Meeting Details

Strategic Planning Committee
9 Sep 2019 - 10:30 to 15:10
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Visitors
  • Declarations of Interests

Documents

Agenda

Meeting Details
Meetingdetails
MeetingDetails

Members are invited to a Meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee

to be held in the Deben Conference Room, East Suffolk House, Riduna Park

on Monday, 9 September 2019 at 10:30 am

 

AMENDED AGENDA

Please note the addition of an Urgent Item of Business at Item 13

 

 

 

Part One - Open To The Public
1 Election of a Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the 2019/20 Municipal Year

1

On the proposition of Councillor Ceresa, seconded by Councillor Fryatt it was

 

RESOLVED

 

That Councillor Debbie McCallum be elected Chairman for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

2 Election of a Vice-Chairman

To elect a Vice-Chairman for the 2019/20 Municipal Year

2

On the proposition of Councillor McCallum, seconded by Councillor Rivett it was

 

RESOLVED

 

That Councillor Paul Ashdown be elected Vice-Chairman for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

3 Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
3

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ashdown, Bond, Brooks and Cooper.

 

Councillor Goldson substituted for Councillor Ashdown, Councillor Cackett substituted for Councillor Brooks, and Councillor Haworth-Culf substituted for Councillor Cooper.

4 Declarations of Interest

Members and Officers are invited to make any declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary or Local Non-Pecuniary Interests that they may have in relation to items on the Agenda and are also reminded to make any declarations at any stage during the Meeting if it becomes apparent that this may be required when a particular item or issue is considered.

4

Councillor Rivett declared a Local Non-Pecuniary Interest in item 13 of the agenda as Cabinet Member with responsibility for Sizewell C.

 

Councillor Haworth-Culf declared a Local Non-Pecuniary Interest in item 11 of the agenda as Ward Member for Leiston cum Sizewell.

 

Councillor Blundell declared a Local Non-Pecuniary Interest in Item 12 of the agenda as Ward Member for Foxhall.

 

Councillor Bird declared a Local Non-Pecuniary Interest in Item 13 of the agenda as a member of Felixstowe Town Council and Vice-Chairman of its Planning and Environment Committee.

5 Declarations of Lobbying and Responses to Lobbying
To receive any Declarations of Lobbying in respect of any item on the agenda and also declarations of any response to that lobbying.  
5

Councillors Allen, Bird, Blundell, Ceresa, Coulam, Deacon, Elliott, Fryatt, Gee, Goldson, Haworth-Culf, Hedgley, McCallum, Pitchers, Ritchie and Rivett all declared that they had been lobbied by email on Item 11 of the agenda.  Councillors Allen, Deacon, Elliott, Gee, McCallum, Pitchers and Ritchie advised that they had acknowledged receipt of emails received.

6 pdf Minutes (153Kb)
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 10 June 2019
6

On the proposition of Councillor Hedgley, seconded by Councillor Bird it was

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 June 2019 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman

The Monitoring Officer has recommended that the Minutes of the past and Shadow Authorities be received as good governance and for the avoidance of Minutes remaining unconfirmed.
To confirm as a correct record
7

On the proposition of Councillor Goldson, seconded by Councillor Ceresa it was

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Minutes of the Waveney District Council Planning Committee Meeting held on 12 March 2019 be agreed as a correct record, subject to the following amendment:

 

Agenda Item 10, page 14, paragraph 4 "[...], a site visit was to be undertaken[...]"

To confirm as a correct record
8

On the proposition of Councillor Hedgley, seconded by Councillor Fryatt it was

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Minutes of the Suffolk Coastal District Council Planning Committee Meeting held on 21 March 2019 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman

To confirm as a correct record
9

On the proposition of Councillor Elliott, seconded by Councillor Ceresa it was

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Minutes of the East Suffolk Shadow Authority Shadow Planning Committee (North) Meeting held on 16 April 2019 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman

To confirm as a correct record
10

On the proposition of Councillor Deacon, seconded by Councillor Goldson it was

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Minutes of the East Suffolk Shadow Authority Shadow Planning Committee (South) Meeting held on 18 April 2019 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman

Report of the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Planning and Coastal Management
11

The Committee received report ES/0097 of the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Planning and Coastal Management, which provided an update on all appeal decisions received from the Planning Inspectorate between 27 May 2019 and 21 August 2019.  The report was introduced by Councillor Ritchie, who summarised the information contained within the report.

 

The Chairman invited questions.

 

In response to a question from a member of the Committee regarding the timely communication of planning information to Members, the Planning Development Manager agreed to ensure that information was not delayed when being communicated.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the contents of the report be received and noted.

Report of the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Planning and Coastal Management
12

The Committee received report ES/0098 of the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Planning and Coastal Management, which provided an update on the planning performance of the Development Management Team in terms of the timescales for determining planning applications. 

 

The report was introduced by Councillor Ritchie. He noted the Development Management Team had met all the benchmarks set by Government for approving planning applications but had been slightly below the stretched targets set by the Council itself. 

 

It was noted that in the last two months there had been a strong upward trend and high performance in determining planning applications in a timely manner.  Councillor Ritchie stressed the importance of the Council making high quality and appropriate planning decisions.

 

Councillor Ritchie invited the Planning Development Manager to address the Committee.  She concurred with Councillor Ritchie's comments and informed the Committee that the number of applications received compared to the same point in 2018 (for the predecessor councils) was significantly higher.

 

The Planning Development Manager considered that not only were decisions being made in a timely manner but were also correct decisions given the number upheld on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

 

The Chairman invited questions.

 

A member of the Committee commented on the good job that the Development Management Team was doing in meeting national targets on delivery time and also the quality of its decisions.

 

Another member of the Committee concurred that it was positive that national targets were being met, but expressed the concerns held by himself and also parish and town councils in his Ward on the number of applications being determined under delegated authority to the Head of Planning and Coastal Management.  He stated that parish and town councils in his Ward appeared to be slowly losing confidence in the decision-making progress and was concerned that the Referral Panel system was not directing enough applications to be determined by the Planning Committees.

 

The Member suggested that where both a parish or town council and the Ward Member both have a contrary view to the recommendation of the case officer an application should be determined by Committee, as this would provide greater transparency without impacting on meeting national targets on decision-making.

 

Councillor Ritchie thanked the Member for his questions and considered that they were good points that had been well made.  He stated that there was ongoing consideration of how the Referral Panel system worked and invited the Head of Planning and Coastal Management to comment.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management confirmed that matters were under review but considered that a longer period of reflection was needed, as the system had been in operation for less than six months since the new council came in to being.  He noted that the determination of applications, including the operation of the Referral Panel system was very carefully developed within the Council's Constitution seeking to achieve the right balance to ensure there is confidence in the system but that it was a system that was efficient and effective.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management acknowledged the concerns of the Member and of parish and town councils.

 

The Committee was advised that Suffolk Coastal District Council had operated a similar referral system which had been considered to be an acceptable approach to sift through applications to ensure that only those of wider importance were considered by Committee.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management encouraged there to be more input from Ward Members on applications within their wards as few Ward Member comments were being received on applications considered at Referral Panel.

 

A member of the Committee, who was also the Vice-Chairman of Planning Committee South, said he had been surprised at the level of comments received from Ward Members on applications considered at Referral Panel; he said that the level was similar with the amount that was being received from town and parish councils.  He reminded the Committee that in order for the Referral Panel to go against the officer's recommendation, there needed to be material planning reasons to do so and said that it was important that all parties involved in planning applications were aware of this.

 

Another member of the Committee suggested that an email to all councillors from the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Planning and Coastal Management to reiterate the referral process would be useful.  The Planning Development Manager said that she would liaise with the Cabinet Member on this issue.

 

The referral system was queried by a member of the Committee; she noted that she had referred applications to the system in the past to be heard by Committee and was concerned that the Referral Panel could go against Ward Members.  The Chairman advised the Committee that the current system had been modelled on that used by the former Suffolk Coastal District Council, which had on two separate occasions been found by the Local Government Ombudsman to be sound.  She reminded Members that the Referral Panel was not making any planning decisions but considering if there was enough merit to warrant an application being determined by Committee.  She reassured all present that all concerns would be listened to and that the system would be continually reviewed and updated.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the contents of the report be received and noted.

Report of the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Planning and Coastal Management
13

The Committee received report ES/0099 of the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Planning and Coastal Management, which provided updates on the emerging Suffolk Coastal Local Plan, the East Suffolk Housing Action Plan, the Housing Land Supply position and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) spend process review.

 

The report was introduced by Councillor Ritchie, who outlined the need for a Housing Action Plan.  He explained that such a plan was required where Local Authorities had not built housing to the totals stated in their Local Plan in the previous three years;  the area of the District formerly administered by Suffolk Coastal District Council had exceeded the target set by the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan, but the area formerly administered by Waveney District Council had fallen below the target set by the Waveney Local Plan.

