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To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the previous meeting.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 January 2024 be approved as a correct record.
Apologies for absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
There were no apologies for absence, all members of the committee were present.
Declarations of interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
Councillor Harp declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 5, 1-12 Copthorne, Brighton Road, Burgh Heath, and item 7, Emerald Place, Dorking Road, Walton on the Hill, as both border on the Banstead Commons and he was a member of the Banstead Commons Conservators.
Addendum to the agenda
To note the addendum tabled at the meeting which provides an update on the agenda of planning applications before the Committee.
1. The order in which the applications will be considered at the meeting may be subject to change.
2. Plans are reproduced in the agenda for reference purposes only and are not reproduced to scale. Accordingly dimensions should not be taken from these plans and the originals should be viewed for detailed information. Most drawings in the agenda have been scanned, and reproduced smaller than the original, thus affecting image quality.
To consider the following applications :
RESOLVED that the addendum be noted.
21/02289/OUT - 1-12 Copthorne, Brighton Road, Burgh Heath
Outline planning application for 10 new dwellings, all matters reserved except for access. As amended on 21/04/2022.
The Committee considered an outline application at 1-12 Copthorne, Brighton Road, Burgh Heath, for 10 new dwellings, all matters reserved except for access. As amended on 21/04/2022.
Officers clarified that this was an outline application, consideration should be given to the access; the detailed matters of the landscaping, layout, and overall appearance would be reserved for later submission.
Officers confirmed that the density for the 13 flats currently on the site was 20 dwellings per hectare, while the density for the 10 new flats would be 16 dwellings per hectare, therefore resulting in a reduction in density.
Members were concerned that the existing road was 5.5m wide and that incorporating the required 1.5m footpath, reducing the road to 4m wide, would impact the access if visitors to the development parked on this road. This concern was associated with the concern that only two visitor car parking spaces would be provided in the development.
Members were also concerned that the new road surface should be of a porous/permeable nature.
Members were concerned that a new planting scheme should be put in place to replace tress removed during construction.
RESOLVED that outline planning permission be GRANTED subject to conditions as per the recommendation and addendum changes including revised conditions in addendum.
To be noted that Committee Members expressed expectation that felled trees would be replaced in landscaping scheme/reserved matters.
23/01979/F - Woodlands Chapel, St Mary's Road, Reigate
Demolition of the church hall and erection of 2 x 3 bedroom houses.
The Committee considered an application at Woodlands Chapel, St Mary’s Road, Dorking for the demolition of the church hall and erection of 2 x 3 bedroom houses.
Members agreed that this would be a good use of the site and reported that neighbours had a positive view of the application.
Members were concerned that the construction company should clean the road regularly whilst excavating the site.
RESOLVED that outline planning permission be GRANTED subject to conditions as per the recommendation and changes in the addendum plus the additional construction management condition:
23. The development hereby approved shall not commence until a Construction and Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The CEMP shall include details of the following relevant measures:
- Site working hours and a named person for residents to contact;
- Details regarding parking, deliveries, and storage including provision of a suitable booking system for HGV deliveries;
- Details regarding dust and noise mitigation measures to be deployed;
- Details of wheel washing and other measures to mitigate impacts of excavation and demolition; and
- Details of the hours of works and other measures to mitigate the impact of construction on the amenity of the area and safety of the highway network;
The construction shall thereafter be carried out in accordance with the details and measures approved in the CEMP unless the written consent of the Local Planning Authority is received for any variation.
Reason: To protect the neighbouring occupants from noise, disturbance and inconvenience with regard to Development Management Plan 2019 policies DES1 and DES8 and the National Planning Policy Framework 2019.
23/02185/HHOLD - Emerald Place, Dorking Road, Walton on the Hill
Proposed use of an existing outbuilding as an ancillary annexe (part retrospective due to minor modifications to outbuilding). As amended on 18/12/2023 and on 19/12/2023.
The Committee considered an application at Emerald Place, Dorking Road, Walton on the Hill, for the proposed use of an existing building as an ancillary annexe (part retrospective due to minor modifications to outbuilding). As amended on 18/12/2023 and on 19/12/2023.
