Venue: Zoom Virtual Meeting
Contact: Lee Jardine 01900 702502
The minutes of the meeting held 02 June 2020 were signed as a correct record.
Declaration of Interests
Councillors/Staff to give notice of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other registrable interest or any other interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.
5. Development Panel - OUT/2019/0036 - Residential development for up to four new dwellings, Land opposite Blencogo Farm, Blencogo..
Councillor Jim Lister; Other Interest; County and Ward Councillor.
To answer questions from Councillors and members of the public – submitted in writing or by electronic mail no later than 5.00pm, 2 working days before the meeting.
Josephine Ewart and Adrian Cozens spoke against the application
David Jeffries on behalf of Bromfield Parish Council spoke against the application
The agent, David Wright spoke in support of the application.
The report recommended that the decision to grant permission subject to conditions be delegated to the Planning and Building Control Manager upon the expiration of the publicity period relating to the matter of access
The Senior Planning Officer then went through the main issues as detailed in the report.
Principle of Development
Blencogo is designated as a Limited Growth Village and therefore is recognised as an acceptable sustainable location for further housing growth. The site is abutted on three sides by built development and within walking distance of the facilities Blencogo offers e.g. the Village Hall.
The development is a departure to the development plan as it lies beyond the saved settlement limits of the 1999 Allerdale Local Plan. However, for the reasons detailed in this report, the principle is acceptable; the settlement limits are out of date and afforded little weight and there are benefits derived from the granting of permission which are not significantly or demonstrably outweighed by impacts.
Landscape and Character
The proposed site infills a gap within the village pattern and is therefore contained within the existing linear envelope. There
will be no unacceptable projection of built development into the open countryside.
The part retention and part replacement of the front hedgerow will assist in retaining the rural streetscape character.
On balance, despite the comments of the highway authority, the proposed details are considered acceptable, with appropriate visibility splays reflecting those for a village benefiting from a speed limit
Members were also shown images, plans and videos of the site including the location within the village.
Members noted the representations received in respect of the application, the main grounds of which were set out in the report.
Questions were asked of the officers and speakers in relation to the visibility splay, traffic volume, access, amenities, drainage and the hedgerow.
In response to questions raised relating to the visibility splay the Senior Planning Officer clarified that the proposed visibility splay of 45 metres is representative to the statutory speed limit of 30mph.
The Planning and Building Manager also clarified to members that, although landscaping is a reserved matter, members are assessing the impact of the loss of hedgerow which will be required to introduce the access, and that 70m of hedgerow will need to be removed in order to achieve suitable visibility splays. Officers also explained to members that it is their understanding that the remaining hedgerow will be retained as part of reserved matters.
Extensive debate ensued relating to the hedgerow and whether the removal will have a detrimental effect on the character of the village. Members also debated the potential over development of Blencogo and whether 4 additional houses would contribute to the sustainability of the village.
The Planning and Building Control Manager clarified that members needed to assess the benefits of the scheme and the contribution that the development would bring against any significant harm.
Clarification was also provided to members in relation to settlement limits and the weight and balance afforded to the 1999 settlement limits against the Local Plan Part 1 2014 and the upcoming Local Plan Part 2 2020 (awaiting adoption).
Councillor Markley moved the motion to grant permission subject to conditions.
The motion was not seconded and as such the motion was lost.
Councillor Farebrother moved the motion to refuse on the grounds that the loss of the hedgerow would result in significant harm which outweighs any benefit of arising from the proposal. Contrary to policies S24, S32 and DM17 of the Allerdale Local Plan Part 1 2014.
Councillor Farebrother also cited concerns with the drainage system and overdevelopment in Blencogo these reasons however were later withdrawn from the motion.
The motion to refuse was seconded by Councillor Daniels.
A vote was taken on the motion to refuse, 9 voted in favour, 3 against and 0 abstentions.
The motion was carried.
Permission refused on the grounds that the removal and loss of approx. 70m length of hedgerow which is considered important to the local community, contributes positively to the character of the area and has a nature conservation value, its loss to provide the proposed vehicular access would result in significant harm which outweighs any benefit arising from the proposal, contrary to Policies S24, S32 and DM17 of the adopted Allerdale Local Plan Part 1 2014.