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Agenda item

21/00312/FUL – Buildings at Wood Lane, Down Hatherley

PROPOSAL: Redevelopment of site containing B1/B8 buildings to provide 1 no. single storey self-build dwelling and associated works (including provision of parking, installation of means of enclosure etc).




7.29          This application was for the redevelopment of a site containing B1/B8 buildings to provide one single storey self-build dwelling and associated works, including provision of parking, installation of means of enclosure etc. 

7.30          The Planning Officer advised that the application related to the redevelopment of a site located off Wood Lane in Down Hatherley which was currently occupied by two former poultry buildings which had been used for light industrial/storage purposes giving the site previously developed land status.  The site was located within the Green Belt in the open countryside, although there was a residential property to the west of the site; the site was not subject to any other designations.  The application was for demolition of the buildings and replacement with a single storey detached residential dwelling and it required Committee determination as there was an objection from Down Hatherley Parish Council on the grounds that the proposal would be inappropriate development in the Green Belt.  The Planning Officer explained that the site was taken to constitute previously developed land and one of the exceptions for Green Belt development in the National Planning Policy Framework was “the redevelopment of land which would not have a greater impact on openness of the Green Belt than the existing development”.  The proposed dwelling would be smaller in volumetric terms when compared to existing buildings and, whilst the use of the land for residential purposes had potential to harm the openness of the Green Belt, it was considered that the design and orientation of the proposed dwelling would contain much of that use to limit its impact when viewed from outside the site.  The proposal was therefore deemed to amount to appropriate development in the Green Belt in compliance with Policy SD5 of the Joint Core Strategy and the National Planning Policy Framework.  The proposal did not comply with Policy SD10 of the Joint Core Strategy; however, that policy was deemed out of date given the Council’s five year housing land supply position and the tilted balance was therefore engaged.  The proposal would have an acceptable impact on highway safety, residential amenity and biodiversity, subject to conditions, and the limited harm to landscape character would be mitigated through appropriate design and landscaping.  When applying the tilted balance, it was considered that the low level of harm arising from the proposal would not significantly or demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the National Planning Policy Framework as a whole, as such, the application was recommended for permission, subject to conditions.

7.31          The Chair invited the applicant’s agent to address the Committee.  The applicant’s agent noted that the Committee report was extremely comprehensive and covered the relevant material considerations; however, she wished to explain the Green Belt policy justification a little more.  The only objection to the proposal was from the Parish Council which was correct in saying that no very special circumstances case had been put forward to allow change of use in the Green Belt; this was because national and local planning policies allowed for the redevelopment of previously developed land which would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the existing development and that was what was being proposed through this application. The site currently accommodated two former chicken sheds that were used for commercial purposes, as such, it was previously developed land.  The proposal was to demolish those buildings and replace them with a single dwelling which would have a much smaller footprint – the floor area of the proposed dwelling would be just over half the cumulative floor area of the existing buildings at 52%.  The eaves and ridge heights of the proposed dwelling had purposefully been kept low but they were a little higher than the existing buildings; nevertheless, the volume of the proposed dwelling was around 80% of the cumulative volume of the existing buildings.  Furthermore, the proposed house was located within the centre of the site meaning the built form was not as widespread across the site as the existing situation.  All of those factors meant that the impact of proposed development on the openness of the Green Belt was no greater than the existing development, thereby ensuring the proposal complied with Green Belt policy.  As such, it was not necessary to demonstrate very special circumstances in this instance. 

7.32          The Chair indicated that the Officer recommendation was to permit the application, subject to conditions, and he sought a motion from the floor.  It was proposed and seconded that the application be permitted in accordance with the Officer recommendation.  In response to a Member query regarding the self-build register, the Planning Officer advised that it was not known if this property was included on the register but, as set out in the report, it was being promoted as a self-build dwelling.  Another Member indicated that it was her understanding that the self-build register was for applicants to register their interest in self-build properties so it would not be the property which was registered. 

7.33          Upon being put to the vote, it was

RESOLVED          That the application be PERMITTED in accordance with the Officer recommendation.

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