Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Judith Baker, Planning Committee Co-ordinator 

Items
No. Item

21.

Apologies

Minutes:

Councillors Baker and McCloskey.

 

22.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were none.

23.

Declarations of independent site visits

Minutes:

Councillor Collins – 18 Hatherley Lane.

 

24.

Public questions

Minutes:

There were none.

25.

Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 426 KB

Minutes:

These were approved and signed as a true record of the meeting, without amendments.

26.

Planning/Listed Building/Conservation Area Consent/Advertisement Applications, Applications for Lawful Development Certificate and Tree related applications – see Main Schedule

27.

19/01370/FUL Imperial Garden pdf icon PDF 363 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Officer Introduction

DO introduced the application for an ice rink and ancillary uses over two years at Imperial Gardens,  in addition to the existing planning permission for the Gardens to be used for 70 days every calendar year.  It is at Committee because the application site is CBC-owned land, and Councillor Mason has requested a Committee decision. The proposed ice rink will operate in the winters of 2020-21 and 2021-22, and take up a quarter of Imperial Gardens.   The original application site included the pond and footpath, but this was subsequently amended to allow better pedestrian access.  The applicant’s position is that the proposal will be a good thing for town, with broad benefits.  As elsewhere in the country, the town centre is struggling to compete, and there is evidence that the Christmas lights turn-on, the big wheel and other events in Imperial Gardens increased footfall to the Cheltenham, bringing benefits to the town centre as a whole.  Residents are concerned about additional use of the Gardens, the effect on residential amenity, highways safety, traffic, impact on the heritage asset and trees, but no objections have been raised by consultees on these issues

 

Public Speaking

Jake Ford,  neighbour, in objection

The three objections raised this evening are detailed in the letter submitted on 13th August.  First, the impact on neighbouring residents.  Residents in Imperial and Montpellier Square are reliant on on-street parking, with each house allowed two permits per annum.  As things currently stand, residents are constantly competing for spaces during any town hall of festival event, of which there are now five a year.  It is almost impossible to find a free space until after 9.00pm.  There is not enough parking in town to support these events.  Set-up and take-down of event structures sees the suspension of several parking bays.  As a paying resident with a permit, it seems mad that he cannot park on his street, and adding a further 75 days of this is unacceptable.  There is potential for an increase in anti-social behaviour.  Over four years, has been victim of five separate incidents, including burglary and car vandalism, all at night and two during festivals.  The rise in footfall, mainly in the evenings, may lead to a rise in antisocial behaviour, as well as an increase in noise pollution and litter.

 

The second objection relates to the impact of the ice rink on the sensitive central conservative area, and the listed buildings in Imperial Square that define Cheltenham’s regency heritage.  The ice rink will be completely alien to these surroundings, in contrast to the festivals which add to the community and bring a more cultural and educational appeal.

 

The third objection relates to the use of public green space for business.  Cheltenham’s parks are widely used all year round, especially Imperial Square due to its central location and flower displays.  Policy is in place to protect these spaces, and the ice rink installation for 75 days goes completely against these.  If an ice rink  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

19/01822/FUL West Lodge, Cold Pool Lane pdf icon PDF 287 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Officer introduction:

VH explained that the  application site relates to land associated with West Lodge on Cold Pool Lane, currently occupied by a large single-storey outbuilding used for MOTs and car repairs.  The site is  outside the PUA, in the greenbelt.  The proposal is to replace the single-storey outbuilding with a single-storey dwelling and the recommendation is to  approve, subject to conditions   There have been some neighbour concerns about notification of the application -  the two adjacent landowners were informed by letter and a site notice was placed on Cold Pool Lane as this is the address to which application is registered.  It is at committee at the request of Cllr McKinlay.

 

Public Speaking:

Sarah Bamford, neighbour, in objection

Is Chair of Up Hatherley Parish Council, and at the meeting to represent the residents of Sunnyfield Lane who are shocked and concerned about the application and the lack of consultation.  Strongly urges the committee to reject the application.  Sunnyfield Lane is narrow and quiet, surrounded by farmland, with properties intermittently fronting the lane. It is in  the greenbelt, and infill will have a massive effect, dramatically changing its character.  No new houses have been built for 60 years, and several applications have been refused, one of which went to appeal where the inspector determined that in-fill would effective turn a rural setting to a suburban one.  

 

The officer report focuses on West Lodge and its neighbours on Cold Pool Lane, neglecting its impact on Sunnyfield Lane, where the proposed dwelling will be located.   The report states this is a brownfield site, but it is  clearly greenbelt.  The applicant put up two large sheds without planning permission, and a high fence so nothing could be seen from the lane.  When the Parish Council objected, they were told no action would be taken provided the sheds were for personal use.  The applicant has never sought permission to run a business here and many residents of the lane are unaware of the activity behind the gates. 

 

The JCS recently re-affirmed that the lane and surrounding fields are a particularly sensitive area of the greenbelt, directing development to more appropriate areas.  The proposed development is right on a blind bend which unexpectedly narrows, regularly forcing vehicles onto the pavement to avoid a collision.  It is unclear how construction vehicles would manoeuvre in and out of the site without causing a significant problem for motorists and pedestrians.

 

The proposed development will have a serious impact on the local community, and there are other options available to the applicant that would have much less severe impact on the local environment.  Urges Members to reject the application as currently proposed.

