Meeting Details

Planning Committee South
23 Jul 2019 - 14:00 to 16:38
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Visitors
  • Declarations of Interests

Documents

Agenda

Meeting Details
Meetingdetails
MeetingDetails

Members are invited to a Meeting of the Planning Committee South

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

on Tuesday, 23 July 2019 at 2:00pm

Part One - Open To The Public
1 Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
1
There were no apologies for absence.
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
Councillor Blundell declared a Local Non-Pecuniary Interest in item 7 of the agenda, as Ward Member for Martlesham.
3 pdf Minutes (216Kb)
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 June 2019
3

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

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 June 2019 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

Report of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management
4

The Committee received report ES/0076 of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management, which provided a summary of the status of all outstanding enforcement cases for the Council where enforcement action had either been sanctioned under
delegated powers or through the Committee up until 8 July 2019.

 

A member of the Committee, who was Ward Member for Martlesham and Purdis Farm, asked for an update on a case in his Ward that was being investigated for possible enforcement action. The Planning Development Manager advised that the case was being investigated by one of the Area Planning and Enforcement Officers and that a decision on enforcement action would be made at the conclusion of the investigation.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the contents of the report be noted.

 

At this point in the meeting, the Chairman advised that the agenda would be re-ordered and that item 6 would be heard next.

Report of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management
5

The Committee received report ES/0074 of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management. The application sought planning permission to provide a lake within the grounds of Bawdsey Manor Estate for use by the applicant (PGL) who run a children’s outdoor activity/educational centre on the site. The lake would provide opportunities for canoeing and raft building by guests. The material excavated for the lake was proposed be re-used on the estate. It was also proposed to re-position activity equipment previously consented within the grounds. The application was before the Committee because of the sensitive nature of the site, the finely balanced nature of the recommendation, and the level of public interest.

 

The Committee received a presentation on the application from the Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer. She referred to the visit to the site undertaken by the Committee on 15 July 2019 and drew Members' attention to the additional information provided within the update sheet, which had been circulated on 22 July 2019.

 

The site's location, and its relationship with Bawdsey village and Bawdsey Quay, was outlined. The site's proximity to Ferry Road was also demonstrated. Several parcels of land on the site, containing residential dwellings, existed on the site. These areas and buildings had once formed part of the Estate but were in separate ownership.

 

An aerial photo of the Bawdsey Manor Estate was displayed. It was highlighted that several features of the site, including parkland and buildings, were listed. The site consisted of a series of formal gardens at its front and more natural areas of parkland to its rear. The PGL site was predominantly accessed from the driveway at the front of the site, accessed from Bawdsey Quay. An access driveway also existed at the rear of the site which primarily served the residential properties. 

 

The site was within the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and to the south and west was the River Deben Estuary which was designated a Special Protection Area (SPA), Ramsar and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). A section of the coastline was also an SSSI (Bawdsey Cliff SSSI) designated for its geological interest.

 

The Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer outlined the site's history; the site was originally created as a country estate in the late 1890s, before being occupied as an RAF site between 1930 and 1991. A number of military buildings from this period remained on the site and were of significant historical importance, due to the role Bawdsey had played in the development of radar technology. The site was sold by the Ministry of Defence in 1994 and was used as an international school until PGL purchased the site. Since taking on the site, PGL have been committed to its restoration and had undertaken works identified by the site's Conservation Management Plan (CMP), which had been completed in 2009 and funded by Historic England. One of the restorations identified in the plan and undertaken by PGL was the section of the River Jordan near to the Manor House, which had been observed by the Committee during its site visit.

 

It was noted that at its peak, the international school had accommodated 200 students, but this number had declined in the school's latter years.

 

2019 was the second year of PGL operating the site and the company had made use of a number of the listed buildings in an appropriate way, as part of the site's operation. The parkland areas were also being used for outdoor activities. The Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer highlighted that PGL's ownership of the site prevented further piecemeal breaking up of the site through sales of parcels of land.

 

The Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer outlined the application site and the lake's position within the estate. It was noted that raft building already took place on the restored section of the River Jordan. The applicant had stated that the ability to offer the activities the lake would provide was essential as it was expected at PGL sites and would allow the site to remain competitive. Excess water from the lake would discharge to wetlands at the rear of the application site and help improve that area, in line with the CMP. The works would also remove defunct car parking areas close to the application site which would be a positive development.

 

The Committee was provided with detailed plans of the proposal; the shape and design of the lake, including the addition of islands, would allow it to integrate into the local landscape. There would be 12 activity stations around the lake for the launch of boats/rafts and the storage of equipment. It was highlighted that the lake had been reduced in size and moved further away from neighbouring residential properties to mitigate its impact.

