Agenda and minutes

District Development Management Committee
Wednesday, 29th November, 2017 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: Gary Woodhall (Governance Directorate)  Tel: 01992 564470 Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

24.

Webcasting Introduction

This meeting is to be webcast and the Senior Democratic Services Officer will read the following announcement:

 

I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by third parties).

 

If you are seated in the lower public seating area then it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.

 

This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if you wish to avoid this then you should move to the upper public gallery.

 

Could I please also remind Members and Public Speakers to activate their microphones before speaking.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Democratic Services Officer made a short address to remind 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.

25.

Advice to Public and Speakers at Council Planning Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 51 KB

(Director of Governance) General advice to people attending the meeting is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed members of the public to the meeting and outlined the procedures adopted that enabled members of the public to address the Committee, during the determination of applications for planning permission. The Committee noted the advice provided for the public and speakers in attendance at Council Planning Committee meetings.

26.

Substitute Members

(Director of Governance)  To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting in accordance with Council Rule S1 in the Constitution (Part 4 “The Rules” refers).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted the following substitutions for this meeting:

 

(i)         Cllr L Hughes for Cllr H Brady.

27.

Declarations of Interest

(Director of Governance) To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)      Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Cllr G Chambers declared a personal interest in the following item of the agenda, by virtue of being the Applicant. The Councillor had determined that his interest was pecuniary and would leave the meeting for the consideration of the application and voting thereon:

 

·       EPF/1765/17 - 5 Beech Lane, Buckhurst Hill.

 

(b)      Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Cllrs B Sandler, B Rolfe, R Jennings, S Heap, S Jones, H Kauffman, J Knapman, S Kane, R Morgan, C C Pond, G Shiell, D Stallan, J M Whitehouse and L Hughes declared a personal interest in the following item of the agenda, by virtue of the Applicant being a fellow District Councillor. The Councillors had determined that their interest was non-pecuniary and would remain in the meeting for the consideration of the application and voting thereon:

 

·       EPF/1765/17 - 5 Beech Lane, Buckhurst Hill.

 

(c)      Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Cllr C C Pond declared a personal interest in the following item of the agenda, by virtue of having had some meetings with the Developer to discuss proposals for Chigwell Garden Village. The Councillor had determined that his interest was non-pecuniary and would remain in the meeting for the consideration of the application and voting thereon:

 

·       EPF/1390/17 - The Lodge, Woolston Hall, Abridge Road, Chigwell.

28.

Minutes

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 4 October 2017.

 

Click here for District Development Management Committee Minutes 4 October 2017

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

(1)        That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 October 2017 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

29.

EPF/1849/17 - Chigwell Primary School, High Road, Chigwell pdf icon PDF 180 KB

(Director of Governance) To consider the attached report for the complete refurbishment of Chigwell Primary Academy and enabling residential development comprising 59 no. residential properties together with associated off-street parking, a dedicated parking court for existing residents, garden space, new vehicular accesses from High Road (A113) and Vicarage Lane, external landscaping and associated development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Officer presented a report for the complete refurbishment of Chigwell Primary Academy and enabling residential development comprising 59 residential properties together with associated off-street parking, a dedicated parking court for existing residents, garden space, new vehicular accesses from High Road (A113) and Vicarage Lane, external landscaping and associated development. The application was before the Committee as it was classed as a ‘large scale major’ application as defined within the guidance issued by the Department of Communities & Local Government.

 

The Principal Planning Officer stated that the application site comprised the Chigwell County Primary School and the former BI Sports Ground fronting High Road and extending along Vicarage Lane and the full length of the access road serving the School. The School comprised a mixture of single storey buildings, dating from between the 1930’s and 1960’s, and a number of temporary classrooms; there were three principal School buildings. All buildings on the former Sports Ground had been removed above ground level and the land was given over to mainly scrubland, other than an access on Vicarage Lane and the mature tree screens that laid around and within the land. The surrounding area comprised a mixture of residential and non-residential uses, and there were three listed buildings opposite the site on High Road. All of the land within the site boundaries was inside the Green Belt, but the site laid outside the Chigwell Conservation Area which abutted it. Much of the site was covered by group Tree Preservation Orders and a number of trees were subject to individual orders; there were also two public rights of way crossing the site.

 

The Principal Planning Officer reminded the Committee that the current application was based upon previous submissions. The original planning permission sought to refurbish the School within the existing buildings with an enabling development of 32 houses (submitted in outline only). Revised proposals for the School were approved in March 2017 as a minor amendment to the original permission. The current application had been submitted on the basis that the revised proposal for the School was not viable without additional enabling development. The associated development now comprised 59 residential units, submitted as a full application, and consisted of 7 x 2-bedroom flats, 15 x 3-bedroom houses, 13 x 4-bedroom houses, 23 x 5-bedroom houses and 1 x 7-bedroom house. All of the houses were detached and provided with a minimum of 2 parking spaces and private gardens.

