Item Waveney District Council by alicejenny


									                                        DEVELOPMENT CONTROL COMMITTEE – 18/01/2011

Minutes of a Meeting held at the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Lowestoft                  2
on Tuesday 18 January 2011 at 6.00pm

Members present:
J Groom (Chairman), P Ashdown, R Bellham, P Byatt, G Elliott, P Flegg, I Graham, S Keller,
P Light, D Ritchie, M Ryland and S Woods

Officers present:
K Hilson (Principal Planning Officer), P Ridley (Head of Planning Services) and N Wotton (Senior
Committee Officer)


       Apologies for absence were received from Councillors S Allen, M Cherry and N Dack.

       Councillor M Ryland substituted for Councillor S Allen.

       Councillor R Bellham substituted for Councillor N Dack.

2      MINUTES


              Subject to the words ‘satisfactorily resolved’ being replaced by the word ‘dropped’
              in the first line of the seventh paragraph on Outstanding Enforcement Cases on
              page 2, that the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2010 be confirmed
              as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


       Councillors P Ashdown, P Flegg, J Groom, S Keller, P Light, D Ritchie, M Ryland and S
       Woods declared a personal interest in Item 8 - DC/10/1006/FUL – The Hollies, London
       Road, Kessingland – as the site was adjacent to the Conservative Association Office.

       Councillor I Graham also declared a personal interest in Item 8 - DC/10/1006/FUL – The
       Hollies, London Road, Kessingland – as he had once been involved in negotiations for a
       group of Trustees to take over the running of The Hollies, many years ago.

       Councillors P Byatt and I Graham declared a personal interest in Item 10 –
       DC/10/1505/FUL – Former Northumbria Water Site, St Margarets Road, Lowestoft – as
       they were both members of the Play Partnership.


       Councillors P Byatt, G Elliott, P Flegg, S Keller and D Ritchie declared that they had
       received correspondence in relation to Item 8 - DC/10/1006/FUL – The Hollies, London
       Road, Kessingland.

       Councillors G Elliott and S Woods declared that they had received correspondence in
       relation to Item 9 – DC/10/1251/FUL – 23-24 Lyndhurst Road, Lowestoft.

       Although they had been lobbied, the Members all felt that they could bring an open mind
       to the consideration of the applications.

                                     DEVELOPMENT CONTROL COMMITTEE – 18/01/2011


    The report of the Head of Planning informed Members that there were two appeal
    decisions made in December 2010, one was dismissed and the other was allowed


           That the report concerning the appeal decisions during December 2010 be


    The report of the Head of Planning informed Members of all the Chief Officer delegated
    decisions made during December 2010.


           That the report concerning the Chief Officer delegated decisions made during
           December 2010 be received.


    The report of the Head of Planning provided Members with a summary of all outstanding
    enforcement cases sanctioned under delegated powers or by the Committee up until 4
    January 2011. The present number of cases was 12.

    An update was provided in relation to the following cases and it was reported that:-

    Southwold Business Centre, St Edmunds Road, Southwold – The owners had applied for
    a Lawful Use Certificate and the final decision was awaited. Further information would be
    brought to Members when it was known.

    8 Lorne Road, Southwold – The notice to reduce the size of the dormer window had been
    complied with and no further action was required.

    5 Swan Lane, Halesworth – A new front door had been commissioned and would be
    fitted in the very near future.

    Barn Owl Barn, London Road, Weston, Beccles – Members commended the
    enforcement action undertaken so far regarding the unauthorised works to a Listed


           That the report concerning the Outstanding Enforcement matters up to 4 January
           2011 be received.


    The Committee considered the application for a change of use from a Charity Camp and
    the re-use of the building as a dwelling, including the reinstatement of the roof. Members
    noted that the application was originally presented to Committee in December 2010 and
    the application had been deferred pending further consideration of the relevant policy.

    It was reported that an additional 12 page summary document had been provided by the
    applicant, which contained supplementary information, however the evidence provided

                                DEVELOPMENT CONTROL COMMITTEE – 18/01/2011

still did not fulfil the DM22 Policy requirement for a 6 month open marketing campaign.
Therefore the recommendation was to refuse the application.

Mr Dodkins, Agent on behalf of the Applicant

Mr Dodkins reported that the summary document had included the costs involved in
converting the building for residential use and revised appraisals. It was noted that
commercial and leisure uses were not viable and there was no interest in developing the
site. The Charity had also been unable to secure any development funding to assist with
the costs.

The Charity had worked closely with several different agencies to gauge interest in the
site and had been advised that there was none, therefore undertaking a full, open
marketing campaign would be a costly and academic exercise. Mr Dodkins reported that
a similar application had been considered and approved by a neighbouring District
Council, which he felt proved that an open marketing campaign was not always
necessary in certain circumstances.