 

The activity stations would be linked by means of a footpath. Photographs were displayed, showing the view of the application site that had been demonstrated to Members during the site visit. Two shelters would also be included for young people not taking part in activities and for the storage of bags during activities. It was considered that the activity stations would be screened by existing planting on the site. 

 

Further detail was provided regarding the planting of reed beds and the wet grassland that would be around the periphery of the lake, to mitigate the loss of the grazing marsh. Cross-sections of the lake were shown, demonstrating the level of the lake in relation to neighbouring properties. It was confirmed that the depth of the lake would be 1.5m.

 

A comparison photograph was shown, detailing the screening that existing vegetation would provide to the nearby residential dwellings in both summer and winter. The Committee was also in receipt of an image of the site with the proposed lake superimposed on to it, to demonstrate the relationship there would be between the lake, nearby houses, and Ferry Road. 

 

The Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer detailed the amendments to the layout of the some of the activity structures, previously consented but not yet been installed. To address some concerns raised by neighbouring residents in close proximity of these structures, it was proposed to re-position some of those structures increasing the distance from adjacent properties. The application also sought retrospective consent for the zip wire that was installed in the opposite direction to that consented. This had resulted in the descent being angled further from a neighbouring property.

 

The key issues were summarised as the impact on designated heritage assets, the impact on the landscape the AONB and the Heritage Coast, the ecological impact and the impact on protected species, the impact on residential amenity, highway safety, flood risk, and contamination.

 

The applicant had acknowledged that nearby organisations used the River Deben for waterborne training, however had stated that this was not suitable for the activities proposed as the majority of guests would be primary school age and have limited experience on the water in a vessel, and would need safe and controlled water conditions. It was also stated that off-site activities would have a significant impact on both activity time, cost to guests, and traffic in the local area.

 

The Committee was directed to the update sheet, in regard to the updates to paragraph 8.17 of the report on the amended Landscape Strategy and the comments of Historic England on the document.

 

The Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer reiterated that the lake had been designed to look as natural as possible within the AONB and have a minimal impact. It was noted that the area of the AONB related to Bawdsey Quay was not defined as a tranquil area and attracted visitors. The Committee was also advised that Suffolk Wildlife Trust had objected to the application as it felt insufficient evidence had been provided by the applicant; PGL had subsequently undertaken a Habitats Regulation Assessment which had provided enough detail to determine that there would be no negative impact to the SSSI or Ramsar sites. It was noted that an Ecology and Habitat Management Plan would be put in place.

 

The objections to the application on the grounds of noise were referenced. The Committee was informed that PGL had taken into account these objections and would implement restrictions on the number of children on the lake at any one time, and the operating times of the lake. The applicant had also produced an assessment that suggested noise levels would be broadly the same as the levels measured at the River Jordan site when raft-building takes place. The Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer noted the comments of Environmental Health regarding the subjective factors that should be taken into consideration.

 

The recommendation to delegate authority to approve, as detailed within the report, was outlined to the Committee.

 

The Chairman invited questions to the Officer.

 

It was confirmed that the Council's Economic Development Team had not been formally consulted on the application as the application was for an additional facility within an existing business. In response to a request from the Chairman during the site visit, the Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer had approached Economic Development who stated it recognised PGL's occupation of the site as significant investment in the economy of the area which provided employment. The Chairman expressed her disappointment that no-one from Economic Development was present at the meeting given the nature of the application.

 

The Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer assured the Committee that restoration works were conditioned within the recommendation.

 

In response to a question on the existing grazing land, the Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer was unable to give a precise length of time for its disuse but considered it was at least ten years.

 

A member of the Committee queried the lack of noise level assessment information in the report. The work undertaken by the applicant to measure the sound of raft-building at the River Jordan site was reiterated as were the comments of Environmental Health regarding the subjective factors of any noise made by the activities. The Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer noted that the applicant had agreed to controlling factors to minimise the noise produced.

 

It was confirmed that ponds would be created from the lake as part of wildlife habitats. The proposed islands would also function as wildlife habitats.

 

The Committee was advised that there would only be two shelters, and that there would be 12 activity stations. Equipment would only be stored at the latter during the summer months.

 

In response to a request from a member of the Committee, a picture of the proposed shelters was displayed.

 

The Chairman invited Mr Block, Chairman of Bawdsey Parish Council, to address the Committee.

