Agenda and minutes

Contact: Judith Baker, Planning Committee Co-ordinator 

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillor Collins and Councillor Parsons was in attendance as a substitute.


Declarations of Interest


  1. Councillor Payne and Councillor Wheeler:   Chester Walk - for clarification – the site is owned by GCC;  both are county councillors. 
  2. Councillor Hay:  Chester Walk -  as the responsible member of the cabinet, has pre-determined  - will speak about the application then leave.
  3. Councillor Oliver:  56 Merestones Drive – has called on neighbours at no. 58 Merestones Drive to introduce himself, but hasn’t discussed the application with them.



Declarations of independent site visits


Councillor Hobley: Chester Walk



Public Questions




Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 535 KB


These were agreed  and signed by Councillor Barnes as a true record of the meeting.




19/00204/FUL Car Park, Chester Walk pdf icon PDF 543 KB

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Officer introduction

DO began by introducing Chris Mead, GCC highways officer, who is present to answer any highways questions on the first item.  He will attend meetings where appropriate in the future.


The proposal is a mixed use innovation hub in the town centre, behind the children’s library, to the east of the Grade 1-listed St Mary’s Minster.  The site is currently used as a car park and some retail.  It will be built to a module construction, and will serve as a work space, events facility, and education facility.  Conditions are included to control any events.  An ancillary café, four parking spaces and cycle spaces are included.  The key planning matters are the principle of development, parking, and impact on heritage assets.


Regarding the principle of development, this is a town centre location, close to transport links.  Local policy is supportive of small and medium-sized start-ups in central locations,. 


The land is currently a car park, used by county council staff.  CBC is current in negotiation with the county, to perform a land swap involving 60 parking spaces in St George’s Road car park.   The applicant has undertaken a parking survey, and identified existing capacity at other town centre car parks at key times.  In addition, the proposal provides 28 cycle spaces, and is near to main bus routes.  GCC has been consulted and has raised no highways objection.


Regarding heritage and the effect on the adjacent GI-listed building, Historic England and the conservation officer raised initial concerns about the façade on the left side of the proposed building, which was originally much larger.  Through negotiation, the entrance has been broadened and the entrance set back.  The conservation officer is now happy to support the scheme and Historic England’s objections have been overcome.  The Minster is

fully supportive, and consultation has taken place throughout.  The applicant is also consulting with GCC to ensure good connection between the library and the new building.


Officers consider the proposal fits well in the area, providing employment, vibrancy, and natural surveillance.  The recommendation is to permit.


Public speaking


Cllr Hay, in support

This is an enormously exciting opportunity for Cheltenham to create something different, which fits in brilliantly with its culture, heritage and place making, as well as providing a cultural hub with the library, art gallery and museum.  The modern design combines old and new and sits well in its setting.  Visited a similar venue in Newcastle, and noted that the audiences in the creative hub were very diverse in age – it is not just for the young, as some people may think.  It will also make a massive difference to perception of the Minster – a jewel of a building currently hidden away - opening up the vista, and eventually creating a walkway, supported by the Diocese.   The town currently loses young people looking for a start-up space in Cheltenham – this absolutely ticks that box.  Hopes that Planning Committee supports the recommendation to permit.


Member debate


SW:  Is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6a


19/00611/FUL Glenfall Farm Stables pdf icon PDF 287 KB

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Officer introduction

GD introduced the application at Glenfall Farm Stables in Ham, to redevelop three barns as dwellings, and demolish and replace the existing farmhouse with a new dwelling.  A previous scheme was refused in March, due to the scale of the replacement dwelling and the  harm to the AONB.  This scheme has a reduced footprint and more traditional design.  The recommendation is to permit.  It is at committee because the Parish Council has objected to the scheme. 


Public speaking

Mr Maloney, neighbour, in objection

Is speaking in against the application on behalf of Ham residents. Their prime objection relates to the demolition of a partial Cotswold stone house, which is good enough to have be occupied until April this year, and replacing it with a modern new-build dwelling.  The previous application was rejected by Planning Committee, as over-development in the AONB, and contravening JCS policies SD6, SD7 and paragraph 172 of the NPPF.  This application has not mitigated these reasons; urges Members to be consistent and refuse the scheme on the same grounds.


