PDP Minutes 1st July 2015

Planning & Development Policy Committee

Minutes of the Myland Community Council Planning & Development Policy Committee Meeting held on Wednesday 1st July 2015, 7.15 pm @ Mile End Methodist Church, Mile End Road, Colchester, CO4 5ET

Present:        Cllr John Stewart (Chair)

Cllr Jean Dickinson

Cllr John Dickson

Cllr Liz Gray

Cllr Pete Hewitt

Cllr John Sutcliffe

The Assistant Clerk

There were two members of the public present.

058-15/16     Apologies

There were none. Councillor Graham did not attend the meeting.

059-15/16     Declarations of Interest – Councillors to declare individually any interests they may have in the items on the agenda.  If a Councillor declares a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any item on the agenda he/she shall withdraw from the room where the meeting is being held when that item is discussed unless he/she has received a dispensation from the Clerk.

Cllrs Dickinson, Dickson, Gray, Hewitt and Sutcliffe declared a pecuniary interest in applications 151099 and 151091 due to the Application sites being close to their residences. All Cllrs had requested dispensation, in writing to the Clerk, on the grounds that so many members of the decision-making body (P & DP Committee) have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in the matter that it would “impede the transaction of the business”.

With regard to Applications 151099 and 151091 – North Colchester Urban Extension, Mile End Road, Colchester, as per provisions in the Localism Act and having had regard to all relevant circumstances, the Clerk and Chairman consider that dispensation be granted to all Cllrs on the grounds that so many members of the Committee have Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in the matter that it would “impede the transaction of the business” not to do so.

060-15/16     Have Your Say

Mr Stokes said that on behalf of the Footpaths Working Group he would be looking at footpaths possibly affected by planning applications. He said with regard to application 151216 the Group was concerned about Tower Lane which ran along the side of the application site.

Mr Stokes said with regard to application 151227 he would like to raise a concern about access to the allotments which were behind the site. He said he had checked with the Land Registry and the access drive was not owned by the owner of 89 Nayland Road but by the Severalls Estate. He said he had no further information about the Severalls Estate. Cllr Dickson said the application previously received for development of the site (application 150600) included the Design and Access Statement which read “The existing bungalow (89 Nayland Road) is served by an existing Vehicular Access off Nayland Road via a shared drive with a confirmed established use from the previous owner, dating back to 1967.” The Assistant Clerk said she had spoken to Clare Pick who was the Allotments Officer at CBC. She said Clare Pick had no information on the Severalls Estate but had said that the Allotments Team would look at the application and submit any necessary comments to CBC.

Mrs White asked if there was anything to report regarding the Planning & Development Policy Committee Terms of Reference. The Chairman said the matter had been considered but it had been decided that there was no need for further alterations or additions. Mrs White asked if she could see a copy of the building regulations. The Chairman said that building regulations were for CBC to enforce and reiterated that there was no need to change the Terms of Reference.

Mrs White thanked the Chairman for the inclusion of safety equipment and ID cards on the agenda.

Mrs White asked if residents’ views would be represented when looking at the two Chesterwell applications, or whether comments submitted to CBC were just the opinions of Councillors. The Chairman said that residents were spoken to if appropriate and their comments were reflected in the Committee’s report. Mrs White said that it was extraordinary that there were no other residents at the meeting. The Chairman said all planning applications were on the CBC website, and letters were sent to residents affected by an application. He said residents were entitled to comment on applications online if they wished and that it was up to residents whether or not they attended P & DP Committee meetings.

Mrs White asked if Cllrs had any views on ‘carbon neutral’ sites. Cllr Dickinson said that this had no relevance for considering planning applications.

061-15/16     Chairman’s Announcements and Correspondence

There was no correspondence.

The Chairman said he would like to remind committee members that the meetings of the Planning & Development Policy Committee were open to the public and were minuted, and that the minutes were public records. He asked committee members to be aware of this when speaking especially on matters which were commercially sensitive or not in the public domain.

