Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Committee - Thursday, 15th July, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL (limited seating) and livestreamed via www.thurrock.gov.uk/webcast

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

Media

Items
No. Item

12.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 273 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 10 June 2021.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 10 June 2021 was approved as a true and correct record.

13.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

14.

Declaration of Interests

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Byrne declared that he was pre-determined on 20/01743/FUL, 20/01811/FUL and 21/00073/FUL. He stated that he would remove himself from participating on these items.

 

Councillor Piccolo declared that he had presented a speaker statement at the request of his residents on 20/01743/FUL when it had been considered at Planning Committee previously. He stated that he would keep an open mind and listen to the officer’s presentation and committee debate before making a decision.

 

Councillor Little declared that residents in her ward had contacted her about 21/00077/FUL and she had directed them to their other Ward Councillor, Barry Johnson as she would be sitting on this Planning Committee meeting.

15.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On behalf of the Committee, the Chair declared that correspondence had been received from Jennifer Wrayton on 20/01662/OUT and from Adam Beckford on 21/00073/FUL.

16.

Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee was satisfied with the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

17.

London Gateway Logistics Park Local Development Order pdf icon PDF 543 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair stated that he was employed by DP World and would remove himself from participating on this item. The Vice-Chair would chair this item in his place.

 

Matthew Gallagher presented the report.

 

There were no questions or comments from the Committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report was noted.

18.

20/01743/FUL Stanford Le Hope Railway Station, London Road, Stanford Le Hope, Essex, SS17 0JX pdf icon PDF 438 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by Lucy Mannion.

 

Councillor Little asked if the footbridge was for passengers or for the general public. She also sought clarification on the location of the bus stop and commented that there could be potential traffic queues if the bus was stopping on the road for pick up/drop off. Lucy Mannion answered the footbridge was for passengers. She said that the application was for the station building and that it did not include the bus facilities whereas the previous application had. She said that the daybreak site next to the station had room for buses to turn around.

 

Councillor Little pointed out that some Ensign buses were large so needed adequate room to turn. She was concerned that the application would be approved but without plans for a bus stop or a facility for buses to turn around. She also pointed out that the general public was currently able to access the footbridge. Julian Howes explained that buses would stop where they currently stopped now just east of the station and west of the station in a layby. There was a potential that the Daybreak Windows site would have a transport hub with a bus turn round facility. He went on to say that the current station layout did not have a turnaround facility and the proposal did not have one either so the Highways Team had no objection on this part. He explained that members of the public should not be able to access the footbridge and had not been able to in the past but there were times when the barriers were open and pedestrians were able to access the footbridge. The footbridge had always been the station side of the development and only train passengers were able to access the footbridge.

 

Speaker Statements were heard from:

·         Shane Hebb, Ward Councillor – in support.

·         Colin Black, Applicant’s Representative – in support.

 

Steve Taylor sought clarification on who owned the land. He also said that there was a missed opportunity in the proposals for a pedestrian footbridge. Lucy Mannion answered that Network Rail owned the land which was leased to c2c. Julian Howes added that installing a footbridge would involve a lot of logistics in another location.

 

Councillor Piccolo said that he was concerned over how long the project had taken to complete and felt it would take longer in the winter months to come. He commented that a bus layby was needed but that the Committee needed to consider the application that was before them on its own merits. He pointed out that some projects would come in separate applications due to the separate phases of each project. He said that it would not be fair to delay this application to wait for other applications that was related to this project. Councillor Polley said that Members comments needed to be considered to help shape the masterplan but agreed that it was the application before Committee that needed to be considered. Councillor Watson said that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

20/01662/OUT Greenwise Nurseries, Vange Park Road, Vange, SS16 5LA pdf icon PDF 558 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by Jonathan Keen.

 

There were no questions.

 

Speaker statements were heard from:

  • Russell Forde, Agent – in support.

 

The Chair noted that the previous application had proposed all custom build homes and that the current application now included affordable housing which was not considered appropriate development on Green Belt (GB). He asked if Basildon Council had commented on this application as well. Jonathan Keen explained that the affordable housing factor had been given some weight in balancing the harm to the GB. Along with other factors, it was not enough to clearly outweigh that harm to the GB so the application was recommended for refusal. He said that the previous application had been recommended for approval as it proposed custom build homes but the number of those proposed in the current application had dropped significantly.

 

The Committee commented that the proposed homes were too small and that the development would result in traffic issues with the increase of vehicles in the area. They felt that there would be overcrowding issues in the development and that the density of the development was not appealing. The Committee said that affordable housing did not always address housing need nor did it mean that it was affordable for people on the Council’s housing waiting list. The Committee commented that the original application had been attractive as it had offered people the opportunity to build their own homes.

