Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee
Thursday, 6th June, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Wendy Le, Democratic Services Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 25 April 2019.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee held on 25 April 2019 were approved as a true and correct record.

2.

Item of Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

 

However, given the number of items on the agenda that often came to Planning Committee, the Chair proposed a start time of 18.00 for future meetings. The Committee agreed to the start time of 18.00 for this municipal year.

3.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

On planning applications 18/01830/OUT and 19/00247/FUL, Councillor Little declared that she was the Ward Councillor of Orsett and that these applications were within her ward.

4.

Declarations of receipt of correspondence and/or any meetings/discussions held relevant to determination of any planning application or enforcement action to be resolved at this meeting

Minutes:

On behalf of the Committee, the Chair declared there had been emails sent to the Committee regarding planning application 19/00265/FUL.

 

Councillor Rice declared he had received emails regarding planning application 18/01830/OUT.

5.

Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Minutes:

The report was presented by the Interim Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection, Leigh Nicholson which outlined the planning appeals performance.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

6.

2018/19 Planning Performance Report pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Minutes:

The report was presented by Leigh Nicholson and provided an overview of the service’s performance in the past year which had been a fantastic achievement. He drew the Committee’s attention to page 30 which explained what happened beyond the consent of decisions undertaken.

 

Councillor Little gave praise to the Planning department, commenting how well the service had been doing and was pleased to see that there were no more cuts across the service.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

 

7.

19/00267/FUL Silver Springs, High Road, Fobbing, SS17 9HN (DEFERRED) pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The application was presented by the Principal Planner, Tom Scriven, who informed the Committee that there had been 1 update since the application had been last presented at Committee on 25 April 2019. This was a further letter received in objection and was already assessed within the report. The Officer’s recommendation of the application remained for refusal for the reasons outlined on page 53 of the agenda:

 

·         That the scale of the proposed development would result in inappropriate development in the Green Belt which was by definition harmful. In addition, the development would cause loss of openness due to the siting and substantial increase in the scale of the buildings proposed on the site. The circumstances put forward by the Applicant did not constitute very special circumstances to justify inappropriate development in the Green Belt. The proposal was therefore contrary to Policy PMD6 of the adopted Thurrock Local Development Framework Core Strategy and Policies for the Management of Development (as amended 2015) and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

 

The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for questions.

 

(Councillors Mike Fletcher and Gary Byrne were unable to participate on this application as they had not been present when the item was first presented on 25 April 2019.)

 

Councillor Little queried the number of bedrooms in the proposed dwellings. Looking at the floor plans, the Principal Planner said each proposed dwelling consisted of 5 bedrooms.

 

Referring to paragraph 6.28 on page 39, Councillor Little did not think there was a need for anymore large houses. The proposed homes were not affordable and were not for social housing. In response, the Principal Planner said there was no identified need for large houses but it was not to say that there was no demand for these. Councillor Little went on to say that the current need was for smaller houses to which the Principal Planner confirmed was correct.

 

With no further questions, the Chair moved the item onto the debate which he started off by stating that the adjacent development known as Thames View Farm had undergone the correct procedure for development that had been through the site allocation process via the Local Plan. The Chair went on to mention the site visit that had taken place on 4 June 2019 and that the site of Silver Springs was just a back garden and should go through the same site allocation process. The Officer’s recommendation for refusal was clear and concise which should be followed and the Chair would be voting with Officer’s recommendation for refusal. He felt that if the application was approved, it would set a dangerous precedent for similar applications in the future.

 

Referring to the site visit, Councillor Rice commented on the spaciousness of the area. Mentioning paragraph 145(e) of the NPPF, he went on to say that the Committee could depart from an Officer’s recommendation. The reasons that could be used for departing from Officer’s recommendation would be:

 

8.

19/00379/FUL Montrose, 168 Branksome Avenue, Stanford le Hope, SS17 8DE pdf icon PDF 450 KB

Minutes:

Presented by the Principal Planner, Tom Scriven, the application sought planning permission to demolish the bungalow at no. 168 Branksome Avenue. In its place, the construction of a cul-de-sac of five detached dwellings was proposed which would be 4 x four bedroom and 1 x three bedroom properties.

