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Embed code for: Planning minute 16-07-25
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Thakeham Parish Council
NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING – Monday 25 July 2016, Village Hall
Meeting opened: 6.30 p.m.
Present Mr D MacEachern (Chair) Mrs C Hounslow Ms F McConnachie Mr D Scott Kerr
In attendance Mr O Richards Clerk to the Council
Members of the public
159. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllrs Hunt, Instance, St Clair and Taylor. Cllr MacEachern, as Vice-Chair, took the Chair in Cllr Taylor’s absence.
160. Interests of Members
No interests declared.
161. Minutes of the last meeting
Minutes of the last meeting held on 27 June 2016 were approved and signed.
162. Planning Applications for consideration
The Committee considered cases and agreed the following feedback to Horsham District Council:
DC/16/1256 (T/16/31) St Mary’s Parish Church Crays Lane Thakeham
Surgery to a range of trees (works to trees in a Conservation Area)
DC/16/1318 (T/16/32) Land North of Rother Close and Rother Close (Water Lane)
Variation of Condition 1 to previously approved application DC/15/1572 (Creation of a new vehicular and pedestrian access from Water Lane, Storrington in accordance with Outline application DC/13/1265) Relating to amended location of public footpath
While regretting the loss of the originally approved pedestrian bridge, which would have created an attractive feature, Council recognised the necessity of the proposed change and welcomed the close attention to avoiding damage to the trees that the extended footpath would now skirt.
DC/16/1393 (T/16/33) Abingworth Development Site (Key Worker Units) Storrington Road
Variation of condition 1 to DC/15/2547 to amend the parking layout to allow for an increase in the provision of parking spaces to achieve 2no. spaces per dwelling
NO OBJECTION SUBJECT TO CHECKS
Although the parish’s general policy (as per its Neighbourhood Plan) opposes unnecessary parking provision, Council agreed that in this location it was preferable to design for the reality of an average of two cars per household, rather let this happen haphazardly. Council requests that officers clarify with the developer whether the additional hard standing area will be block-paved and water-permeable, and whether any adjustment to the drainage design for the site is required.
DC/16/1489 (T/16/34) Land at Storrington Road (Snapes Corner) Thakeham
Outline planning permission for up to 60 dwellings (including up to 40% affordable housing), informal public open space and children's play area, surface water attenuation, landscaping, vehicular access point from Storrington Road and associated ancillary works. All matters to be reserved with the exception of the main site access.
Council strongly opposes this proposal, for reasons set out in full in the appendix attached to these minutes. Should this application be referred to the Development Control (South) Committee the Parish Council would wish to speak at the meeting. It was agreed to check affordable unit numbers.
DC/16/1589 (T/16/35) Land opposite Thakeham First School The Street Thakeham
Prior Notification to install high speed broadband cabinet
OBJECTION TO PROPOSED CABINET - ALTERNATIVE DESIGN SOUGHT
Council welcomes the advent of improved broadband speed and does not object to the proposed location per se, but the proposed FTTC cabinet design appears to be unnecessarily large, and in conjunction with the nearby PCP cabinet will create unnecessary clutter in the Conservation Area. Council requests that BT should instead deploy an all-in-one (AIO) cabinet that supports 128 lines (adequate for foreseeable connections this location) and which combines PCT and FTTC in a less visually intrusive way.
DC/16/1487 (T/16/37) Touchwood Coolham Road West Chiltington
Erection of new stables with concrete pad to the front
DC/16/1488 (T/16/36) Wheelwrights Hillside Walk Storrington RH20 3HL
First floor extension and new dormer within existing roof
Council noted that this was a modest 6’ 1st floor extension with no objectionable visual or amenity impact, and that there were no objections from neighbours. Officers were asked to consider applying conditions in relation to considerate working hours during construction.
163. Abingworth development
163.1 The Committee noted that there was recent/ongoing liaison with the developers in relation to:
Temporary diversion of a footpath at the north of the site, for safety reasons;
Mitigating impact of raised soil level of the new football pitch area, especially at the western boundary;
Engagement re amends to Phase 2 housing mix/numbers, as reported to June/July TPC meetings.
