The report was presented by the Major Applications Manager.
The Chair of the Committee enquired if the application would be considered acceptable, if it wasn’t located within the Greenbelt. He further commented if the area wasn't restricted by the conservation area and the fact that it breaches into the green belt, as to whether it could be down to judgement. The Major Applications Manager advised that Members would be need show that the harm to the Greenbelt was clearly outweighed.
Members enquired as to what proportion of the new build would be sitting in Greenbelt and what would be in the Conservation Area? The Major Applications Manager commented with regards to the conservation area, it became a factor for officers to consider if the building or the extended replacement building was visible in the context of existing buildings in the conservation area. The Committee were advised that developments within a conservation area must either preserve or enhance the location and the advice by officers was this application did neither preserve nor enhance partly due to its size.
Councillor Watson observed that planning permission must have previously been granted due to development on the site. The major applications manager advised 2/3 of the house was deemed to be on Greenbelt land with one third being conservation area. Referring to the report he advised Members that previous planning permission had been granted in 1983 and the site land had been designated as a conservation area in 1975.
The committee enquired as to the usage of the footpath and commented that it would possibly be used more so during the summer months and whether officers believed it was a regularly used foot path, it was advised members that the footpath linked to Horndon on the Hill and confirmed it was a recreational footpath. It was confirmed by the major applications manager that the site was visible from the footpath and as it was located on Greenbelt land there would need to be a very special circumstance for approval given the proposal constituted inappropriate development .
Following a question from Members the Interim Strategic Lead for Development Services advised Members that a recent development within Orsett was located within a residential area and therefore did not follow the same tests as the application in front of Members.
The Chair addressed the committee advising he had received a late submission from the agent in relation to the application and on the basis of there being no active letters of objection he had decided to accept the speaker’s statement.
· Statement of Support: Councillor Johnson, Ward Member
· Statement of Support: Mr S Burke, Agent
During the debate it was suggested that Members visit the site to be able to see first-hand the harm which would be caused on the Greenbelt should the application be agreed, to be able to better understand the technicalities.
Councillor Piccolo proposed that a site visit be held and was seconded by Councillor Carter.
For: (7) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Paul Arnold, Adam Carter, Terry Piccolo, Sue Shinnick, James Thandi and Lee Watson