Planning Summary – June 2020

Bramley Parish Council

Planning Application comments and decisions – June 2020

AM – Cllr Alan Munday, MB – Cllr Malcolm Bell, EC – Cllr Liz Capel, CF – Cllr Chris Flooks (Chair)

 

 

  Application Comments Decision and proposed response
1. 20/01097/OUT – Land Adjacent The Street Bramley

Outline planning application for the erection of 4 dwellings including access

CF -Contrary to Policy SS6 (New houses in the Countryside) of B&D Local Plan and H1 6.22 of Bramley NDP

Local plan SS6

d viii It would not be significantly visually intrusive in the landscape.

e Small scale residential proposals of a scale and type that meet an agreed need.

The inspector at appeal APP/H105/W/16/3165156 dated 25 April 2017 commented

7. LP Policy SS1 sets out the spatial strategy for development and provides for 15,300 dwellings in the plan period. LP Policy SS6, which concerns development for new housing outside Settlement Policy Boundaries, sets out a number of exceptions to the restraint on housing in the countryside set out in LP Policy SS1. The exception the most relevant to this case is for small scale residential proposals of a scale and type that meet a locally agreed need, which is governed by three provisos concerning the relationship of the development to the settlement, character and appearance, and the amenity of neighbours.

8. There is no dispute that the proposal for two dwellings is small scale, and the Council considers that the site is not physically isolated and has good accessibility to local services and facilities. However, while the LP does not define what a locally agreed need is, the Council has published guidance. This advises that an applicant should demonstrate that their proposal meets a specific and clearly identified unmet housing need in the local area in terms of number, size, type, and tenure, and refers to the need being within the Parish, village, or settlement.

9. In terms of meeting a locally agreed need, the appellant refers to the level of services and range of infrastructure within Bramley, and planning permissions for two large sites in the locality in which there is a requirement to provide a substantial proportion of smaller units. He also refers to the majority of houses for sale in Bramley having three bedrooms or fewer to illustrate that there is no abundance of houses of 4 bedrooms or more, such as those proposed in this case. However, this does not demonstrate that the proposal would meet a locally agreed need.

10. The appellant points out that the Bramley Neighbourhood Plan says that the preferred sites for new housing will be located within or immediately adjacent to the SPB. Notwithstanding this, Policy H1 in the post-referendum version of the Plan before me, says that new housing development outside the Bramley Settlement Policy Boundary will only be supported if it is in accordance with relevant Local Plan policies for new housing in the countryside. Given its advanced stage of progress, I attach significant weight to the policies of the Neighbourhood Plan.

11. The Council refers to LP Policy SS5, which requires the identification of sites for at least 200 dwellings to 2029 in and around the defined Settlement Policy Boundary of Bramley. I acknowledge the appeal decisions referred to by the appellant and the 5 year land supply figure not representing some kind of maximum limit or bar. However, the Council’s reference to approved new housing commitments of 315 dwellings in and around the defined Settlement Policy Boundary of Bramley suggests that the minimum figure has already been met and is likely to be substantially exceeded.

12. My impression of the site is that it contributes to a functional and visually coherent character of countryside. Its green and open nature helps separate the edge of the settlement from the countryside and it forms part of a pattern of small fields at the edge of the village which stretches southwards. It contributes to the character of the countryside and the distinction between the village and the fields and farmland which surround it. The proposed development would breach the settlement boundary of the village, encroach into the countryside, and reduce its open and undeveloped character, weakening the distinctive relationship between the village and the countryside.

These comments are equally valid today, particularly as developers are in the final phases of delivering 315 houses to meet our allocation of at least 200. The village has also seen commercial buildings converted to flats with no improvement to infrastructure or facilities. There is no agreed local need for yet more housing.

Policy T2 in NDP Improving road safety in Bramley –

How can it improve road safety to add another multi household access to a road that already takes in excess of 4000 movement per day, a majority exceeding the speed limit according to our local speedwatch team. In the 440 metres of road between Vyne Road and Churchlands there are already 8 multi household access point and numerous single household access points.

This development will lead to ribbon development along the street and also Cufaude lane.

 

The application forms state that it is unknown if foul water will discharge to main sewers but then includes “no objection” for connection from Thames Water. The Parish council is concerned with that statement as Thames Water are currently conducting flow tests to confirm capacity following sewer flooding.

The form also states that surface water may be discharged into the main Sewer, which goes directly against Thames Water guidance.

The provision for waste collection appears to demand trucks to reverse in or out of the site as no swept path analysis is provided.

MB – This is following on from application 15/03423/FUL which was for two houses on half the land in this application. The area has been extended to go right up to the boundary with Ridgewell Farm down Cufaude Lane. The original application was refused by planning officers and at Appeal was dismissed on the 25th April 2017, APP/H1705W/16/3165156.

The attached is the stream of correspondence with Thames water concerning the capacity of the Foul water sewage, and reference to the report from Thames, SMG1294 G4027 on the 27/10/2014 which states that the infrastructure is insufficient to cope with the 200 houses on Minchens.

EC – We have already taken a lot of new houses in that area and I see that it is double the houses on double the site from the last application which was refused so we should object on  this one for consistency and it is coming out on the main road very close to several other side roads on an awful bend which would surely add to traffic chaos and be a safety issue. The area is also very close to the neighbouring boundaries.

Also think it will have a negative on the visual impact of that area and do we really need more houses of that size when we have 3 new developments of which none are completely finished.

