(Prior to consideration of this item, Councillors Brooks and Mrs Hamilton had declared a personal interest and remained in the meeting and took part in the debate and vote.
In taking part in the public speaking process, Councillor Coster declared a prejudicial/pecuniary interest as a member of his family had part ownership in a property near by. He stated that he would leave the room during the debate and vote.)
Demolition of the existing structures & redevelopment to provide a new 66 bedroom care home (Use Class C2) arranged over two storeys together with associated access, car and cycle parking, structural landscaping and amenity space provision, Former Poultry Farm, Land West of Yapton Road, Middleton on Sea
Having received a report on the matter, the officer’s written report update was circulated at the meeting which detailed:-
· Additional objections received since publication of the agenda and relevant new points addressed
· Additional representation of support not raising any new points
· Further comment from the agent
· Recent appeal decision relating to a site 2.5 miles away in Climping
· Need for Extra Care development
· Additional ecology response
· Change to Conclusion section of the report to note that the S106 Agreement was required to be completed by 31 March 2020 due to the adoption of the Community Infrastructure Levy on 1 April 2020
· Amendment to Plans Condition and amendment to pre-commencement conditions
· Further comment from County Highways regarding access width
· Tree Preservation Order
The Planning Team Leader presented the detail of the report and advised that this application followed on from Planning Application M/45/16/PL which had been granted approval for 13 dwellings. This new application was for a 66 bedroom care home and, whilst it was recognised that the building would be higher and cover substantially more of the site, officers considered that it was acceptable. He informed the meeting that the Council’s Engineering Services Manager was in attendance to provide responses to queries Members might have in relation to drainage/surface water issues.
In participating in a lengthy debate, Members expressed serious concerns around the proposal which centred on:-
§ The potential for an increase in traffic, together with the nature of Yapton Road which had a blind bend
§ Proposal not sympathetic or complementary to the locality and was considered to be out of character with the surrounding area. It was also felt that it was overdevelopment and, due to its height, it was out of scale with nearby existing properties. It would therefore have an adverse impact.
§ Danger to the TPO trees – Members were assured that the Tree Officer was satisfied that the trees could be retained if the details the applicant had submitted were adhered to.
§ Parking provision was considered to be inadequate and any overflow would then have a consequential detrimental impact on nearby roads. Officer advice was given that the car parking provision was in accordance with the Council’s Parking Standards SPG (Supplementary Planning Guidance).
§ Ditch structure would be compromised and clearance of the ditches would disturb the root balls of the trees, which would cause damage
§ Detrimental to the environment due to loss of hedgerows and would have a negative impact on biodiversity, particularly the high level lighting would have an adverse impact on bats
§Built on flood risk land. The Engineering Services Manager advised that there was a ditch alongside the southern boundary which would need remediation and that the site was not within Floor Zone 2 or 3 but yet to establish how it would drain. Over wintering monitoring would have to take place and, as and when that became available, a full drainage proposal would be put forward and form part of the conditions.
§ Non-compliance with Local Plan policies
§ No need in the area – the Group Head of Planning highlighted that the Council had commissioned a housing needs study as part of its preparation of the Local Plan and that included specific needs for specialist accommodation for older persons.
On being put to the vote, the Committee did not accept the officer recommendation to approve and it was then proposed and seconded that the application be refused. Prior to going to the vote on this, the Committee discussed the reasons for refusal that should be put forward and, having taken advice from the Group Head of Planning, then
That the application be refused for the following reasons:-
1. The proposals are considered to be an over development and adversely affect the visual amenities of the locality by virtue of them being out of character in scale and density in conflict with policies D DM1 and D SP1 of the Arun Local Plan and policies in the NPPF.
2. The use of the proposed access will result in damage to the protected Ash Trees by virtue of the proximity of vehicle movements to them leading to their loss contrary to policy ENV DM4 of the Arun Local Plan.