Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Committee - Thursday, 16th July, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: This meeting will be livestreamed and can be watched via https://www.youtube.com/user/thurrockcouncil

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

Items
No. Item

18.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 478 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 8 June 2020 and 25 June 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Rice noted on page 6, item 3, that the declaration of interest by the Chair in regards to Tony Coughlin had been inaccurately recorded under application 19/01662/FUL. The declaration of interest would be amended to accurately reflect the interest to be recorded under 19/01058/OUT for that meeting.

 

Councillor Rice queried the progress of application 19/01662/FUL which Leigh Nicholson explained that the resolution passed by Members was that the conditions and heads of term would be agreed with the Applicant and the Chair. The draft with the heads of terms and conditions had been received earlier that day and officers would be reviewing before discussing with the Chair.

 

The minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 8 June 2020 and 25 June 2020 were approved as a true and correct record subject to the amendments to be made.

19.

Item of Urgent Business

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.

 

The Chair informed the Committee that 19/01058/OUT had been deferred to a later date at the Applicant’s request.

20.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

21.

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 correspondence from:

 

         James Bompas, an agent in relation to 19/01394/FUL;

         Gary Coxall, an agent in relation to 19/01373/OUT; and

         A resident and Hilary Goodban, an agent in relation to 19/01058/OUT.

 

The Chair reminded the Committee of the upcoming Tremorgan site visit in which Members were to attend as the site visit had been voted for by Members on 19 March 2020.

22.

Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Minutes:

Referring to paragraph 4.3 of the report, the Chair asked how the decision would influence future applications for garage conversations.  Leigh Nicholson explained that all appeal decisions received are reviewed on a case by case basis and against existing policies. On this occasion, the Planning Inspectorate had taken a different view to the Council.

 

Referring to application 19/01184/FUL in paragraph 3.3 of the report, Councillor Rice declared an interest in that the property mentioned was adjacent to his property. He sought more details which Officers would provide in an email.

23.

19/01373/OUT Land Adjacent Wood View and Chadwell Road, Grays, Essex (deferred item) pdf icon PDF 457 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report which can be found on pages 43 – 90 of the Agenda was presented by Matthew Gallagher. The Officer’s recommendation was to refuse planning permission as outlined on page 59 of the Agenda.

 

Caroline Robins advised Members to be mindful that the decision they would make was lawful as an unlawful decision would not stand. An unlawful decision could also result in a section 5 report (under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989) from the Monitoring Officer or a judicial review which would be costly to the Council. Members also had to ensure that their decision would stand up to scrutiny and the decision made was supported by robust evidence. The legal implications of the decisions on pages 55 – 58 of the Agenda were highlighted.

 

(Following Chapter 5, Part 3, para. 13.5 of the Constitution, Councillor Churchman and Councillor Potter could not participate or vote on this item).

 

Councillor Rice referred to legal advice from Paul Shadarevian QC and said that Members were not bound to accept the officer’s recommendation and had the power to move away from this provided that Members acted rationally in their decision making. The Chair disagreed and said that it would be difficult to rationally overcome the issue of an acoustic barrier proposed for the site. He agreed that more homes were needed in the Borough but it would be irrational and irresponsible to allow homes to be built on the Green Belt which most Members aimed to protect on behalf of their constituents. The Chair referred back to 19/01662/FUL where Members had voted to approve development on the Green Belt and highlighted that application differed and that the application before the Committee (19/01373/OUT) was simply a housing development with no special type of design/

 

The Vice-Chair sought clarification on whether the Committee’s reasons for a decision to approve the application were not material considerations relevant to the consideration of whether very special circumstances existed or if it was a matter of a difference in opinion on the weight to be attached to of each the factors highlighted by the officer.

