Meeting documents

Planning, Regulatory & General Licensing Committee
Thursday, 6th June, 2019 10.00 am

Date: Thursday 6th June 2019 Time: 10.00 a.m. Place: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

PresentAndWithReport toReport of

COUNCILLOR B. SUMMERS (CHAIR)

Councillors:

G. L. Davies
D. Hancock
W. Hodgins
M. Moore
J. P. Morgan
K. Pritchard
K. Rowson
T. Smith
B. Thomas
B. Willis
L. Winnett

Service Manager � Development & Estates
Team Manager � Development Management
Solicitor
Team Leader � Development Management
Team Leader � Highways & Development
Communications, Marketing and Customer Access
Manager
Public Speakers:

Francesa Sanders (Agent) � Application No.
C/2018/0224 � Land off Cambridge Gardens,
Beaufort, Ebbw Vale

Mel Hughes & Debra James (Objectors)
Llinos Hallett (Agent) � Application No. C/2019/0002 �
Cwmcrachen Gypsy & Traveller Site and Land off
Blaenant Road (to be accessed off Blaenant Industrial
Estate, Nantyglo)

Fernando Greco (Objector) & Councillor John Morgan
(Ward Member) � Application No. C/2018/0300 � 10
Laurel Grove & Carriageway along Laurel Grove,
Bedwellty Gardens, Tredegar

THE CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE COUNCILDEMOCRATIC OFFICER
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA GYMRAEG/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA COVERSHEET
TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA GYMRAEG/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA COVERSHEET (386K/bytes)
Noted
2. 75TH ANNIVERSAY OF THE D-DAY LANDINGS

Members and officers stood in silence as a mark of respect to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

�

Councillor B. Thomas joined the meeting at this juncture.
�

Noted
3. WELCOME & APPRECIATION

Members welcomed the newly appointed Chair of the Planning, Regulatory & General Licensing Committee, Councillor Bob Summers and expressed their appreciation to the out-going Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Denzil Hancock for all the work he had undertaken during his time in the role.

Noted
4. SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.

Noted
5. APOLOGIES


Apologies for absence were received from:-

�

Councillors D. Bevan, G. Thomas and D. Wilkshire
�

Noted
6. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

Noted
7. APPEALS, CONSULTATIONS AND DNS UPDATE JUNE 2019
Appeals Update (250K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Team Manager Development Management, whereupon:-

�

C/2017/0009 � Former Sirhowy Inn Site, Beaufort Road, Tredegar � Change of Use of Land for the Siting of a Storage Container and the Storage of Waste Building Materials

�

The Service Manager � Development Services advised that the appeal had been dismissed and a copy of the decision letter had been included as Item No. 6 on the agenda.

�

C/2018/0181 � 9 Park Place, Abertillery � Retention of Rear Decking and Change of Use of Land to the Rear of 9 Park Place to Residential Curtilage

�

Members were advised that since the preparation of the report the decision letter had been received from the Planning Inspectorate which advised that the appeal had been dismissed.

�

C/2018/0262 � Garden Land at 9 Ivy Close, Rassau, Ebbw Vale � Residential Property (Outline)

�

It was noted that a written statement had been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Committee and a decision was awaited.

�

PA/2016/0144 � Wauntysswg Farm, Abertysswyg, Tredegar � Proposed 30mw Solar Photovoltaic Park and Ancillary Development

�

CON/2006/0001 � Tir Pentwys Cut, Blaen-y-Cwm Road, Hafodyrynys, Pontypool � Reclamation of Former Opencast Workings, Recovery of Secondary Aggregates and Construction of New Access road Affecting Public Right of Way (Amended Scheme)

�

Decisions on both the above applications were anticipated to be received prior to the summer recess of meetings.


In reply to a request, the Service Manager � Development Services confirmed that if correspondence was received before the next Committee meeting he would contact Members to advise them of the decisions accordingly.

�

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the information contained therein be noted
.

Agreed
8. PLANNING APPEAL UPDATE: FORMER QUARRY ADJACENT TO GRAIG HOUSE, NANT-Y-CROFT, RASSAU, EBBW VALE
Report (238K/bytes)
Appeals Decision (168K/bytes)
Appendix (129K/bytes)

The report of the Team Leader Development Management was submitted for consideration.

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates spoke briefly to the report and explained that the Committee had been minded to refuse the above application because the access into the development site was considered unacceptable.

�

However, whilst the Planning Inspector had allowed the appeal, a unilateral undertaking had been secured which included the developer providing a �37,752 contribution towards education and 10% affordable housing as part of the residential development.

�

In reply to a question, the Service Manager � Development & Estates confirmed that an application had been submitted by the appellant for costs. However, the Planning Inspector had confirmed that this was not a case of the Council acting unreasonably, preventing or delaying development that should have been permitted and that there was sufficient evidence presented to substantiate its reason for refusal and, therefore, the application for costs had been dismissed.

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the information relating to the appeal decision for planning application C/2018/0205 be noted i.e. the Planning Inspectorate had determined that the appeal be allowed subject to the conditions as set out in the annex to the decision notice.
�

Agreed
9. ENFORCEMENT APPEAL UPDATE: FORMER SIRHOWY INN, BEAUFORT ROAD, TREDEGAR
Appeal Report (236K/bytes)
Appeal Decision (117K/bytes)

Members considered the report of the Planning Compliance Officer.

