Agenda, decisions and minutes
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Apologies for absence
An apology for absence was received from Councillor Gary Harding. Councillor Derek Ashenden attended as his substitute.
The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on Wednesday 14 June 2023 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
To declare any interest members may have in the items contained on this agenda. When declaring an interest a member must state what their interest is. Any declared interest will fall into one of the following categories:
A Disclosable Pecuniary Interest which has been or should have been declared to the Monitoring Officer, and in respect of which the member must leave the chamber for the whole of the item in question;
An Other Significant Interest under the Code of Conduct and in respect of which the member must leave the chamber for the whole of the item in question unless exercising the right of public speaking extended to the general public;
A voluntary announcement of another interest not falling into the above categories, made for reasons of transparency.
There were no declarations of interest.
Planning applications for determination by the Committee
RESOLVED that the Non-Material Amendment be APPROVED.
The Committee considered application 20230640 - Land at 270-340 Valley Drive, Gravesend, Kent. The application was for a non-material amendment to planning permission reference number 20190155, to allow the change to the description of development wording, to enable people who are aged over 50 to live in the approved one bed rented units.
The Planning Officer outlined key points from the report:
· The site was situated in the urban area of Gravesend and had been developed in accordance with the planning permission, providing a total of 48 affordable units including 32 x 1 bedroom rented flats and 16 general needs flats.
· The Committee were advised that the flats in question were one bedroom sheltered accommodation and located in block A. This accommodation was currently for the over 55’s. The non-material change was to amend this age bracket to over 50’s. The accommodation in block B would remain as general need housing.
· The Planning Officer informed Members that the original permission did not control whether or not residents over the age of 55 would be in active employment or not. This meant the potential parking impacts would not differ from that of the original permission.
· Members were advised that the alteration to the resident profile would not impact on any aspect of the original approved application. The change would not result in an amendment to the number of potential occupiers and was therefore considered non-material and an acceptable amendment to the description.
The Chair invited the Committee to ask questions and provide their comments.
RESOLVED that the Head of Planning is given delegated authority in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair to issue the planning permission and impose conditions and informatives, subject to the completion of the current departure notice period and completion of a unilateral undertaking.
That the Head of Planning is delegated authority to make changes to the wording of the committee’s decision (such as to delete, vary or add conditions, informatives, planning obligations or reasons for the decision) prior to the decision being actioned, provided that the Head of Planning is satisfied that any such changes could not reasonably be regarded as deviating from the overall principle of the decision reached by the committee nor that such change(s) could reasonably have led to a different decision having been reached by the committee.
Should the Head of Planning consider that a different decision could have been reached by the Committee (having considered any further objections received) the application is to be reported back to the next meeting of Planning Committee.
The Committee considered application 20230136 - Land at Worcester Close, Istead Rise, Gravesend, Kent, DA13 9LB. The application was for the construction of 8 new affordable rent residential dwellings (Use Class C3) with associated vehicular and pedestrian access, car parking, cycle parking, refuse storage and landscaping.
The Planning Officer outlined key points from the report:
· The application site was an informal amenity green space, 0.14 hectares in size on a triangular piece of land located on Worcester Close. The site was within the Green Belt and adjacent to residential properties to the east, south and west. A public bridle way was located directly next to the western boundary with the Downs Way Medical Practice to the north of the site.
· The proposal was to build 8 sustainable, low carbon and energy efficient affordable rent dwellings, which would all meet national space standards for gross internal floor space. The proposed development would house the apartments within an L shaped building, offering 10 parking spaces for residents and visitors. The ground floor properties would also have private outside amenity space.
· Due to the site’s location within Green Belt, the Planning Officer highlighted paragraphs 147 – 149 of Section 13 from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2021, and the detail set out within the report. The Planning Officer advised Members that in the case of this application the proposal met exception 149 e) – limited infilling in villages.
· Members were informed that the design characteristics of the proposal were in keeping to that of the surrounding properties in Worcester Close, The Drove Way and Bramley Close, explaining that the proposed elevation of the structure varied to reflect the varying heights of the surrounding properties.
· The Planning Officer explained how the design of the development addressed issues of neighbouring properties being overlooked, by including obscured glass and assured the Committee that conditions set out in the report would safeguard neighbouring amenity.
· The Planning Officer took Members through a plan setting out the trees and hedges to be removed from the site. The Officer clarified that landscaping would be provided on site and replacement trees provided off site via a Unilateral Undertaking on a 3-1 basis.
· Members were informed that the applicant would be making a SAMMS payment through a Unilateral Undertaking which will also secure wildlife enhancements proposed as part of the building itself, to include bird boxes, bat boxes and bee bricks.
· The Planning Officer referred the Committee to the supplementary report, which set out all new representations received from third parties after the publication of the agenda. Members were advised that the content of the document did not however impact on the application.
The Chair invited the Head of Planning to clarify the reason the application had been removed from the previous Planning Committee. The Head of Planning explained that the application had been removed from the Planning Committee agenda in June 2023, as it had transpired that the proposal would not be exempt from ‘Right to Buy’, thereby ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
Planning applications determined under delegated powers by the Director (Environment)
A copy of the schedule has been placed in the democracy web library and also in the Reception, Civic Centre: -