 

Mr Block said that the Parish Council had looked at the application in detail and that he would concentrate on three key issues; the impact on residents, the impact on the grassland, and the consideration of an alternative location for the lake.

 

Mr Block noted the concerns raised by local residents who had bought homes that had previously been part of the estate. He considered that the concern regarding loss of amenity was supported by the comments of Environmental Health and that the noise would be continuous, irregular, difficult to control and monitor, and would be every day. Mr Block said that tranquillity was an important part of the Deben Estuary; he agreed that Bawdsey Quay was not a tranquil area but considered that the area abutting the application site was. He referred to the NPPF supporting this factor for an AONB.

 

It was acknowledged that the grassland was not a spectacular piece of countryside, but a lack of recent human intervention had given it a special quality. Mr Block said that it was an important habitat for local species and was a large part of the AONB. Mr Block considered that once this was gone, it was gone forever, and that no matter how carefully the site was managed, it would be a place of lively human activity.

 

Mr Block was of the opinion that the suggestion that the lake be located on the western lawn had been dismissed too readily. He noted that a small lake had existed on the north-west of the site when it was a country estate, so the proposal was not without precedent. Mr Block added that unlike the application site, this alternative location could be successfully restored in the future.

 

There being no questions to Mr Block, the Chairman invited Ms Cass, agent for the applicant, to address the Committee.

 

Ms Cass stated that the application represented an important part of PGL's use of the estate. She considered that PGL's acquisition of the site ensured that it remained in a single ownership and prevented further piecemeal sales breaking up the estate. 

 

It was noted that the site was at risk when acquired and that PGL had recognised that significant investment and restoration was required; Ms Cass said that this had informed PGL's long-terms plan for the site and that the installation of the lake was integral to its objectives. She advised that waterborne activities were an important part of PGL's history and key to it being competitive in the market.

 

Ms Cass considered that material planning considerations had been addressed by the current application and that the lake would support the long-term management of the estate, and support habitats drying out.

 

It was appreciated by Ms Cass that noise remained a concern. She highlighted that PGL had made changes to the application in response to comments including changing the position of the lake and the positions of the launch stations around it. Ms Cass said that this demonstrated PGL quickly responding to concerns and that the company had kept the Council up to date at all times. She considered that the noise management plan in place and the site manager's approach to concerns had addressed concerns raised to date.

 

Ms Cass said that PGL promoted the local economy by increasing jobs in the area and offered valuable experiences for young people. She stressed that PGL worked with the neighbours at all its sites and asked the Committee to support the application.

 

The Chairman invited questions to Ms Cass. Ms Cass was joined by Mr Jones, General Manager of the site, to answer any questions.

 

The Chairman asked for detail on how noise levels across the site would be controlled. Mr Jones explained that singing is used when transporting young people between locations on the site and this would be restricted in areas near to residential dwellings. He added that the sessions on the lake would be designed to be fun but educational and would concentrate on these aspects rather than games or races.

 

It was confirmed that young people on the site were supervised for the vast majority of the time on the site, given the profile of the type of young people who commonly visited the site. Mr Jones noted that the only unsupervised activity was orienteering, but this took place well away from the application site.

 

The Chairman invited Mr Zinns, who objected to the application, to address the Committee.

 

Mr Zinns invited the Committee to ask him questions regarding noise concerns, as he considered that there had been significant misrepresentation on the issue. He was representing neighbouring residents who objected to the application and had concerns regarding it. He noted that the CMP had suggested the sell-off of buildings to support the restoration of the estate.

 

Mr Zinns explained that most residents were retirees or individuals that worked from home. He was of the opinion that a lake would reduce residential amenity and also property value. He highlighted the comments of Environmental Health regarding noise and said that a noise management plan would not resolve the issue.

 

Mr Zinns said that should the lake be approved he and other residents would pursue private claims against the applicant and considered that this would then cause the lake to be abandoned. He was also concerned regarding the impact of the lake on the drainage of the site and stated that the harm to the parkland would not be realised until it was too late. He outlined the recent profits of PGL and weighed this against its statement that the lake was vital in order to fund restoration works.

 

The Chairman invited questions to Mr Zinns. She reminded the Committee that its determination of the application must be based on material planning considerations and that the impact on house prices should not be taken into account.

 

A member of the Committee asked Mr Zinns if he and other objectors, when they had purchased properties, had taken into consideration that they were not buying properties within a conventional residential setting. Mr Zinns noted that the properties had been bought from the international school, which had not created a nuisance for residents.

 

The Chairman invited Councillor Mallinder, Ward Member for Bawdsey, to address the Committee.

