This is a default template, your custom branding appears to be missing.
The custom branding should be at if you cannot load this page please contact your IT.

Technical Error: Error: The remote server returned an error: (429) Too Many Requests.

Agenda item

Agenda item

22/01337/OUT - Land off Lawn Road, Ashleworth

PROPOSAL: Outline planning application for the erection of up to 11 dwellings and associated works, with all other matters reserved for future determination except access (amended description).




62.3          This was an outline application for the erection of up to 11 dwellings and associated works, with all other matters reserved for future determination except access (amended description).

62.4          The Senior Planning Officer advised that the Additional Representations Sheet, attached at Appendix 1, set out that Severn Trent Water had not confirmed its acceptance of a surface water connection to the drain on Sawyers Rise, therefore, the recommendation had been amended to seek delegated authority to impose any conditions pertinent to the connection.  He explained that Ashleworth was not designated as a Rural Service Centre or a designated Service Village in the Tewkesbury Borough Plan and was not within the development boundary; however, given the backdrop of the five year housing land supply position, the application was recommended for permission.  In terms of the site itself, the northern boundary was to the edge of Lawn Road with Grade II listed buildings of Lynchgate Cottage, St Michael’s and Nupend House on the north side immediately opposite and the Conservation Officer had objected to the proposal.  Land to the east of the site had been approved for four dwellings as set out in the Committee report and, beyond that to the east was a development of 35 dwellings which had been built-out.  Immediately to the south was land approved for development of 42 dwellings.  Due to the development surrounding the site, the existing services within the village and the proximity to settlements for additional services, it was considered by Officers to be a sustainable location for development.  It was an unusual application in terms of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) as grassland was classified as an urban meadow and was high value, requiring additional mitigation not all of which could be provided on site, therefore, the application included an off-site mitigation proposal in order to provide 10% BNG which would be secured via a Section 106 Agreement.  As set out within the Committee report, Severn Trent Water had not confirmed the development could connect to the surface water drain – the original proposal was for surface water to be disposed via the highway drain and then into the Severn Trent surface water drain on Sawyer’s Rise; however, the Lead Local Flood Authority had not been satisfied with that proposal and a revised proposal had been put forward to install a separate pipeline which bypassed the highways drain and formed a new connection to the same Severn Trent surface water drain - it was that new connection which Severn Trent had not yet agreed to.  Officers were requesting a delegated permission, subject to agreement being reached with Severn Trent to dispose of foul water.  The Senior Planning Officer went on to explain that, late the previous evening, it had transpired there was a footpath connection to Ashleworth which only extended as far as the top right of the application site and it was proposed to install a footpath directly into Ashleworth which would take up the highway verge but would not encroach on any private land.  County Highways had no objection to the condition already in the report which required details of the footpath to be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority prior to commencement of development.  This had not been covered in the Committee report but it would provide a betterment as previously pedestrians had to walk down the road.  Whilst the Conservation Officer had objected to the proposal, as explained in the Committee report, the harm was less than substantial and these comments were not sufficient to outweigh the benefits of the proposal.  In summary, given the five year housing land supply position, Ashleworth was considered by Officers to be a sustainable settlement and, where the harms of development were considered against the benefits of new housing, with on and offsite mitigation and contributions, Officers believed the tilted balance lay in favour of development.

62.5           The Chair invited the applicant’s agent to address the Committee.  The applicant’s agent indicated that this application had been pending determination for over 12 months, during which time they had worked hard with their consultant team, client and Officers to address the initial concerns raised which had ultimately resulted in reducing the scheme from 17 to 11 new homes to provide a scheme deemed acceptable and policy compliant.  Ashleworth was a suitable location for a development of this scale with public transport accessibility to Gloucester and Tewkesbury and a good range of services and facilities for meeting day to day needs including a primary school, general store, cafe and community centre.  Delivering a range of small sites such as this would assist the Council with demonstrating a rolling five year housing land supply and would ultimately help to ensure the vitality of the borough’s rural communities.  The site was not subject to any designations, was well-related to the built-up area of the village and contained within the landscape because of the strong landscaped boundary to the southwest of the site. It would represent a natural ‘rounding off’ of the village and an ideal location for its sustainable growth.  The new homes provided would include four much needed affordable homes. As correctly noted within the Committee report, the development would not result in any harms that would warrant refusal.  The applicant’s agent recognised that some concerns had been expressed by the Parish Council and local residents, although none were received from residents following the reduction of the scheme by six units.  Some concerns related to highway safety and those had been thoroughly assessed by County Highways with no objections raised subject to conditions.  In terms of drainage, the proposal had been designed thoroughly by the consultant team and the Lead Local Flood Authority had no objection.  Severn Trent Water had previously raised no objection in connection to its assets as part of the proposals and the current proposals did not change that.  They had worked closely with both their ecologist and the Council’s Ecological Adviser as well as Enviro Bank - a company that supported the provision of off-site biodiversity enhancement measures - and, whilst there would be some habitat loss on site, a bespoke mitigation and BNG strategy was proposed resulting in the delivery of some off-site provision in the form of new lowland meadow creation within BNG trading rules and regulations. Overall, as the Committee report set out, the development would result in more than 10% BNG which was over and above what presently existed on site.  The heritage assessment was correct in their view and any limited harm would be outweighed by the benefits which involved 11 new dwellings, including affordable homes and off-site affordable contributions; 10% BNG; education contributions towards primary school provision; Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payments, 25% of which would go to the Parish; and provision of publicly accessible open space.  On that basis, the applicant’s agent hoped that Members would support the Officer recommendation for a delegated permission.