�

The Committee was advised that the Planning Inspector had agreed that the breach of planning had consisted of a material change of use and, therefore, the appeal had been dismissed and the enforcement notice upheld.

�

It was noted that the period of compliance would run from the date of the appeal (this had now lapsed) and officers would now be seeking to ensure site clearance as soon as possible.

�

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the information relating to the appeal decision for the enforcement notice CO/2017/0009 be noted i.e. the appeal be dismissed and the enforcement notice be upheld.
�

Agreed
10. LIST OF APPLICATIONS DECIDED UNDER DELEGATED POWERS BETWEEN 25TH MARCH 2019 AND 20TH MAY 2019
Delegated Report (215K/bytes)

The Committee considered the report of the Service Manager Development Services, whereupon:-

�

C/2018/0325 � Land Adjoining 16 Club Row, Blaina � Construction of Three New Dwellings with Associated Parking and External Works

�

A Ward Member said that she was aware that a petition opposing the above development had been submitted by residents and had, therefore, assumed that this application would have been determined by the Committee rather than under delegated powers.

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates confirmed that no �call in� request had been made by Ward Members to submit this application for determination by the Committee. In addition, the subject of the objections would have been considered as part of the determination process and if it was felt that the objections could be dealt with as part of the planning report and subject to planning conditions, the application would be determined under officers� delegated powers.

�

C/2018/0195 � Bedruthan, The Rhyd, Tredegar � To Erect Raised Patio Area and Associated Enclosure to the Front of the Dwelling

�

A Member referred to the above application which had been approved but expressed his concern that a similar application in Abertillery, which was detailed as part of Item No. 4 (Appeal Update Report) had been refused.

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates confirmed that the site circumstances at both locations were entirely different. He explained that the application for Abertillery proposed to construct a decked platform within a rear courtyard area but had been refused due to the close proximity of bedroom windows of the properties below. The Service Manager concluded by confirming that each case had been considered and determined on its individual merits.

�

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the list of applications decided under delegated powers between 25th March and 20th May, 2019 be noted.
�

Agreed
11. PLANNING REPORT
Planning Report (3M/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Team Manager Development Management.

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates/Team Manager - Development Management explained the following planning applications to Members with the aid of slides:-


Application No. C/2018/0224 � Land off Cambridge Gardens, Beaufort, Ebbw Vale, NP23 5HQ � Construction of 15 no. Dwellings (including 9 no. 3 Bedroom Units and 6 no. 4 Bedroom Units) and Associated Works

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates gave details of the application which sought planning permission for 15 dwellings on the above site. It was noted that permission had already been sought and granted for a proposed development of 10 houses on the same site during July 2017.

�

With regard to consultation responses, it was noted that the Service Manager Infrastructure had raised objections to this proposal on highway safety grounds and 9 letters of objection had also been received from residents relating to a variety of concerns which ranged from drainage to access issues. It was reported that full details of the consultation responses were outlined in the report.

�

Late correspondence had been received from Councillor Clive Meredith, Ward Member who objected to the increase in the number of units to 15 on the grounds of the site constraints, specifically the access point off Cambridge Gardens.

�

This area of land was a brownfield site and had no known constraints or designations according to the Blaenau Gwent Constraints Map. Whilst the Planning Authority had raised no objections in principle and the proposed development was to be welcomed as there was a need for new housing in Borough (it was noted the current land supply for housing within the Borough was 1.28 years and the Authority was currently failing to meet the 5 year land supply � a requirement of the Welsh Government) the Highway Authority advice deemed that the proposed access arrangements to serve 15 dwellings was unacceptable for safety reasons.

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates advised that informal advice regarding an increase in the number of dwellings from 10 to 12 had been provided over 2 years ago by the then Principal Planning Officer and Principal Highways Engineer. This advice had been informal, not binding on the Council and had not been subject to a planning application. The Committee was advised, therefore, that it should have regard to the current scheme before it for consideration together with the current advice of the Highway Authority.

�

The Service Manager continued by outlining the reasons for refusal i.e. due to the substandard point of access into the site and the absence of a S106 agreement but concluded by advising that should the Committee be minded to grant planning permission, that this should be subject to a S106 agreement being signed by the developer. It was noted that negotiations with this regard were currently on-going between the developer and the Council�s Legal Department.

�

Agent � Francesca Sanders

�

At the invitation of the Chair, Francesca Sanders, the Agent representing the applicant, R & M Williams was invited to address the Committee in respect of the planning application.

�

Ms. Sanders commenced by stating that Members would note that the officer recommendation for this application was currently that of refusal primarily for reasons relating to highway safety and pointed out that the applicant disagreed with this recommendation for a number of reasons as follows.

�

The site subject to this application already benefitted from an extant permission for 10 dwellings. This current application broadly reflected this permission in terms of layout, with the exception of the number and design of the proposed dwellings. To confirm, the access proposals and road layout submitted as part of both applications were exactly the same. The application for 10 units was approved by Blaenau Gwent Council on 24th July, 2017. It should be noted by Members that subsequent to obtaining this permission the applicant had undertaken extensive ground investigation works, which had informed a remediation scheme which rendered the 10 unit scheme unviable.