 

Councillor Mallinder said that he wanted to concentrate on two key issues; noise and the impact of the development on the environment. He considered the proposed mitigation for noise to be poor and was concerned about the negative impact it would have on both residents and local wildlife, as sound would travel better in such a rural setting. He described the areas as calm and tranquil and said that it attracted humans and wildlife.

 

Councillor Mallinder added that the area was a special one that needed to be protected. He welcomed PGL's efforts and described the company as welcome residents but stated that the application was too big for what it was trying to achieve. He said it would be a permanent alteration of the grassland which was a sensitive wildlife area. He said that he could not support the application.

 

The Chairman invited questions to Councillor Mallinder.

 

Councillor Mallinder said that the sound travel from the lake would differ from other activities on the site as two sides of the application site bordered residential dwellings and the highways, whilst other activities were situated further into the site.

 

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

 

Several members of the Committee noted that they had concerns about the application, particularly in regard to noise and the impact on the ecology of the application site. It was suggested by one Member that the noise issue had not been tackled adequately and that clear statements regarding the impact of noise from the lake were required.

 

Another member of the Committee, who was Ward Member for Western Felixstowe, gave an example of a reserve constructed in his Ward to mitigate the expansion of the Port of Felixstowe. He said that, at the time, had held concerns that the proximity of the reserve to the Port would cause disturbance to wildlife but that this had not been the case. He noted the assurances of the applicant regarding the mitigation proposed in the application and understood both the applicant's reasons for the application and the objectors' concerns. He was unsure how he would vote on the application.

 

Other members of the Committee spoke positively on the application, noting the significant change that had occurred across the estate during its lifetime and commended the efforts of PGL to mitigate impact on wildlife and its commitment  to restore the Estate, highlighting the continued employment opportunities that the site brought. One Member considered that the lake itself would encourage wildlife and noted that similar lakes were encouraged as mitigation on other developments. These Members indicated that they would vote in favour of the proposal.

 

The site visit was described by one member of the Committee as having been informative. She remained concerned about the impact of noise on residential amenity and was undecided on how to vote on the application.

 

At this point of the debate, Councillor Cooper declared a Local Non-Pecuniary Interest in the application, as he had accessed the site under its previous ownership. He noted that children on the site would be engaged in physical activity and take part in positive experiences. He was in support of the application.

 

Another member of the Committee suggested that more detailed facts and figures relating to noise would have been helpful. He spoke about his experience of working on similar sites and considered that the impact of noise on residential amenity would not be significant. However, he was concerned about the impact of the lake's construction on wildlife and disagreed with comments made by other Members on this subject. He acknowledged that some wildlife would return, but not all of what would be disturbed would. He noted the importance of the lake for the development of young people accessing the site and said that, on balance, he supported the proposal.

 

The Chairman acknowledged that the site had been occupied since the late 1890s for various uses. She reminded the Committee that planning applications, where the recommendation was against policy, needed to be determined on the balance of the benefit outweighing the harm. She believed that, on this occasion, the benefit outweighed the harm. She noted the concerns of the objectors but considered the continuation of the restoration of the Estate to be very important. She was also of the opinion that the development of young people was important and that the lake would provide activities that would contribute to such development. The Chairman noted the employment that was brought to the local area by PGL and considered the mitigation for the impact on wildlife to be sufficient. She was in favour of the application.

 

A member of the Committee noted that the report detailed that no noise complaints had been received in 2019 and that complaints in 2018 had not been substantiated. He said that there was clear evidence that PGL was taking onboard suggestions from local residents and attempting to be a good neighbour.

 

There being no further debate, the Chairman invited the Committee to determine the application. On the proposition of Councillor Cooper, seconded by Councillor Hedgley it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED

 

AUTHORITY TO APPROVE subject to the consideration by the Head of Planning and Coastal Management of any comments by Natural England and SWT on the additional ecological reports, clarification from Historic England on the wording of the condition to secure the landscape improvements identified in the revised Landscape Strategy and subject to the following controlling conditions:

1. The development hereby permitted shall be begun within a period of three years beginning with the date of this permission.

Reason: In accordance with Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended.

2. The development hereby permitted shall be completed in all respects strictly in accordance with (list of documents to be inserted here, final documents yet to be agreed)  received (dates of receipt to be inserted), for which permission is hereby granted or which are subsequently submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority and in compliance with any conditions imposed by the Local Planning Authority.

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

3. Not more than 80 participants shall use the lake at any one time, reduced to 60 participants on Saturdays and 50 participants on Sundays.