 

Councillor Ritchie confirmed that the East Suffolk Action Plan would aid in monitoring performance across the District and noted that as recently as August 2019, the Council had a five-year housing land supply for both Local Plan areas.

 

The CIL was identified as a per square metre charge and was the principal method of collecting funds from developers to support infrastructure costs.  Councillor Ritchie advised that work was underway to develop a process to record how CIL receipts were spent across East Suffolk.  He noted there was a funding gap between requests for CIL receipts and actual funds available.

 

Councillor Ritchie invited the Planning Policy and Delivery Manager to address the Committee.  She advised Members that it was anticipated that by the next release of Housing Delivery Test results in November 2019, there would be a 100% result for the former Suffolk Coastal District Council area and a 85% result for the former Waveney District Council area, and 100% in both areas was expected by November 2020.  The Planning Policy and Delivery Manager offered to speak with any Members who required further understanding of planning policy documents.

 

The Planning Policy and Delivery Manager noted that the current Waveney Local Plan had been adopted by Waveney District Council in March 2019.  The emerging Suffolk Coastal Local Plan was currently undergoing examination by the Planning Inspectorate and it was hoped that it would be adopted in early 2020.  It was anticipated that sessions would be available in November 2019 to brief Members on the details of both Local Plans.

 

The Chairman invited questions.

 

Members of the Committee raised concerns regarding developers gaining planning permissions on sites and not building out schemes, asking if there was anything the Council could do to address this.  Councillor Ritchie noted that work was being undertaken to bring forward key brownfield sites in the former Waveney area but that bringing development forward on these sites was a challenge.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management added that there was nothing the Council could do directly to encourage developers to build on sites with planning permission and advised that the Government was looking at ways to be able to bring development forward in these situations, noting that the Council had a strong housing land supply and that the situation was complex. He considered that the Council had been and continued to be successful in resisting inappropriate growth and encouraging positive growth.

 

Other members of the Committee highlighted that there was a hold on CIL receipts being issued and asked when town and parish councils would be able to submit applications for CIL funding.  The Head of Planning and Coastal Management advised that bids for exceptional cases could be being considered but there had been a need to put a hold on releasing funding so that a strategic review of CIL receipt spending could be undertaken.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management invited the Major Projects and Infrastructure Manager to comment; he advised that CIL had been collected and spent separately by the predecessor councils and that an Infrastructure Delivery  Manager had recently been recruited to develop a single approach to collection and CIL spending for the new council.  He confirmed that an update would be given to Members as soon as possible.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the contents of the report be received and noted.

 

Following the conclusion of this item, the Chairman adjourned the meeting for a short break. The meeting was adjourned at 11.19am and reconvened at 11.33am.

Report of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management
14

The Committee received report ES/0094 of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management.

 

The Chairman confirmed that East Suffolk Council was the determining planning authority for this planning application.  The proposed developments did not constitute a generating station over 50 megawatts and as such the proposal did not fall within the parameters of the Planning Act 2008 as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.  

 

The Chairman advised that as the buildings that were the subject of this planning application did not include buildings within which electricity is generated they were not works to or an extension of the generating Sizewell B station, and that the application therefore fell to be determined by the Council pursuant to its powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).

 

Full Planning Permission was sought for the demolition of an existing outage store, laydown area, operations training centre, technical training facility, visitor centre and Rosery Cottage garage, along with the removal of a technical training and pool car park (63 spaces), Coronation Wood car park (21 spaces), visitor centre car park (16 spaces) and northern outage car park (576 spaces).  The existing Technical Training Centre would be used as an interim Visitor Centre and then demolished.  In full, the proposal included an outage store (2,778 sq.m GEA – gross external area), and Laydown area (11,990 sq.m GEA), a new Western Access road, Yardman’s Office (23 sq.m GEA), Training Centre (4,032 sq.m GEA), Rosery Cottage garage (30 sq.m GEA), replacement car park (2,363 sq.m GEA) providing 112 spaces; and outage car park (15,525 sq.m GEA) providing 576 spaces and including new access road and alternative access to bridleway 19, footpath and amended junction at Sizewell Gap; and associated landscaping earthworks / recontouring, tree felling and boundary treatment. 

 

Outline Planning Permission was also sought for a Visitor Centre (maximum 2000 sq.m GEA) and a maximum of 9,500 sq.m GEA of floorspace to provide administration, storage, welfare and canteen facilities, with all matters reserved except for access.

 

A site visit in relation to the application was undertaken by the Committee on Monday 2 September 2019.

 

The application was before the Committee as the redevelopment, although submitted separately from proposals for a new nuclear power station, was necessary as the existing Sizewell B buildings were on land allocated for the Sizewell C proposals and identified in the National Policy Statement EN-6 as a new nuclear nominated site. Given the strategic nature of the proposal, the scale of the development proposed, and the importance of nuclear generating energy to East Suffolk, it had been determined that the application be considered and determined by the Strategic Planning Committee.

 

The Committee received a presentation on the application from the Energy Projects Manager.

 

The site's location was outlined, and it was identified where the proposed demolition and clearance areas were located along with the buildings to be demolished and the surface areas to be cleared.

 

The proposed site plan was also displayed to the Committee.  The Energy Projects Manager highlighted the three areas of the Station Complex that comprised the application site.  She also outlined in detail the site plans within the nuclear security fence and on Pillbox Field.

 

The Energy Projects Manager demonstrated the details of the Coronation Wood site including the outline parameter proposals and detailed parameter proposals.  It was noted that a large number of the objections to the application related to the loss of Coronation Wood.

 

The Committee was shown an aerial photograph of Coronation Wood taken in 1945, with Sizewell A and B Power Stations superimposed, along with another aerial photo of the wood taken in 2014, to demonstrate that the original size of the wood had been halved, presumably during development of the existing power stations.

 

The elevations for the proposed training centre were displayed.  The western elevation did not contain any fenestration in order to avoid light spilling into wildlife areas.  The Committee was also shown a computer-generated landscape design image of the proposed training centre.

 

The parameter plans for the proposed training centre were outlined.  The Energy Projects Manager confirmed that the details would be subject to a separate planning application.

 

The Committee was then apprised of the details for the proposed outage car park at Pillbox Field.  The Energy Project Manager noted its proximity to bridleway 19, which was the primary means of access to the Rosery Cottages.

 

The proposed layout of the car park was shown, including the revisions for an alternative access directly from Sizewell Gap Road.  The Committee was informed that the revisions had been made following concerns being raised over the safety of sharing the bridleway access.

 

The Energy Projects Manager stated that the car park was only to be used during outages, which occurred every 18 months for a maximum of eight weeks and was designed to be low key.

 

The details of the revised access were displayed, and it was confirmed that the Highways Authority was content with the design and that the visibility splays ensured safe egress from the car park.  The Committee was shown images of the access location from street level. The Committee was also shown a computer-generated image of the proposed landscape design of the car park.

 

The Energy Projects Manager noted that the original proposals had included an access to the Power Station Complex from the car park that crossed through SSSI land.  Concerns had been raised by officers, as well as by Natural England, and the applicant had subsequently withdrawn this element of the proposal.

 

The recommendation to the Committee contained a condition that an alternative pedestrian link be considered that would not impact on the SSSI land.  The Committee was informed that the fall-back position was that workers would be able to walk from the car park to the main site via the main road, with the possibility of the applicant offering a shuttle bus system.

 

Members of the Committee had requested, at the site visit, the distance of the route from the car park to the site via the main road.  This was confirmed during the meeting to be approximately 1.1 kilometres and that the route would take roughly 12 to 15 minutes to walk.

 

The Energy Projects Manager outlined the proposals for the proposed new outage store that would be situated within the nuclear security fence line.  The Committee was shown a computer-generated image of the proposed building viewed from the south of the application site.  The building was proposed to be 18 metres high.

 

The recommendation, as contained within the report, was outlined to the Committee.  The Energy Projects Manager also highlighted the information contained within the update sheet, which had been circulated electronically on Friday 6 September 2019 and in hard copy at the beginning of the meeting.

 

The Chairman gave the Committee three minutes to read the update sheet.

 

The Chairman considered that further information was required on Coronation Wood and invited the Arboriculture and Landscape Manager to address the Committee on the subject.  She advised that following this, the Head of Planning and Coastal Management would address the Committee regarding the benefits of Sizewell B Power Station to the local economy.

 

The Committee was advised that Coronation Wood had been planted in 1911 to mark the coronation of King George V, with evidence of Oak and Beech trees already existing on the site at that time.  The planting had consisted largely of Scots Pine, Corsican Pine and Grand Fir.  The Arboriculture and Landscape Manager said it appeared that the wood had largely been unmanaged during its lifetime and that approximately half of it had been removed during the development of Sizewell A and Sizewell B Power Stations.