�

In relation to the access proposals, the highway authority had not objected in respect of the design of the access road and turning head or in relation to car parking. The road had also been designed to achieve access for emergency and refuse vehicles.

�

Therefore, it was common ground that the basis of the objection was limited purely to the width of the proposed access. The Council also acknowledged that it had previously permitted this same access configuration for 10 dwellings. The key point was, therefore, whether the junction had the capacity to accommodate an additional 5 units.

�

The Transport Statement submitted confirmed that the proposed development would generate up to 9 car trips during the morning peak time and 8 car trips during the evening peak time. This would equate to just 3 additional car trips over an hour in the morning and evening compared to the 10 unit scheme. This was clearly a negligible difference which would not materially affect the operation of the junction over and above that of the 10 unit scheme, which had been deemed acceptable by the Council.

�

The Council had also acknowledged that the new scheme provided sustainable links to local facilities, public transport and cycle routes, all alternatives to the car.

�

In relation to the carriageway width, Government Guidance � Manual for Streets outlined that 4.1m was an acceptable carriageway width for 2 medium sized cars to pass this was below the width of the proposed access of 4.3m. It should also be noted that Cambridge Gardens was a very lightly trafficked cul-de-sac with traffic speeds of only around 18 mph.

�

The development would have a carriageway of 4.8m throughout the site, incorporating widening of up to 6m on the approach to the junction with Cambridge Gardens, allowing for two vehicles to pass simultaneously. This 6m width would allow vehicles exiting the development to wait and give way on the designated section of carriageway, allowing incoming vehicles to pass safely with no conflict.

�

It was common practice in the Manual for Streets and the Council�s own Highway Design Guidance to encourage shared carriageways for both pedestrians and vehicles, where the appropriate signage and surfacing textures were implemented. Both shared surfaces and carriageway narrowing had been used very successfully in many new residential developments throughout the County Borough, such as Village Lanes at the Festival Site, Ebbw Vale.

�

In addition, the previous use of the site as a care home would have generated 43 more daily trips than the proposed development of 15 dwellings. This was clearly significantly more traffic than the proposed development. Even with this high number of daily trips, no collisions had been recorded along Cambridge Gardens since 2005. This included a 9 year period when the former care home was in use.

�

Ms. Sanders continued by drawing Members attention to pre-application advice provided to the applicant by the Authority prior to the submission of the application. This advice had stated that in relation to an increased number of dwellings both the planning officer and highways officer had no objections to the proposals. Whilst it was acknowledged that this advice was informal, it was provided in good faith by the local authority and the applicant had made various commercial decisions on this basis. Indeed the applicant would question the purpose of this pre-application advice if this was later to be receded.

�

It was imperative to note that Blaenau Gwent only had a 1.28 year housing land supply, which was significantly lower than the 5 years required by the Welsh Government. The Local Development Plan review was at a very early stage of preparation and, therefore, there was no mechanism in place to remedy this significant shortfall in the short term. This application proposed a high quality housing scheme in a sustainable location which would bring a disused and unsightly brownfield site back into use. This material consideration should be afforded significant weight in the context of this application.

�

In summary, the Committee report outlined that �the appropriate test was whether the access would be safe post development�. The Council deemed the access to be safe and acceptable for 10 dwellings. The increase of 3 additional car movements in the morning and afternoon peak was not considered to affect the safety of the proposed junction as outlined in the Transport Statement submitted with the application. Indeed when the site was in operation as a care home with significantly more traffic movements no accidents had been recorded. The proposed access was, therefore, not considered to pose any highway safety concerns.

�

Ms. Sanders concluded by, therefore, respectfully asking the Committee to support the application.

�

The views of Committee were, thereupon, sought and the following concerns were raised:-

�

�� In response to a Member concern relating to Paragraph 8.4 of the report, namely �Of more concern is the access. The Highway Authority is objecting�..�, the Team Leader � Highways & Development confirmed that no objections had been raised in respect of the design of the access road and turning head. However, objections had been raised in respect of the access junction arrangement � the access width at its narrowest point was 4.3m.

�

It was noted that a width of 4.1m would be sufficient to allow two cars to pass, however in this instance given the substandard width of the access and the lack of footway provision there was a risk of conflict between pedestrians and vehicular traffic movements. Whilst the width of the highway at the site exit point was 4.3m, vehicles entering the junction would be unsighted to vehicles exiting the site until the turning vehicle was effectively at the point of making the right turn into the entrance and any pedestrians in the area at that time could be put in a vulnerable and unsafe position.

�

�� In reply to a concern that was expressed regarding the reluctance of the applicant to enter into a S106 agreement, Ms. Sanders confirmed that the applicant had agreed the S106 the previous day.

�

Members also commented as follows:-

�

�� The site access would be unable to be widened because the land either side of this area was owned by third parties which, was outside of the control of the applicant.

�

�� An additional 5 dwellings would generate more than 3 additional car movements in the morning and afternoon because most homeowners now owned 2 or 3 vehicles.

�

�� A Member indicated that she had raised concerns previously at the time the application for 10 dwellings was approved due to a lack of pedestrian access as the area was quite unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists if two vehicles were using the access at the same time.

