Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 31 March 2021 6.30pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Ellen Wright, Democratic Services Officer 

Media

Items
No. Item

853.

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, Bhutia, Curry and Hubbard (although it was noted that Councillor Curry would be attending in his capacity as Ward Councillor to address the Committee on planning application MC/20/3057 – 17 – 73 Russell House, Russell Court, Luton, Chatham and Councillor Hubbard would be attending in his capacity as Ward Councillor to address the Committee on planning application MC/20/2806 – Manor Farm Quarry, Parsonage Lane, Frindsbury, Rochester).

854.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 3 March 2021.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 3 March 2021 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct. 

855.

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. 

856.

Chairman's announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman informed the Committee that planning application MC/21/0407 – 51 Shepherds Gate, Hempstead Gillingham had been deferred from consideration at this meeting at the request of the applicant.

857.

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)

 

The Chairman, Councillor Mrs Diane Chambers, referred to planning application MC/20/3204 – Avenue Tennis Club, Glebe Road, Gillingham and informed the Committee that although she had no social contact with the applicant and did not use the facility, as the applicant was a member of the same Conservative Association as herself, she would not take part in the consideration and determination of this planning application and the Vice Chairman would chair the meeting.

 

Councillor Potter referred to planning application MC/20/3204 – Avenue Tennis Club, Glebe Road, Gillingham and informed the Committee that although he had no social contact with the applicant and did not use the facility, as the applicant was a member of the same Conservative Association as himself, he would not take part in the consideration and determination of this planning application.

 

Other interests

 

Councillor Chrissy Stamp referred to planning application MC/20/3204 – Avenue Tennis Club, Glebe Road, Gillingham and informed the Committee that as she wished to address the Committee as Ward Councillor on this planning application, she would not take part in the determination of this planning application.

858.

Planning application - MC/20/2782 - Land bounded by The Brook Car Park, Queen Street, Chatham, Kent pdf icon PDF 724 KB

River

 

Proposed development of 179 apartments on existing public car park site in 4 No. blocks, with ancillary leisure facilities, associated car parking and landscaping (including 40 No. parking spaces retained for public use).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application and in doing so suggested that if the Committee was minded to approve the application, such approval be subject to an additional head to the proposed Section 106 agreement, amendments to proposed conditions 2, 18 and 20, the deletion of proposed condition 22 and its replacement with a new condition 22 and the addition of new conditions 23 – 27, details of which were set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

In addition, he drew attention to an amendment to the proposal section of the report and further additional text to be added to the highways, Section 106 and other matters sections of the report, all of which were set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

The Committee was informed that since publication of the agenda, a Highway Safety Audit had been received from the applicant on 29 March, therefore subject to the application being approved, the Head of Planning sought delegated authority to assess the Highway Safety Audit on the basis that if there were any concerns, the application would be resubmitted to the Committee for consideration.

 

In outlining the planning application, the Head of Planning informed the Committee that development of this site had been under discussion for several years and that the current proposed scheme had been significantly amended resulting in a reduction in the height of the proposed development.

 

Subject to approval, 25% affordable housing would be provided off site on adjacent land owned by MHS. However, if following discussions, this was not feasible, then the 25% affordable housing would be provided as part of the development resulting in adjustments to the internal layout of the accommodation and which may also result in some external changes.

 

The Committee discussed the application noting that whilst there was parking provision on site, this was limited to reflect the fact that this development was in a sustainable location close to public transport connections at both the bus station and the railway station.

 

The Committee also noted that this site was in a prominent location which would assist regeneration of the town centre but at the same time respected the adjacent Great Lines Heritage Park.

 

Decision:

 

Approved subject to:

 

a)         The applicant entering into an agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act to secure:

 

i)          Provision of at least 25% affordable housing on the adjacent MHS site (subject to this site being submitted and granted planning permission) accessed from Queen Street or alternatively provided on site

 

ii)         Contribution of £237,195.47 towards education and the provision of nursery, primary and secondary school places.

 

iii)        Contribution of £52,053.20 towards heritage and museums for improvements to the Old Brook Pumping Station.

 

iv)        Contribution of £465,691.77 to enhance open space facilities within the vicinity of the development, including Great Lines Heritage Park, Town Hall Gardens and the Paddock.

 

v)         Contribution of £115,417.41 for the NHS to support the purchase of equipment and infrastructure for a new Healthy Living Centre  ...  view the full minutes text for item 858.

859.

Planning application - MC/20/2806 - Manor Farm Quarry, Parsonage Lane, Frindsbury, Rochester pdf icon PDF 846 KB

Strood Rural

 

Variation of condition 1 (Time 6 years) on MC/20/0482 - To amend the requirement for the discontinuation of the in filling operation does not fall until 31 December 2024.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application and reminded the Committee that consideration of this planning application had been deferred on 3 March 2021 to enable the applicant to supply further information as to the quantity of material needed to complete the infill of the quarry, from where the infill materials would be sourced and the timescale for the completion of the works.

