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This meeting is to be webcast and the Chairman will read the following announcement:
“I would like to remind everyone present that this hybrid meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or other such use by third parties). Therefore by participating in this meeting, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings for webcasting and/or training purposes. If any public speakers on Zoom do not wish to have their image captured they should ensure that their video setting throughout the meeting is turned off and set to audio only.
Please also be aware that if technical difficulties interrupt the meeting that cannot be overcome, I may need to adjourn the meeting.”
On behalf of the Chairman, the Team Manager for Democratic & Electoral Services reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the internet and would be capable of repeated viewing, which could infringe their human and data protection rights.
(Team Manager – Democratic & Electoral Services) General advice for those persons attending the meeting of the Committee is attached as an Appendix to this agenda.
The Committee noted the advice provided for the public and speakers in attendance at meetings of the Council’s planning committees.
(Team Manager – Democratic & Electoral Services) To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.
The Committee was advised that the following substitute members had been appointed for the meeting:
(a) Cllr B Vaz for Cllr I Hadley.
Declarations of Interest
(Team Manager – Democratic & Electoral Services) To declare interests in any item on the agenda.
The following interests were declared by members of the Committee pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct:
(a) Cllr T Matthews declared a personal interest in item 13 (Planning Application EPF/0916/22 – Sumners Farm, Epping Road, Epping Upland) of the agenda for the meeting, by virtue of being the applicant. Cllr T Matthews had determined that his interest was pecuniary and indicated that he would leave the meeting for the consideration of the application and voting thereon.
(Team Manager – Democratic & Electoral Services) To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 27 July 2022 (attached).
(1) That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 27 July 2022 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Any member who wishes a site visit to be undertaken for any of the applications listed in this agenda should seek agreement from at least one other member of the Committee and then inform both Planning and Democratic Services prior to the day of the meeting.
There were no site visits requested for any of the applications under consideration at the meeting.
Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version - Planning Policy Briefing Note
(Service Manager – Development Management) A Planning Policy Briefing Note, dated October 2021, has been produced by the Planning Policy Team to ensure that a consistent approach is taken to the provision of planning policy advice for the District, particularly in relation to the Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version, which was published on 18 December 2017 and the Main Modifications to the LPSV published for consultation between 15 July and 23 September 2021.
The primary purpose of the Planning Policy Briefing Note is to inform the development management process and to provide assistance for Development Management Officers, Councillors, applicants and planning agents. The Planning Policy Briefing Note is available at:
The Committee was reminded that a briefing note had been prepared to ensure a consistent approach was taken to the provision of planning policy advice, following the publication of the Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version (LPSV) on 18 December 2017 and the Main Modifications to the LPSV which had been published for consultation on 15 July 2021. Members were advised that the primary purpose of the briefing note was to inform development management activities and to provide assistance for Councillors, Officers, Applicants, Planning Agents and other persons involved in the development management process.
(1) That the Planning Policy Briefing Note for the Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version be noted.
(Service Manager – Development Management) To consider the attached report for the construction of a residential development comprising of 95 units, together with open space, car parking and landscaping (amended plans received).
The Planning Officer, I Ansell, presented a report for the construction of a residential development comprising of 95 units, together with open space, car parking and landscaping. This application had originally been considered by Area Plans Sub-Committee East who referred the application to this Committee following a tied vote, and requested that a number be considered further, namely:
· parking provision within the development;
· additional engagement with local residents and the Parish Council;
· provision of parish homes within the affordable element; and
· further information on flood mitigation measures.
As a result, the applicant had submitted revised plans to increase the amount of parking available, which included a detailed Flood Risk Assessment.
I Ansell stated that the site comprised of approximately 3.5 hectares of open land to the west of Ongar, and was mostly scrubland with areas of hedging along the boundaries and through the centre of the site. The site and much of the adjoining land was within the Metropolitan Green Belt, but it was allocated for residential development within the Council’s Local Plan Submission Version. The application sought permission to construct 76 houses and 19 flats in blocks of no more than 6 units. The houses would be a mixture of 1-bed, 2-bed, 3-bed and 4-bed properties. The proposal would also deliver affordable rental dwellings and affordable intermediate dwellings, consisting of 39 dwellings in total. The layout of the site had been informed by several constraints including the existing infrastructure and landscape, drainage, biodiversity requirements and accessibility. Planning Officers had concluded that the positive benefits of the proposal far outweighed the concerns and were recommending that planning permission be granted, subject to conditions and an appropriate legal agreement.
