Construction of two, 3 bedroom semi-detached affordable houses on the redundant car park (Amended Plans) (Amended Title), previously associated with the Fleur De Lys Hotel and Public House. Fleur De Lys Hotel, Main Road, Unstone
(Planning Manager – Development Management)
The Committee reconvened. Councillor B Hill joined the meeting at this point.
The report to Committee explained that an application had been submitted for full planning permission to construct two semi-detached houses on the redundant car park, previously associated with the Fleur De Lys Hotel, Main Road which is in Unstone. The application had been referred to the Committee by Ward Member, Councillor A Dale, who had raised concerns about it.
Before Members discussed the application, those registered to speak were asked to address the Committee. The Architect for the application, P Mills, spoke in support of the application. There were no other speakers.
Committee was recommended to grant outline planning permission, subject to the specific conditions set out in the report and the conclusion of a ‘Section 106’ Agreement, or an agreement reached between the Council as Planning Authority and the developer to carry out work that would help offset the impact on local people.
The report to Committee explained why Members were asked to approve the application. Members were informed that the proposal would develop a brownfield site for affordable housing. Although the car park area was within the Green Belt the report contended that it would be an appropriate development, which would not cause substantial harm to the openness of the Green Belt. The report also contended that the development would not appear as an incongruous addition to the street scene and that it would have no greater impact highway safety.
Committee considered the application. It took into account the Principle of Development, the location of part of the site (the former car park) outside of the defined settlement limits for Unstone. It considered the circumstances when development could be allowed in the Green Belt. Committee also took into account the impact on the neighbouring environment and whether the development would be a prominent intrusion into the countryside. Committee considered the impact on neighbours and whether there would be any drainage or flood risks to the properties built there.
Members discussed the application. They discussed the potential drainage problems on the site, which it was explained had been flooded before as the result of poor maintenance of a drain. They heard about the access measures that would put in place to enable maintenance to take place.
Some Members also expressed concern about the design of the proposed properties and suggested that they would not be in keeping with neighbouring buildings and would have a detrimental impact on the streetscape as a whole. Some Members expressed concern about an adverse impact on the Green Belt. They questioned whether the addition of affordable housing would offset this adverse impact.
Committee noted the planning history of the site. They reflected on the previous application for its development and the reasons why the Committee had rejected it. Some Members felt that the reasons for this rejection also applied to this application.
At the conclusion of the discussion, Councillor M Foster and Councillor W Armitage moved and seconded a motion to reject the application, against officer recommendations, because of the likely harm which the proposed development would have to the Green Belt. They emphasised that this harm was comparable to the harm identified by the Committee, when it had decided not to approve the earlier application for the site.
The motion was put to the vote and approved.
(1) That the application is rejected against officer recommendations because of the unacceptable harm it would have on the Green Belt.
(2) That the reasons for the rejection be drawn-up by the Planning Manager (Development Management) in consultation with the Chair of the Committee.
The application is considered unacceptable, as by reason of its location on the site close to the highway, the proposed building would cause substantial harm to the openness of this Green Belt location. It would therefore represent inappropriate development which is, by definition, harmful and which should not be approved except in very special circumstances. In this case, the provision of affordable housing is not considered to represent very special circumstances to override the substantial harm that would be caused. As such, the proposal would be contrary to policies GS2 and H9 of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, policies SS10 and LC3 of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (2014-20343) Publication Draft and the National Planning Policy Framework when read as a whole.