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Agenda item

Agenda item

22/01317/FUL - 3 Consell Green, Tewkesbury Road, Toddington

PROPOSAL: Construction of two dwellings.




33.6          This application was for construction of two dwellings.  The application had been deferred at the Planning Committee meeting on 18 July 2023 to obtain additional information regarding highway safety and for the County Highways representative to attend a site visit with local Ward Councillors.  The Planning Committee had visited the application site on Friday 14 July 2023 and the site had been visited by the County Highways Officer, Planning Officer and local Ward Member on 8 August 2023.

33.7          The Development Management Team Manager (East) advised that the Officer recommendation had been changed from delegated permit, as set out in the Committee report, to defer to allow Officers to assess further information in respect of highways; he explained that new information had come to light around third party land and ownership that required clarification and discussion with the applicant’s agent, the landowners and County Highways. 

33.8          The Chair invited a local resident speaking in objection to the application to address the Committee.  The local resident indicated that, with regard to highway safety, County Highways had stated on 30 August 2023 that a site visit had been carried out and that the Highways Authority had undertaken a robust assessment of the planning application.  She pointed out that the Planning Committee had requested additional information regarding highway safety, including accident records and speed measurements, and Members could not be expected to make an informed decision if that had not been presented.  She wanted to see the robust assessment of the planning application that had taken place in August and felt it should be available for others to view and comment upon.  She wished to revisit the calculations in the access statement dated 11 July 2023 which set out that the speed survey had been undertaken using a handheld speedometer on Wednesday 25 May 2022 between 1400 hours and 1510 hours, and on Thursday 26 May 2022 between 1040 hours and 1200 hours, with the average speed calculated to be 36mph.  As per the highways report and data collected, the stopping sight distance was reported as 81m – the absolute minimum – and 103m – desired – and the maximum stopping sight distance shown on the drawing representing the site was 83.4m.  She explained that, not only was the data taken during the quietest time of the day but a handheld speedometer was a very poor way to take accurate data as it was well known that motorists would slow down when noticing it.  More accurate data from the speed sign recording unit for two hours every morning from 1 December to 5 December 2022 between 0600 and 0800 hours showed 228 cars with an average speed of 40.9mph resulting in an absolute minimum stopping distance of 102m.  She reiterated there was only 83.6m available so almost 20m was required to meet the absolute minimum stopping distance and she questioned how that could be deemed by County Highways to be safe - observations from the site visit would have shown how poor the visibility was.  She went on to indicate that the houses to either side of the proposed two-storey dwellings would be impacted by loss of light with 1 Consell Green losing morning light into the back rooms of their house and Mayfield losing late afternoon light.  She asked whether a daylight and sunlight assessment had been undertaken and noted that, under the Rights of Light Act 1959, any property having uninterrupted enjoyment of light for more than 20 years acquired rights to light.  If the development was to go ahead, the original single storey of plot one needed to be reinstated and plot 2 should also be single storey.  The bedroom windows on the first floor of plot 1 would look directly into the top floor bedroom windows of Mayfield and Mallory which was another reason that plot 1 should revert back to a single storey.

33.9          The Chair indicated that the Officer recommendation was for a deferral and he sought a motion from the floor.  A Member noted that the reason for deferral was to do with land ownership and he asked for more detail in relation to that as his understanding was that you did not need to be the landowner to apply for planning permission.  In response, the Development Management Team Manager (East) confirmed that it was possible to apply for planning permission without owning the land, provided the requisite notice was served on the landowner; however, the issue in this instance was in relation to achieving the required visibility splays and there was ambiguity around the plan detail and the measurements which had been taken at the site visit.  It was necessary to clarify who owned the land as the visibility splays must be maintained in perpetuity – if that could not be controlled it would be an unsafe access, as such, it was necessary to establish if it could be achieved through land ownership.  Another Member pointed out that part of the reason for the deferral, and included within the resolution, was to obtain accident records and speed measurements which were not included in the Committee report.  The local resident speaking in objection to the proposal had clear information on that which should be provided to the Committee.  Furthermore, Page No. 80, Paragraph 8.35 of the Committee report stated that the application site benefited from good walking and cycling connectivity with bus stops, places of employment, schools and convenience stores all within 10 minutes walking distance; however, the school had closed eight years ago so that information was incorrect and she asked that it be updated as part of any deferral.  Accordingly, it was proposed and seconded that the application be deferred to allow Officers to assess further information in relation to highways, including clarification of land ownership to ensure the required visibility splays could be maintained in perpetuity and for accident records and speed measurements to be obtained.  Upon being put to the vote, it was

RESOLVED          That the application be DEFERRED to allow Officers to assess further information in relation to highways, including clarification of land ownership to ensure the required visibility splays could be maintained in perpetuity and for accident records and speed measurements to be obtained.

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