062-15/16     Minutes of the meeting held on 17th June 2015 to be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman

The minutes of the meeting held on 17th June 2015 were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

Proposed:  Cllr Hewitt     Seconded:  Cllr Sutcliffe                      (4 For; 2 Abstentions)

063-15/16     Matters arising from the Minutes

Cllr Sutcliffe referred to Item 039-15/16 and asked if there was any update on whether any Section 106 money had been paid for the Bluegates development. Cllr Hewitt said the Clerk was waiting for information from Daniel Cameron at CBC and a summary would be available soon.

064-15/16     Monitoring

There was no report.

065-15/16     Pre-planning matters for review

Cllr Dickinson said she would like pre-planning matters for review to be a regular agenda item. She said it was especially important to keep an eye on progress of developments, especially the larger ones that would take place over the coming years.

Cllr Hewitt said that he had been invited to get an update from Ian Vipond on the Northern Growth Area. He said it become apparent that the issue was whether MCC would increase their support for green open space at the Rugby Club. He said that MCC would need an approved signed-off plan of what green space there would be after development before any support could be agreed.

Cllr Dickinson said that this was a good example of matters that should be reviewed regularly and that it was important that the public could see what MCC were doing on these issues.

It was agreed that Pre-planning matters would be included as an agenda item at each meeting of the Planning and Development Policy Committee.

Proposed: Cllr Dickinson                         Seconded: Cllr Gray                (Unanimous)

066-15/16     To consider and possibly resolve to seek Council approval to amend Standing Orders to facilitate this committee being authorised to seek and retain professional advice in major planning matters

Cllr Dickinson said that now that big applications were coming in, MCC might wish to seek professional opinion on legal matters, S106 agreements and viability tests amongst other things. She said we could require professional back-up for P & DP Committee opinion or action. She said feasibility studies for the Neighbourhood Plan would be required to make sure the work has a professional sense and value check, especially for example the work the she and the Assistant Clerk would be doing on the Community Centres. She said if there was a budget under the direct control of the Chairman of this Committee it would simplify procedure and action could be taken professionally and efficiently.

Cllr Sutcliffe said that the Finance & Staffing Committee was set up to look into bids from Committees and Working Groups and that this proposal should be submitted to that Committee first. He said he was concerned that large sums of money might be spent for very little benefit.

Cllr Dickinson said that MCC would be looking into major projects. She said that for example the bridge over the A12 would require an application for a Lottery grant which would need professional input. She said that MCC would not be competent in the eyes of the Lottery to deliver this. She said that that for other projects such as the Community Centres and provision for under-5s design briefs based on hard evidence would be necessary.

The Chairman said that we must respect the fact that we were dealing with public funds but we should not let the fact that in the past little notice has been taken of one submission stop us from taking action in the future. He said that it was most important that MCC were in agreement that the money had been spent sensibly.

Cllr Dickson said he was concerned about the use of the word ‘retain’. He said that MCC could not pay several experts a retainer which was what the wording of this proposal seemed to be suggesting.

An amendment to the resolution was proposed to remove the words ‘and retain’ as follows:

To consider and possibly resolve to seek Council approval to amend Standing Orders to facilitate this committee being authorised to seek professional advice in major planning matters

Proposed: Cllr Gray                     Seconded: Cllr Dickson           (Unanimous)

It was resolved to seek Council approval to amend Standing Orders to facilitate this committee being authorised to seek professional advice in major planning matters

Proposed: Cllr Dickinson              Seconded:   Cllr Hewitt           (Unanimous)

067-15/16     To consider and possibly resolve to seek Myland Community Council authority for allocation of an annual budget, not to exceed £5,000, to this committee and to be managed by them for the purposes of fees to professional consultants in major planning matters 

Following discussion of this matter, the Chairman suggested that the Chairs of the Finance and Staffing Committee and this Committee should speak to the Clerk about the best way to proceed. The meeting agreed with this suggestion and the matter was deferred to the next meeting of this committee on 15th July 2015.

