Agenda and minutes

Planning, Regulatory & General Licensing Committee
Thursday, 7th November, 2019 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Contact: Democratic Services  6139

Items
No. Item

1.

Simultaneous Translation

You are welcome to use Welsh at the meeting a minimum notice period of 3 working days is required should you wish to do so.  A simultaneous translation will be provided if requested.

Minutes:

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

 

2.

Apologies

To receive.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received for Councillors M. Moore and G. Thomas.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

To consider any declarations of interest and dispensations made.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest or dispensations were reported.

 

4.

Appeals, Consultations and DNS Update October 2019 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

To consider the report of the Service Manager Development and Estates.

Minutes:

 

The report of the Service Manager Development & Estates was submitted.

 

The Service Manager Development & Estates referred to the Development of National Significance in respect of the proposed solar farm at Wauntysswg Farm, Abertysswg (Application CON/2006/0001).  The Planning Committee had objected to the proposal on the grounds that the scale of the development would have a harmful effect on the local landscape. CADW had also objected and the Planning Inspector agreed with these arguments and recommended to the Welsh Ministers that the application be refused. However, the application was approved by the Minister for Housing and Local Government. 

 

The Officer confirmed that he had written to the Minister, on behalf of the Committee with an invitation to visit the site.  A letter had been received declining the invitation, and the Officer read the contents of the letter and circulated to copy to Members.

 

A Member expressed concern and felt that the Minister’s decision diminished the role of the Planning Committee and Officers.  He referred to Planning Policy Wales, and said he hoped the guidelines of that Policy would allow Local Authorities to retain an element of control over the siting of solar farms.

 

The Officer said the Authority’s response to the Draft National Development Framework would be submitted to Welsh Government next week.  One fundamental change was that the Authority was now in an agreed area for renewable energy, and as a result would likely see an influx of applications for wind turbines and solar farms in the future.

 

A brief discussion ensued when the Officer confirmed that Members’ concerns would be built into the Authority’s response on the Draft National Development Framework, and an Executive Member Briefing held last week also reflected the concerns raised. 

 

In response to a question raised, the Team Leader Development Management said due to the scale of the proposed solar park it was classed as a Development of National Significance and was therefore subject to a different regime than the standard planning process.  However, a Section 73 application had now been received to vary the time granted from 30 to 40 years from the development being constructed and operational, thus extending the original proposal by 10 years. This application would come before Planning Committee for consideration in due course.

 

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

 

5.

Planning Appeal Update: 23 Pantyfforest, Ebbw Vale pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To consider the report of the Planning Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Planning Officer.

 

The Service Manager Development & Estates spoke to the report and highlighted points contained therein.  He confirmed that the Inspector concluded that the proposed development would have an unacceptable adverse visual impact on the townscape, contrary to the adopted Local Development Plan (LDP) Policy DM1(2)b, and that the proposal conflicted with Policy DM2.  The Inspector therefore dismissed the appeal.

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the appeal decision be noted.

 

6.

List of Applications Decided Under Delegated Powers 22nd August 2019 and 18th September 2019 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

To consider the report of the Senior Business Support Officer.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Senior Business Support Officer, whereupon:-

 

C/2019/0194 Bridge Street Offices, Bridge Street, Ebbw Vale

 

Following a request from a Member for an update on the development of the site, the Team Leader Development Management confirmed that permission was granted in 2018 and work had commenced on site and a number of conditions have been discharged.  However, there was a delay due to the discharge of conditions relating to a retaining wall and parking area, as the details approved were not implemented.  The Officer confirmed that discussions were ongoing to resolve these issues.

 

C/2019/0152 22 Marine Street, Cwm, Ebbw Vale

 

In response to a question raised by a Member, the Team Manager Development Management said the garage was partly built when the original application was submitted and had since been completed.  The LPA refused the application on the grounds of the detrimental impact on the neighbouring occupiers, and Officers were now in correspondence with the applicant regarding options moving forward. 

 

C/2019/0200 Former District Council Office, High Street, Blaina

 

A Member sought clarification that this was not a HMO, and the Officer confirmed that this application was for different types of self-contained flats with parking provision and new access arrangements.

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the list of applications decided under delegated powers between 22nd August and 18th September, 2019 be noted.

 

7.

Planning Applications Report pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider the report of the Team Manager Development Management.

Minutes:

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

 

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

 

Application No. C/2019/0050 – Land at Waun-y-Pound Road and College Road, Ebbw Vale – Residential Development of 277 Units including Associated Works

 

The Service Manager Development & Estates presented the application.  He briefly explained the layout and access arrangements. He confirmed that drainage would be subject to a further planning application to be discharged by the LPA as outlined in Recommendation 2.

 

A Member said he welcomed the development but expressed concern that the Section 106 Agreement was limited to Glyncoed and Willowtown Primary Schools.  He said all four Primary Schools in the area should be included, namely Rhos-y-fedwen and Beaufort Hill, as children from the development may attend those schools.

 

The Officer said this issue was discussed with the Education Department, and their reason for the two schools mentioned was that they were the designated catchment area schools for the site, and they anticipate children from the development would in the main attend those schools.  However, they did acknowledge that there was potential for an impact on Rhos-y-Fedwen and investment could come via the Council’s Capital Programme. They are currently investigating this.

 

In relation to the Section 106 Agreement, a Member asked whether there was scope for the developer to renegotiate the agreed sum in the event of the impact on Education not being realised.

 

In response the Officer confirmed that a payment schedule had been agreed with the developer, and which was acceptable to the Education Department to allow for mitigation when residents from the site begin to impact on education services. If circumstances changed, it would be open for a request to vary the s106 to be submitted but this would need to be supported with evidence if the Council were to agree to any change.

 

Another Member expressed concern that the Education Department had referred to the ‘catchment’ area, when the current Blaenau Gwent admissions process allowed parents to apply to send their children to any school. 

 

The Officer undertook to raise the issue with the Education Department.

 

A brief discussion ensued when a Member said she was disappointed that there were no bungalows proposed for the site as they were in high demand throughout the Borough.

 

Another Member also referred to the provision of 20% affordable housing units, and asked whether there would be provision for rentable properties.

 

In response the Officer explained that details in relation to tenure would be subject to further discussion.

 

The Chair expressed concern regarding access to the site off Waun-y-Pound road, and the Team Manager Built Environment confirmed that a dedicated right turn waiting lane was considered appropriate for a development of this size and the applicant had redesigned the access to accommodate this.  Some improvements to Waun-y-Pound road were also required and these would be delivered by planning condition.

 

RESOLVED that the developer  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Areas for Member Briefings/Training

To consider.

Minutes:

The Service Manager Development & Estates reported that due to the forthcoming election, it was intended to convene the Member visit to a neighbouring Planning Authority, and the HMO training event in 2020. It was also likely that the January 2020 meeting would be cancelled.

 

9.

Exempt Items(s)

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).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the public be excluded whilst the following 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).

 

10.

Enforcement Closed Cases Between 24th September 2019 and 25th October 2019

To consider the report of the Service Manager Development and Estates.

Minutes:

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 the report of the Service Manager Development & Estates.

 

RESOLVED that the report which related to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority) be accepted and the information contained therein be noted.