Minutes of the Additional Parish Council Meeting – Wednesday 9th July 2021

Minutes Uploaded on October 28, 2021


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Present: Cllr J. Arkell (Chair), Cllr M. Chandler and Cllr K. Morton.

In attendance:   K. Tilling (Parish Clerk), Cllr Awford and 1member of the public.

1. Welcome and Apologies:

As this is only the second face-to-face meeting of the Parish Council in the Church since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, all members of the meeting were asked to leave their contact details for track and trace purposes. These details will be destroyed after 21 days.  All people present were reminded to wear masks, use the hand sanitiser and ensure the 2 metre rule was observed at all times.

2. Declarations of Interest:

There were no Declarations of Interest required in relation to items on the agenda.

3.To formally accept the application for Parish Councillor following the recent vacancy/advertisement.

Following the retirement of Cllr Hooton at the May Parish Council meeting a public notice for the vacancy was advertised on 28th May 2021. At the deadline of 15th June 2021, only one completed application had been received despite a number of enquiries. The Parish Council have followed the advice from TBC relating to the appointment of a 5th Parish Councillor. Proposed by Cllr Chandler, seconded by Cllr Morton and all unanimous. Welcome to Richard Theyer.

The Parish Council adjourned for 5 minutes to allow Cllr Theyer to sign the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

Parish Council Meeting then continued …

4.To discuss planning consultation requests and consider responses for the following:

21/00655/FUL: Erection 1no. dwelling following the demolition of the existing agricultural building and associated works at Windyridge, Tewkesbury Road, Coombe Hill.

This application is for the demolition of the existing building and replacing it with a new dwelling complete with new access from A38. After two failed attempts at trying to secure planning, permission was eventually secured using a Class Q conversion under the reference 20/00588/PDAD. The previous refusals relate to the erection of a new dwelling and are largely based on the need for substantial building works that would go beyond the remit of permitted development.  During these applications the Parish Council have raised concerns about inappropriate design, together with its visibility in a Green Belt area. The site is prominent and exposed and does not fit with TBC policy. The Parish Council did some research about Class Q conversions and together with information obtained from TBC were made aware that a Class Q conversion was the only way that a building could become a dwelling on this site. This building is sited within Green Belt and therefore relevant policies, both JCS and TBC apply. (E.g. JCS Policy SD5 and Landscape protection zone Policy LND 3 of Tewkesbury Plan. JCS policies SD6 and SD10 will also be material).  It will be visible from the A4019 as the land rises to a distinct ridge at the A38. This area of land was included in a Landscape Assessment report commissioned by TBC and published in 2014. It analyses the landscape character sensitivity and the visual sensitivity. Both came out as medium sensitivity and the report states that the parcel of land ‘is prominent in views from the east, including those from the local road network (the A4019 and A38). The Class Q saw a revised application which was to omit the proposed render and remove the Juliette balcony.  The Parish Council note that these too have been re-introduced in this latest application.  The design of the building does not reflect existing dwellings/street scene in the area

The Parish Council is aware that the supporting information for this application quotes the Class Q approval as the ‘fall-back position’. It should be noted that this is the only planning permission that is available for this particular site and references to other planning authorities is considered immaterial. The existing permission acknowledges that the ‘proposal relates to the existing building envelope and proposes a tightly drawn curtilage around the building.’ This new application does not. The site was to be accessed via the existing driveway which serves the existing building and dwelling at Windyridge. The new application proposes a new access driveway. The new entrance will be very close to the existing one and will require considerable earthworks due to the topography of the land. It also creates yet another driveway onto the busy A38.

The existing Class Q acknowledges that the building works will principally be ‘infilling of existing openings with windows doors and blockwork’ etc. It also acknowledged that the proposed alterations would not entail any alterations to the primary structure and that the existing structure has been confirmed to be in good condition and capable of the proposed change of use’. This new application seeks to demolish the existing structure (which has already been refused in an earlier application). The potential for contamination risks on site was raised during the Class Q application and a condition was attached to address any issues that may arise during development. The application site is in Flood Zone 1 and should not be at an unacceptable risk from flooding. The Parish Council are very mindful of the potential effects that new buildings cause to existing lower lying properties in the vicinity due to water run-off.  There are no mains sewerage systems at Coombe Hill so that all foul water has to be treated on site.

The Parish Council were unanimous in their objection to this current application on the basis of it being an incongruous building in the Green Belt area. As with the earlier application (18/00711/FUL), there are no ‘very special circumstances’ to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and the proposed development would therefore conflict with Policy SD5 of the JCS. In April 2019 the location of this proposed development was considered to be outside of the built up area and the ‘site does not constitute previously developed land given its former agricultural use’. The erection of a new dwelling was not considered to be infilling within the existing built up area of a town or village and the proposal ‘would not satisfy any of the other criteria within policy SD10’ of the JCS. The Parish Council accepts that the only development possible on this site is a Class Q conversion.

