Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Committee
Wednesday, 15 January 2020 6.30pm

Venue: Meeting Room 9 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR

Contact: Ellen Wright, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

544.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Chrissy Stamp.

545.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 354 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 18 December 2019.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 18 December 2019 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct. 

 

In respect of the following planning application, the Committee noted that under delegated authority, the Head of Planning had agreed the following refusal ground with the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Opposition Spokesperson:

 

Planning application MC/19/2708 – Medway Rugby Football Club, Priestfields, Rochester

 

The proposal to extend the opening hours results in a harm to the amenities of the surrounding residents in terms of noise and disturbance from both the clubhouse itself and from people and vehicles leaving the premises particularly during the early hours of the morning. The proposal is contrary to Policy BNE2 of the Medway Local Plan 2003 and paragraph 127f of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019.

546.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

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

Minutes:

There were none.

547.

Chairman's announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that planning application MC/19/1875 – Land North of Medway Road, Gillingham ME7 1NY had been withdrawn from consideration at this meeting.

548.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 211 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)

 

Councillor Potter declared interests in planning applications MC/19/2530 – Land at Westmoor Farm (North) Moor Street, Rainham, Gillingham and planning application MC/19/3008 – Holcombe Grammar School, Holcombe, 103 Maidstone Road, Chatham on the basis that he is the Portfolio Holder for Education and Schools and he left the meeting for consideration and determination of these applications.

 

Councillor Potter also declared an interest in planning application MC/19/2404 – The Avenue Tennis Club, Glebe Road, Gillingham on the basis that he belongs to the same Association as the applicant and he left the meeting for consideration and determination of the application.

 

Councillor Barrett advised that he had an interest in planning application MC/19/2404 – The Avenue Tennis Club, Glebe Road, Gillingham and he left the meeting for consideration and determination of the application.

 

The Chairman, Councillor Mrs Diane Chambers declared an interest in planning application MC/19/2404 – The Avenue Tennis Club, Glebe Road, Gillingham on the basis that she belongs to the same Association as the applicant and she left the meeting for consideration and determination of the application. In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman chaired the meeting for this planning application.

 

Other interests

 

Councillor Etheridge referred to planning applications MC/19/2697 – 100 Jarrett Avenue, Wainscott, Rochester and planning application MC/19/2364 – Land adjacent to Kaler House, George Summers Close, Medway City Estate, Rochester and advised that although he is a member of the Frindsbury Extra Parish Council he had not discussed the applications and therefore would stay and participate in the determination of both applications.

 

Councillor Maple referred to planning application MC/19/3008 – Holcombe Grammar School, Holcombe, 103 Maidstone Road, Chatham and advised the Committee that as he wished to address the Committee as Ward Councillor he would withdraw from the Committee for the determination of the application.

 

549.

Planning application - MC/19/2530 - Land at Westmoor Farm (North) Moor Street, Rainham, Gillingham pdf icon PDF 363 KB

Rainham South

 

Construction of a secondary school with formation of new access from Otterham Quay Lane together with associated car parking and drop-off area, pedestrian access, drainage, landscaping, sports pitches and areas for formal and informal outdoor play.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application in detail and suggested that should the Committee be minded to approve the application, proposed conditions 2, 4, 12  and 23 be amended as set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

He also drew attention to a pamphlet supplied by the applicant on the proposed new mixed secondary school, a copy of which was appended to the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

The Head of Planning informed the Committee that the Department for Education had recognised a need for new schools to serve existing residents in Rainham and Strood and therefore it was appropriate for consideration to be given to the current application now and not delay until the Local Plan process.

 

He advised the Committee of the extensive work that had been undertaken to identify a suitable site for a new school in Rainham and the site proposed was the site that was considered to have the least impact.

 

In particular, he referred to the impact upon the highway and advised upon the work that had been undertaken to identify new bus routes to serve the locations from which pupils would be travelling. He stressed that as this was a secondary school, a high proportion of pupils would walk or cycle to school and this would likely reduce the impact upon vehicular use of the highway. In addition, there were a number of highway improvements proposed to alleviate congestion in surrounding roads and junctions.

 

The Principal Transport Planner outlined the proposed bus routes in detail.

 

The Committee noted that subject to planning approval, it was hoped that the new school would be open as an Academy to accept pupils in September 2021.

 

The Committee discussed the application having regard to the following issues:

 

·         Pedestrian crossing facilities.

·         The proposed drop off area for parents and the need for enforcement of traffic regulation orders to control indiscriminate parking by parents on the highway when dropping off their children.

·         Use of the car park by pupils who own cars.

·         The landscape scheme and, in particular, the desire for provision of trees rather than shrubs.

·         Possible provision of car parking permits for access to the school car park for those pupils who live furthest from the school via the school’s Car Park Management Plan.

·         The possible inclusion of an additional bus route to cover those pupils travelling to the school from Swale.

·         The need for bus routes to be maintained in perpetuity.

·         The operating hours of the school and the impact that this can have on the highway during peak hours.

·         The need for the school to work with the community and the possible introduction of quarterly meetings with residents.

·         Future aims for the school to be carbon neutral.

·         The cladding materials to be used on the school buildings.

 

The Head of Planning responded to questions and advised that a number of the issues raised could be addressed through the School’s Travel Plan and though an informative. The issue of external materials was covered  ...  view the full minutes text for item 549.

550.

Planning application - MC/19/2404 - Avenue Tennis Club, Glebe Road, Gillingham, Medway pdf icon PDF 534 KB

Watling

 

Construction of seven 4-bedroomed dwellings with associated parking and access road.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

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

 

The Planning Manager outlined the planning application in detail along with the planning history for the site and in particular referred to the dismissal of an appeal against refusal of planning application MC/18/3114.

 

The Planning Manager informed the Committee of the changes that had been made to the proposed development under the current application to address the concerns of the Planning Inspector with particular reference to the widening of the access and provision of a pedestrian footpath to the site, the reduction in number of proposed dwellings from 8 to 7, the reduction in the height of the proposed dwellings to be two-storey to alleviate overlooking and the revised layout of the site.

 

The Planning Manager advised that following re-consultation on the revised plans, 18 further letters of objection (including two from one household) had been received and a summary of the objections were set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet. In addition, Natural England had drawn attention to previous comments and advised that the proposed amendments to the original application would be unlikely to have significantly different impacts on the natural environment compared to the original proposal.

 

With the agreement of the Committee Councillor Purdy addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor and outlined the following summarised concerns:

 

·         The proposed dwellings would constitute overlooking into the gardens of adjoining properties.

·         The proposed gardens of the new dwellings will be small.

·         The existing footprint of two existing houses will be destroyed to make way for access to this site.

·         Access into and out of the site will be difficult owing to parked vehicles in Second Avenue.

·         Lorries and large vehicles will not be able to access the site from Second Avenue during construction.

·         This area is prone to flooding and no mention has been made of drainage or sewage.

·         The development dismissed at appeal has only been reduced by one dwelling.

·         The applicant has caused additional distress for residents by telling them that Planning officers had helped him with the application and therefore it is likely to be approved.

 

With the agreement of the Committee and, in the absence of Councillor Chrissy Stamp through illness, the Head of Planning read out a statement provided by Councillor Stamp setting out additional objections as Ward Councillor summarised as follows:

 

·         The application constitutes back-land development as it involves part-demolition of an existing residential property with inadequate access and egress from the site and is in breach of Policy H9 of the Local Plan.

·         The proposed development constitutes an over-development of the site, is cramped and overbearing and the garden sizes are very small.

·         The development will cause overlooking to the properties on Second Avenue and Glebe Road. This is in breach of Policy BNE2 of the Local Plan. Furthermore, plot 6 runs down the side of the garden of one of these houses and this will cause loss of daylight.

·         There is inadequate parking provision. On  ...  view the full minutes text for item 550.

551.

Planning application - MC/19/1746 - Land East of Oakhurst Close, Walderslade, Kent ME5 9AN pdf icon PDF 664 KB

Walderslade

 

Construction of a 5 bedroomed detached chalet bungalow with associated parking, landscaping and new access off of Oakhurst Close.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Planning Manager outlined the planning application in detail along with the planning history of the site.

 

The Committee noted that this application had been referred to the Committee at the request of a Councillor but that he was not in attendance to speak on the application nor had any planning reasons been provided to support the referral request. The Head of Planning advised the Committee that he would remind all Councillors that when asking for an application to be referred to the Committee for determination, such request should be in writing and provide planning reasons for the request.

 

Decision: 

 

Refused on the ground set out in the report.

552.

Planning application - MC/19/2626 - Unit 1-2 Medway Distribution Centre, Courteney Road, Rainham pdf icon PDF 467 KB

Rainham Central

 

Change of use from builders merchants (sui generis) to indoor electric go-karting or builders merchants (both sui generis).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee was reminded that this application had been considered on 18 December 2019 following which the application had been deferred with a request that it be re-submitted to this meeting with suggested conditions should the application be approved.

 

A letter from TBH Real Estate Investment offering clarification on the lease of the premises was appended to the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

Decision:

 

Approved with conditions 1 – 8 as set out at the end of the report for the reasons stated in the report.

553.

Planning application - MC/19/2697 - 100 Jarrett Avenue, Wainscott, Rochester, Kent pdf icon PDF 760 KB

Strood Rural

 

A part retrospective application for the amended construction of a dormer window to rear to facilitate additional living accommodation in the roof space.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Planning Manager outlined the planning application in detail and the planning history for this property.

 

The Committee noted that this was a part retrospective application for the amended construction of a dormer window to the rear of the property to facilitate additional living accommodation in the roof space.

 

The Planning Manager explained the application and the changes that had been made since 2017, but was unable to show the Committee the difference between the approved application under MC/18/2010 and the current application. For this reason, the Committee decided to defer the application so all plans could be available for the Committee to view.

 

Decision:

 

Consideration of this application be deferred to enable the Committee to have sight of the plans relating to planning application MC/18/2010.

554.

Planning application - MC/19/1875 - Land North of Medway Road, Gillingham, Medway ME7 1NY pdf icon PDF 827 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:

Decision: 

 

The Committee noted that this application had been withdrawn from consideration at this meeting.

555.

Planning application - MC/19/2364 - Land adjacent to Kaler House, George Summers Close, Medway City Estate, Rochester pdf icon PDF 362 KB

Strood Rural

 

Construction of 10 light industrial units with associated parking and landscaping (resubmission of MC/19/0678).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Planning Manager outlined the planning application in detail and referred to the planning history for this site.

 

She referred to the supplementary agenda advice sheet and confirmed that the letter of objection regarding the loss of the footpath and concerns regarding use of the site had been withdrawn following a meeting between the objector and the applicant. A letter retracting the objection was appended to the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

In response to questions, the Planning Manager advised that existing businesses would be relocating to the new units.

 

Decision:

 

Approved subject to:

 

a)            The applicant entering into a Section 106 agreement to secure a contribution of £7,500 towards improvements to the roundabout at the junction of Anthony’s Way and Berwick Way (A289).

 

b)            Conditions 1 – 15 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report.

 

c)            The Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to add a further condition requiring that a parking management plan to efficiently manage the car parking spaces be in place before occupation. 

556.

Planning application - MC/19/3008 - Holcombe Grammar School, Holcombe, 103 Maidstone Road, Chatham pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Chatham Central

 

Variation of condition 3 (Hours of use) and 4 (Floodlight times) on planning permission MC/17/1949 for the use of pitch and floodlights on Sundays between 09:00 and 18:00.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application to vary conditions 3 (hours of use) and 4 (floodlight times) on planning permission MC/17/1949 so as to enable use of the pitch and floodlights on Sundays between 09.00 and 18.00 hours.

 

He advised the Committee that as no formal noise complaints had been received concerning use of the pitch and floodlighting, it was being recommended that should the Committee be minded to approve the variation application, this be for a temporary 12 month period.

 

However, he drew attention to the number of objections received to the variation application and advised that one additional representation had been received from the Chair of the Park Crescent Residents Association objecting to the proposed temporary use on Sundays, details of which were set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Maple addressed the Committee and raised the following concerns:

 

·         Whilst the school has regular meetings with local residents, the school wished to increase revenue and was therefore proposing use of the pitch on Sundays which was not supported by local residents.

·         When use of the pitch was originally approved, the Council had excluded use on Sundays so as to give residents a day free from noise and floodlighting.

·         Whilst the Head of Planning has stated that the Council has not received any formal complaints of noise, both the school and Ward Councillors have received complaints from residents and the school has been unable to resolve these issues in a number of cases.

·         Even new residents to the area have objected to Sunday use as whilst they accepted 6 day use when moving into the area, they thought they would have one day of peace and quiet.

·         The school needs to build a better relationship with local residents before any increased use of the facility on Sundays might be considered acceptable.

 

The Committee discussed the application having regard to the objection letters and the concerns expressed by the Ward Councillor.

 

The Committee noted that with the introduction of all weather surfaces in schools as opposed to grassed pitches and, due to the pressure upon schools to increase revenue, it was becoming increasingly popular for schools to want to maximise use of all weather pitches but this needed to be balanced against the expectation of local residents to have peace and quiet on Sundays.

 

Members noted that the school has regular meetings with residents and suggested that the school continue to work with residents to try to resolve existing concerns regarding use of the pitch.

 

Decision:

 

Refused on the following ground:

 

The proposal to extend the use of the pitch and floodlights to 09.00 – 18.00 hours on Sundays will result in harm to the amenities of the surrounding residents in terms of noise and disturbance from use of the pitch and floodlighting. The proposal is therefore contrary to Policy BNE2 of the Medway Local Plan 2003 and paragraph 127f of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019.