 

This information had subsequently been circulated to Members of the Committee and, following questions, further information had been sought and circulated.

 

The Committee was reminded that having been granted planning permission to infill the quarry in 2015, commencement of the work had been delayed until 2018 when the required permit had been issued by the Environment Agency. The current application was for a variation to enable the infill of the quarry to continue until 31 December 2024.

 

With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Hubbard addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor and advised that he supported the requested extension of time for the completion of the works as the infilling works were proceeding and this was purely a request to extend the timeframe of the existing planning permission. However, he recognised that these works would continue to create noise and dust for his constituents and that this was likely to increase as the infill level rose. He referred to other planning applications in the vicinity of the quarry site and suggested that they were interlinked and therefore the infill works should be permitted to continue, but he considered it likely that a further application for an extension of time would be forthcoming at a future date. 

 

The Committee discussed the application noting that the infill of the quarry was partially completed and therefore it would be beneficial to enable the applicants to continue to complete the works.

 

Decision:

 

Approved with conditions 1 to 26 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report.

 

860.

Planning application - MC/20/3204 - Avenue Tennis Club, Glebe Road, Gillingham pdf icon PDF 483 KB

Watling

 

Construction of four 3-bedroom and three 4-bedroom houses with associated parking, access road and open landscape area.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision:

 

In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman chaired the meeting for this planning application.

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application and suggested that should the Committee be minded to approve the application, proposed condition 18 be amended as set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet. Although the supplementary agenda advice sheet indicated that this was an additional condition, he advised that it was an amendment. In addition, he drew attention to the additional letter received from the applicant which had been appended to the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

The Head of Planning referred to the representations from Rehman Chishti MP in support of the application and clarified information concerning his financial interest in the Avenue Tennis Club. He informed the Committee that in determining the application, the Committee would need to decide what weight to attribute to the support of the MP for the application based on this information.

 

The Head of Planning referred to the planning history of the site and in particular, referred to planning application MC/18/3114 for 8 dwellings which had been refused on 19 February 2019 and MC/19/2404 for 7 dwellings which had been refused on 20 January 2020. Both applications had been the subject of appeal and both appeals had been dismissed by the Planning Inspector. The Head of Planning referred to the Planning Inspector’s grounds for dismissing the appeal for MC/19/2404 set out on page 72 of the agenda.

 

He informed the Committee that the current planning application sought to address the issue raised by the Planning Inspector concerning the harm caused to the character and appearance of the surrounding area as set out within the report.

 

With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Chrissy Stamp addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor and set out the following objections:

 

           Despite the reduction from 8 to 7 dwellings the proposed development constituted overdevelopment of the land and an appeal for 7 dwellings had already been dismissed by the Planning Inspector.

           Garden sizes were very small and the development would result in harm to the surrounding area and the area should be retained as open green space.

           The access road would run adjacent to and take land from 26 Second Avenue and 4 parking spaces were located in the back garden of 26 Second Avenue, reducing the garden size of this property.

           Concerns regarding the access and egress for emergency vehicles.

 

With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Purdy addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor and set out the following objections:

 

           The application had not changed from that previously submitted in 2019 and the applicant had failed to address flooding and soakaway concerns.

           The application constituted back garden development and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government had said that local authorities should have a say in plans for their area and listen to local people.

           Green spaces should be protected and retained as they benefit people’s health and well-being.

 

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 860.

861.

Planning application - MC/20/3057 - 17-73 Russell House, Russell Court, Luton, Chatham pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Luton and Wayfield

 

An extension to provide two additional one bedroom living units for this residential complex; alterations and a covered walkway to the existing undercroft garaging (to be converted to rooms), new steps up to Magpie Hall Road and new boundary fencing and railings, relocation of public footpath and associated works.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Planning Manager outlined the planning application in detail and suggested that if the Committee was minded to approve the application, proposed condition 13 be amended as set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet so as to ensure vital access for emergency services including to adjacent properties.

 

The Committee noted that the premises was originally a residential complex consisting of 29 residential units together with some communal facilities overseen by staff with some living assistance provided. It had previously been occupied by people aged 55 years and over but was currently vacant pending alterations to facilitate its use for accommodation for people aged 16 – 25 who, for a variety of reasons, were unable to live in their family home but were not yet ready to live alone.

 

With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Curry addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor and set out the following objections:

 

           The area surrounding the application site was known to suffer from crime and anti-social behaviour and therefore was an unsuitable location to accommodate 16 – 25 year olds some of whom might be vulnerable and there had been many letters objecting to the application.

           The applicant owned the majority of the property in the area but did little to assist in addressing problems.

