Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale
Contact: Democratic Services 6139
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.
It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.
No apologies for absence were reported.
Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
To consider any declarations of interest and dispensations made.
The following declarations of interest were reported:
Councillor L. Winnett – Item No. 4 Appeals, Consultations and DNS – Update February 2020 (App. No. C/2019/0090 Star Fields off Mountain Road, Ebbw Vale
Councillor M. Moore – Item No. 7 Planning Applications Report (App. No. C/2019/0280 Wauntysswg Farm, Abertysswg, Rhymney, Tredegar)
Councillors T. Smith & B. Willis – Item No. 7 Planning Applications Report (App. No. C/2019/0269 10 Castle Street, Tredegar)
Councillor D. Bevan – Item No. 7 Planning Applications Report (App. No. C/2019/0308 – 30 Marine Street, Cwm, Ebbw Vale)
To consider the report of the Service Manager Development & Estates.
Consideration was given to the report of the Service Manager Development & Estates, whereupon:-
Application No. C/2019/0090 Star Fields off Mountain Road, Ebbw Vale
Councillor L. Winnett declared an interest in this matter.
A Member expressed concern that a decision had been taken under delegated powers to grant a Lawful Development Certificate (as listed in Item No. 6) and asked whether this would prejudice the appeal process.
In response the Service Manager Development & Estates explained that there were two separate issues ongoing at the site, i.e. the use of the premises for dog breeding, which was the subject of the appeal, and the enforcement issues in relation to unauthorised tipping activities on site In terms of the status of the buildings, as part of the Lawful Development Certificate application the developer was given the opportunity to evidence that the buildings had been operational for a period exceeding 4 years, and the evidence provided proved that was the case. However, the Lawful Development Certificate does not cover the use of the premises, and this would be determined through the planning appeal process.
A Member questioned the existence of the buildings preceding 10 years, and the Officer explained that the developer demonstrated that the buildings had been on site for a period exceeding 4 years, as required by the Lawful Development Certificate. The 10 year period referred to by the Member was in relation to all other development.
RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the information contained therein be noted.
To consider the report of theTeam Leader – Development Management.
The report of the Team Leader Development Management was submitted for consideration.
The Service Manager Development & Estates presented the report which provided the decision of the Planning Inspectorate in respect of a planning appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the construction of 15 dwellings.
He reported that the Planning Inspector agreed with the Council’s assessment, and whilst acknowledging the site benefits from planning permission for 10 dwellings, increasing the number of houses would have a significant impact on the safety of highway users. The Inspector concluded that there were no material planning considerations that outweighed the significant highway safety risks associated with the proposed access and that the proposals were contrary to policy DM1 (3 a & c) of the Blaenau Gwent LDP. The Inspector therefore dismissed the appeal.
A Member asked whether a record was kept of the number of times the Planning Inspector agreed with the Council’s assessment, and the Officer undertook to provide these figures.
RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the information relating to the appeal decision for planning application C/2018/0224 be noted i.e. the Planning Inspectorate had determined that the appeal be dismissed.
To consider the report of the Senior Business Support Officer.
The Committee considered the report of the Senior Business Support Officer.
The Service Manager Development & Estates went through the report, and Officers clarified points raised by Members.
RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the list of applications decided under delegated powers between 28th November, 2019 and 20th January, 2020 be noted.
To consider the report of the Team Manager Development Management.
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/2019/0310 – 1 Hawthorn Glade, Tanglewood, Blaina, NP13 3JT – Retention and Extension of Raised Decking Area
The Service Manager Development & Estates presented the application which sought permission to retain and extend a raised decking area within the rear garden. He confirmed that one letter of objection had been received listing a number of issues, which were listed at section 3.9 of the report. However, the main issue concern was that the visual impact of the decking was overbearing, and would have an adverse impact on the privacy and amenity of neighbouring properties.
At the invitation of the Chair, Councillor G. Collier (Ward Member) addressed the Committee. He said the Tanglewood development was set on a steep sloping hillside in the community of Blaina. No. 1 Hawthorne Glade was a four bedroomed house situated on a corner plot adjoining Tanglewood Drive, and was occupied by the applicant, his wife and 2 young children.
The proposed development was for the retention and extension of raised decking over a very odd shaped rear garden. The existing garden had approximately a 50% flat area with the rest slopping steeply (approx. 45 degrees) down to the existing fence-line which sat within the boundary plot (see fig 1.4). The development, if approved, would provide a flat area over the whole of the existing garden area, thus allowing full use of the whole garden area to be enjoyed by the family.
Councillor Collier referred to the Officer recommendation for refusal which stated that:
‘By virtue of its scale and mass, the retention of the raised decking is considered to be an unduly dominant feature that has an adverse visual impact upon the street scene.’
He said he believed this concern could be addressed by planting of Leyland spruce trees, or similar, which would give a completely different appearance to what currently existed,
‘The structure would cause material harm to the living conditions of the occupiers of neighbouring residential properties by having an overbearing impact and causing loss of privacy.’
He said he did not believe this to be a justifiable reason to refuse the application. The very nature of the landscape at this development (the steeply sloping mountainside) meant the properties of Woodland Walk overlooked Beech Tree Crescent, and Hawthorn Glade overlooked Woodland Walk.
He concluded that he believed from day one that the proposal had been seen as “we can’t have this type of development in Blaenau Gwent”, instead of seeing it as an opportunity to provide what the applicant was aiming to achieve, namely having a flat garden area at the rear of his home.
He asked the Committee to approve the application with the proviso that landscaping take place on the owners’ land bordering Tanglewood Drive.
Mr. Terry Morgan the agent acting on behalf of the applicant also ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Areas for Member Briefings/Training
No areas for Members Training/Briefings were raised.
To receive and consider the following report which in the opinion of the proper officer is an exempt item taking into 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 if available on a schedule maintained by the proper officer).
To receive and consider the following report which in the opinion of the proper officer was an exempt item 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 was available on a schedule maintained by the proper officer).
Enforcement closed cases between 29th November 2019 and 21 January 2020
To consider the report of the Service Manager Development.
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.
RESOLVED 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.
MARTIN WOODLAND – SOLICITOR
The Chair took the opportunity to report that this was the last meeting for Martin as he was leaving the Authority.
Members said this was a great loss to the Authority, and thanked him for his hard work and support provided to them over the years, and wished him all the very best in his new venture.