�

�� A Member ask if the application could be deferred and the number of dwellings be renegotiated with the applicant i.e. the number reduced to 12, as he did not wish to see a brownfield site being left undeveloped.

�

In reply, the Service Manager � Development & Estates advised that the current application should be determined as submitted. The developer was of the view that 15 houses were required to make the scheme viable. It was noted that should negotiations take place to reduce the number of dwellings, the amended proposal would need to be the subject of a further planning application with the attendant consultation process.

�

�� Another Member pointed out that as the original approval for 10 dwellings was still valid, the development could proceed on this basis.


A discussion ensued when a Member proposed that the officer recommendation for refusal be endorsed. This proposal was seconded.

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates at this juncture advised that as Members had proposed that planning permission be refused, authority be delegated to him regarding the second reason for refusal relating to the provision of 10% affordable housing. In the event that a S106/unilateral undertaking was completed, this reason for refusal would not be included on the decision notice.

�

RESOLVED accordingly.

�

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

�

FURTHER RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that planning permission be REFUSED for the reasons outlined in the report of the Team Manager Development Management.

�

Application No. C/2019/0035 � Former NMC Site, 2-4 Lakeside, Blaina Road, Brynmawr, NP23 4PS � Full Planning Application for the Provision of 3 Retail Units (Unit 2 Class A1 Convenience Food Store, Unit 3 Class A1 Comparison and Flexible Use for Unite 4 Classes A1/A2/A3) and Associated Works

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates explained that during 2017 a hybrid application for a fast food restaurant was approved together with an outline application for retail development at the above site. However, due to alterations being made to the floor space of units 2, 3 and 4, the outline application would not be implemented. Table 1.8 of the report gave details of these proposed changes to the gross internal area of the retail units.

�

It was noted that due to the prescriptive nature of the approved development description of the 2017 permission these changes could not be achieved by a Section 73 application to vary the permission. Accordingly this had resulted in a new full application being submitted.

�

Members were advised that it had been confirmed that the development would not have any undue impact on the town centre over and above the 2017 approval.

�

The Service Manager � Development Services advised of one minor change to the recommendation if the application was approved, namely � Condition No. 6 that the hours for deliveries be extended from 10.00 p.m. to 7.00 a.m.

�

The views of Members of the Committee were, thereupon sought.

�

A Member referred to Paragraph 1.17 of the report and in particular car parking provision and expressed his concern that only 7 additional car parking spaces were being made available for staff within the service yard. He pointed out that Lidl alone would have considerably more than 7 staff.

�

Another Member referred to the fast food outlet and expressed her concern that these outlets were at saturation level in the Brynmawr area. The Service Manager � Development & Estates advised that the application did not relate to the fast food outlet because this provision had already received full planning permission in 2017. It was noted that the current application only related to the retail element of the scheme.

�

A Member said that he felt that the proposal would be detrimental to the town and disagreed with the officer recommendation for approval.

�

Upon a vote being taken it was

�

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that planning permission be GRANTED, subject to the conditions outlined in the report of the Team Manager Development Management.

�

Application No. C/2019/0002 � Cwmcrachen Gypsy & Traveller Site & Land Off Blaen-Nant Road (to be Accessed off Blaenant Industrial Estate), Nantyglo � Demolition of Existing Gypsy and Traveller Site including Removal of Existing Access Road and Provision of New Turning Facility and the Development of a New Gypsy and Traveller Site to Accommodate 28 Pitches, Associated Amenity Blocks, a Warden Office and Associated Works

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates gave details of the above application which related to the development of a new Gypsy and Traveller Site to accommodate 28 pitches at Cwmcrachen and advised Members of the following key considerations:-

�

�� The existing site access from lower Chapel Road would no longer be utilised. Vehicular access to the site would be via a new single access point at Blaenant Industrial Estate.

�

�� Two letters of objection had been received in respect of the principle of extending the site to 28 pitches which argued the scheme did not follow Welsh Assembly Guidance relating to �Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites� which stipulated that �new sites should comprise 20 pitches or less other than in exceptional circumstances and where consultation and engagement had taken place with all stakeholders�.

�

�� The principle of the development to increase provision was welcomed and the Local Development Plan indicated that the site was located within a settlement boundary.

�

�� An assessment undertaken in 2011 identified the need for a further 4 pitches at the site. A planning permission subsequently increased the total number of pitches at the site to 24. The report supported the application, but acknowledged the proposed layout and scale of the proposal to increase the number of pitches to 28 could be argued to go beyond the spirit of the Welsh Government Guidance.

The Chair agreed that two speakers could share the objectors 5 minute slot.

�

Public Speaker � Mel Hughes

�

At the invitation of the Chair, Mel Hughes, Objector was invited to address the Committee in respect of the planning application.

�

Mr. Hughes commenced by stating that he regarded the travellers as good neighbours, had never complained about them and he was not complaining now. He always and still did support a new and more spacious site in Nantyglo but objected to the site exceeding the current 20 pitch size. This was because it went against the 2015 Welsh Government Guidelines which stipulated that only in �Exceptional Circumstances� should new sites exceed 20 pitches.

