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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone

Contact: Debbie Snook  01622 602030

Items
No. Item

364.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

It was noted that apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Clark.

 

365.

Notification of Substitute Members

Minutes:

It was noted that Councillor Wilby was substituting for Councillor Clark.

 

366.

Notification of Visiting Members

Minutes:

Councillor Brice indicated her wish to speak on the report of the Head of Planning and Development relating to application 16/505966 – Railway Tavern, Station Road, Staplehurst.

 

Councillors Fort and Springett indicated their wish to speak on the report of the Head of Planning and Development relating to the appeal against the Committee’s decision to refuse application 15/503288/OUT – Land at Woodcut Farm, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, Kent.  Councillor Springett said that she would also be speaking on behalf of Councillors Cuming, Garten and de Wiggondene.

 

Councillors M Burton and Cuming attended the meeting as observers.

 

367.

Items withdrawn from the Agenda

Minutes:

There were none.

 

368.

Urgent Items

Minutes:

The Chairman stated that, in his opinion, the update reports of the Head of Planning and Development should be taken as urgent items as they contained further information relating to the applications to be considered at the meeting.

 

369.

Disclosures by Members and Officers

Minutes:

There were no disclosures by Members or Officers.

 

370.

Exempt Items

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the item on Part II of the agenda (Exempt legal advice relevant to the appeal against the Committee’s decision to refuse application 15/503288/OUT – Land at Woodcut Farm, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, Kent) be considered in public, but the information contained therein should remain private.  However, if Members wish to ask questions about or discuss the advice, then the public should be excluded from the meeting.

 

371.

Minutes of the meeting held on 6 April 2017

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 April 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed.

 

372.

Presentation of Petitions

Minutes:

There were no petitions.

 

373.

Deferred Items pdf icon PDF 19 KB

Minutes:

14/504109 - ADVERTISEMENT CONSENT FOR THE INSTALLATION OF 2 NO. NON-ILLUMINATED METAL POLE MOUNTED SIGNS (RETROSPECTIVE APPLICATION) - HUNTON C OF E PRIMARY SCHOOL, BISHOPS LANE, HUNTON, KENT

 

The Development Manager said that this application had been re-assigned to another Case Officer who had confirmed that it would be reported back to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

16/507491 - DEMOLITION OF EXISTING BUILDING AND ERECTION OF 19 NO. APARTMENTS - 3 TONBRIDGE ROAD, MAIDSTONE, KENT

 

The Development Manager said that he had nothing further to report in respect of this application at present.

 

RESOLVED:  That the position be noted.

 

374.

Application 15/503288/OUT - Land at Woodcut Farm, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, Kent pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

All Members stated that they had been lobbied.

 

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Planning and Development recommending that the reason for refusal of application 15/503288/OUT should not be defended at appeal and that the Council should adopt a neutral position in response to the appellant’s proposed amendments to the application scheme.

 

In considering the report, the Committee had regard to legal advice provided by Counsel on the prospects of successfully defending the appeal and the risks of an award of costs being made against the Council.

 

The Committee also considered the urgent update report of the Head of Planning and Development setting out details of (a) representations received from CPRE Kent (on behalf of the Joint Parishes Group, CPRE (Maidstone), the Bearsted and Thurnham Society and Leeds Castle) and from a local resident and (b) lobbying material in the form of a letter sent to Members by the Kent Association of Local Councils.

 

It was noted that:

 

·  Application 15/503288/OUT was an outline application for a mixed commercial development comprising B1(a), B1(b), B1(c) and B8 units with a maximum floor space of 46,623sqm.  All matters were reserved for future consideration except for access, the arrangements for which were detailed in the application.

 

·  The application was reported to the Planning Committee on 30 June 2016 with an Officer recommendation to grant outline planning permission subject to the prior completion of a Section 106 legal agreement and conditions.

 

·  Contrary to the recommendation, the Committee agreed to refuse permission for the following reason:

 

The proposed development would be harmful to the character and appearance of the countryside, Special Landscape Area and the setting of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and any benefits are not considered to outweigh this harm.  It would also cause less than substantial harm to the setting of the Grade II listed building “Woodcut Farm” and any public benefits are not considered to outweigh this harm.  The development would therefore be contrary to saved policies ENV21, ENV28 and ENV34 of the Maidstone Borough-Wide Local Plan 2000 and advice within the National Planning Policy Framework 2012.

 

·  Members were not given a costs warning before making their decision.

 

·  On 22 December 2016, the applicant submitted an appeal to the Secretary of State against the Committee’s decision to refuse outline planning permission.  The appeal inquiry was scheduled to commence on 10 October 2017 and was estimated to continue for ten days.  The Council was committed to the agreed appeal timetable which required the submission of its statement of case by 4 May 2017 (this being the second agreed extension to the original deadline).

 

·  Practice guidance required the main parties to an appeal to inform the Planning Inspectorate of any material changes in planning circumstances relevant to the determination of the appeal; in particular, any changes in national or local planning policy that were relevant to the Planning Authority’s reasons for refusal and whether those reasons for refusal were still defendable.  In accordance with these requirements, before  ...  view the full minutes text for item 374.

375.

