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, 3rd March, 2009
1 Apologies:
Mr D. W. Glynn, Chairman
Mrs G. J. Bigg
Mr P. Ellis
Mrs J. Gallop
Ms E. P. Irving
Mrs P. Ledbury
Mr R. L. Thorn
Mrs C. Turton
Mrs D. J. Yamanaka
Ms G. Wilson, Clerk
Mrs G. Moss
Mrs C. A. Phillips

In attendance:
6 members of the public

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.

2. Declarations of Interest

Cllr Turton in relation to the Brockley Woods waste processing facility application.

3. Public Participation

The Chairman invited members of the public to make comments on the applications to be considered later in the agenda. All those present were residents of Downside Road or Brockley Combe Road and expressed concerns about the proposed waste processing and composting facility in Brockley Wood.

The following is summary of the residents’ concerns:

· The proposed development is being described as a ‘composting’ facility, although in reality it will deal with all types of household waste, and there was concern that pollution of underground water via the Chelvey Spring could result.

· The issue of increased traffic, in the form of a forecast of fifty-one vehicle movements per day, was a concern of all residents. This would be compounded by the planned expansion of the airport. The road surface is currently in a bad state, and it is narrow and winding for most of its length. It also forms part of the Avon Cycleway. The access from the main roads, particularly from the A38 onto Downside Road, was felt to be potentially dangerous.

· It was felt that the effect on local wildlife, particularly bats, would inevitably be detrimental.

· The location of the site in the Green Belt was felt to be inappropriate, and that such facilities should be provided nearer to urban areas.

At the conclusion of this item, the Chairman suggested that residents should write individually to North Somerset Council, expressing their concerns, and that they should refer to the Planning Statement and other reports which form part of the application.

4. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 10th February were reviewed and signed as a correct record.

5. Matters arising

There were no matters arising.

6. NSC South Area Planning Committee

No meeting was held in February.

7. Decisions Notices issued by NSC

09/P/0013/WT – Brookside, Church Walk: tree works – approved.

09/P/0027/F – Blaise House, Station Road, Wrington: erection of a single storey rear extension – approved. It was noted that a condition of planning consent was that the building materials should match those of the existing building, as recommended by the Parish Council.

08/P/2638/F – Land to the side of 1 The Glebe, Wrington: erection of a two storey end of terrace 2 bedroom house and erection of a single storey side extension to existing house – application withdrawn.

08/P/2631/F – Redhill House (Plush Hotel) and gardens of Lye Hole Lane and Red Hill, Wrington: erection of 2no single storey hotel buildings with grass roofs linked into existing guest house, garage and swimming pool buildings. Site to be excavated, re-contoured and landscaped with roads and car parking relocated. Also erection of single storey and first floor extensions to guest house and conversion of northern garage block to hotel manager’s accommodation.

This application was refused on the grounds of its location outside the settlement boundary and within the Green Belt. It was considered inappropriate development which would compromise the openness of the Green Belt and no very special circumstances had been demonstrated to override this.

8. Planning Applications

09/P/0291/F – Land at Brockley Wood, Brockley Combe: change of use of area to north of Warren Lodge from commercial forestry plantation to a fully enclosed composting facility with erection of maturation and composting sheds, reception building, site office and maintenance workshop and associated water tanks, scrubber, biofilter, pond, landscaping, fencing, parking and access track (with passing places) off Brockley Combe Road all following the felling of trees, excavation and levelling of site with hard surfacing. Change of use of area to south of Warren Lodge from agriculture to mixed use of grazing/deciduous woodland alongside 2no grassland rides and wildlife area.

The Chairman stated that this is a complex, physically large development proposed for an area of woodland. Access to the site would be the same as for Fountain Forestry, from Brockley Combe Road.

Cllr Bigg said she believed that the treatment of waste should be located closer to urban areas, where the majority of waste is generated. Whilst the plant itself may be acceptable, this was the wrong location for such a development. Cllr Turton referred to a traffic survey carried out in 2008 by the applicants, and stated that the addition of lorries travelling to and from the site would raise the volume of traffic at the junction of the A38 and Downside Road to unacceptable levels. She also considered the width of Downside Road and Brockley Combe Road to be too narrow for the type of vehicles involved. It was also noted that the road is part of the Avon Cycleway.

It was generally felt the statement in the Ecological Survey submitted with the application that there would be no detrimental effect on the environment was incorrect, and the concept of the Green Belt was being disregarded. The existing bridleway would have to removed or diverted, and the security lighting associated with the site would have an adverse effect on the wildlife. There was particular concern about the effect on bats, as the proposed replacement site for tree planting had not been surveyed. Radio tracking of Greater horseshoe bats from Brockley Wood stables showed that they forage in this area. It was also felt that owls would be adversely affected.

There was also serious concern about the potential effect on the Chelvey Spring, and whether there could be leakage from the site into this local water supply. The site is located within a Groundwater Source Protection Zone.

Cllr Irving felt that the potential increase in traffic resulting from expansion of BIA was an additional factor to be taken into account.

Cllr Thorn said he believed the onus should be on the applicant to make a case for the plant to be built in this particular location, and nothing he had read in the application led him to believe that this case had been made.

It was agreed to object to the application on the grounds of inappropriate location in the Green Belt; inadequate road access and unacceptable increase in traffic levels; detrimental effects on the environment, and in particular local wildlife; potential leakage from the site into a local water supply.

09/P/0278/F – Goblins Nook, Church Road, Redhill: erection of a first floor rear extension to create new lounge.

There was discussion about the general appearance of the proposed extension, and it was pointed out that the location is washed over by the Green Belt. There was some concern about potential impact on the architectural character of the area and the wider landscape. It was agreed to comment on these issues, and to express concern about possible detrimental effect on the street scene.

9. Other Planning Issues

a. The Chairman informed members that an approach had been received from Blue Cedar Homes, who are in the process of designing a retirement scheme for the Brook House site. It had therefore been arranged that Mr Nick Cooper, Area Director, will attend the next Planning Committee meeting on 24th March to present details of the plans and to receive comments from members.

b. The Chairman stated that he had been approached by First Home UK in relation to the current application for an Affordable Housing scheme at Rickyard Road, with a view to discussing aspects of the Hydrock report which forms part of the application. The Chairman queried whether it would be appropriate to become involved in any such discussions, in view of the comments already submitted by the Parish Council. Cllr Irving proposed, and it was agreed unanimously, that the Chairman should decline to comment.

c. Cllr Thorn referred to a comment submitted by a member of the public which had appeared on the NSC website in relation to the Rickyard Road application. He felt that the reference to an individual member of the Planning Committee was unacceptable and inaccurate, and a rebuttal of the allegations should be submitted. It should also be made clear that decisions made by the Planning Committee are collective, and not the views of any one individual. It was agreed that the Chairwoman of the Parish Council should write a letter to this effect.

d. Waste Strategy 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. The closing date for comments is 12 March.

e. BIA – pre-application consultation: it was noted that the deadline for comments was 6th March. Cllr Turton said that the proposed height of the multi-storey car park was a concern for residents in Downside Road, and suggested that a comment on this should be made. Cllr Bigg alerted members to the potential problem of ‘hybrid’ applications, where both outline and full applications are included together - there can be difficulty in commenting on such applications.

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

Mr. D W Glynn