�

As research and past experience suggested that once sites exceeded 20 pitches, the travellers at the site were less likely to get along with each other, and it was more likely that problems would occur between travellers and town folk.

�

In addition, Welsh Government had indicated that in the event of an authority wishing to build a new site that exceeded 20 pitches, there must at first be consultation with the travellers at the existing site and with all stakeholders. The word �stakeholders� he pointed out indicated to people like himself and Mr. Hughes stated that he had most certainly not been consulted.

�

�Exceptional Circumstances� in relation to increasing the site size above the level of 20 pitches could be evidenced if it could be proved that it was to keep families together. However, there appeared to be no record of the travellers at the existing site ever having been given the option of a new site that was set at 20 pitches. Mr. Hughes questioned how the Council could justify �Exceptional Circumstances�.


If the site was extended, families would be put together but said these families must actually want to choose to be together. If the Authority was not giving the travellers a choice they would be forcing them together.

�

In fact, the guidelines indicated that if more than 20 pitches were required, then the Council should at first make every effort to set up an additional site or sites elsewhere in the Borough. However, the Council had clearly not even attempted to do this, so the planning application should be refused on that basis. As for identifying suitable land elsewhere in the Borough he was sure that that there was land to put an additional 8 pitch site on or two 4 pitch sites. The problem was that the Council had clearly only been looking at land for the purpose of one really large 28 pitch site thus deliberately ignoring Welsh Government guidelines.

�

Mr. Hughes continued by referring to the Council�s assessment where it had been mentioned that the travellers at the site had expressed concerns about the new site being 28 pitches in size as they were concerned that they may not get along with 8 new families. Also concerns were expressed that there may be problems with illegal substances. These concerns were not highlighted by the Council in the planning application. Some would say that a larger site would be good for bonding, this was subjective � Welsh Government advice was to avoid this, research from psychologists on the negative group dynamics of flat blocks in inner cities had highlighted the problems with this kind of thinking.

�

Mr. Hughes concluded by requested that the Committee refuse permission on the grounds that the development would exceed the Welsh Government Site Guidance.

�

Public Speaker � Debra James

�

Ms. James commenced by stated that she was a local resident who lived in the vicinity of the Cwmcrachen site. During this time she had witnessed criminal damage, more recently to the fence at Banner Park and had forged relationships with some of the travellers to prevent neglect and cruelty to animals.

�

Ms. James concluded by stating that she strongly believed that the new site should not exceed 20 pitches as stipulated within the Welsh Government Guidance.

�

Agent � Llinos Hallett

�

At the invitation of the Chair, Llinos Hallett, the Agent representing the applicant was invited to address the Committee in respect of the planning application.

�

Ms. Hallett commenced by expressing her appreciation to the Committee for allowing her to address Members in support of this application.

�

As established, a proportion of the application site was currently home to 20 Gypsy and Traveller families who had lived in the Nantyglo area for over 200 years. The site and its facilities were in a poor state of repair and did not meet current amenity or design standards.

�

A proportion of land to the south had been allocated within the Local Development Plan, under Policy GT1 for 6 pitches. Further, the allocated site benefitted from a full planning consent for 4 pitches.

�

The remainder of the land was allocated for employment use and land reclamation. Sufficient employment land was available within the locality to justify the loss of this site for employment use. The Council�s Economic Development Department had confirmed that the loss of this allocated employment land was acceptable. The principle of development in this location was, therefore, fully established.

�

Notwithstanding, it was acknowledged that a small number of concerns had been raised in relation to the proposal, specifically in relation to the uplift in the number of pitches, from 20 to 28 and said that, therefore, she wished to address this concern.

�

Ms. Hallett advised that objectors were right to note that the Gypsy and Traveller Design Guide advised that new sites should comprise 20 pitches or less. The proposal before the Committee was not for a new site, but rather an extension to an existing site. In reference to extensions to existing residential sites (such as the current proposal), the design guide acknowledged that it may be appropriate to exceed 20 pitches where the Local Authority sought to keep families together and had regard to the views of existing residents and the surrounding community.

�

The proposal did just that; it sought to keep a large Gypsy and Traveller family together. The Council�s Accommodation Assessment had identified a need for 12 new pitches; 4 of which had been met on another site, hence the requirement for an additional 8 which was to be met by this proposal. This need had been calculated following a review of existing provision, current demand and future demand. The 8 additional pitches were to account for future demand, much of which included for the children at Cwmcrachen acquiring their own pitches to set up their own family homes. The proposal, therefore, sought to keep existing families together in line with the Design Guide.

�

As detailed within the officers� report, prior to submission of this application to the Local Planning Authority, Asbri Planning in conjunction with Blaenau Gwent Housing Department, undertook two separate pre-application consultations which involved a formal written consultation and a more informal public engagement event at a local venue. Following the initial consultation, a comprehensive redesign of the site layout was completed, resulting in the need of a second consultation.

�

Combined, both consultations spanned a 58 day period and comprised a 13 hour public event, where members of the design team answered queries and discussed the scheme. Letters were issued to all three Ward Councillors; Nantyglo and Blaina Town Council; 244 adjoining residents and business owners.

