Jonathan Keen, Principal Planner, advised that the planning application sought planning permission for the use of the land for gypsy traveller families. The proposal was for 5 mobile homes, 5 touring caravans and day rooms with associated parking and fencing within the site. At present, there were 2 mobile homes on site with one occupied by the applicant and their family.
The application was recommended for refusal due to the proposal representing inappropriate development in the Green Belt. The Agent’s statement of support for the application had been received and the issue of the medical condition of one of the children had been considered but it was not enough to constitute very special circumstances. The medical letter received regarding the child’s medical condition from the Agent in addition to the statement of support had also been in draft format and unsigned, so limited weight could not be afforded to it.
The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for questions. He went on to ask if the personal consent attached to the appeal on application 13/00574/FUL (as indicated in the current application) had ceased, when the previous named occupiers had left the site in mid-2018. The Principal Planner confirmed that the personal consent had ceased when the previous occupant had left the site in mid-2018.
The Chair asked if the Temporary Stop Notice (TSN) that had been served, had been given to the applicant. The Principal Planner answered that the TSN had been placed on a post at the entrance to the site which would have been obvious and the current occupiers had breached the notice already. The Chair went on to ask if the applicant had raised any issues regarding the site history or whether they were aware of the site history and that it was on the Green Belt. The Principal Planner confirmed the applicant had been aware of the site’s history and that the site was on the Green Belt.
Regarding the medical letter relating to applicant’s child, Councillor Hamilton asked whether it was dated. The Principal Planner replied that the letter was dated November 2018 and contained private medical details that could not be shared with the Committee. Councillor Hamilton went on to ask if there was a residential area to the north of the site and whether it would be possible for encroachment further up and past the houses. In response, the Principal Planner said that the boundaries of the site was defined as shown by the red lines in the map and that the applicant did not own any further land past the houses. It would not be possible to encroach into another person’s owned land for development works.
Regarding the Green Belt and openness of the site, the Chair thought that a huge volume of work had already been undertaken judging from the photos shown. He asked the case officer for more details. The Principal Planner answered that there was more hard core surfacing on the site than there had been previously so it did look like some work had been undertaken. The hard core had not been there prior to the TSN.
Councillor Churchman sought clarification on whether there had been a condition in previous applications where the replanting of trees had been required. The Principal Planner gave clarification that this had been a condition in the previous application but no trees had been replanted.
With no more questions from the Committee, the Chair invited the registered speakers to present their statements.
The Ward Councillor, Councillor Gledhill, presented his statement in objection to the planning application.
The Resident was not available to present their statement and the Chair gave the Committee a minute to read the Resident’s statement which was in objection to the planning application.
As the Agent was not available to present their statement in support of the planning application, the Chair permitted the Applicant, Mr John ‘O Connor, to present his statement in support of the planning application.
The Chair asked if the Committee had further questions following the given statements. Councillor Hamilton commented that the applicant had been under the impression that permission had been granted and the applicant’s solicitors should have clarified this Green Belt site would most likely have had no permission given. The Chair answered that Councillor Hamilton’s comment would be picked up within the debate of the item and went on to say that clarification was the responsibility of the solicitors.
The Chair asked the case officer about the communication methods that had taken place with the applicant. The Principal Planner replied that he had met with the applicant a few weeks prior to the Planning Committee meeting tonight and had been shown around the site and had met the applicant’s daughter.
The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for debate and felt that there were no very special circumstances that would allow for development on the site.
With no further comments from the Committee, the Chair proposed the Officer’s recommendation and it was seconded by the Vice-Chair. The Chair moved on to voting of refusal of the application based on Officer’s recommendations.
For: (9) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Steve Liddiard (Vice-Chair), Colin Churchman, Graham Hamilton, Angela Lawrence, David Potter, Gerard Rice, Sue Sammons and Sue Shinnick.
Application 18/01802/FUL - Beauchamp Place, Malvern Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 5TH was refused.