Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 19 August 2020 6.30pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Ellen Wright, Democratic Services Officer 

Media

Items
No. Item

191.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

During this period, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was informally agreed between the two political groups to run Medway Council meetings with a reduced number of participants. This was to reduce risk, comply with Government guidance and enable more efficient meetings. Therefore, the apologies given reflects that informal agreement of reduced participants.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Barrett, Hubbard, Chrissy Stamp and Thorne.

 

Councillor Buckwell was due to attend the meeting but was unable to connect via remote access.

192.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 22 July 2020.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 22 July 2020 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct. 

193.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report. 

Minutes:

There were none.

194.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 371 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct.  Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 4.

 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other significant interests (OSIs)

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

Councillor Potter referring to planning application MC/20/1431 – Land North of Medway Road, Gillingham informed the Committee that although he had a friend who was a member of the nearby mosque, he had not discussed this application with anyone and therefore would take part in the determination of the planning application.

195.

Planning application - MC/20/1431 - Land North of Medway Road, Gillingham ME7 1NY pdf icon PDF 811 KB

Gillingham North

 

Construction of a Foodstore (Use Class A1 - Retail)  together with associated car and cycle parking, servicing, landscaping, and associated works. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion

 

The Planning Manager outlined the planning application and informed the Committee that a previous application MC/19/1875 for a limited assortment discount (LAD) food store at the application site had been granted planning permission on the 3 April 2020. However, following a challenge by judicial review, the parties involved in the challenge had agreed a consent order that the planning permission be quashed on a narrow and technical ground. The consent order had been finalised and sealed by the court on the 27 July 2020. As a result, the decision to grant planning permission for MC/19/1875 had been quashed and was once again a live planning application. However, given the uncertainty regarding timescales for the court decision for the consent order, the applicant had submitted this duplicate application for consideration.

 

The Planning Manager informed the Committee that since despatch of the agenda, the applicant had submitted further information and additional representations had been received both supporting and objecting to the planning application, details of which were summarised on the supplementary agenda advice sheet. In addition, a further letter of objection had been received on behalf of Asda stating that a request had been made to the Secretary of State on 18 August 2020 for a screening direction and therefore they were of the opinion that should the Council determine the current application prior to the Secretary of State's decision this would be unlawful.

 

The Planning Manager advised that whilst the site was not within a core retail area, nor within any other area allocated for retail use, having regard to the provisions of Policy R13 of the Local Plan and Paragraphs 80 and 86 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Queen's Counsel advice submitted by the applicant, it had been concluded that there was no suitable site within core retail areas of Gillingham or Chatham that would be suitable for the proposed development. Therefore, no objection was raised to the principle of the proposed development.

 

In terms of the retail impact, the proposal fell below the 2,500 sq.m. threshold for a retail impact assessment specified in paragraph 89 of the NPPF.

 

Having regard to the request submitted to the Secretary of State it was suggested that if the Committee was minded to approve the planning application, such approval be by way of a resolution to grant planning permission subject to the outcome of the Secretary of State's decision regarding the environmental impact assessment. It was noted that if the Secretary of State determined that an environmental impact assessment was required, the planning application would be reported to this Committee for determination at a future date.

 

The Planning Manager also suggested that if the Committee was minded to approve the application, an additional condition 25 be approved requiring that the shop remain in A1 use so that it could not change under Permitted Development Rights.

 

The Committee discussed the application and referring to proposed condition 23, it was suggested that when considering off-site planting, the provisions of the Tree  ...  view the full minutes text for item 195.

196.

Planning application - MC/19/0287 - Land at Town Road, Cliffe Woods, Rochester pdf icon PDF 814 KB

Strood Rural

 

Outline planning permission with some matters reserved (appearance, landscaping, layout and scale) for up to 225 residential dwellings including up to 25% affordable housing, introduction of structural planting and landscaping, informal public open space and children's play area, surface water flood mitigation and attenuation, vehicular access point from Town Road and associated ancillary works.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion: 

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application in detail and suggested that if the Committee was minded to approve the application, changes be made to the proposed Section 106 agreement and a new condition 29 be approved, details of which were set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

In addition, he advised the Committee that since despatch of the agenda, twenty five further letters of representation had been received objecting to the recommendation in the report and the proposed development and expressing concern about issues and matters already summarised in the report on pages 59 and 60.

 

Additional representations had also been received from Councillor Elizabeth Turpin and Kelly Tolhurst MP for Rochester and Strood and from SAVE Cliffe Woods, copies of which were appended to the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

The Head of Planning also drew attention to additional comments to be added under the planning appraisal section of the report relating to climate change and energy efficiency, surface water management and highway issues, details of which were also set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

Referring to x) under the proposed Section 106 agreement, the Head of Planning clarified that of the £229,055.16 contribution to improve open space facilities, 5% would be directed to the Great Lines Heritage Park and the remaining 95% would be directed to the Cliffe Woods Recreation Ground and sports facilities in the area.

 

The Head of Planning informed the Committee that whilst the Parish Council were opposed to the planning application, should the application be approved, the Parish Council wished to accept the offer from the developer to take on the control of the allocated allotment and open space provision.