 

The report outlined an earlier application (18/00316/FUL) that had been brought to Planning Committee in June 2018 which had been refused. Since the report, there had been a letter in support and a letter in objection to the application which was already covered in the Officer’s report. The letter in support outlined the contribution the proposal would make towards housing need and the relevance of Annexe A9. However, it was not enough to outweigh the harm the proposed development would cause to the character of the area and that Annexe A9 was still relevant to the determination of the application.

 

Officer’s recommendation was for refusal for the reason outlined on page 66 of the agenda:

 

·         That the proposed development would undermine the open character of the area, contrary to policies PMD2, CSTP22 and CSTP23 of the Core Strategy and guidance in the NPPF.

 

The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for questions in which there was none asked. The Chair invited the registered speakers to address the Committee.

 

Ward Councillor, Councillor Halden presented his statement in objection to the application.

 

Ian Coward, Agent representative of the Applicant, presented his statement in support of the application.

 

The Chair moved the item onto debate and started it off by saying that the Homesteads ward was protected by policy and referred to one of the first planning applications within that ward concerning Foxfield Drive that had been refused planning permission. He went on to state that the Homesteads ward would continue to be protected from developments that would harm the character of the area.

 

Councillor Little commented that the site plans and layout proposals looked appealing but it would result in too many houses on the site and cause over development. She confirmed that she would not be supporting the application.

 

The Chair proposed the Officer’s recommendation which was seconded by Councillor Little and the Committee moved on to the vote.

 

For: (8) Councillors Gary Byrne, Mike Fletcher, Tom Kelly, Angela Lawrence, Susan Little, David Potter, Sue Sammons and Sue Shinnick.

 

Against: (0)

 

Abstained: (1) Councillor Gerard Rice

 

Application 19/00379/FUL was refused planning permission.

9.

19/00269/FUL 53-55 Third Avenue, Stanford le Hope, Essex pdf icon PDF 362 KB

Minutes:

The application was presented by the Principal Planner, Tom Scriven, which sought planning permission for nine detached dwellings with an associated access road, hardstanding, landscaping and bike stores, following the demolition of the two existing detached bungalows. This scheme was amended from the withdrawal of a previous application (18/01228/FUL) which originally proposed ten detached dwellings. There had been a further letter of objection which had already been considered within the report. Officer’s recommendation was for refusal for the reason stated on page 82 of the agenda:

 

·         That the proposal was considered an overdevelopment in the Homesteads Ward which was an area with spacious gardens that was considered a valuable character trait, therefore conflicted with the aims and intentions of policies CSTP22, CSTP23 and PMD2 of the Core Strategy 2015.

 

The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for questions to which there were none asked. The Chair invited the registered speakers to address the Committee.

 

Ward Councillor, Councillor Halden, presented his statement in objection to the application.

 

Lewis Cook, Agent representative for the Applicant, presented his statement in support of the application.

 

The Chair moved the item onto debate which he started off by noting that the application was similar to the previous one heard – 19/00379/FUL. He went on to reiterate that the Homesteads ward was protected by policy.

 

Referring to page 75 of the agenda, Councillor Rice noted that policy H11 was in the Local Plan of 1997 and was not saved. He queried whether this policy would be stricken out and no longer applicable. Leigh Nicholson explained that the H11 policy was not saved but annex 9 was saved and linked to CSTP23. He highlighted the importance of annex 9 which set out the character and landscape of the Homesteads ward.

 

Councillor Lawrence stated that building one less housing development made no difference and agreed with the Officer’s recommendation for refusal.

 

The Officer’s recommendation for refusal was proposed by the Chair and seconded by Councillor Byrne. The Committee moved onto the vote.

 

For: (9) Councillors Gary Byrne, Mike Fletcher, Tom Kelly, Angela Lawrence, Susan Little, David Potter, Gerard Rice, Sue Sammons and Sue Shinnick.

