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Agenda item

20/00089/FUL - Phase 1B, East Site, Homelands, Gotherington Lane, Bishop's Cleeve

PROPOSAL: Removal/variation of conditions 2 (plans as set out), 4 (landscaping compliance) and 11 (noise assessment) of planning application reference 17/01131/FUL.




26.36        This application was for the removal/variation of conditions 2 (plans as set out), 4 (landscaping compliance) and 11 (noise assessment) of planning application reference: 17/01131/FUL.

26.37        The Planning Officer advised that the application site related to the commercial centre of the Homelands development and planning permission was being sought to regularise the landscape work that had been undertaken and to discharge a condition requiring the submission of an additional noise impact assessment.  It was noted that the hedge adjacent to Gotherington Lane had not been removed but had been cut back and was slightly shorter in length to facilitate the cycle path and streetlighting in the area.  Whilst the concerns of the Parish Council were noted, it was considered that the character of the area had become less rural with the permission for the residential development and commercial centre.  The existing hedge and areas of grass provided a soft landscaping buffer to the commercial centre and the proposal was considered acceptable in terms of landscape character.  The noise impact assessment had previously been discharged in part of building A (the Co-op) and a noise impact assessment was required for the two other buildings before the installation of extraction ventilation equipment.  The noise assessment had stated that noise levels would be limited to a rating no higher than existing background levels and hours of operation would be restricted to between 0700 and 2100 hours.  The Environmental Health Officer considered the noise assessment to be acceptable and that there would be no undue impact to neighbouring properties, subject to the noise level and hours of operation being controlled by condition.  The Planning Officer explained there were some minor discrepancies in terms of the plans submitted - the plans in question showed the location of the cycle storage area and some of the landscaping which did not correspond - Officers had sought these revisions prior to the Committee but, as they had not yet been received, the Officer recommendation had been changed to delegated permit. 

26.38        The Chair indicated that there were no public speakers for this item.  The Officer recommendation was that authority be delegated to the Development Manager to permit the application, subject to conditions and revised plans to address the minor discrepancies relating to the location of the cycle storage area and landscaping, and he sought a motion from the floor.  A Member indicated that she knew the area well as she drove past the site several times each day, it was used a lot by local residents and she had some safety concerns in relation to that.  She explained that the site was at the front of the fish and chip shop at the bottom of the building fronting onto Gotherington Lane and children sat on the grassy bank outside where there was no kerb.  As there was no speed limit on the road, cars came quickly around the roundabout and she had grave concerns that one would plough across the bank where people were sitting, especially as the lights were not currently working.  She would like to see bollards introduced, similar to those in front of the fish and chip shop in Bishop’s Cleeve, particularly now the hedgerow would potentially be removed, in order to create a separation between cars and residents waiting for their supper.  In response, the Planning Officer clarified that the hedgerow would not be removed and would remain in situ.  The verge was quite narrow approaching the fish and chip shop and it may be possible to negotiate with the applicant in terms of the provision of a hard boundary.  The County Highways representative indicated that this was a new request so had not been assessed by County Highways and he was unsure whether it was highway land.  Whilst the hedgerow would provide an element of safety, he would need to defer to the Planning Officer as to whether bollards could be requested as part of this application or if a new planning application would be required.  It was subsequently proposed and seconded that the application be deferred in order to investigate the installation of bollards to address highway safety concerns.  The seconder of the proposal expressed the view that the photographs did not show the extent to which the grass bank slanted down into the carriageway – people sitting on the bank risked falling into the carriageway if they were to bend backwards.  The Development Manager explained that bollards may not necessarily be the right approach so that was something which would need to be explored with County Highways and the applicant’s agent, should Members be minded to defer the application.

26.39         A Member indicated that she did not understand the technicalities of the noise assessments which made it very difficult to vote with an informed mind; the Committee report stated that the Parish Council claimed the noise report was out of date as it had been carried out in 2020 and she questioned whether a more up-to-date assessment was needed.  She also queried whether the earlier reference by the proposer of the motion had been to streetlighting and the proposer confirmed there was no streetlighting.  A Member indicated that he was concerned about requests to remove or vary conditions and, in this instance, condition 4 had required trees to be planted and referenced the upkeep of trees for a five year period which would ensure that any which died would be replanted so he did not wish to see that removed.  In response, the Development Manager advised that the purpose of securing revised landscaping plans was because the trees previously shown were not shown on the current plan and it was hoped that amended plans would be received through the deferral.  In terms of the noise assessment, should Members be minded to defer the application, he would speak to the Environmental Health Officer and, if necessary, invite them to attend the next Committee meeting to explain in more detail the response to the Parish Council’s concerns.  The proposer and seconder of the motion indicated that they were happy to include this within the deferral and, upon being put to the vote, it was

RESOLVED          That the application be DEFERRED in order to investigate installation of bollards or other measures to address highway safety concerns; to allow revised plans to be submitted to address the minor discrepancies in relation to the location of the cycle storage area and landscaping; and to enable the Environmental Health Officer to explain in more detail the response to the Parish Council’s concerns regarding the noise assessment report being outdated.

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