Reason: In the interests of protecting the amenity of nearby residents

4. The lake shall not be used between 14th November and 10th February the following year, with all equipment removed from the edge of the lake during this time. At all other times of the year the lake shall not be used for activities before 9am and after 5.30pm.

Reason: In the interests of residential amenity.

5. Prior to works commencing on the excavation to create or the construction of the shelters, the lake, detailed construction drawings shall be submitted to and approved by the local planning authority. The details shall include the level changes and grading of land around the lake, details of the activity stations, the exact locations of the timber shelters and their appearance and materials, details of materials for all hard surfaced areas. Only the approved details shall be implemented.

Reason: To ensure the satisfactory appearance of the development in the interests of visual amenity and the preservation of the historic parkland.

6. None of the existing woodlands, tree belts, groups of trees and individual trees shown to be retained on the approved drawings shall be 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 hedgerow 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 and/or shrubs of a size and species which have previously been agreed by the local planning authority.

Reason: To safeguard the visual amenity provided by the trees and hedgerows and to safeguard the character of the Historic Park and Garden.

7. Prior to work commencing on the excavation to create the lake, a materials management plan providing details of how the material excavated will be distributed, deposited and managed across the site shall be submitted to and approved by the local planning authority. The development shall proceed only in accordance with the submitted details.

Reason: In the interests of amenity and the protection of the local environment.

8. Within 3 month(s) of commencement of development, satisfactory precise details of a full  planting schedule (which shall include species, size and numbers of plants to be planted) shall be submitted to and approved by the local planning authority.

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

9. The following ecological mitigation and enhancement measures, recommended by the Council's ecologist, shall be implemented in full:

- provision and approval of a Construction and Environmental Management Plan (CEMP). This should detail all required ecological mitigation measures (including for protected species and species for which nearby sites are designated). It should also include a Materials Management Plan in relation to spoil transport and disposal/spreading. Works must be undertaken in accordance with the agreed CEMP.

- provision and approval of a Landscape and Ecology Management Plan (LEMP). This should include details of the long term habitat management measures to be implemented both on the lake and spoil disposal/spreading area, and across the wider estate. These measures should seek to maintain and enhance the biodiversity value of the whole estate in the long term. Management of the estate should be in accordance with the agreed plan.

Reason: To protect and enhance the biodiversity and geodiversity value of the site.

10. The works listed in the hereby approved Landscape Strategy shall be implemented in full within the timeframes stated unless otherwise agreed with the local planning authority. (This condition may make specific reference to particular works once the final Landscape Strategy is agreed)

Reason: In the interest of securing the maintenance/restoration of designated heritage assets.

11. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the submitted Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) and the following mitigation measures detailed within the FRA:
- Finished water levels for the lake are set no higher than -0.1 metres above Ordnance Datum (AOD)

The mitigation measures shall be fully implemented prior to first use in accordance with timing/phasing arrangements embodied within the scheme, unless otherwise agreed with the local planning authority.

Reason: To reduce the risk of flooding.

12. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the submitted Landscape and Visual Appraisal and the following measures detailed within the appraisal:

- The 24,260 cubic metres of excavated substrate must not be deposited within either Flood Zone 3 or Flood Zone 2.

Reason: To reduce the risk of flooding

13. Prior to the commencement of the excavation works to create the lake,  details of the proposed temporary  access (including the position of any gates to be erected and visibility splays provided) have been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. The approved access shall be laid out and constructed in its entirety prior to construction of the lake commencing. Thereafter the access shall be retained in its approved form until construction is complete, where upon it shall be removed within 1 month, and the highway verge restored in accordance with details previously agreed with the local planning authority.

Reason: To ensure that the access is designed and constructed to an appropriate specification and made available for use at an appropriate time in the interests of highway safety and the highway verge is satisfactorily re-instated.

14. All HGV movements to and from the site during construction shall be subject to a Deliveries Management Plan which shall be submitted for approval a minimum of 28 days before any deliveries of materials commence. No HGV movements shall be permitted to and from the site other than in accordance with the routes defined in the plan. The Plan shall include measures to deal with complaints.

Reason: To reduce the effect of HGV movements in the interests of residential amenity and the protection of the local environment.

15. All landscape works shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details, on completion of the lake or in accordance with a programme agreed with the Local Planning Authority; and any trees or plants which, within a period of five years from completion of the development, die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased, shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent to any variation; all works shall be carried out in accordance with the relevant provisions of appropriate British Standards or other recognised Codes of Good Practice.