 

Against: (0)

 

Abstained: (0)

 

Planning application 19/00269/FUL was refused planning permission.

10.

18/01830/OUT Land Adj Bulphan By-Pass and Church Road, Bulphan, Essex pdf icon PDF 543 KB

Minutes:

Presented by the Principal Planner, Matthew Gallagher, the application had one update which was a consultation response from Education regarding the two catchment schools (William Edwards Secondary School and Bulphan Primary School) in the site area. The response was that the schools were full so had no available school placements and would be under pressure for placements. If the application was to be approved, a financial contribution would be required for nursery, primary and secondary school places.

 

The application sought planning permission with all matters reserved (apart from access) for development that would comprise of 116 residential units with associated amenity space and parking, three retail units, public house, strategic landscaping and a noise attenuation buffer. From Church Road in between numbers 4 and 5 Manor Cottages, a single access road into the development was proposed. The indicative masterplan suggested a layout incorporating detached, semi-detached and short terraces of dwellings that were two-storey or two-storey with roof space accommodation.

 

The Applicant had put forward a case of very special circumstances that relied on the following factors:

 

  1. That the proposed development would contribute towards the Council’s 5 year housing land supply. Significant weight could be attributed to this factor but on its own, this factor would not clearly outweigh harm to the Green Belt;
  2. That the proposed development was offering 40% affordable housing on-site. The Council’s Core Strategy policy required a minimum of 35% for housing provision. Due to the current under-supply of housing, significant weight could be attributed to this factor;
  3. That the proposed dwellings would be built to a high sustainability standard. As this was not evidenced and was also partly addressed by policy, no weight should be given to this factor;
  4. That the proposed development would provide an increase in ecological value. The site had little existing value and it was queried what measures could be genuine gain or simply mitigation. This factor attracted very limited weight;
  5. That the proposals would provide community facilities to Bulphan but no weight was afforded as there was no demand in Bulphan for facilities; and
  6. That Bulphan village had been identified in IO2 as a potential expansion site but no weight could be afforded to this because IO2 was still in the early stages.

 

Therefore, the application conflicted with the NPPF and the Development Plan Policy. Officer’s recommendation was for refusal for the three reasons outlined on page 109 of the agenda:

 

1.    That the proposals were considered to be inappropriate development with reference to policy and therefore cause harm to the Green Belt and its openness.

2.    That the proposal, due to its remote location, would fail to meet the environmental dimension of sustainable development.

3.    That the indicative masterplan suggested a significant effect on the character of the landscape.

 

The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for questions.

 

Regarding housing provision, Councillor Rice queried whether the Council would have nomination rights to the affordable homes if the application was granted planning permission. The Principal Planner answered that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

19/00265/FUL Ivy Wall House, Billet Lane, Stanford le Hope, Essex, SS17 0AR pdf icon PDF 487 KB

Minutes:

Presented by the Principal Planner, Matthew Gallagher, the application had received 2 updates since publication of the agenda which were:

 

  • An email from the Applicant that now proposed 7 affordable dwellings which met the minimum level of affordable housing provision required as outlined by the Council’s planning policy. This now removed reason number 4 from the recommended reasons for refusal within the report.

 

  • A late consultation response from the Flood Risk Manager stating there were no objections which now removed reason number 3 from the recommended reasons for refusal within the report.

 

The application sought planning permission for the demolition of all existing buildings on site. The proposed development in its place was short rows of terrace style houses and a single apartment block of 19 residential units consisting of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom units along with associated development. Each dwelling would have either private off street parking or garages and parking.

