|Minutes of a Meeting of the Planning Committee of Wrington Parish Council held in the Memorial Hall on Monday, 4th September, 2006
The Chairman opened the Meeting at 20.10 hours.
Declaration of Members Interests In relation to the Brook House applications- Cllr. Clements- lives adjacent to the site and Cllr. Bigg - “- who assisted the trustees at the outset in relation to communication with residents.
Public Participation As the meeting followed a public meeting to discuss the applications relating to Brook House there was no further public participation although 3 members of the public had stayed for the Council meeting.
The two applications relating to Brook House were the sole topic for discussion.
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 20.55 hours.
07 September 2006
Planning Applications 06/P/1983/F & 06/P/1984/CA
The Parish Council objects strongly to this revised application following the withdrawal of applications 06/P/1263/Ca & 06/P/1338/F.
Brownfield site or not?
Historical records show that the Brook House site is in two parts, the house and garden and an adjoining paddock. Putting aside the house and garden, the paddock, which is identified as plot 667 on the 1903 map submitted with the application and shown on earlier maps, is separate and has never been developed. In fact this paddock has been used for grazing by stock, including horses and more recently sheep, for as long as anyone can remember. It just happens that the paddock has become enclosed with the settlement boundary. However, this paddock is not a “garden” and is certainly not a “brownfield” site as it cannot be considered as previously developed land and it is separate from the domestic curtilage. The Council objects to development in the paddock as it does not conform with PPg3 Annex C and is non-conformant with policy H/1 (iv).
With 12 dwellings and Brook House plus garages, the scheme is still too intensive and not suited to the site’s Conservation Area setting in a wider rural location. Planning policy would allow for a smaller scheme, which could include retention of more of the trees and, possibly, some affordable housing.
It appears that standard design houses are proposed, with no serious account having been taken of the location and existing amenity value.
The house along the south and west boundaries are still far too close to the boundary and would have a negative impact on the existing neighbouring properties. The four similar houses fronting Silver Street are still too high, conflicting with and overlooking the bungalows opposite, irrespective of the fact that the dormers have been relocated. With small gardens and the probable high number of cars parked outside, there is little play area, suggesting that young persons would be forced out of the site to play.
Energy efficiency and water use could feature more strongly in the scheme in terms of sustainable development and building design.
The road system around the Village is near capacity and the plan does not give sufficient thought to safety issues particularly on Silver Street and the impact on neighbouring users and their access needs. The development will create more out-commuting, which doesn’t fit with NSC’s sustainable development policies.
The proposed moving of the wall will in theory straighten out Silver Street and enable traffic travelling along it the ability to, increase speed rather than slow it. The wall in its existing location and height provides a natural traffic calming measure.
Work on the access design should be put on hold until ATC surveys have been undertaken at both the proposed access point and opposite Rick yard Road with the survey results being discussed and reviewed with the Parish Council.
The scheme has insufficient space available for parking. With an allocation of 26 spaces, it is inevitable that cars will be parked in the road, which will create difficulties for service vehicles. Space for visiting cars is minimal, while parking on Silver Street is unacceptable, as would be parking in the Recreation Field- the latter’s gates are kept closed at various times.
The plan to narrow the existing road to 5 metres does not appear to have taken into account the needs of an adjoining farm. There is a need for HGV’s to access the farm and the width restriction will make this extremely difficult. It is acknowledged that the developers have taken on board the necessity for the access to Brook house to be through the development site.
This is the gateway to the village centre and being within the Conservation Area there is no merit in it being reduced in height or moved. Comments contained within the Parish Plan indicate strongly that Parishioners place importance on the natural stone walls as being a feature and distinctive characteristic of the Village. It is also perceived that by reducing the height and moving the wall in line with the proposed access to the site will in fact increase speed levels rather than reduce them. The reports submitted with the application show that the boundary point has not changed since 1738, with the existing stone wall believed to be untouched for hundred of years. The Council objects to any disturbance of this historical feature.
While acknowledging the reports submitted with the application, the fact is that Brook House has been known to flood regularly in the past and, less frequently, flood water has extended further into the site- the report suggests otherwise. The area is designated as a flood risk by the Environment Agency. Development of the site is certain to increase surface water run-off, even with some permeable surfaces, but the downstream drain is culverted and has limited capacity. Raising the floor height of any new houses is not the answer as this does nothing to address the wider flooding issues and just emphasises the already excessive height of the houses on plots 3, 4, 5 & 6.
Concerns continue over foul sewage and whether the existing system has the capacity to cope with additional housing as problems have been experienced in the past in inclement weather conditions.
The proposal allows for retention of only one of the 23 trees identified in the survey report. Any development on this site should make more imaginative use of its environment and amenity features, particularly the existing trees. The scheme unnecessarily removes trees and other habitat.
Site Road & Open Spaces.
Noting from the proposal that this is to be a private road we question who would be responsible for maintenance, including gullies, internal walls, any open spaces?
Any scheme will need to be sympathetic with the existing village scheme with white lights necessary. As the road is to be private who will it fall upon for maintenance etc. as the Parish Council may not be prepared to include in its existing lighting stock.
It is recognised that the developers have extended the internal footpath through the whole site but this still needs to be taken a stage further by linking up with the existing footpath in Silver Street. This would be achieved by a pedestrian parapet over the small bridge in Silver Street and should be included in the Section 106 agreement.
Section 106 - should the development be approved.
This should include the requirement for the extension of the footpath in Silver Street. The Parish Council would also wish to see a contribution to improving facilities within the Parish e.g. upgrading of the existing lighting stock.
Clerk to the Council