62.6           The Chair indicated that the Officer recommendation was to delegate authority to the Associate Director: Planning to permit the application, subject to completion of a Section 106 Agreement with the obligations set out in the Committee report and Severn Trent Water confirming that a connection to its surface water drain was acceptable, and he sought a motion from the floor.  A Member questioned the assertion this was a truly sustainable development given that, if agreed, there would be an increase of 90 houses to a village of approximately 200 properties since 2017 and the new properties would be largely reliant on cars due to the limited bus service.  In response, the Senior Planning Officer confirmed that Ashleworth was not designated in the settlement hierarchy but the National Planning Policy Framework stated that, without a five year housing land supply, the titled balance must be considered, therefore, Officers were required to weigh up the harms of the development against the benefits.  Ashleworth did have a number of local services which added weight to the application and other proposals for residential development had recently been approved at appeal establishing the principle of Ashleworth being able to accommodate additional development.  The harm in terms of heritage assets would be less than substantial and insufficient to warrant refusal.  He appreciated the highway concerns but those applied to many of this type of scheme, Lawn Road was lightly trafficked and the development was considered sustainable in terms of the tilted balance.  The County Highways representative explained that, by nature, a village was not as sustainable as a city location but the sustainability of Ashleworth had been tested on appeal.  There was a school, a coffee shop and a Memorial Hall within the village and a bus service operating between Gloucester and Tewkesbury ran every two hours so public transport was available, albeit limited.  In terms of traffic flow, it was a narrow lane but was extremely lightly trafficked with 600 vehicles in a two way flow over a whole day period and less than one vehicle per minute even during peak hours; traffic generation from this site would be five to six vehicles in peak hours.  The Member indicated that he genuinely did not believe the cumulative effect of development in the village had been thought through – the bus service was extremely limited with no evening service at all so there would inevitably be an increase in car usage as a result of this development.  Another Member asked if accident statistics were available for the A417 as the representations received alluded to it being notorious for serious accidents.  In terms of sustainability, she pointed out the village shops were often not economical to use and she asked if there was any way to improve the facilities within the village via the Section 106 Agreement.  In response, the County Highways representative advised there were no reported accidents in the last five years within the village itself which accorded with the low speed of the road.  In terms of the A417, there had been two accidents at the junction with Lawn Road, one involving a fatality due to a driver error, and three accidents at the junction with the B4211.  The County Council Road Safety Team was looking at mitigation measures for the A417; however, that was a separate issue and, in terms of this development which would generate an additional five vehicles in the peak hours, it would be difficult to say there would be a further negative impact in terms of accidents.  In respect of the Section 106 Agreement, the Senior Planning Officer’s view was that any additional dwellings in Ashleworth that could support the village shop would be a positive thing; that said, due to the scale of the development, the Council could not reasonably insist on a Section 106 contribution to support local services and this had not been requested by the Parish Council.

62.7           A Member asked what would happen if Severn Trent Water deemed the connection to its surface water drain unacceptable.  She pointed out that the issue of drainage was a major concern for Ashleworth Parish Council and no improvements had been made since new developments had come online so she asked why this would be any different.  In response, the Senior Planning Officer explained that, if there was no solution for the surface water drainage the application would be brought back to the Committee with a recommendation for refusal.  A Member noted that the Committee report stated that the Head of Service: Housing was yet to confirm that the tenure mix was acceptable and an update would be provided at Committee.  The Senior Planning Officer advised that the Housing team had been consulted and no response had been received, therefore, the tenure mix set out in the report was deemed to be acceptable.  In response to a query regarding the Tree Preservation Order, Members were informed this was a group of TPOs along the frontage of the houses on the north side of Lawn Road and not within the application site itself.

62.8           It was proposed and seconded that authority be delegated to the Associate Director: Planning 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 Associate Director: Planning to PERMIT subject to completion of a Section 106 Agreement with the obligations set out in the Committee report and to Severn Trent Water confirming that a connection to its surface water drain was acceptable, in accordance with the Officer recommendation.

Supporting documents: