1. Apologies for absence
2. Declarations of Interest
Cllr Glynn declared an interest with regard to access to West Hay Road from Gatcombe Farm, in view of the presentation to be made by CMS Bath Ltd.
3. Public Participation
a. Wrington Tennis Club proposal to install new lighting system
The meeting was addressed by Peter Owen and Guy Winterbourne from Wrington Tennis Club. Mr Owen explained that the existing lighting system had been in place for fourteen years, and the members would like to install a more modern system using up to date technology which would give better light on the courts. Diagrams and illustrations of the proposed system were viewed by members and by the residents attending. Mr Owen said that the tennis club is sensitive to the views of residents who may be affected by the new lights, however these would give a more concentrated and directed light, and would in theory cause less ‘spillage’ of light into the surrounding area. There would be the same number of columns as with the existing system, and they would be the same height (6.7m), except that two of the columns would have two lights each, making a total of twelve lights. Cllr Dunn Morua asked about the possibility of using tokens to put on the lights when required. Mr Owen felt there would be problems if there was money on site. Cllr Ledbury asked whether there was a definitive technical answer to the question of the amount of light spillage. Mr Winterbourne explained about the lux reading and that at sixteen feet from the lights the amount of light would only be 2.5 lux. He stated that if the lights caused any problem to residents, then baffles could be fitted to shade the lights. Cllr Glynn asked whether it would be possible to reduce the hours of use of the lights, but it was felt that it would restrict the ability of the tennis club to complete matches if they could not continue until 10.00 pm. Cllr Glynn also mentioned the problems with use of the ball machine which caused a noise problem to neighbouring residents. Mr Owen accepted that this was an issue, and at the next meeting of the tennis club it would be stipulated that the machine could not be used for more than 30 minutes at a time. Cllr Gallop asked whether the current height of the lighting columns is the optimum height, and Mr Winterbourne said that a height of 8m would be better. The residents attending commented that the existing lights do shine into the bedrooms of their property and this causes them a problem.
There being no further questions, the Chairman thanked the tennis club members and the residents for attending, and explained that the issue would now be discussed further at the full Parish Council meeting on 19th December.
b. CMS Bath Ltd
The meeting was addressed by Mr Paul Coleman and Mr Joel Smith of CMS Bath Ltd, in relation to their proposals for the development of the site at Gatcombe Farm. It was explained that since their previous visit on 23rd October a more detailed scheme has been developed and illustrations of this were provided for members to view. Mr Smith stated that, unlike previous proposals which had been considered too ‘suburban’, the design proposed by CMS Bath Ltd would make use of the topography of the site and would therefore be largely screened from the road. The design of buildings would be as agricultural as possible, and all buildings would have ‘living’ roofs which would blend in with the surroundings. (Cllr Thorn made his apologies and left the meeting at 6.30 pm). Mr Smith explained that some of the buildings could include live/work units and there could also be some affordable housing if the site was felt to be appropriate for this. In addition to a limited number of buildings, the site could also include a paddock or amenity area. There would be no lighting on the site.
Mr Coleman and Mr Smith answered a number of queries by members in relation to the illustrations provided, and emphasised that every aspect of the design was open for discussion. They have now met with Roger Wilmot of NSC and he is aware that they would be attending this meeting. Cllr Irving asked how the H/7 policy would affect the proposal. Cllr Glynn said that as the site is outside the settlement boundary H/7 would not apply. Councillors also asked about the work that would need to be carried out to prepare the site, and Mr Smith said that the whole site would have to be dug out because it is mostly concreted over. The construction costs are likely to be 20 per cent more than standard housing developments. There would be rainwater harvesting facilities to maximise the water supply, and sewage would be processed via bio-digesters.
There being no further questions, it was agreed that CMS Bath Ltd would provide hard copies of their plans, in colour, for councillors to consider, and these would also be put onto their website. The Chairman thanked Mr Coleman and Mr Smith for their presentation, and they then left the meeting.
4. Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising
The minutes of the meeting held on 4th December 2007 were reviewed, and with one amendment, were adopted and signed. Cllr Ellis commented that the drawings provided by Mr Horsham do not contain enough detailed information. Cllr Glynn said that he had spoken to Mr Horsham about this, and he has said that he will include the critical dimensions on his drawings in future.
5. NSC South Area Planning Committee
It was noted that the papers for the meeting to be held the following day, 19th December, had still not been received. This is a continuing problem, and it was agreed that the Clerk will take this up with NSC.
