Agenda and draft minutes

Development Management Committee
Wednesday 15th July, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Held Virtually via Zoom

Contact: Peter Mannings  Tel: (01279) 502174 Email:  peter.mannings@eastherts.gov.uk

Link: To access directions to the YouTube livestream for this meeting click here

Media

Items
No. Item

74.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Huggins and Ruffles.  It was noted that Councillors Fernando and Kaye were substituting for Councillors Huggins and Ruffles respectively.

75.

Chairman's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Members and the Public to the meeting and detailed the categories of attendee that were present on Zoom.  The Chairman said that the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 came into force on Saturday 4 April 2020 to enable councils to hold remote committee meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic period. This was to ensure local authorities could conduct business during this current public health emergency.  This meeting of the Development Management Committee was being held remotely under these regulations, via the Zoom application and was being recorded and live streamed on YouTube.

 

The Chairman introduced each Member and Officer in attendance at the meeting.  The Head of Planning and Building Control commented on the experiences of other local authorities in respect of conducting virtual meetings.  She said that East Herts Council’s approach to virtual meetings of the Development Management Committee was sound and had been very successful to date.

76.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any Members' declarations of interest.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors Deering, Jones and Kaye declared Non Pecuniary Interests in application 3/18/2764/OUT, on the grounds that they were elected Members of the Authority that was the applicant.

77.

Minutes - 17 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on Wednesday 17 June 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Beckett proposed and Councillor Jones seconded, a motion that the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 June 2020 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, this motion was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 June 2020, be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

78.

3/19/2626/FUL - Mixed use Western Neighbourhood Local Centre comprising a doctor's surgery (Class D1), children's nursery (Class D1), 78-bed care home (Class C2), 29 affordable apartments (Class C3) and flexible commercial floorspace within class A1 / A2 / A3 / A4 / D1 / D2. Proposal includes the provision of a substation, car parking, access, landscaping and other associated works at Land at Stortford Fields, Bishop's Stortford North, Bishop's Stortford pdf icon PDF 271 KB

Recommended for Approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Planning and Building Control recommended that in respect of application 3/19/2626/FUL, planning permission be granted subject to the conditions detailed in the report now submitted.

 

It was also recommended that delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning and Building Control to finalise conditions and the legal agreement and to append any informatives to the application that might be required.

 

The Principal Planning Officer, on behalf of the Head of Planning and Building Control, said that it was his pleasure to be able to present this application to Members.  He referred to the vagaries of the commercial property market and the overriding need for the proposed development.

 

The Principal Planning Officer explained that this was the first of two Neighbourhood Centres.  He said that another neighbourhood centre was due to be brought forward for the eastern neighbourhood.  He also explained that the main issues were summarised in the report and he would be focussing on these in his commentary to Members.

 

The Committee was reminded of the importance of policy compliance in terms of land uses and of the benefits of securing a vibrant local centre which would provide all of the relevant services.  The Officer referred to urban design, layout and connectivity to the other areas of the Stortford Fields development and beyond in Bishop’s Stortford.

 

The Principal Planning Officer said that another key issue was neighbour amenity in terms of noise and general disturbance.  He also drew Members’ attention to sustainable transport and the issue of climate change.  He referred to the 2FE primary school site on the opposite side of Newlands Avenue and reminded Members that priority had been given to the new primary school site at Farnham Road to the east.

 

The Principal Planning Officer said that the site was surrounded by a dense urban area and would benefit from good access to green ways and to sports and play facilities.  He said that a dense area of trees would screen the water tower and other utilities and this development would ultimately be well shielded by boundary landscaping.

 

The Principal Planning Officer said that a design code for the neighbourhood centre had been included in the original permission for Stortford Fields.  This had covered the attributes that should be included to ensure that this development performed well as a neighbourhood centre.  The document covered the design and architecture and the connectivity of the centre and much of the content had been incorporated into the application.

 

The Committee was advised that the proposed car parking was well hidden behind the buildings and there would be plenty of landscaping.  Members were also advised of a slightly revised configuration due to the care home which took up a lot of footprint within the overall site.  The Principal Planning Officer confirmed that the submitted design was the best fit in terms of balancing the needs of the various operators of this site as well as securing an attractive frontage and public space.

 

The Principal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

79.

3/20/0413/FUL - Demolition of existing science building and the erection of a new 2-storey teaching block (Use Class D1) with associated landscaping and the installation of an additional block of interim temporary classrooms during construction (Approximately 1068 m2 GEA) alongside the retention of temporary units approved under planning consent 3/18/2098/FUL at The Leventhorpe School, Cambridge Road, Sawbridgeworth pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Recommended for Approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Planning and Building Control recommended that in respect of application 3/20/0413/FUL, planning permission be granted subject to the conditions detailed in the report now submitted.

 

The Service Manager (Development Management), on behalf of the Head of Planning and Building Control, said that the proposed development would be located within the footprint of the existing teaching block so that the school could continue to operate during construction.

 

Members were advised that temporary classrooms would be located to the west of existing school buildings on the existing tennis courts and adjacent to existing temporary classrooms that would be retained during construction.

 

The Service Manager said that the main issues for consideration were the principle of the development, design, the impact on residential amenity, highways impact and the management of flood risk.

 

Members were referred to paragraph 8.14 for design matters.  The Service Manager explained that the design very much reflected the existing school buildings and said that the Landscape Officer had raised no objections.

