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 Wrington Parish Council, Planning Committee
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Minutes of a Meeting of the Planning Committee of Wrington Parish Council held in the John Locke room on Tuesday, 26th May, 2009
1 Apologies:
Mr R. L. Thorn, Chairman
Mrs G. J. Bigg
Mrs J. Gallop
Ms E. P. Irving
Mrs G. Moss
Mrs C. A. Phillips
Mrs C. Turton
Mrs D. J. Yamanaka
Ms G. Wilson, Clerk
Mr D. W. Glynn
Mrs P. Ledbury

In attendance: Three members of the public

The Chairman opened the meeting at 6.00 pm.

2. Declarations of Interest: none on known agenda items.

3. Public Participation:

Mr Colin Young of Scars Farm, Redhill, addressed the meeting in relation to a new entrance he wished to create from Row of Ashes Lane. He explained that he believed the current access to be very dangerous. When he had applied for permission previously, NSC had refused the application because it impacted on the Green Belt. He now planned to plant a number of trees around the area of the new access, to screen it. There would be a gravel track, and he is hoping to create two holiday units, as per his previous application. The overall effect of the new arrangement would be to block up two entrances and create one new one.

Members suggested that Mr Young should ensure that the trees he is proposing to plant are large enough to screen the area sufficiently, but otherwise it was generally felt that the proposed new access would be safer.

Mr Young thanked the Council, and left the meeting at this point.

The Chairman asked the two remaining members of the public in attendance whether they wished to make any comments at this stage, but they stated that they only wished to observe the discussions.

4. Statement by Chairman

Cllr Thorn read out the following statement:

“The basis upon which I took on the Chairmanship of the Planning Committee

I want to make quite clear the basis upon which I was prepared to take on this role, so there can be no misunderstandings. I spoke on this at the time at the AGM, but this statement will be entered into the Minutes of this meeting.

1. I accepted nomination only because no one else came forward.
2. I said my primary role would be to chair meetings.
3. I could not, and do not intend to try to emulate the range and depth of David Glynn’s activities as chairman.
4. Because he invested so much time and effort, the committee was able to rely on him to research each case comprehensively and provide guidelines and helpful comments.
5. As an example of sharing responsibilities, I took the example of those who live nearest, visiting the locations of applications to look at the site and report. I see this principle applying to other aspects of the committee’s work.
6. In the light of this principle, if anyone, either during or outside meetings, takes the view that any aspect of the committee’s work is being overlooked or misdirected, I expect the point to be made immediately, so all members of the committee can take steps to remedy the situation.
7. Collective, not individual, responsibility will be the watchword. Apart from anything else, it is healthier if the effective working of the committee never relies on any one individual.
8. I will remain willing to stand down at a moment’s notice.”

5. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 5th May were reviewed and signed as a correct record.

Matters arising

Brook House: it was agreed that Blue Cedar Homes should be approached again to request that they put on display some information on the plans for the Brook House site, so that local residents are aware of what is proposed. The Clerk is to contact BCH to this end.

Rickyard Road: it was noted that the Environment Agency have now withdrawn any objections to the amended application. Cllr Yamanaka pointed out the need for hard evidence of flooding on the site, if the Parish Council wished to affect the decision by the South Area Committee on 17th June. As the planning officer will be recommending approval, it would be unlikely that North Somerset Councillors would refuse the application unless there were some very persuasive arguments that the development would add to existing flooding problems.

Cllr Bigg felt it may be worth requesting a meeting with the planning officer to review the boundaries of the site, the size of the proposed pond, etc. The speed at which flood water travels down Rickyard Road is also an important issue.

It was agreed to consider the next action after Councillors had walked the route of the stream on 29th May. Cllr Bigg agreed to attend the South Area Committee meeting to speak against the application, but she will have to do this as an individual, rather than as a representative of the Parish Council.

6. NSC South Area Planning Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 13th May included no items relating to Wrington Parish.

7. Decisions Notices issued by NSC

The following decision notices had been received and circulated prior to the meeting:

09/P/0489/F - Northfields, Old Hill, Wrington: erection of 2no single storey extensions to north-east and south-west elevations – approved.

09/P/0488/F - 8 The Cottages, Station Road, Wrington: erection of a single storey rear extension – approved.

