Agenda item

20/00957/FUL Barmoor House, Farm Road, Chadwell St Mary, Essex, RM16 3AH (deferred)

Minutes:

The report on pages 61 – 80 of the Agenda was presented by Nadia Houghton.

 

Members raised queries over the collection point for the bins as the photos in the Officer’s presentation showed bins in the proposed vehicular access road. Members questioned whether the refuse vehicles could reverse into that road and drive back out. Members mentioned that an email received by the Committee from the Applicant, John Gatrell, had suggested that the bins could be moved closer to the site’s entrance and asked if bins could be left at the entrance to the site.

 

Nadia Houghton explained that the bins that were currently on that road related to the new build bungalows and was serviced from Farm Road by a refuse vehicle. The proposed development was to the rear of that site and it was expected that refuse collection would be serviced entirely from its own site. She was unable to comment on John Gatrell’s email as Officers had not received this. She went on to say that there had been no other details received in regards to bin provision from any other location on the site. It was not ideal for refuse vehicles to collect bins from Farm Road as it could lead to further congestion on the road given the proposal could result in a total of  fourteen dwellings located on this short stretch of road that would cause congestion and potentially block off the access and the road. Julian Howes confirmed that the Highways Team had asked the Applicant to clarify if vehicles could get into the access road and be able to turn around to get out but had not received further details on this. If vehicles could do this, the Highways Team would find this acceptable as long as there was also appropriate visibility when vehicles exited the development as well.

 

Members commented that the issue of the refuse vehicles accessing that road could be resolved through s106 planning conditions if the application was approved and that the issue of the GB had to be considered. Members pointed out that some refuse vehicles stopped in the middle of the road to collect bins and Farm Road had little traffic and it would not be likely that all 14 cars would exit the site simultaneously. Steve Taylor mentioned that he had seen a refuse vehicle u-turn in the road and reverse down Farm Road before coming forward to pick up the bins.

 

Nadia Houghton clarified that she had referred to the 14 dwellings in her presentation earlier and not 14 cars. The concern was that the proposal had inadequate access that enabled servicing of the site and general access to the site. She went on to explain that the second reason for refusal was not in regards to bin access or storage, it was about the safety of the access in Farm Road which was a narrow road that was not wide enough for refuse vehicles to swing into. There were highway safety concerns despite the adept and creative driving undertaken by refuse vehicle drivers.

 

Councillor Sammons mentioned that photos had been received that showed the road had been widened. Nadia Houghton answered that no further details had been received from the Applicant and she referred Members to a recent photo of the road which showed that Farm Road had recently been resurfaced and showed a passing space or layby but was single width. Councillor Rice commented that this showed the road had been widened and thought that two cars could fit on the road.

 

Steve Taylor commented that the original development had proposed development at the front of the site to gain approval and had not included the rear of the site that was GB as a whole application which may or may not have been accepted. He thought the approach that the Applicant had taken was distasteful.

 

Councillor Lawrence did not think the site was an open GB site as it was enclosed so it was not a usable site. The proposal was for bungalows for over 55s which was needed and she had seen inside the proposed bungalows which were specific and laid out well for people who wanted to retire in a quiet area that was off-road. She thought this was an exceptional circumstance.

 

Councillor Rice pointed out that the Council did not have a five year housing supply; no 20% buffer; and failing on its yearly housing targets. He said that Members recognised the harm to the GB but also that elderly people had the right to live in custom built homes. There were accessible facilities close by on Defoe Parade so the site’s location was not remote. Thurrock also had an elderly population that was expected to increase and there had been no local objections.

 

Caroline Robins said that if Members were minded to approve the application, the balancing exercise had to be undertaken and Members must acknowledge the harm which Councillor Rice had mentioned. However, Members had to address both reasons for refusal which was that the harm was substantial to the GB and that the visibility display was insufficient.

 

The Chair proposed the Officer’s recommendation of refusal and was seconded by Councillor Byrne.

 

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

 

FOR: (3) Councillors Tom Kelly, Mike Fletcher and Gary Byrne.

 

AGAINST: (5) Councillors Angela Lawrence, David Potter, Gerard Rice, Sue Sammons and Sue Shinnick.

 

ABSTAINED: (0)

 

The Officer’s recommendation of refusalwas rejected.

 

Councillor Rice said that Members recognised the harm to the GB and proposed to approve the application for the following reasons:

 

1.    The Council did not have a five year housing supply/buffer/ failing housing targets;

2.The application would provide employment through the construction phase;

3.The location benefits from local amenities;

4.Lack of provision for older people's accommodation in the Borough;

5.The site is on a bus route.

 

Councillor Rice added that the second reason for refusal could be addressed by deferring the application so it would provide opportunity for the applicant to provide Officers with the requested information relating to the access arrangements, which would enable Officers to consider the acceptability of the access and / or the appropriateness of using a condition. 

 

Councillor Lawrence added that:

 

6. Exceptional build quality for older person accommodation

 

 

Leigh Nicholson referred Members to the Constitution Chapter 5, Part 3, section 7 and said that the reasons given were generic and it was unclear what weighting had been given to justify why the development should be approved on the GB. He highlighted that the Applicant had not put forward that the proposed bungalows would be for over 55s and the reasons Members had given did not constitute VSC. If Members were still minded to approve the application, a report would be brought back to Members as per procedures to highlight the implications of approving the application contrary to Officer’s recommendation of refusal. The Case Officer would also need to liaise with the Applicant in regards to the access arrangements as an s106 could not be used for this but a condition would be an appropriate mechanism.

 

Councillor Rice proposed the alternative motion and was seconded by Councillor Lawrence.

 

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

 

FOR: (5) Councillors Angela Lawrence, David Potter, Gerard Rice, Sue Sammons and Sue Shinnick.

 

AGAINST: (3) Councillors Tom Kelly, Mike Fletcher and Gary Byrne.

 

ABSTAINED: (0)

 

As Members were minded to approved the application, a report would be brought back to Members as per procedures to highlight the implications of approving the application contrary to Officer’s recommendation of refusal.

 

Supporting documents: