Meeting Details

Planning Committee South
28 Jun 2022 - 14:00 to 15:14
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Visitors
  • Declarations of Interests

Documents

Agenda

Meeting Details
Meetingdetails
MeetingDetailsHybrid

Members are invited to a Meeting of the Planning Committee South

to be held in the Deben Conference Room, East Suffolk House, Melton, on Tuesday, 28 June 2022 at 2.00pm

 

This meeting will be broadcast to the public via the East Suffolk YouTube Channel at https://youtu.be/IurzrHyPtPA.

Part One - Open To The Public
1 Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
1
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Tom Daly and Mike Deacon.  Councillor Ed Thompson attended as Councillor Daly's substitute.
2 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.

2
No declarations of interest were made.
3 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.  
3
No declarations of lobbying were made.
4 pdf Minutes (305Kb)
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 May 2022
4

On the proposition of Councillor Blundell, seconded by Councillor Newton it was by a unanimous vote

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 May 2022 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

Report of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management
5

The Committee received report ES/1186 of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management, which was a summary of the status of all outstanding enforcement cases for East Suffolk Council where enforcement action had been sanctioned under delegated powers up until 19 May 2022. At that time there were 13 such cases.

 

The Chairman noted that the Assistant Enforcement Officer was in attendance and invited questions on the report.

 

The Assistant Enforcement Officer advised that he was not aware of any impact of a recent fire at the site on Sandy Lane, Martlesham in relation to ongoing enforcement action and would be visiting the site shortly to assess the current state of operations there and if any further enforcement action was required.

 

The Assistant Enforcement Officer confirmed that enforcement action had been commenced in respect of the site of the former Coes building in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe and that discussions had taken place with the landowner and their planning agent on appropriate action to address planning breaches on the site.  The Planning Manager (Development Management) added that he understood an application had been made to restore the building and would confirm this with the Committee after the meeting.

 

There being no further questions the Chairman sought a proposer and seconder for the recommendation to note the report.

 

On the proposition of Councillor Hedgley, seconded by Councillor Cooper it was by a unanimous vote

 

RESOLVED

 

That the outstanding enforcement matters up to 19 May 2022 be noted.

Report of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management
6

The Committee received report ES/1187 of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management, which related to planning application DC/21/5748/FUL.

 

The application sought planning permission for the erection of one new market dwelling on land to the rear of 10 and 12 Market Hill, Woodbridge.  As the "minded to" decision of the case officer to approve the application was contrary to Woodbridge Town Council's recommendation of refusal, the application was presented to the Planning Referral Panel on 16 June 2022, in accordance with the Scheme of Delegation set out in the East Suffolk Council Constitution.  The Panel referred the application to the Committee for the determination so Members could debate the merits of the application.

 

The Committee received a presentation from the Planner, who was the case officer for the application.

 

The site's location was outlined and an aerial photograph of the site was displayed.

 

The Committee received photographs demonstrating views of the site entrance and looking into the site from the rear.  The Planner highlighted the listed properties and curtilage boundary wall neighbouring the site entrance.

 

The Committee was shown the existing and proposed block plans; some of the trees on the site were proposed to be removed and replacement tree planting would be secured by condition.  The Council's Arboriculture and Landscape Officer had not objected to the application.

 

The proposed floor plan and the existing and proposed elevations were displayed.  The Planner outlined the design proposed feature a pitched roof which would step down in line with the gradient of the site.  The upper portion would be clad in a black corrugated sheet metal, with the lower portion being encased in corten steel.  The street facing elevation would be a perforated screen to conceal the courtyard that would be created for the property.

 

Drawings for the concealed courtyard were displayed and the Planner detailed how the concealment would be achieved.

 

The recommendation to approve the application, as set out in the report, was outlined to the Committee.

 

The Chairman invited questions to the officers.

 

The Planner advised that the proposed condition to secure a construction management plan did not explicitly state that a banksman would be required for vehicle movements, but considered that the scope of the development would require one.  The Planning Manager (Development Management) added that the wording of this proposed condition could be strengthened should the Committee wish to do so and explained that the Council was not able to resist development on the grounds that construction management may be complicated.

 

The Planner confirmed that one of the entrances to Woodbridge School was located on the opposite side of Market Hill to the application site.

 

In response to a question on the selection of the materials to be used, given that the proposed development would be within a conservation area, the Planner outlined that the design was a result of negotiations with the applicant and their agent during the pre-application process to refine the design and select suitable materials. 

 

The Committee was advised that corten steel had been selected as it reflected light in the same way red brick would and the black cladding mirrored similar cladding in the immediate area.  The Planner noted that the Council's Design and Conservation team's most recent response on the application stated that it considered the design did preserve and enhance the conservation area.  The Planning Manager added that contemporary designs were common in conservation areas and cited similar designs and materials to what was proposed in the Aldeburgh conservation area.

 

The Planner highlighted that officers had resisted plans to remove part of the listed curtilage wall to create a vehicular access to the site and officers considered the lack of any parking provision to be acceptable given the site's sustainable location in close proximity to Woodbridge town centre, which was within walking distance to alternative forms of transport.

 

There being no public speaking on the application, the Chairman invited the Committee to debate the application that was before it.

 

Councillor McCallum understood the comments on the materials selected but was not concerned by this aspect of the development; her concern related to the construction traffic and asked that should the application be approved by the Committee, the discharge of conditions application be brought to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee for approval.

 

The Planning Manager advised that any discharge of conditions application condition could be shared with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee but this could not be explicitly conditioned in any planning permission granted for this application.  The Planning Manager advised that the condition to secure a construction management plan could be strengthened by the Committee to set out specific engagement with the Highways Authority on its discharge.

 

Councillor Bird was content for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to be apprised of any discharge of conditions application.  Councillor Bird stated that was concerned about the impact of the materials selected on the conservation area and that alien materials could be introduced to the area that did not protect and enhance it.  Councillor Bird stated that he remained of an open mind on this aspect of the application.

 

Councillor Cooper queried if tree roots would be protected during the development.  The Planner advised that the principal tree on the site would be retained and that replacement planting for the trees that would be lost, which considered to be of poor quality, would be secured by condition.  The Planning Manager added that an arboricultural statement to protect the retained trees would also be secured by condition.

 

Following further debate on construction traffic, the Planning Manager advised that should it wish to do so, the Committee could resolve to delegate authority to approve the application to the Head of Planning and Coastal Management, subject to the proposed conditions and the enhancement of condition 16 (construction management plan) being approved by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee.

 

Councillor Hedgley was content with the design and material aspects of the application but considered that the objections from eight neighbours and Woodbridge Town Council should be considered.  Councillor Hedgley also acknowledged the concerns raised about construction traffic and noted that it would be the developer's responsibility to notify the Highways Authority should any road closures be required.  Councillor Hedgley said that on balance, he was reluctantly in support of the application.

 

There being no further debate, Councillor McCallum proposed that authority to approve the application be delegated to the Head of Planning and Coastal Management, subject to the proposed conditions and the enhancement of condition 16 (construction management plan) being approved by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee.  This was seconded by Councillor Cooper and it was by a unanimous vote

 

RESOLVED

 

That AUTHORITY TO APPROVE the application be delegated to the Head of Planning and Coastal Management, subject to the conditions below and the enhancement of condition 16 (construction management plan) being approved by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee.

 

Conditions:

 

1. The development hereby permitted shall be begun not later than the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.

 

Reason: This condition is imposed in accordance with Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).

 

2. The development hereby permitted shall not be carried out other than in complete accordance with the following approved drawing(s):

- 08 Rev. N (Proposed plans);

- 09 Rev. N (Proposed elevations);

- 10 Rev. I (Proposed site plan);

- 11 Rev. H (Proposed roof block plan);

- 01 Rev. A (Location plan).

 

Reason: For avoidance of doubt as to what has been considered and approved.

 

3. The materials and finishes shall be as indicated within the submitted application and thereafter retained as such, unless otherwise agreed by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: To ensure the satisfactory appearance of the development in the interests of visual amenity.

 

4. No development (including any construction, demolition, site clearance or removal of underground tanks and relic structures) approved by this planning permission, shall take place until a detailed remediation method statement (RMS) has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the LPA. The RMS must include, but is not limited to:

- details of all works to be undertaken including proposed methodologies, drawings and plans, materials, specifications and site management procedures;

- an explanation, including justification, for the selection of the proposed remediation methodology(ies);

- proposed remediation objectives and remediation criteria; and

- proposals for validating the remediation and, where appropriate, for future maintenance and monitoring.

 

The RMS must be prepared by a competent person and conform to current guidance and best practice, including the Land Contamination Risk Management (LCRM).

 

Reason: To ensure that risks from land contamination to the future users of the land and neighbouring land are minimised, together with those to controlled waters, property and ecological systems, and to ensure that the development can be carried out safely without unacceptable risks to workers, neighbours and other offsite receptors.

 

5. Prior to any occupation or use of the approved development the RMS approved under condition 4 must be completed in its entirety. The LPA must be given two weeks written notification prior to the commencement of the remedial works.

 

Reason: To ensure that risks from land contamination to the future users of the land and neighbouring land are minimised, together with those to controlled waters, property and ecological systems, and to ensure that the development can be carried out safely without unacceptable risks to workers, neighbours and other offsite receptors.

 

6. A validation report must be submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA prior to any occupation or use of the approved development. The validation report must include, but is not limited to:

- results of sampling and monitoring carried out to demonstrate that the site remediation criteria have been met;

- evidence that any RMS approved in pursuance of conditions appended to this consent has been carried out competently, effectively and in its entirety; and

- evidence that remediation has been effective and that, as a minimum, the site will not qualify as contaminated land as defined by Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

 

Reason: To ensure that risks from land contamination to the future users of the land and neighbouring land are minimised, together with those to controlled waters, property and ecological systems, and to ensure that the development can be carried out safely without unacceptable risks to workers, neighbours and other offsite receptors.

 

7. In the event that contamination which has not already been identified to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) is found or suspected on the site it must be reported in writing immediately to the Local Planning Authority. No further development (including any construction, demolition, site clearance, removal of underground tanks and relic structures) shall take place until this condition has been complied with in its entirety.

 

An investigation and risk assessment must be completed in accordance with a scheme which is subject to the approval in writing of the Local Planning Authority. The investigation and risk assessment must be undertaken by competent persons and conform with prevailing guidance (including BS10175:2011+A2:2017 and the Land Contamination Risk Management (LCRM)) and a written report of the findings must be produced. The written report is subject to the approval in writing of the Local Planning Authority.

 

Where remediation is necessary a detailed remediation method statement (RMS) must be prepared, and is subject to the approval in writing of the Local Planning Authority. The RMS must include detailed methodologies for all works to be undertaken, site management procedures, proposed remediation objectives and remediation criteria. The approved RMS must be carried out in its entirety and the Local Planning Authority must be given two weeks written notification prior to the commencement of the remedial works.

 

Following completion of the approved remediation scheme a validation report that demonstrates the effectiveness of the remediation must be submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA.

 

Reason: To ensure that risks from land contamination to the future users of the land and neighbouring land are minimised, together with those to controlled waters, property and ecological systems, and to ensure that the development can be carried out safely without unacceptable risks to workers, neighbours and other offsite receptors.

 

8. The use shall not commence until the area(s) within the site shown on Drawing No. 08, Rev. K for the purposes of secure cycle storage has been provided and thereafter the area(s) shall be retained, maintained, and used for no other purposes.

 

Reason: To ensure that sufficient areas for secure cycle storage are provided in accordance with Suffolk Guidance for Parking (2019) to promote sustainable travel.

 

9. Before the development 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 development onto the highway including any system to dispose of the water. 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: To prevent hazards caused by flowing water or ice on the highway. This needs to be a pre-commencement condition to avoid expensive remedial action which adversely impacts on the viability of the development if, given the limitations on areas available, a suitable scheme cannot be retrospectively designed and built.

 

10. The areas to be provided for the storage and presentation for collection/emptying of refuse and recycling bins as shown on Drawing No. 08, Rev. K shall be provided in their entirety before the development is brought into use and shall be retained thereafter for no other purpose.

 

Reason: To ensure that space is provided for refuse and recycling bins to be stored and presented for emptying and left by operatives after emptying clear of the highway and access to avoid causing obstruction and dangers for the public using the highway.

 

11. No removal of hedgerows, trees or shrubs shall take place between 1st March and 31st August inclusive, unless a competent ecologist has undertaken a careful, detailed check of vegetation for active birds' nests immediately before the vegetation is cleared and provided written confirmation that no birds will be harmed and/or that there are appropriate measures in place to protect nesting bird interest on site. Any such written confirmation should be submitted to the local planning authority.

 

Reason: To ensure that nesting birds are protected.

 

12. No materials, plant or machinery shall be brought on to the site, until a full Arboricultural Method Statement including a comprehensive suite of tree protection measures to BS.5837 standard has been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. Thereafter, the development shall be constructed in strict accordance with approved methodology with all protection measures installed around all retained trees and hedgerows. 

 

All protective fencing shall be retained and maintained until the development is complete and at no time shall there be any materials, plant or equipment stored, or building or excavation works of any kind undertaken, beneath the canopies of the trees and hedges unless otherwise approved.

 

Reason: To protect the trees/hedgerow during the course of development in the interest of visual amenity.

 

13. None of the trees or hedges shown to be retained on the approved plan shall be lopped, topped, pruned, uprooted, felled, wilfully damaged or in any other way destroyed or removed without the prior written consent of the Local Planning Authority. Any trees or hedges removed, dying, being severely damaged or becoming seriously diseased within five years of the completion of the development shall be replaced during the first available planting season, with trees or hedges of a size and species, which shall previously have been agreed in writing by the local planning authority.

 

Reason: To safeguard the contribution to the character of the locality provided by the trees and hedgerow.

 

14. Within 3 month(s) of commencement of development, precise details of a scheme of landscape works (which term shall include tree and shrub planting, grass, earthworks, driveway construction, parking areas patios, hard surfaces etc, and other operations as appropriate) at a scale not less than 1:200 shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority.

 

Reason: To ensure that there is a well laid out landscaping scheme in the interest of visual amenity.

 

15. The approved landscaping and planting works shall be implemented not later than the first planting season following commencement of the development (or within such extended period as the Local Planning Authority may allow) and shall thereafter be retained and maintained. Any plant material removed, dying or becoming seriously damaged or diseased within five years of planting shall be replaced within the next available planting season and shall thereafter be retained and maintained.

 

Reason: To ensure the submission and implementation of a well-laid out scheme of landscaping in the interest of visual amenity.

 

16. No development shall commence until a detailed method of construction statement has been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. This statement shall set out hours of construction/activity on site, the location of parking areas for construction vehicles and delivery hours for materials and equipment to the site before and during construction. Thereafter the approved construction statement shall be adhered to throughout the construction of the development.

 

Reason: To reduce the potential impacts of noise pollution and additional vehicular movements in this area of Chapel Street during the construction phase of the development.

 

Informatives:

 

1. The Design and Access statement includes a section on Rainwater Harvesting for WC, irrigation, washing machine and an outside tap.

 

Water used for domestic purposes, but not provided by a regulated Water Undertaker, is regulated under the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2016 (as amended).

 

The term 'domestic purposes' is defined in section 218 of the Water Industry Act 1991, as drinking, washing, cooking, central heating and sanitary purposes. The term 'sanitary purposes' includes washing/bathing/showering, laundry and toilet flushing.

 

Therefore, if the development is to include the use of a Rainwater Harvesting System for domestic purposes advice should be sought from the Environmental Protection Team prior to commencing works. All works undertaken must comply with the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2016 (as amended).

 

If you have any questions relating to this consultation response, please email ep@eastsuffolk.gov.uk, quoting "our reference" listed above, and an Officer will do their best to assist you.

Report of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management
7

The Committee received report ES/1188 of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management, which related to planning application DC/22/1162/FUL.

 

The application sought planning permission to construct a 4-bay cart lodge with studio above at Woodside, Martlesham Road, Little Bealings, IP13 6LX.  As the "minded to" decision of the case officer to approve the application was contrary to Little Bealings Parish Council's recommendation of refusal, the application was presented to the Planning Referral Panel on 24 May 2022, in accordance with the Scheme of Delegation set out in the East Suffolk Council Constitution and the Panel referred the application to the Committee for determination.

 

The Committee received a presentation from the Energy Projects Co-ordinator, who was the case officer for the application.

 

The site's location was outlined and the Committee was shown aerial photographs of the site which indicated the locations of both the host dwelling and the cart lodge.

 

The Committee received photographs demonstrating views looking north towards the host dwelling, looking west and east along Martlesham Road, views into the site showing the relationship between the host dwelling and the cart lodge and views of the wider streetscene.

 

The Energy Projects Co-ordinator provided details of the consented scheme on the site which had been approved under planning application DC/17/3824/FUL, noting that what had been approved was slightly smaller than what had been constructed and removed an external staircase.  The Committee was shown the existing elevations to demonstrate these changes, along with the existing block plan.

 

The Committee was advised that there was extant consent for an extension to the host dwelling, approved under planning application DC/21/4162/FUL.  The Energy Projects Co-ordinator explained that part of the justification for the recommendation to approve this application was that once this extant consent was built out, the cart lodge would be subordinate to the host dwelling.

 

The Committee was shown the proposed block plan for the approved extension in relation to the constructed cart lodge.

 

The recommendation to approve the application, as set out in the report, was outlined to the Committee.  The Energy Projects Co-ordinator highlighted that a condition was proposed to secure the replacement of trees that would be lost as part of the development.

 

The Chairman invited questions to the officers.

 

The Energy Projects Co-ordinator advised that should the extant consent for the extension not be built out he would still consider that the cart lodge would be subordinate to the host dwelling, although this justification would be weaker.

 

The Planning Manager (Development Management) noted that the term cart lodge was generally used for larger garages and that traditionally, a cart lodge had open bays and a more traditional appearance.  The Planning Manager considered that the term was more generally used to describe the style of an outbuilding than if it had open bays or not.

 

In response to a question on a possible application adjacent to the site for two new dwellings, the Planning Manager advised later in the meeting that an application had been received and been refused.

 

The Chairman invited Councillor Hedgley, who was also Ward Member for Little Bealings, to address the Committee.

 

Councillor Hedgley gave apologies for Little Bealings Parish Council, who had been unable to send a representative to speak at the meeting.  Councillor Hedgley read out a statement he had received from the Chairman of Little Bealings Parish Council, which stated the Parish Council's resolution to object to the application. 

 

Little Bealings Parish Council's statement considered the separate electricity and water supply to the cart lodge to be against policy SCLP5.7 of the Local Plan regarding infill and garden development and that the position, size, design and materials used had resulted in a development that was harmful to the character of the area, the neighbouring property and the streetscene. 

 

Little Bealings Parish Council's statement suggested that the Committee visit the site to demonstrate the intrusiveness of the development and said it was disappointing that the full effect of the development upon the streetscene could not be observed whilst the trees were in full leaf.

 

Councillor Hedgley added to this statement, being cognisant to the fact the application was retrospective and expressing concern that an experienced developer had not sought planning permission in advance of developing what had been constructed.

 

Councillor Hedgley highlighted that what had been constructed was larger than what had been consented of the site and had a different roof, adding that the impact of the development could not be assessed whilst the trees were in full leaf. 

 

Councillor Hedgley stated that neighbours of the site were fearful of the planned development in the area and proposed that the Committee defer the application in order to visit the site to fully understand the effect of the development on the streetscene.  The proposal was seconded by Councillor McCallum and it was by a majority vote

 

RESOLVED

 

That the application be DEFERRED to allow the Committee to visit the site to fully understand the effect of the development on the streetscene.

 

The Chairman advised that a date and time for the site visit would be confirmed after the meeting.

Report of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management
8

The Committee received report ES/1189 of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management, which related to planning application DC/22/0915/FUL.

 

The application sought planning permission to retain a replacement outbuilding that had been constructed at 46 Dobbs Lane in Kesgrave.  As the "minded to" decision of the case officer to approve the application was contrary to Kesgrave Town Council's recommendation of refusal, the application was presented to the Planning Referral Panel on 19 April 2022, in accordance with the Scheme of Delegation set out in the East Suffolk Council Constitution, and the Panel referred the application to the Committee for determination.

 

The Committee received a presentation from the Energy Projects Co-ordinator, who was the case officer for the application.

 

The site's location was outlined and the Committee was shown aerial photographs of the host dwelling.  The Energy Projects Co-ordinator noted that the rear garden of the property looped towards the front of the host dwelling, which was considered a unique feature of the streetscene.

 

The Committee received photographs of street views of the site looking towards the principal elevation and along Main Road, along with the existing block plan and elevations.

 

Photographs of the site prior to development were displayed to the committee.  The Energy Projects Co-ordinator noted that what had been on the site was not dissimilar to what it had been replaced with and considered that the new development was an improvement.

 

The material planning considerations and key issues were summarised as design quality/materials, residential amenity and the Kesgrave Neighbourhood Plan.

 

The recommendation to approve the application, as set out in the report, was outlined to the Committee.

 

There being no questions to the officers the Chairman invited Councillor Gibson, representing Kesgrave Town Council, to address the Committee.

 

Councillor Gibson considered that the photographs displayed during the officer's presentation illustrated that the new development was bigger in scale than what it had replaced.  Councillor Gibson acknowledged that the previous shed and fencing had not been appropriate for the area and had it been subject to a planning application, Kesgrave Town Council would have objected to it.

 

Councillor Gibson said that Kesgrave Town Council had been minded to object to the application on the principle of development as it was development in a front garden which contravened the essential open plan design of Kesgrave, which was the Town Council's duty to preserve and had been enshrined in the Kesgrave Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Councillor Gibson considered that in isolation the design of the development was immaterial as the principle of development was the key issue.  Councillor Gibson noted the comments made by officers in relation to other dwellings on Dobbs Lane having outbuildings or garages in their front gardens and noted that this was a very limited amount, which had also been designed and built out in a way that was sympathetic to their host dwellings and had also been softened through vegetation boundary planting.

 

In respect of the three neighbours in support of the application Councillor Gibson countered that an overwhelming majority of residents had voted in favour of the Kesgrave Neighbourhood Plan, which sought to promote the retention of the open plan nature of Kesgrave.  Councillor Gibson concluded that Kesgrave Town Council was of the view that what had been built was not suitable for a front garden in the area, regardless of what it had replaced, and urged refusal of the application.

 

The Chairman invited questions to Councillor Gibson.

 

Councillor Gibson did not consider what had been built to be similar to the other outbuildings and garages in the front gardens of properties in Dobbs Lane.

 

In response to a query on the location of Dobbs Lane in 'old' Kesgrave, Councillor Gibson stated that the area could still be considered as open plan, despite the small boundary hedges and fences, adding that the Kesgrave Neighbourhood Plan applied to the whole of Kesgrave.

 

The Chairman invited Mr Willingham, the applicant, to address the Committee.

 

Mr Willingham thanked the Committee for the opportunity to participate in the process and clarify some points; he explained that the intent of the redevelopment had been to smarten up the area and improve the use of space on the site. 

 

Mr Willingham advised that having sought the agreement of his immediate neighbours he worked with a builder to convert the existing sheds on the site into a single outbuilding, reducing the brick shed's height to make the roof continuous.  Mr Willingham added that existing brickwork had been used to join the outbuilding to the host dwelling, at additional cost.