 

Coronation Wood was not protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) and a felling licence could be applied for from the Forestry Commission by the applicant to remove the wood.  The Arboriculture and Landscape Manager considered it likely that a felling licence would be granted, with a condition regarding replanting.  He informed Members that there was no obligation for the landowner to manage the wood.

 

The trees that comprised Coronation Wood were just over 100 years old and were described as showing signs of ageing.  The species within the wood were not suited to the soil and there were early signs of Red Band Needle Blight in some of the trees.  The Committee was advised that this would cause defoliation which would lead to a further decline in the state of the wood, due to the increased risk of windblow.  The Arboriculture and Landscape Manager said that if the wood was allowed to decline it would enter a cycle of natural regeneration, with there already being some evidence of self-seeding.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management outlined the contribution of Sizewell B Power Station to the local economy.  The Committee was informed that the power station generated 3% of the UK's electricity and employed 500 staff, with an additional 1,000 staff taken on during outage periods.  An outage period had recently been concluded and the next outage was expected in late 2020 or early 2021.  It was predicted that there would be another six to eight outages during the station's remaining lifetime. 

 

All permanently employed staff on the site were required to live within a 25 mile radius of Sizewell B Station; the Head of Planning and Coastal Management concluded that the total number of staff employed both on a permanent basis and on a contract basis during outages, and the site's operation contributed approximately £20m per year to the local economy, rising to £40m per year during an outage period.  He highlighted that in the case of permanently employed staff, this resulted in people in highly paid jobs living and spending in the local area.

 

The Chairman invited questions to the officers.

 

A member sought clarification on the route used to calculate the walking distance between the proposed outage car park and the main site, as he considered what had been displayed did not represent the route in its entirety.  The Energy Projects Manager said that it was her understanding that the route had been displayed completely and the Chairman suggested that the question be posed to the applicant.

 

It was confirmed that the 13 additional representations received, as detailed within the update sheet, were also in objection to the application. The Energy Projects Manager stated that no letters of support had been received.

 

In response to a question from a member of the Committee, officers demonstrated the SSSI land that would have been affected by the proposed path from the outage car park to the main site, which had been removed from the proposals.

 

Following a question regarding the removal of Coronation Wood and its identification as a landscape barrier in the application for planning permission for the dry fuel store at Sizewell B Power Station, the Energy Projects Manager advised the Committee that the application before them needed to be considered and determined on its own merits and invited the Arboriculture and Landscape Manager to comment.  He noted the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment completed, which had concluded that the proposals would have a limited impact on any public visual viewpoints of the site and was not significant in terms of the assessment.

 

The proximity of the Sandlings Walk to the application site was confirmed.  Its route did not cross the application site; the Head of Planning and Coastal Management highlighted bridleway 19's immediate proximity to the proposed outage car park, acknowledging the significant use of nearby footpaths by both local residents and visitors, and said that officers did not consider that the development would have a direct impact on these routes.

 

It was confirmed that Coronation Wood would be felled in entirety and that the replacement planting would be located on the Pill Box Field application site.  The Committee was shown an updated computer-generated image of the proposed replacement planting, taking into account the change in access and the applicant's response to concerns regarding a net loss in the original proposals.  Replanting was proposed to be at a 10:1 ratio.  The Arboriculture and Landscape Manager outlined the components of the proposed replanting which would consist of species chosen to match the soil type on the site and be suited to the character of the landscape.

 

A member of the Committee questioned the need for the proposed development, as the development of Sizewell C was not guaranteed.  The Chairman reminded the Committee that the application before it was to be judged and determined on its own merits and that the Committee could not make any assumption of what would come next.  She invited the Head of Planning and Coastal Management to answer the Member's question.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management advised the Committee that it was lawful for it to determine the application that was before it as advised by the Chairman at the start of this item.  He acknowledged that it could be seen by some that it was difficult to separate this application from the proposed Sizewell C development but stated that in terms of broader context, it had to be determined of its own planning merits.  The contribution of Sizewell B Power Station to national electricity production was outlined and the Head of Planning and Coastal Management noted the importance of Sizewell B Power Station being able to operate during any construction of a new power station, to ensure a retention of a secure energy position. 

 

It was explained that EDF Energy, as the applicants, had applied for permission to allow for the management of proposals on land nominated for Sizewell C by national policy.  The Head of Planning and Coastal Management acknowledged that if the proposed development was undertaken at a later date this could impact on the phasing of the construction of Sizewell C, if granted, and in turn affect the wider Sizewell area.  He also noted information in the report which stated if development of Sizewell C did not take place, a decision outside of the Council's authority, there were conditions proposed in the recommendation to return matters to their previous state to offset any impact to the area.

 

Another member of the Committee asked if it was possible to return affected areas to AONB status within a generation, noting that Coronation Wood would regenerate naturally over time into a higher quality broadleaf environment.  The Arboriculture and Landscape Manager said that the loss of Coronation Wood was not a positive result in its own right, but noted that the proposals for new planting at Pill Box Field, the current condition of Coronation Wood, and the suitability of the proposed species for planting, meant that overall the proposals could be considered a benefit to the AONB landscape; it would provide more appropriate species, provide an improved layout and offer more long-term prospects for landscape and wildlife than Coronation Wood.

 

The Energy Projects Manager stated that any restoration would look to create heathland, which would be considered an improvement on arable farmland.  She highlighted restoration undertaken at Aldhurst Farm and noted that this evidenced a possible rapid turnaround.  The Council's Ecologist noted that there was potential for Coronation Wood to be regenerated but that it would take some time.  

 

It was the view of the Arboriculture and Landscape Manager that Coronation Wood would not regenerate well.  Signs of regeneration included species which were prone to disease and this was not considered sustainable.

 

A member of the Committee asked what size and age of trees would be planted at Pill Box Field.  The Arboriculture and Landscape Manager said that this would be agreed by condition and there was no benefit of planting semi-mature tree stock, as a young stock would embed and grow more quickly.

 

It was confirmed that Coronation Wood fell into the ownership of the applicant who was therefore responsible for managing the wood and that there was no evidence of any positive management.  The Arboriculture and Landscape Manager advised the Committee that any new planting would be the responsibility of the applicant to maintain.  The recommendation contained conditions to ensure that new planting would be positively managed, which could be managed via enforcement if necessary.

 

A member of the Committee asked if ecology surveys had been completed.  The Energy Projects Manager advised that the latest survey had arrived earlier that day and needed to be reviewed by officers.  It was anticipated that all required surveys would be completed before any decision was issued and the Energy Projects Manager noted that the recommendation included conditions for additional ecological information to be included in any decision issued.

 

The Committee was advised that Coronation Wood had reached the end of its safe and useful life; it would regenerate but as a mixed wood rather than a conifer wood, with the existing dense conifer canopy restricting regeneration.

 

A member of the Committee queried if the applicant was able to fell Coronation Wood outside of the application.  The Arboriculture and Landscape Manager advised that the wood could not be felled without a felling license from the Forestry Commission; when asked of the likelihood of such a license being granted he advised that there was a good chance that this would be the case, given the lifecycle of the wood and the lack of timber value.  He considered that the Forestry Commission would see the felling of the wood as an opportunity to remove the coniferous element and could condition that broadleaf species be planted as a replacement.

 

The Energy Projects Manager envisioned that a Section 106 Agreement could be in place within the next two weeks, should planning permission be granted.

 

Another member of the Committee enquired about how badgers would be removed from the Coronation Wood site.  The Energy Projects Manager advised that the applicant had submitted information on badger movements and that full clarification was being sought.  She was aware that not all setts on the site were proposed to be closed and that work had been undertaken with Natural England regarding badger movements.

 

Paragraph 4.8.6 of the report was referred to by a member of the Committee, who sought further information around an alternative location for the outage car park.  The Energy Projects Manager noted that when the Environmental Statement was completed, alternative sites were required to be considered.  There had been an initial consideration of an off-site car park but as this was ruled out early in the process, this was not presented as an option within the application.

 

It was reiterated by the Head of Planning and Coastal Management that the Committee was the lawful determining body for this application.  In response to several questions from members of the Committee regarding considering alternative sites for the proposals, the Chairman reminded the Committee that it was required to consider the application as it was and on its own merits.

 

There being no further questions to officers, the Chairman adjourned the meeting for a lunch break at 12.50pm.  The meeting was reconvened at 1.15pm.

 

Councillor Blundell left the meeting during the lunch break.

 

The Chairman advised that three individuals had registered to speak in objection to the application and had agreed to each speak for one minute.

 

The Chairman invited Mrs Girling, an objector to the application, to address the Committee.

 

Mrs Girling asked the Committee if it would be giving its approval if there were not plans for a Sizewell C Power Station.  She noted the Council's duty of regard to the AONB and stated the damage to such an area should be avoided rather than mitigated.  Mrs Girling said that on this basis, the damage should be avoided, and requested that the Committee refused the application, or if it was minded to approve added a condition that no work was to take place until Sizewell C was approved.