�

The existing Gypsy and Traveller community were consulted as part of the planning consultation and whilst they were naturally apprehensive about the proposed change, no objections were raised. In fact, a number of existing residents, who had visited family or friends located on the recently developed site at Brecon were excited at the prospect of having a new site of a similar standard. Consultation was completed outside of the planning consultation and 100% of participates confirmed their preference for a new site. This proposal had, therefore, had full regard to the views of existing residents and the surrounding community.

�

Whilst funding was not a planning material consideration, Ms. Hallett took the opportunity to confirm that pending the submission of a successful bid to Welsh Government funding of �4.2 million would be made available for the redevelopment of this site.

�

Finally, Ms. Hallett reiterated that some of the key merits of this scheme were:-

� As part of the proposals, highway access into the site would be via the existing industrial estate, removing all access via Blaenant Road.

� The scheme had evolved to include two large privacy zones.

�

In conclusion, Ms. Hallett stated that she considered that all of the material considerations had been addressed and respectfully asked the Committee to grant planning permission in accordance with the officer�s recommendation.

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates referred to the points raised by the objectors, in particular the criminal behaviour and clarified that this would be dealt with by other enforcing bodies and only the land use issues would be a matter for the Committee.

�

In reply to a question, the Service Manager confirmed that the funding of the scheme was not a material planning consideration.

�

The views of the Committee Members were, thereupon, sought and the following points/concerns were raised:-

�

�� As the proposal was to be funded by public funding and there were a considerable number of pitches proposed (i.e. 28) it was suggested that a site meeting be convened to assess the scale of the pitches.

�

Another Member supported the proposal for a site meeting to be held to assess the size of the pitches as he did not want the families being accommodated within confined spaces.

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates said that if the concern related to the actual number of pitches, the debate could take place at this meeting, however, if the concern related to the number of pitches in relation to the scale of the site, arrangements could be made for a fact finding visit.

It was noted that the new pitches would be constructed to take account of current criteria/guidelines.


For clarification, Ms. Hallett gave details of the design of the site and size of the pitches and explained that the new site would be five times larger than existing site and would include grazing and privacy zones.

�

�� In reply to a question, the Team Leader � Development Management confirmed that the former Lewis Waste Site would be used as a privacy zone and for grazing purposes.

�

�� With regard to footpath provision and the duty of care to provide a safe route to school, the Team Leader � Highways & Development confirmed that children would not be expected to walk through the industrial estate as there would be separate footway provisions in the vicinity of Nantyglo Rugby Club and Blaenant Road.

�

�� Concern was raised regarding residential traffic utilising the industrial estate, when the Service Manager � Development & Estates confirmed that there were examples in Brynmawr where non confirming uses had been sited on industrial estates.

�

�� Another Member referred to the statement �keeping families together� and said that if the children of existing families were to set up home on the site, this would be classed as a separate family.

�

Ms. Hallett confirmed that this provision would allow existing children to remain with their parents, whilst not on the same pitch but on the same site � this was very important in the culture of the Gypsy and Traveller Community.

�

�� A Member said that he recognised the importance of upgrading the site but expressed concern regarding the creation of a larger site that contradicted Welsh Government Guidelines.

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates advised that the size of the site would only marginally be above the spirit of the Welsh Government Guidance and pointed out the level of requirement (i.e. 28 pitches) had been identified as part of the assessment of need that had been undertaken within the Gypsy and Traveller Study of that area.

�

Upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

�

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that determination of the application be DEFERRED pending a fact finding site visit being held to assess the size of the pitches in relation to the size of the site.

�

The Service Manager confirmed that this would be a fact finding visit only and not a decision making meeting.

�

Application No. C/2018/0300 � 10 Laurel Grove & Carriageway Along Laurel Grove, Bedwellty Gardens, Tredegar, NP22 4FE � Retention of House as Built, Extension of Curtilage and Associated Alterations to Carriageway/Footpath (Along Laurel Grove)

�

The Team Manager � Development Management gave details of the application which sought approval for the retention of the above property in its current position and extension of the driveway and curtilage into the footway fronting the site. It was noted that the property had been built further forward than the approved plan and the driveway was shorter than approved.

�

It was noted that the Planning Authority had first become aware of the issue when the property owner had contacted the department regarding concerns over the length of the driveway.

�

This issue had been raised with the developer and it had been suggested that this matter could be dealt with by way of a planning application and it was proposed that alterations could be carried out along the road frontage to enable curtilage to be extended. Therefore, the application sought permission to narrow the width of the frontage road, provide dropped kerbs to enable property to have an extended curtilage.

�

Following the initial consultations, 4 e-mails objecting to the application had been received from residents and following the re-submission of amended plans 9 further e-mails had been received. In addition, issues had been raised by the Highways Authority regarding the length of the driveway and it was now proposed the integral garage to be set back 5.5m from the highway boundary (and not the 5m shown on the plans) which would allow unimpeded access to the garage whilst the car was on the driveway.

�

The Team Manager � Development Management referred to the aesthetics of the proposal and advised that given the projection of the proposed curtilage it would be prudent to include a condition removing permitted development rights for walls and fences along the frontage of the application property of existing property (this would not apply to the other properties in Laurel Grove.

�

The Team Manager � Development Management concluded by recommending that planning permission be granted.


