Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 10 February 2021 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Virtual meeting - Online. View directions

Contact: Ian Senior, 03450 450 500 Email: democratic.services@scambs.gov.uk  Members of the public wishing to speak at this meeting are requested to contact the Support Officer by 4pm on Friday 5 February 2021. A public speaking protocol applies.

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Chair's announcements

Minutes:

For the benefit of members of the public viewing the live webcast of the meeting, the Chair introduced Committee members and officers in attendance.

 

He explained that this meeting of the Planning Committee was being held virtually and asked for patience bearing in mind the challenges posed by the technology in use and by the new meeting skills required.

 

The Chair confirmed that the Planning Committee would continue with the practice of recording votes unless a resolution could be reached by affirmation. He explained the process he would follow in a virtual meetings environment.

 

He confirmed that the meeting was quorate but informed members of the public that, if a Committee member was absent for any part of the presentation of or debate about an agenda item then that member would not be allowed to vote on that item.

2.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence from committee members. 

Minutes:

Councillors Pippa Heylings and Judith Rippeth sent Apologies for Absence. Councillors Dr. Claire Daunton and Brian Milnes were present as substitutes.

 

In Councillor Heylings’ absence, and by affirmation, the Committee that Councillor Anna Bradnam be appointed Vice-Chair of the meeting.

3.

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.

Minutes:

Councillor John Batchelor declared a non-pecuniary interest in Minute 5 (S/3921/19/FL - Little Abington (Bancroft Farm, Church Lane)). As one of the local Members, Councillor John Batchelor had been present at Parish Council meetings where this application had been discussed. However, he had not taken part in those discussions and would be considering the matter afresh.

 

Councillor Dr. Claire Daunton declared a non-pecuniary interest in respect of Minute 6 (20/02833/FUL - Fulbourn (6 Pierce Lane)). Having taken legal advice, Councillor Daunton would withdraw from the Committee for the duration of this item, take no part in the debate and would not vote. The agenda report contained her reasons as a local Member for asking that the application be determined by committee, and made it clear that she objected to the proposal.

 

However, she had been granted dispensation to address the meeting as a local Member.

 

Councillor Deborah Roberts declared a non-pecuniary interest in Minute 9 (20/04223/HFUL - Fowlmere (20A Pipers Close)) as a member of Fowlmere Parish Council. Councillor Roberts would be considering the matter afresh.

 

Councillor Heather Williams declared a non-pecuniary interest in Minute 7 (20/04710/HFUL - Steeple Morden (8 Craft Way)) because the proposal would have a visual impact on her father’s home. Councillor Williams would not take part in the debate or vote, but had asked Councillor Nick Wright to address any issues that she herself would have addressed as the local Member.

4.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2021 as a correct record.

Minutes:

By affirmation, those present at the meeting on 13 January 2021authorised the Chair to sign, as a correct record, the Minutes of that meeting subject to the following:

 

Minute 7 (S/3215/19/DC - Longstsnton (The Retreat, Fews Lane))

Councillor Heather Williams was in fact present but did not feel she had enough information on which to vote. Therefore the word ‘not’ should be deleted and the text in brackets at the end of the minute reworded to read:

 

(Councillors Henry Batchelor, Bradnam, Cahn, Fane, Hawkins, Heylings, Richard Williams, Wilson and Wright voted to discharge the Conditions. Councillor Heather Williams was present but felt she did not have enough information upon which to vote so did not vote. Councillor Roberts was not present during part of the consideration of this application and did not vote.)”

 

 (Councillors John Batchelor and Brian Milnes had not been present on 13 January 2021 and were not part of the affirmation.)

 

Referring to Minute 11 (Enforcement Report), Councillor Nick Wright noted that, although his request for an update relating to Smithy Fen, Cottenham had been minuted, no such update had been included as part of the agenda for the current meeting. The Delivery Manager (Strategic Sites) assured Councillor Wright that a verbal update would be given later on in the meeting.

5.

S/3921/19/FL - Little Abington (Bancroft Farm, Church Lane) pdf icon PDF 542 KB

 

Erection of 6 no. dwellings and the change of use and conversion of 2no. agricultural barns to office space (Use Class B1(a) following the demolition of agricultural buildings and removal of hardstanding and associated works (Re-submission of S/1388/19/FL)

Additional documents:

Decision:

By seven votes to four, the Committee refused the application contrary to the recommendation in the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development. Members agreed the reasons for refusal as being:

 

Reason 1: PVAA Encroachment / Impact

 

The application site is located adjacent to, and partially within, a Protected Village Amenity Area which provides a significant contribution to the legibility of the village, maintaining an important area of open land at the centre of the village that supports the rural character, amenity and sense of tranquillity of Little Abington.

 

The proposed development, by virtue of its encroachment into this Protected Village Amenity Area, would undermine the undeveloped nature and rural character at the centre of the village, failing to preserve the local rural character, amenity and sense of tranquillity of the area or provide a place-responsive, and legible form of development. The proposal would therefore fail to accord with Policies S/7, HQ/1 and NH/11 of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018 and the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019, particularly paragraphs 127 and 130.