 

Councillor Fryatt left the Conference Room at this point.

 

There being no questions to Mrs Girling, the Chairman invited Mr Collins, an objector to the application, to address the Committee.

 

Mr Collins stated that the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan required net environmental gains and its policies required Coronation Wood to screen the dry fuel store.  He considered the loss of Coronation Wood to be significant and highlighted that any preliminary work would need to be removed if a DCO was not granted for Sizewell C.  Mr Collins also highlighted the preliminary work undertaken at other nuclear sites in the UK.  He concurred with Mrs Girling's request that the Committee refused the application or if it was minded to approve, it added a condition that no work was to take place until Sizewell C was approved.

 

There being no questions to Mr Collins, the Chairman invited Ms Toone, an objector to the application, to address the Committee.

 

Ms Toone considered that the application should be refused.  She was of the view that it did not meet the requirements for preliminary works as set out by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.  She stated that Coronation Wood had been used as mitigation for the dry fuel store as it visually screened it, reducing noise and light pollution.  Ms Toone said that this would increase if the wood was removed and the land built on and was also concerned about the proximity of the outage car park to bridleway 19.

 

The Chairman invited questions to Ms Toone.

 

When asked what Coronation Wood and Pill Box Field meant to the local community, Ms Toone said that both sites had significant meaning and that Coronation Wood had originally been planted by the local community.  She reiterated that it screened the dry fuel store and said that if it had been managed it would not be in its current state.  She noted its elevated position meant that it was a better screening than the proposed new planting.

 

The Chairman invited Ms Betson, representing Leiston cum Sizewell Town Council, to address the Committee.

 

Ms Betson had been instructed by the Town Council to appeal to the Committee regarding the application.  She noted the level of objection to it and questioned if the work was necessary, considering it as taking the 'easy' option of industrialising green spaces rather than using brownfield sites available.  Ms Betson suggested alternative sites for the development proposed that would be equal to, or superior, to the sites that had been proposed.

 

Ms Betson highlighted the impact of the development on the AONB, Pill Box Field, Coronation Wood, and bridleway 19, and considered that alternative sites would address the reasons for objection and the need for many of the conditions within the Officer's recommendation.

 

It was acknowledged that the Committee was considering the application on its own merits and not in relation to any future applications.  Ms Betson said that the application was not a trivial one for the local community and urged the Committee to refuse it and encourage the applicant to come back with an alternative scheme that would retain the buffer between the community and an industrial site.

 

The Chairman invited questions to Ms Betson.

 

A member of the Committee sought clarification on alternative sites for development.  Ms Betson outlined several alternative sites within the Station's complex and in Leiston itself; she added that the Town Council was not trying to tell the applicant where to develop but wanted them to consider alternatives.  The Chairman reminded the Committee that it was determining the application before it and not possible alternatives being suggested. 

 

The Chairman invited Ms Carney, representing EDF Energy (the applicant), to address the Committee.

 

Ms Carney said that she wanted to explain the local and national context of the application.  She noted that the Government relied on existing and new nuclear power and that Sizewell B Power Station was key to this.  She highlighted the number of homes in the region that were powered by the station and said that the relocation of facilities as proposed would allow a quicker delivery of Sizewell C if a DCO was granted.  She stated that it was important to avoid fossil fuel use given the current climate crisis and said that the site was therefore of national strategic importance.  Ms Carney added that the application was for preliminary works and did not impact the DCO.

 

Sizewell B Power Station was said to employ 500 staff permanently and supported 250 contracting partners, the latter increasing by up to 1,000 when an outage took place.  Ms Carney stated the contribution this made into the economy and informed the Committee that EDF Energy paid £10,000 into the community to be a good neighbour, and that this would increase.

 

Ms Carney considered that the planting proposed, to mitigate the loss of Coronation Wood, would increase biodiversity in the area.  She concluded by reiterating how the proposed development was part of national strategic importance and would be of benefit to the local economy and environment.

 

The Chairman invited questions to Ms Carney.

 

Ms Carney confirmed that staff members were required to live within a 25-mile radius of Sizewell B Power Station.  The site also employed 17 apprentices and engaged with schools in the local community.

 

A member of the Committee sought clarification on the distance to walk from the outage car park site to the main site.  Ms Carney confirmed that the distance was as outlined in the presentation.

 

Another member of the Committee asked if the operation of Sizewell B Power Station would be impacted if the application was refused.  Ms Carney advised that it would not initially but would impact its operation if a DCO was granted for Sizewell C and the preliminary works had not been undertaken.

 

Ms Carney advised that a variety of sites had been considered when drawing up the proposals; alternative sites had been rejected for a variety of reasons including operational requirements and environmental reasons.  

 

In response to a question regarding air quality relating to Coronation Wood, Ms Carney referred to the ratio of replanting that was proposed and considered that this would be an overall improvement to the landscape and to the biodiversity of the area.

 

A member of the Committee asked if Ms Carney considered the length and time of the walk to be suitable in winter for all abilities; Ms Carney noted that there was a condition requiring an alternative link and reiterated the possibility of running a shuttle bus system.  She acknowledged it would be down to EDF Energy's judgement and that the company was mindful that there would be people of differing abilities taking that route.

 

Ms Carney confirmed that an outage period occurred every 18 months and lasted for a maximum of eight weeks.  Unplanned emergency outages could also occur.  The outage car park would only be used during an outage period.

 

The public speaking having been concluded, the Chairman advised the Committee that the debate would be split into three distinct sections, to look at the three different sites within the application.

 

The Chairman invited the Committee to debate the section of the application that related to the proposed new outage store within the nuclear security fence.

 

The Committee was not concerned with this aspect of the application. A member of the Committee, who was also Ward Member for Sizewell, thanked members of the public for attending the meeting.

 

The Chairman invited the Committee to debate the section of the application that related to the proposed new outage car park at Pill Box Field.

 

A member of the Committee, who was also Ward Member for Sizewell, expressed her concerns regarding this aspect of the application.  She noted that Sizewell Gap Road was a busy highway and that the outage car park would further increase traffic in the area.  She also noted that the new access point would create three junctions in close proximity to one another.  The member of the Committee considered that it would be a shame to lose a field for a car park.

 

Several other members of the Committee also expressed concerns about this aspect of the application.  They considered it to be too prominent in the landscape, noted the removal of greenery and the impact on climate change, and stated that the route from the car park to the main site was inappropriate for pedestrian use.  It was suggested that if a shuttle bus system could be used, the car park could be located outside of the AONB.

 

One member of the Committee was very concerned about the erosion of AONB areas in the District and considered that an alternative site should be used; at this point he advised he would be voting against the application.

 

Another member of the Committee, who was concerned about the application, was not convinced that the car park would have a low impact in the landscape.  She also considered that a shuttle bus system would add to the traffic congestion experienced in the area.

 

Clarification was sought by a member of the Committee that the surface of the car park would be reinforced ground and queried what this would look like when the car park was not in use.  The Arboriculture and Landscape Manager advised that this was the type of surface proposed and that this would allow a continuous green surface, which would appear to be a grass surface when the car park was not in use.

 

A member of the Committee spoke in favour of this element of the application.  He noted the information provided regarding the reinforced grass surface and its contribution to the low impact the car park would have on the landscape.  He also highlighted the significant tree planting that would take place on Pill Box Field to mitigate the loss of Coronation Wood.  He gave examples of post-industrial areas elsewhere returning to nature and was content that the new planting would be managed and be a net benefit, enhancing Pill Box Field.

 

Several other members of the Committee concurred with these comments and were satisfied with the proposals for this section of the application, considering that the applicant had minimised the impact of the outage car park as much as possible.

 

The Chairman invited the Committee to debate the section of the application that related to the felling of Coronation Wood and the redevelopment of that site.

 

Several members were very concerned with the loss of Coronation Wood.  It was noted during debate that a large number of the objections to the application related to Coronation Wood; one member of the Committee stated that the Committee needed to pay regard to this and consider the benefits of landscape on people's wellbeing.  She added that there was a duty of care to the environment and wildlife and to safeguard the AONB.

 

Members opposed to the loss of Coronation Wood acknowledged it was not of high value in itself but was valuable for landscape purposes, including providing a barrier between Sizewell B Power Station and the AONB.  One member of the Committee highlighted that the wood was already showing stages of regeneration and that this would be improved through positive management.  He added that the size of the buildings proposed for this area of the site were more suited for outside of the AONB.

 

It was considered by several members of the Committee that Coronation Wood should be retained; it was noted that the Council had declared a climate emergency and that removal of a wood would go against that declaration.  It was considered that no amount of replanting would replace what would be lost if Coronation Wood was removed.  It was also suggested that the application was premature, as a DCO had not been granted for Sizewell C and noted that the wood was in its current state because of a lack of positive management by the applicant.