The Committee noted the summary of representations that had been received in respect of the amended plans before the Committee, which included an objection from Ongar Town Council. The Committee heard from an objector representing the Ongar Neighbourhood Plan Community Group, the Town Council and the applicant’s agent before proceeding to debate the application.
I Ansell clarified several points for the Committee during the debate:
· the health provision funding figures had been provided by the local health authorities, and the full amount requested had been agreed by the applicant;
· the Ongar Neighbourhood Plan had been considered as it carried some weight, and although it had been agreed at a local referendum, it had not been through the final stage of adoption at Council;
· the site was not in a flood risk area and neither was it a protected habitat;
· the attenuation pond was designed to capture water and release it in a controlled manner, and would have both soakaway and discharge elements;
· the highways authority had requested improvements to nearby bus stops including real time information boards, but there had been no request for a contribution for additional bus services;
· the existing hedging on the boundary of the site would be retained but cut back in places to improve the sight lines for traffic entering and leaving the site;
· the affordable housing ... view the full minutes text for item 18.
(Service Manager – Development Management) To consider the attached report to remove condition 2 ‘Soft Landscaping’ on EPF/2334/21 – retention of a vehicular crossover field access, associated gate and hedgerow planting along boundary (revised application to EPF/0229/21).
The Planning Officer, M Rahman, presented a report for the removal of condition 2 – ‘Soft Landscaping’ – from planning application EPF/234/21 previously approved for the site, which was for the retention of a vehicular crossover field access, associated gate and hedgerow planting along the boundary. This planning application was originally considered by Area Planning Sub-Committee East at their meeting held on 6 April 2022 with a recommendation to refuse. The Sub-Committee voted to refuse the application but it was subject to a minority reference to this Committee for a final decision. This application was deferred for a site visit by this Committee on 20 April 2022, which took place on 13 September 2022.
M Rahman reported that the site comprised a plot of land situated between 64 and 90 Ongar Road, which was a classified highway. The application was concerned with the planting that had been undertaken to screen a fence along the boundary of the property of approximately 150m in length. Planning Officers had concluded that the species mixture of the planting undertaken by the applicant was incongruous to this rural setting and introduced a considerable ‘urbanisation’ of the area which was contrary to planning policy. It was considered that native hedging would be in accordance with the policy, and therefore this application was recommended for refusal.
The Committee noted the summary of representations that had been received for this application and heard from the applicant’s agent before proceeding to debate the application.
The Committee debated the merits of the species of plants that had used to screen the fencing, and whether it should be removed in favour of native hedging as recommended by the Planning Officers. Some Councillors opined that the plants used looked healthy, the majority of which were native species and in time would grow to close the gaps to screen the fencing. Other Councillors agreed with the Planning Officers that a degree of ‘urbanisation’ had been introduced to the area and that the current planting should be replaced with native hedging similar to that which had been in situ previously as the current planting was not appropriate for the location.
Cllr R Morgan proposed a motion to grant the application to remove the soft landscaping planning condition as requested by the applicant; this was seconded by Cllr B Rolfe.
(1) That planning application EPF/0103/22 for Grove Cottages on Ongar Road in Lambourne be granted planning permission, subject to the following planning conditions:
1…The development hereby permitted shall be carried out and retained strictly in accordance with the following approved plans: 904-01 Rev A, 904-02, F210733/01 and 221211-PL-001.
2…Within 3 months of the date of this decision notice, the Landscaping scheme shall be carried out in accordance with the details specified on the approved plans. If any plant dies, becomes diseased or fails to thrive within a period of 5 years from the date of planting, or is removed, uprooted or destroyed, it must be replaced by another plant of the same kind ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
(Service Manager – Development Management) To consider the attached report for the proposed demolition of the existing dwelling and the construction of a semi-detached pair of dwellings.