 

The Principal Planning Officer explained that one of the key issues was the proposals generated an affordable housing requirement for 40% of the houses across all types of dwelling. The application had been accompanied by the required viability report and the Applicant was again advocating a financial contribution towards off-site provision. The Council’s Viability Consultant, Kift Consulting Limited (Kift), had reviewed the submission and had highlighted a number of discrepancies. Kift were of the opinion that the scheme would generate a surplus of £10.064million, which was significantly higher than the surplus of £2.545million identified  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

EPF/1390/17 - The Lodge, Woolston Hall, Abridge Road, Chigwell pdf icon PDF 159 KB

(Director of Governance) To consider the attached report for residential infill comprising 12 residential dwelling houses with associated off-street parking, garden space and external landscaping.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Officer presented a report for residential infill comprising 12 residential dwelling houses with associated off-street parking, garden space and external landscaping. The application had been considered by Area Planning Sub-Committee South at its meeting on 27 September 2017 and had been referred to this Committee for a decision so that a financial package could be agreed with Officers prior to this meeting; the Officer recommendation to refuse planning permission remained. The Applicant had been requested to submit a validated viability assessment for review by the Council’s own affordable housing consultants. However, the Applicant had refused and instead had made an offer of £372,000 towards affordable housing on a without prejudice basis, despite asserting that the site was not within a settlement and therefore affordable housing was not required.

 

The Principal Planning Officer stated that the site was an open parcel of land to the north-west of the Lodge. The access road to Woolston Manor formed the south-western boundary of the site, whilst the north-eastern boundary was an avenue leading to a Leisure complex. To the north-west of the site was a building, a former motel, accommodating flats, and the site was off Abridge Road between the village of Abridge to the north-east and Chigwell to the south-west. The site was entirely within the Metropolitan Green Belt, and was situated within an isolated rural location which was distinct from the built-up area of Chigwell.

 

The Principal Planning Officer reported that Planning Officers had concluded the proposal was contrary to Green Belt policy and did not represent sustainable development. The main material consideration for the application was the absence of a five-year land supply for housing throughout the District as a whole. However, this was not sufficient to outweigh the degree of harm that would be caused to the Metropolitan Green Belt by the development, and therefore no very special circumstances existed in favour of granting the application. In addition, the application would not provide the required affordable housing, and that the Applicant had not provided sufficient evidence or information – as required by the National Planning Policy Framework – to demonstrate that it would be unviable to provide any affordable housing on the site.

 

The Committee noted the summary of representations received in respect of this application, including support for the application from Chigwell Parish Council. The Committee heard from the Applicant’s Agent before proceeding to debate the application.

 

Cllr D Stallan expressed concerns that the report was inaccurate and did not contain enough information for the Committee to determine the application. There had been  no reference to the email from the Applicant contending that the site was in Chigwell, nor any mention of the Council requesting a contribution for affordable housing. Cllr Stallan felt that as there was already development in the area with the flats then the site had to be sustainable. In addition, the legal advice stated that the site was in Chigwell.

 

The Principal Planning Officer responded that the application had been previously considered  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

EPF/1973/17 - Newstead, 19 Coopersale Common, Coopersale pdf icon PDF 2 MB

(Director of Governance) To consider the attached report for the demolition of the existing dwelling at 19 Coopersale Common, Coopersale and  the erection of six detached houses (2 x 3 bedroom and 4 x 4 bedroom) and associated amenity space, car parking, cycle storage and landscaping.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Officer presented a report for the demolition of the existing dwelling at 19 Coopersale Common, and the erection of six detached houses (2 x 3-bedroom and 4 x 4-bedroom) with associated amenity space, car parking, cycle storage and landscaping. This application was considered by Area Planning Sub-Committee East at its meeting on 11 October 2017 and was referred to this Committee for a decision with a recommendation to approve the application.

 

The Principal Planning Officer stated that the site currently contained a late Victorian/early 20th Century large detached house and garage within a generous mature landscaped curtilage. Its principal elevation faced Coopersale Common; the southern and eastern boundaries adjoined highway land at Parklands, whilst the northern boundary adjoined the boundaries of The Shrubberies (a semi-detached house) and The White House (a detached two-storey house). The site was in an urban area which was neither listed nor within a conservation area. The surrounding area was predominantly defined by two-storey semi-detached and detached dwellings, but there was a three-storey block of flats located further south of the site.