16/504892 - DEMOLITION OF EXISTING PROPERTY OF HEADCORN HALL AND ASSOCIATED OUTBUILDINGS. ERECTION OF 10 FOUR BEDROOM HOUSES AND 4 FIVE BEDROOM HOUSES TOTAL 14 HOUSES. CREATION OF NEW VEHICULAR ACCESS VIA SHENLEY ROAD. PROVISION OF ACCESS ROAD, LANDSCAPING AND ASSOCIATED INFRASTRUCTURE; EXISTING ACCESS VIA BIDDENEN ROAD TO BE CLOSED - HEADCORN HALL, BIDDENDEN ROAD, HEADCORN, KENT pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors English, Round and Prendergast stated that they had been lobbied.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:  That subject to the prior completion of a S106 legal agreement in such terms as the Interim Head of Legal Partnership may advise to secure an affordable housing viability review mechanism, the Head of Planning and Development be given delegated powers to grant permission subject to the conditions and informatives set out in the report, as amended by the urgent update report, and the additional condition set out in the urgent update report.

 

Voting:  13 – For  0 – Against  0 – Abstentions

 

376.

16/505966 - CHANGE OF USE AND CONVERSION OF THE RAILWAY TAVERN TO ONE DWELLING AND THE ERECTION OF A NEW DETACHED DWELLING WITH PARKING AND LANDSCAPING - RAILWAY TAVERN, STATION ROAD, STAPLEHURST, KENT pdf icon PDF 357 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

All Members except Councillor Hemsley stated that they had been lobbied.

 

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

 

The Development Manager advised the Committee that earlier that day, he had been notified that the Parish Council had submitted an application for the public house to be registered as an asset of community value.  The representative of the Interim Head of Legal Partnership explained that the effect of a building being listed as an asset of community value was that if the property was subsequently to be sold, then it had to be offered to the community before being placed on the open market.  If a listing had been made, and it had not, it would only affect the disposal of the property and it would be an additional material consideration to be taken into account as part of the planning process.

 

Mr Lenham, an objector, Councillor Mrs Buller of Staplehurst Parish Council, Mr Barraclough, for the applicant, and Councillor Brice (Visiting Member) addressed the meeting.

 

Contrary to the recommendation of the Head of Planning and Development, the Committee agreed to refuse permission.  In making this decision, Members considered that insufficient evidence had been submitted which demonstrated that the operation as a public house was not viable and it was unlikely to become commercially viable, contrary to saved policy R11 of the Maidstone Borough-Wide Local Plan 2000.  The proposals would also result in the loss of a community facility contrary to saved policy R11 of the Maidstone Borough-Wide Local Plan 2000, policy SP10 (paragraph 5) and policy SP5 (paragraph 3) of the emerging Maidstone Local Plan and paragraph 70 of the National Planning Policy Framework.  The benefits arising from the long-term use of the building were not considered to outweigh the loss of the community asset.

 

In addition, Members considered that the proposals would fail to meet Objective 12 of the adopted Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan which sought to support a strong local economy with good access to jobs and employment opportunities.

 

RESOLVED:  That permission be refused for the following reasons:

 

1.   Insufficient evidence has been submitted which demonstrates that the operation as a public house is not viable and it is unlikely to become commercially viable, contrary to saved policy R11 of the Maidstone Borough-Wide Local Plan 2000.  The proposals would also result in the loss of a community facility contrary to saved policy R11 of the Maidstone Borough-Wide Local Plan 2000, policy SP10 (paragraph 5) and policy SP5 (paragraph 3) of the emerging Maidstone Local Plan and paragraph 70 of the National Planning Policy Framework.  The benefits arising from the long-term use of the building are not considered to outweigh the loss of the community asset.

 

2.  The proposals would fail to meet Objective 12 of the adopted Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan which seeks to support a strong local economy with good access to jobs and employment opportunities.

 

Voting:   13 – For  0 – Against  0 – Abstentions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 376.

377.

16/508545 - MOVING MOBILE HOME AND ERECTION OF NEW DAY BUILDING - 4 QUARTER PADDOCKS, BLETCHENDEN ROAD, HEADCORN, KENT pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

RESOLVED:  That permission be granted subject to the conditions set out in the report.

 

Voting:  8 – For  0 – Against  5 – Abstentions

 

378.

Appeal Decisions pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Planning and Development setting out details of appeal decisions received since the last meeting.  It was pointed out that the decision to refuse application 13/1456 for a solar farm and associated works at Great Pagehurst Farm had been made by the Planning Committee and not by the Officers acting under delegated powers.

 

In response to questions:

 

The Development Manager confirmed that he was awaiting a response to his letter to the Quality Assurance Unit at the Planning Inspectorate regarding inconsistencies in appeal decisions.

 

The Vice-Chairman confirmed that clarification regarding the role of Members, particularly Planning Committee Members, at appeals was being addressed as part of the review being undertaken of the provisions of the Council’s Constitution relating to the Planning Committee.

 

RESOLVED:  That the report be noted, and that the Officers be congratulated on their work on the appeals.

 

379.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman said that, since this was the last meeting of the Municipal Year, he would like to thank Members, the Vice-Chairman in particular, and Officers for their work and support.

 

380.

Duration of Meeting

Minutes:

6.00 p.m. to 9.10 p.m.

 

 

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