 

Several members of the Committee acknowledged that it was not positive to lose Coronation Wood but that on balance it was necessary.  One member of the Committee stated that having read the reports in full and having visited the site, he considered it would be better for Coronation Wood to be replaced by the proposed planting at Pill Box Field, as this would be at a 10:1 ratio and would improve the environment.  He noted that the Committee had been informed that the applicant had not been obliged to manage Coronation Wood and that it was a wood coming to the end of its natural useful life, and that the new planting would be conditioned to include positive management.

 

A member of the Committee noted that the application was for preliminary works and was to be considered on its own merits, without factoring in any other projects such as Sizewell C.  He said that the Arboriculture and Landscape Manager had advised the Committee that Coronation Wood was not thriving and that the species found within were not suited to the soil.  He agreed that the proposed mitigation planting would result in a net gain; he understood the sentiments of the local community but was in support of this aspect of the application.

 

Several members of the Committee supported this aspect of the application, concurring with the comments already made during debate.  It was considered by these Members that it was important that Sizewell B Power Station be allowed to maintain services should a DCO be granted for Sizewell C.  It was highlighted that the proposed replanting would provide species more suited to the area in which they would be planted, and that the applicant could apply to the Forestry Commission for a felling licence, outside of this application.

 

The Chairman noted that the applicant had not been responsible for Coronation Wood for its entire lifetime and that the wood was not publicly accessible.  She defined evolution as gradual growth and considered that change was necessary in this instance.  She stated that the site was a key employer in the area and wanted to see the continuation of local jobs.

 

A member of the Committee who was in support of the application summarised his satisfaction with the application and highlighted condition 16 of the recommendation, to restore any preliminary works undertaken should a DCO not be granted.

 

There being no further debate, the Chairman moved to the recommendation as set out in the report.

 

On the proposition of Councillor Rivett, seconded by Councillor Fryatt it was by a majority vote

 

RESOLVED

 

That AUTHORITY TO APPROVE be granted subject to:

 

- receipt of additional bat survey information including impacts and mitigation measures; 

- receipt of a Shadow Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA) report providing sufficient detail for this Authority to undertake the necessary assessment in accordance with the habitats regulations;

- the signing of a section 106 legal agreement requiring a payment in relation to residual impacts on the AONB; and

- the inclusion of appropriate conditions including those detailed below.

 

 

1. FULL AND OUTLINE:

The full and outline development to which this permission relates shall be begun no later than:

(a) the expiration of three years from the date of this planning permission,

 

Reason: To comply with Section 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

 

2. OUTLINE:

The relevant part of the development as hereby permitted shall not commence until the Reserved Matters of the relevant part of the development have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and that part of the development shall be carried out and completed in all respects in material compliance with the details so approved before the building(s) are occupied. Such details shall include:-

i) Layout;

ii) Scale;

iii) Appearance; and

iv) Landscaping.

 

Development within the Outline Area shall be carried out and completed in all respects in material compliance with the details so approved.

Reason: These details are required to ensure that a satisfactory development is achieved.

 

3. FULL AND OUTLINE:

The development shall be carried out in material compliance with the following approved drawing(s) and/or document(s):

 

Site wide drawings:

- Sizewell Land Ownership Boundary (000001)Rev. B;

- Location Plan (100000);

- Proposed Site Layout Plan (100002) Rev. B; and

- Proposed Demolition Plan (100004) Rev. B.

 

Full component drawings:

- Proposed Outage Store Block Plan (100005);

- Proposed Outage Store Basement Plan (100006);

- Proposed Outage Store Ground Floor Plan (100007);

- Proposed Outage Store First Floor Plan (100008);

- Proposed Outage Store Second Floor Plan (100009);

- Proposed Outage Store Third Floor Plan (100010);

- Proposed Outage Store Roof Plan (100011);

- Proposed Outage Store Section 1 (100012;

- Proposed Outage Store Section 2 (100013);

- Proposed Outage Store North Elevation (100014);

- Proposed Outage Store South Elevation (100015);

- Proposed Outage Store East Elevation (100016);

- Proposed Outage Store West Elevation (100017);

- Proposed Training Centre Block Plan (100018);

- Proposed Training Centre Ground Floor Plan (100019);

- Proposed Training Centre First Floor Plan (100020);

- Proposed Training Centre Second Floor Plan (100021);

- Proposed Training Centre Roof Plan (100022);

- Proposed Training Centre Section 1 & 2 (100023);

- Proposed Training Centre North & South Elevations (100024);

- Proposed Training Centre East & West Elevations (100025);

- Coronation Wood Development Area Proposed Site Plan (100027);

- Coronation Wood Development Area Yardman's Office (100028);

- Proposed Outage Car Park Proposed Site Plan (100030) Rev. B;

- Proposed Replacement Rosery Cottage Garage Plans, Elevations & Sections (100031);

- Proposed Coronation Wood Development Area Landscape Plan (100035);

- Proposed Coronation Wood Development Area Sections (100036);

- Proposed Tree Removal Plan (1 of 2) (100037);

- Proposed Tree Removal Plan (2 of 2) (100038);

- Proposed Indicative Landscape Restoration Plan (100039);

- Pillbox Field Proposed Outage Car Park Landscape Plan (100040) Rev. B;

- Pillbox Field Proposed Outage Car Park Sections (100041) Rev. B; and

- Landscape Key Plan (100042)

 

Outline component drawings:

- Proposed Visitor Centre Parameter Siting Plan (100032);

- Proposed Visitor Centre Parameter Height Plan (100033); and

- Outline Development Zone Parameter Siting Plan (100034).

 

Supporting documents:

- Arboricultural Impact Assessment;

- Arboricultural Method Statement;

- Environmental Statement;

- Habitats Regulation Assessment Screening;

- Transport Statement; and

- Woodland Management Plan

 

Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.

 

4. FULL AND OUTLINE:

Prior to the commencement of development (other than the Permitted Preparatory Works as defined in Informative 1), a scheme containing the details set out in (i) to (v) below shall be submitted to and approved by the Council.

(i) The siting, design and external appearance of temporary buildings and structures to be erected and used during the period of construction of the development;

(ii) Details of vehicular circulation roads, parking, hard-standing, loading and unloading facilities and turning facilities required during the construction of the development;

(iii) Details of ground levels and heights of all permanent buildings and structures together with cross-sections through the site showing existing and proposed ground levels;

(iv) Details of the colour, materials and surface finish in respect of vehicular circulation roads, parking, hard standing, loading and unloading facilities and turning facilities on site; and

(v) Phasing of work.

 

Reason: To enable the Council to exercise reasonable and proper control over the design and appearance of the Development.

 

5. Prior to the above ground construction of any building or structure (other than Permitted Preparatory Works as defined in Informative 1), details of the colour, materials and surface finish in respect of that building or structure shall be submitted to and approved by the Council.  The Development shall thereafter be carried out only in accordance with the approved details.

 

Reason: To enable the Council to exercise reasonable and proper control over the design and appearance of the Development.

 

6. FULL AND OUTLINE:

Artificial lighting shall only be installed and used in accordance with the approved scheme in accordance with a detailed Lighting Plan to be submitted for approval in writing by the Local Planning Authority in tandem with details for each phase of development. No lighting scheme is to be implemented without the approval of the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: To limit the impact of light spillage during construction on the surrounding environment including the impact on nocturnal species such as bats.

 

7. FULL AND OUTLINE:

Other than in an emergency or when construction activities are required to be continuous, or if otherwise agreed by the Local Planning Authority, no heavy goods vehicle traffic, plant, machinery or earth moving equipment associated with the construction of the development shall enter or leave the site on any Sunday or Bank Holiday. On any other day, no such heavy goods vehicle traffic, plant, machinery, or equipment shall enter or leave the site except between the hours of 08:00 and 18:00 Monday to Friday and between the hours of 09:00 and 16:00 on Saturdays other than:

 

i) When continuous periods of construction operations are required such as concrete pouring and steel works or;

ii) For the delivery of abnormal loads to the site or;

iii) Cases of emergency; or

iv) If otherwise agreed by the Local Planning Authority.

 

When such operations or deliveries are required outside of these hours, the Local Planning Authority will be notified at least 36 hours in advance.

 

Reason: In order to safeguard the amenity of local residents.

 

8. FULL AND OUTLINE:

All activities associated with the construction of the development shall be carried out in accordance with BS 5228 Parts 1 and 2: 2009+A1:2014 Noise and Vibration Control on Open Sites.

 

Reason: To enable reasonable and proper control to be exercised over noise during construction activity and in order to safeguard the amenity of local residents.

 

9. FULL AND OUTLINE:

Prior to the commencement of the relevant part of the development (other than the Permitted Preparatory Works as defined in Informative 1), a schedule of plant items to be used in that part of the development shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: To enable reasonable and proper control to be exercised over noise during construction activity and in order to safeguard the amenity of local residents.