 

Matthew Gallagher explained that it was combination of both and went on to say that one of the reasons given for approval by the Committee included reference to the scheme as being ‘shovel-ready’. However, officer’s research indicated that the scheme would not be covered by that recent Government initiative so was immaterial as a benefit. The other factors had common features such as the lack of a 5 year housing supply along with the need for affordable housing and the  housing waiting list. Although, significant weight was afforded to the factor of a lack of a 5 year housing supply, recent appeal decisions had shown that this factor on its own was not enough to clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt.

 

Continuing on, Matthew Gallagher explained that the Committee had ascribed limited harm to the purposes of the Green Belt,  but officer’s view was that it could  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

19/01058/OUT Land part of Little Thurrock Marshes, Thurrock Park Way, Tilbury (deferred item) pdf icon PDF 253 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item was withdrawn from the Agenda and deferred to a later date at the Applicant’s request.

25.

19/01394/FUL Little Malgraves Farm, Lower Dunton Road, Bulphan, Essex, RM14 3TD pdf icon PDF 992 KB

Minutes:

The report was presented by Chris Purvis which can be found on pages 155 – 222 of the Agenda. Officer’s recommendation was to approve subject to conditions as outlined on pages 201 – 219 of the Agenda.

 

Councillor Rice questioned the progress of the hospice on the site. Chris Purvis confirmed that the hospice was on track with building works recently commencing again following the recent easing of lockdown restrictions.

 

The Agent, James Bompas’ statement of support was read out by Democratic Services.

 

Councillor Rice proposed officer’s recommendation A and was seconded by the Chair.

 

FOR: (9) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Mike Fletcher (Vice-Chair), Gary Byrne, Colin Churchman, Dave Potter, Gerard Rice, Angela Lawrence, Sue Shinnick and Sue Sammons.

 

AGAINST: (0)

 

ABSTAINED: (0)

 

Councillor Rice proposed officer’s recommendation B and was seconded by the Chair.

 

FOR: (9) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Mike Fletcher (Vice-Chair), Gary Byrne, Colin Churchman, Dave Potter, Gerard Rice, Angela Lawrence, Sue Shinnick and Sue Sammons.

 

AGAINST: (0)

 

ABSTAINED: (0)

 

19/01394/FUL was approved subject to conditions.

26.

19/01739/CV Unit E2, Stanhope Industrial Park, Wharf Road, SLH, Essex SS17 0EH pdf icon PDF 272 KB

Minutes:

 

The report was presented by Chris Purvis which can be found on pages 223 – 230. Officer’s recommendation was to refuse planning permission as outlined on pages 228 – 229 of the Agenda.

 

Councillor Byrne questioned whether HGV drivers had riparian rights over residents on Wharf Road. He went on to say that the name of the road was termed to mean a road that provided access to the wharf so the road was a right of access for HGV drivers. Councillor Byrne also noted that the site was owned by the developers, Mersea Homes, who would lose contracts if they did not follow the time restrictions in place and result in job losses. He questioned if riparian rights were outdated as other legislations were in place such as the Road Traffic Act 1984. Matthew Ford explained that the classification of Wharf Road was an adopted highway of Thurrock Council and was the responsibility of the Council to maintain the road. Operators had the right to access the development site as it was the only access route into the site and as it was an adopted highway which the public also had the right to pass on Wharf Road. There was no particular group that had more right than another to access Wharf Road. He went on to say that the Highways Act 1980 and Road Traffic Act 1984 would have superseded previous legislations.

 

The Chair questioned if there was a difference between road access and access times as the application requested an extension of operation times. Chris Purvis explained that the planning application was to vary a planning condition  to allow for works on the site to start at 6am instead of the current time of 7am and the main issue with the application was the consideration over earlier traffic movements along Wharf Road where there were houses and therefore there is a consideration  to protect residential amenity for local residents living in that road which was why the application was recommended for refusal.

 

Councillor Byrne raised the issue of riparian rights again and pointed out that the wharf was on the site before residents had moved into the area. He raised concerns on the jobs of those who worked on the site. Chris Purvis explained that the application sought to vary the hours for 5 HGV movements to start from 6am instead of 7am so it was not clear how this would cause job losses from a refusal of the application. He reiterated the point on residential amenity.

