·                    It was confirmed that Condition 11 should be revised to include three additional points.


Councillor David Levitt proposed the application be granted and Councillor Simon Bloxham seconded.


The following members took part in debate:


·                     Councillor Daniel Allen

·                     Councillor Nigel Mason

·                     Councillor David Levett

·                     Councillor Tom Tyson


Points raised in debate included:


·                     The resulting development would detract from the countryside feel of Chambers Lane.  There were not many lanes left in this area.

·                     This area had not been identified for housing and consideration should be given as to whether a piece of land should be used solely as it is suitable. The natural diversity of this area cannot be moved elsewhere.

·                     It was felt there was no legal reason for refusal, as the site was within the settlement boundary and not on Greenbelt land.


Having been proposed and seconded and following a vote, it was:


RESOLVED: That application 22/02205/FP be GRANTED planning permission subject to the reasons and conditions set out in the report of the Development and Conservation Manager.


Condition 11 should be revised to include the following forwarding:


Prior to the first occupation of the development hereby permitted, surface water drainage works shall have been implemented in accordance with details that shall first have been submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA in consultation with the Lead Local Flood Authority. Before any details are submitted to the LPA an assessment shall be carried out of the potential for disposing of surface water by means of a sustainable drainage system, having regard to Defra's non-statutory technical standards for sustainable drainage systems (or any subsequent version), and the results of the assessment shall have been provided to the LPA. Where a sustainable drainage scheme is to be provided, the submitted details shall:


i.              Provide information about the design storm period and intensity, the method employed to delay and control the surface water discharged from the site and the measures taken to prevent pollution of the receiving groundwater and/or surface waters.


ii.             include a timetable for its implementation; and,


iii.            provide a management and maintenance plan for the lifetime of the

development which shall include the arrangements for adoption by any public authority or statutory undertaker and any other arrangements to secure the operation of the scheme throughout its lifetime.


Reason: To prevent surface water flooding

Supporting documents: