In the absence of the Chairman, Cllr Irving proposed that Cllr Gallop should take the Chair, and this was agreed unanimously.
2. Declarations of Interest: Cllr Ledbury in relation to the application for the Brook House site.
3. Public Participation: Cllr Gallop asked the two members of the public in attendance whether they wished to make any comments at this stage, but they did not wish to do so.
4. Minutes of previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 14th April were reviewed and signed as a correct record.
5. NSC South Area Planning Committee
The papers for the meeting to be held on 13th May were not yet available.
6. Decisions Notices issued by NSC
The Clerk reported that no decision notices had been received since the previous meeting.
7. Planning Applications
09/P/0610/F Land at Brook House: erection of 11 detached retirement dwellings with detached double garage, associated gated vehicular access, car parking, landscaping and communal open space following demolition of Brook House and agricultural outbuildings to include change of use.
The notes provided by Cllr Glynn and circulated prior to the meeting were reviewed, and Cllr Thorn offered some comments on various aspects of the application, which were discussed by members.
The main point of concern was the potential for exacerbating flooding problems. Cllr Thorn expressed concern about the modelling process used to assess the likelihood of future flooding incidents, and questioned to what extent the models used take into account recent global warming changes. Members generally expressed the view that the Parish Council must take account of the potential for the development to add to flooding problems in other parts of the village, as well as the possibility of flooding on the site itself. It was pointed out that long-term residents were aware that Brook House itself had suffered from flooding over many years.
The proposal to provide gates at the vehicle access to the site was considered. It was agreed that this was an undesirable feature, and would give the development a closed appearance. It was felt strongly that the development should form part of the village community, and as such it should be ‘open’.
Cllr Turton questioned how the policy for ensuring that residents were over 65 operated. She felt that it may prove unworkable in practical terms, and Cllr Bigg agreed. The Clerk was asked to request clarification from North Somerset Council.
The transport report was considered, and the plans were reviewed to check whether space was available to park a second car in front of the garage of each dwelling, and this did seem to be the case. Concern was expressed that if gates were installed, visiting carers might find it easier to park in the adjacent roads rather than enter the site, and this would add to existing problems in Silver Street. The provision of three parking spaces for visitors was felt to be inadequate. Cllr Thorn pointed out a potential problem with the farm access opposite the site. It was confirmed by Mr Marshall Clements, who was in attendance, that he had received a plan for dealing with vehicles approaching from outside the village.
The question of pedestrian access to the site was felt to be unsatisfactory, as it is not clear whether a footway will be provided along the south side of Silver Street. Cllr Glynn’s suggestion of locating the pedestrian access in the north-west corner of the site with a footway running along the inside of the boundary wall was a preferable option.
The utilities statement was considered, and it was agreed that the comment made by Cllr Glynn were appropriate. This pointed out that the sewer pipe downstream of manhole 2501 reduces from 225mm to 150mm and that the NSC drainage report comments that there is little or no capacity within the foul sewer in this area.
The proposed low-level lighting on the site was considered to be not in keeping with the rest of the village. However this was not felt to be a major problem.
The proposals for retaining some existing trees on the site and providing new ones were thought to be generally reasonable, and the fact that they would be maintained would be a benefit.
Cllr Moss raised the question of the old weather vane which she felt should be retained. It was agreed to suggest that this should be a feature of the development, perhaps being used on the summer house.
Cllr Bigg was concerned that many residents of the village would not be aware of the plans for the site, and given the level of interest in the development proposed two years ago, she felt that residents should be given the opportunity to see the proposals. It was agreed that the Clerk should contact Blue Cedar Homes again to ask them to provide a display in the Memorial Hall.
Cllr Gallop asked members what comments they wished to submit to NSC on the proposals. Cllr Irving said she felt that the development was better than the previous one, and was a reasonably good use of the site. Cllr Bigg said she was not confident that the concerns of the Parish Council would be taken seriously by NSC, particularly in relation to the flooding issue, and other members agreed with this point of view. It was also felt that the Parish Council should maintain a consistent policy in relation to new developments, as for the Rickyard Road application.
It was therefore agreed that the Parish Council should submit an objection on the grounds of flood risk mainly, but also to request that the other areas of concern are addressed.
09/0611/CA Demolition of Brook House and outbuildings: there was no objection to this application, provided that it could be confirmed that bats were not present.
8. Other Planning Issues
a. A further report prepared by Hydrock in relation to the proposed Rickyard Road development had been received from NSC. It was felt that the technical aspects of this were difficult to assess, and it was noted that comments were expected from the Environment Agency. It was therefore agreed to reiterate the Council’s previous concerns, and to await the Environment Agency’s comments.
b. Core Strategy: Cllr Bigg reported on a workshop she had attended on 24th April, organised by NSC. There would be four areas which Wrington Parish Council should be prepared to comment on:
- living within environmental limits
- delivering strong communities
- delivering a prosperous economy
- ensuring safe and healthy communities
Wrington is listed as a service village. These villages are the only ones that will retain a settlement boundary. Service villages are those which have certain amenities, eg: doctor’s surgery, shops, post office, etc, and it will be important to ensure that these are kept. Redhill currently has a settlement boundary, but is likely to lose this and become a ‘rural area’, where no additional development would be permitted.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 7.10 pm.