 

Mr Willingham said that his neighbours had been pleased with the resulting development and his adjoining neighbours had commented on both the improved appearance and the positive impact on the visibility from their driveway.  Mr Willingham added that he had plans to plant vegetation on the boundary to soften the impact; this was originally put on hold as construction was completed in the winter and had not been undertaken pending the outcome of this planning application.  Mr Willingham confirmed that should the application be approved then the planting would take place.

 

Mr Willingham noted that if the application was refused and he was required to restore what was originally on the site, it would still be an outbuilding on the site and would not look significantly different that what was currently in place.  Mr Willingham thanked the Planning officers for their positive comments and recommendation to approve the application.

 

The Chairman invited questions to Mr Willingham.

 

Mr Willingham confirmed that he did consider constructing the development with materials to blend the outbuilding with the existing structures but had considered this would make the outbuilding stand out more due to the large surface area of brick it would have created.  Mr Willingham noted that the outbuilding had been orientated to minimise its impact on the streetscene and the replacement fence was lower than the original fence.

 

Mr Willingham stated that the purpose of the development had been to create storage for garden furniture and provide a patio area for amenity space.

 

Mr Willingham, in response to a question on why he had applied for planning permission retrospectively, highlighted that the development had been undertaken during the COVID-19 lockdown and added that he had been of the view that he was replacing like for like and could therefore undertake the development through permitted development rights.  Mr Willingham admitted that in hindsight he should have sought planning permission first.

 

The Chairman invited the Committee to debate the application that was before it.

 

Councillor Blundell said he was familiar with the area as he had previously lived there for several years; he described the area as being wide and open and considered what had been constructed fitted in with its surrounding and did not cause any demonstrable harm.  Councillor Blundell noted the retrospective nature of the application but did not see any reason to refuse it.  Councillors Hedgley and Thompson both concurred with Councillor Blundell's statement.

 

Councillor Cooper expressed concern at the retrospective nature of the application and asked how this sort of issue could be addressed.  In reply, the Planning Manager (Development Management) noted that an application could not be penalised for being retrospective and such applications had to be treated the same as those applications made prior to development.  The Planning Manager also gave an example of where a retrospective application had been refused and that following the dismissal of the subsequent appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, the applicant had been required to demolish what had been constructed and restore what had originally been on the site.

 

Councillor Newton sought guidance on the weight that should be given to the Kesgrave Neighbourhood Plan and its policy on the open plan nature of Kesgrave.  The Planning Manager referred to the information set out in the report and noted that this particular area of Kesgrave could not be truly considered as open plan as it contained fencing and hedges on curtilage boundaries and had a number of outbuildings at the front of the curtilage.  The Planning Manager said that on balance, officers were of the view that the openness in the area was not impacted upon by the development.

 

Councillor McCallum stated that whilst she sympathised with the views of Kesgrave Town Council and was not keen on retrospective applications, she could see no material reason to refuse the application and would, reluctantly, be voting in favour of it.

 

There being no further debate, the Chairman sought a proposer and a seconder for the recommendation to approve the application set out in the report.  On the proposition of Councillor Cooper, seconded by Councillor Blundell it was by a unanimous vote

 

RESOLVED

 

That the application be APPROVED.

 

Informatives:

 

 1. The Local Planning Authority has assessed the proposal against all material considerations including planning policies and any comments that may have been received. The planning application has been approved in accordance with the objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework and local plan to promote the delivery of sustainable development and to approach decision taking in a positive way.

Part Two - Confidential

There are no Exempt or Confidential items for this Agenda.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

Officers present:

Nick Clow (Energy Projects Co-Ordinator), Karen Cook (Democratic Services Manager), Grant Heal (Planner), Matt Makin (Democratic Services Officer), Dominic Starkey (Assistant Enforcement Officer (Development Management)), Ben Woolnough (Planning Manager (Development Management))