Agenda and draft minutes
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Contact: Claire Morris 01242 264130
Apologies were received from Cllr. Fifield.
Cllr. Pineger was not present for the whole of item 5a and did not vote on it.
Cllr. Clark left the meeting prior to the vote on item 5a and did not return to the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
Cllr. Baker declared an interest in 5b as ward Member and his intention to withdraw from the item after speaking on it. Cllr. Barnes indicated his intention to do the same. He noted that as both the Chair and Vice-Chair would be leaving the room, a temporary Chair would need to be elected at the start of the item.
Cllr. Clark declared that she was on the board of trustees for the Cheltenham Trust. She had also received an email about the Church Street application (5e) from a resident who was a member of her bridge club, though she did not have a close personal relationship with them. The Legal Officer confirmed that she could still participate in the item.
Cllr. McCloskey noted that with regard to 2 Church Street, he had known the newsagents in the village for a long time, but they did not have a close personal relationship and he had not discussed the application with them.
Declarations of independent site visits
Cllr. Baker and Cllr. Pineger had visited all the sites.
The Chair noted that Planning View had started up again for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 24th March 2022.
The minutes of the 24th March meeting were approved and signed as a correct record.
The Planning Officer, Michelle Payne, presented the report, which related to an application for residential development comprising 350 dwellings, open space, cycleways, footpaths, landscaping, access roads and other associated infrastructure. The application had been deferred from the 24th March meeting to ensure that the scheme made the fullest contribution possible to the mitigation of climate change, to allow for the lack of a contribution towards off-site communality facilities and services to be revisited, and to secure a condition in relation to the Moorend Park Road junction improvements. The applicant had submitted an updated statement, and officers were satisfied that the application was in accordance with all local and national planning policies, so the recommendation was to permit.
Speaking in support of the application on behalf of Miller Homes, Paul Hill emphasised the 31% reduction in carbon emissions that he was happy to attach as a condition. It was critical that the proposals remained both viable and deliverable, and he aimed to do this while addressing climate change issues. He stressed that members’ concerns from the previous meeting had been fully taken into account.
Speaking in objection to the application as a parish councillor, Adrian Mears suggested that the statement from Miller Homes did nothing to solve the traffic problem. The A46/Moorend Park Road scheme needed to work in order to satisfy the MD4 allocation target, but it could not be delivered because the road width was too narrow. Extra land could be acquired but that could require compulsory purchase. He suggested that GCC Highways were favouring a ‘suck-it-and-see’ approach of going forward without mitigation and hoping things would turn out OK. The congestion would deter people from commuting into Cheltenham, and the longer driving times on the A46 would cause rat running via Leckhampton Lane. The committee was being asked to override the findings of Inspector Burden on MD4 and to take a gamble that could easily go wrong.
He suggested that Miller Homes were choosing not to provide zero net carbon housing, when they could use high performance heat pumps and high performance solar panels like those at the Newlands development nearby. By building on the valued landscape of areas R2 and R3, they would also compromise the landscape along the smallholding public footpath in the Local Green Space. The Leckhampton Fields were a memorable and feature-full landscape, offering one of the finest views in the country. Building on R2 and R3 would break through what was otherwise a good and sustainable urban edge with high trees and hedges. It was not necessary to allow development on R2 and R3 in order to meet the MD4 allocation target, which was for 350 new dwellings on the land north of Kidnappers Lane. The two smaller developments already had planning permission would provide 34, and the remaining 316 could with a very minimal adjustment fit on the Northern Fields.
Councillor Emma Nelson spoke in objection to the application as ward Member, noting that she had voiced concerns about severe traffic ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Cllr. Barnes left the Chamber and as Cllr Baker was speaking as a Ward Councillor Cllr McCloskey was then nominated as the chair.
The Planning Officer introduced the report with the recommendation to permit.
Cllr Baker was then asked to speak he made the following points:
- It would be a wonderful facility for the local community and would mean that disabled people could use the facility all year round.
- There would be no loss of football pitches
- The park would continue to provide a wide range of facilities to all age groups.
- Will also be a biodiverse landscape.
He then left the Chamber.
The matter then went to Member questions – there were none.
The matter then went to Member debate and the following points were made:
- Happy to support as had these facilities installed in Prestbury and been very successful. Noticed on the site visit that the elderly were struggling to walk in the park.
- During the first lockdown was a chosen walk as the ground was fairly boggy at the time – can only support.
- Another Member is looking at these adjustments for the park near him – also as there are Almshouses in the area making it more accessible can only be a good thing
- Similar scheme has been installed in Hatherley park and it was very successful.
- Charlton Kings parish Council refused a similar scheme which is a shame.
Matter went to the vote:
For – 9
Against – 0
The Conservation Officer introduced the report as published with regard to the maintenance required at Pittville Pump Rooms.
In response to Member questions the planning officer confirmed the following:
- wasn’t wholly aware of a definitive plan of ongoing works; however, that there had been various recent works perhaps timed/scheduled with regard to necessity and finances.
During the Member debate the following point was discussed:
- That it is a real asset that the Pump Rooms exist as at one time it was in such a bad state of repair that there were plans to demolish it.
- There is no choice but to let this work to be done as the property is such an asset to the town.
The matter then went to the vote to grant.
For - Unanimous
The Planning Officer introduced the report. The recommendation was to permit.
The responses to Member Questions were as follows:
- The Planning Officer confirmed that Cotswold Conservation Board were consulted previously on this application but not on the revised application. When they were consulted they were referred to the Cotswold Management Plan.
- The roof on the application is matt rather than shiny – there was no option for a different kind of roof.
- The permission is not for accommodation but for stables. To apply for the change of use to make the property into accommodation it would require planning permission and therefore a new application would be required.
- The use of an electric fence instead of laurel hedge was questioned with regards to the safety of horses , the Planning Officer confirmed that the agent would be happy with a condition regarding this, but we would consider if this is reasonable. The Head of Planning stated that animal welfare is not a planning issue.
The matter then went to Member debate where Members made the following points:
- The building does not enhance the area at all. Believes that the applicant is trying to prove that the area is developable.
- The suggested refusal reason was harm to the AONB.
The matter went to the vote to permit:
For – 5
Against – 4
The Planning Officer presented the report with the recommendation to refuse.
There was one speaker on behalf of the applicant who made the following points: -
- He was glad that the planning view had taken place as the Members could see the proper view of the building.
- There is an wide variety of property styles in the area.
- He acknowledged that the Councils traditional style of extension would not be suitable for this property. The proposed development provide an opportunity to mitigate against the impact of any more negative elements that may have resulted from past decisions.
- There is a higher ridge on the extension but neither will be visible from the front of the property.
- The proposed first floor extension results in a more symmetrical arrangement to the property.
The matter then went to Member questions of which there were none.
During the Member debate the following points were raised:
- There was clarification from the Member that asked the application to come to committee, the site was a retail outlet that wants to be changed into a home. The site is sufficiently interesting to be seen.
- Although not a lover of subservience the proposal will tidy the building and improve the street view.
- The property has evolved rather than been built but what is proposed definitely improves the street view.
- The Parish Council has made no comment on the application therefore they obviously have no objection as they consider all applications.
- The scheme is definitely an improvement to what they have now.
- The extension looks rather large and possible didn’t enhance the property and believed that the scheme does impact on the area due to size.
The matter went to the vote to refuse:
For – 2
Against – 7
The matter then went to the vote to approve with conditions:
For – 6
Against – 2
Abstentions – 1
For your information.
Any other items the Chairman determines urgent and requires a decision