AM – I support the views already stated.

Objection

This application is Contrary to:

Policy SS6 (New houses in the Countryside) of B&D Local Plan and H1 6.22 of Bramley NDP

Local plan SS6:

d viii – It would not be significantly visually intrusive in the landscape.

e – Small scale residential proposals of a scale and type that meet an agreed need.

The inspector at appeal APP/H105/W/16/3165156 dated 25 April 2017 commented:

“7. LP Policy SS1 sets out the spatial strategy for development and provides for 15,300 dwellings in the plan period. LP Policy SS6, which concerns development for new housing outside Settlement Policy Boundaries, sets out a number of exceptions to the restraint on housing in the countryside set out in LP Policy SS1. The exception the most relevant to this case is for small scale residential proposals of a scale and type that meet a locally agreed need, which is governed by three provisos concerning the relationship of the development to the settlement, character and appearance, and the amenity of neighbours.

8. There is no dispute that the proposal for two dwellings is small scale, and the Council considers that the site is not physically isolated and has good accessibility to local services and facilities. However, while the LP does not define what a locally agreed need is, the Council has published guidance. This advises that an applicant should demonstrate that their proposal meets a specific and clearly identified unmet housing need in the local area in terms of number, size, type, and tenure, and refers to the need being within the Parish, village, or settlement.

9. In terms of meeting a locally agreed need, the appellant refers to the level of services and range of infrastructure within Bramley, and planning permissions for two large sites in the locality in which there is a requirement to provide a substantial proportion of smaller units. He also refers to the majority of houses for sale in Bramley having three bedrooms or fewer to illustrate that there is no abundance of houses of 4 bedrooms or more, such as those proposed in this case. However, this does not demonstrate that the proposal would meet a locally agreed need.

10. The appellant points out that the Bramley Neighbourhood Plan says that the preferred sites for new housing will be located within or immediately adjacent to the SPB. Notwithstanding this, Policy H1 in the post-referendum version of the Plan before me, says that new housing development outside the Bramley Settlement Policy Boundary will only be supported if it is in accordance with relevant Local Plan policies for new housing in the countryside. Given its advanced stage of progress, I attach significant weight to the policies of the Neighbourhood Plan.

11. The Council refers to LP Policy SS5, which requires the identification of sites for at least 200 dwellings to 2029 in and around the defined Settlement Policy Boundary of Bramley. I acknowledge the appeal decisions referred to by the appellant and the 5 year land supply figure not representing some kind of maximum limit or bar. However, the Council’s reference to approved new housing commitments of 315 dwellings in and around the defined Settlement Policy Boundary of Bramley suggests that the minimum figure has already been met and is likely to be substantially exceeded.

12. My impression of the site is that it contributes to a functional and visually coherent character of countryside. Its green and open nature helps separate the edge of the settlement from the countryside and it forms part of a pattern of small fields at the edge of the village which stretches southwards. It contributes to the character of the countryside and the distinction between the village and the fields and farmland which surround it. The proposed development would breach the settlement boundary of the village, encroach into the countryside, and reduce its open and undeveloped character, weakening the distinctive relationship between the village and the countryside”.

These comments are equally valid today, particularly as developers are in the final phases of delivering 315 houses to meet the Bramley allocation of at least 200. The Parish has also seen commercial buildings converted to flats with no improvement to infrastructure or facilities. There is no agreed local need for yet more housing.

Policy T2 in NDP Improving road safety in Bramley – How can it improve road safety to add another multi household access to a road that already takes in excess of 4000 movements per day, a majority exceeding the speed limit according to our local Speedwatch team.  In the 440 metres of road between Vyne Road and Churchlands there are already 8 multi household access point and numerous single household access points.

This development will lead to ribbon development along the street and also Cufaude lane.

The application forms state that it is unknown if foul water will discharge to main sewers but then includes “no objection” for connection from Thames Water. The Parish council is concerned with that statement as Thames Water are currently conducting flow tests to confirm capacity following sewer flooding.  The attached correspondence stream refers.

The form also states that surface water may be discharged into the main Sewer, which goes directly against Thames Water guidance.

The provision for waste collection appears to demand trucks to reverse in or out of the site as no swept path analysis is provided.

2. 20/01320/OUT – Land Adjoining The Well House Cufaude Lane Bramley

Outline planning application with access to be included, for the demolition of existing stables and riding arena and the erection of 4 no. dwellings

CF – Only objection would be about the increase in traffic on the already busy Cufaude Lane, which is not built to take heavy traffic.

MB – The only objection I can see is that it is gouging onto Cufaude Lane which is not capable of taking increased traffic. They quote the nearby application of Razors etc, but these do not have access to Cufaude Lane. The DC committee approved the two houses at Cufaude Farm because there was no 5 year land availability and contribution to housing need. The houses material must to be in keeping with the adjoining approved houses at Cufaude farm and the adjoining house Wells.

EC – Comment about fitting in with the aesthetics of the other properties.

Cufaude Lane is narrow in places and already congested at junction to main road in Bramley so any new housing will have an impact on the already heavy traffic.

AM – I support the views already stated.

Objection

The proposed development will cause increased traffic onto the already congested Cufaude Lane.  Cufaude Lane is a country road, single track in places, and is already struggling to deal with the extra traffic from existing new development.  This application will add to that traffic.

The Parish Council would also comment that any new houses should use materials in keeping with the surrounding buildings.