October 12th, 2010 |
A Crowded Agenda – Takeaway, Microbrewery, Nursery, Caravans and Houses
There’s a lot on the Development Committee agenda for October 21st. You can download the agenda here (2.75 Mb).
Item 1 – Land Opposite Prospect Villa, Trenders Avenue Rayleigh.
Replace a salvage reclamation yard with 2 bungalows.
Recommended for REFUSAL. – the prime reason being that it’s in Green Belt. However also because the Environment Agency object on grounds of land contamination and the absence of a full reptile survey.
Key paragraph in officers report:
Officers consider that, despite the comparisons that can be made to the adjoining site that now benefits from permission, nonetheless Green Belt policy should prevail for this current application site and that further piecemeal development in the Green Belt should be resisted, particularly given the less intense nature of the use of this smaller site in comparison with the adjoining site to which permission for residential re-development exists.
Item 2 – Millbarn Common Road, Great Wakering.
Change the use of farm buildings to a microbrewery.
Recommended for APPROVAL
Item 3 – Land between 38 and 40 Spa Road , Hockley.
Creation of new unit to operate as a hot food takeaway.
Recommended for APPROVAL
Perhaps the key paragraphs in the officers report are:
The proposed takeaway facility would operate from hours Monday to Saturday and 1000 – 2300 hours Sundays and Bank Holidays. These hours are similar to those on the 2009 approval, which showed hours of 8. 00 am – 10.00 pm every day of the week including Sundays and Bank Holidays. Any noise created by this activity is likely to occur at the front of the premises. Noise at the rear affecting residents in Meadow Way is only likely to occur when waste is being disposed of, which would be an occasional rather than a continuous activity. Issues relating to increased litter, rats and noise from youths that may gather around a takeaway facility are not a guaranteed result of allowing such a facility to operate here although they are a possibility. It is not considered that the Council could justify refusing an application for possible effects that may or may not occur as a result of approving such an activity. It is expected that a High Street location will generate higher noise levels and High Street locations are the most suitable sites for take-away facilities, away from residential estates.
It is considered that the development would be a suitable use of the site introducing an additional unit to the shopping area and so supporting its vitality and viability. It is also considered that the erection of a building on the site and its proposed use should not have an undue detrimental impact on the amenities of the residential properties behind the site and that it may even be considered to be beneficial improving the visual quality of the site and by preventing the use of the site as an informal parking area and/or meeting place for anti-social activities. The proposal is also in line with the latest HAAP, which identifies the site as part of an opportunity site for retail or commercial use.
Hockley Residents Association (2 separate representations received summarised as follows):-
o Object to the proposal
o Key issue – The new narrow lorry entrance is closer to the zebra crossing and will be dangerous and cause delays to other road users. This will be dangerous, as well as delaying traffic whilst lorries try to manoeuvre. It is also very close to the Somerfields (Co-op) car park entrance causing further problems.
o Hockley already has too many take-aways. Any further take-aways must conform to restrictions on opening hours, smell and noise controls.
o The village will loose valuable parking spaces whilst, at the same time, there will be additional pressures for short-term parking from people using the shop.
Items 4 and 5 : 41 South Street , Rochford
Fire damage repairs and single storey rear extension to a listed building.
Bothe recommended for APPROVAL
These two applications come to the committee because the applicant is a former officer of the planning department. Item 4 is an application for planning permission, Item 5 is an application for listed building consent.
The host property has been subject to significant fire damage. This application proposes structural and cosmetic repairs to the property and also the provision of a single storey rear extension.
Item 6: the View Garden Centre, Rawreth.
Extensions to the View Garden Centre, on the A1245 near the junction with Rawreth Lane.
Recommended for REFUSAL – on Green Belt grounds.
Key paragraphs in the officers report:
PPG2 provides Government advice with regard to the provision and safeguarding of Green Belts. There is a general presumption against inappropriate development within them. Such development should not be approved, except in very special circumstances (shown in paragraphs 3.4, 3.8 and 3.11 and 3.12 of PPG2). Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt. It is for the applicant to show why permission should be granted. Very special circumstances to justify inappropriate development will not exist unless the harm by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by other considerations.
….The application proposes to extend the retail area to the north of the existing site and also to the east. These areas amount to an additional 1972m² (approximately) of retail area and increased hard surfacing. The applicants continue to argue that re-defining the garden centre boundary to incorporate a larger retail area is practical and has very limited visible impact…..
Contrary to the applicant’s claim, the continuation of the established rural business is not exceptional and demonstrates no unique characteristics to set it apart from any other commercial use. Green Belt policy is in place to ensure a consistent approach to development within the Green Belt. If the Council allowed the proposed development it may be difficult for the Council to resist similar proposals in the future to extend the site or at other sites elsewhere within the District. Cumulatively this would result in a significant erosion of the un-developed nature of the District’s Green Belt.