163.2 Cricket Pavilion construction method. Having noted confirmation that no amends were proposed in relation to previously-agreed external materials or finishes, members considered the information provided by Oakford Homes in relation to potential impact on building life-expectancy, fire risk, maintenance, and insurance costs. Members noted that the key advantages of the timber-frame approach for Oakford Homes related to rapid construction and cost savings. After full discussion members concluded that satisfactory assurances had been provided in relation to the key risks identified. The change of construction method should not materially affect building life-expectancy or fire safety. Potential concerns relating to pest attack and damp/condensation issues seemed be mitigated and low-risk. The timber-frame approach offered environmental benefits. The parish shares an interest in potentially earlier building delivery. In relation to insurance costs, the indications were that there would be no significant impact (any increased risk perceived being offset by lower rebuild costs). The Committee therefore agreed to give Oakford Homes positive feedback on this proposal. (Action: Clerk)
164. Crest Nicholson development, Water Lane
Cllr Scott Kerr reported that he had continued to monitor the site on a weekly basis; there had been no further recent resident complaints. He and Cllr Prince had recently met with the site manager regarding DC/16/1318 (see item 162 above). In relation to the concern about Japanese knotweed being present on site near the watercourse, none had been visible to limited off-site inspection, but it was agreed to write to HDC Planning requesting confirmation of eradication action (action: Clerk).
165. Enforcement issues
The committee noted that HDC had responded to the parish’s complaint about poor support from the Compliance Team by acknowledging current staffing issues, and seeking to direct parish liaison via their online portal. Members remained very concerned that resources were being prioritised to major/urban compliance issues, and that compliance cases in smaller rural parishes were not being pursued as a result. The Committee agreed to continue to use all routes available to secure adequate responses to the parish’s enforcement issues, including greater involvement of District Councillors. (Action: Clerk)
166. Planning Applications permitted/refused/withdrawn since the last meeting
The Committee noted the following District-level decisions, and that designated members should follow through with monitoring the progress of permitted applications.
Abingworth Nurseries, Storrington Road, Thakeham
DC/15/2527 (T/15/47) Discharge of S106 conditions, LEAP (Clerk)
Planning Committee 23/11/15
NO OBJECTION BUT CONDITIONS SOUGHT
Council noted that the submitted document relating to equipment and surfacing specification remained at a preliminary outline stage. The original DC/10/1314 S106 condition provided for:
“a minimum of 5 items of fixed play equipment as well as natural play features suitable for children’s play (ages 2-5 and 6-12) within areas segregated by distance and shall [also include] … details of surface treatment (grass/hard linked surfaced paths/impact safety absorbing safety surfaces as appropriate) planting seating litter bins and fencing.” and also that: “the standards, details and specifications to which the LEAP shall be laid out managed maintained and insured.”
Therefore more refined submissions are required to discharge this condition, showing (in addition to proposed play equipment) the specific proposed layout, paths, surfacing, planting, seating, litter bin and fencing arrangements (including exclusion of dogs). This needs to include reference to any relevant standards, and to provisions for ongoing inspection, maintenance and insurance. Council is currently engaging with the developer on these matters, and asks officers to place a condition for the developer to make all reasonable efforts to reach agreement with the parish on this specification before it is finalised.
[This was followed by iteration with Oakford/HDC of a revised design during May/June 2016]
St Marys Parish Church Crays Lane Thakeham Pulborough West Sussex RH20 3ER
DC/16/1256 (T/16/31) Surgery to a range of Trees (Works to Trees in a Conservation Area)
Land Adjacent To Martins The Street Thakeham West Sussex
DC/16/0373 (T/16/13) Conversion of existing barn to single detached dwelling
1 The proposed development does not constitute a use considered essential to such a countryside location. The proposal would therefore conflict with the aims of the National Planning Policy Framework, and in particular with paragraph 55, and with policies 1, 3, 25, 26, 32 and 33 of the Horsham District Planning Framework (2015).
2 The proposed development and means of access would represent an urban form of development in the countryside which would be out of keeping with and detrimental to the rural character and appearance of the area. The proposal would therefore be contrary to policies 25, 26, 32 and 33 of the Horsham District Planning Framework (2015).
3 The proposed development by reason of its scale and design would have an unacceptable adverse impact upon the setting of the Listed Building. Therefore the proposal is contrary to Policies 32, 33 and 34 of the Horsham District Planning Framework (2015) and paras 131-132 of the NPPF (2012).
4 The proposal fails to include adequate mitigation or protection measures incorporated into the resulting development, which would demonstrate favourable conservation of bats or breeding birds as required by Policy 31 of the Horsham District Planning Framework (2015), the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, and NPPF (para.118) 2012.