The Planning Officer, C Ahmet, presented a report for the proposed demolition of the existing dwelling and the construction of a semi-detached pair of dwellings. On 6 July 2022, Area Planning Sub-Committee South had deferred this item to the Committee with a recommendation to refuse the application as the existing building was a Non-Designated Heritage Asset (NDHA) and for the harm the development would cause to the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation (EFSAC).
C Ahmet reported that the site was situated midway along the north side of Queens Road, and the existing dwelling was an extended, detached two-storey house. The road had a mixed character with a considerable variety of architectural styles. The application site was not within a conservation area, and nor was it protected by a statutory or locally listed status. It was understood that eminent Engineer Vernon AM Robertson had lived at the property in 1923.
The Committee noted the summary of representations received for this application, including five objections from neighbouring properties and concerns raised by the Parish Council. The Committee heard from an objector and the applicant’s agent before proceeding to debate the application.
A number of Councillors felt that there was no real heritage value in the existing building, or that any heritage value could be recorded as a photographic record prior to demolition. In addition, the design of the replacement semidetached dwellings was elegant, and a ‘blue plaque’ could be erected to record that the Engineer had lived there. However, some Councillors objected to the application as the existing dwelling was the oldest building in Queens Road which was worth preserving, and did not agree with the view of the Council’s Conservation Officer within the report.
The recommendation of Area Planning Sub-Committee South to refuse the application was lost. A motion was proposed by Cllr K Williamson, and seconded by Cllr S Patel, to grant planning permission subject to the Section 106 legal agreement and planning conditions contained within the original report considered by Area Planning Sub-Committee South.
(1) That planning application EPF/2472/20 for 91 Queens Road in Buckhurst Hill be granted planning permission, subject to:
(a) the completion of a Section 106 legal agreement under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to pay financial contributions towards the mitigation of air pollution and increased recreational pressure for the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation; and
(b) the following planning conditions:
1…The development hereby permitted shall begin not later than three years from the date of this decision.
2…The development hereby permitted shall be carried out and retained strictly in accordance with the following approved plans: 110K; 111H; 112C and113C.
3…Prior to any above ground works, documentary and photographic details of the type and colours of the external finishes of the development have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.
4…Prior to any above groundworks, a strategy to facilitate super-fast broadband for future occupants ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
(Service Manager – Development Management) To consider the attached report for the proposed replacement of domestic double garage with a single storey one bedroom dwelling.
The Planning Officer, S Dhadwar, presented a report for the proposed replacement of a domestic double garage with a single-storey, one bedroom dwelling. This application had been considered by Area Planning Sub-Committee West on 17 August 2022.
S Dhadwar reported that the site was a small infill plot between the Travellers Friend car park on one side and a barn/outbuilding forming part of the curtilage of the cottages to the other side. Behind the garage, the land was grassed with no trees and enclosed by a brick wall on two sides. There were open fields to the north of the site, and the site was within the metropolitan Green Belt.
Planning Officers had originally concluded that the proposal constituted inappropriate development within the metropolitan Green Belt, as the site was not considered to meet the definition of an ‘infill plot’ within a village. There were also no very special circumstances to outweigh this and any other harm from the development. Therefore, the site had recommended for refusal at the meeting of Area Planning Sub-Committee West on 17 August 2022. However, the Sub-Committee had voted against the refusal and proposed that the application should be granted planning permission, subject to the standard planning conditions and the completion of a Section 106 legal agreement to mitigate any harm to the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation (EFSAC). It was this recommendation from the Sub-Committee that was before the Committee.
The Committee noted the summary of representations that had been received in relation to this application, including an objection from the Parish Council, and heard from the applicant’s agent before proceeding to debate the application.
The Committee considered whether the proposal was actually ‘in-fill’ development, and whether the site would be visually more attractive with a bungalow rather than the current concrete double garage, as well as cause further harm to the metropolitan Green Belt. The Committee noted that Planning Officers had acknowledged the site was previously developed land within the metropolitan Green Belt.
