Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 15 January 2020 11.00 a.m.

Venue: Council Chamber, First Floor

Contact: Ian Senior, 03450 450 500 Email:  Members of the public wishing to speak at this meeting are requested to contact the Support Officer by no later than noon on Monday before the meeting. A public speaking protocol applies.

No. Item



To receive apologies for absence from committee members. 


Councillor Anna Bradnam sent Apologies for Absence. Councillor Dr. Claire Daunton was present as substitute.


Peter Topping had resigned as a member of South Cambridgeshire District Council. The Chairman paid tribute to the contribution that Mr. Topping had made while a Councillor – not just as a local Member and member of the Planning Committee but also to South Cambridgeshire District Council as a whole.


Councillor Sue Ellington had been appointed as an ordinary member of the Planning Committee.


Declarations of Interest


1.         Disclosable pecuniary interests (“DPI”)

A  DPI is where a committee member or his/her spouse or partner has any kind of beneficial interest in the land under consideration at the meeting.


 2.        Non-disclosable pecuniary interests

These are interests that are pecuniary involving a  personal financial benefit or detriment but do not come within the definition of a DPI.  An example would be where a member of their family/close friend (who is not their spouse or partner) has such an interest.


3.         Non-pecuniary interests

Where the interest is not one which involves any personal financial benefit or detriment to the Councillor but arises out of a close connection with someone or some  body /association.  An example would be membership of a sports committee/ membership of another council which is involved in the matter under consideration.


There were no declarations of interest.


Recorded voting


Upon the proposal of Councillor Judith Rippeth, seconded by Councillor Nick Wright, the Committee unanimously agreed that all substantive votes at the current Planning Committee meeting should be recorded by name and / or number and name.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2019 as a correct record.


By affirmation (with Councillors Heather Williams and Nick Wright abstaining as they had not been present at the last meeting), the Committee authorised the Chairman to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2019.


S/4298/18/FL - Willingham (Rear of 74, Rampton Road, Willingham, Cambridge, CB24 5JQ) pdf icon PDF 200 KB


Demolition of existing garage and outbuildings and erection of new children's nursery  with associated infrastructure and landscaping.


This application has been deferred from the meeting held on 11 December 2019. Scroll to Item 7 for the report, decision, minute and other documents.

Additional documents:


By seven votes to four, the Committee approved the application contrary to the recommendation in the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development. Members agreed the reason for approval as being that the benefits outweighed the perceived harm caused by noise. Approval would be subject to Planning Conditions, the final wording of which had been delegated by the Committee to planning officers in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Planning Committee.


(Councillors John Batchelor, Cahn, Fane, Heylings, Milnes, Rippeth and Roberts voted to approve the application. Councillors Daunton, Ellington, Heather Williams and Wright voted to refuse.)


Members previously visited the site on 10 December 2019 and noted that they had deferred determining the application on 11 December 2019 pending the resolution of highway issues.


The case officer read out a further representation received from a member of the public since publication of the agenda.


Philip Kratz (Consultant solicitor representing a group of neighbours opposed to the application) and Emma Morrice (applicant) addressed the meeting.


During the ensuing Committee debate, Members focussed on the following aspects of the application:


·         Neighbour amenity

·         The present and future ownership both of the proposed property and of 74 Rampton Road

·         Considerations surrounding Backlund development

·         Noise risk by virtue of the proposed nursery being a ‘forest school’

·         The duty to protect the interests of nearby residents


The Committee regretted that it had not received any comments from either of the two local Members.


Councillor Nick Wright reminded the Committee that South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Environmental Health Officer had objected to the proposal on the basis of harm caused by noise. He urged caution in disregarding the professional advice from a consultee.


Councillor Pippa Heylings noted the principle of development was accepted and there was an identified need. She clarified the recommendation of officers was on the basis of the harm to amenity, and not adverse impacts to human health, which had a higher threshold. The consideration of impacts to amenity was a subjective matter. Members comments noting examples of the type of relationship proposed that, in their experience, was not unacceptable in terms of impacts to amenity. A number of members commented that they felt the benefits of the proposal outweighed the harm to amenity.



In response to a query, the case officer advised members that a condition regarding common ownership or occupation between the nursery and 74 Rampton Road was sufficient to mitigate the impacts, but noted that it was open to members to consider a Legal Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The Planning Delivery Manager (Strategic Sites) reminded members that the Council had other powers of enforcement and intervention that may be utilised if it became necessary.


The Senior Planning Lawyer advised the Committee that notwithstanding the advice from the case officer as to a condition regarding common ownership or occupation between the nursery and 74 Rampton Road he felt the Committee should be mindful that it would be open to the applicant  to appeal against the imposition of such a condition.  The legal officer then highlighted that the case officer had also suggested members could consider a Legal Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which might provide some greater certainty but the legal officer went on to explain that , the applicant (or a subsequent owner ) would be able to make an application  to strike out or amend the Legal Agreement after five years if he wanted to argue that the restriction should then be deemed to be unnecessary.


Councillor Brian Milnes proposed that a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Enforcement Report pdf icon PDF 280 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received and noted an Update on enforcement action.    


Councillor Nick Wright proposed that officers take immediate steps, in consultation with the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning and subject to Counsel’s Advice, to seek an Injunction in the High Court to regularise the situation at Smithy Fen, Cottenham. This proposal was duly seconded and carried by eight votes to three.


Appeals against Planning Decisions and Enforcement Action pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received and noted a report on appeals against planning decisions and enforcement action.