 

The Applicant had put forward a case for very special circumstances to justify the inappropriate development as follows:

 

  1. That Thurrock’s Local Plan was not updated from 1997 but no weight had been afforded to this as Thurrock’s Core Strategy was last updated in 2015;
  2. That the proposed development would contribute towards the Council’s housing land supply. Significant weight should be attached to this;
  3. That the scheme met the 3 dimensions of sustainable development within the NPPF. However, the scheme failed the environmental aspects and attracted only limited weight;
  4. That the site was previously developed land but no weight could be given to this factor;
  5. That the harm to the Green Belt was limited but Officers considered that there was definitional harm, harm to openness and harm to Green Belt purposes. No weight should be afforded to this factor;
  6. That the NPPF presumption was in favour of sustainable development but as set out in the report, the ‘tilted balance’ did not engage in the Green Belt so weight could be attributed to this factor; and
  7. That the scheme would now meet the minimum provision of affordable housing so significant weight should be given to this factor.

 

There were initially 4 reasons given for the Officer’s recommendation for refusal stated on page 134 but as mentioned, reasons 3 and 4 were no longer relevant. The reasons now for refusal were:

           

  1. That the application for the site was located within the Green Belt and the proposals were considered inappropriate development on the Green Belt in line with policy so would cause harm to it.
  2. That the proposed development would result in a cramped layout with little consideration to landscaping which would be visually intrusive and fail to contribute positively to the character of the area.

 

The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for questions.

 

Referring to the photographs shown in the presentation, Steve Taylor noted an area on the site that was identified as a car park and asked how the area was accessed. The Principal Planner answered that the car park was not within the boundary of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

19/00247/FUL Judds Farm, Harrow Lane, Bulphan, Essex, RM14 3RE pdf icon PDF 498 KB

Minutes:

This planning application was withdrawn from the agenda and deferred to a later Committee meeting.

 

13.

19/00499/ELEC Tilbury Green Power, Tilbury Freeport, Tilbury, RM18 7NU pdf icon PDF 743 KB

Minutes:

Presented by the Principal Planner, Matthew Gallagher, the application sought the agreement of the Planning Committee on the contents of paragraphs 6.30 to 6.40 which would form the consultation response of the planning authority to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Principal Planner referred to late consultation responses to the Secretary of State from Highways England, Natural England and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

 

The application sought to amend a s36 Electricity Act consent and associated deemed planning permission to increase Tilbury Green Power’s electrical power by 20 megawatts which would take them up to 80 megawatts and to vary a number of planning conditions referring to phase 2 of the development. The majority of proposed changes to conditions were not considered controversial. 

 

The Principal Planner pointed out condition number 11 which addressed the design and layout of the power station may impact on the nearby receptors – residents and businesses. Attention was also drawn to the proposed amendments to condition numbers 55 and 56 and it was recommended that comments and queries were raised on these items. Thurrock Council was a consultee in the application and the decision was for the Secretary of State to make. The Committee was recommended to agree on the proposed consultation response at paragraphs 6.3 – 6.40 of the agenda.

 

The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for questions.

 

Councillor Little questioned whether the proposal would affect the volume of traffic on the A1089. As the Applicant was requesting flexibility to potentially allow all feedstock to be delivered by road, the Principal Planner said this would result in an increase in HGV movements. Councillor Little went on to express her concerns on the amount of food waste that regularly occurred on the A1089 which attracted a lot of pests. The Principal Planner replied that there were some existing controls in place that checked the contents of vehicles and to ensure the appropriate sheeting was installed within vehicles on-site but this did not extend to the road network. There would be an increase in HGV movements but as the A1089 was part of the strategic road network, it was for Highways England (HE) to make this case in their consultation response to the Government department. If HE and Thurrock Council were to maintain objections to the application, it could result in a public enquiry.

 

With sheeting requirements in vehicles, Councillor Little asked if this was ‘policed’ and also asked if the Committee could request that controls were also put in place to ensure waste was not spilled. The Principal Planner explained that it was not within the planning authority’s right to suggest new planning conditions and could only comment on the proposed amendments contained within the report. However, there was already an existing condition on pest/vermin controls and planning conditions would not cover what may or may not happen on vehicles on route to the site.

 

The Vice-Chair mentioned that there had been past concerns over dust particles in Tilbury and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.