Planning Committee Meeting – 5 November 2013

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING – 5 NOVEMBER 2013

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

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Mrs S Johnson

1.         PLANNING APPLICATIONS

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

1.1       13/03134/FUL:  Mill House, West Road, Ponteland, NE20 9SG – Construction of 18 New dwellings and associated access, landscaping and engineering works

OBJECTION:  On the following grounds:

The site is in a prominent position and requires sensitive treatment, but the proposed building is too large; with a scale, mass and height that will dominate the surrounding area and be out of proportion with the neighbouring small scale, traditionally built housing.The proposed design is unsympathetic to its surroundings as it brings inappropriate urbanisation to a semi-rural area; being adjacent to Ponteland Park and on the edge of the Green Belt.The street scene would be adversely changed and the landscape corridor seriously undermined.The allocated number of car parking spaces is insufficient for the proposed 18 apartments.The access road is very steep (too steep to be adopted) and there are considerable problems with access to and from the site in bad weather, especially in the winter when there is snow and ice.  It is impossible to negotiate the slope in such adverse weather conditions and, during such times, when this site was used for commercial purposes, employees’ cars were parked on the roads, pavements and grass verges along the West Road (A696), Ladywell Way and Fox Covert Lane. This caused serious traffic problems on the busy A696 and for local residents; problems which would be exacerbated should such a large residential development be permitted.

Also, the steep slope provides the only access for emergency vehicles, utility vehicles, Environment Agency, local scouts and their families to the scout hut, Ponteland Town Council and the public to the Park and River Pont.

The difficulties associated with this very important access slope, and future arrangements for the maintenance and treatment of it, have not been addressed.

The
area where the development is proposed is in a flood plain and in the event of flooding problems will be caused for residents and vehicles attempting to leave and access the site. Also, the effect of flooding on the proposed septic tank that will be installed for foul water gives particular concern with the potential pollution of the River Pont and the millrace.This is an ecologically sensitive area, being next to the river and Ponteland Park; indeed, a 5m buffer zone for wildlife was required as part of the previous application, but this area has been decimated. This proposal to build so close to this zone and the river bank raises serious concerns and questions over stability, protection and future maintenance along the bank of the river; especially during the construction process and given that it is very possible that there will be erosion of the river bank on the outside of the bend.

Finally, we request that a site visit for West Area Planning Committee Members be arranged to enable them to fully appreciate the detrimental impact of this proposal in this location.

Mr and Mrs Butler (Ladywell Way) attended the meeting and presented their objections as detailed in a copy email to NCC: too large; inappropriate design; insufficient parking; flooding risk to septic tank and residents; very steep access road makes the site inaccessible in bad weather causing parking problems nearby; ecologically sensitive area next to river and Park.

A copy email had been received from Ponteland Civic Society to NCC objecting on various grounds:  design and scale; dominate the surroundings; serious damaging effect on amenity – adjacent to park, rural surroundings and open countryside immediately after.

An email had been received from Councillor Mrs Greenwell stating that she will be objecting as a resident as she believes the proposal would be out of keeping with its surroundings.

1.2       13/03136/FUL:  29 The Rise, Darras Hall, Ponteland NE20 9LH – Proposed two storey rear extension; loft conversion; double garage; garden room and boundary wall with gates

COMMENT:  In order to maintain the street scene the existing front boundary of vegetation should be retained.  Also, we question if the close proximity of new garage to the side boundary is acceptable?

A copy email had been received from Ponteland Civic Society to NCC commenting on the front boundary treatment and requesting that the existing be retained.

1.3       13/03152/FELTPO:  Chestnut House, 1 The Old Orchard, Ponteland NE20 9UE – Tree Preservation Order: Removal of 10no. Leylandii trees

COMMENT:  We defer to the recommendations of the Tree and Woodland Officer.

1.4       13/03091/FUL:  74A Western Way, Darras Hall, Ponteland NE20 9AP – Conversion of single storey bungalow into two storey dwelling, with rear extensions

OBSERVATION:  The applicant does not appear to have complied with the conditions attached to 12/03366/FELTPO about the replacement of felled trees and makes no mention of this in the new proposal.

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

COMMENT:  We defer to the recommendations of the Tree and Woodland Officer.

The Committee made no comments on the other 2 applications considered.

13/02874/FUL: 168 Eastern Way, Darras Hall, Ponteland NE20 9RH – Demolition of existing bungalow and construction of new house

A copy email had been received from Ponteland Civic Society to West Area Planning Officers requesting that the frontage remain the same and the development restricted to a single storey.

