Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Claire Morris  01242 264130


No. Item




There were none.

However, under this item the Chair thanked the retiring Members for all their work on the committee and in the community.

The Vice-Chair thanked the Chair and wished him well as being Mayor and thanked the democracy officer for supporting the committee.


Declarations of Interest


Councillor Oliver declared that although he was the ward councillor he has specifically not been involved the planning application for the Belmont School.


Declarations of independent site visits


There were none.

Some Members visited sites as part of Planning View.

Councillor Clark clarified that they did not visit the tree as part of Planning View.


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 326 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 21st March 2024.


There were amendments to the minutes which were agreed and signed.


The legal officer read out the following statement in relation to the minutes. Members will note that in the minutes in respect of 456 High Street towards the end of that minute that the vote on officers recommendation to permit was not carried. There were discussions in respect of reasons for refusal, these were acknowledged and there was no noted dissent. However, there was no final resolution in respect of that item recorded. Legal advice since that meeting has been that it cannot be said that the final resolution on the application by the council clearly providing its decision and reasons occurred at the planning committee in March, this needs to be reflected in the minutes which are to provide an accurate summary record of the meeting. Further there will be a need to return the application to the planning committee, the application due to timing and fairness to all is not on the agenda this evening but will be on the agenda for full reconsideration at the planning committee in May.


Public Questions pdf icon PDF 547 KB

Additional documents:


Two Member questions had been received, as follows:


1.            Question from Councillor David Willingham to Chris Gomm (Head  of Development Management, Enforcement and Compliance) and Chair of Planning – Councillor Paul Baker

It is evident from Planning Committee reports the Council recognises the necessity of compliance with its s149 Equality Act 2010 Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) as part of the planning process.  Could the Chairman please confirm whether officers and committee members are aware of the principles established in Brown [2008] EWHC 3158 (Admin) and Bracking [2013] EWCA Civ 1345 which suggest to comply with the PSED, <<There is a need for a "conscious approach" and the duty must be exercised "in substance, with rigour and with an open mind">> , does the Chairman share my concerns using the same boilerplate text in multiple different planning reports may be non-compliant these principles, and can he assure me advice will be sought and followed to ameliorate the situation?


Response from Chris Gomm (Head of Development Management, Enforcement and Compliance) and Chair of Planning – Councillor Paul Baker

Planning Officers have due regard to the Equality Act 2020, and its stipulations, when assessing the implications of all development proposals.  Members are also reminded of this duty, and their obligations under the Act, within committee reports.  It is important that committee reports are proportionate in their detail to each issue that is addressed and as such reference (in committee reports) to the public sector equality duty is necessarily light in many cases.  Going forward, the planning team can look at whether this is something that needs to be refined.


Supplementary question

In the current agenda, three of the applications contain the same error relating to the public sector equality duty, calling the legislation Equalities Act 2010 rather than the Equality Act 2010.  In the minutes of the last meeting, which are the official record of the meeting, the only reference to equalities in one of the applications says “with the gradient at 1:12 it is accepted that people will have to be pushed in a wheelchair”, but provides no reasons why this is acceptable.  I am genuinely concerned that this council could be successfully judicially reviewed because the PSED is boilerplate in the report.  In light of this being the final session before the election, can I get an assurance that officers will discuss this issue with One Legal and the Monitoring Officer to ensure performing the PSED is incorporated into new member training on planning?


Chair response

Would like to give reassurance and requested a copy of the question in writing to fully consider all aspects of it.


2. Question from Councillor David Willingham to Chris Gomm (Head of Development Management, Enforcement and Compliance) and Chair of Planning – Councillor Paul Baker


At paragraph 9.2.1 of Part 5D Planning Protocol of Cheltenham Borough Council’s Constitution, it is clear planning applications submitted by the Council itself must be determined at Planning Committee.  Could the Chairman please advise how this should  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


24/00812/TREEPO Tree, Spring Acre, Spring Lane, Cheltenham, GL52 3BW pdf icon PDF 244 KB

Additional documents:


The tree officer introduced the report as published.


The following responses were provided to member questions:

-       The tree has been historically maintained in order to prune the branches away from the neighbours property. By law if a tree grows over the boundary into a neighbouring property they have the right to prune back to boundary edge as long as reasonable care is taken of the tree.

-       The application to prune the tree has not been actioned currently as working at two month lead in period.

-       The objector to the TPO mentioned amenity of the tree as they considered the tree to be unattractive which is subjective. By the criteria used to judge amenity it fulfils it as it has good form, in good condition, has good life expectancy and is visible.

-       The objection was also to with nuisance elements and the burden of tree works applications.

-       Amenity is not further defined in town and country act and is open to interpretation but we need to set some criteria.


There was no Member debate.


The matter then went to the vote on the officer recommendation to grant TPO:

For: Unanimous




24/00389/FUL Land and Springfield Close, The Reddings, Cheltenham GL51 pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Additional documents:


The Planning officer introduced the report as published.


There were 3 speakers on the item: an objector, the applicant and the Ward Councillor.


The objector addressed the committee and made the following points:

-       The representative for the residents of Springfield Close who object to this application to build on our green open space.

-       Not afforded the same considerations as new developments where a green space is a feature.

-       The green space is an integral part of the Close and before any planning application was made the residents had applied for village green status.

-       If the building is allowed the valuable amenity will be lost that we have benefited from for over 60 years. It has been used to hold parties, sports days, picnics and celebrations such as Queens Jubilee.

-       It is only safe green space in the Reddings and is a haven for local families and residents it is of public interest to the whole community. It is a peaceful retreat that shouldn’t be taken from the residents and used as profit.

-       If permission is granted would want the removal of permitted development rights, as there would be nothing to stop the owner from applying to extend the property or add an external garage.

