38 no. residential units, access & public open space (Outline all matters reserved)
The Committee considered a report of the Senior Planning Officer regarding an application for the erection of 38 residential units, access and public open space (outline, all matters reserved) on Kays Hall Farm, The Green, Evenwood (for copy see file of Minutes).
T Burnham, Senior Planning Officer gave a detailed presentation of the application which included a site location plan, aerial photograph, site photographs and indicative layout. Members of the Committee had visited the site and were familiar with the location and setting.
Councillor B Nicholson, Evenwood and Barony Parish Council addressed the Committee. While not in objection to the application, Councillor Nicholson expressed concern about the proposed highways access into it. The 11 residents who had objected to the application were not present at the meeting. If it could be proven that the proposed highways access was safe, then the development was fine, it was very positive that the lime tree on the village green would now be retained. While the Parish Council was aware that the development would result in some Village Green being taken away and replaced elsewhere, any open space on the development site would not be acknowledged as Village Green and would not be maintained by the Parish Council. There were other areas of land in the village which could be designated as replacement Village Green.
There were four other access points to the proposed development which traffic could use and these were unadopted highways, which could result in these becoming worn.
The Principal DM Engineer informed the Committee that the proposed access onto Evenwood Lane maximised visibility, and the access road would be to adoptable standard. The private access roads which had been referred to were not to an adoptable standard and it was not considered to be an attractive option for these to be used to access the proposed development.
The Senior Planning Officer displayed the indicative layout plan of the development which showed the proposed areas of open space, which would be managed by a private management company.
Councillor Smith, local Member addressed the Committee. She supported in principle development of the site which had been a former farmhouse and was now an eyesore. Planning permission had been granted in 2012 for the conversion of the farm buildings into 9 dwellings but this had never been implemented and the farm building deteriorated. The derelict farm buildings now attracted episodes of anti-social behaviour which were a source of complaints from local residents. Development of the site would remove both the eyesore and anti-social behaviour problems. Although concerns had been expressed regarding the proposed access road, this was on a bend in the road with good visibility. Since the proposal had proposed the retention of the lime tree on the Village Green there had been no further local objections to it. The outline application would bring a mixture of housing to the village, including affordable housing, and would enhance a vibrant community. Councillor Smith asked the Committee to approve the application.
G Vasey, local resident, addressed the Committee to object to the application. Mr Vasey informed the Committee that the proposed access route was inaccurately stated in the report. The access route would cross the Village Green and not follow the edge of it, and the new access road was larger than the current road. Though the revised plans retained the large lime tree, which was welcomed. While the new proposal omitted engineering plans, to build the road there would be a need for a very large ramp or embankment to be constructed to meet the level of the main road. This would have an even greater impact on the Green and fundamentally change the aspect of the Village as a whole. The proposed access road at this point would create a T-junction on what was already a very busy and difficult section of road.
There was a large range of housing stock available and no shortfall of land supply for housing. The Village Green was a heritage asset in its own right and should not be broken up. Open green spaces should be protected and this development may set a dangerous precedent for open green spaces. Mr Vasey asked the Committee to refuse the application.
The Senior Planning Officer replied that the report did not seek to underplay the access road issue and how this would need to be raised to bridge the dip in the landscape. The Village Green was a non-designated heritage asset and the impact of the proposed development would result in only a relatively small area of it being affected.
Councillor Clare informed the Committee that the issues of housing need and the protection of open space were addressed in the Committee report.
I Lyle, agent for the applicant addressed the Committee. The proposed development was sustainable and would afford Evenwood the opportunity to grow. The NPPF supported sustainable development in rural areas which would enhance rural communities and retain and attract families. The development site was already bounded to the north and south by housing development. The proposed development was attractive, proportionate and this was a suitable site for development which would lead to a greater enclosure of the Village Green. It was an outline application but proposed a mixture of house types together with a 15% affordable housing allocation. The proposed highways junction would be safe and the revised application proposed the retention of the lime tree. It also had the support of the Church Commissioners. Mr Lyle asked that the Committee follow the recommendation of officers and approve the application.
Councillor Tucker referred to the proposed road junction and asked whether the increased road level would impact on visibility. The Principal DM Engineer replied that although no details of gradients had been supplied, any gradients required would be of highways standards. Without a detailed design the gradients were unknown.
Councillor Richardson informed the Committee that the development site had been in a dreadful state for a number of years and moved approval of the application.
Councillor Clarke informed the Committee that the application was in outline with all matter reserved and seconded approval of the application.
Upon a vote being taken it was
That the application be approvedsubject to the following;
· completion of a S106 Agreement to secure 6 affordable homes
· the on-site provision of a minimum of 1260m2 amenity/natural greenspace
· £60,102 towards the maintenance or improvement of open/recreation space in the locality
· £13,326 towards off-site biodiversity enhancement and;
· the conditions contained in the report