Agenda item

Planning Application EPF/0103/22 - Grove Cottages, 64 Ongar Road, Lambourne RM4 1UJ

(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 and size and at the same place, unless the Local Planning Authority agrees to a variation beforehand in writing.


3…Within 3 months of the date of this decision notice, the visibility splays, as shown on drawing no. F21073/01 (2.4m x 118m to the west & 2.4m x 107m to the east), shall be fully implemented clear to ground level, with any planting being located a minimum of 1m behind the splays and so retained.


4…Within 3 months of the date of this decision notice, there shall be no unbound material used in the surface treatment of the vehicular access within 6 metres of the highway boundary.


5…There shall be no discharge of surface water onto the Highway.


6…The materials to be used in the construction of the external surfaces of the development hereby permitted shall match those specified on the approved plans, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

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