Agenda item

Planning application - MC/18/2171 - Beechcroft, Capstone Road, Lordswood, Chatham

Hempstead and Wigmore


Construction of a 4 bedroom detached bungalow with associated parking, access, engineering and landscaping works.




In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman chaired the Committee for consideration and determination of this planning application.


The Planning Manager outlined the planning application in detail and advised the Committee that the application site was outside the urban boundary as defined on the proposals map of the Local Plan and was therefore in the open countryside (Policy BNE25) and the site was also in an area of landscape importance (Policy BNE34). She advised that under normal circumstances the proposal would in principle be unacceptable under Policies S1 and S2 which directed development to brownfield sites and Policy BNE25 which restricted development in the countryside. However, as the Council could not demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply, the principle of sustainable development within the National Planning Policy Framework applied.  The development provided for some economic and social benefit and, as the proposal was to demolish an existing outbuilding and redevelop a previously developed site, the environment impact was acceptable.  As a result, the proposal constituted sustainable development and the principle of development was acceptable. The proposal included retention of the existing hedgerow and trees and was bordered on all sides by development, much of which was relatively recent. Therefore, it was considered that the development on one dwelling on this site would be in keeping with its surroundings.


The Planning Manager also confirmed that the design of the proposed dwelling was in keeping with a similar property to the south and plans had been amended so as to ensure that the height of the building sat below Capstone Road.


With the agreement of the Committee Councillor Rodney Chambers OBE addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor and referred to the letters of objection that had been submitted for this planning application. He outlined the basis of residents’ concerns as follows:


·         The proposed building will be on a 40% larger footprint than the stables that were originally on the application site.

·         Residents have concerns as to the narrow access into the site where they have stated there is no passing point.

·         The development of a residential property on land in the Capstone Valley is contrary to the Council’s desire to protect this area from development and a 4 bedroomed property in close proximity to this application site had been refused planning permission in October 2018. The grounds on which that application had been refused also applied to this current planning application.


For the above reason, Councillor Rodney Chambers OBE urged the Committee to refuse the planning application.


The Committee discussed the planning application and recognised that this particular application differed from that previously considered by the Committee in October in that the other site was located in a more prominent position and had a greater landscape impact whereas this current application related to a low level bungalow which would be located on a previously developed agricultural site between two other properties and would not be so visible from the road. For this reason it was questionable that the development of this one property as infill between two other properties and, in a location where other residential properties had been developed in recent years would be a threat to the landscape quality of Capstone Valley.




Approved subject to:


a)            The submission of a Unilateral Undertaking or SAMM Mitigation Contribution Agreement to secure £239.61 towards Designated Habitats Mitigation.


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

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