 

10. FULL AND OUTLINE:

External construction work associated with the development shall not take place on the site at any time on any Sunday or Bank Holiday unless continuous periods of construction operations are required such as concrete pouring or erection of steel. On any other day, no external construction work associated with the development shall take place except between the hours of 07:00 and 19:00, unless continuous periods of construction operations are required such as concrete pouring or erection of steel.  When such operations or deliveries are required outside of these hours, the Local Planning Authority will be notified at least 36 hours in advance.

 

Reason: To enable reasonable and proper control to be exercised over noise during construction activity and in order to safeguard the amenity of local residents.

 

11. FULL AND OUTLINE:

The commencement of the relevant part of the development shall not take place until there has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, a scheme for the monitoring of noise and vibration generated during the construction of the relevant part of the Development.

 

The scheme shall:

(i) specify the measurement locations from which noise and vibration will be monitored and the maximum permitted levels at each such monitoring location; and

(ii) make provision for such noise and vibration measurements to be taken as soon as possible following requests by the Local Planning Authority and such measurements shall be given to the Local Planning Authority as soon as they are available.
Levels specified in the approved scheme, shall not be exceeded, unless otherwise approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority or in an emergency. In any instance where the noise levels approved are exceeded because of an emergency then the Local Planning Authority shall be provided with a written statement as soon as possible following the relevant exceedance and such statement shall detail the nature of the emergency and the reason why the noise levels could not be observed.

 

Reason: To enable reasonable and proper control to be exercised over noise during construction activity and in order to safeguard the amenity of local residents.

 

12. FULL AND OUTLINE:

Prior to the above ground construction of the relevant part of the development (other than Permitted Preparatory Works as identified in Informative 1) a landscape plan including the details set out in (i) to (vii) below shall be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority.

 

i) Planting;

ii) Management of existing and new planted areas;

iii) Restoration of areas affected by construction works;

iv) Details of the height, type, size and species of the shrubs and trees to be planted;

v) Details of the measures to be taken to create new flora and fauna habitats and of the management of such new habitats;

vi) Phasing of works included in the scheme; and

vii) Details of protective fencing.

 

The approved plan shall be implemented within the first available planting season after the commencement of above ground construction of the relevant part of the development and appropriately managed and maintained for a minimum period of 5 years, any plant or tree dying within that 5 year timeframe will be replaced.

 

Reason: To ensure proper landscaping for the development and for the protection of semi natural habitats within the development site boundary.

 

13. FULL AND OUTLINE:

Prior to the commencement of the relevant part of the development (other than Permitted Preparatory Works as defined in Informative 1) a suitably qualified person must have:

 

(i) carried out an investigation to assess the degree of ground contamination of the site and identify any resulting need for remedial measures; and

(ii) submitted a written report of the investigation's findings to the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: To ensure that contaminated waste found on the site is disposed of properly.

 

14. FULL AND OUTLINE:

Contaminated material arising from the construction of the relevant part of the development shall be treated on the site in accordance with a scheme to be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, in consultation with the Environment Agency, or shall be disposed of to licensed disposal facilities subject to such variations to the approved scheme as have been approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: To ensure that contaminated waste found on the site is disposed of properly.

 

15. FULL AND OUTLINE:

Prior to the commencement of the relevant part of the development (other than Permitted Preparatory Works as defined in Informative 1) a surface water drainage scheme for the site, based on sustainable drainage principles and an assessment of the hydrological and hydrogeological context of the relevant part of the development and infiltration testing, must be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, in consultation with the Environment Agency and Suffolk County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority. The scheme shall be implemented, maintained and managed in accordance with the approved details.

 

Reason: To prevent the increased risk of flooding, to improve and protect water quality, improve habitat and amenity, and ensure future maintenance of the surface water drainage system.

 

16. FULL AND OUTLINE:

In the event that Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station is not permitted by the Secretary of State, a scheme of restoration in accordance with details first submitted to and agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority will occur at Pillbox Field and any other areas previously vacated by Sizewell B buildings and not to be re-used.  The scheme shall be submitted to and approved in writing within 18 months of the date of the final decision by the Secretary of State to refuse consent for the Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station (or, if later, the date that any legal challenge to such decision is finally resolved).

 

All restorative works shall be carried out in accordance with a Restoration Scheme, including a timeframe for the restoration works, in accordance with details first submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: To ensure that development does not occur unnecessarily and to protect the environment.

 

17. FULL and OUTLINE:

Before the construction of any elements of the hereby approved built development are commenced, a detailed Construction and Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), based on the outline CEMP, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Construction of the built elements of the proposal (full and outline) shall not be carried out other than in accordance with the approved plan.

 

The Construction and Environmental Management Plan shall include the following matters:

 

a) parking and turning for vehicles of site personnel, operatives and visitors;

b) loading and unloading of plant and materials;

c) piling techniques;

d) storage of plant and materials;

e) provision and use of wheel washing facilities;

f) programme of site and all associated works such as utilities including details of traffic management necessary to undertake these works;

g) site working and delivery times;

h) a communications plan to inform local residents of the program of works;

i) provision of boundary hoarding and lighting;

j) details of proposed means of dust suppression;

k) details of measures to prevent mud from vehicles leaving the site during construction;

l) haul routes for construction traffic on the highway network;

m) monitoring and review mechanisms;

n) details of delivery times to the site during the construction phase (to avoid peak deliveries passing through Stratford St Andrew and Farnham at peak periods);

o) ecological mitigation measures in relation to noise, vibration, and visual disturbance;

p) the presence on site of an ecological clerk of works when particularly sensitive areas within the site are being developed (an agreed list of areas can be agreed with the Local Planning Authority for avoidance of doubt);

q) ecological mitigation measures in relation to impacts from light disturbance;

r) a detailed plan for ongoing access between the eastern and western compartments of Unit 4 of the SSSI which has the potential to be bisected by this development (pre, during and post-construction);

s) additional survey work as required in consultation with the Local Planning Authority;

t) a revised methodology for relocation of reptiles within the development area;

u) dust management measures / positioning of any standby generators in relation to occupants of Rosery Cottage;

v) provision of biodiversity net gain measures at appropriate time scales during the construction works;

w) vehicle emissions and non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) emissions to be minimised by incorporating best practice control and management measures; and

x) Restriction of site access for members of the public.

 

Reason: In the interest of highway safety to avoid the hazard caused by mud on the highway and to ensure minimal adverse impact on the public highway during the construction phase, and to ensure the development is carried out in a considerate manner with regards to human and ecological receptors.

 

18. FULL AND OUTLINE:

No part of the construction works shall commence until emergency plans relating to the construction have been submitted to and agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Radiation emergency plans cover the EDF Energy Sizewell B Operators emergency plan and SCC Off Site Emergency Plan issued under Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations. Wider civil contingency arrangements cover Suffolk Resilience Forum emergency plans for identified risks e.g. flooding, that might affect the construction site and any associated infrastructure.

 

Reason: To ensure the ongoing nuclear safety of the Sizewell B site.

 

19. FULL AND OUTLINE:

The emergency plans, as required under Condition 18, shall be carried out as approved in relation to the relevant part of the relevant works, unless otherwise agreed after consultation through the Sizewell Emergency Planning Consultative Committee or Suffolk Resilience Forum as appropriate.

 

Reason: To ensure the ongoing nuclear safety of the Sizewell B site.

 

20. FULL AND OUTLINE:

No development shall commence until the implementation of a programme of archaeological work has been secured, in accordance with a Written Scheme of Investigation which has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme of investigation shall include an assessment of significance and research questions; and:

a. The programme and methodology of site investigation and recording.

b. The programme for post investigation assessment.

c. Provision to be made for analysis of the site investigation and recording.

d. Provision to be made for publication and dissemination of the analysis and records of the site investigation.

e. Provision to be made for archive deposition of the analysis and records of the site investigation.

f. Nomination of a competent person or persons/organisation to undertake the works set out within the Written Scheme of Investigation.

 

The site investigation shall be completed prior to the commencement of development (other than the Permitted Preparatory Works), or in such other phased arrangement, as agreed and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
Reason: To safeguard archaeological assets within the approved development boundary from impacts relating to any groundworks associated with the development scheme and to ensure the proper and timely investigation, recording, reporting and presentation of archaeological assets affected by this development, in accordance with Strategic Policies SP1 and SP15 of Suffolk Coastal District Council Core Strategy Development Plan Document and the NPPF.

 

21. FULL AND OUTLINE:

None of the buildings hereby approved shall be occupied until the site investigation and post investigation assessment has been completed, submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, in accordance with the programme set out in the Written Scheme of Investigation approved under Condition [28] and the provision made for analysis, publication and dissemination of results and archive deposition.

