Agenda item

WEETING: Land to east of The Beeches, Lynn Road: 24 dwellings: Outline application (Phase II): Applicant: Childerhouse Lodge Farms: Reference: 3PL/2013/0258/O

Report of the Director of Commissioning.


For transparency, Councillor Bowes declared that she sat on a Charity Fundraising Committee with the applicant.


This item had been deferred from the 29 July 2013 meeting for further information and the District Valuer’s (DV) appraisal of the viability.


The DV had confirmed that 12 Affordable Housing units were the most that could be provided.  The Public Open Space provision had also been amended.  The proposed allotments had been withdrawn.  The local areas of play and woodland proposed were considered sufficient to meet requirements.


Members were recommended to approve the application subject to a legal agreement, with the proviso that if the legal agreement was not signed within three months, authority was delegated to officers to refuse the application.


Mrs Whettingsteel (Agent) said that the legal agreement had already been drafted including a plan which identified the areas of Open Space.  She believed it could be signed quickly and then Phase One of the development could commence.


Councillor Lamb was concerned that Phase One and Two meant an additional 50 houses which was urban development not right for a rural village.  The Settlement Boundary was being broken again and protection of the Stone Curlew did not seem to matter.


The Director of Planning & Business Manager reminded Members that the application had been deferred for two specific reasons and he urged caution if they were to start looking at matters of principle.


Councillor Lamb thought that the removal of the allotments changed the whole application, so everything should be considered.


Councillor North recalled that more allotments had been offered than were required.  She noted that they had provided a buffer for the Special Protection Area (SPA) and now development would stretch right to the edge of that area.  She was concerned that Phase One was being altered after specific guidelines set down by the Inspector when it was approved on appeal.


The Agent advised that Phase One was approved in full and the only alteration was to turn two units north/south to create the access from Phase One to Phase Two. 


With regard to the allotments, she said that the first scheme had not provided enough and the second scheme had provided too many.  No agreement had been reached with the Parish Council.  Following discussions with the Planning Manager additional Open Space was proposed instead.  One of the play areas and some substantial woodland would provide a buffer with the SPA for Stone Curlews.


Councillor Bambridge asked for the Committee to receive advice about reasons for deferral at a future meeting, as he felt that when changes were made Members should be able to look at the whole application again.  Local people were concerned that there was not enough village infrastructure to support the development.  He was also concerned about the school.


The Director of Planning & Business Manager pointed out that NCC had been consulted and had only requested a library contribution.


Members were concerned about the loss of the allotment provision as it had been a condition of the original approval on appeal.  The Solicitor advised that as the Parish Council had not wanted the number offered they had been omitted from both Phase One and Phase Two as part of the current proposal.


The vote on the recommendation was tied and the Chairman used his casting vote to support the recommendation.  He felt that the Committee had achieved what it set out to, although that had been clouded by the allotment issue.


RESOLVED that the application be deferred and the officers authorised to grant approval, subject to conditions, on completion of the section 106 agreement.


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