Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 8th November, 2023 6.30 pm

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Venue: Council Chamber, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1RS

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Media

Items
No. Item

PLA221/23

Chair's Introduction pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Announcement on procedural matters.

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Minutes:

The Chair opened the meeting, introduced Committee members and officers in attendance, and outlined procedural matters of the meeting.

PLA222/23

Apologies pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Apologies for absence as reported at the meeting.

 

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Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

PLA223/23

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To receive any declarations of interest by Members in items on the agenda.

 

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Minutes:

Cllr Neville declared that prior to becoming a member of the Borough Council, she posted a comment about application PLA228/23 Land North Of Birchfield Grove, Hawkhurst, Cranbrook, Kent on the portal online which may have been perceived as a pre determination of her decision on the matter. Councillor Neville spoke for an allocated 3 minutes and then withdrew from the meeting while that application was discussed.

 

Cllr Patterson declared that he had fettered his discretion on application PLA229/23 Spring Farm, Colts Hill, Five Oak Green, Tonbridge, Kent. Councillor Patterson spoke for an allocated 3 minutes and then withdrew from the meeting while that application was discussed.

PLA224/23

Declarations of Lobbying (in accordance with the Protocol for Members taking part in the Planning Process, Part 5, Section 5.11, Paragraph 6.6) pdf icon PDF 28 KB

If a Member has been lobbied in connection with any application on the agenda, this should be declared at the start of the meeting, whether by, or in support of, the applicant or objectors.

 

Members in doubt about such a declaration are advised to contact the Legal Services Manager/Monitoring Officer before the date of the meeting.

 

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Minutes:

Councillors Britcher-Allan, Johnson, Le Page, Moon, Neville, O’Connell, Osborne, Patterson, Pope, White, Fitzsimmons and Bland advised that they had been lobbied by objectors on application PLA228/23  Land North Of Birchfield Grove, Hawkhurst, Cranbrook, Kent.

 

Councillors Neville, O’Connell, Osborne, Patterson, Pope, White, Fitzsimmons and Bland advised that they had been lobbied by supporters on application  PLA228/23  Land North Of Birchfield Grove, Hawkhurst, Cranbrook, Kent.

 

Councillors Britcher-Allan, Moon, O’Connell, Osborne, Pope, Fitzsimmons and Bland advised that they had been lobbied by supporters on application  PLA229/23 Spring Farm, Colts Hill, Five Oak Green, Tonbridge, Kent.

 

Councillor Johnson advised that they had been lobbied by objectors on application  PLA229/23 Spring Farm, Colts Hill, Five Oak Green, Tonbridge, Kent.

PLA225/23

Site Inspections pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To note the application sites visited, as recorded at the meeting.

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Minutes:

Members had the opportunity to visit the site of PLA228/23 Land North Of Birchfield Grove, Hawkhurst, Cranbrook, Kent.

PLA226/23

To approve the minutes of the meeting dated pdf icon PDF 153 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting dated 11 October 2023 be recorded as a correct record.

PLA227/23

Reports of Head of Planning Services (attached) pdf icon PDF 28 KB

The running order of the applications listed below is subject to change and will be agreed by the Chairman and announced at the meeting.

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PLA228/23

Application for Consideration - 22/02664/HYBRID Land North Of Birchfield Grove Hawkhurst Cranbrook Kent pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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Minutes:

Planning Report and Presentation – The Head of Planning Services submitted a report in respect of application PLA228/23 Land North Of Birchfield Grove Hawkhurst Cranbrook Kent and this was summarised at the meeting by Marie Bolton Principal Planning Officer and illustrated by means of a visual presentation.

 

Updates and additional representation – Since publication of the agenda report, the presenting officers updated:

 

Amended conditions as set in the updated list shown to Members.

·        2 additional comments were received raising matters that had been addressed within the Committee report.

·        Further representation from a member of the public regarding representations made to Natural England.

·        Update in relation to the car club and cost of bus shelter.

·        Crossing on Rye Road crossing/MOVA

·        Southern Water update.

 

Registered Speakers – There were 10 speakers that registered in accordance with the Council’s Constitution (Planning Committee Procedure Rules)

 

Objectors:

·        Nancy Davies, a local resident.

·        Derek L Gregory, a local resident.

·        Laurence Faulkner, a local resident.

 

Supporters:

·        Peter Rainier of DMH Stallard spoke on behalf of the applicant.

·        Dr Clive Dewing on behalf of the Doctors of Hawkhurst.

·        Mr Peter Felton, a local resident.

·        Dr Frank Van Der Plas MRCGP, Weald View Medical Practice, Hawkhurst.

 

Town/Parish Council Representative:

·        Clare Escombe, on behalf of Hawkhurst Parish Council.

 

Borough Councillors not on the Committee:

·        Borough Councillor Beverley Palmer, Hawkhurst and Sandhurst provided a statement in objection to the application and it was read by Councillor Neville.

 

Councillors on the Committee:

·        Borough Councillor Ellen Neville spoke in objection to the application and withdrew from the meeting while the application was discussed.