6. Decisions Notices issues by NSC
07/P/2339/F 1 & 4 Church View, School Lane, Felton. This had been approved, which was disappointing, in view of the Parish Council’s objections.
7. Planning Applications
07/P/3001/F and 07/P/3003/LB The Printworks, off Church Walk, Wrington. It was felt that no other residents would be affected by the proposed development which would be entirely contained within the existing site, and it was therefore agreed to make no comment on either application.
07/P/3055/F - Hannah More Close, Wrington proposal to create new parking bays and improvements to communal gardens. Cllr Irving commented that a number of residents in Hannah More Close did not want this development. Cllr Bigg felt that this could be a prime opportunity for doing something different. There was concern that with the additional parking spaces, there would be difficulty in manoeuvring the minibus on the site. Councillors felt that it would have been preferable if North Somerset Housing had consulted the Parish Council to obtain its views about the proposed development. The additions to the communal gardens were not felt to be very beneficial to residents, whereas the provision of a community room or similar facility would be of much greater benefit. It was agreed to put forward a detailed objection to the proposed development, and suggest that the funds involved could be better used.
07/P/3083/F Bracken Hill House: erection of single storey building to enclose an existing domestic swimming pool, with walled and paved terrace. Cllr Glynn questioned whether the development, when taken together with recent work, would now be disproportionate to the original house. It was agreed that there were no objections in principle, but there are concerns about the scale to which the development will take the site, bearing in mind the restrictions of current planning policy.
8. Other Planning Issues
a. Cllr Irving raised an issue in relation to the work currently being carried out at 6 Bakers Buildings, and the use that had been made of the Glebe Field to take away rubble and earth from the site, which had caused serious damage to the field. After discussion, it was felt that the Council should not sanction any further use of the Glebe Field for this purpose.
b. Cllr Bigg presented maps produced for CPRE showing that the only village in North Somerset that remains undisturbed is Wrington. This should have a bearing on any discussion of the proposed link road. Cllr Glynn also commented that designating areas as wildlife sites could also help stop this development.
c. Cllr Dunn Morua raised the question of South View Farm, as a number of residents had commented adversely on the size of the development at the site, which it was felt was much larger and more dominant than had been anticipated when the plans were put forward. Cllr Glynn said the most effective course of action would be for residents to write individually to David Turner, Director of Development and Environment at NSC.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 7.37 pm.
|Comments on Planning Applications
We are pleased to submit our comments on the following applications:
Address/ location: 1- 22 Hannah More Close, Wrington
After giving this application considerable thought the Council has to advise that it must submit an Objection. Although North Somerset Housing, the applicant, has stated that 'the scheme has been designed in consultation with the residents of Hannah More Close', the Parish Council understands that some residents are unhappy with the proposal and would prefer a different approach. You should note that it is the Council's intention to ask that North Somerset Housing withdraws this application to allow for discussions on both the scheme as proposed and other possibilities for the Close. You might note that it would have been helpful and a more positive way forward if the Parish Council had been consulted prior to the submission of a formal application.
Commenting on aspects of the scheme proposed:
i. The application form suggests that there is currently parking for eight (8) cars only. This is a significant underestimate, with it being possible to park around sixteen (16) cars at present.
ii. The Council feels that parking in the herring-bone pattern indicated will make it more difficult for the Wrington community minibus to manoeuvre around the site. This minibus provides an essential service for many of the residents.
iii. There is a very significant and unnecessary level of both white and yellow road marking proposed. The Council's view is that these road markings would be excessive and have a negative impact on the visual environment within the Close. Should any scheme be agreed then parking bays can easily be defined by using a much more discreet marking scheme.
iv. The Council has doubts about the necessity for the single section of 'blistered' pavement shown on the drawings. Why here?
v. The design of the proposed parking bays on the grass island will encourage drivers to cut the corners when entering or leaving the bays, resulting in damage to the grass. The Council's view is that this layout is inappropriate for the residents.
vi. It is disappointing that the opportunity has not been taken to incorporate further landscaping into this bare grass island, preferably with shrubs to attract birds to provide visual wildlife interest for the residents.
In conclusion, the Parish Council feels that the proposed development will not offer the residents as great a benefit as that suggested by the applicant. While the communal garden facilities would undoubtedly be appreciated by some residents for a short period each year, the Council understands that several of the residents would much prefer that any available funds are directed towards providing some form of community or meeting room on the site. In principle, the Council would support this proposal as no such facility currently exists.
Clerk, Wrington Parish Council