The following decision notice was read out by the Clerk. This had been obtained from the NSC website, but official notification was awaited from NSC:

09/P0291/F – Land at Brockley Wood, Brockley Combe, Wrington: composting facility – refused. It was noted that the Parish Council had strongly opposed this application, and the residents of Downside Road, assisted by Cllr Turton, had also compiled some very effective arguments against it.

8. Planning Applications

There were no current planning applications to consider.

9. Other Planning Issues

a. Rickyard Road affordable housing – proposals for lighting. Cllr Bigg drew attention to some comments by the Police Architectural Liaison Officer in relation to the site. It is a requirement that affordable housing schemes must conform to ‘Secured by Design’ and the officer’s comments made reference to the use of extra lighting and fences for security purposes.

It was agreed that the Clerk will contact the planning officer at NSC to ask what is being considered in terms of ‘Secured by Design’ for the site.

b. Core Strategy: the Clerk referred to documents received from NSC containing draft policies for discussion by Town and Parish Councils. It is understood that this is not a formal consultation exercise, but NSC would welcome views of councils in advance of the consultation which will take place in the autumn. It was agreed that the documents should be circulated to all members, but that the Clerk will make a small number of hard copies which may be borrowed by councillors to reduce the need for printing.

Cllr Thorn listed a number of topics from the ‘Draft Policies for Discussion’ document that the Parish Council may wish to address:

i. Delivering sustainable design
ii. Pollution and flood risk – demonstrating that developments will be safe from flooding
iii. Green Belt and waste strategy
iv. Transport
v. Bristol International Airport
vi. Distribution of new housing
vii. Affordable housing
viii. Gypsies and Travellers
ix. Supporting healthy living.

The question of the definition of ‘service villages’ was raised, as Wrington is included in the list. Service villages are those which have certain amenities, eg: doctor’s surgery, shops, post office, etc, but it is not clear at present whether all these criteria are essential, or whether they all carry equal weight.

Cllr Bigg agreed to review the documents and summarise the points that Wrington Parish Council might consider commenting on.

c. Gypsy & Traveller sites

The Clerk reported that a document had been received from NSC entitled ‘Gypsy & Traveller Site Allocation – Development Plan Document’. This will eventually form part of the Core Strategy. Cllr Bigg said that she had visited one of the displays associated with this consultation earlier that day. She explained that each local authority will be required to provide both permanent and transitional sites, and landowners are being invited to offer land for this purpose.

Cllr Thorn read out the locational requirements for sites:

· On previously developed land
· Within or close to villages/towns outside of Green Belt or Mendip Hills AONB
· Within or adjacent to major development sites
· Within reasonable distance from local facilities
· Where there is capacity within local facilities
· With good access to main road network
· With good and safe access to highway
· On well screened or capable of being screened sites
· On land that can accommodate a maximum of ten pitches
· Where they will have no adverse impact on residential amenities

There is currently an under-provision of sites in the North Somerset area, and NSC are therefore asking statutory consultees to consider the issues and participate in finding solutions to the unmet need. Any comments can be made by 22nd June 2009. A further document will then be issued to indicate in more detail the specific sites identified to meet the need.

d. Cllr Bigg drew attention to the forthcoming ‘Open Farm Sunday’ on 7th June at Lower Failand Farm.

e. Richards Garage development – suggestions for names to be submitted to NSC: it was agreed to suggest either ‘Old Bell Yard’ or ‘Old Bell Court’, to maintain the link with the former Bell Inn.

f. Cllr Thorn raised the problem of off-road vehicles using the bridleway between Old Hill and Brockley Combe. This is a continuing problem, which causes danger to both animals and people. The Clerk agreed to contact NSC again for advice about this.

g. Cllr Thorn mentioned a plan to put a notice or plaque on the outside of the Reading Room in The Triangle, as it is being converted to use as a church office. The building is in the Conservation Area, and the Clerk therefore agreed to check with the Planning Department at NSC whether planning permission will be required.

10. Appointment of Chair for 7th July meeting

Cllr Thorn explained that he would be away at the time of the meeting scheduled for 7th July. Cllr Gallop said she would be prepared to chair the meeting, but was not sure if she would be available. In this case, Cllr Bigg agreed to chair the meeting.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 7.30 pm.

Mr. R.L. Thorn