Harling: Proposed Residential Development, Lopham Road for Mr D Taylor: Reference: 3PL/2009/1065/F (Agenda Item 9)
Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.
The recommendations for this item were clarified. The report had the correct recommendation and the original schedule was wrong. (A replacement page for the schedule had been issued under a supplementary agenda.)
This item was recommended for refusal.
The Solicitor explained that he had been asked if LDF Task & Finish Group members who had considered the allocation of this site for development, were pre-determined. He advised that as no permanent decision had been made by the Group it was up to individual Members to decide if they could come to this meeting with an open mind. If so they could take part.
Mr F Sharpe decided that as a member of the Group he had already pre-judged the suitability of this site. He left the room whilst it was discussed.
Mr B Rose also felt that he had made his mind up and said that he would not take part in the discussion. The Solicitor advised him that it was not necessary for him to leave the room.
The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) presented this application for the erection of 15 dwellings, an area of Public Open Space and the construction of a new access/estate road. He explained that there were differences to a previous application for development on this site which had been refused and was subject to appeal which was to be heard at a public inquiry on 17 February 2010.
The layout had been changed to incorporate a central area of Open Space (previously this had been located to the rear of the site raising personal security concerns). The design was similar to that on the adjacent site.
It was noted that Harling Parish Council had objected as previously.
Officers were concerned that approval of this site would undermine the LDF Site Specifics process which had yet to be consulted on.
Mr Scott-Brown, agent, said that the Government required the Council to hold a five year housing land supply. He said this application should not be seen as taking away from the LDF provision, which covered a 20 year time frame and did not address short term supply. He said the site performed well in policy terms and he asked Members to support it.
Mr Taylor, applicant, said that a traffic study had been done the previous week and about 1800 vehicles used the junction daily, and no accidents had been recorded. With regard to trees there would be some dappled shading of amenity areas in the mornings only and a root protection scheme would be adhered to during construction. If the application was approved it would still leave 25 dwellings for the LDF allocation.
A Member was concerned that the LDF preferred site for development in Harling might never come forward. He said that Harling was a substantial village and that offers of development should be grasped to support the services existing in the village.
The Development Services Manager advised that Officers felt that this additional proposal would adversely affect the development of Harling as a whole. Under the LDF process there was one preferred site and three other reasonable alternatives (of which this site was one) and all would be put forward for public consultation.
Some Members were concerned that this application should not be approved in advance of the LDF decision. Another Member asked whether this application had to be considered as part of the allocation of 50 houses for Harling, or could it be considered separately to address the Council’s housing land supply shortage.
The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) said that it was an issue of ‘where to draw the line’. The five year housing land supply shortage applied to the whole district. It was a question of proportion and Officers had considered that allowing the site for ten dwellings was acceptable but that it would not be reasonable to allow more. These developments had always been considered as part of the LDF allocation. PPS3 did not suggest a free for all and gave clear criteria for including general planning policy and strategy in the decision making process.
RESOLVED to refuse the application on grounds of:
(1) conflict with Policy DC2 of the adopted Core Strategy and failure to satisfy the requirements of national policy contained within PPS3;
(2) impact on trees; and
(3) highway issues.