Reason: In the interest of securing the maintenance/restoration of designated heritage assets, visual amenity and the protection of the local environment.

16. In the event that contamination is found at any time when carrying out the approved development that was not previously identified it must be reported in writing immediately to the Local Planning Authority. An investigation and risk assessment must be undertaken and where remediation is necessary a remediation scheme must be prepared, which is subject to the approval in writing of the Local Planning Authority. Following completion of measures identified in the approved remediation scheme a verification report must be prepared, which is subject to the approval of the Local Planning Authority.

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.

17. The development shall take place in compliance with the implementation of a programme of archaeological investigation, as described in the approved Written Scheme of Investigation which has been submitted as part of the application to 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 SP 15 of Suffolk Coastal District Council Core Strategy Development Plan Document (2013) and the National Planning Policy Framework (2012).

 

18. There shall be no use of any form of loud speakers, megaphones, sirens, or any other equipment providing amplified sound, at the lake.

 

19. The submitted Noise Management Plan shall be implemented and its annual review be submitted to the Council.

 

Following the conclusion of this item, the Chairman adjourned the meeting for a short break at 4.10pm. The meeting was reconvened at 4.19pm.

Report of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management
6

The Committee received report ES/0075 of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management. Listed Building Consent was sought for the creation of a pedestrian access in an existing boundary wall and the insertion of a gate within the wall. This item was before the Committee following a meeting of the referral panel and the link with the previously consent DC/18/4844/FUL, which also granted planning permission for the erection of a holiday let within the garden of the property.

 

The Committee received a presentation on the application from the Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer. She advised the Committee that a similar application had been refused by Suffolk Coastal District Council's Planning Committee earlier in the year; a revised application was subsequently submitted which was recommended for refusal. This application was later withdrawn and replaced with the current application, which had been further revised, and the Officer recommendation had changed to one of approval.

 

The site's location was outlined and the Committee was shown a photograph of the section of the wall where the gate would be inserted. The proposed elevations of the gate were displayed and it was noted that the height of the gate had been lowered in order to reduce its impact.

 

The Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer acknowledged that the scheme would result in a small loss of historic brickwork, but considered that the proposal would not harm the character of the wall. She noted that the Council's Principal Design and Conservation Officer was in attendance to answer any questions the Committee might have.

 

The recommendation to approve was outlined to the Committee. The Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer displayed an additional condition, not contained within her report, proposing that prior to the gate first being used, the brickwork in the area of the new opening shall be made good using matching materials and finished appearance.

 

The Chairman invited questions to the Officer.

 

It was confirmed that the proposed gate access was to provide pedestrian access to the holiday let approved on the site. 

 

The Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer informed members of the Committee that the previous application had been refused by Suffolk Coastal District Council's Planning Committee due to the negative impact it would have had on the curtilage listed wall.

 

The Principal Design and Conservation Officer stated that the gate would be made of oak and would be left unfinished so that it weathered naturally.

 

The Chairman invited Ms Barnwell, representing Orford and Gedgrave Parish Council, to address the Committee.

 

Ms Barnwell informed the Committee that the Parish Council continued to oppose the creation of a gate access in the curtilage listed wall. She stated that there was no proven need for the gate and it was being installed to provide a convenience, and its benefits did not outweigh the harm that would be caused. 

 

It was noted that views of Broad Street were currently unimpeded by parking and that the creation of the gate would encourage parking on a section of this road. Ms Barnwell described the wall as being unique, as it had no breaks within it and backed an undamaged area of the green.

 

Ms Barnwell considered the photographs submitted by the applicant of similar walls in Orford with gates to be irrelevant, as those gates had been installed for different reasons than the ones given by the applicant. She said that this evidence did not impact on the special considerations to the unique piece of wall in question.

 

It was noted that guest parking would be provided within the grounds of The Great House and that a path would be available from the parking area to the holiday let, which would not impact on the host dwelling. Ms Barnwell said that access from the site's current entrance was therefore sufficient to access the holiday let and could not see any justification for breaching a listed wall. She said that nothing material had changed from the application refused by Suffolk Coastal District Council and urged the Committee to uphold the protections in place.

 

There being no questions to Ms Barnwell, the Chairman invited Mr Gerard, the applicant, to address the Committee.

 

Mr Gerard noted that he had acknowledged the feedback given on the original scheme proposed, particularly that the original gate proposed was too high and too visible, and had come back with a revised scheme where the gate's height had been reduced and its location changed to abut the existing brick pier, in order to reduce its impact.

