The report was presented by Nadia Houghton.
Speaker statements were heard from:
Councillor Fletcher sought clarification on whether the smithy was being replaced or restored. Nadia Houghton answered that the smithy would be completely replaced. She said that the footprint of the new smithy was similar to the existing smithy but would be taller in height overall. The materials would be similar but it would be a different structure.
The Chair asked if there had been similar developments in the area. Nadia Houghton answered that she was familiar with the former Pieris Place site that was now the Bonham Grange development. The site had been granted permission in 2015 despite being in the GB but had been identified in the former Development Plan as a potential future site for residential development. There had been a range of Very Special Circumstances (VSC) put forward that had outweighed the harm to the GB in that instance. The application had been consequently recommended for approval because of the VSC including the high quality design materials and the housing supply.
Councillor Polley asked if the smithy building was designated as a heritage asset and what its current use was. Nadia Houghton answered that the building was not listed so was not a heritage building and it was not used as a smithy. The smithy had been built in the 19th century and was currently used for agricultural storage according to the applicant’s plans.
Councillor Byrne sought further clarification on why this application was recommended for refusal when the other application had been recommended for approval and was also on the GB. Jonathan Keen explained that the Pieris Place site had been put forward as a potential housing site as part of the work that was being carried out on the Local Plan at that time. This had been highlighted in a Site Specific Allocations DPD document in 2015. The service had placed some weight on this and in combination with other factors, this tipped the balance over in favour of approval. Applications submitted in the same area and for the current application, could not rely on the same DPD document as those sites including the one in the current allocation had not been identified in that DPD document.
Steve Taylor pointed out that the site in the Pieris Place application had been surrounded by three roads. He said that the current application’s site was in an open piece of land that was part of the GB with no roads behind it. The Chair said that approving this application would set a precedence for similar future applications on the GB. Matthew Gallagher explained that the background of the Pieris Place application should not be given weight in this current application. He pointed out that the current application could not be compared against other similar live applications either as each application site was assessed on its merits. However, the Pieris Place site was surrounded by roads on all of its sides and was therefore a more contained and different site in comparison to the current application’s site. He highlighted the importance of GB openness and permanence on this current application in line with the National Planning Policy Framework.
Councillor Fletcher said that a proposed development on the GB needed to be done correctly and given infrastructure which this current application did not have. Councillor Piccolo raised concerns on the harm to the GB if this application was approved particularly where there were live applications on the GB in the area of the site.
Councillor Fletcher proposed the officer’s recommendation to refuse planning permission and was seconded by Councillor Watson.
FOR: (9) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Steve Liddiard (Vice-Chair), Abbie Akinbohun, Gary Byrne, Colin Churchman, Mike Fletcher, Terry Piccolo, Georgette Polley, Lee Watson.