 

The Principal Planning Officer reported Planning Officers had concluded that the application would provide much needed housing of a type which would meet an existing local housing need within an urban area of the District. This benefit would outweigh the limited harm from the height of the houses being higher than the neighbouring properties surrounding the site. The space provided around the boundaries of the site, along with the provision of good quality soft landscaping, would ensure that this additional height would not be prominent. In all other aspects, the design of the houses was considered acceptable and would preserve the character and appearance of the area. The application would not cause serious harm to highway safety or parking provision, and would not have an excessive impact on neighbouring amenity. It was therefore considered that the proposal met the requirements of sustainable development in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework, and the application was recommended for approval.

 

The Principal Planning Officer also related the appeal decision for the original application (EPF/2113/16) to build eight terraced houses on the site, which had been received since this application was considered by Area Planning Sub-Committee East on 11 October 2017. The Planning Inspector had dismissed the appeal on the grounds that the eight houses, as a result of their scale and cramped appearance along Coopersale Common, would harm the character and appearance of the area, and the proposed landscaping would be insufficient to overcome this harm. The Planning Inspector also found that the proposal would have an overbearing impact on the adjacent property, The White House.

 

The Principal Planning Officer reminded the Committee that the current scheme had reduced the number of houses to be built from eight to six, and there was now a 2.9 metre gap between the adjacent property, The White House, and the nearest house of the proposed scheme. Thus, Planning Officers were of the opinion that this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

EPF/1492/16 - The Chimes Nursery, Old Nazeing Road, Nazeing pdf icon PDF 213 KB

(Director of Governance) To consider the attached report for an outline application for seven Self-Build Houses with all matters reserved.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Officer presented a report for an outline application for seven self-build houses with all matters reserved. This application had been considered by Area Planning Sub-Committee West at its meeting held on 15 November 2017, where it was decided to refer the application to this Committee for a decision.

 

The Principal Planning Officer stated that the site comprised an irregularly shaped area of land approximately 1 hectare in area, which was to the south of the former Chimes Garden Centre, and dropped down to the River Lea. Roughly half of the land was a former landfill site that had been backfilled and covered in topsoil; the whole of the site was open and free from development although some clearance and land raising had taken place. The site was located within the Metropolitan Green Belt, Lea Valley Regional Park, and wholly within an Environment Agency Flood Zone 2 and 3a.

 

The Principal Planning Officer informed the Committee that a flood risk assessment had been provided which had been accepted, subject to conditions, by the Environment Agency and the Council’s Land Drainage Team. This had indicated that suitable attenuation and mitigation measures could be implemented to prevent the flooding of the houses themselves and any risk of increased flooding elsewhere, but these factors did not outweigh the failure of scheme to pass the Sequential Test and Exceptions Test, and was therefore contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework, the adopted policies of the Local Plan, and the prospective policies of the draft Local Plan.

 

The Principal Planning Officer reported Planning Officers had concluded that the site did not constitute previously developed land and the proposal constituted inappropriate development that was harmful to the openness of the Green Belt. In addition, the site was located within an Environment Agency Flood Zone 2 and 3a with the proposed housing being within the Flood Zone 3a, which was the highest flood risk, and the development had not passed a Sequential Test or the Exceptions Test as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework. The site was also located within the Lea Valley Regional Park and the proposed development would be harmful to the character and amenity of the Regional Park.

 

It was accepted that the Council could not currently demonstrate a five-year land supply of housing sites, however the National Planning Policy Framework contained clear policies regarding development in the Green Belt and in areas at high risk of flooding. It was also recognised that the site was in a relatively sustainable location; however, it was not considered that this was sufficient to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt from development or to disregard development within an area at the highest risk of flooding. Therefore, it had been recommended that the application be refused planning permission.

 

The Committee noted the summary of representations received in respect of the application, including letters of objection from four local residents and the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority. The Committee heard from an Objector, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

EPF/1956/17 - Broxlea Nursery, Nursery Road, Nazeing pdf icon PDF 232 KB

(Director of Governance) To consider the attached report for the erection of four four-bedroomed houses and garages.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Officer presented a report for the erection of four four-bedroom houses with garages. The application was considered by Area Planning Sub-Committee West at its meeting on 18 October 2017 with a recommendation to refuse; the Sub-Committee referred the application to this Committee for a decision with a recommendation to approve planning permission.

 

The Principal Planning Officer stated that the site comprised a 0.45 hectare area of a former Mushroom Farm located on the western side of Nursery Road. The site currently contained a number of redundant agricultural buildings in a poor state of repair, was largely overgrown, and sat beyond the linear row of properties within Nursery Road. To the immediate north, east and west of the site were open areas of land containing woodland, open fields and lakes. The site was located within the Metropolitan Green Belt, the Lea Valley Regional Park, wholly within an Environment Agency Flood Zone 2, and partially within a Flood Zone 3.

