The Committee considered a section 73 application for the removal of condition 01 and variation of condition 02 to make permanent planning permission PLAN/2016/0164, awarded on 12 May 2016. The existing planning permission allowed for a three year temporary change of use of land to four pitches for an extended Romany Gypsy family with associated works, including 4 day rooms, 4 mobile homes, 4 touring caravans, hardstanding, and cesspit. The application had been referred to the Committee for determination at the request of Councillor Boote due to the location of the site within the Green Belt.
Councillor Bond had asked to speak on the item as a Ward Councillor. It was noted that Councillor Boote represented the Ward on the Committee itself. However, the Chairman ruled that he would allow Councillor Bond to speak for three minutes on this occasion, noting that no members of public had registered to speak. Councillor Bond spoke against the application, stating that the site lay within the Green Belt and should therefore not be built upon, and enquired whether a climate change assessment had been undertaken to gauge the future flood risk for the site. In addition, Councillor Bond expressed concern over the noise levels for the residents in view of the close proximity to the M25.
The Planning Officer addressed the points raised, noting that whilst the application did represent harm to the Green Belt and the openness of the site, the Council also had to take into account the best interests of the families, in particular the children. In terms of noise from the M25, the matter was addressed in the report and had not been identified as a concern by those living on the site.
Councillor Boote reiterated a number of points made by Councillor Bond, including the impact on the Green Belt, and considered that the Site Allocation DPD should not be pre-judged whilst it was being considered by the Secretary of State. There were concerns that the site would become liable to flooding through climate change and the Officers were asked whether the Council’s Drainage and Flood Risk Engineer had assessed the site.
The Committee debated the proposals and noted that the original conditions had been discharged by the Applicant. However, it was noted that a flood risk assessment had not been completed as part of the planning process and the Deputy Chief Executive suggested that Officers should be delegated authority to approve the application subject to the positive outcome of a flood risk assessment by the Council’s Drainage and Flood Risk Engineer. In the event that the Engineer was not satisfied with the proposals for the site, the application would be brought back to the Committee for determination.
That (i) authority be delegated to the Development Manager to approve the application subject to a satisfactory flood risk assessment to be undertaken by the Council’s Drainage and Flood Risk Engineer; and
(ii) in the event the Council’s Drainage and Flood Risk Engineer is not satisfied with the proposals for the site, the application be brought back to the Committee for determination.