(1) That planning application EPF/0313/22 for the land and garage adjacent to the Travellers Friend car park in Epping Road, Epping Green be granted planning permission subject to:
(a) the completion of a Section 106 legal agreement under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to pay financial contributions towards mitigation and monitoring measures for the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation; and
(b) the following planning conditions:
1… The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.
2… The development hereby permitted shall be carried out and retained strictly in accordance with the following approved plans:
Traffic Impacts relating to Habitats Regulations Assessment, Planning Statement, Sustainability Checklist, Sustainability Statement Phase 1 Site Investigation and Preliminary Risk Assessment by Remada September 2020 742.01.01, 22/002/01, 22/002/02, 22/002/03, 22/002/04, 22/002/05.
3… No development shall commence until an assessment of the risks posed by any contamination, carried out in accordance with British Standard BS 10175: Investigation of potentially contaminated sites - ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
(Service Manager – Development Management) To consider the attached report for a two storey side and rear extension.
The Planning Officer, M Rahman, presented a report for a two-storey side and rear extension. The application was before the Committee as it had been submitted by a serving member of the District Council. The site comprised a detached dwelling within a wider farm complex, located in a built-up enclave of the metropolitan Green Belt. The building was not listed or within a conservation area, and no protected trees were within the site.
After having considered the impact of the proposal on: the metropolitan Green Belt; the character and appearance of the locality; and the living conditions of neighbours, Planning Officers had recommended the application be approved subject to a number of planning conditions. The Committee noted the summary of representations that had been received in relation to this application.
(1) That planning application EPF/0916/22 at Sumners Farm in Epping Road, Epping Upland be granted planning permission, subject to the following planning conditions:
1…The development hereby permitted shall begin not later than three years from the date of this decision.
2…The development hereby permitted shall be carried out and retained strictly in accordance with the following approved plans: 20014-E-2401 Rev 01, 21008-E-2402 Rev 01, 21008-P-1001 Rev 01, 21008-P-1002 Rev 01, 21008-P-2201, 21008-P-2202, 21008-P-2214 Rev 01, 21008-P-2224 Rev 01, 21008-P-2234, 21008-P-2213 Rev 01, 21008-R-7000, and 21008-R-7001.
3…The materials to be used in the construction of the external surfaces of the development hereby permitted shall match those of the existing building.
4…Wheel washing or other cleaning facilities for vehicles leaving the site during construction works shall be installed and utilised to clean vehicles immediately before leaving the site. Any mud or other material deposited on nearby roads as a result of the development shall be removed.
5…No deliveries, external running of plant and equipment or demolition and construction works, other than internal works not audible outside the site boundary, shall take place on the site other than between the hours of 07:30 to 18:00 on Monday to Friday and 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturday and not at all on Sundays, Public or Bank Holidays.
Any Other Business
(Team Manager – Democratic & Electoral Services) Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972 requires that the permission of the Chairman be obtained, after prior notice to the Chief Executive, before urgent business not specified in the agenda (including a supplementary agenda of which the statutory period of notice has been given) may be transacted.
It was noted that there was no other urgent business for consideration by the Committee.
Exclusion of Public and Press
(Team Manager – Democratic & Electoral Services) To consider whether, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press should be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on grounds that they will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the following paragraph(s) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) or are confidential under Section 100(A)(2):
The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, which came into effect on 1 March 2006, requires the Council to consider whether maintaining the exemption listed above outweighs the potential public interest in disclosing the information. Any member who considers that this test should be applied to any currently exempted matter on this agenda should contact the proper officer at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
(Team Manager – Democratic & Electoral Services) Article 17 (Access to Information) of the Constitution defines background papers as being documents relating to the subject matter of the report which in the Proper Officer's opinion:
(a) disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the report is based; and
(b) have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report and does not include published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential information and in respect of executive reports, the advice of any political advisor.
The Council will make available for public inspection one copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers for four years after the date of the meeting. Inspection of background papers can be arranged by contacting either the Responsible Officer or the Democratic Services Officer for the particular item.
The Committee noted that there was no business which necessitated the exclusion of the public and press from the meeting.