Change of use from agricultural land to community park, comprising the installation of a toilet facility, formation of two car and cycle parking areas, two vehicle accesses (Main Road and Vicarage Lane), landscaping, tree planting, boundary treatments and associated works.
The Head of Planning outlined the planning application in detail and drawing attention to the supplementary agenda advice sheet informed the Committee that:
· Since despatch of the agenda, the Local Planning Authority has satisfactory completed an Appropriate Assessment and that had been agreed with Natural England, therefore this element of the recommendation could be deleted.
· Recommendation B) relating to the imposition of conditions would now become recommendation A).
· Proposed conditions 7 and 21 required amendment, details of which were set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet.
· One additional neighbour letter had been received objecting to the proposal stating that the land should be retained as farmland as the site helps to protect the adjacent SSSI.
· Since production of the agenda, the National Planning Policy Framework had been revised and the application had now been considered against paragraphs 111, 112, 130, 159 – 164, 167, 169, 170, 174, 175, 180, 183, 184, 186, 194 and 197 and were considered to conform.
· The 8th paragraph of the ‘amenity’ section of the report and the 3rd paragraph of the ‘impact on heritage assets’ section of the report required amendment as set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet.
The Head of Planning also informed the Committee that although the site was listed as being in Peninsula Ward, a section of the site fell within Strood Rural Ward.
He reminded the Committee that although the applicant was the Council, this should have no bearing upon the consideration of the planning application. He confirmed that the application was for the provision of a community park aimed at improving the quality of life of residents and was therefore not concerned with the provision of housing, albeit the funding to provide the park would come from the Housing Infrastructure Fund.
The Committee discussed the application.
Approved subject to:
a) Conditions 1 – 6, 8 – 20 and conditions 22 – 23 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report with conditions 7 and 21 amended as follows:
7 No development above slab level for any building shall take place until details and samples of all materials to be used externally have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details.
Reason: To ensure that the appearance of the development is satisfactory and without prejudice to conditions of visual amenity in the locality, in accordance with Policy BNE1 of the Medway Local Plan 2003.
21 Prior to the first use of any part of the park hereby permitted a Recreational Management Strategy for the development for Medway Estuary and Marshes SSSI, SPA and Ramsar Site, including details of measures to manage recreational disturbance, such as warden strategy, signage interpretation along with collaboration with the Thames, Medway and Swale Strategic Access Management and Monitoring Strategy, and including relevant timetables and maintenance, together with management responsibility details shall be submitted to and agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority. The use shall be carried out in full accordance with the agreed details.
Reason: To ensure that the impact of the development on the SSSI/SPA/RAMSAR site is suitably mitigated in accordance with Policies BNE37 and 39 of the Medway Local Plan 2003 and paragraph 180 of the NPPF 2021.