 

The Vice-Chair proposed the officer’s recommendation to refuse planning permission and was seconded by Councillor Watson.

 

FOR: (8) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Steve Liddiard (Vice-Chair), Gary Byrne, Terry Piccolo, Georgette Polley, Lee Watson, Abbie Akinbohun and Susan Little.

 

AGAINST: (0)

 

ABSTAINED: (0)

20.

20/01811/FUL The Willows, Morley Hill, SLH, Essex, SS17 8HY pdf icon PDF 586 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by Nadia Houghton.

 

Councillor Little asked which part of the road would be hard surfaced by the Applicant. She questioned whether future occupants of the bungalows would be allowed to make adjustments on the roof and also where the waste bins would be placed on each property. Nadia Houghton answered that hard surfacing would take place on the road of Morley Hill that was in front of the application site. With regards to adjustments to the bungalow roofs, she said that there were strict restrictions in place preventing these under condition 14 on page 99 of the agenda. For the waste bins, she explained that each plot had its own designated area for waste bins which were either to the rear or side of the property.

 

Steve Taylor noted the access road at the end of Branksome Avenue and sought further clarification on the road widening proposal. He commented that there could be a potential ‘pinch point’ on the road as it was likely that bin lorries would have to reverse into the road to access those properties on Morley Hill. Nadia Houghton explained that the application site boundary was before the properties on Morley Hill and not at 98 Morley Hill which was the first property in front of the application site. She said that the road that was part of the application site would be widened to 4.8 metres. She explained that the Applicant’s submitted plans indicated that bin lorries would have enough room to turn out from that road as well.

 

Councillor Akinbohun questioned the number of car parking spaces allocated to each property. Nadia Houghton answered that there were two allocated to each property and two visitor spaces located at the top of the ‘T’ of the development so it was 18 spaces in total.

 

Referring to the road at the bottom of the ‘T’ on the application’s plan map, the Chair sought clarification on who owned that road. Nadia Houghton explained that the Land Registry had no title deed for who owned that road so it was not an adopted road. It could potentially have a private established right of way as there was a public footpath north of the road. She said that the Applicant had satisfied all planning procedures by searching into this strip of road and with its notification process.

 

Councillor Polley asked whether there would be policies in place to prevent internal adjustments to the properties. Nadia Houghton answered that this would fall within the remit of building controls and legislation. She highlighted that the proposal before the Committee was of a high quality design and materials. She said that permitted development rights were restricted to prevent additional extensions or alterations which would require a formal planning application to be submitted for these.

 

Speaker statements were heard from:

  • James Halden, Ward Councillor – in objection.
  • Adam Beckford, Agent – in support.

 

The Chair asked if the right processes had been carried out in regards to the amount  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

21/00073/FUL 53-55 Third Avenue, SLH, Essex pdf icon PDF 684 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by Nadia Houghton.

 

The Committee agreed to suspend standing orders at 8.22pm to allow the agenda to be completed.

 

Councillor Polley sought clarification on the difference between the current and previous application. Nadia Houghton answered that the current application now had an s106 attached and there was now no justifiable reason to refuse planning permission. She explained that there was no RAMs payment and the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) offered as part of an s106 on the previous application and the Planning Inspectorate had dismissed the appeal because of this reason. The Planning Inspectorate had not agreed with officers’ assessment of the proposed development to be a case of overdevelopment and had said that it was not harmful to character. However the s106 was needed to make the development acceptable.

 

Speaker statements were heard from:

  • James Halden, Ward Councillor – in objection.
  • Ian Coward, Agent – in support.

 

Councillor Little asked whether the contributions on the s106 could be increased. She felt that the amount contributed was minimal and that the community would not be able to benefit from this. She also said that the development would result in parking issues. Nadia Houghton explained that the s106 contributions were not for the developers and that these were for the RAMs implications that related to ecological mitigations from the impact of the development. The other contribution was the TRO to facilitate funding for parking restrictions along the access road and the immediate stretch of Third Avenue near the cul-de-sac. The development’s proposed parking spaces were compliant with the Council’s parking standards so the service would not ask for more than the 16 parking spaces proposed in the application.

 

The Chair felt that there was not enough parking spaces and that the roads were narrow. He questioned what the process was in regards to the Council’s draft parking standards and where this resulted in potential parking issues around the site’s area. Nadia Houghton answered that each site was considered on its own merits and that the current application had been considered before but had been refused on other reasons that did not include parking spaces. On appeal of the previous application, the Planning Inspectorate had agreed with the Highways Team that a TRO was needed but did not agree that there would be parking issues. She said that the site was 800 metres away from the nearest shops and that the station was 2km away. The parking standards had been met by the Applicant and the service could not reasonably see what else could be done with the parking spaces proposed. Julian Howes added that the draft parking standards may not change in the future as national government was encouraging people to use other modes of transport.