 

The Committee was advised that strategy and indicative layout plans for the landscaping surrounding the site were submitted as part of the application and the detail of that landscaping was the subject of condition 5, and condition 6 covered the maintenance of approved landscaping details.

 

The Service Manager said that paragraphs 8.39 to 8.32 of the report addressed the sustainability of the building as he was aware that this was a concern of Members regarding school buildings.  He said that the fabric first approach had been adopted and this included high levels of efficiency and measures to control Carbon Dioxide emissions, in line with policies CC1 and CC2.  The matter of water supply was restricted by the various efficiency measures in the building as per the WAT4 policy.

 

Members were advised that condition 4 required the removal of existing and proposed temporary buildings on the site by the 21 December 2021, to reflect the expected period of construction.  This was on particular importance due to the location of the site within the Green Belt and it was important that openness was maintained.

 

The Service Manager concluded by stating that no additional parking was proposed as there would be no additional pupils or staff on the site.  Mr Robinson addressed the Committee in support of the application.

 

Councillor Buckmaster explained that, as the local ward Member, she had watched this school grow over a number of years and she would like this application to be approved.  She said that with the 600 extra homes due in Sawbridgeworth, this application would future proof the school.

 

Councillor Buckmaster said that this was a very good school and she referred to the temporary blocks on the site.  She mentioned the concerns of a resident of school lane and potential overlooking from classroom windows.  She asked whether the windows of the proposed development would be obscured as was the case with the temporary classroom blocks.

 

Councillor Crystall said that the proposed development ought to meet exemplar standards but  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

3/18/2764/OUT - Outline application for the erection of 14 residential units and 26 proposed car parking spaces (all matters reserved except access) at Hertfordshire County Council Depot, Station Road, Watton At Stone, SG14 3SH pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Recommended for Approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Planning and Building Control recommended that in respect of application 3/18/2764/OUT, planning permission be granted subject to the conditions detailed in the report now submitted.

 

The Principal Planning Officer, on behalf of the Head of Planning and Building Control, said that this was an outline application and therefore all matters were reserved aside from the access.  Members were reminded that the site was located close to the train station in Watton at Stone, which was a category 1 village.

 

The Committee was advised that this site was previously used by Hertfordshire County Council for the storage of maintenance vehicles and associated materials.  The Principal Planning Officer explained that main issues for Members to consider were access, the principle of the development and issues around the loss of employment.

 

Members were also advised that other matters to briefly consider including indicative design and neighbour amenity.  As Watton at Stone was a group 1 village, it was expected to provide housing for the District up until 2033.  As such, the application was policy compliant as the site lay within the boundary of the village.

 

The Principal Planning Officer said that as this was a sustainable brownfield site, it was policy compliant in respect of policy DPS2.  She said all other matters in policy VILL1 regarding the character or the village could not be considered on an outline application.

 

Members were advised that the applicant had indicated that the site was not suitable for storage due to poor road access and due to the likely impact on nearby residential occupiers.  She said that the loss of employment could not carry much weight as the traffic impact of an Office use did not make this an attractive office location.  Hertfordshire County Council was content with the access off Station Road and there were 34 spaces proposed, which was over and above what was required given the situation of the site and the 25% reduction that could be applied.

 

The Principal Planning explained that the indicative design was in keeping with a group 1 village and the application was policy compliant in terms of the potential housing delivery.  She summarised a number of issues regarding Hazeldell, Great Innings South and Great Innings North.

 

Members were advised that discussions had taken place between the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) regarding climate change, run off rates and the management of a private culvert via a planning condition.  Mr Aknai addressed the Committee in objection to the application.

 

Councillor Beckett spoke in relation to his concerns regarding a very narrow access to this site.  He asked for clarification that all access for construction traffic would be off Station Road.  Councillor Kemp asked whether anything could be done as to the points made by the public speaker regarding building height to the east side of the proposed development.  He referred to the sustainability of the site due to its proximity to the railway station.

 

Councillor Kemp said that there were narrow pavements in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.

81.

3/20/1075/HH - Insertion of window to flank elevation at 8 Cresset Close, Stanstead Abbotts, Ware pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Recommended for Approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Planning and Building Control recommended that in respect of application 3/20/1075/HH, planning permission be granted subject to the conditions detailed in the report now submitted.

 

Councillor Redfern proposed and Councillor Fernando seconded, a motion that application 3/20/1075/HH be granted subject to the conditions detailed in the report now submitted.

 

After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, this motion was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED that, in respect of application 3/20/1075/HH, planning permission be grantedsubject to the conditions set out at the end of the report.

82.

Items for Reporting and Noting pdf icon PDF 21 KB

(A)  Appeals against refusal of Planning Permission/ non?determination.

 

(B)  Planning Appeals Lodged.

 

(C)      Planning Appeals: Inquiry and Informal Hearing Dates.

 

(D)     Planning Statistics.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Jones commented on appeal decisions that had been allowed where applications had been refused by the Authority.

 

RESOLVED – that the following reports be noted:

 

(A)   Appeals against refusal of planning permission / non-determination;

 

(B)       Planning Appeals lodged;

 

(C)       Planning Appeals: Inquiry and Informal Hearing Dates

 

(D)      Planning Statistics.

 

At the invitation of the Chairman, the Head of Planning and Building Control said that she had some information to pass on to the Committee regarding virtual planning meetings.  She advised that the feedback she had received was that virtual meetings were working really well at a number of local authorities in London and the South East and also the East of England.

 

Members were advised that East Herts Council had adopted a very sound approach to conducting virtual meetings of the Development Management Committee and these meetings had been very successful to date.