2.         DECISIONS: APPLICATIONS AND APPEALS

2.1       DECISION 13/02737/FUL: 36 The Lairage, Ponteland NE20 9SA – Single storey extension to rear to replace conservatory

Permission granted under delegated powers on 25 October 2013.

The Committee had made an observation that there may be a covenant attached.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.2       DECISION 13/02845/FUL: 2 Simonside View, Ponteland NE20 9TF – Proposed porch to front extension

Permission granted under delegated powers on 25 October 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.3       DECISION 13/02812/FUL: 6 Beech Court, Darras Hall, Ponteland NE20 9NE – Construction of single storey rear extension, pitched tiled roof in place of felted roof and porch extension

Permission granted under delegated powers on 29 October 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.4       DECISION 13/02454/FUL: 33 Woodlands, Darras Hall, Ponteland NE20 9EU – Raise roof over existing garage to form en-suite and store room

Permission granted under delegated powers on 30 October 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.5       DECISION 13/02660/FUL: 2 Elmwood Drive, Ponteland NE20 9QQ – Construction of two storey extension including loft conversion on side of house, complete with new garage / utility room.

Permission granted under delegated powers on 31 October 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.6       DECISION 13/02754/FUL: 24 Avondale Road, Darras Hall, Ponteland NE20 9NA – Internal alterations to existing bungalow and proposed single storey rear extension

Permission granted under delegated powers on 31 October 2013.

The Committee had made no comment about this application.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

2.7       DECISION 13/00132/OUTES: Land at Birney Hill Farm, Stamfordham Road, Throckley, Northumberland – Demolition of some existing buildings and the construction of up to 280 dwellings and provision of up to 650 sqm of B1 floorspace, no greater than 250 sqm (gross) of A1/A3 retail floorspace, up to 500 sqm of D1 floorspace, a community farm and associated buildings, landscaping, open space, access and associated engineering works.

Permission refused by the West Area Planning Committee at a Special Meeting held on

30 October 2013.

Ponteland Town Council had objected to the application on many grounds at a Special Town Council Meeting on 7 March 2013 (contravenes Green Belt Policy; is premature; is inappropriate; is unsustainable; foot and mouth burial ground)

RESOLVED – The information be received.

3.         ANY OTHER BUSINESS

3.1       13/00132/OUT: Land at Birney Hill Farm, Stamfordham Road, Throckley, Northumberland – Demolition of some existing buildings and the construction of up to 280 dwellings and provision of up to 650 sqm of B1 floorspace, no greater than 250 sqm (gross) of A1/A3 retail floorspace, up to 500 sqm of D1 floorspace, a community farm and associated buildings, landscaping, open space, access and associated engineering works.

The Town Council had been invited to speak at the Special West Area Planning Committee Meeting on 30 October 2013 regarding the above application.

The Town Council had made an objection about the proposal and it was agreed that Councillor Mrs Thompson would speak at the meeting.

NCC planners recommended refusal and this had been accepted by the Members.

3.2       13/01584/FUL: 31 Bell Villas, Ponteland, Newcastle upon Tyne NE20 9BD

– Change of use from C3 residential to D1 non residential Institutions (Dental Practice) with a new entrance porch and vehicular access and parking proposed

Information had been received from Northumberland County Council that the application, which had been refused planning permission (on 13 August 2013), was to go to appeal, to be decided on the basis of written representations.  The Council was invited to make comments or modify/withdraw its previous response: an objection about problems with traffic, parking, frontage and design.

RESOLVED – The Committee’s response to remain unchanged and go forward with Northumberland County Council’s submission.

3.3       13/02008/FUL: 10 & 10A West Road, Ponteland NE20 9SU

– (Retrospective – Update existing shop front)

An email had been sent to Caroline Jones (Planning Case Officer) on 29 October 2013 stating: Ponteland Town Council Planning Committee wish to make a comment that, following the completion of the works on this property, they believe the below window treatment appears unsympathetic in the Conservation Area.

A reply email had been received by return from Caroline Jones stating that it had been picked up that the works do not appear as they did in the application and it has been passed onto NCC enforcement team.

3.4       Planning Applications – Objection, Refused and Going to Appeal

A list of such planning applications had been compiled going back to mid 2009:

3 earliest appeals had been dismissed4 most recent appeals had been allowed1 appeal is pending

RESOLVED – Members to be supplied with a copy of the list.

There was no further business.