Planning Committee Meeting – 3 December 2013

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING – 3 DECEMBER 2013

Present: Councillor Mrs E E Thompson (in the Chair), Councillors P Cowey, Mrs S Johnson, and C Rawlings

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Mrs L Noble

1.         PLANNING APPLICATIONS

A list of planning applications received since the previous Committee meeting had been circulated.

1.1       13/03535/FUL:  188 Western Way, Darras Hall, Ponteland NE20 9NB – Re- submission of 13/03176/FUL – Demolition of existing conservatory and remodelling of rear of house

COMMENT:  We are concerned that the first floor balcony will cause overlooking issues.  Also, a white rendered wall for the front boundary treatment would be totally out of character for the area and we request that the existing hedge be retained.

Councillor Mrs Thompson declared an interest in this application.

1.2       13/03274/FUL:  Rosetree Cottage, Prestwick, Newcastle upon Tyne NE20 9UD – Conversion of existing garage into a two bedroom house and demolition of conservatory and construction of garage

OBJECTION:  Contrary to the NPPF and the Castle Morpeth District Local Plan:

The proposal would result in a new dwelling in the Green Belt and open countryside which would be inappropriate development; very special circumstances have not been demonstrated.Prestwick is not a sustainable location for new housing.

Also, we believe the proposal may compromise a public right of way.

1.3       13/03542/OUT:  Land North East Of Green Rigg, Medburn, Northumberland – Outline Application for residential development of up to 20 no. houses

OBJECTION:  On the following grounds:

The proposal is contrary to Policy MBH2 of the Castle Morpeth District Local Plan as the site is neither brownfield nor infill and is not within the curtilage of existing properties.  The construction of 20 dwellings on agricultural land would constitute new housing development on greenfield land in a part of Medburn where only infill development on brownfield sites is permitted. The construction of 20 dwellings in this location would have a detrimental impact on the agricultural/rural and undeveloped character present in this part of the settlement, contrary to Policy H15 of the Castle Morpeth District Local Plan.Medburn is a small settlement without any services, only a limited bus service and poor paths for cyclists and pedestrians; it is not a sustainable location for new house building.  The construction of 20 more dwellings in addition to the recently approved construction of 19 new dwellings would have an overwhelming and detrimental impact on this small settlement and the C345 which is a narrow country lane and the only access road; the proposal would be unsustainable and contrary to the NPPF.

The Committee made no comments on the other 5 applications considered.

1.4       13/03176/FUL:  188 Western Way, Darras Hall, Ponteland NE20 9NB – Demolition of existing conservatory and remodelling of rear of house

Information had been received from Northumberland County Council that the application had been withdrawn on 18 November 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

1.5       13/03205/TREECA:  Bellway Homes, Peel House, Main Street, Ponteland NE20 9NN – Trees in a Conservation Area – Crown reduction to T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5; T4 remove lowest limb on SE side; T5 remove large limb at base of south side

Information had been received from Northumberland County Council that the application had been withdrawn on 25 November 2013.

The Committee had made a comment deferring to the recommendations of the Tree and Woodland Officer.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

13/03321/FUL:  31 Bell Villas, Ponteland, NE20 9BD – Change of use from C3 residential to D1 non residential institutions (dental practice) with new vehicular access and parking proposed

Copies of emails sent to NCC had been received from David Reay, Mrs and Mrs Appleby, also Mrs Janet Dakers (35 Belle Villas) objecting to the application on various grounds: increased risk of accidents, will stop traffic flow, loss of vegetation will have a negative impact upon a conservation area; property should remain a residential dwelling so as not to create these problems and mean one less property needing to be built in the green belt.

2.         DECISIONS: APPLICATIONS AND APPEALS

2.1       DECISION 13/02996/FUL: 41 Cheviot View, Ponteland NE20 9BP – Rebuilt garage with new first floor bedroom with en-suite

Permission granted under delegated powers on 22 November 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.2       DECISION 13/02940/FUL: 57 Errington Road, Darras Hall, Ponteland NE20 9LA – Change of Bungalow to two story house with pitched roof.

Permission granted under delegated powers on 22 November 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.3       DECISION 13/02932/FELTPO: 10 Grenville Court, Darras Hall, Ponteland NE20 9HT – Tree preservation order application to crown thin one Oak by 15% (T6), reduce and reshape one Ash by 10% (T7), crown thin one Ash by 15% (T8) and fell two Birch (T1 and T5)

Permission partially granted under delegated powers on 22 November 2013 – the felling of the 2 Birch trees was refused.