 21/00796/FUL: Demolition of single storey and two storey rear extensions and erection of a two storey rear extension at Greystones, Tewkesbury Road, Coombe Hill.

The Parish Council is very aware that the existing Tewkesbury Borough Local Plan to 2011 is outdated but many of the policies are being retained. In the absence of a new adopted, revised policy this application was considered against TBC planning policy HOU6 in the TBC Local Plan to 2011(which will become HOU3 in the adopted version) .HOU6 (HOU3) concentrates on the retention, repair and refurbishment of existing dwellings in the countryside.  It is very specific in its encouragement in ‘the appropriate re-use of existing dwellings’. It is also noted that this ‘policy is intended to discourage prospective developers seeking to effectively create a large new family house in place of a small traditional cottage’. It further states that ‘design policies will also apply with particular care to needing to be taken within rural areas’.

Greystones is a typical 3 bedroomed house that needs to be modernised due to lack of maintenance over several decades.  This application seeks to demolish both the single and two storey extensions at the rear of the property, including the car port currently in situ.  The replacement two storey extension goes beyond the outer edges of the car port by several metres. The proposed plans for this new dwelling show a massive house, modern at the back with the stonework being retained at the front. Parish Councillors felt that the size of the new part of the house was a bit more than an ‘extension’ and the house will become 5 bedrooms. Parish Councillors would like to see the dwelling reduced in size so it fits within the plot a little better. Due to the current ribbon-like development at Coombe Hill the house is not over looked, nor should it over look any of the neighbours after the construction work is completed. There were no known objections to the plans.

It was noted that there is no mention of the existing garage on site. Once the proposed extension is built it will be impossible to access this garage. There is no reference to it or a replacement garage on any of the submitted paperwork. The Parish Council would also welcome climate change initiatives and the inclusion of an electrical charging point for vehicles parked on this site. There is no reference to anything with this application. Similarly, there is no helpful information about the foul water/drainage on site.  From local knowledge, the old septic tank is at the front of the house.  Not only will this need to be replaced due to age but enlarged to accommodate the increased capacity of the house.  It is understood that the old system allowed foul water to be pumped onto adjoining land which is no longer part of the curtilage (and probably against environmental health regulations). This needs to be addressed before any permission is granted.

In summary the Parish Council have no real objections to the current proposals for the redevelopment of this house but wish to raise the following concerns: Size and scale of alterations to an existing house in a rural setting, lack of climate change initiatives and omission of information relating to the garage and attention to the treatment of foul water on site.

APP/G1630/C/21/3276207 and APP/G1630/C/21/3276456 (20/00067/ENFC): Appeal against enforcement notice at Slate Mill, Tewkesbury Road, Elmstone Hardwicke, Cheltenham.

The Parish Council have responded to both applications when they were first published. Those comments will be forwarded to PINS for consideration and therefore felt that there was nothing further to add.

5.Any other business.

Parish Council Insurance – This was due for renewal in June and was paid. Proposed by Cllr Chandler and seconded by Cllr Arkell.

Warm welcome to Richard Theyer on becoming a Parish Councillor.

PROWS and overgrown hedges – the Parish Council have received complaints for over grown hedges and overgrown/blocked PROWS. Incidents have been forwarded to the relevant departments and land owners will be contacted by the relevant sections. Anything not corrected by the beginning of August will be chased up.

Neighbourhood Development Plan – this has had final adjustments made to reflect the recent house building appeal at Coombe Hill and the comments made by the inspector looking at the Tewkesbury Borough Draft Plan.  The proposed extension to the Knightsbridge Business Centre has been removed. It is now down to TBC to make a final decision. The Parish Council formally acknowledge and accept the proposed changes.

The long awaited for meeting with the Head of Planning was cancelled at very short notice.  The local Parish Councils will push for a new date.

Meeting closed 20:25

This meeting was held in accordance with the four Covid 19 Principles –

– How to meet the social distancing requirements entering and leaving the building and during the meeting –

  The clerk will keep a record of anyone attending the meeting, asking public to sign in on arrival and keep the list for

21 days.

– What Person Protective Equipment (PPE) materials are required – hand sanitiser, masks and wipes

– How can you limit sharing documents and materials – copies of all paperwork is available on the Parish

Council website before and after the meeting

– Ensuring proper ventilation – can the windows be open during the meeting and beforehand if the room has  

  been used during the day.