 

Mr Gerard referred to a number of similar walls in Orford that contained gates. He said that this was part of the charm of Orford. He noted that when the first application was heard by Suffolk Coastal District Council's Planning Committee, concerns had been raised that pedestrian traffic to and from the gate would damage the green. Mr Gerard said that foot traffic would be light and would cause less damage than those homes on Broad Street that were accessed via the green. He said that these homes set a precedent for this access.

 

The parking concerns were acknowledged by Mr Gerard and he said that he was aware of the parking problems in Orford. He was clear that any guests of the holiday let, which he referred to as 'The Little House', would be compelled to use the off-street parking available. He also noted the resurfacing of Broad Street and the addition of yellow lines as a parking control.

 

Mr Gerard concluded by asking the Committee to understand the need of the proposal and the minimal impact it would cause.

 

The Chairman invited questions to Mr Gerard.

 

Mr Gerard highlighted the work that had been completed to create access for guests from the designated parking area to 'The Little House'.

 

The Committee was advised by Mr Gerard that he expected 'The Little House' to be let for six to eight weeks of the year, mostly at weekends. He considered that it would be popular during the peak season.

 

Mr Gerard confirmed that he would continue with the plans for 'The Little House' even if this application was refused but said that such a refusal would spoil the plans.

 

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

 

Members of the Committee acknowledged the reasons given by Mr Gerard for his application but did not consider them to be sufficient given the harm that would be caused to the wall. Members noted the precedent that approving the application would set and the harm that would be caused to the neighbouring green by pedestrian traffic and the possible parking the gate would encourage. It was not felt that the route through the host dwelling's site to the current access point was inconvenient.

 

There being no further debate, the Chairman moved to the recommendation to approve as set out in the report. The recommendation was not proposed and therefore FAILED.

 

The Chairman then sought an alternative recommendation. She suggested that the application be refused due to the negative impact it would have on the curtilage listed wall and that the harm caused would not outweigh the benefits, in accordance with the NPPF.

 

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

 

RESOLVED

 

That the application be REFUSED due to the negative impact it would have on the curtilage listed wall and that the harm caused would not outweigh the benefits, in accordance with the NPPF.

Report of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management
7

The Committee received report ES/0077 of the Head of Planning and Coastal Management. This application sought to vary condition 34 of the outline planning permission DC/17/1435/OUT which was a condition relating to the timing of completion of vehicular access points serving the site. The condition sought to deliver the main site access onto the A12 and the western access of Ipswich Road prior to the first dwelling being occupied. The variation sought would change the trigger points for completion of the accesses to allow the western Ipswich Road access to be provided first, enabling up to 200 dwellings to be built in a southern part of the site as part of the first phase of development without the completion of the A12 access. 

 

This change in the trigger points would affect only the first 200 dwellings and the consideration was limited to the effect of the occupation of those homes via one Ipswich Road access. Specifically, the only relevant effects were those on the highway network and the effect on the establishment of this new community.

 

 The application had been referred to the Committee by the Head of Planning and Coastal Management due to the significance of both the outline planning permission and the site, and because the application for outline planning permission had been determined by Suffolk Coastal District Council's Planning Committee.

 

The Committee received a presentation on the application from the Major Sites and Infrastructure Manager.  He highlighted some minor errors on the first page of the report, which referred to condition 32 of the outline planning permission. He confirmed that the variation was sought for condition 34. It was noted that Mr Barber, Principal Highway Engineer for the Highway Authority, was present at the meeting. The Committee was informed that the scheme for the site had received two awards, including one from the Royal Town Planning Institute, since outline planning permission had been granted.

 

An illustrative masterplan of the site was displayed, and detail was provided regarding highway infrastructure and landscaping. The Major Sites and Infrastructure Manager stated that several developers were keen to build on the site. The site would also provide an "all-through" school and Suffolk County Council was progressing the design of this; it was hoped that detailed planning proposals for the school would be brought forward in the next six months.

 

The delivery of the boulevard was described as being key to the site as it would be the spine of its infrastructure and was therefore critical to the delivery of the school and first 100 homes on the site. Two secondary roads would lead off from the boulevard to Ipswich Road and the A12, which were the subject of the application before the Committee.

 

An access and movement parameter plan was demonstrated to the Committee, highlighting road and cycle access. Condition 34 of the outline planning permission dealt with the delivery of access points into the site and different accesses had different trigger points, to ensure delivery and mitigation was spread appropriately. The applicant was seeking to vary condition 34 in order to bring forward the delivery of the Ipswich Road access. The Major Sites and Infrastructure Manager advised that there were functional reasons as to why the A12 access could not be completed by first occupation. It was noted that the boulevard would provide key facilities including foul water drainage.