 

Attention was drawn to the background to this planning application and in particular, the information set out on pages 72 and 73 of the report. The Committee was reminded that whilst an application for the development of up to 225 residential dwellings on this site had been refused in May 2017 (MC/16/3669) following a public inquiry the appointed planning inspector had recommended that the appeal be allowed. However, in September 2017 the appeal had been recovered by the Secretary of State for determination following which the Secretary of State had concluded that significant weight should be given to the housing benefits of the proposal and moderate weight to the economic benefits and the Secretary of State had subsequently dismissed the appeal on two grounds, details of which were set out in the report on pages 73 - 74.

 

The Head of Planning drew attention to the information contained in the report which explained how the two grounds for dismissal of the appeal had now been overcome.

 

The Head of Planning referred to concerns raised by objectors that the applicant was in effect buying planning permission by agreeing to pay Section 106 contributions and he explained that the purpose of Section 106 contributions was to require an applicant to make a financial contribution towards mitigating the impact of a development.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 196.

197.

Planning application - MC/20/1318 - 25A Frindsbury Road, Strood, Rochester pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Strood North

 

Construction of a four storey block comprising of five 1-bedroom and one 2-bedroom apartments - Demolition of existing single storey disused retail unit and residential building.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:  

 

The Planning Manager outlined the planning application in detail.

 

The Committee discussed the application having regard to the concerns expressed by the owner of the neighbouring property at Chaucer Court as set out on page 99 of the agenda, and in particular, concerns as to future access to their property for maintenance purposes.

 

The Committee also discussed access for residents along Goddington Road during demolition works.

 

In response, the Planning Manager informed the Committee that proposed condition 8 required the applicant to provide a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) and this would address access for residents during construction.

 

The Committee also discussed concerns that potentially there was unreported pollution contamination on the application site and the Planning Manager advised that whilst Environmental Health had not raised any issues during consultation on the planning application, if the Committee was minded to approve the application, it was possible to impose a further condition to cover any unexpected contamination that may be discovered during construction.

 

Decision:

 

Approved with conditions 1 – 11 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report and conditions 13 and 14 as set out below with the Head of Planning being granted delegated powers to approve the specific wording of the additional conditions in consultation with the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Opposition Spokesperson:

 

12.       A condition covering action required should there be found to be contamination not previously identified during construction works.

13.      There shall be no obstruction of the undercroft access that may prejudice the owner of the neighbouring property accessing for maintenance purposes of their property.

198.

Planning application - MC/20/1193 - Former Timber Merchants and land behind 13-15 Borough Road, Gillingham pdf icon PDF 962 KB

Gillingham South

 

Part retrospective application for the construction of nine 3-bedroom dwellings, accessed by new shared surface with associated parking and landscaping.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion

 

The Planning Manager outlined the planning application in detail.

 

With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Johnson addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor and expressed the following summarised concerns:

 

·         The development has not been constructed in line with the original planning permission approved under MC/18/0155 for a number of reasons and has been located closer than the approved distance from the rear of gardens of properties in Napier Road creating massing and encroaching onto the alleyway and onto land that was previously safeguarded and not in the ownership of the applicant. The roof height is also higher than previously approved.

·         The increase in the number of bedrooms from 18 to 27, constitutes an over development of the site and will result in competition for on street parking.

·         The applicant has breached the Construction Environmental Management Plan along with other issues referred to the HSE.

The Committee discussed the application having regard to the concerns expressed by the Ward Councillor noting that some of the concerns related to issues that were not material planning considerations.

 

The Committee also had regard to the fact that when originally considered in 2018, planning application MC/18/0155 had been a balanced application.

 

Decision:

 

Consideration of the application be deferred to enable further investigation and discussions with the applicant.

199.

Planning application - MC/20/1070 - Land to rear of 172-176 Maidstone Road, Chatham ME4 6EN pdf icon PDF 670 KB

Rochester South and Horsted

 

Construction of a pair of semi-detached chalet bungalows together with associated parking.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:  

 

The Planning Manager outlined the planning application.

 

Decision:

 

Approved with conditions 1 – 17 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report.

 

200.

Housing Delivery Test Action Plan Update pdf icon PDF 209 KB

This report sets out a Housing Delivery Test Action Plan that considers measures to help boost the supply of housing in Medway.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee received an information report setting out the Housing Delivery Test Action Plan that considered measures to help boost the supply of housing in Medway.

 

The Head of Planning informed the Committee that housebuilding in Medway in recent years had not reached the high levels of housing needs identified by the government formula. However, there were clear signs of an improving housing market and both published data and the Council’s own development monitoring systems indicated a significant uplift in housebuilding in 2019/20. The rates were forecast to further increase in coming years to well over 2000 homes a year by 2022.

 

The Committee noted that the action plan provided details of the Council's activities in promoting sustainable development and the scope and scale of this work evidenced the Council’s commitment to boost housing investment in Medway and showed that the Council worked corporately to maximise the benefits of regeneration and economic growth and was proactive in engaging with developers and landowners. Such activities included regular liaison meetings with the development sector through Council led initiatives such as breakfast meetings with a cross section of developers, a Small and Medium Enterprises Developers Forum, annual meetings with major developers and planning agents in addition to the services provided in relation to the development management and plan making processes. The Council was also delivering housing sites through the Medway Development Company and the Housing Service.

 

The Head of Planning informed the Committee that the action plan recognised the potential impact of COVID-19 on the development industry and planning officers had sought updated information from developers about any delays or changes to their delivery plans.

 

The Committee noted that there was widespread concern amongst local planning authorities that the housing delivery test and associated requirements for a 5 year housing land supply penalised councils for matters outside of their control as whilst councils planned for housing land they had only a limited role in the actual delivery of housing.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the report.