Bramble Barn, The Street, Thakeham, West Sussex
DC/16/0272 Prior Notification for Change of use of Agricultural Barn to a dwelling house
Appeal notified: 14 July 2016
167. Upcoming applications
Members agreed to ask Cllr McEachern to review DC/16/1638 (40 Crescent Rise). This and other cases arising up to mid-August would be handled under the protocol for agreement by circulation.
168. Public participation session
A member of the public sought further information about lack of HDC action in enforcement cases and it was agreed to share details of a recent case in point. It was also noted that it would be useful in the context of the current appeal relating to Bramble Barn DC/16/0272, to make representation that if the refusal is upheld, the applicant should be required to return the site to a condition appropriate for its permitted use. (Actions: Clerk)
169. Any other business for noting or inclusion on a future agenda
Cllr McConnachie flagged for future discussion the issue of contractors’ temporary signage in The Street conservation area. The Committee also agreed that the Abingworth developer’s previous public commitments to repairing Furze Common Road would continue to be pursued by the parish.
Meeting closed: 7.45 p.m.
Date of next meeting: Monday 26 September 2016 at 6.30pm
APPENDIX: AGREED RESPONSE TO DC/16/1489
The proposal conflicts with the local HDPF strategic planning framework. The site is greenfield and outside the Category 1 settlement of Storrington and Sullington. It is not included in the HDPF for development, which was made by Horsham District Council in November 2015. The HDPF anticipates that a manageable 10% of the 16,000 housing total for the period will be found in villages, at sites identified via Neighbourhood Plans . The HDPF provides for adequate 5 year supply of additional housing in the Horsham District.
The proposal conflicts with the emerging local planning framework. In particular it is in direct conflict with the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan (TNP), which is currently under external examination following extensive consultation with local residents and validation processes via Horsham District Council, including external health check. The site of this proposal was specifically considered during the development of the TNP (see Site Assessment, site number 16). Taking an assumed figure of 75 units (similar to the current proposal) the site scored poorly and was ruled out on the grounds of: being outside current built-up areas, coalescence, negative impact on landscape and impact on a listed building.
The TNP plans positively for growth and includes provision to boost significantly the supply of housing. It does so by including a contribution of at least 270 new homes – a significant contribution to the ~1600 houses expected from small communities under the new HDPF. This represents a massive 33% increase in housing volume in the parish. Of these, at least 223 units will come from recently-approved schemes. The Abingworth site will deliver at least 147 (a further proposal is coming forward to increase units as part of change of housing mix in phase 2), while the Crest Nicholson development at Land North of Rother Close is close to completing the delivery of 76 units. In addition the TNP provides for an additional ~50 units at the Thakeham Tiles site, a demonstrably more sustainable location, and allows also for further incremental housing gains from ‘windfall’ sites, in line with planning guidance.
To add a further 60 homes by granting permission on this site would invalidate the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan by creating over-supply of housing, directly conflicting with the strong emphasis on avoiding further coalescence between the villages of Thakeham and Storrington, and in terms of planned provision of community facilities. Appendix 1 shows the significant cumulative impact that this proposal would have, by adding to and abutting the Crest Nicholson development at Water Lane, on urban coalescence at the parish boundary. This would be in direct conflict with the extensively-consulted views of local residents (85% of whom oppose further housing beyond what has already been permitted), as borne out by the overwhelming majority of responses to the applicant’s pre-application consultation process for its recent previous application for the same site DC/15/2374.
The identified local housing needs are already fully addressed by a combination of the developments already approved and those emerging via the Neighbourhood plans of Thakeham and Storrington & Sullington and Washington. In addition to the Thakeham developments flagged above, it is relevant to note that Storrington plans include an anticipated further substantial development at the Paula Rosa site, off nearby Water Lane (location flagged in Appendix 1).
Specific conflicts with the policies of the TNP, and related material considerations
Policy 1 (Spatial Plan for Parish): the site is not is not one of the three development sites identified, it is not within an existing built-up area, and its development would directly conflict with the policy aim of confining housing developments within existing built-up area boundaries, unless their purpose is specifically appropriate to a countryside location. The proposal would (in conjunction with 76-unit Crest Nicholson Water Lane development) completely remove an important part of the existing green gap between the currently dispersed housing along the B2139 in south-western Thakeham and the Storrington/Sullington suburban area, and create suburban coalescence at the junction of Thakeham, West Chiltington and Storrington parishes, in conflict with FAD criterion 4 (policy DC3).