 

Reason: To safeguard archaeological assets within the approved development boundary from impacts relating to any groundworks associated with the development scheme and to ensure the proper and timely investigation, recording, reporting and presentation of archaeological assets affected by this development, in accordance with Strategic Policies SP1 and SP15 of Suffolk Coastal District Council Core Strategy Development Plan Document and NPPF.

 

22. FULL AND OUTLINE:

The development hereby permitted shall not be occupied until details of all Sustainable Drainage System components and piped networks have been submitted, in an approved form, to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority for inclusion on the Lead Local Flood Authority's Flood Risk Asset Register.

 

Reason: To ensure that the Sustainable Drainage System has been implemented as permitted and that all flood risk assets and their owners are recorded onto the LLFA's statutory flood risk asset register as per s21 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 in order to enable the proper management of flood risk with the county of Suffolk https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/flooding-and-drainage/flood-risk-assetregister/

 

23. FULL AND OUTLINE:

No development shall commence (other than Permitted Preparatory Works as defined in Informative 1) until details of a Construction Surface Water Management Plan (CSWMP) detailing how surface water and storm water will be managed on the site during construction (including demolition and site clearance operations) is submitted to and agreed in writing by the local planning authority. The CSWMP shall be implemented and thereafter managed and maintained in accordance with the approved plan for the duration of construction. The approved CSWMP and shall include:

 

A) Method statements, scaled and dimensioned plans and drawings detailing surface water management proposals to include :-

 

 i. Temporary drainage systems

 ii. Measures for managing pollution / water quality and protecting controlled waters and watercourses

 iii. Measures for managing any on or offsite flood risk associated with construction

 

Reason: To ensure the development does not cause increased flood risk, or pollution of watercourses or groundwater.

 

24. FULL AND OUTLINE:

Notwithstanding the submitted and approved drawings, the consent hereby granted does not allow for any removal, works within or development within the designated Sizewell Marshes SSSI - the pedestrian footpath linking the outage car park with the main site is not permitted under this planning consent. Details are to be submitted of an alternative pedestrian access (including detailed bridge design if required) from the outage car park on Pillbox Field to the main site and agreed by the Local Planning Authority prior to first use of the hereby approved outage car park facility. If an agreed alternative route cannot be achieved, users of the outage car park will access the main site via Sizewell Gap Road and the primary Sizewell B vehicular access. Use of an agreed alternative pedestrian route will not commence until it is complete to a design agreed by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: To avoid unacceptable and unnecessary loss of the designated and protected SSSI and to achieve an alternative pedestrian route to the site avoiding public highway (if possible).

 

25. FULL:

Before the construction of the outage car park is commenced details shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority showing the means to prevent the discharge of surface water from the outage car park onto the highway. The approved scheme shall be carried out in its entirety before the access is first used and shall be retained thereafter in its approved form.

 

Reason: In the interests of highway safety to prevent hazards caused by flowing water or ice on the highway.

 

26. FULL AND OUTLINE:

Prior to dewatering commencing in relation to development on the site, monitoring points to be used during the dewatering process are to be agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority, the results of the monitoring is to be shared with the Local Planning Authority at intervals to be agreed in advance of works commencing on dewatering and if proposed mitigation measures prove ineffective, potential additional mitigation measures may need to be agreed with the Local Planning Authority and implemented in an appropriately agreed timescale to enable works to continue.

 

Reason: To ensure that there are no adverse effects on designated sites occurring through dewatering of the site as proposed.

 

27. FULL AND OUTLINE:

Mitigation measures associated with additional bat survey work on the site are to be carried out prior to development commencing on site (this includes Permitted Preparatory Works as defined in Informative 1), the details of this is to be agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority and carried out at an appropriate timescale to be agreed with the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: To ensure any adverse impacts on protected bat surveys in the vicinity of the development proposed is appropriately mitigated and managed.

 

28. FULL:

Before the access is first used clear visibility at a height of 0.6 metres above the carriageway level shall be provided and thereafter permanently maintained in that area between the nearside edge of the metalled carriageway and a line 2.4 metres from the nearside edge of the metalled carriageway at the centre line of the access point (X dimension) and a distance of 120 metres in each direction along the edge of the metalled carriageway from the centre of the access (Y dimension) or tangential to the nearside edge of the metalled carriageway, whichever is the more onerous. Notwithstanding the provisions of Part 2 Class A of the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (or any Order
revoking and re-enacting that Order with or without modification) no obstruction over 0.6 metres high shall be erected, constructed, planted or permitted to grow within the areas of the visibility splays.

 

Reason: To ensure vehicles exiting the drive would have sufficient visibility to enter the public highway safely, and vehicles on the public highway would have sufficient warning of a vehicle emerging to take avoiding action.

 

29. FULL:

No other part of the outage car park shall be constructed until the access/new junction with Sizewell Gap is submitted and approved with the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: In the interests of highway safety to ensure the approved layout is properly constructed and laid out and to avoid multiple accesses which would be detrimental to highway safety.

 

30. FULL:

Notwithstanding the requirements of Condition 29, a means for securing the vehicular access to the outage car park when not in use is to be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, the agreed security measures are to be in place and available use prior to the vehicular access being made available for use.

 

Reason: To ensure Pillbox Field can be protected from unauthorised vehicular access.

 

31. FULL:

As detailed in Chapter 8.7of the Environmental Statement, a photographic recording of the buildings to be demolished is to be carried out prior to any demolition works on site, this record is to be made available to the Local Planning Authority and lodged with the Suffolk Records Office if required.

 

Reason: To detail the history of the Sizewell B nuclear power station and to maintain a record of original buildings on the site.

 

32. FULL:

Prior to first use of the vehicular access onto Sizewell Gap Road, a new unmanned crossing point is to be provided on Sizewell Gap in a location and to a design to be agreed with the Local Planning Authority in conjunction with Suffolk County Council Local Highway Authority.

 

Reason: To improve safety for pedestrians in the vicinity given the new vehicular access to Sizewell Gap Road.

 

33. FULL:

Full details of the precise location of the garage proposed at Rosery Cottages is required along with details of mitigating measures to ensure no adverse impact or effects arising from the construction on adjacent ditches, this is to be submitted prior to development commencing on site (except for the Permitted Preparatory Works defined in Informative 1), and constructed in accordance with the agreed details.

 

Reason: To ensure the garage has no unacceptable effects or impacts on the sensitive ditch network in close proximity to the construction area.

 

Informatives:

 

1. Definition to be used in relation to the conditions detailed above (where noted):

"Permitted Preparatory Works" means:

(1) Felling of trees and grubbing out roots;

(2) Exposing of utility services within the site;

(3) Surveys and geotechnical surveys; and

(4) Provision for temporary contractors' facilities necessary for (1) to (4) above within the site.

 

2. BS 3998: 2010

The applicant should note that the work hereby permitted should be carried out in accordance with good practice as set out in the 'British Standard Recommendation for Tree Work' BS 3998: 2010, or arboricultural techniques where it can be demonstrated to be in the interests of good arboricultural practice.

Protected Species:

The applicant should note that under the terms of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to disturb nesting birds, bats their roosts and other protected species. You should note that work hereby granted consent does not override the statutory protection afforded to these species and you are advised to seek expert advice if you suspect that nesting birds, bats and other species will be disturbed. Likewise, badgers are protected under the Badgers Act 1992 and if disturbance is likely, a licence may be undertaken from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food before any work is undertaken.

 

3. The proposal is located adjacent to Sizewell Drain, an ordinary watercourse which falls under the jurisdiction of the East Suffolk Drainage Board. Footbridges installed as part of this application may require consent from the IDB if works are required to be undertaken on or near the watercourse.

 

Following the conclusion of this item, the Chairman adjourned the meeting for a short break.  The meeting was adjourned at 2.24pm and was reconvened at 2.31pm.

 

Councillor Haworth-Culf left the meeting following the conclusion of this item.

Report of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management
15

The Committee received report ES/0095 of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management.  The report was a summary of the outcome of an outline application submitted on 15 May and withdrawn on 22 August 2019.  The application (with all matters reserved except for means of access) was for the erection of up to 2,700 dwellings at Land to the north of the A14 and to the west of the A12, Foxhall.

 

Based on the scale of the proposal it would not have been a delegated decision to approve or refuse and therefore it was considered appropriate to update the Committee on the outcome of its consideration following its withdrawal.  The summarised report set out some facts, opinions and conclusions reached ahead of what would have been a recommendation of refusal. 

 

The Committee received a presentation on the report from the Major Sites and Infrastructure Manager.  He explained that prior to its withdrawal the application had been due for determination in September and it had been intended to bring the application before the Committee at this meeting for determination.  The Committee was advised that the application had been the largest single housing proposal in Suffolk for several years and had therefore garnered significant press coverage and public interest.

 

The Major Sites and Infrastructure Manager identified the proposed site location and its relationship to both existing local urban areas and the Brightwell Lakes development.  The proposed development would have been separate from the existing local urban areas.