 

The Committee was shown details of the proposed access from Ipswich Road, along with photos demonstrating where access from the A12 would be. The areas of the site that would be initially developed were outlined.

 

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

 

The Chairman invited questions to the Officer.

 

A member of the Committee asked what impact any northern relief road would have on the proposed accesses. The Major Sites and Infrastructure Manager advised that it was necessary to consider the proposal against the current circumstances, and that it was not possible to predict the impact of any such relief road. He stated that any proposals for the relief road would need to take into account what had been approved for access in and out of the site.

 

The Chairman invited Ms Pryor, representing CEG, to address the Committee.

 

Ms Pryor informed the Committee that since outline planning permission had been granted, significant work had been undertaken to prepare the site for the delivery of housing, including reserved matters applications and engagement with the local community. She said that a lot of work had gone on behind the scenes and expressed gratitude to the Council's officers for their collaboration. She said it was anticipated that work would begin in the western section of the site in early 2020 and that CEG was seeking to complete all pre-commencement conditions before this time. CEG was acting as the master developer and was offering parcels of land to various housing developers.

 

The purpose of the variation was to allow a housing developer to begin construction on a parcel of land adjacent to Ipswich Road at an earlier stage than if the A12 access needed to be completed first. Ms Pryor said the purpose of the application was speed up the delivery of housing on the site and was not to re-orientate the location of the site's principal access.

 

The Chairman invited questions to Ms Pryor.

 

Ms Pryor confirmed that two reserved matters applications had been approved by Suffolk Coastal District Council in 2018 which would allow services to be provided to the parcels of land identified for initial development. She advised that no work on the site itself had been undertaken at that time.

 

The Chairman invited Councillor Blundell, Ward Member for Martlesham, to address the Committee.

 

Councillor Blundell said he had a great interest in the site, noting that it would impact several parishes within his Ward. He considered that it was a well-established and well-designed site and that CEG had communicated well with the local community. He was concerned that development had not yet begun on the site and expressed a wish to see amenity facilities provided in the area. 

 

Councillor Blundell stated that he was content with the variation to condition 34 as proposed.

 

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

 

There being no debate, the Chairman invited the Committee to determine the application. On the proposition of Councillor Fryatt, seconded by Councillor Hedgley it was

 

RESOLVED

 

That the application for permission to issue the variation of condition 34 be APPROVED, with the variation to state:

 

34. The Following highway improvement shall be completed and made available for use in accordance with the relevant permitted drawings prior to occupation of the first dwelling: 

Shared cycleway and footway connection via Barrack Square – drawing number. 10391-HL-103 revision A

The following access and highway improvement shall be completed and made first available for use in accordance with the relevant permitted drawings prior to occupation of the the first dwelling within the orange area (being the A area) on drawing 31677 30B or prior to the occupation of the 201st dwelling, whichever is sooner:

Proposed western signalised access off A12 dual carriageway – drawing number 1039-HL-07 revision C.

The following access and highway improvement shall be completed and made available for use in accordance with the relevant permitted drawings prior to occupation of the first dwelling within the area outlined light blue (being the site B  area) on drawing 31677 30B or prior to the occupation of the 301st dwelling, whichever is sooner: 

Proposed priority junction western access off Ipswich Road – drawing number 10391-HL-05 revision E. 

As a Variation of Condition application, all previous conditions are reapplied to this permission and it acts as a new decision notice for the Outline approval (time  limits adapted to address the passage of time). The Section 106 agreement does not require any variation owing to a clause written into the agreement applying the Section 106 agreement to any subsequent Variation of Condition application. 

Part Two - Confidential

There are no Exempt or Confidential items for this Agenda.

Attendance

NameReason for Sending ApologySubstituted By
No apology information has been recorded for the meeting.
NameReason for AbsenceSubstituted By
No absentee information has been recorded for the meeting.

Declarations of Interests

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

Visitors

Officers present:
Liz Beighton (Planning Development Manager), Michaelle Coupe (Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer), Matt Makin (Democratic Services Officer), Nicholas Newton (Landscape and Arboriculture Manager), Philip Ridley (Head of Planning and Coastal Management), Katherine Scott (Development Management Team Leader South), Robert Scrimgeour (Principal Design and Conservation Officer), Rachel Smith (Senior Planning and Enforcement Officer), Ben Woolnough (Major Sites and Infrastructure Manager)

 

Others present:

Luke Barber (Principal Highway Engineer, Highway Authority)