 

Reason 2: Character / Heritage Impact

 

The proposed development, by virtue of its siting, scale and massing would significantly erode the relatively undeveloped nature of the application site and its rural quality, which contributes positively to the existing character of the Conservation Area. The siting of Plots 1 and 6, being located adjacent to the public highway, would represent an overly dominant and prominent form of development which would detract from the character and appearance of the conservation area.

 

Furthermore, by virtue of their siting, Plots 1 and 6 would be evident in street scene views to the south towards Church of St Mary the Virgin, a Grade II* Listed Building, impacting on its setting. When viewed from the east, along the public right of way, views of the Church would be further eroded due to the inappropriate scale and massing of the proposed development.

 

The proposal would therefore fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and setting of the Church of St Mary the Virgin. It is not considered that the proposal results in public benefits that would outweigh the harm to the significance of the Conservation Area and the Grade II* listed church.

 

The proposal is therefore contrary to Policies HQ/1 and NH/14 of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018 that require development proposals to sustain and enhance the significance of heritage assets, including their settings, as appropriate to their significance, the Council’s Listed Building and Conservation Area Supplementary Planning Documents and the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019, chapter 16.

 

(Councillors Cahn, Fane, Hawkins, and Milnes voted to approve the application. Councillors John Batchelor, Bradnam, Daunton, Roberts, Heather Williams, Richard Williams, and Wright voted to refuse.)

Minutes:

The case officer corrected two typographical errors in the agenda report. In paragraph 14 referred to comments from Little Abington Parish Council and not Great Abington Parish Council. In paragraph 154, the trees identified as T3 and T5 as good quality (Category B) rather than moderate to low quality (Category C).

 

Tony Orgee (objector), Jon Jennings (applicant’s agent), Councillor Sheila Bolden (Little Abington Parish Council). And Councillor Henry Batchelor (a local Member) addressed the meeting.

 

Councillor Nick Wright supported development on former farm sites in principle but was not convinced by this proposal. He would have preferred to have seen a development of ‘live / work’ units.

 

Councillor Peter Fane agreed that ‘live / work’ units would have been better but observed that the current proposal still respected the former farmyard.

 

The following points were made and discussed:

 

·       The importance of Policy NH/11

·       Concerns about car parking notwithstanding its policy compliance

·       Effect on the Little Abington Conservation Area

·       Perceived harm to the Protected Village Amenity Area (PVAA)

·       Concern at the removal of established trees

·       Design

 

Councillor Dr. Martin Cahn suggested that, despite reservation about the loss of trees, the proposal might enhance views from the PVAA and prove itself to be an asset to Little Abington.

 

Speaking as the other local Member, Councillor John Batchelor invited Members to weigh up the benefits and planning harm. He said that the PVAA, Policies and heritage assets were all important considerations. In his view, the proposal neither preserved nor enhanced the Conservation Area. There was no evidence that the office units would be let, and no community benefit by way of a Legal Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

 

By seven votes to four, the Committee refused the application contrary to the recommendation in the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development. Members agreed the reasons for refusal as being:

 

Reason 1: PVAA Encroachment / Impact

 

The application site is located adjacent to, and partially within, a Protected Village Amenity Area which provides a significant contribution to the legibility of the village, maintaining an important area of open land at the centre of the village that supports the rural character, amenity and sense of tranquillity of Little Abington.

 

The proposed development, by virtue of its encroachment into this Protected Village Amenity Area, would undermine the undeveloped nature and rural character at the centre of the village, failing to preserve the local rural character, amenity and sense of tranquillity of the area or provide a place-responsive, and legible form of development. The proposal would therefore fail to accord with Policies S/7, HQ/1 and NH/11 of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018 and the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019, particularly paragraphs 127 and 130.

 

Reason 2: Character / Heritage Impact

 

The proposed development, by virtue of its siting, scale and massing would significantly erode the relatively undeveloped nature of the application site and its rural quality, which contributes positively to the existing character  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

20/02833/FUL - Fulbourn (6 Pierce Lane) pdf icon PDF 404 KB

 

Demolition of existing commercial buildings and construction of five dwellinghouses (one detached and four terrace) together with open and covered parking and includes pedestrian and vehicular access.

Decision:

By six votes to four, with one member not voting, the Committee approved the application subject to the Conditions set out in the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development.

 

(Councillors John Batchelor, Bradnam, Cahn, Fane, Milnes, and Roberts voted to approve the application, Councillors Hawkins, Heather Williams, Richard Williams, and Wright voted to refuse. Councillor Daunton did not take part in the debate and did not vote.)

Minutes:

David Cottee (Fulbourn Forum – objecting), Philip Gilbey (for the applicant company), and Councillor Dr. Claire Daunton (as a local Member and with dispensation) addressed the meeting.