-        If planning is granted the lack of street parking will be further strained, as it is emergency vehicles have struggled to get through the Close as well as refuse lorries.

-       The green has alleyways on both sides, which are frequently used. The building will create a blind spot to oncoming traffic and would be a safety hazard. In January the Highways commission rejected the proposal, why is has it now been accepted when only minimal changes have been made.

-       This application plan does not fit in with the layout of the Close as they are semi-detached and terraced houses.


The agent on behalf of the applicant then addressed the committee and made the following points:

-       Have been working with the planning officer and the scheme has been through many changes to meet the councils requirements including change in position, reduction in scale and amendments to the design.

-       The proposed building is set behind building lines of the terraced houses, the height, width and depth of the house is similar to the neighbouring properties. The design of the windows and doors are also similar to neighbouring properties.

-       The footprint of the house will take 15% of the green. It is noted that there has been concerns about loss open green space. Most of the green space will remain undeveloped to protect the character and views  of the local area. The existing site pass will be retained.

-       There is already a detached house in the area which had planning permission approved in 2008.

-       The proposal has been reduced in number and scale and would be set away from adjoining properties. The proposed windows on the first floor will be obscured glazed, therefore there will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6b


24/00318/FUL 2 Walnut Close, Cheltenham, GL52 3AG pdf icon PDF 158 KB

Additional documents:


The planning officer introduced the report as published.


There were 2 speakers on the item: an objector and the applicant.


The objector addressed the committee and made the following points:

-       We have objections to two different parts of the proposed plans, the rear upper storey extension and the side upper storey extension.

-       The rear upper storey extension would damage the aspect from all of the rear rooms and reduce light in parts of our garden.

-       It may be 14 metres from our rear elevation, but its bulk and gable roof would loom over the objectors house adding considerably to the impact already felt from an extension at number 4. It would make their house and garden feel hemmed in on two sides and would also impact the attractiveness to future potential purchasers.

-       The proposed side upper storey extension would bring number 2 within about 9 metres of the rear of the objectors house and about 10 metres from the rear of the neighbouring property at number 1. The usual required is a minimum distance of 12 metres. This does not appear to have been addressed in the officer report.

-       The objector further understood that when discussing initial plans with officers, the applicants agent was advised that a full width extension at the front above the garage, which was preferred option was told it would be unacceptable and unlikely to be supported as the distance between it and the rear of number 1 The Gardens would be less than the minimum distance of 12 metres usually required. That potential front extension would have come to exactly the same line on the boundary between the properties as the side extension. This seems odd and inconsistent that officers should now approve the side extension even though it would be within 9 metres of our house.

-       The objector proposed to the committee that they ask officers to reconsider their original advice about a potential full width extension across the front of the property with a view to allowing it if the applicant were to put in such a proposal. The objector would be prepared to compromise by withdrawing their objection to the side upper extension, despite its proximity and harmful impact on them as it is less unacceptable to us than the rear first storey extension.


The applicant the addressed the committee and made the following points:

-       The applicant had lived in Pittville in Cheltenham for 6 years, during this time in the area we have seen recent expansions of existing detached properties mostly by building developers due to the desirability of the area.

-       A lot of consideration was made when designing the work that has been submitted in this application. The architect we chose designed the adjacent property next door and ensured that the application was kept  in line with the feel of the Close, as highlighted in the officer report.

-       The sides of the plot, the location to others and the threshold for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6c


23/00117?FUL Belmont School, Warden Hill Road, Cheltenham, GL51 3AT pdf icon PDF 433 KB

Additional documents:


The planning officer introduced the report as published.


There were 4 speakers on the item: an objector, the applicant and 2 Ward Councillors.


The objector, who was speaking on behalf of the residents in the area, addressed the committee and made the following points:

-          They are in support of the application with regard to SEN children however there are concerns that the development will be made available for private hire.

-          They have not been able to confirm with the applicant that the development will only be for SEN children, and that causes concern for the residents.

-          There are some operational issues at the moment that cause problems for the residents such as the alarm going off at various times and that has not been fixed, also the security lighting is very bright and sometimes left on all night.

-          There has been an email sent to residents by a well meaning councillor that suggests that residents should be notified in advance if there will be an event held that will have 100 plus children at, this make it clear that this is not just a development for SEN children.

-          During a meeting with the Headmaster that Councillors and the objectors attended the Headmaster failed to confirm that there would not be an application for floodlighting in the future and this is a real concern for residents in the area.

-          If there are problems with the development then the enforcement team at the Council will be responsible for dealing with them.

-          The noise report states that the highest level of noise that is expected with be 1 decibel lower than the WHO threshold for the onset of moderate community annoyance.

-          The noise report also does not appear to asses the use of the athletics track or the bleacher seating.

-          The objector asked for the application to be deferred as even some of the supporters appeared to be objecting to the proposed hours of use.

-          There should be no need for lighting if there is a genuine intention to restrict use of the development.

-          It is critical for residents and for the wildlife in the area that the playing field should be pitch black at night.


The applicant then addressed the committee and made the following points:

-          The school needs better facilities for the SEN children that use the facility.

-          The application is needed to support the disabled children.

-          The inclusivity of the school has been acknowledged by Ofsted.

-          The application fits with CBC’s physical education strategy.

-          There has been 2 years of work on the project and felt let down by the 16 late conditions imposed by the planning officer

-          The suggested conditions may not be allowed under the Equality Act.

-          The vast majority of users are not only physically disabled but are also autistic and are not able to visit other facilities.


Cllr Harman in his capacity as County Councillor addressed the committee  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6d


Appeal Update pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Appeal documents for information.

Additional documents:


Appeal details were noted for information.


Any other items the Chairman determines urgent and requires a decision


There were none.