Public Speaker � Fernando Greco

�

At the invitation of the Chair, Fernando Greco, Objector was invited to address the Committee in respect of the planning application.

�

Mr. Greco commenced by stating that he was representing the residents of Laurel Grove who objected to the proposal for the following reasons:-

�

�� The siting of the property (further forward) was a mistake made by the developer and the residents felt that they were being penalised for this mistake.


Residents had purchased the properties �as seen� and felt that the developer was breaking the contract by making a subsequent amendment to the site without consultation with the residents.

�

�� The extension of the driveway by 800mm into footway went against DDA compliance and there were concerns that pedestrians, particularly the elderly traversing the footway could be met with an oncoming vehicle.

�

�� With regard to a reduction in the carriageway, the developer had a duty of care to the residents � there were children living in the street and use of the footway for a vehicle to reverse over would cause safety issues for young children.

�

�� There were concerns that the development would exacerbate inconsiderate parking in front of properties restricting vehicular access to property and causing obstructions.

�

�� If the proposal was approved and the carriageway reduced by 800mm this would result in the highway being 4.7m wide which did not comply with Highway Design Guidance.

�

�� Concern was also expressed regarding the amount of disruption that residents would have to endure if the full length of street width had to be dug up � this would cause a considerable amount of issues.

�

�� The plan did not indicate the sweep of cars coming onto the driveway i.e. the turning circle. The actual recycling vehicle was longer than indicated and the turning head would not be suitable with a reduction in the highway width.

�

�� Mr. Greco concluded by summarising the main concerns of the residents as:-

- the extension of driveway into the footway;
- the proposal was not DDA compliant;
- the changing aesthetic of the street; and
- The duty of care to the residents.

�

Mr. Greco concluded by stating that the residents proposed in order to resolve the issue and adjust the threshold, that the footpath fronting Nos 4, 6, 8 & 10 be reduced to 1.2m in width. It was noted that all residents would find this solution acceptable.

�

Ward Member � Councillor John Morgan

�

At the invitation of the Chair, Councillor John Morgan, Ward Member, was invited to address the Committee in respect of the planning application.

�

Councillor Morgan commenced by stating that he supported the residents of Laurel Grove as they had made a number of valid points.

�

Bedwellty Gardens was prestigious site which the residents moved into approximately 18 months ago. However, subsequently a problem had been identified because one property had been construction in the incorrect location. The section of road fed 14 properties and, therefore, any decision would affect all these properties.

�

The residents had raised a number of valid objections and were concerned regarding the proposed reduction in the width of the highway and alterations to the footpath. As indicated, the highway served a total of 14 properties which created over 100 vehicular movements each day and concerns relating to safety had been expressed regarding vehicles reversing onto a narrow highway. The proposal would also reduce the visibility along the one side of Laurel Grove.

�

The proposal would lead to an aesthetic change in the footpath outside No. 10 and Councillor Morgan said he supported the solution to reduce the footpath along one area to 1.2m. All the residents would find this acceptable and would this would only affect property numbers 4, 6, 8 & 10 - this would be surely the cheapest and easiest option and would allow for the aesthetics to be maintained and pedestrians would still be able to use the footpath.

�

The Team Leader � Highways & Development referred to the proposed reduction of the carriageway to 4.8m and confirmed that this met the standard for residential streets as contained in Manual for Streets and advised that this width of highway would be suitable to accommodate 20 dwellings - in this instance there were only 15 properties to be accommodated. In addition, if a 4.8m highway width had been considered during 2007 (at the time the original application had been considered) this would have been permitted.

�

The officer continued by advising that:-

�

�� The reduction in the width of the footway to 1.9m would be DDA compliant as this width would exceed the DDA guidelines.

�� With regard to the concern regarding vehicles reversing off driveways, a recommend reversing distance for a standard vehicle would be required to comply with.

�

�� The turning head which would also comply with highway standards and the refuse department had confirmed that the specification would be able to accommodate refuse vehicles.

�

�� With regard to DDA Compliance outside of No. 10 there would be a point when threshold of garden would be 1.9m in width and this would provide more than adequate space for pedestrians to walk around the arrangement.

�

�� The Team Leader � Highways & Development concluded by stating that with regard to a reduction of the footway to 1.2m, whilst this suggestion was not contained within the current proposal, he recommended that a wider footpath be maintained (i.e. a minimum width of 1.5m) to ensure DDA compliance.

�

The Service Manager � Development & Estates advised that the proposed solution complied with the Housing Design Guide and advised that the application should be considered in its current form.

�

A Member referred to Paragraph 5.1.6 of the report i.e. include a condition removing permitted developments for walls and fences along the frontage of the application property, when the Team Manager � Development Management advised that the application only related to No. 10 including its frontage because it was felt appropriate to include such a condition for this property due to the projection of the curtilage beyond that of the neighbouring properties.

�

In reply to a question, the Team Leader � Highways & Development confirmed that the highway works were anticipated to be completed around late summer, therefore, at this stage the highway had not been adopted. It was noted that the issues in relation to the driveway would have no bearing on the adoption of the highway.

