Agenda item

055597 - A - Full Application - Erection of Detached Bungalow at Rose Farm Livery, Well Street, Buckley.


That Planning Permission be granted subject to the conditions detailed in the report of the Chief Officer (Planning and Environment) and the applicant entering into a Section 106 Obligation/Unilateral Undertaking to provide for the following:


The applicant rescinding of the lawful use of the existing dwelling upon the site.


The Committee considered the report of the Chief Officer (Planning and Environment) in respect of this application.  The usual consultations had been undertaken and the responses received detailed in the report.


The officer explained the proposal for the erection of a replacement dwelling and partial demolition and change of use of the existing dwelling.  He outlined the reasons for recommending approval, subject to the applicant rescinding the lawful use of the existing dwelling via a Section 106 Agreement.  An additional comment from Natural Resources Wales relating to land contamination was included in the late observations.


In agreement with the officer recommendation, Councillor Ian Dunbar welcomed the reduced height of the replacement building which he felt would enhance the area.  This was seconded by Councillor David Roney.


Councillor Derek Butler expressed reservations about the application and questioned how the existing building had received permission as a dwelling.  In response, the officer referred to paragraph 7.09 of the report which clarified this point.


Whilst accepting this explanation, Councillor Chris Bithell queried the circumstances which had led to this.  Following similar questioning by Councillor Neville Phillips, the officer gave a brief overview of the planning history of the site, involving a change of use to livery stables in 1990.  Subsequently during the inquiry, it had been found that the management accommodation in the central part of the building was instead being used as a single dwelling house.


Councillor Mike Peers raised concerns that the application was a way of seeking conversion of local use via a new build and questioned the need for replacement as the existing building was habitable.  He also questioned how no objections had been raised by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) when they were unaware of the historic contamination issues.  In essence, he felt that the scheme was an attempt to seek approval for the entire site by rescinding the habitable use and creating a new build outside the settlement boundary, not on the original footprint, thus resulting in additional capacity on the site.


Concerns were also raised by Councillor Owen Thomas on the circumstances which allowed lawful use rights as a dwelling.


In response to a question from Councillor Nancy Matthews, the officer provided clarification on the proposed changes to the building.


Councillor Phillips recalled a site visit around 1997 where the building had been used as livery stables.


Councillor Richard Lloyd called for a site visit to help determine the application.  Councillor Carol Ellis agreed, saying that this would enable a view from the road.  Members were then shown relevant photographs of this view, together with drawings of the current building and the proposed changes.


In response, the officer stated that this was a replacement dwelling in open countryside and that although criterion (e) of EWP4 had not been fully met, there were other planning benefits to the proposed location.  On the points raised by Councillor Peers, he said that the property had a lawful use as a dwelling house and that the UDP policy catered for replacement dwellings.  The applicant voluntarily rescinding their lawful use rights would safeguard against any use of the lower floor as a single dwelling.  It was clarified that in planning terms, a dwelling which was lawful was no different to one granted planning permission.  It was also stated that the scheme would remove the workshop from the site, leaving the dwelling and stables.  On land contamination, NRW had made no objection to the scheme and the response given by NRW to Councillor Peers’ own enquiry was due to them not recording the type of issues involved in this case.  The Council’s Environmental Health section did hold records of potential lower-level contamination cases, however circumstances had led to a decision to seek the views of an independent third party whose findings were detailed in the report.  Consultation with colleagues in Pollution Control had resulted in agreement on the officer assessment of the planning merits of the scheme with a condition imposed to address any risk of ground contamination.


Councillor Peers pointed out a discrepancy between the response of Pollution Control in the report compared with the planning file.  On land contamination, he explained his decision to check with NRW on whether they had been consulted, as advised by Pollution Control, and that their response (included in the late observations) stated that no notice of contamination had been received.  Councillor Peers questioned how it had been concluded that NRW had no objection when Pollution Control officers had raised concerns and advised consultation with NRW.


Officers clarified that the initial response of Pollution Control outlining their concerns had been followed by a later response from NRW indicating no objection and that in view of this, Pollution Control had indicated agreement with the proposed conditions.  Communications between the case officer, the independent third party and Pollution Control colleagues were clearly set out on file.  It was felt that NRW may have been unaware of the notice of contamination as this was only of local significance and therefore not included in their records.


In summing up, Councillor Dunbar praised the answers given to Members’ questions and supported the officer recommendation.


On being put to the vote, the proposal to grant the planning permission in accordance with the officer’s recommendation was carried.


Councillor Richard Jones, who had declared a personal and prejudicial interest on this item, left the meeting prior to discussion on the item.  After the vote had been taken, he returned to the meeting and was advised by the Chairman of the decision.




That Planning Permission be granted subject to the conditions detailed in the report of the Chief Officer (Planning and Environment) and the applicant entering into a Section 106 Obligation/Unilateral Undertaking to provide for the following:


The applicant rescinding of the lawful use of the existing dwelling upon the site.

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