 

The Vice-Chair questioned if the extra hour would result in more HGV movements along Wharf Road. Chris Purvis reiterated the application details for 5 HGV movements between 6am to 7am and the point on residential amenity.

 

Referring back to riparian rights, Matthew Ford said that riparian rights were access rights for the maintenance of water courses but not access right to the water course. He gave an example where a roadside ditch owned by a farm would have riparian rights  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

20/00251/FUL 32 Lancaster Road, Chafford Hundred, Grays, Essex, RM16 6BB pdf icon PDF 283 KB

Minutes:

The report was presented by Tom Scriven which can be found on pages 231 – 240 of the Agenda. Officer’s recommendation was to refuse planning permission as outlined on page 238 of the Agenda.

 

The Vice-Chair sought more detail on the uniformity of the appearance of the homes along Lancaster Road. Tom Scriven answered that the uniformity of the appearance of homes was not the issue, the refusal was in regards to a development flaw that would lead to a cramped form of development that was a siting issue as it would not be in character with the streetscene.

 

The Vice-Chair referred back to an earlier application on Meesons Lane, Grays and commented that application had been recommended for approval and that amenity space had not been issue. However, with the current application before the Committee, the amenity space was an issue and questioned why this was the case. He also noted that there were no objections mentioned within the officer’s report. Tom Scriven explained that each application had to be assessed on its merits and that the Meesons Lane, Grays application had proposals for multiple dwellings whereas the current application before the Committee was for one dwelling which considered the amenity space for future occupants and that it would be out of character in the appearance of the area. He went on to say that there were no neighbour objections to the application but that the application had to be assessed against planning policies and where there could be potential future objections from future occupants.

 

The Agent, Matthew Wood’s statement of support was read out by Democratic Services.

 

The Committee discussed whether the proposed dwelling could be moved to allow for a larger amenity space but the Applicant had amended the first proposal that had been refused by officers and the application before the Committee was the amended proposal. The Vice-Chair mentioned that he had been approached by the Applicant about the application and had asked officers and the Applicant to discuss the application but had no personal interest in the application.

 

The Vice-Chair commented that development in Chafford Hundred should be considered carefully but felt that the officer’s reason for refusal was a matter of opinion in terms of amenity space. He felt the reason was based on assumption and evidence based as future buyers may have a different opinion on amenity space. The Chair said that if there was a potential for development on the site, this would be better undertaken under a pre-application.

 

The Vice-Chair proposed a site visit which was seconded by Councillor Rice.

 

FOR: (6) Councillors Mike Fletcher (Vice-Chair), Gary Byrne, Gerard Rice, Angela Lawrence, Sue Shinnick and Sue Sammons.

 

AGAINST: (3) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Colin Churchman and Dave Potter.

 

ABSTAINED: (0)

 

20/00251/FUL was deferred for a site visit.

 

28.

20/00593/TBC Former Whiteacre, Daiglen Drive, South Ockendon, Essex pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Minutes:

The report was presented by Tom Scriven which can be found on pages 241 – 248 of the Agenda. Officer’s recommendation was to approve subject to conditions as outlined on page 245 of the Agenda.

 

Councillor Lawrence commented that the site had been vacant for 14 years and that hoarding would be in place for another 3 years. She felt the site would be suitable for the development of bungalow homes that was needed in the area.

 

Councillor Rice proposed the officer’s recommendation which was seconded by the Chair.

 

FOR: (9) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Mike Fletcher (Vice-Chair), Gary Byrne, Colin Churchman, Dave Potter, Gerard Rice, Angela Lawrence, Sue Shinnick and Sue Sammons.

 

AGAINST: (0)

 

ABSTAINED: (0)

 

20/00593/TBC was approved subject to conditions.