 

Details of the site were outlined along with its relationship to Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, the A14 and the village of Bucklesham.

 

The Committee was shown an illustrative masterplan that had been included with the application.  The Major Sites and Infrastructure Manager outlined the details of the primary access to the site from the A12 that had been proposed as well as two secondary accesses via Bucklesham Road.  The site had been proposed to include various amenities.

 

The feedback from statutory consultees had contained a number of holding objections that highlighted shortfalls in the supporting information provided by the applicant.  This lack of information resulted in neither the statutory consultees or the Council as the Local Planning Authority being able to come to a full conclusion on the application, and concerns were raised regarding environmental impact and proposed mitigation measures not addressing this.

 

The Major Sites and Infrastructure Manager added that the application was contrary to both the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan and the East Suffolk Business Plan and would have had an undermining effect on the emerging Suffolk Coastal Local Plan.  He stated that should the application be resubmitted it would be judged against the new Local Plan when adopted and would not be in accordance with this new plan, resulting in a recommendation of refusal.

 

Councillor Ceresa left the meeting room at this point.

 

It had been suggested to the applicant that they further engaged with the Council and statutory consultees before submitting a new application.

 

The Chairman invited questions to the Officer.

 

A member of the Committee asked what notice had been given by the applicant that they would be making such a significant application.  The Major Sites and Infrastructure Manager said that the applicant had met with officers from the Planning Policy team regarding the emerging Suffolk Coastal Local Plan, before later seeking advice for Environmental Assessment scoping.  The applicant had been recommended to seek pre-application advice but had not done so.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the contents of the report be received and noted.

Report of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic Development
16

The Committee received report ES/0141 of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic Development.  The report was introduced by Councillor Rivett and outlined that EDF Energy was holding a fourth public consultation into their proposals for a new nuclear power station, Sizewell C, in the parish of Leiston-cum-Sizewell. This was an additional round of consultation that had been announced in July 2019. It was running for ten weeks from 18 July to 27 September 2019.

 

Previous rounds of public consultation had resulted in joint responses being sent to EDF Energy on behalf of East Suffolk Council (formerly Suffolk Coastal District Council) and Suffolk County Council following jointly prepared Cabinet reports. The intention was for the full response to be presented to East Suffolk Council’s Cabinet at a special meeting on Monday 23 September 2019, it was again intended that the same report will be presented to Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 24 September 2019.

 

The report provided background to the consultation, detail of the consultation, and the Councils' previous stance at Stages 1 to 3 (where relevant) in order to seek advice from the Strategic Planning Committee on how the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development should advise Cabinet on the Council's response to the Stage 4 public consultation. 

 

Councillor Ceresa returned to the meeting room at this point.

 

Councillor Rivett invited the Head of Planning and Coastal Management to address the Committee on the details included within the report.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management explained that in addition to the joint response to previous consultations by the former Suffolk Coastal District Council and Suffolk County Council, the former Waveney District Council had also submitted its own responses.  He noted that Jim Crawford, EDF Energy's Project Development Director for Sizewell C, would be giving a presentation on the project at the next meeting of Full Council on Wednesday 25 September 2019.

 

The Committee was advised that all responses to the Stage 3 consultation would remain standing, unless changes to the councils' position changed due to new information being received.  The Head of Planning and Coastal Management apologised that the report had been added to the agenda as a late item; he noted that the East Suffolk Council Constitution required that the Committee made a recommendation to Cabinet, whereas previously a recommendation had been made by the former Suffolk Coastal District Council's Sizewell C Task Group to that council's Cabinet.  He advised the Committee that discussions were ongoing with Suffolk County Council to revamp the JLAG concept.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management highlighted the key areas for consideration arising from the Stage 4 consultation, which consisted of:

 

- An alternative freight management option - integrated strategy;

- Alternative approach for traffic management through Wickham Market (no details);

- New option for rail-head at Land east of Eastlands Industrial Estate;

- Sizewell Link Road to be removed post-construction?

- Flood mitigation areas;

Ecological migitation areas; and

- Red line changes across the project's main development site and associated development sites

 

The Committee was shown a table from the consultation document that detailed the three proposed transport strategies for the project; rail led, road led, and integrated.  EDF Energy had stated that they could not deliver a marine led strategy and held concerns with a rail led strategy.  The Head of Planning and Coastal Management said that a rail led strategy was preferred and this had been the outcome of the Stage 3 consultation however EDF Energy had identified that there was a risk of not completing an uplift of rail infrastructure within project timescales, which would result in a more severe impact on the road network.

 

Officers were of the view that a rail led strategy was not likely to come forward and it was highlighted that an integrated strategy had been outlined in the current consultation, which would not require enhancements to the East Suffolk rail line.  Within this strategy it was proposed to extend peak operational hours to mitigate concerns about noise on the East Suffolk rail line at Westerfield during the night.  The Head of Planning and Coastal Management highlighted that it was important to ascertain what type of transport scheme would come forward, if the Sizewell C project was to progress.

 

It was unclear if the base growth for traffic included the proposals from Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) and this was being checked.  Peak traffic was now considered by EDF Energy to be 1.5 times the average number of HGVs required on a typical day and car occupancy unchanged; the latter was being disputed by both councils.  The Head of Planning and Coastal Management highlighted concerns about the pressures this would put on private and rented housing as well as the tourism industry.

 

The Committee was advised that EDF Energy was now seeking views on whether any Sizewell Link Road should be temporary or permanent, the latter being a legacy benefit.  Officers considered that the road should remain following conclusion of development.  EDF Energy were presenting the route proposed at Stage 3, maintaining that other routes were not viable.

 

Both Stage 3 options for mitigation at Wickham Market, Glevering Mill diversion and removing on-street parking, remained in the Stage 4 consultation.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management highlighted the additional alternative approach added by EDF Energy: work with Wickham Market Parish Council on public realm improvement scheme within the public highway, footway and pedestrian crossing provision, review of on-street parking to meet parking demand.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management said that the additional approach reflected discussion with Suffolk County Council and Wickham Market Parish Council but lacked any detail.  He added that concerns relating to displacement remained and noted that there was no consistent view in the village itself.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management outlined information in the consultation on pylon options, flood compensation areas, marsh harrier mitigation, Fen Meadow mitigation, and other minor changes.  He also highlighted the social and economic mitigating impacts within the consultation document.

 

It was noted that the new consultation did not reference changes to development on Goose Hill, a response to network highway issues raised at Stage 3, a response to consultee comments on public Right of Way level crossing closures, or details on a construction programme and delivery of associated sites.

 

The Head of Planning and Coastal Management stated that it was important to ensure highway improvements took place before construction begins and that the right mitigation was in place ahead of time.

 

The recommendation, as contained within the report, was outlined to the Committee.

 

The Chairman invited questions to the officers.

 

A member of the Committee expressed concerns regarding several junctions on the A12 and suggested they should be included in any highway improvements.  The Head of Planning and Coastal Management acknowledged that the A12 needed to be fit for purpose across the board.

 

The Member then sought clarification around mitigation for marsh harrier land and Fen Meadow.  After some discussion, it was agreed that officers would speak with the Member to clarify the issues outside of the meeting.

 

Another member of the Committee, who was also a member of Felixstowe Town Council, noted that concerns remained from Stage 3 regarding the two options for a trade centre.  He considered the Seven Hills option was more viable and considered that the Innocence Farm site did not naturally link with the A14.  He asked if the Council's joint response with Suffolk County Council would concur with the views of Felixstowe Town Council on these proposals; the Head of Planning and Coastal Management said that both proposals were being considered at that time.

 

It was highlighted by a member of the Committee that several concerns seemed to be progressing through each stage without resolution and asked at what point should consultations not be progressed if issues were not resolved.  The Head of Planning and Coastal Management confirmed that EDF Energy managed the consultation process and that the Council was a statutory consultee; the consultation outcomes would need to be submitted for the DCO.

 

There being no further questions, the Chairman moved to the recommendation as set out in the report.

 

On the proposition of Councillor Rivett, seconded by Councillor Ceresa it was by a majority vote

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Strategic Planning Committee endorses and supports the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic Development in working with Suffolk County Council to achieve a joint response to EDF Energy’s Stage 4 public consultation to be presented to East Suffolk Council Cabinet on the 23 September 2019.

Part Two - Confidential

There are no Exempt or Confidential items for this Agenda.

Declarations of Interests

Visitors

Officers present:
Liz Beighton (Planning Development Manager), Lisa Chandler (Energy Projects Manager), Naomi Goold (Senior Energy Projects Officer), Matt Makin (Democratic Services Officer), James Meyer (Ecologist), Nicholas Newton (Arboriculture and Landscape Manager), Beth Rance (Graduate Town Planner - Energy Projects), Desi Reed (Planning Policy and Delivery Manager), Philip Ridley (Head of Planning and Coastal Management), Ben Woolnough (Major Projects and Infrastructure Manager)