The Committee had made a comment deferring to the recommendations of the Tree and Woodland Officer.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.4       DECISION 13/02843/FUL: Old Plant Yard, Prestwick NE20 9BX – Proposed demolition of industrial building and construction of one dwelling

Permission refused under delegated powers on 25 November 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.5       DECISION 13/03023/FUL: 14 Pont View, Ponteland NE20 9UZ – Construction of single storey rear extension to kitchen and lounge

Permission granted under delegated powers on 26 November 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.6       DECISION 13/01746/FUL: 33 Darras Road, Darras Hall, Ponteland NE20 9PD – Demolition of existing house and construction of two detached residential properties with large gardens

Permission granted under delegated powers on 26 November 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.7       DECISION 13/02846/VARYCO: Prospect Farm, The Avenue, Medburn NE20 0JD –

Variation of planning conditions 1, 5 and 10 relating to planning application 11/01959/OUT

Permission granted under delegated powers on 27 November 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.8       DECISION 13/03113/FUL: 50 Paddock Hill, Ponteland NE20 9XL – Proposed rear conservatory extension and Kitchen/Dining alterations.

Permission granted under delegated powers on 27 November 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.9       DECISION 13/02957/LBC: William Hill, 23 Main Street, Ponteland NE20 9NH –

Listed building consent for minor alterations to shop front, internal refurbishment and new fascia signage

Permission granted under delegated powers on 27 November 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

3.         ANY OTHER BUSINESS

3.1       Frontage of 160 Darras Road, Darras Hall, Ponteland (12/02135/FUL)

A copy email had been received from Ponteland Civic Society to NCC West Area Planning expressing considerable disappointment that the existing hedgerow had been removed and replaced with a frontage wall (thereby seriously interrupting landscape continuity along that stretch of Darras Road) and requesting that some level of landscape re-instatement take place.

It was stated that the approved drawings indicated that the vehicle entry was to be widened but that existing hedgerows enclosing the plot were otherwise to be retained, with the approval further conditioned to require the revised access to be constructed in accordance with County Access Type 7 (the isometric sketch illustrating this access shows walling, not only on the gate splays themselves, but extending either side across the frontage).

It was believed that this is causing confusion as developers tend to assume that this is the kind of solution the Planning Authority is seeking, but local plan policies and Darras Hall Estate bylaws have been framed to help sustain the rural character of the Estate.

It was suggested that Darras Hall is in urgent need of a landscape based design solution, or, alternatively, the routine application of this particular condition needs to be avoided.

3.2       Possible Review of NPPF

A copy email had been received from Ponteland Civic Society detailing a press release from Civic Voice titled:  Government select committee to ask “Is national planning policy working?”

The Department for Communities and Local Government Select Committee is to undertake a review of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to see how it is working two years after implementation.  Clive Betts MP (Chairman of the Select Committee) announced at a conference of planning professionals on 20th November that a 2 year review will start in March 2014 when the Committee will ask interested parties to submit evidence on the impact of the planning changes.

Civic Voice stated that although we need more housing the NPPF has failed to put communities at the heart of the planning system.  Civic Voice campaigned for significant changes to the original NPPF document and said at the time that not providing councils with more time to adopt Local Plans in line with the NPPF was always going to be a huge issue for communities. The consequence has been to put many communities at greater risk of speculative development with many situations arising where the NPPF is, in fact, undermining localism.

3.3       Submitting comments on Planning Applications

An email had been received from Liam Hall, Technical Support Officer NCC stating that they were hoping to speed up the process of submitting planning comments on applications and to make sure that the comments get to a planning officer as soon as they are submitted.

It was requested that, in future, responses to applications (comments or no comments) be submitted via the Public Access System.  Once the submit button is pressed the comments or no comments will then go directly into the database system and an email will be pinged automatically to the allocated planning officer making them aware that comments have been received from ourselves.

RESOLVED – Members were reticent about introducing the proposed new system and preferred to continue with our current system of sending all responses to the general mailbox with any responses other than ‘No Comment’ also being sent separately directly to the planning officer.  However, the suggested changes will be kept under review.

There was no further business.