 

The Principal Planning Officer reported Planning Officers had concluded that the site did not constitute previously developed land and the proposal did not meet any of the exceptions to inappropriate development in the Metropolitan Green Belt outlined within the National Planning Policy Framework. The application had not passed a Sequential Test and would also harm the character of the Lea Valley Regional Park. It was acknowledged that the Council could not demonstrate a five-year land supply of housing sites, but this did not negate the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework at paragraphs 89 (Green Belt) and 100 (Flood Risk). It was also recognised that the site was but a short distance from the centre of Nazeing, but this was not sufficient to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt of the unacceptable nature of this site. Therefore, Planning Officers had recommended that planning permission be refused for this application.

 

The Committee noted the summary of representations received in respect of this application, including support for the application from Nazeing Parish Council and three other residents, and objections from three residents and the Nursery Road Residents Association. The Committee heard from the Parish Council and the Applicant before proceeding to debate the application.

 

The Principal Planning Officer informed the Committee that the Members of Area Planning Sub-Committee West had felt that the reduction in the number of houses proposed to be developed on the site from the previous application in 2016 was acceptable, and that the site had been previously developed. Therefore, the application had been recommended for approval as very special circumstances had been demonstrated. Planning Officers were not totally convinced by this argument as the previous buildings on the site had been erected for agricultural purposes.

 

Cllr S Kane stated that the general feeling of the Members at Area Planning Sub-Committee West was the development would be an improvement to the site and therefore would enhance the Green Belt rather than harm it. The Committee agreed that the site was in a terrible state and needed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

EPF/1765/17 - 5 Beech Lane, Buckhurst Hill pdf icon PDF 116 KB

(Director of Governance) To consider the attached report for a proposed two storey front bay window, two storey side extension and single storey side and rear extensions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Officer presented a report for a proposed two storey front bay window, two storey side extension and single storey side and rear extensions. This application was before the Committee as it had been submitted by a serving District Councillor.

 

The Principal Planning Officer stated that the site was a two-storey Victorian semi-detached house located in Beech Lane – a fairly short and narrow road which was located between Epping New Road and the High Road in Buckhurst Hill. The property was not listed nor did it lay within a Conservation Area.

 

The Principal Planning Officer reported that the original application had been revised such that the depth of the bay window extension at the front had been reduced and its design amended to a more traditional canted profile as found on other nearby properties. Planning Officers had concluded that any potential overlooking of the neighbouring property at 4 Beech Lane had been reduced to a limited and satisfactory level, and the side and rear extension on the other side would not materially detract from the light and outlook of 6 Beech Lane. Therefore, the revised proposal was considered acceptable and it was recommended to grant planning permission.

 

The Committee noted the Summary of Representations within the report, including an objection from the neighbour at 4 Beech Lane on the grounds that the proposed development would be out of keeping with the street scene and would impact the light entering the bedroom window. The Committee heard from an Objector and the Applicant’s Agent before proceeding to debate the application.

 

Cllr C C Pond commented that the design of the bay window was very good and would improve the overall street scene. Canted bay windows were designed to prevent the direct overlooking of neighbours and therefore the Councillor had no objections to this proposal. In response to the complaints mentioned by the Objector, i.e. loss of light and overlooking, the Principal Planning Officer reminded the Committee that the bay window had been redesigned to reduce the overlooking to acceptable levels, and it was the opinion of Planning Officers that there would be no loss of sunlight for the Neighbour from the proposed development.

 

Decision:

 

(1)        That planning application EPF/1765/17 at 5 Beech Lane in Buckhurst Hill be granted permission, subject to the following conditions:

 

1.         The development hereby permitted must be begun not later than the expiration of three years beginning with the date of this notice.

 

2.         Materials to be used for the external finishes of the proposed development shall match those of the existing building, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

3.         All construction/demolition works and ancillary operations, including vehicle movement on site which are audible at the boundary of noise sensitive premises, shall only take place between the hours of 07.30 to 18.30 Monday to Friday and 08.00 to 13.00 hours on Saturday, and at no time during Sundays and Public/Bank Holidays unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Any Other Business

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that there was no other urgent business for consideration by the Committee.

36.

Exclusion of Public and Press

Exclusion

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):

 

Agenda Item

Subject

Paragraph Number

Nil

None

Nil

 

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.

 

Background Papers

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted that there was no business which necessitated the exclusion of the public and press from the meeting.