Policy 7 (Heritage Assets): the proposed development will demonstrably harm the setting of a grade II listed building (Snape’s Cottage), within 30m of the southern boundary of the site. Contrary to the applicant’s view, the development is bound to cause a substantial degree of harmful impact to the asset’s significance.
Policy 10 (Green infrastructure and valued landscapes). The proposal would have a serious adverse impact on the landscape character of this area, which currently eases the transition from built-up suburbs, via sporadic development northwards along the B2139, to the rural feel of most of the rest of Thakeham parish. The site is currently a visible open area from public vantage points including from the South Downs and the applicant understates the visual impact of coalescence in this regard. Appendix 1 shows the significant cumulative impact of this proposal in addition to the Crest Nicholson development at Water Lane. This would have a real effect on northerly views from popular points on rights of way along the northern rim of the South Downs.
The site makes a valuable contribution to biodiversity at the edge of the existing built-up area. The existing considerable tree cover is in good condition and contains some outstanding trees. A s the applicant’s ecological report for DC/15/2374 (para 4.16) noted, there is species richness within the field area. Although house numbers in this application are lower than DC/15/2374 this will not materially mitigate the ecological damage of what remains a very large development on this site.
The development will also still materially affect the amenity value of the site for walkers, as it will be clearly visible from footpath 3424 which will be as close as ~120m to the west and north, and will degrade the rural character of the experience of walking in this area.
Other material considerations - sustainability issues.
Contrary to the applicant’s suggestion that the site is suitable for walking and cycling to the facilities of central Storrington, this is an unsustainable location being around 1.7km by road/pavement from those facilities. Residents would inevitably be mainly reliant on the car for access to shops and all other facilities.
It is reasonable to anticipate that 60 new houses at this distance from amenities (which will raise average vehicle numbers per household) will translate into at least 250-300 additional vehicle movements into/out of the site per day. Most of these journeys will be southwards, to access both facilities in Storrington and main road and will require negotiation of the roundabouts at Rydon and Water Lane, which are already seriously overloaded at peak times, especially in the mornings.
These extra cars/journeys will increase accidents. Snapes Corner is a dangerous location; the proposed site entrance is just north of a blind bend where there have been a number of car accidents in recent years, including a fatality. Further overloading of the Rydon and Water Lane roundabouts poses more risk to the significant number of pupils who walk to Rydon Community College.
The location is also unsustainable in relation to public transport. The bus services is in fact very limited (4 buses per day northbound; only 2 per day southbound), there is no pavement access to the stop to the north of the site along the B2139 and no safe spot to add a bus stop near the site entrance.
The additional cars and high number of journeys necessitated by the unsustainable location will further exacerbate the well-known and serious air pollution problems in Storrington – in conflict with FAD criterion 13 and the NPPF. The applicant’s focus on the immediate semi-rural setting of the site, ignores the southerly direction that most journeys will take, where they will join and exacerbate the existing traffic congestion in central Storrington and on the A283.
Other infrastructure capacity issues
The strong sense of Storrington residents (cf. the Storrington & Sullington Parish Council response to DC/15/2374) is that schools, dentists and doctor’s surgeries in the area are already at maximum capacity.
For these reasons this site cannot be considered sustainable.
Should this application be referred to the Development Control (South) Committee the Parish Council would wish to speak at the meeting.
Appendix 1: Cumulative Coalescence impact of DC/16/1489 in addition to the Crest Nicholson development (DC/13/1265)
This map shows the very significant cumulative impact of these developments in terms of new urban coalescence in the green space at the border of Thakeham and Storrington parishes. (Blue lines show parish boundaries.)
Likely development at Paula Rosa site.
- 410 -
Minutes of TPC Neighbourhood Planning Committee – 25 July 2016 he applicant understates the visual impact of coalescence in this regard. Appendix 1 shows the significant cumulative impact of this proposal in addition to the Crest Nicholson development at Water Lane. This would have a real effect on northerly views from popular points on rights of way along the northern rim of the South Downs.
The additional cars and high number of journeys necessitated by the unsustainable location will further exacerbate the well-known and serious air pollution problems in Storr