2. Declarations of Interest
None on known agenda items.
3. Public Participation
The Chairman invited Mr Leavey to explain the proposals for erection of a detached house in the garden of Long Cottage, Ropers Lane (08/P/1998/F).
Mr Leavey provided plans of the development and site layout, and explained that the owners of Long Cottage wished to move into a smaller property which they propose to build in the garden. As there is a high conifer hedge around the site, Mr Leavey felt that this will prevent any potential problems of overlooking of nearby properties.
The finish of the proposed building would be the same as the existing house, and the entrance would be via the existing drive. Long Cottage will be provided with a work space, to comply with planning regulations, but Mr Leavey stated that there is currently no intention to run any kind of business from the site. Mr Leavey concluded his statement by inviting questions and comments.
Members raised a number of issues as follows: It was noted that North Somerset Council had commented that the proposed work space did not comply with policy H/7 and that it would need to be larger in order to do so. The need for a separate kitchen and toilet was also raised.
The development would not require any trees to be removed, but a number of shrubs would have to be taken out.
Cllr Thorn commented that although the provision of a separate work space was included to comply with policy H/7, as there was no intention of using it for this purpose, he felt that the proposal was against the spirit of the policy, which is intended to prevent developments leading to increased out-commuting from rural areas. There would be nothing to prevent a future resident of the proposed dwelling or, more significantly, of Long Cottage itself, from commuting to Bristol or elsewhere, thus defeating the object of the policy.
Cllr Irving also felt that the proposal represented an unnecessary overdevelopment of the area, which could set a pattern for other nearby properties.
The Chairman then invited local residents to comment or raise questions.
Mr R Phillips of 8 Home Close explained his reasons for objecting to the proposal. The sloping nature of the area would result in the new building being seven metres above his home and the windows would look directly into his ground and first floor rooms.
He was also concerned about the arrangements for drainage from the site. He did not feel that the proposed building would be of ‘moderate size’ as stated in the application, and that other statements in the application were not correct. As the building would be in the Conservation Area, he felt it should be subject to the same restrictions as other local properties.
Mr V Cather of 14 Home Close said he was mainly concerned about the loss of privacy caused by overlooking, and he also felt that any additional building and loss of vegetation would add to the current drainage problems.
Mr A Carpenter of 10 Home Close was disappointed that there had not been consultation with all neighbouring property owners.
Mr Carter of 6 Home Close said he was concerned about disposal of sewage, as there is a sewage pipe running under his garage, which he assumed would take the additional sewage from the site. He queried who would be responsible if there was a blockage at some time in the future.
The Chairman proposed that the application should be discussed at this point, for the benefit of the local residents present, and this was agreed.
It was generally felt that policy H/7 in its current form is unworkable and unenforceable. The continuing issue of flooding in the lower parts of the village made it undesirable for any additional building to take place higher up the hill until the causes of the flooding had been properly identified.
It was noted that NSC’s Conservation Officer had commented on the potential over-development of the area. It was therefore agreed to object to the proposed development on the grounds of overlooking neighbouring properties, resulting in loss of privacy, and loss of natural green area, potentially leading to additional flood risk.
The Chairman thanked the members of the public for attending the meeting, and they left at this point.
4. Minutes of previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 16th September were reviewed and signed as a correct record.
5. Matters arising
There were no matters arising.
6. NSC South Area Planning Committee
The Chairman reported that the conditions on the development at Richards Garage included a requirement that the dwellings are only purchased by people aged 65 and over, which is a higher age limit than previously. This is in line with the policy H/7 relating to Housing in Defined Villages, which applies to Wrington.
7. Decisions Notices issued by NSC
BIA 08/P/1813/PAI: it was noted that new car park had been approved, with only one condition, and that the concerns regarding the potential effects on Downside Residents had not been addressed.
Cllr Bigg raised a point about a forthcoming meeting between NSC councillors and BIA staff at the airport, with a planning application imminent, when no parish councillors or other interested parties will be present. She felt this was against NSC’s Statement of Community Involvement, and it was agreed to raise the matter with NSC’s solicitor.
Barley Farm 08/P/1762/F: change of use from agriculture to enlarge residential curtilage, erection of a replacement dwelling and construction of realigned access drive. This application has been withdrawn.
08/P/1678/F Tumbling Weir: erection of a replacement fence to the front boundary approved.
08/P1642/F Combe Bungalow, Downside Road: demolition of existing bungalow and erection of replacement dwelling. Approved with the following conditions: space to be provided for turning vehicles; investigation of possibly contaminated land; the building must conform to Code Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, and measures to generate 15% of the energy required through the use of micro renewable technologies must be submitted to the Local Planning Authority.
8. Planning Applications
08/P/2030/F - Land adjacent to Barley Farm, Old Hill, Wrington: erection of an agricultural barn for storage of agricultural equipment and erection of an alternative bat roost. It was agreed to raise the issue of the suitability of the structure for a bat roost with NSC, and ask that expert advice is sought on this aspect of the plans
08/P/1998/F - Long Cottage, Ropers Lane, Wrington: erection of two storey detached dwelling with B1 office and a free-standing car port in the side and front garden of the existing house. This application had been discussed earlier in the meeting.
9. Other Planning Issues
a. Patches Barn, Mill Lane: the Clerk reported that an officer from the Enforcement Team at NSC had visited the site, following complaints of building activity in the adjacent field, and heavy lorries using the lane. The officer had reported that a low wall had been built to protect the field from flooding, and the building activity was related to the installation of a swimming pool in the owner’s garden. All of this was allowable under planning regulations. However, the officer would be visiting the site again in the future to check on the position.
b. 50 Garstons Close: it was noted that in the process of building an extension (for which planning permission had been granted), part of the wall bordering the road had been removed to allow for access by the builders. As this is in the Conservation Area, it has been pointed out to the owner that they have a responsibility to reinstate the wall exactly as before.
c. Rickyard Road: the Chairman reported that he had received an email from Steve Carey of First Home UK to confirm that Wrington Parish Council will be shown the final version of the plans before they are submitted to NSC.
The issue of S106 payment was raised and a discussion followed. The Chairman pointed out that it was a requirement that Parish Councils are involved in and supportive of Affordable Housing developments. It was agreed that the subject of any drainage work that may be necessary should be raised at the next Parish Council meeting, when it is hoped that an officer from NSC will be in attendance.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 7.45 pm.