2. Declarations of Interest
Cllr Glynn in relation to the Gatcombe Farm access to West Hay Road.
3. Public Participation
a. CMS Bath Ltd
Mr Smith presented three drawings showing the proposed scheme for Gatcombe Farm. The bottom of the site, where the use of live/work units had been considered, has now been designed for four terraced dwellings. The open areas at the rear of the individual houses would be planted with a number of fruit trees. There could also be provision for allotments or some form of community horticulture.
Cllr Bigg asked how this would be managed in terms of access, given the nature and location of the site. Mr Coleman explained that S106 funding could be available for making provision elsewhere in the village if the Gatcombe Farm site proved unsuitable for this type of activity.
Cllr Thorn asked whether there would be time to discuss the issue with other parties in the parish who would have an interest in such a facility, and this was agreed.
The site is not considered appropriate for affordable housing, and there could therefore be a commuted sum available in lieu. In terms of highway access, the visibility would be improved and a passing place provided part way up the access road, but the overall width of this road would not change. The aim would be to keep this aspect as ‘rural’ as possible.
In addition, Mr Coleman suggested that the development would be as close to carbon neutral as possible hard surfaces would be permeable, and there would be no increase in surface water run-off, and a bio-digester would deal with sewage.
Mr Coleman explained that CMS Bath Ltd will now need to justify why this would be an ‘exception’ site, as it is in Green Belt and outside the settlement boundary. In terms of timescale for a planning application, they are hoping to have completed the work necessary for submission of an application during July.
The Chairman thanked Mr Coleman and Mr Smith for their attendance. They then left the meeting.
b. Will Bryant, Housing Development Manager, North Somerset Council
Mr Bryant explained that he works in the Housing Strategy Team at NSC and deals principally with Housing Associations who provide social rented housing. This mostly involves sites within the larger towns in the area, such as Clevedon and Portishead, but they are also interested in helping smaller communities when there is an opportunity.
There is an Exceptions Policy in relation to villages where a suitable scheme comes forward, involving land that would not normally be available for housing.
Mr Bryant said that the proposed development at Rickyard Road had been discussed several times with the potential developer, First Home UK. Cllr Matthews asked how a genuine ‘need’ for affordable housing can be established. Mr Bryant said that there are very clear criteria which are applied to assess those who are seeking social housing. If a needs survey is carried out by a developer, then NSC would expect to validate this, and the results of the survey would influence the type of housing that would be provided.
Cllr Ellis asked whether the availability of local facilities, such as schools and doctors’ surgeries, are taken into consideration when an affordable housing development is proposed. Mr Bryant said that most of the people who would occupy such properties are already living within the local community, perhaps in overcrowded or inappropriate housing, so they would already be using the existing provision.
With regard to Rickyard Road, Mr Bryant said that interest had also been expressed in the site by another developer, Raglan Housing Association. Cllr Glynn pointed out that the land has a designation for recreational use, and Mr Bryant said that he understood First Home UK have been in touch with Sport England, and there could be a contribution to a facility in a different location within the local community.
Cllr Glynn asked whether Mr Bryant’s team would be looking at other potential sites within the parish; Mr Bryant said that they would have to look at whether any proposed development was the best, or only, option available. He would welcome the opinion of the Parish Council in this respect. Councillors expressed the view that the level of need should be the determining factor as to whether any development is appropriate.
Cllr Phillips asked what building standards would be applied to the development, and Mr Bryant said that a level of Code 3 or above would be expected. Cllr Bigg said that she would like to see an involvement by the Parish Council before any decisions are made, and this was agreed by all. Mr Bryant said that for any scheme to be acceptable, it would have to have the support of the Parish Council. No application for planning permission should be submitted until his team are satisfied that all the necessary preliminary work has been completed, although they could not prevent the developer submitting an application prior to this. Mr Bryant suggested that he should come back to speak to the Parish Council at a later stage to share information once this became available, and this was agreed.
The Chairman thanked Mr Bryant for a very helpful discussion, and he left the meeting at this point.
In view of the presence of three residents, the Chairman agreed to move directly to item 8 on the agenda, to consider planning applications.
8. Planning Applications
08/P/1290/F Cinderford Cottage, Ropers Lane, Wrington: erection of a two storey dwelling and garages with office/workroom over.
It was strongly felt that the proposed development represents an overdevelopment, especially in view of the sloping site overlooking Yeomans Orchard. The proposed design would be intrusive to neighbouring properties and the elevated location would result in the proposed development dominating the single storey dwellings in Yeomans Orchard.
The existence of office facilities would probably lead to increased noise and traffic movements, and add to the already significant parking problems on Ropers Lane.
It was also noted that the application forms indicate that a tree survey is required, but none has been provided. The removal of existing trees and shrubs which now contribute to the biodiversity of the area, would raise issues in relation to the NERC Act 2006 and the need to conserve biodiversity. In addition, part of the site is within the Conservation Area. It was also noted that the drawings provided were inadequate in the way in which neighbouring properties are identified.
In view of the above, it was agreed to Object to the proposal.
08/P/1308/F 21 Orchard Close, Wrington: erection of a detached garage. Members questioned the need for a further double garage, when a single garage already exists at the property. The position of the proposed structure would have an unnecessary impact on the neighbouring property to the south.
There was also general concern about increasing development within the village where hard structures are being built on existing grass and other non-hard surfaces which will inevitably increase the pressures on the drainage systems towards the centre of the village where flooding is a very serious issue, which is currently being investigated by NSC. It was therefore agreed to Object to the proposal.
08/P/1432/PDA Barley Farm, Old Hill, Wrington: replacement barn and alternative bat roost. The Chairman pointed that this is a prior determined agricultural application with a target date of 18th July, with no time available to submit comments after the next meeting. The application form implies that the new barn would be for the use of Alvis Bros who currently farm the land. Cllr Bigg questioned whether bats were already roosting in the derelict barn which is to be removed. Cllr Glynn said that this issue should be covered by the planning process. It was agreed to make no comment on the application other than to make enquiries about bio-diversity issues.
4. Minutes of previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd June were reviewed, and signed as a correct record.
5. Matters arising
Regulations regarding replacement windows in the Conservation Area: the Clerk has written to NSC requesting a copy of the regulations.
6. NSC South Area Planning Committee
It was noted that the minutes of the meeting held on 14th May contained a full report of the discussion in relation to the BIA walkway application, and also details of Wrington Parish Council’s contribution to Parish Voice.
7. Decisions Notices issued by NSC
08/P/1113/WT Church Lodge, Station Road, Wrington: tree works approved. It was noted that the work had been carried out a few days previously.
9. Other Planning Issues
a. Brockley Wood
The Chairman reported that an approach had been received from Chris Rose of CSJ Planning in relation to the proposed composting facility at Brockley Wood. NSC had previously ruled that an EIA would be required, but the GOSW has determined that this is not needed. Further information has been sought. An application is now likely to be made, and the developer wishes to speak at a planning meeting to discuss the proposal in advance of a submission to NSC.
b. Wrington Bowls Club
The Chairman reported that a letter and drawing has been received from the club in relation to a proposed new clubhouse. However, the drawing provided is not sufficient for planning purposes. The situation is quite complex, given that the Parish Council has a lease on the property, and the Bowls Club is therefore the Parish Council’s tenant. It was agreed to invite members of the Bowls Club to attend a meeting of the Parish Council to discuss the matter in more detail.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.00 pm.