Agenda item

COLKIRK: Site at Jarvis Drive: Proposed 5 No dwellings and related garages/parking: Reference: 3PL/2014/0885/O

Report of the Executive Director Place.


All Members had received direct representation on this matter.


The application had been deferred from the October meeting for clarification on the loss of trees, access arrangements and concerns about overdevelopment. 


The Senior Planner recapped the details of the proposal and showed Members additional photographs of Jarvis Drive and the access to the site.  The dimensions of Jarvis Drive were clarified and the area to be widened was pointed out on the photographs. 


An indicative site layout had been provided and the Agent had confirmed that a paved area would be provided beside the access from Jarvis Drive for refuse bins to be taken to, to save the refuse lorry from having to access the site. 


The majority of trees on the site would be retained with just two being removed. 


Future residents would be reliant on cars but would enhance and maintain existing amenities in the village.  The development would also contribute to the Council’s housing land supply.


Mrs Filby (Objector) said the photographs seen by Members had shown an empty road because existing properties on Jarvis Drive had large driveways.  The new dwellings had no provision for visitor parking.  She had brought photographs showing two vehicles passing each other on Jarvis Drive.  It was only just possible for two cars to pass and even when widened there would not be enough room for a lorry to pass a car.  If the refuse lorry could not enter the site neither could removal vans or fire engines.  An additional condition from Highways required all vegetation to be cut down to ground level up to 2.4metres back from the road, meaning the loss of the existing hedge which was valuable for wildlife.  Finally she pointed out that the ownership of the verge had not been decided by Land Registry.


Mr Starling (for Applicant) said the mix of housing would provide a natural infill and help to sustain the local school, public house and bus service.  The existing paddock was unused and had become neglected.


Mr Moulton (Agent) advised that an ecologist had revisited the site and deemed it to be of negligible value.  The two trees to be removed had structural defects.  The bin area had been provided to avoid the lorry having to access the site but access was possible for lorries, etc.  The proposal was below the density level for rural areas; would look similar to existing; and had been designed to avoid overlooking.  The Council had indicated it was willing to sell the land once legal issues were overcome.


Councillor North was concerned about the loss of the hedgerow but the Officer confirmed that only two trees would be lost.


Councillor Lamb did not agree with allowing development outside Settlement Boundaries in unsustainable locations. He felt the five year housing land supply deficit was being used to get houses anywhere.


Councillor Chapman-Allen was concerned about parking provision and thought that the widening of the road would not make a difference.  She asked where the objector had got her information about the Highways condition and Mrs Filby offered to show a copy of their memo.


The Planning Manager pointed out that the hedgerow could be removed at any time as it was not protected.  However, permission would provide for its maintenance and protection.


Councillor Claussen was concerned that the density and one and a half storey form of development was wrong for a rural location.


Councillor Duigan noted that a similar application in Litcham which had been refused by the Committee had been allowed on appeal.


Members did not support the recommendation of approval.


RESOLVED that the application be refused on the grounds that it was outside the Settlement Boundary, in an unsustainable location and harmed the form and character of Jarvis Drive.

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