           Kent Police did not support use of the proposed footpath in the interests of user safety and the potential for the footpath to provide opportunities for crime and anti-social behaviour and raise the fear of crime on the basis that it did not have direct line of sight end to end and was unlit.

           Use of the external steps is unacceptable as it creates overlooking to nearby properties.

           Lack of car parking provision.

 

In the light of the concerns raised by the Ward Councillor, it was suggested that consideration of the application be deferred to enable further discussions with the applicant.

 

Decision:

 

Consideration of the application be deferred to enable officers to have further discussions with the applicant on the issues raised and such discussions to include Ward Councillor representation and a representative from the Planning Committee to be agreed through Planning Spokes.

862.

Planning application - MC/20/3289 - The Paddock (Adjacent Sandhurst Farm), Sharnal Street, High Halstow ME3 3QR pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Peninsula

 

Change of use of land for the siting of an additional 2 mobile homes for residential use and formation of additional hardstanding.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Planning Manager outlined the planning application and informed the Committee that this was a part retrospective application for the proposed extension of the existing Gypsy/Traveller site known as “The Paddock” through the change of use of the land for the siting of an additional 2 mobile homes for residential use and the formation of additional hardstanding.

 

She informed the Committee that the additional 2 mobile homes were to accommodate immediate family members of the family already housed on the site and therefore was considered to comply with the Planning Inspector’s decision in allowing an appeal for MC/17/3126. She confirmed that the site was not visible from the highway, and the additional 2 mobile homes would be located at the rear of the site. However, officers were recommending a landscaping condition for boundary treatment of the site.

 

The Committee discussed the application and concern was expressed as to the fact that it was part retrospective. It was acknowledged that the siting of caravans in this area was not unusual due to its character as being predominantly farmland but, concern was expressed that in the Planning Inspector’s report when allowing the appeal for MC/17/3126, the Inspector had emphasised Article 8 of the European Convention and yet this was not referenced within the committee report.

 

The Committee also sought clarification as to what would happen if a member of the family ceased to occupy their mobile home at a future date. In response, the Head of Planning drew attention to proposed condition 3, which stated that the caravan site shall not be occupied by any persons other than gypsies or travellers and therefore would not be specific to the applicant’s family.

 

In the light of the questions raised during the debate, it was considered that this application should be deferred to enable officers to undertake further investigations into the specific wording of the Planning Inspector’s appeal decision and whether it would be appropriate and legal to specify use of the site by a specific family.

 

Decision:

 

Consideration of this application be deferred pending further investigations and that the application be resubmitted in April with the Planning Inspector’s appeal decision appended to the report.

863.

Planning application - MC/20/3216 - 65 Norman Close, Wigmore, Gillingham pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Hempstead and Wigmore

 

Construction of a single storey extension to front with part single part two storey extension to side and rear.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Planning Manager outlined the planning application in detail and informed the Committee that since despatch of the agenda, a further representation had been forwarded by Councillor Rodney Chambers OBE from neighbouring occupiers at 66 Norman Close with photographic evidence of the impact of the proposed extension (in particular) to the first floor rear extension on their amenity, a copy of which was appended to the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Rodney Chambers OBE addressed the Committee and advised of the following objections on behalf of neighbours:

 

        Whilst it was understandable that many people wished to extend their homes, the proposed extensions at this property would have a detrimental impact upon both neighbouring properties by virtue of the proposed projection of the front extension and the height of the 2 storey extension at the side and rear.

        The proposed extension at the front would extend across a large window of the property at no. 64 and would be harmful to the outlook and enjoyment of the property by the occupiers of no.64.

        The proposed extension to the side and rear would block the daylight and sunlight to the property located at no.66.

        Although other properties in the area had modest extensions, none were as extensive as that proposed at no. 65.

 

The Committee discussed the application having regard to the concerns expressed by the Ward Councillor on behalf of the residents of the adjoining properties and generally considered that both of the proposed extensions were too extensive and would impact on the amenity of the occupiers of properties at nos. 64 and 66.

 

Decision:

 

a)         Refused on the following ground:

 

The proposed two storey rear extension would be detrimental to the amenity of the occupiers of the neighbouring property to the north, no. 66, and would result in loss of daylight and sunlight and the proposed front extension by reason of its proximity to the front habitable room window is considered harmful to the outlook and enjoyment of the property for the occupiers of No. 64 Norman Close.

 

b)         The Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to agree the wording of the refusal ground with the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Planning Spokes outside of the meeting.

864.

Planning application - MC/21/0407 - 51 Shepherds Gate, Hempstead, Gillingham pdf icon PDF 539 KB

Hempstead and Wigmore

 

Construction of a two storey extension to side incorporating garage with catslide roof (Demolition of existing garage).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision:

 

The Committee noted that this application had been deferred from consideration at this meeting at the request of the applicant.