Agenda item

Application: C/2020/0168 Site: Rhes Yr Ysgol, 1 - 7 Cwmcelyn Road, Blaina, NP13 3LT Proposal: Retention of one detached and six semi-detached 2 storey houses (not constructed in accordance with planning approval C/2014/0257)

To consider the report of the Team Manager Development Mangement.



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


The Team Manager Development Management advised that at the July Planning Committee considered the report for the retention of the development. The officer’s recommendation was that planning permission be refused based on highway safety grounds relating to unacceptable visibility splays and driveway gradients. The Planning Committee considered the application and upon a vote it was resolved that the application be deferred for the agent to explore measures to overcome the highway safety concerns and to submit plans to the Council for further consideration.


The Team Manager Development Management further outlined the key points as detailed in the report and gave an overview of the options for consideration.


The Ward Member reported that she had declared an interest in this application and would not take part in the vote.


The Ward Member welcomed the that application was deferred to look at options and asked the Committee to support Option 2. The Ward Member noted the 2 months for the works to be undertaken and although this was accepted it was pointed out that winter would soon be upon us and inclement weather could have an impact on works.


A Member seconded the Ward Member and proposed Option 2.


In response to a question raised in relation conditions being added to application in terms of inclement weather. The Team Manager Development Management noted the wording of conditions and advised that it was important that works are done as a matter of urgency due to highway safety concerns and that 2 months was a reasonable timescale. The Team Manager stated that although 2 months had been stated as a timeframe it was acknowledged that inclement weather could impact on these timescales but that the enforcement team to monitor progress and consider whether any enforcement action was required. The Team Manager Development Management stated that if Members are minded to recommend option 2 it was important the timeline remained in place to ensure that works were undertaken as a matter of urgency.


In response, to a question raised in relation to liability, the Service Manager Development and Estates advised that liability was a legal question which would be up to the  courts to answer. In terms of highways, advice had been sought from the highways team and it was deemed dangerous and planning should be refused.


A Member referred to Option 2 and raised concerns that it noted that the owners would be responsible for compliance and felt that the it gave the developer an opportunity to walk away from the project which would put further pressure on the homeowners. The Member felt that Option 3 would be a better way forward as owners would make their own arrangements to protect their vehicles from rolling onto the public highways


The Member felt that this was a very contentious situation the only people victims are the home owners who bought their homes in good faith and the Member was not happy with option 2 as he felt it allowed a loophole for the developer to walk away from the work to be undertaken.


The Team Manager Development Management responded to questions raised in relation to lowering the drives and it was confirmed that all options had been explored to lower drives. There would be a great deal of work involved and it would result in the loss of parking space for garage, therefore this course of action had not been pursued.


A Member asked if Option 1 was agreed what would be the next step.


The Service Manager Development and Estates advised that the decision before the Committee today was which scheme was to be approved, if any. The developer had a number of options one was the right to appeal and as a Planning Authority we would need to consider if enforcement action was to be taken, how that would be undertaken.


Further discussion ensued and Members were in favour of Option 2.


It was proposed and seconded that Option 2 be approved and powers be deleted to the Service Manager Development and Estates to include the appropriate conditions. Upon a vote being taken it was


RESOLVED that the report be accepted and amendments made since the last Planning Committee was noted and grant planning permission to secure the changes to the crossing and the important changes to the front gardens that address some of the Highway Authority concerns. Members opted for this course of action, therefore there was two important points considered. Firstly, these works must be carried out in a timely manner given the concerns of the Highway Authority and a deadline of 2 months was agreed. Secondly, in the event of non-compliance, enforcement action would be necessary as there remained doubts over the developer’s ability to comply with this condition. The responsibility for compliance may well now rest with the property owners and action may need to include them as the current land owners.


Councillor L. Winnett abstained from the vote.


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