Mr Dodkins requested a pragmatic approach to the unique circumstances which were
presented. No objections had been received regarding the application from local people
or Kessingland Parish Council. The application had been positively received by the local
community as it would transform a derelict and dilapidated site and would improve the
local area.


A Member queried whether the buildings or the entire site had been considered
unsuitable for leisure development. It was reported that the whole site had been on the
books of Strutt and Parker Property Consultants for 4 to 5 years and no interest had been
received in the site during that time. Regarding a query on the cost of a 6 month open
marketing campaign, it was reported that the Charity could not pay those costs at this

Members queried whether the site could be used as a holiday let and it was reported that
the weekly charges for renting the development would be prohibitively high, due to the
large plot and as there was little demand for holiday lets in the area, it would be
economically unviable. The Principal Planning Officer reported that the site could be used
for static or touring caravans and the lack of an open marketing campaign meant that
there could be potential interest which had not been identified. Mr Dodkins clarified that
using the site as a static caravan site had been considered by the Charity, however
advice received from the Planning Department had stated that this would not be allowed
as it would compromise the Strategic Gap. A camping and touring caravan park would
be acceptable but the reduction in income when compared to static caravans would not
make the proposal economically viable.

It was noted that the site had been unused for over 10 years and Members queried why
an open marketing campaign was required, as any interested parties would have made
contact with the site owners during that time. It was reported that Policy DM22 was
established and clearly stated the need for an open marketing exercise, which included
wider publicity outside of the Waveney area, which could include adverts in national trade
magazines or on property websites.

A Member queried what would happen to the site if the application was refused by the
Committee. It was reported that if an open marketing campaign was undertaken and no
interest was received, the application could be brought to Committee again for
consideration on change of use. If an expression of interest had been received, the
potential use could then be considered. Alternatively the applicant could take the

                                 DEVELOPMENT CONTROL COMMITTEE – 18/01/2011

decision to appeal, however there would be costs involved in pursuing that course of

A Member queried whether a small section of the land would be used to provide a coastal
path for both cyclists and pedestrians, which would link Kessingland and Lowestoft.
Members were reassured that the Council had been able to secure the land for the
coastal path to be developed.

In response to a query, Mr Dodkins then provided clarification that any monies received
from the sale of the site would be used to purchase a property in the Lake District for the
Charity to use, not to refurbish an existing property as previously stated.

Following a query, it was reported that the building on site had been used as a farmhouse
until the 1930s when it changed use to a Charity Camp. The camp had had a residential
caretaker on site for many years, while the children stayed on the site in tents. Members
were advised that having a residential caretaker on site all year round had not altered the
original use of the site as it had remained a Charity Camp until the fire approximately 12
years ago. Since that time the site had been unused.


Members discussed the lack of an open marketing campaign and the considerable length
of time that the site had been left abandoned.

Councillor Ritchie moved and it was duly seconded by Councillor Byatt

“That the application be refused until such a time that a 6 month open marketing
campaign had been completed”

On it being put to the vote the Motion was


Members then discussed the unique circumstances surrounding the application and it
was noted that development of the site would improve the local area and no objections
had been received in this respect. The Head of Planning clarified that the Committee
would need to be able to justify their actions if they were to approve the change of use
without the 6 month open marking campaign.

Following discussions and due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding the
application, Councillor Elliott moved, seconded by Councillor Graham and it was


         That the application be approved subject to the Council acquiring land for the
         Coastal Path, for both pedestrians and cyclists, and the restriction of further
         building work such as extensions or additional outbuildings on the site.

The reasons for the decision were as follows:

1)       The Financial Appraisals which had been undertaken and submitted were
         sufficient to replace the open marketing campaign on this occasion.
2)       The financial information, as submitted, was sound.
3)       The Charity was in a unique position and was unable to provide a 6 month open
         marketing campaign in addition to advice already sought.
4)       The land had been left in its current state for approximately 12 years and no
         expressions of interest in the site had been received during that time.

                                      DEVELOPMENT CONTROL COMMITTEE – 18/01/2011


     An application for the construction of a three storey rear extension, which would provide
     an additional 10 bedrooms for an existing high dependency nursing home.

     This application was withdrawn from the agenda as the agent was currently out of the
     country and an additional set of drawings were still awaited by the Planning Department.


     The Committee considered the application for the construction of 12 flats and 17 houses,
     including parking, landscaping and the relocation of the existing sub-station on a vacant
     brownfield site. This would create a ‘Home Zone’ form of residential development for
     both rent and shared ownership.

     The Principal Planning Officer outlined the application and provided a detailed description
     of the proposed site including photographs and plans. It was noted that there was a Tree
     Preservation Order (TPO) on the site and there would be additional sympathetic planting.
     There was a robust concrete block wall around the development and it had been
     proposed that small sections would be removed and replaced with metal railings which
     would enhance the view.

