Agenda item

2021/1104 Manor House, Mill Lane, Byfleet


[NOTE: The Planning Officer advised of an update to the report, which was an error on page 39, paragraph 12 where the word ‘not’ was missing. The sentence should read “The 9-bay garage would not be used for storing cars owned by the applicant and, as such, does fall under an agricultural or forestry use either”]


The Committee considered an application construction of a 9-bay garage building and a 6 bay estate management building and hardstanding yard area with associated fencing and landscaping, following demolition of an existing stables building.


Councillor J Brown, Ward Councillor spoke in support of the application and commented that the main consideration was whether it was appropriate development, whether it was materially larger (as some structures had been previously knocked down) and whether it could be considered storage for agricultural purposes. He commented that the current site looked awful and that this would be an improvement.


The Planning Officer commented that the applicant had advised that they intended to store some of their own cars in these buildings, which was detailed in paragraph 43, however they had not provided any detail or information about how many cars. The Planning Officer confirmed that the storage of cars would not fall under the definition of agricultural or forestry use.


Councillor D Jordan, Ward Councillor, had visited the site and thought that exceptional circumstances should be applied to the application due to the works that had been carried out on the Manor House. The Councillor was reminded that the Manor House was not relevant to this application. Councillor D Jordan commented that the site was an eyesore and any work carried out would be an improvement. The Councillor also commented that the hardstanding of the demolished buildings remained and that this had been an error of judgement for the applicant to demolish these prior, and that they should be including in the calculations when consideration was given to whether the proposed structure was materially larger. Councillor D Jordan also stated that the perimeter of the site would be improved, and it would have a positive impact on the trees.


The Planning Officer commented that the state of the site was not considered a special circumstance as this could lead to any poorly maintained site in the greenbelt being allowed for development. The Planning Officer also commented that the percentage uplift on the site, should only take account of buildings that were currently on the site.


Dan Freeland, Deputy Development Manager, commented that the Committee needed to be convinced by the very special circumstance and their effect on the openness of the greenbelt. The Committee had discussed the high quality of the works carried out on the Manor House in the relation to the application before them. These high-quality works were commendable, but Mr Freeland reminded the Committee that this was a legal requirement when restoring a heritage asset. Discussion continued around enabling development on the outskirts of a main heritage asset; the Planning Officer confirmed that this was not relevant in this case.


Some Councillors commented on a different application where a site had been taken out of the greenbelt for housing development. The Planning Officer confirmed that this application was not for new housing and there was no comparison on this basis. The Chairman clarified that removing this site from the greenbelt was not under consideration.


Councillor S Dorsett proposed, and it was duly seconded by Councillor D Jordan that the application be approved as appropriate development in the greenbelt.


Dan Freeland, Deputy Development Manager, raised his concern about suggesting this was appropriate, as the use of the land was unclear. This was a stable building so was not the same use and the building was materially larger than what was currently on site. Councillor S Dorsett confirmed he was happy with his proposal to approve the application as often stables were not used for housing livestock and the opinion of some Councillors was that the recently demolished buildings should be included in the percentage uplift.


Councillor T Aziz, Vice-Chairman asked that if the application was approved a condition be added restricting it from residential status. The Planning Officer confirmed that this would be a good idea to ensure appropriate use and that any further development would need further planning application.


Some Councillor raised concern about the proposal to approve the application as they considered the proposed building to be too big, would harm the openness of the greenbelt and did not consider it to be appropriate or for there to be a very special circumstance.


In accordance with Standing Orders, the Chairman deemed that a division should be taken on the motion above.  The votes for and against approval of the application were recorded as follows.

In favour:                            Cllrs T Aziz, S Dorsett, D Jordan and S Oades.

                                 TOTAL:  4

Against:                              Cllrs S Greentree and S Mukherjee.

                                 TOTAL:  2

Present but not voting:      Cllrs G Cosnahan and L Morales (Chairman).

                                 TOTAL:  2

The application was therefore approved.




That planning permission be GRANTED with authority delegated to the Development Manager to impose the relevant conditions.


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