 

While welcoming the broad aim of protecting South Cambridgeshire’s sustainable villages, Councillor Nick Wright  regretted that the current application lacked design quality, conflicted with Council policy, and would not prove sustainable. Some other Members agreed with him, and the loss of an employment site, and adverse impact on local character, were also of concern.

 

Other Members took an opposing view, highlighting potential benefits such as improving highway safety.

 

By six votes to four, with one member not voting, the Committee approved the application subject to the Conditions set out in the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development.

 

(Councillors John Batchelor, Bradnam, Cahn, Fane, Milnes, and Roberts voted to approve the application, Councillors Hawkins, Heather Williams, Richard Williams, and Wright voted to refuse. Councillor Daunton did not take part in the debate and did not vote.)

7.

20/04710/HFUL - Steeple Morden (8 Craft Way) pdf icon PDF 257 KB

 

Two storey rear extension, single storey front extension and an annex within the rear garden

Resubmission of planning application S/4541/19/FL

Decision:

By affirmation, the Committee approved the application subject to the Conditions set out in the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development.

Minutes:

The Delivery Manager (Strategic Sites) confirmed that outstanding legal points had been resolved and that Counsel had advised that the Committee could safely determine the application. The case officer summarised the application’s history.

 

Richard Williams (objecting himself and on behalf of the other next door neighbour) addressed the meeting. Richard Williams was not a District Councillor or Planning Committee member. A written statement from the applicants had been circulated to Members.

 

During the ensuing debate, the following points were raised and discussed:

 

·       Adherence to the front building line

·       Hours of working

·       Massing affecting neighbour amenity

·       The importance of ensuring that the annexe remained ancillary to the main dwelling

 

Members’ attention was drawn to Conditions 3 and 4 relating to hours of work and the ancillary use of the annexe.

 

The case officer confirmed that policy H/12 (residential space standards) was not applicable to the proposed ancillary annex as this unit would not be defined as a ‘new dwelling’.

 

Members accepted that there were no material grounds upon which safely to base a refusal and, therefore, by affirmation, the Committee approved the application subject to the Conditions set out in the report from the Joint Director of Planning and

Economic Development.

 

(Councillor Heather Williams reiterated her non-pecuniary interest in that the proposal would have a visual impact on her father’s home. Councillor Williams took no part in the debate and did not vote.)

8.

20/04089/HFUL - Shudy Camps (14 Main Street) pdf icon PDF 284 KB

 

Two storey side and rear extensions following demolition of flat roofed garage/bathroom/WC side extension plus external and internal conversion works (Resubmission of 20/01999/HFUL)

Decision:

By ten votes to nil with one abstention, the Committee approved the application subject to the Conditions and Informatives set out in the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development.

 

(Councillor Cahn abstained)

Minutes:

Members noted that this application had been presented to Committee because the applicant was an officer at South Cambridgeshire District Council.

 

Following an explanation that the differing ridge lines were intended to highlight the original building and the extension, and by ten votes to nil with one abstention, the Committee approved the application subject to the Conditions and Informatives set out in the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development.

 

(Councillor Cahn abstained)

9.

20/04223/HFUL - Fowlmere (20A Pipers Close) pdf icon PDF 245 KB

 

New access from London Road and extension to the existing parking area to create on-site parking and turning

Decision:

By affirmation, Committee deferred the application to give the applicant an opportunity to submit a new ownership certificate. New consultation would then take place, following which the application would be presented to Committee for determination.

Minutes:

The Delivery Manager (Strategic Sites) informed Members that it had been brought to the attention of officers that the incorrect ownership certificate had been signed because the applicant did not in fact own all of the land to which the application related. Given that circumstance, the applicant would be invited to submit a new ownership certificate, and a new consultation exercise would take place. The application would then be presented to the Planning Committee for determination.

 

Upon a proposal from Councillor John Batchelor, seconded by Councillor Anna Bradnam, and by affirmation, the Committee deferred the application.

10.

Enforcement Report pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received and noted an Update on enforcement action.

 

The Delivery Manager (Strategic Sites) updated the Committee verbally on the work ongoing to resolve the issues at Smithy Fen, Cottenham. Councillor Nick Wright reminded those present that this matter had been outstanding for a long time and emphasised again that residents needed an assurance that a resolution was actively being sought.

 

In response to Councillor Heather Williams the Principal Planning Enforcement Officer explained that restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic had had a major adverse impact on the ability to close cases as promptly as otherwise would have been the case.

11.

Appeals against Planning Decisions and Enforcement Action pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Delivery Manager (Strategic Sites) reported verbally on a recent appeal decision at Bannold Roaf, Waterbeach where the Inspector had found against South Cambridgeshire District Council and ordered it to pay the appellant’s costs.

 

In Appendix 3 to the report, the Delivery Manager (Strategic Sites) corrected the entry for S/0670/19/FL (Land rear of 24-27 Paynes Meadow, Linton) which should have stated ‘refusal’ rather than ‘non-determination’.