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Agenda item

Agenda item

22/01104/FUL - Elms Farm, Main Road, Minsterworth

PROPOSAL: Residential development of 37 dwellings (Class C3); vehicular and pedestrian access; landscaping; drainage attenuation; and other associated works




33.2          This application was for residential development of 37 dwellings (Class C3); vehicular and pedestrian access; landscaping; drainage attenuation; and other associated works.  The application was deferred at the Planning Committee meeting on 15 August 2023 in order to obtain full information in relation to the drainage strategy for the site and for a Planning Committee Site Visit.  The Planning Committee had visited the application site on Friday 15 September 2023.

33.3          The Senior Planning Officer noted that a question had been raised by Members regarding the community contributions figure of just under £17,000 and explained this came from a standard formula applied by the Council’s Community team through consultation and was not earmarked for any particular spending, therefore, it could feasibly be spent on the Harvey Centre or other community needs.  Since the last meeting, the applicant’s agent had submitted a thorough explanation as to how the drainage system would work in terms of foul and surface water disposal, as set out in the Committee report along with an explanation from the Lead Local Flood Authority and the Council’s Flood Risk Management Engineer who had looked at the scheme in detail and raised no objections.  With regard to the Harvey Centre, the applicant had engaged with the trustees following the last meeting and had volunteered to safeguard a small section of land which would appear in the approved plans and be supported by an additional condition.  The applicant’s agent had also spoken to the Harvey Centre about highway improvements and County Highways raised no objection in principle regarding removal of the central reservation, shown hatched on the plan, from the A48 outside the Community Centre which would allow eastbound traffic to turn directly into the access, although that would be subject to formal agreement with County Highways.

33.4          The Chair invited the applicant’s agent to address the Committee.  The applicant’s agent indicated that the Committee would be aware of the current challenges in the borough regarding the amount of housing needed and the necessary pace of delivery required. During the consultation stages of the Tewkesbury Borough Plan preparation, his clients had worked proactively with Minsterworth Parish Council and the Borough Council’s Officer team to demonstrate how this site was an appropriate development location in the village. This had culminated in the site being included within the defined settlement boundary, to pave the way for this planning application following adoption of the Tewkesbury Borough Plan. As such, this proposal was plan-led and the principle of development was established in accordance with the Tewkesbury Borough Plan.  The scheme would deliver 37 quality new homes, including 15 affordable homes, which complied with policy at 40%.  The houses were designed to a very high specification, incorporating solar panels and air-source heat pumps, and the scheme represented a vast improvement over and above building regulation requirements. The submitted energy assessment showed the scheme’s energy demand would be 89% less than the national benchmark with carbon emissions reduced by 94%.  The scheme was framed by generous landscaping and public open space, including new planting to reinvigorate the existing orchard and recreational walking loops to connect to the A48, Church Lane and into the adjacent play area. The proposal also delivered 55% biodiversity net gain – significantly above the mandatory 10% requirement from November.  The scheme had been amended during the determination period to ensure that a brick barn, identified by the Conservation Officer as having heritage value, was retained. This barn remained within the application boundary but would be transferred back into the ownership of Elms Farmhouse so the buildings could retain their historic association.  As detailed in the Committee report, the additional clarifications requested following deferral of the application at August Planning Committee had been submitted and, in addition to these updates, the applicant’s agent confirmed that he and his clients had met with the Harvey Centre representatives again last week. The Harvey Centre representatives had confirmed they were happy with the proposals to safeguard the land to enable widening of the access for two cars passing, entering and exiting the site, and dialogue between the parties would continue in recognition of the mutual benefits that could arise during the development delivery stage.  He hoped the Committee would agree with the Officer recommendation by concluding that the application was policy compliant with no technical objections and supported in principle by the Parish Council.

33.5          The Chair indicated that the Officer recommendation was that authority be delegated to the Development Management Manager to permit the application, subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement, and he sought a motion from the floor.  It was proposed and seconded that authority be delegated to the Development Management Manager to permit the application in accordance with the Officer recommendation and, upon being put to the vote, it was

RESOLVED           That authority be DELEGATED to the Development Management Manager to PERMIT the application, subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement.

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