068-15/16     To consider and possibly resolve to agree the design of ID cards for Councillors – Cllr Stewart

Councillor Stewart had circulated his designs to all members prior to the meeting. He outlined a separate proposal from the Council Clerk which he felt was more appropriate and cost effective. Councillor Dickson suggested that only the office telephone number should be on the ID. This was agreed by all.

It was resolved to agree the design of ID cards for Councillors.

Proposed: Cllr Stewart                 Seconded:  Cllr Gray               (Unanimous)

069-15/16    To consider and possibly resolve to submit to Myland Community Council a request to approve the purchase of safety helmets and high-visibility jackets – Cllr Stewart

With the proviso that Cllr Stewart will undertake to look at cost-effective jackets, it was resolved to submit to Myland Community Council a request to approve the purchase of safety helmets and high-visibility jackets.

Proposed:  Cllr Stewart                Seconded:  Cllr Hewitt            (Unanimous)

070-15/16     Planning, Licensing & Highways Applications/Appeals – To make recommendations, including requests for Section 106 money where applicable, on applications received

                      151099 – North Colchester Urban Extension – Phase 1c (Parcels R05 &R06) Mile End Road, Colchester – Application for Reserved matters for details of layout, scale, access, design and external appearance of residential and related development of Phase 1c (Parcels R5 &R6) of outline planning permission reference 121272 including associated landscaping – Comment

The trees that will be planted in front of the flats on Nayland Road should not block light to those flats. MCC is also disappointed with the quality of the ‘street scene’ house images.

Proposed:  Cllr Hewitt                 Seconded: Cllr Gray                (Unanimous)

151091 – Colchester North Growth Area Urban Extension, Mile End Road, Colchester – Application for approval of reserved matters following outline approval 121272 – landscaping details for parcels G09 & G10 within phase 1 of the Colchester North Growth Area Urban Extension – Support

Proposed:  Cllr Hewitt                 Seconded:  Cllr Gray               (Unanimous)

                      151227 – 89 Nayland Road, Colchester CO4 5EN – Proposed single storey dwelling with associated parking – Object

Light will be blocked to neighbouring house, 91 Nayland Road. The street scene will be adversely affected and following the approval of application 150600 the site will be over-developed. MCC had previously supported application 150600 with the proviso that the front garden would not be developed.

                      The position with regard to the shared vehicular access to the allotments should be investigated.

Proposed:  Cllr Dickson                Seconded:  Cllr Sutcliffe                      (Unanimous)

151216 – Land off Axial Way, Colchester – Application for approval of reserved matters following outline approval (0/COL/01/1622) (layout, scale, appearance, landscaping, access) for the construction of a racquets, health and fitness complex with associated parking, access and ancillary facilities – Support with concerns highlighted on tree removal, Tower Way Footpath and lighting.

Proposed:  Cllr Stewart                Seconded:  Cllr Sutcliffe                      (Unanimous)

151252 – 21 Hugh Dickson Road, Colchester CO4 5DE –Two storey side extension and external alterations – Support

Proposed: Cllr Sutcliffe                Seconded: Cllr Dickson                       (Unanimous)

146284 – Severalls Hospital, Boxted Road, Colchester CO4 5HG – Variation of conditions 7 and 9 of planning application 131221 to accord with legal agreement to allow no more than 1000 dwellings in total on Phase 1 & 2 (condition 7) and no more than 250 dwelling in Phase 2 (condition 9) – Deferred to next meeting

071-15/16     To receive copies of Planning/Appeal Decisions  – Deferred.

072-15/16     Date of next meeting – 22nd July 2015 (rearranged from 15th July 2015) 7.15pm @ 101 Nayland Road

The meeting closed at 8:58pm