Erection of extension to newly constructed building
The Committee considered a report of the Senior Planning Officer which provided details of an application for erection of extension to newly constructed building at Units 1-6 Gas Lane Industrial Estate, Gas Lane, Middleton in Teesdale, DL12 0TN (for copy see file of minutes).
G Spurgeon, Senior Planning Officer, provided a detailed presentation of the application which included a site location plan, aerial photographs and photographs of the site.
Judith Mashiter the Clerk to Middleton and Newbiggin Parish Council informed the Committee that whilst the Parish Council had no objections to the application, they had attended to represent local residents and to make sure the application received the maximum amount of scrutiny. Concerns had been raised with regards to noise, increased traffic and the loss of parking and she noted that there had been a reduction of two parking spaces. She advised that there was only one bus service per week and therefore employees would be relying on travelling to work by car. Nevertheless, the report had addressed concerns raised by residents and the harm was localised and not substantial in any case.
Rod Hepplewhite, Agent to the Applicant informed the Committee that the works were necessary for the continued growth of the applicants business as they looked to expand manufacturing. He added that the proposal would have no impact on any nearby listed buildings and would only have a slight impact on the conservation area, but this was outweighed by the employment benefits that would be brought to the area. The proposed landscaping would increase the biodiversity to a net gain of 24% overall and which was in excess of requirements and the application was within local and national planning policies.
The Chair informed the Committee that the application was listed as being in Barnard Castle East Division but was in fact located in the Barnard Castle West Division.
Councillor Jopling asked why the application had seen a reduction in parking spaces, which was followed by a question from Councillor McKeon regarding whether the spaces could be reinstated.
Mr Hepplewhite informed the Committee that the loss of the two spaces had been necessary when looking to expand the work area however the application included more than the minimum number of parking spaces required and Highways Officers were content with the provision. Under the current design the spaces could not be reinstated without substantial changes in the layout but there was an area of land to the east of the site which could be amended to provide an additional two or three spaces, however this would impact on the biodiversity net gain.
The Senior Planning Officer confirmed that he was satisfied with the level of parking provision and would prefer to keep the current landscaping and biodiversity net gain. He advised that whilst a condition to alter the level of parking could be added, it was not considered necessary.
Councillor Atkinson addressed the Committee and brought Members attention to the statement of the Parish Council. Although they had attended, they had raised no objections and had noted that concerns of local residents had been addressed. He confirmed that this application would bring local jobs to the area and he moved the recommendation to approve the application for the reasons outlined in the report.
Councillor Jopling noted that the application would bring benefits to a rural area and create jobs , although she noted that the bus service was insignificant, she seconded Councillor Atkinson’s motion to approve the application.
Councillor Quinn added this application would provide jobs for the local community and in her opinion the parking provision was an issue for the Applicant to determine.
Councillor Savory added that all relevant measures had been applied and reiterated that the application would create 20-30 jobs over the next five years, bringing the total to 145.
The application be APPROVED subject to conditions as outlined in the report