North Elmham: Station Yard: Residential Development for 19 Dwellings: Reference: 3PL/2013/1045/O
Report of the Director of Commissioning.
The Senior Planner recapped the application for 19 dwellings on a site adjacent the railway line. The application was Outline with only access to be considered.
The applicant had now served notice on two additional land owners and a revision had been made to the red line surrounding the site to exclude land owned by No 9 Station Road.
The site had planning history and had received a recent refusal due to failure to sign a legal agreement.
Significant discussions had taken place regarding highway safety and a railway crossing upgrade had been agreed in principle. However there were still concerns over visibility and the application was recommended for refusal on those grounds.
Mr Read (Objector) lived at No 9 Station Road and was concerned about the proposed road layout as it formed part of the ‘safe route to school’. The site was also on the edge of the built up area where drivers started to accelerate out of the 30mph zone. It was also a dangerous junction. The required visibility splay included front garden land of Nos 9 and 7 Station Road. The Applicant owned No 7. Mr Read said his land was available but the applicant had failed to complete on two contracts which would allow the footpath to be set back and the road width maintained.
Mr Thompson (Applicant) apologised that the application was before Members again. He had not refused to sign the previous legal agreement but had been advised not to by an Officer. The old yard was a brownfield site. The required visibility splay to the west could be achieved by setting the railway gates back. To the east visibility was below requirements but traffic from the east, driving on the left, would have adequate visibility. By moving the gates and narrowing the road the exit from Eastgate Street was improved. Curbing would be created and a footpath provided behind the crossing gates so pedestrian safety would be maintained. The development would provide much needed housing.
Councillor Lamb asked why the application was now recommended for refusal when it had been acceptable before.
It was explained that the application had originally been presented to Members in 2007/8 and had received a positive recommendation subject to a legal agreement. That agreement had not been concluded successfully. More time had been given and it had come to light that the required visibility splay could not be secured because it was reliant on third party land. Members had approved the application subject to a sub-standard access, but the legal agreement had still not been secured.
Councillor Lamb asked whether the applicant’s inference that the entrance was OK included the land owned by the objector. He was advised that it did not.
Councillor Carter asked if the application should be deferred to allow time for agreement of the visibility splay but the Planning Manager advised that there was no guarantee that agreement would be reached within a reasonable timescale.
RESOLVED that, subject to the expiration of the time periods associated with the notices served upon third parties expiring, the application be refused on highway safety grounds.