The applicant considers that a new defensible Green Belt boundary would be created and this demonstrates a very special circumstance to allow the proposed development. The site is located entirely within the Green Belt with the nearest residentially allocated area some distance away. In this entirely Green Belt location there is no need to create a defensible Green Belt boundary as the site does not abut any other land use, which could encroach and threaten the Green Belt….
Item 7 : A1245, Rawreth (where the current unauthorised Traveller site is now, oddly enough , nearly opposite the View Garden Centre in item 6)
Application for 12 Caravan Pitches for Travellers and retain existing access
Recommended for APPROVAL
Key paragraphs in the officer’s report:
An appeal into the [previous] application was dismissed on 14 March 2006. The Secretary of State agreed with the inspector that the proposals then amounted to inappropriate development and would be harmful to the openness of the Green Belt and the character and appearance of the countryside and that the provision of landscaping would not overcome that harm.
The Secretary of State also agreed with the inspector that traffic slowing in this location could be a hazard to other road users and the lack of expectancy increased the hazard caused by an access formed in isolation, noting that traffic would pass the site at or close to the national speed limit.
The Secretary of State also agreed that the site was in a relatively unsustainable location and there would be no easy alternative to the use of private vehicles to access services from the site.
The Secretary of State also agreed with the Inspector that there was at the very least a modest unmet demand for sites in the District and that it was difficult for the Council to provide sites. The need for children on the site to receive education as well as the health of occupants on the site in receiving treatment from a regular doctor, despite being a material consideration of significant weight, was not, however, unusual to constitute very special circumstances to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt.
Whilst the site is generally divided into six areas forming plots, each of these would be further sub-divided forming 12 areas within the site. The nature of Gypsy sites is that they normally require a static mobile home type building and a touring caravan in which to travel. The current application would therefore involve the provision of up to 12 static mobile homes and 12 touring caravans on each plot or pitch. Whilst the static mobile homes tend to have the appearance of permanent accommodation, these units are mobile homes and do differ from permanent ‘bricks and mortar’ accommodation.
Notwithstanding the revocation of the East of England Plan, an up to date Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA 2009), prepared in accordance with the requirements of the circular, provides evidence that there is a continuing need to provide some pitches in the District. The GTAA states that there is a need for 20 overall pitches in the Rochford District. The Annual Monitoring report ascertains the provision of 7 No. authorised pitches. There remains therefore an unmet need for 13 additional pitches in the Rochford District between 2008 and 2021.
This site is one of several possible sites suggested as options in the Council’s Allocations Development Plan Document (discussion and consultation), which was published in February 2010 for an initial round of public consultation.
The history of the application site has established that the circumstances of the applicants were not very special so as to justify the grant of permission against the harm caused by the development to the Green Belt. It is, however, the case that future site provision for Gypsy and traveller accommodation is most likely to be met from land taken from the Green Belt. In this context the site has benefits over other sites so far put forward in that, relative to potential alternatives, it is considered to be in a reasonably sustainable location, which relates well to the emerging Core Strategy, is not subject to environmental constraints, and is deliverable. Furthermore, planning permissions have been granted on appeal on an ad hoc basis, as a result of the background of uncertainty over site provision coming forward within a realistic time frame.
Item 8 : 109 Rectory road Hawkwell
Demolish old yard buildings and build 22 houses
Recommended for REFUSAL (at least at present)
Comment from Hawkwell Parish Council
Hawkwell Parish Council: Have no objection to this application provided adequate measures both by engineering and by enforcement are taken to prevent casual and overnight parking by residents and visitors to the new development on Rectory Road adjacent to the traffic control system.
Reason for refusal is basically on inadequate parking:
The layout of the development proposed is dependant upon provision of parking spaces in addition to garaging within grouped parking areas. Whilst generally the provision of garaging satisfies the Council’s updated parking standards (September 2009), the standards require parking spaces to have a depth of 5.5m and a width of 2.9m. The proposal fails to meet this requirement and would therefore fail to provide adequate off street car parking to serve the requirements of future occupiers of the development proposed and leading to increased pressure for parking upon existing side streets contrary to part iii) to saved local plan policy HP6. Furthermore, resolving the inadequate size of the garage forecourts to plots 1 – 3 inclusive and of the parking bay sizes to plots 7-10 and 11 – 13 inclusive is likely to compromise the proposed layout of the scheme, detracting from the appearance of the development, causing an adverse impact upon the size of manoeuvring and turning areas to the detriment of the free movement of traffic within the site and highway safety more generally, and resulting in reduced garden sizes to the detriment of the reasonable expectations of future occupiers of the development.
However the officers add:
The applicant is aware of officer concerns regarding parking provision and the adverse recommendation below. The applicant considers that the matter can be addressed and it is expected that further submissions will be made and a revised consultation received from the County Highway Authority before the Committee meeting. It is likely that if the applicant can satisfactorily resolve this issue an alternative recommendation that the application be approved, subject to appropriate conditions and a legal agreement, will be presented via the addendum.