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Agenda item

18/501745 - APPROVAL OF RESERVED MATTERS FOR APPEARANCE, LANDSCAPING, LAYOUT AND SCALE FOR PHASE 4 COMPRISING 71 DWELLINGS WITH ASSOCIATED INFRASTRUCTURE PURSUANT TO OUTLINE APPROVAL 13/1749 - LAND TO THE EAST OF HERMITAGE LANE, MAIDSTONE, KENT

Minutes:

All Members stated that they had been lobbied.

 

The Committee considered the report and the urgent update report of the Head of Planning and Development.

 

Mrs Poletti of the New Allington Action Group, Mrs Bates, an objector, Mr Mendez, for the applicant, and Councillors Lewins and Daley (Visiting Members) addressed the meeting.

 

In presenting the report, the Senior Planning Officer advised the Committee that he was aware that the New Allington Action Group had lobbied Members on an alternative access option and a neighbour representation had also been received on that.  However, he wished to reiterate that this access option would be through the widest section of ancient woodland and it was not before Members for a decision at this meeting.

 

Contrary to the recommendation of the Head of Planning and Development, the Committee agreed to refuse permission.  In making this decision, Members felt that:

 

1.  The loss or deterioration of ancient woodland which would result from this reserved matters application would be contrary to paragraph 175 (c) of the National Planning Policy Framework and no wholly exceptional reasons have been identified for that.  The two proposed routes through the woodland would either lead to direct loss or deterioration of ancient woodland through damage to the integrity of the woodland block which would undermine its ecological function.

 

2.  The disturbance caused at construction and operational stage would further disturb and damage the ancient woodland.

 

Prior to the vote being taken, the Development Manager, exercising powers delegated to him by the Head of Planning and Development, and having conferred with the representative of the Head of Legal Partnership, advised the Committee that the proposed reasons for refusal were not sustainable and could result in significant costs against the Council at appeal.  He was therefore issuing a significant costs warning.  The representative of the Head of Legal Partnership advised Members that, since a significant costs warning had been issued, if the Committee agreed to refuse permission for the reasons proposed, the decision would be deferred until its next meeting pursuant to paragraph 30.3 (a) of Part 3.1 of the Council’s Constitution and paragraph 17 (a) of the Local Code of Conduct for Councillors and Officers Dealing with Planning Matters (Part 4.4 of the Constitution).

 

RESOLVED:  That permission be refused for the following reasons:

 

1.  The loss or deterioration of ancient woodland which would result from this reserved matters application would be contrary to paragraph 175 (c) of the National Planning Policy Framework and no wholly exceptional reasons have been identified for that.  The two proposed routes through the woodland would either lead to direct loss or deterioration of ancient woodland through damage to the integrity of the woodland block which would undermine its ecological function.

 

2.  The disturbance caused at construction and operational stage would further disturb and damage the ancient woodland.

 

Voting:  7 – For  4 – Against  1 - Abstention

 

Councillors Bartlett, Boughton, Perry and Round requested that their dissent be recorded.

 

DECISION DEFERRED UNTIL THE NEXT MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 30.3 (a) OF PART 3.1 OF THE COUNCIL’S CONSTITUTION AND PARAGRAPH 17 (a) OF THE LOCAL CODE OF CONDUCT FOR COUNCILLORS AND OFFICERS DEALING WITH PLANNING MATTERS (PART 4.4 OF THE CONSTITUTION).

 

Supporting documents:

 

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