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Agenda item

DM/17/03751/OUT - Land to The West of Bridgewater Arms, Winston

Outline 16 no. dwellings all matters reserved


The Committee considered a report of the Senior Planning Officer with regards to application for 16 no. dwellings all matters reserved, at Land to the West of the Bridgewater Arms, Winston (for copy see file of minutes).


The Senior Planning Officer gave a detailed presentation of the application which included a site location plan, aerial photograph, elevations, site layout and photographs of the site.


Parish Councillor J Cook, Winston Parish Council, supported the Officers recommendation.  He advised that part of the land included in the plan and proposed as the new access road, did not belong to the applicant.  The Parish Council had submitted a retrospective application to claim ownership of the land, having maintained it as a rose bed for 20 years, but there had not been enough evidence to support the application.  He referred to other ownership issues relating to a parcel of land adjacent to the Horse Chestnut Tree, part of which was owned by the Council, but also included within the site boundary.  The only access which was owned by the applicant was the field gate, which had recently been removed, along with some fencing.    Trees would be lost as a result of this development, which currently screened the village from the main road and acted as a visual attribute.


Councillor Cook referred to a high flood risk and insufficient drainage.  The area was prone to flooding, and with only a small culvert beneath the road, was incapable of dealing with excess water.  The development would only exacerbate further.  The surface water report did not provide any details with regards to the excessive run off which would be created by the development and finally he referred to climate change, which could lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of flooding.


Councillor Atkinson queried ownership of land which was not registered at the Land Registry and the Solicitor confirmed that the applicant had a duty to certify ownership or serve notice on the owner - if this was not completed, it could impact on the validity of the application.


The Senior Planning Officer confirmed that the applicant had completed a certificate which detailed ownership of the site and served the appropriate notice for other land in question.


Councillor Richardson confirmed that the site was within his electoral division and he would usually support development in the countryside, but not in this case.  He moved the recommendation for refusal as outlined in the report and it was seconded by Councillor Shuttleworth.


Councillor Maitland queried whether the maintenance of land over a period of 20 years was sufficient to claim ownership.  The Solicitor confirmed that land maintenance did not always quantify for registration of ownership, however he reminded Members of their role to determine what was appropriate land use.


Councillor Thompson did not consider the issue of land ownership to be within the remit of the Committee and it was;




That the application be REFUSED for the reasons outlined in the report.

Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714