Broad Street Wrington
Planning Minutes
Minutes of a Meeting of the Planning Committee of Wrington Parish Council held in the John Locke room on Tuesday, 10th February, 2009
1 Apologies:
Mr D. W. Glynn, Chairman
Mrs G. J. Bigg
Mr P. Ellis (from 7.15pm)
Ms E. P. Irving
Mrs G. Moss
Mr R. L. Thorn
Mrs C. Turton
Mrs D. J. Yamanaka
Ms G. Wilson, Clerk
Mr M. Berkley
Mrs J. Gallop
Mrs P. Ledbury
Mr G. A. Matthews
Mrs C. A. Phillips

In attendance: Approximately 11 members of the public from 6 pm and a further 5 from 6.30 pm

The Chairman opened the meeting at 6.00 pm, and explained the format of the meeting to the members of the public present, who had been provided with a copy of the agenda. They would be invited to comment under the agenda item ‘Public Participation’, but members of the public were not entitled to speak during the formal proceedings of the Council.

2. Declarations of Interest

None on known agenda items.

3. Public Participation

The Chairman asked the members of the public whether their interest was in the amended application for an Affordable Housing scheme in Rickyard Road, Wrington. All except one confirmed their interest in this application. The Chairman then invited comments.

Mr D Palmer read a prepared statement supporting the proposed development, outlining his own requirement to purchase or rent a property at a lower cost than market prices.

Other members of the public present, mainly residents of Rickyard Road, South Meadows and Garstons Close, voiced their continuing concerns about potential flooding problems in the area; many felt that any additional development was undesirable until such time as the study being undertaken by North Somerset Council had been completed and the existing problems addressed.

A copy of a letter to NSC from Mr Vernon Bryant was passed to the Council, which queried the accuracy of some of the calculations used in the flood risk assessment carried out by Hydrock.

As the discussion was concluding, a further five members of the public joined the meeting. The Chairman asked them if they wished to make any comments, and they responded that they were in favour of the proposed development.

As there were no further comments, the Chairman proceeded to the remaining agenda items.

4. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 20th January were reviewed and signed as a correct record.

5. Matters arising

There were no matters arising.

6. NSC South Area Planning Committee

The papers from the previous meeting held on 21st January had been received. It was noted that the proposed development at Gatcombe Farm had been refused, the reasons for this including: its location in the Green Belt; the need for a flood risk assessment; and the possibility of disturbance from aircraft noise.

The application for change of use of the former Wrington Chemists from retail to residential use had also been refused, on the grounds of insufficient evidence of active marketing, and the loss of retail facilities.

The application to open a restaurant at Derham House in High Street, Wrington, had been granted, but with conditions. The Chairman commented that reference was made to a ramp for disabled access, which he felt was an amendment to the original plans, although the Council had not been informed of any changes. The conditions also state that there is to be no Sunday opening and no off-site food sales. Further information is to be provided in relation to extraction and ventilation. There is also a requirement for two disabled parking bays, which it is assumed will be at the rear of the premises.

7. Decisions Notices issued by NSC

08/P/2515/F – Derham House, High Street: change of use from office to restaurant - approved, with conditions.

08/P/2454/F – Wrington Chemists, Silver Street: change of use from retail chemist to dwelling – refused.

08/P/2304/F – Gatcombe Farm, West Hay Road: erection of 11 sustainable dwellings - refused.

8. Planning Applications

08/P/2461/F (amendments) – Land opposite 15-29 Rickyard Road, Wrington

The Chairman asked Council members for their comments. Cllr Thorn said he felt there were a number of separate issues to be considered: one was the question of whether the Council believed there was a need for a low-cost housing scheme in the village, and there seemed to be evidence that this was the case.

However, the Council also had to consider the needs of residents now being affected by decisions made in the past to allow inappropriate development. He also felt that the technical issues in relation to flooding were complex, and it was difficult for the Council to address these unless it was able to obtain its own independent professional advice. In the absence of such advice, he believed the Council should maintain its position that the problem of flooding must be addressed first, and that no further development should be considered until the investigation being carried out by NSC’s hydrologist has been completed and solutions identified.

Cllr Bigg said she also felt that the Council must be sure that the development would not exacerbate the flooding problem, and she wondered whether the £30,000 apparently to be made available by the developer would achieve very much in terms of alleviating the risk.

Cllr Yamanaka commented that the developers would need to do whatever was required to prevent flooding on the site itself, and she pointed out that the finance had become available due to the removal of the holding pond from the plans.

It was generally felt that £30,000 would not be sufficient to carry out any work that might be required to solve the flooding problems, and the balance would need to be made up by North Somerset Council.

The question of the principle of an Affordable Housing scheme was discussed. It was agreed that the Council would support such a development if an appropriate site could be identified. However, it was felt that there were too many uncertainties surrounding the causes of the numerous flooding incidents in the village over many years, and it is currently impossible to guarantee that the proposed development would not exacerbate the existing flood risk. In addition, it was felt that the amended plans, whereby the holding pond was to be deleted, could result in more surface water run-off into the roads and the stream. Cllr Irving suggested that if the development was approved, a rainwater collection scheme should be included.

It was agreed that the Council would submit a comment stating that it would be supportive of an Affordable Housing Scheme in Wrington, but it wished to maintain its objection to any development at Rickyard Road until it can be demonstrated that all necessary steps can be taken to ensure that the site will not flood, and that the development will not add to existing flooding problems in the village.

The Chairman asked whether members wanted to consider any conditions, in the event that the development is approved by North Somerset Council. A list compiled when the original application had been considered was read out. It was agreed to submit this as part of the comments to the Planning Officer.

09/P/0051/F – Land adjoining 10 Old Station Close, Wrington: erection of a detached dwelling with B1 work unit with access off Old Station Close.

Cllr Bigg said that the proposed development was contrary to Policy H/7, as the plans did not show a separate toilet and kitchen facility for the work unit. The work unit is also smaller than the required 20²m. It was generally agreed that the plot does not appear to be large enough to accommodate the proposed dwelling appropriately. However, the overall design does appear to have been produced with attention to detail.

It was agreed to object to the proposal on the grounds of Policy H/7, also to comment that the Council believes that the site should be retained as an open space, and that it would welcome a discussion on how to improve the biodiversity and public amenity value of this Conservation Area site.

08/P/0109/WT – Piltdown, Church Walk, Wrington: Tree Works. It was agreed to make no comment on this application.

09/P0101/WT – 4 Old Station Close, Wrington: Tree Works. It was agreed to make no comment on this application.

9. Other Planning Issues

Cinderford Cottage, Ropers Lane, Wrington – erection of two storey dwelling and garages with office/workroom - Notice of Appeal received. It was agreed to maintain the previous objection, especially in view of recent flooding incidents nearby.

Brockley Wood waste processing facility: the Clerk stated that two large folders containing plans had been received from CSJ Planning, with a letter stating that a planning application had now been submitted to North Somerset Council. It was therefore expected that this application would be considered at the next meeting.

Consultation: the Chairman drew attention to the consultation document on a Joint Waste Core Strategy produced by the West of England Partnership, and asked members to consider whether they wished to submit comments. The strategy is likely to have direct relevance to proposals such as the Brockley Wood site.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 7.50 pm.

Mr. D W Glynn