Mr Brian Rice, a neighbour, spoke in objection to the application with concerns that it would set an undesirable precedent, which if imitated across the Walton Hill conservation area, would result in the complete erosion of the special character which these policies were intended to protect. He felt that the report’s referral to the fact that the building’s construction predated inclusion in the conservation area was erroneous, since the building at that time was not lawful and was still not lawful today. He felt that the Committee should ignore this aspect in their deliberations. The report stated that the building was more than would be normally acceptable in such a location, if that was true, then why would it be approved? The new bungalow is 91m2 and is 4m high at its lowest point, not only does it overshadow his and neighbouring property, but it disrupts the aesthetic harmony of the neighbourhood, even more so in a conservation area. His concerns were mainly relating to the height of the building and the fact that it has two full height windows and three patio doors that overlook his garden; the floor height of this building was more than three feet higher than the original ground level at his fence, meaning that anybody standing on the floor of the building and looking out will have a clear, unobtrusive view over his garden over the top of his six foot fence. This would have a significant effect on his amenities and future use of the garden and outside eating area. It was not, as stated by the case officer, just like looking over a normal fence.
He objected to the first application for a gym, under permitted development, on the basis of overlooking windows, and was told by a senior enforcement officer that if the application had been an application for full planning permission these overlooking windows would not have been allowed.
Then there was another application for a certificate of lawfulness, which he also opposed, and this was backed by a refusal from the Planning department for several reasons, and the building was deemed unlawful as it still was today.
Now, three months later, there was another application for full planning for the same building with the same windows and the same roof.
Mr Frederick Andy, a neighbour, spoke in objection to the application with concerns about the amount of grass and land that has been taken up, leaving very little grass and the area was diminished greatly. The animals that he used to feed no longer come to him because it has all been concreted over. The building in question was overbearing onto his property, with two rooflights in the window. If this received planning permission, it would be ... view the full minutes text for item 82.
Wray Common Conservation Area - Boundaries
To report the results of the public consultation on Wray Common Conservation Area boundary changes and consider the designation of the proposed changes to Wray Common Conservation Area boundary.
Councillor Stevens was not present for this item.
The Committee considered the proposed changes to Wray Common Conservation Area boundary.
It was explained that while the houses in the proposed area were already listed buildings, this did not carry statutory weight; inclusion in the Conservation Area would bring benefits such as demolition control, tree control, and greater examination of planning permission for proposed extensions to the properties.
RESOLVED that the changes to Wray Common Conservation Area boundary be GRANTED.
Development Management Quarter 3 2023-24 Performance
To inform members of the Quarter 3 2023/24 Development Management performance against a range of indicators.
The Head of Planning introduced the Development Management Quarter 3 2023/24 Performance Report.
The following points were highlighted:
· 100% of major appeals had been dismissed.
· 100% of non-major appeals had been dismissed.
· 299 applications had been received which was an increase on Quarter 3 of the previous year.
· The nationally set planning application fee had increased on 6 December 2023, which was likely to have contributed to the rise in number of applications received in this period.
· Response times had been impacted by the increase in number of applications received and by staff leave over the Christmas period. Response times were anticipated to return to expected levels in Quarter 4.
· 100% of major applications and 81% of non-major applications had been determined within the required limit, although the average days to decision for the quarter had been above target, at 91 days, impacted by extensions of time.
· The Case Officer team remained impacted by one vacancy and one maternity absence.
· The Planning Officer vacancy had been filled.
· £60k in Central Government funding had been secured to assist with application processing, which may allow for an additional temporary contractor to be employed.
· The Government published its updated National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in December 2023. The update includes minor changes to decision making; the majority of the updates relate to plan-making functions.
In response to Member questions, the following clarifications were provided:
· All the appeals had been against decisions.
· Priority 1 enforcement related to irreparable damage, for example, damage to trees. There were three levels of enforcement, priorities 1-3. A training session was planned on priority enforcement.
· The £60k in Central Government funding was for the period of one year. A bid had been submitted for this funding. The intention was to use this funding to employ an additional Planning officer to work on the small backlog of applications.
The Chair thanked Planning officers.
RESOLVED that The Planning Committee noted the Development Management Quarter 3 2023/24 Performance Report.
Any other urgent business
To consider any item(s) which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered as a matter of urgency.
There was no urgent business.