Agenda and minutes

Development Control Committee
Thursday, 14th February, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston. View directions

Contact: Planning Control  Tel: (0116) 288 8961 Email: planning@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

44.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillors B Dave and R E R Morris.

45.

Declarations of Interest

Members are reminded that any declaration of interest should be made having regard to the Members’ Code of Conduct. In particular, Members must make clear the nature of the interest and whether it is 'pecuniary' or ‘non-pecuniary'.

Minutes:

In respect of planning application no. 17/00596/COU, Councillor G A Boulter declared a non-pecuniary interest insofar as he was an active fundraiser for the hospice charity LOROS. He acknowledged that this may give rise to a perception of bias. 

 

In respect of planning application no. 18/00368/FUL, Councillor Mrs H E Loydall declared a non-pecuniary interest insofar as she was acquainted with a person employed by the gymnasium which occupied part of the existing building. She confirmed that she attended the meeting without prejudice and with an open-mind.

46.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To read, confirm and sign the minutes of the previous meeting in accordance with Rule 17 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The minutes of the meeting of the previous Committee held on 20 December 2018 be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

47.

Petitions and Deputations

To receive any Petitions and, or, Deputations in accordance with Rule 24 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

None.

48.

Report of the Planning Control Team Leader pdf icon PDF 230 KB

In accordance with Rule 14.1 of Part 4 of the Constitution, a motion needs to be proposed and seconded before the Committee can debate a planning application. This is an administrative process designed to assist the Chair to manage the meeting effectively and efficiently. This is not an indication of how the proposer and seconder intend to cast their votes at the conclusion of the debate. Members can only make a decision once they have considered the content of the debate and all of the information in front of them.

48a

Application No. 17/00596/COU - 56 Pullman Road, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 2DB DOCX 13 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Having declared a non-pecuniary interest, Councillor G A Boulter left the Chamber and took no part in the debate on the planning application and voting thereon.

 

The Committee gave consideration to the report (as set out at pages 5 - 10 of the agenda pack) which asked it to determine a planning application for the retention of a café use (Use Class A3) within an existing premises.

 

The Committee also gave consideration to an e-mail from the Director of Finance at LOROS dated 12 February 2018 in relation to the application. A copy of this e-mail is filed together with this minute at Appendix 1.

 

A debate thereon was had whereby, although the work of the charity itself was unanimously recognised as highly-commendable, the majority of Members decided that the retention of the café use would dilute the continued use of the premises for its primary use within Use Class B8 (warehousing) and, over time, would allow for other non-compliant uses within Use Classes B1a, B1b, B1c, B2 and B8 accordingly.

 

To otherwise permit the continuation of the café use was held to be contrary to and would threaten the objectives and purposes of Policies 1 and 2 of the Employment Sites SPD and Policy 25 of the emerging Local Plan (“the Polices”), which sought to safeguard classified core employment sites in the Borough, and result in a prolife-ration of non-ancillary or secondary uses elsewhere under similar circumstances.

 

A number of Members argued that a more flexible and holistic application of the Policies ought to be applied given that the café use to which the application related occupied only approx. 7% of the overall floor space of the building which, in those Members’ opinion, did not amount to a significant dilution of the existing Use Class.

 

In reaching its decision, the Committee was advised of the difficulties arising in the ability to effectively enforce planning policy if inconsistently applied. Members were advised that any dilution of a Use Classes pertaining to core employment sites would weaken policy objectives aimed at directing appropriate town centre regeneration.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice-Chair and

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The application be REFUSED planning permission.

 

Votes For                  5

Votes Against          2

Abstentions             2

 

Councillor G A Boulter returned to the Chamber.

48b

Application No. 18/00368/FUL - 2 Central Avenue & 14 Long Street, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 2AA DOCX 13 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr T Kitchener spoke upon the application as an objector. A copy of the objector’s representations is filed together with this minute at Appendix 1.

 

Mrs K Rees spoke upon the application as an objector. A copy of the objector’s representations is filed together with this minute at Appendix 2.

 

The Committee gave consideration to the report (as set out at pages 11 - 22 of the agenda pack) which asked it to determine a planning application for a change of use from a snooker hall (Use Class D2) to 12 residential units (Use Class C3) with partial demolition of the existing building to create a car park and associated works.

 

A debate thereon was had whereby most Members accepted that, upon the advice of Officers, there were insubstantial material planning grounds upon which a refusal of permission could be framed. This was because the provision of 12-dwellings, being in such a central and accessible location, was deemed to significantly contribute to the Borough’s evidence-based local housing supply and that the proposal, on balance, was considered beneficial to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area by providing a viable and sustainable economic future to the existing building.  

 

In reaching its decision, the Committee was advised that any refusal of permission in order to retain the Winchester Snooker Club was not a material consideration, and would otherwise be procedurally unsound and arguably unlawful. Member were also advised that any prospective appeal on highways grounds could not be successfully defended given the Local Highways Authority’s assessment that, in its view, the residual cumulative impacts of the development could be mitigated and were not considered “severe” (in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework).

 

Notwithstanding the above, Members were unanimous in their reluctance to support the grant of planning permission due to shared concerns with local residents regarding the proposed scheme’s impact upon highway and pedestrian safety along the entire lengh of Central Avenue due to increased vehicular movements and the impact of inadequate on-site parking provision. A Member also stated the report did not provide sufficient information regarding the commercial viability of the proposed scheme which, in that Member’s opinion, amounted to a material consideration.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice-Chair and

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The application be GRANTED planning permission in accordance with the submitted documents and plans, subject to the prescribed conditions.

 

Votes For                  8

Votes Against          2

Abstentions             0

 

Councillor D A Gamble left the Chamber.

49.

The Borough Council of Oadby & Wigston (The Firs, Wigston) Tree Preservation Order 2018 (TPO/0337/TREE) DOCX 299 KB

Report of the Arboricultural Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendices (as set out at pages 24 - 32 of the agenda pack) which asked it to confirm, or otherwise, the Borough Council of Oadby and Wigston (The Firs, Wigston) Tree Preservation Order 2018.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice-Chair and

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Borough Council of Oadby and Wigston (The Firs, Wigston) Tree Preservation Order 2018 be confirmed without modification.

 

Votes For                  7

Votes Against          1

Abstentions             1