This application was deferred by Committee on 11 January 2023 [Minute 558] on the grounds that Members did not have enough information to make a decision. The Planning Area Team Leader presented the report with updates which provided further information to Members on responses given by the applicant to enquiries from Planning Officers about reducing the number of Electrical Vehicle (EV) charging points from 8 to 4 and restricting the hours of operation to coincide with those of the cafe on the site which were 06.00 - 18.00 Monday - Friday, 07.00 - 18.00 Saturday and 08.00 - 14.00 on Sunday. The applicant had raised business viability issues with both points though could stagger the installation of the provision into two phases of four and four if the Committee chose to impose such a condition. It was explained that Officers could not impose conditions that did not serve a planning purpose or prevented the use of other businesses on the site, but that Members could impose conditions relating to the phasing of development and restricting operating hours if they were minded to do so. The Officer recommendation to approve conditionally had not changed.
Members then took part in a debate on the application where a number of points were raised. In general, Members felt their previously raised concerns over the hours of operation and light pollution had not been significantly enough addressed. Members repeated their concerns for the impact that the open-ended hours of operation and the resulting need for lighting during hours of darkness would have in a rural setting within the Climping Gap. The inability to enforce the sort of conditions that Members would have liked to see, such as a restriction on operating hours or greater control over the levels of light on the site, left some Members thinking the only option available was to refuse. The lack of disabled parking bays was also raised as a concern.
Councillor Thurston proposed that a condition be added staggering the installation of the development into two stages of four EVCPs initially and up to a further four as required at a later date. This was not seconded and therefore not moved. The Officer recommendation to approve conditionally was then proposed by Councillor Edwards and seconded by Councillor Lury. After the vote, this was declared NOT CARRIED. Following advice from the Legal Services Manager and Planning Area Team Leader, a recommendation to refuse the application by virtue of the unlimited hours of operation the proposal in this rural location having a significant adverse impact on the residential amenities of neighbouring occupiers by reason of excessive illumination in conflict with policies D DM1 and QE DM2 of the Arun Local Plan proposed by Councillor Bower and seconded by Councillor Chace.
That the application be REFUSED by virtue of the unlimited hours of operation the proposal in this rural location would have a significant adverse impact on the residential amenities of neighbouring occupiers by reason of excessive illumination in conflict with policies D DM1 and QE DM2 of the Arun Local Plan.