Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Claire Morris  01242 264130

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillor McCloskey.  Councillor Clark was present as a substitute.


Declarations of Interest


Councillor Payne declared an interest in Agenda item 5a, as Prestbury Parish Council representative on the Liaison Committee at Pittville Student Village. 


Councillor Oliver declared an interest in Agenda item 5a, as he has relatives on the management team at Pittville.  He said he would leave the Chamber for this item.


Councillor Baker declared an interest in Agenda item 5c  - as a trustee, he would speak on the item then leave the Chamber, with Councillor Barnes taking over as Chair for the rest of the meeting.


Declarations of independent site visits


Councillors Bamford, Fisher, Oliver and Andrews all independently visited the Lido (Agenda item 5c), and Councillor Nelson visited all three sites.  Other Members visited all three sites as part of Planning View. 



Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 20th April.


The minutes of the meeting held on 20th April 2023 were approved unanimously and signed as a true record.


Planning Applications


21/01696/FUL Pittville Student Village, Albert Road, Cheltenham GL52 3JG pdf icon PDF 337 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Oliver left the meeting for this item, having declared an interest. 


The case officer introduced the report as published, saying the previously-approved proposal had been brought back to Committee as it had not yet been implemented due to a significant delay in the completion of the Deed of Variation. The only matter for consideration was the revised commencement date and any changes in site or neighbourhood characteristics since the original permission was granted in November 2021. The recommendation was to grant.


There were no Member questions and no Member debate.


Vote on officer recommendation to permit






23/00345/FUL Glencairn, Greenway Lane, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham GL52 6LB pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Additional documents:


The case officer introduced the application as set out in the papers, for a revised scheme, following the grant of three planning permissions in 2022.  The proposal is very similar to the most recently permitted scheme, with the front now rendered, porch reduced in size, and detached home office removed.  In addition, clear-glazed bedroom and landing windows are proposed, with the works partly carried out.  The recommendation is to grant permission, with conditions.


Public speaking

Neighbour, in objection

Speaking on behalf of three neighbours, all of whom share a boundary with application site, the neighbour thanked Members for the opportunity to share their concerns, at the end of a long and drawn-out process, and said he appreciated their site visits.  To summarise, he said that as a previous single-storey dwelling, it was always going to be a challenge to maintain privacy for all concerned when adding a storey, but the applicant had previously managed to achieve this, with the previously approved scheme.  This new request to change the glass in the rear dual aspect dormer window from obscure to clear glass will impact the privacy of all three neighbours, with direct views into bedrooms, lounges and bathrooms, as well as gardens. Neighbours had hoped the issue was resolved six months ago, when the applicant agreed that the glazing should be obscure to maintain privacy.  He appealed to Members to imagine how they would feel in this situation, and asked them to vote to protect the neighbours’ private spaces.


Applicant, in support

The applicant said he had worked with planning officers, architects and building control from start to finish when modernising this dilapidated 1960s bungalow, and that the clear glass in the new rear dormers not only complies with and exceeds all planning guidelines, but is in keeping with other properties in the neighbourhood.  The angle of his house gave no clear site-line to neighbours’ properties. Under permitted development, the dormer extension could be fitted with a wall of glass, which would have a far greater impact on neighbours; the request for two modest, clear windows was therefore reasonable. None of the many windows, French doors and skylights on properties visible from Glencairn are currently obscure-glazed, and all three of the objectors have windows and doors with views into neighbouring gardens.  His request is in character with the area and complies with planning guidelines.


Member questions

In response to Member questions, the case officer confirmed that:

-       the application is part-retrospective; the majority of the work is complete;

-       the bedroom window is currently obscure-glazed, the landing window is already clear-glazed, so the proposal only concerns a change to the bedroom glazing;

-       an extension very similar in size, with clear-glazed windows all along the dormer, could be carried out under permitted development; 

-       the only reason why this proposal isn’t classed as permitted development is because the proposed materials do not match the existing roof; there are no limits to the size of windows.



In debate, Members made the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


23/00479/FUL & 23/00479/LBC Sandford Lido, Keynsham Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7PU pdf icon PDF 311 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Barnes took the Chair.


The case officer introduced the report as set out in the papers, pointing out to Members that although the Conservation Officer had some concerns and considered the solar panels would be an intrusive feature, this is regarded as ‘less than substantial’ harm which, under NPPF guidelines, must be weighed against any public benefit of the proposal.  Officers consider the extensive benefits outweigh any harm, and planning and listed building consent is therefore recommended, with standard conditions.


Public speaking

Applicant, in support

As CEO of the Lido, the speaker said that she and 12 voluntary trustees took over responsibility for the Lido 27 years ago, and have to date invested £3m, diligently balancing heritage with the need for modern technologies. Many swimming pools are facing closure, largely due to unmanageable energy costs, and in 2022 the trustees undertook a full-site sustainability audit, the findings of which must now be applied to avoid the Lido becoming financially unsustainable. Some energy-saving findings have been introduced, and the next priority is to install solar panels to capture renewable energy, prior to an increase from 14p to 49p when the electricity contract is renewed later in the year.  The original engineering has been protected and refurbished, and is regarded as nationally important, and the panels will help to power the pumps and motors.


The trustees are determined that the Lido will remain viable, by managing operational costs and maximising income; decarbonisng the facility and reducing the energy bought it will help it remain affordable, honouring the Mayor of Cheltenham’s pledge when opening the Lido in 1935.  The Lido community is passionate about its survival and it is at the heart of many lives: it provides a heated season for 28 weeks a year,  welcomes 200k visitors and 20 sporting and social events a year, and supports seven sports clubs and eight other charities, as well as offering cold water swimming during winter. Like everyone, it has a role to play in reducing the carbon footprint of the town, and granting permission today will allow it  to proceed on its sustainability journey.


Councillor Baker, in support

As a trustee of the Lido, Councillor Baker said he had absolute respect for the comments of the Conservation Officer, who does an excellent job protecting Cheltenham’s wonderful heritage, and the views of the Civic Society, whose views are always informed and helpful.  However, he felt that we are entering new era of ‘pragmatic planning’, where we have no choice but to listen to and understand the consequences of the climate emergency and do our best to address those consequences. The appalling increase in energy bills is impacting all sectors of economy, particularly owners of domestic and commercial heritage properties, and to ensure their ongoing viability, we must work with them to help them reduce their carbon footprint and consumption of fossil fuels. 


Great weight must be placed on the appearance and historic importance of buildings, and the Lido is a much-loved, iconic facility, far  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Appeal Update pdf icon PDF 267 KB

For Members attention.

Additional documents:


The Head of Planning ran through three appeal decisions circulated to Members, saying that these should be used as learning experiences:

-       one decision was based on a difference of opinion between the case officer and the inspector, and highlighted the need for pragmatic planning going forward, as mentioned by a Member earlier in the meeting;

-       the second highlighted a key message around consistency in decision-making, where Members introduced a new refusal reason the second time an application came to Committee, and discussion around issues not related to planning forming a large part of their debate.  The recent Planning Peer Review picked highlighted the need for Committee to keep a focus on the rules and regulations;

-       the third decision surprised officers in the amount of weight the inspector placed on the impact of a single dwelling on the Cotswold Beeches Special Area of Conservation.  They are looking at a joint approach between the development management and planning policy teams, and will bring this back to Committee to help guide them in terms of future applications.  Members are welcome to email any further questions.


The Vice-Chair repeated the need for Members to take note of appeal decisions, and hoped that a training programme would soon be in place to help them in the future.




Any other items the Chairman determines urgent and requires a decision


There were none.