Agenda item

DM/22/02314/FPA - Land south of Bowburn Sewage Works and west of A688, Bowburn, DH6 5NP

Erection of a Care Home with associated vehicle parking, landscaping and infrastructure.


The Senior Planning Officer, Steve France (SF) gave a detailed presentation on the report relating to the abovementioned planning application, a copy of which had been circulated (for copy see file of minutes).  Members noted that the written report was supplemented by a visual presentation which included photographs of the site.  The application was for the erection of a Care Home with associated vehicle parking, landscaping and infrastructureand was recommended for approval, subject to the conditions as set out in the report.

The Senior Planning Officer (SF) noted an addendum to the report, if Members were minded to approve the application, the landscaping plan reference would need updating to reflect the latest plan, Condition 4 would be altered as details relating to the means of enclosure had been received and agreed, and paragraph 75 referred to a condition relating to servicing hours, they would be added to an additional condition, between the hours of 8.00am and 6.00pm.


The Chair asked the Committee Services Officer to read out a statement from the Local Member, Councillor J Blakey.


I fully support this planning application for the care home in Bowburn as it is another phase of the multi-million pound development that I, and the community, have been consulted on over the last 11 years.  I do agree with the conditions applied in the report and hope that when it is opened it will provide residents in the county more locally based service for families in the area and help free up bed space within the NHS”.


The Chair thanked the Committee Services Officer and asked the Committee for their comments and questions.


Councillor A Bell noted he felt that all in all the application was a brilliant scheme, with the location being suitable and added value to the larger Integra 61 site.  He therefore proposed approval of the application, subject to the amendments and additional condition as referred to by the Senior Planning Officer (SF).


Councillor J Elmer noted he broadly supported the proposals, especially as there was a demonstrated need.  He noted concerns as regards the national system in terms of biodiversity net gain, in particular with having habitat moved off-site.  He noted recent studies that showed that many applications where biodiversity provision had been agreed off-site, that provision had never materialised.  He noted capacity issues within Local Authorities in terms of enforcement and asked what reassurance Members could be given that such a situation in terms of off-site provision would not occur.  The Senior Planning Officer (SF) explained that the preference in this case was for provision to be met on-site. He added that the Council was improving in terms of s39 and s106 Agreements and conditions relating to 30 year management plans.  He noted that the Senior Ecologist had noted that the site merged with the wider landscape of the Integra 61 site.  He noted he had taken on the role of following up on several reserved matters with the wider Integra 61 site and explained that that the current application helped in terms of several issues, including the SuDS pond and Swift box that met the request from the Cassop-cum-Quarrington Parish Council and Durham Bird Club.  He added that any application would be closely monitored in terms of any triggers and management plans.

Councillor A Surtees asked as regards the name of the site ‘land south of Bowburn sewer works’ and whether there would be any issues in terms of odour.  The Senior Planning Officer (SF) noted an odour assessment had been carried out and that the wider Integra 61 site was a very large site, referring Members to the site plan for the application, with the sewer works being a significant distance from the application site.


Councillor L Brown noted she supported the application and would second Councillor A Bell’s motion.  Upon a vote being taken it was:




That the application be APPROVED, subject to the conditions as set out within the report with the amended and additional condition as referred to by the Senior Planning Officer.


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