�

A Member said that he had visited the site and agreed with the residents that a reduction in the footpath to 1.2m would be the perfect solution. The Service Manager said that whilst this option may be solution it was not the proposal before the Committee for consideration and pointed out that clear grounds should be provided if Members were minded to refuse the application.

�

In reply to a question whether the Authority would lose an appeal if permission was refused, the Service Manager said that the Committee would have to provide a clear rationale and reasoning for the refusal of planning permission. If this reason could not be supported with evidence, the authority could potentially lose an appeal and be asked to pay costs.

�

A discussion ensued when Members proposed that application be deferred in order that further negotiations take place with the developer to identify a solution that would not affect all the residents Laurel Grove.

�

The Service Manager pointed out that if during these negotiations an alternative scheme was proposed, this would also have to comply with the Highway Design Guide.

�

It was, thereupon proposed and seconded that the application be DEFERRED pending further negotiations with the developer.

�

Upon a vote being taken this course of action was unanimously,

�

RESOLVED accordingly.

�

Application No. C/2018/0323 � Land Adjoining Sunny Rise, Merthyr Road, Tredegar, NP22 3AE � Detached Dwelling, Vehicular Access & Parking

�

It was noted that the above application had been WITHDRAWN.

�

Application No. C/2019/0015 � Llanhilleth Rugby Football Club, Commercial Road, Abertillery, NP13 2HT � Change of Use from Sports Club (Unique Use) to 17 Bedroom HMO and a Two Bedroom Flat (Unique Use) and Associated Alternations to Windows/Doors and Single Storey Rear Extension

�

The Team Manager � Development Management gave details of the above application which was for a change of use from a Sports Club to a 17 bedroom house of multiple occupation and including a two-bedroom flat which would be used by the manager.

�

Whilst there were no objections in principle in bringing back into use a vacant property which would provide much needed accommodation, concerns had been raised in respect of highway and parking issues.

�

It was noted that 17 units were proposed, but only 10 parking spaces at the front would be able to be provided at right angles to the property. There was also no footpath provision along the frontage of the property. Based on this information significant concerns had been raised regarding the impact of this proposal.

�

The option to reduce the number of car parking spaces had been explored but only 5 spaces would be able to be accommodated which fell significantly short of 22 required for the scheme. Sustainability criteria had been considered but it was felt that permitting a scheme with 5 spaces would cause too many issues and the recommendation was, therefore, for refusal.

�

A Member expressed his concern regarding the scale of the development located on a very busy road and agreed with the officer�s recommendation for refusal. Another Member said that highway safety should be paramount.

�

This proposal was seconded and upon a vote being taken it was unanimously,

�

RESOLVED that planning permission be REFUSED for the reason outlined in the report of the Team Manager Development Management.
�

Agreed
12. TIME OF FUTURE MEETINGS

Consideration was given to the time of future Planning, Regulatory & General Licensing Committee meetings.

�

A lengthy discussion ensued when it was

�

RESOLVED that:-

�

- Planning, Regulatory & General Licensing Committee meetings commence at 9.30 a.m.

�

- Special Planning, Regulatory & General Licensing Committee meetings be convened to consider General Licensing matters. These meetings would also commence at 9.30 a.m.
�

Agreed
13. ANY AREAS FOR MEMBER TRANING/BRIEFINGS

Planning & Licensing Refresher Training:

�

The Service Manager � Development Services expressed his appreciation to those Members that had attended the refresher training session on 4th June, 2019 and advised that a repeat session in respect of Town & Country Planning would take place on Thursday, 20th June, 2019.

�

In addition, a repeat session in relation the Role of the Licensing Member would be held on Tuesday, 18th June, 2019.

�

Visit to other Planning Authorities:

�

The Service Manager � Development Services undertook to make arrangements for the Committee to visit Merthyr County Borough Council.
�

Agreed
TO RECEIVE AND CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING REPORT(S) WHICH IN THE OPINION OF THE PROPER OFFICER IS/ARE AN EXEMPT ITEM(S) TAKING INTO ACCOUNT CONSIDERATION OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST TEST AND THAT THE PRESS AND PUBLIC SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM THE MEETING (THE REASON FOR THE DECISION FOR THE EXEMPTION IS AVAILABLE ON A SCHEDULE MAINTAINED BY THE PROPER OFFICER)
14. ENFORCEMENT CLOSED CASES BETWEEN 23RD MARCH 2019 AND 22ND MAY 2019
Enforcement Cases Closed (267K/bytes)

Having regard to the views expressed by the Proper Officer regarding the public interest test, that on balance the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information and that the report should be exempt.

�

RESOLVED that the public be excluded whilst this item of business is transacted as it is likely there would be a disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 14, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

�

Consideration was given to report of the Service Manager Development, whereupon:-

�

CO/2017/00060

�

For clarification it was reported that this case related to the appeal decision to restore classic cars.


CO/2019/00023

�

It was confirmed that this case related to the Church Hall building.

�

CO/2019/00031

�

The Team Manager � Development Management undertook to provide the background information of the case to the Member.

�

CO/2019/00038

�

The Service Manager � Development Services advised that since the preparation of the report, a breach had now occurred and the case had been re-opened.

�

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report which related to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority) be accepted and the recommendations contained therein be accepted.
�

Agreed
DECISIONS UNDER DELEGATED POWERS