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Disclosures of Interest
In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, councillors are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.
The following disclosures of interests were made:
The Planning Code of Conduct requires any councillors who have been lobbied, received correspondence, or been approached by an interested party regarding any planning matter to declare this at the meeting at which the matter is being considered. Councillors should declare if they have been lobbied at this point in the meeting.
The following lobbying declarations were made by councillors:
Councillor Nawaz had been lobbied but had expressed no view on TPO application 02/2023.
Councillor Pritchard had been lobbied but had expressed no view on application CR/2023/0252/FUL.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 3 July 2023.
The minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 3 July 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
To consider report PES/432 of the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to CONFIRM.
The Committee considered report of the Head of Economy and Planning which sought to determine whether to confirm the Tree Preservation Order (TPO) 02/2023 – oak trees located between 92 Gales Drive and 139 Three Bridges Road – with or without modification for continued protection, or not to confirm the TPO.
Councillors Ali, Bounds, Jaggard, Nawaz, and Pritchard declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer (VC) provided a verbal summation of the application, which related to two large oak trees situated in a residential garden in Three Bridges. In February 2023 the trees were protected under a six month provisional TPO, which the Committee was now requested to confirm.
Mihir Desai, the householder of 139 Three Bridges Road, spoke in objection to the application. Matters raised included:
· Throughout the process of the making of the provisional TPO, the Local Planning Authority’s communication had been inadequate. Administrative errors had caused delays and an officer’s visit to the site occurred at a late stage in the process.
· There was no intention to fell the trees, but they did not have high amenity value and were not visible from the Three Bridges Road footpath. There were a number of trees along Three Bridges Road which did not seem to be subject to TPOs.
· The trees were not in good health – both had deadwood and thinning crowns, and one was leaning – this provoked worries about the safety of the garden as a family environment.
The Committee then considered the application, and in doing so, raised queries regarding the process of the making of a provisional TPO. In response to these queries, officers clarified that any person can contact the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to enquire about the status of a tree. Once the LPA has checked whether a tree is protected, it then makes checks on the tree’s health and amenity value. If the LPA concludes that a tree is valuable and/or under threat of damage, felling, or over-pruning, a provisional TPO can be made for a duration of six months. The process was a reactive one based on the perceived risk to a tree; it was common for an LPA to make a provisional TPO following an enquiry from a member of the public.
The following points were also raised as part of the discussion:
· The confirming of the TPO would not necessarily prevent works from being undertaken to the trees in the future, but an application to do so would need to be made to the LPA. The application would be assessed and advice sought from the Council’s arboricultural officer prior to any felling, pruning or trimming being permitted. Any works that were subsequently agreed would be in line with good arboricultural practice.
· One of the trees had been significantly pruned prior to the making of the provisional TPO. The level of trimming was beyond what would normally be considered acceptable.
· Committee members considered the safety risks to residents using the garden in which the trees ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To consider report PES/435bof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT.
Erection of two storey side and rear extension and single storey rear extension (re-submission of application CR/2020/0054/FUL)
Councillors Ali, Bounds, Charatan, Jaggard, Nawaz, and Pritchard declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer (VC) provided a verbal summation of the application, which sought permission for an extension to a house on Mill Road in Three Bridges. The application was identical to a previous application which was considered and permitted by the Committee in June 2020; the permission had since expired and so the application had been re-submitted. The Officer then gave details of the various relevant planning considerations as set out in the report.
Elena Andrei, a neighbour of the site, spoke in objection to the application. Matters raised included:
· The application had been submitted while a separate but similar application at the site was being determined under appeal by the Planning Inspectorate. There were concerns about the process and the applicant’s intentions.
· Mill Road was very narrow with no pavements and there were concerns about the impact of the proposed development on parking and highway safety. It was not understood why West Sussex County Council (as highways authority) had not issued any objections to the application.
· The development proposed to increase the number of bedrooms in the property which implied an increase in occupancy, so it was unclear how the application was concluded to be water neutral.
The Committee then considered the application and in doing so requested that officers provide further detail about the layout and floorplan of the proposed development. Committee members raised concerns about the plans – including the addition of two bedrooms, more living space, and an additional front door – which they suggested alluded to the potential for the dwelling to be misused by being split into two separate residences. Officers confirmed that the application as submitted was for an extension and not for a separate dwelling and that permission, if granted, would be only for this use. If the LPA became aware that the property was subdivided and/or occupied as two separate dwellings in the future, or was otherwise not in accordance with the approved plans, this would be a breach of planning control and enforcement action could be taken.
Committee members discussed water usage at the site. As the proposed extension would increase the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the property, queries were raised as to the reasons why the development was considered to be water neutral. Officers explained that the LPA had previously undertaken a screening assessment which had concluded that, on the whole, household extensions did not result in an increase in occupancy nor an increase in water usage. Natural England had agreed with the LPA’s conclusions and this proposal was therefore considered to be water neutral.
A query was raised regarding the proposed nine metre separation distance between the extension and the existing properties on the opposite side of Mill ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To consider report PES/435aof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT.
Single-storey flat roof side extension.
Councillors Ali and Bounds declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer (HW) provided a verbal summation of the application, which sought permission for the erection of an extension to a residential property to replace the existing store structure. The Officer then gave details of the various relevant planning considerations as set out in the report.
The Committee then considered the application and moved to a vote.
Permit subject to the conditions set out in report PES/435a.