 

 

Becky Brown, agent, in support

The proposal has generated a lot of interest from local residents and Parish Council representatives.  The applicant would have liked to attend the meeting but is unable to do so; she sends her apologies.  She has confirmed that both the dropped kerb and existing buildings were installed in 2004 on the understanding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

19/01956/FUL 18 Hatherley Lane pdf icon PDF 313 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 

Officer introduction

MP introduced the application, sited on the south side of Hatherley Lane, within the PUA.  The proposal is an extension and sub-division of 18 and 20 Hatherley Lane, to create four dwellings, each with two car-parking spaces.  It is at Committee at the request of Councillor Britter, due to concerns from local residents.  The recommendation is to grant permission subject to the conditions set out in the update report. 

 

Public Speaking

Rosemary Dillworth, on behalf of neighbours, in objection

Residents acknowledge that many of their concerns have been addressed, following the third revision of the plan and the officer’s report.  However, some objections remain.  First, residents dispute that the unauthorised use of the property has been going on for over 10 years.  The current low budget hotel came into use about three years ago, and prior to this, was advertised as a lodging house, with long-term residents owning few cars.  The planning application shouldn’t condone or enable continuation of unauthorised use. 

 

Second, the new fourth dwelling includes a two-storey extension only 4m from the boundary of 14 Faringdon Road; 7m seems to be the distance supported by other councils, to avoid overbearing.  The outdoor space for the new property is insufficient and would lack privacy, being overlooked by at least four properties, and will exacerbate an already over-developed site only ever intended for two properties, and create an unwelcome terrace effect out of character with the area.  The additional dwelling will increase the number of vehicles reversing onto the busy road near a blind bend, with bus routes and heavily-used pedestrian access to two local primary schools.  A similar proposal was refused on 2000 on all these grounds and the issues are still valid today, with no change other than higher volume of traffic.

 

Third, if the application is approved, which neighbours strongly oppose, there must be a condition stating that before the first occupation of any of the dwellings, the existing use should cease in its entirety.  This would avoid approving uses that may lead to claims of statutory nuisance if the existing use continues in part, and to protect future residents of the dwellings. 

 

Councillor Britter, in objection

Residents who live adjacent to the  site have given factual and personal reasons why the application should  not be permitted.  Some more elderly residents have asked for their concerns to be made known.  There is widespread concern that the answers given in the application form are not correct, particularly its description as two semi-detached houses – it has been a lodging house or hotel for many years and should be treated as such.  A previous application in 2000 was  refused on the grounds of over-development, lack of  amenity space, and not being in the interest of highways safety.  Local residents are asking what has changed.  New proposal does nothing to address concerns raised by the original refusal. 

 

The proposed two-storey extension by its size and position represents an unneighbourly form of development and will harm the amenity of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

19/01890/FUL Hearne Brook Flood Relief pdf icon PDF 438 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Officer introduction

MP introduced the application for on flood relief alleviation scheme on land south of  Beech Road, and seeks to address fluvial and overland flooding of residential property.   The proposed works are  approved  and funded by the Environment Agency.  Access is via Balcarras Road onto an existing track.  The application is at Committee as the applicant is CBC.  The recommendation is to permit, subject to the amended conditions.

 

Member debate

JP:  has no objection to flood alleviation schemes – they are essential  - but has a question for officers.  These works are being managed by the Environment Agency, which is perfectly sound,  but in Prestbury, where a flood storage area is managed by the Environment  Agency, is that in recent heavy rain, the scheme didn’t work, because the Environment Agency hasn’t  managed it properly.  The issue in this proposal is  whether the water courses that the scheme empties into are close to the properties, and do the boundaries on properties incorporate any part of watercourses with riparian rights.  The Environment Agency is now saying in Prestbury that the watercourses are the responsibility of residents , not of the Environment Agency, which is potentially a huge burden.  Could a similar situation occur here?

 

DB:  for clarification, can the officer comment on the situation around 75 Beeches Road, where the resident believes the flood alleviation works will cause flooding in his garden?  

 

MP, in response: 

-          the works are approved  by and funded by the Environment Agency, with the local planning authority responsible for management and maintenance of surface water work. The Environment Agency  won’t be managing the scheme; it is part of a wider package of flood relief work;

-          on the plan, it’s possible to see the properties in Beeches Road; they have long gardens abutting the site, with an  existing ditch across the back, just within the boundaries.  Doesn’t know about any rights but at the moment, the land drainage officer says water running down off the hill should go into the ditch but doesn’t – it goes over the ditch, This is an exercise to catch it, slow it down and direct it into the ditch.  It is fairly simple work.

 

JP:  this is almost an exact image of what happens in Prestbury.  The Environment Agency still apparently manages the scheme, but in heavy rain the overflow flood storage area filled up to 1.5m deep and nothing was done to control the outflow, resulting in flooded of the watercourses.  The Environment Agency says management of watercourses is residents’ responsibility; this is not right.  We will have to wait and see what happens there .

 

MP, in response: 

-          discussed the resident’s concerns with the applicant, who has been out to speak to the residents following their objection.   Even if permission is granted,  it is still private land,  and any works in the garden will have to be agreed between the applicant and the resident.  The applicant is in conversation with resident regarding the design  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Appeal updates pdf icon PDF 230 KB

32.

Any other items the Chairman determines urgent and requires a decision