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Agenda item

21/00411/FUL - Land West of Manor Cottage, Walton Hill, Deerhurst

PROPOSAL: Erection of a single residential dwelling (C3) and associated operational development (Plot 1).




26.19        This application was for the erection of a single residential dwelling (C3) and associated operational development (Plot 1).

26.20        The Development Manager advised that the application site was between the dwellings known as Laurel Cottage to the west and Manor Cottage to the east.  Two separate applications – this application and application ref: 21/00412/FUL which was Agenda Item 5f – had been submitted for this site which had been granted permission in principle last year for two dwellings; therefore, the principle of development was acceptable.  The site was bounded by established trees/hedgerows and was located within the Landscape Development Zone.  There was an existing Public Right of Way passing through the site which was proposed to be diverted, subject to a current footpath diversion order which would need to be resolved before any works could take place.  There was an existing agricultural access along the southern (front) boundary of the site which would be improved to serve the proposed dwelling.  County Highways had considered the proposals and raised no objections, subject to conditions.  Members were informed that the maximum height of the proposed dwelling would be approximately 7.8 metres with eaves catsliding down the front elevation to reduce the apparent bulk of the building.  The design incorporated a number of traditional features such as eaves detailing, a timber canopy and chimneys.  The proposal also comprised a two-bay detached garage sited to the west of the house.  The scale and design of the proposed development overall was considered acceptable and, in the Officers’ opinion, there would be an acceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area.  The dwellings would have a permeable driveway discharging stormwater directly to ground, as per the existing greenfield site, and the stormwater drainage system would flow to the north-east of the proposed dwelling boundary to a new crate soakaway.  Soakaway testing and infiltration rates had been provided and the Lead Local Flood Authority was satisfied with the information.  Whilst some trees and hedgerows were proposed to be removed, these had been assessed by the Tree Officer who was satisfied that those to be lost were unremarkable specimens so this was acceptable, subject to a high-quality landscaping scheme being secured by condition.  The Development Manager drew attention to the Additional Representations Sheet, attached at Appendix 1, which set out that condition 7 in relation to ecological enhancements had been reworded at the request of the agent.  Further to that, the agent had suggested alternative wording for condition 10 to make it more specific and less onerous – this seemed reasonable on first reading; however, it was necessary to consult the Council’s Ecological Adviser to ensure they were satisfied.  On that basis, the Officer recommendation was to delegate authority to the Development Manager to permit the application, subject to the amendment of condition 10 provided that the Ecological Adviser was satisfied with the proposed rewording.

26.21         The Chair invited the applicant’s agent to address the Committee.  The applicant’s agent indicated that, as set out in the Committee report, the Council had granted permission in principle on this site for two infill dwellings within the last 12 months.  That application was approved on the basis of housing comprising sustainable development in the context of the National Planning Policy Framework’s tilted balance and given the relative accessibility of the site with its location in close proximity to the A38 corridor.  That application had been supported by Deerhurst Parish Council; hence permission was granted under delegated authority.  The two applications before Members today for housing on this land were entirely consistent with the permission in principle application.  As such, although these proposals had come forward as separate full applications, he suggested that Members ought to be limiting their consideration to matters of design, layout and access with the principle having been firmly established.  As concluded by Officers, the proposal fitted with the broadly linear pattern of development on the northern side of the lane and would sit between other housing in the village on a spacious plot.  The size and design of the dwelling would largely reflect characteristics of other properties in the area, both in terms of its footprint and height.  The applicant and agent had worked closely with Officers to ensure the majority of mature boundary treatments would be retained and they had agreed there would be no adverse environmental impacts. The scheme had been amended in line with Officers’ comments to ensure that the development was as well-designed as possible.  The application was accompanied by a range of assessments which demonstrated that safe and convenient access could be achieved off the lane with visibility splays in accordance with local transport standards.  There was also adequate space for turning and manoeuvring of vehicles within the site.  The arboricultural assessment demonstrated that mature boundary trees could be retained on site, with only light cutting back along the frontage to achieve the required visibility splays, and the drainage strategy complied fully with the Council’s Flood and Water Management Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).  The Parish Council had now objected to the development which the applicant’s agent found confusing given its support for the earlier permission in principle application - it seemed the Parish Council had simply changed its mind but, unfortunately, a permission existed for development on the site.  Overall, the proposal clearly complied with the expectations of the development plan and should be supported.  Officers had recommended a number of conditions which would further ensure that a high-quality development was achieved and he hoped Members would be able to permit the application which would contribute positively towards the borough’s housing supply and support the vitality of rural communities.

26.22        The Chair indicated that the Officer recommendation was for authority to be delegated to the Development Manager to permit the application, subject to the amendment of condition 10 provided that the Ecological Adviser was satisfied with the proposed rewording, and he sought a motion from the floor.  It was proposed and seconded that authority be delegated to the Development Manager to permit the application in accordance with the Officer recommendation.  A Member indicated that it was his understanding that each application must be determined on its own merits and he did not feel that this proposal should be permitted simply because permission in principle had already been granted for two dwellings on the site.  He was not happy to support the proposed change of wording to condition 7 as he would rather the plan detailing the location and specification of the ecological enhancements be approved prior to, as opposed to within three months of, commencement of development – if that was amended he would be happy to support the proposal.  The Development Manager indicated that this was within Members’ gift; however, the Council’s Ecological Adviser was happy with the rewording of the condition.  The Legal Adviser explained that, as this was a full planning application, a pre-commencement condition required the agreement of the developer; as the applicant’s agent had asked for the rewording, she assumed this had not been agreed in respect of that condition, in which case the only option would be to refuse if Members were not happy with the suggested rewording to require the plan to be submitted within three months of commencement of development.  She reiterated that Members had been advised that the reworded condition was acceptable.  In response to a query regarding the Newt Officer, the Development Manager explained that the Council had access to the Officer due to its involvement in a partnership project across various counties in the region looking at creating new habitats for newts.

26.23         Upon being put to the vote, it was

RESOLVED          That authority be DELEGATED to the Development Manager to PERMIT the application, subject to the amendment of condition 10 provided that the Ecological Adviser was satisfied with the proposed rewording.

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