Agenda item

HIGH KELLING - PF/20/1904 - Demolition of existing TB annex and erection of replacement one and a half storey dwelling and cart shed at Land South of Brackenwood (Old TB Annex), Cromer Road, High Kelling for Mr Forster.




The Senior Planning Officer presented the report by remote link and recommended approval of this application as set out in the report.  A copy of the visual presentation had previously been forwarded to the Committee.


Public Speakers


Professor Mike Hoxley (objecting)

Mr Mark Forster (supporting)


Councillor Mrs G Perry-Warnes, local Member, stated that the dwelling permitted under the Certificate of Lawfulness was significantly smaller than the current proposal.  She considered that the size and design of the dwelling now proposed would have a greater impact on the neighbours and would contravene Local Plan policies EN8 and HO8.  She was concerned at the increased traffic accessing the busy A148 via a difficult junction.  She considered that the proposal contravened Policy EN9, Section 15 of the NPPF, the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in respect of the resident bat population and, in conjunction with other problems associated with the application, it firmly tipped the balance towards refusal.  There was a realistic concern that the shared use driveway would be used much more by residents of a four-bedroomed house than the chalet bungalow already permitted, which would have a substantial impact on neighbours.  In addition, the construction traffic associated with the larger build would have difficulty navigating the narrow driveway, with associated nuisance and hazard.  Although the neighbours did not object to a house being built, they did object to a house of the size now proposed.  She requested that the application be refused.


The Chairman asked officers to comment on a statement by Professor Hoxley that an objection letter had been omitted from the public website.


The Senior Planning Officer stated that she could not comment as to why one of the objections had not appeared on the public website, but she had referred to both objections in her report and assured the Committee that she had considered them during the application process.


The Assistant Director for Planning confirmed that Members of the Committee were in possession of the full details from both objectors and the decision making was not prejudiced.  He undertook to investigate the matter following the meeting.


Councillor Mrs P Grove-Jones asked why it was necessary to demolish the TB building and establish an alternative bat roost.


The Senior Planning Officer explained that the collective impact of the buildings and structures on the site would appear to be overdevelopment.  The current application proposed the removal of all buildings and replacement with a dwelling and cartshed.  The Landscape Officer was satisfied that the mitigation in terms of a new bat roost would overcome the issue of relocation of the bats and that a protected species licence would be granted by Natural England.  Detailed conditions would be attached to the planning permission and require further details to be submitted by the applicant’s ecologist.


Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett stated that Natural England would not allow any disturbance to protected species so the Committee could have confidence that the proposed bat boxes would mitigate the removal of the TB building.  She considered that there was no reason to refuse this application and proposed acceptance of the Officer’s recommendation.


In response to a request by Councillor N Lloyd with regard to the reduction in height of the proposed dwelling, the Senior Planning Officer explained that it was no longer possible to scale off the original 1960s plans, but judging from the pitch of the roof it was assumed that the roof height of that proposal was approximately 6.5m to 7m.  The current application was a substantial decrease compared to the plans submitted in 2018 and at 6.6m was considered to be similar to the height of the 1960s proposal.


Councillor Lloyd considered that the decision was finely balanced.  He stated that there was nothing in the plans to mitigate climate change, and whilst it was not a material planning consideration it affected his judgment of the proposal.


Councillor N Pearce expressed concerns that the 1960s proposal bore no resemblance to today’s world and that it had taken 60 years to try to get a building on the site.  He considered that the climate change concerns were valid.  He considered that this was a very difficult decision.


The Assistant Director for Planning referred to the applicant’s design and access statement, which gave some commitments under Policy EN6.  Those commitments could be secured by a planning condition if required. 


Councillor J Toye stated that the design and access statement referred to the opportunity to use photovoltaic panels but did not state that they would be used.  He considered that a prefabricated structure could achieve a zero carbon dwelling.  He stated that the disturbance to bats and minimal environmental benefits carried weight in his consideration of this proposal.


Councillor Dr V Holliday expressed concern regarding the extent of glazing and in particular, the use of rooflights, which would be more intrusive in terms of light distribution than traditional windows.   She also considered that the proposed materials did not sit comfortably with the vernacular of High Kelling.  She asked if those issues could be addressed.


The Assistant Director for Planning stated that matters had been raised that were outside of the current proposals.  He advised that the proposals should be considered and voted on as submitted and if found to be unacceptable then other options could be considered.


Councillor A Brown considered that the design did not take sufficient account of the impact of the open aspects and extensive glazing, and he was not convinced that the metal roof was appropriate in this location.  He considered that the dwelling could be better designed to fit into its setting.  He proposed refusal on grounds related to design and impact on the dark skies area of Kelling Heath.


Councillor N Pearce stated that he would have proposed deferral but was prepared to second refusal and deferral of this application.


The Principal Lawyer advised that this application could either be refused or deferred, but not both.  Refusal would give the applicant the right to appeal, whereas deferral delayed the application for further consideration.  He added that the lawfulness of building out the 1960 permission had been agreed in 2014.


At the request of the Chairman, Councillor Mrs P Grove-Jones seconded deferral of this application.  The Principal Lawyer explained that the Committee could vote on the deferral of this application without first voting on the Officer’s recommendation.


The Chairman clarified that in the event of deferral the Committee required negotiations in respect of environmental standards, dark skies, management of bat roosts and materials, particularly in respect of the roof.


The Assistant Director of Planning stated that access for construction vehicles could be covered by a construction management plan. This matter could be dealt with by the imposition of a condition but details could be sought at this stage if the application was deferred.


RESOLVED by 9 votes to 2


That consideration of this application be deferred for negotiations in respect of environmental standards, dark skies, management of bat roosts, materials (particularly in respect of the roof) and to seek details of access for construction vehicles.


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