(Prior to consideration of this application, Councillors Jones and Mrs Worne addressed the Committee as Ward Members.)
Y/62/18/OUT – Outline application with some matters reserved (appearance, landscaping, layout & scale) for 33 No. residential dwellings, access, landscaping & associated works. This application is a Departure from the Development Plan, Clays Farm, North End Road, Yapton Having received a report on the matter, together with the officer’s written report update detailing:-
· Changes to the Council’s 5 year housing land supply (HSL) which has resulted in paragraph 11.d of the NPPF (2019) and the application of the ‘presumption’ in favour of sustainable development being triggered
· The weight to be attached to the loss of agricultural land against the benefits of the proposal, namely the boost to the Council’s 5 year HLS, the provision of affordable housing and the financial contributions to local education, libraries and medical facilities
the Committee was advised by the Principal Planning Officer that this proposal had sites approved for development to the north and south and, as such, it was felt there would be limited harm to the character of the countryside if this application site was developed.
The Group Head of Planning also gave advice in respect of the 5 year HLS and the need within the District to provide housing in sustainable locations.
In discussing the proposal, there was a divergence of opinion in that comment was made that the application should be approved as there was insufficient evidence on which to base a refusal. However, other Members were of the view that this site represented a green space and should therefore be protected and that the loss of agricultural land was unacceptable. Further comment was made that the cumulative effect of increased traffic movements had to be a serious consideration and it was felt that to approve this application would be contrary to the Council’s own policy to reduce congestion.
The Group Head of Planning gave advice, together with the County Council’s Highways officer, and confirmed that the cumulative impact on the highways network had been taken account of through highways assessment work that had been done, in addition to what the applicants had submitted, which showed that the impact would not be so severe as to warrant a refusal. In addition, the Council’s lack of a 5 year HLS was a strong material planning consideration that must be given sufficient weight.
That the application be refused.
As a recorded vote had been requested, Councillors Bicknell, Bower, Charles and Roberts voted FOR (4). Councillors Coster, Huntley, Lury, and Ms Thurston voted AGAINST (4). Councillors Brooks, Northeast, Mrs Pendleton, Mrs Stainton and Mrs Yeates ABSTAINED (5). As the vote was tied, the Chairman used her casting vote to refuse the application.
As the Committee had voted against the officer’s recommendation to approve, the Group Head of Planning advised that the option open to Members was to either defer the application or refuse it. If Members wished to refuse, they needed to provide reasons to officers to enable suitable wording to be drawn up for another vote to then be taken.
In discussing that matter, loss of agricultural land was cited as a prime consideration, together with transport implications. However, the Group Head of Planning strongly advised that the highways issues should be steered away from as that would not be able to be evidenced at appeal.
The Chairman called a 5 minute adjournment to enable officer to formulate suitable wording and, on the meeting being reconvened, the Committee
That the application be refused for the following reason:-
The proposal results in a loss of high grade agricultural land in conflict with policies SO DM1 of the Arun Local Plan, H1 of the Yapton Neighbourhood Development Plan and paragraph 170 of the National Planning Policy Framework.