The courtyard farm buildings, originally part of Glenfall Farm, have a development history covering a 200-year period as shown on historic survey maps. It is the only courtyard complex of stone barns in Ham and should be preserved, not partially demolished needlessly. The new-build would have a footprint approximately 10sq m bigger, sited in a position that will move the dwellings’ extent about 9.8 m to the east of the original farmhouse’s approved extension. In this new location it would be overpowering and dominate the area, require extensive soil removal and terracing to achieve the lowered roof line, with possible ramifications on site drainage, raising concerns that it could lead to downstream flooding in Ham Lane.


Believes there is no justification for demolition rather than conversion of the existing dwelling;  the new-build will expand the area of visible development and not sit comfortably within the landscape, to the detriment and urbanisation of the AONB. Therefore, respectfully asks the committee to protect the character of Ham and the AONB, by refusing this application.


Diana Jones, agent, in support

The NPPF requires local planning authorities to work alongside applicants to achieve sustainable development; this is a result of that process, in which the Committee has taken part, with the applicant responding to Members’ comments and coming back with a different scheme.  The applicants accept that the original scheme for three dwellings from the converted stable buildings was challenging, and continued to work to respect the character of the buildings.  The removal of existing farmhouse has not been taken lightly; the original intention was to improve and extend it, but it proved too difficult to overcome previous flooding damage, and this was no longer a  feasible option.  The intricacies of planning policy mean that a replacement dwelling in the AONB is acceptable, and this reduced scheme is east of existing lay-out, with a floor level above the existing , and a 1.5 storey design which sits comfortably and is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6b


19/00745/FUL 56 Merestones Drive pdf icon PDF 229 KB

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Officer introduction

VH told members that the application site relates to a 2-storey side extension on an existing detached 2-storey property in Merestones Drive.  It is at committee as the request of the local councillor, due to neighbour concerns.  The recommendation is to permit.


Public Speaking

Councillor Harman

Is speaking as a local councillor, although some of the properties in Merestones Drive come under Warden Hill – the proposal has implications for the wider Merestones area, as set out in his letter.   Called the application on the grounds that it would be overbearing to the adjacent bungalow, being very close to the boundary; it would have a significant impact on that property, with overlooking and loss of light.   In addition, it would be detrimental to the appearance of the dwelling from the road, as well as increasing density and being out of keeping with this well-laid-out estate. Members viewed the site on Planning View, and the key point is to recognise the juxtaposition between the two-storey house and the adjacent bungalow.  The extension is very close to the boundary, and will have a real impact on No. 58 and the area generally.  Hopes that Committee will consider rejecting the application, for a different revised proposal which is more considerate of neighbours.   


Member debate:

TO:  on Planning View, felt the impact on No. 58 would be overbearing – the proposed extension comes virtually to the fence, and will have an impact, being very close to the kitchen door.  Cannot support the scheme.


PM:  looking at the site location drawing, the extension just impinges on the upper right hand corner of No. 58.  The compass at the bottom shows that sun will rise in the east and move round to west, confirming that the new extension won’t cause any shading of the bungalow.  Looking at the footprint of No. 58, the extension will come closer to the kitchen with an obscure glass door, but there is a large amount of living space elsewhere in the house, and the extension won’t be seen from the garden.  Is minded to agree with officers – the extension will be closer to the neighbouring property, but within the permitted distance.  Also wonders if it would come under permitted development rights if it was a single-storey extension.


DB:  reiterates what TO said:  this  extension appears to be coming out right on top of the neighbours’ boundary, and at two storeys high it will have an overbearing effect on the bungalow.


JP:  we know from the report that the extension complies with all regulations, light tests and so on.  Having said that, still believes it is overbearing and has potential to have adverse effect on the amenity of No. 58.  Would like the applicant to look at alternatives to this end of house extension.


PB:  on face of it, it looks quite a tricky situation, but on Planning View, was able to get a  real perspective,  much better than that provided by the drawings.  PM has described it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6c


Local Government Act 1972 - Exempt Information




in accordance with Section 100A(4) Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the remaining agenda items as it is likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public are present there will be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 and 5, Part (1) Schedule (12A) Local Government Act 1972, namely:


Paragraph 3; Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular

person (including the authority holding that information


Paragraph 5; Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings




Any other items the Chairman determines urgent and requires a decision

Additional documents:


The Members discussed an urgent planning matter.