 

Councillor Watson commented that the proposed plans looked nice and questioned whether there was a demand for 4 bedroom properties. Councillor Polley noted that the oak trees on the site had Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and questioned whether the construction works  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

21/00077/FUL Land adjacent Fen Farm Judds Farm and part of Bulphan Fen, Harrow Lane, Bulphan, Essex pdf icon PDF 562 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by Lucy Mannion. Since the publication of the agenda, the following updates had been received:

  • A response from Highways England who had no objections to the application.
  • A response from Havering Council who had no objections in principle.
  • An additional objection from the owners of Fen Farm who had also submitted the same objection previously.

 

Steve Taylor sought clarification on the battery storage and how the solar energy stored would be discharged to the energy grid. Lucy Mannion answered that the power would be discharged directly to the grid and needed to be near a substation.

 

Councillor Little asked how many hectares were 18 arable fields. She also questioned how Thurrock would benefit from the proposal. Lucy Mannion answered that 18 arable fields was equal to 138 hectares. She explained that the proposal would bring clean energy and lower carbon emissions to Thurrock which was beneficial for Thurrock and the country. Matthew Gallagher pointed out that the proposal was for up to 49.9MW of clean energy and if this had been over the 50MW mark, the application would have gone directly to the Secretary of State for determination and Thurrock Council would have been a consultee in that only. He stated that planning policies did not require an Applicant who was promoting clean energy to justify the need for more energy and that as traditional thermal generation stations had gone out of commission there was a clear need for new clean sources of energy. There was a need to consider green energy which would be a nationwide benefit and not just a borough wide benefit. He said that a local benefit would be that the proposal would increase biodiversity on that site.

 

Councillor Little said that the Fens were special to the people of Thurrock and that everyone should have been consulted on the application. She agreed that energy was needed but pointed out that green spaces were also needed. She noted that there had been no objections in regards to archaeology but pointed out that Fen Farm was a historical bronze age farm. She stated that the geese on the site was not mentioned in the report either and that Bulphan was famous for these geese. Lucy Mannion explained that the archaeology advisor had looked at the information on the application and considered the application to be acceptable as long as any archaeology on the site was not affected. Referring to the ecological survey report in 6.89 of the report, Matthew Gallagher said that the site was not a designated nature conservation site and that arable fields and farmland tended to be relatively sterile sites with regard to ecological interest. The Applicant had undertaken habitat and species surveys which did not reveal much interest other than some in the hedgerows with nesting birds. He said that he understood the point about geese but there was no known link between the location of solar farms and incidences of bird strike. He referred to a previous case  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

21/00729/LBC - JD Wetherspoons PLC Old State Cinema George Street Grays Essex RM17 6LZ pdf icon PDF 286 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by Jonathan Keen.

 

Councillor Little sought clarification on the use of blackout blinds inside the property. The Chair said that he understood the need to preserve the building as highlighted by Heritage England but felt that the building would be a pub and lighting would be needed. Jonathan Keen explained that the building had limited building and by installing windows in the south western side of the building, it would change the original feel of the building. With the blackout blinds, it would potentially hold events that would use the blinds to bring back a ‘cinema feel’. There were conditions in relation to the blackout blinds that would look to maintain the original design of the building as much as possible.

 

The Committee said that they were supportive of the application as the original building design would be maintained. The Committee commented that the proposal was much needed for Grays and hoped it would help to bring in other businesses and investments into Grays.

 

The Vice-Chair proposed the officer’s recommendation to grant planning permission and was seconded by Councillor Polley.

 

FOR: (8) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Steve Liddiard (Vice-Chair), Gary Byrne, Terry Piccolo, Georgette Polley, Lee Watson, Abbie Akinbohun and Susan Little.

 

AGAINST: (0)

 

ABSTAINED: (0)

24.

21/00728/FUL - JD Wetherspoons PLC, Old State Cinema, George Street, Grays, Essex, RM17 6LZ pdf icon PDF 374 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by Jonathan Keen.

 

The Chair proposed the officer’s recommendation to grant planning permission and was seconded by the Vice-Chair.

 

FOR: (8) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Steve Liddiard (Vice-Chair), Gary Byrne, Terry Piccolo, Georgette Polley, Lee Watson, Abbie Akinbohun and Susan Little.

 

AGAINST: (0)

 

ABSTAINED: (0)

 

The Chair stated that the public meeting would now close at 10.30pm and go into exempt session for the remaining item as it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as specified in Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local

Government Act 1972

25.

Planning Appeal for Arisdale Avenue Planning Application 20/00827/FUL

Minutes:

This part of the meeting was held in exempt session as it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as specified in Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.