     There would be a central access to the site onto St Margarets Road, with a chicane to
     help reduce the speed of any vehicles. Members noted that the site would have a
     minimum of one parking space per dwelling (the 4 bedroom house would have 2) and
     additional visitor parking spaces. Secure cycle storage was also available and the
     refuse storage areas had been sympathetically designed.

     The Committee was informed that the flats would be built along St Margarets Road and
     had been carefully designed to complement the original housing in the area. The flats
     would be two storey, with pitched roofs and solar panels, the houses would be built within
     the cul de sac. The whole development was designed to a very high specification and
     would be both pedestrian and cycle friendly. Soak-aways would be installed which would
     collect surface water and release it over time, to reduce the risk of flooding during heavy
     rain. The sub-station would be relocated to the rear of the development and would be in
     a similar style to the cycle and refuse storage facilities.

     Members were advised that the ‘Home Zone’ concept was not new and two had already
     been successfully introduced in Oxford Road and Cambridge Road, Lowestoft. They
     were low speed environments with detailed design to incorporate flower beds, signage,
     parking spaces and pedestrian areas into the overall design.

     The Principal Planning Officer reported that the applicant had agreed to re-develop the
     local public play area with new fencing, gate and pathway and provide up to date play
     equipment for all local children to enjoy.

     Mr Page, on behalf of the Applicant, Orbit Homes 2020

     Mr Page informed Members that a public consultation had taken place and following the
     feedback received, the plans were changed to ensure the concrete block boundary wall
     would not be removed in places and replaced with metal railings. The local Crime
     Prevention Officer from Suffolk Constabulary had also agreed that this decision would
     enhance security within the development.

     Significant parking had been provided on site, therefore on-street parking along St
     Margarets Road would not be affected. Cycling was actively being encouraged to

                                 DEVELOPMENT CONTROL COMMITTEE – 18/01/2011

provide sustainable living and any car sharing schemes would also be supported by the

Significant time and effort had been taken to design an environmentally sustainable, high
quality and attractive development.


In response to a query, Mr Page reported that solar panels would be fitted to every roof of
the development for improved sustainability, which would provide electricity as well as hot
water for the homes. The secure cycle storage would be in the back gardens of the
houses and in the shared storage areas for the flat, providing good access for all

(At this point in the proceedings, Councillor Graham declared a personal interest in this
item as he was a member of the Play Partnership.)

Further clarification was provided with regard to the soak-away. It was noted that they
had been designed by specialists to cope with excess surface water and met all of the
current legislative regulations. The excess surface water would be stored underground in
large ‘crates’ and would then be discharged slowly over time to ensure that the water did
not overwhelm the drainage systems or cause flash floods. It was noted that the water
would not become stagnant or foul whilst contained within the soak-aways. Throughout
the development there were grassed areas and sections with permeable surfaces which
would allow some of the rain water to drain away naturally.

Members were reassured that there was sufficient room for refuse vehicles to navigate
the site safely. The shared refuse areas for the flats had larger style ‘Eurobins’ and the
houses would be able to store their wheelie bins in their back gardens and bring them to
the designated areas for collection, when appropriate.

Mr Page provided clarification regarding the boundary wall to the site and confirmed that
it would not be removed in parts for security reasons and due to the comments received
from the public consultation.

Members were informed that the materials used for the brick weave sections within the
development had been carefully chosen and would be able to withstand heavy vehicles.
There would also be significantly more grassed areas and planting than on the current
site, which would also help improve the environment.

A Member queried whether there would be a residents parking permit scheme for the
development. It was noted that parking had been allocated for every residential unit, as
well as visitor parking spaces. If additional parking spaces were required, parking could
take place in St Margarets Road or other nearby roads, if spaces were available.

Members were informed that the road would not be adopted by Suffolk County Council as
it did not meet the necessary requirements. The site would be managed by Orbit Homes


Members debated the need to maintain the current boundary wall for security reasons
and also discussed the possibility of establishing a car sharing scheme.

It was then proposed, seconded and following a vote it was unanimously

                                      DEVELOPMENT CONTROL COMMITTEE – 18/01/2011


             That the application be approved subject to :

             i)     The retention of the concrete block boundary wall in its entirety along 3
                    sides of the development;
             ii)    Investigating the possibility of establishing a car sharing scheme;
             iii)   The prior conclusion of a Section 106 agreement in respect of the
                    provision of affordable housing and open space, in order that the currently
                    vacant site can be re-developed before the end of the financial year
                    2010/11 to ensure that HCA (Housing and Community Agency) funding is
                    able to be used in the redevelopment scheme;
             iv)    That conditions be attached to the grant of planning permission in respect
                    of three-year validity, submitted/revised (highway) drawings (including
                    deleting the key accessed secured gate), materials and finishes, highway
                    related, landscaping, tree protection, ‘Home Zone’ aspects, contaminated
                    land, drainage and other such conditions as considered appropriate by the
                    Head of Planning.

The meeting concluded at 7.50 pm



To top