 

Matters of clarification by Officers and Committee Members’ questions to Officers included:

                 i.          A list of revised planning conditions were circulated to Members.

                ii.          Concerns raised from speakers which included the medical centre and the Local Plan and the Inspector's initial findings letter were addressed in great detail.

               iii.          Following a review of 16 other sites across Hawkhurst, as well as the Cottage Hospital site it was considered that the Birchfield site was appropriate as it was the only one that could be delivered.

              iv.          The Hawkhurst Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) highlighted a strong desire for a medical centre to be retained within the Parish however a precise location was not identified.

                v.          Members were advised that the application before them was considered on its merits in terms of the contribution of the housing and the various benefits of the medical centre, safeguarded school land and the country park.

              vi.          It was advised that the housing supply situation had worsened since the application was first brought in and as of April the figures were 4.29 years supply.

             vii.          Southern Water confirmed that they were aware of capacity issues, that the tankering was 3 times a week and further details of timescales were as set out in the report.

            viii.          Concerns raised by Kent County Council (KCC) Highways were addressed and therefore there were no objections.

              ix.          The key differences on the previously refused scheme in 2013 was access and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item PLA228/23

PLA229/23

Application for Consideration - 23/01870/FULL Spring Farm, Colts Hill, Five Oak Green, Tonbridge, Kent. pdf icon PDF 284 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Planning Report and Presentation – The Head of Planning Services submitted a report in respect of application PLA229/23 Spring Farm, Colts Hill, Five Oak Green, Tonbridge, Kent and this was summarised at the meeting by Emma Franks Senior Planning Officer and illustrated by means of a visual presentation.

 

Updates and additional representation – None.

 

Registered Speakers – There were 3 speakers that registered in accordance with the Council’s Constitution (Planning Committee Procedure Rules)

 

Supporters:

·        Mr Lee Ginger, the applicant.

·        Mr Mark Jones, the agent for the applicant.

 

Borough Councillor on the Committee:

·        Councillor Patterson, Capel, spoke in favour of the application and withdrew from the meeting while it was discussed.

 

Matters of clarification by Officers and Committee Members’ questions to Officers included:

                 i.          Officers considered that similar to the two previous refusals on the site, the application remained unsustainable, it was isolated and was not within the limits to build development.

                ii.          It was the opinion of the Officers that although the design of the property was good it did not meet the exceptional level test set by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

               iii.          Officers were happy to have ongoing discussions about the design of the proposed property in terms of the exceptional quality and expected an enhanced design as to what was before Members.

              iv.          A full clarification on what made the location unsustainable was provided to Members.

                v.          It was confirmed that the previous refusals on the site were made by an Officer delegated decision, it had not been brought before Committee before.

 

Committee Member debate and Officer clarification included:

                 i.          It was felt that it was not in a sustainable location.

                ii.          Members acknowledged the officers report where reference to restrictions on build within that area were made. Members felt if they were minded to approve the application it potentially created an open season for building within the area.

               iii.          Although Members felt the applicant was moving towards an exceptional design with various applications it was felt that it still needed more to enhance it. Members encouraged the applicant to go the extra step with the design and return to Committee.

 

Decision/voting – On the basis that members were satisfied that all relevant planning considerations had been covered within the report, a motion was proposed by Councillor Osborne, seconded by Councillor Fitzsimmons and a vote was taken to approve the application in line with the officer recommendation.

 

RESOLVED – That application PLA229/23 be refused  in accordance with the reason for refusal and informative as set out in the agenda report.

PLA230/23

Application for Consideration - 23/02411/FULL 47 Hopwood Gardens, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Planning Report and Presentation – The Head of Planning Services submitted a report in respect of application PLA230/23 47 Hopwood Gardens, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent and this was summarised at the meeting by Andrew McLachlan-Newens Planning Officer and illustrated by means of a visual presentation.

 

Updates and additional representation – None.

 

Registered Speakers – There was 1 speaker that registered in accordance with the Council’s Constitution (Planning Committee Procedure Rules)

 

Supporter:

·        Councillor Peter Lidstone spoke as the applicant.

 

Matters of clarification by Officers and Committee Members’ questions to Officers included:

                 i.          Concerns raised about potential overlooking neighbouring property number 49 were addressed and was no longer an issue.

                ii.          Clarification as to why the application came before Planning Committee was provided.

 

Committee Member debate and Officer clarification included:

                 i.          No matters of significance were discussed.

 

Decision/voting – On the basis that members were satisfied that all relevant planning considerations had been covered within the report, a motion was proposed by Councillor White, seconded by Councillor Le Page and a vote was taken to approve the application in line with the officer recommendation.

 

RESOLVED – That application PLA230/23 be granted subject to the plans, conditions and informatives as set out in the agenda report.

PLA231/23

Appeal Decisions for Noting 03 October 2023 to 25 October 2023 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the list of appeal decisions provided for information, be noted.

PLA232/23

Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To consider any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent, for the reasons to be stated, in accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

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Minutes:

There was no urgent business for consideration.

PLA233/23

Date of Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 28 KB

The next Planning Committee was scheduled for Wednesday MM YYYY.

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Minutes:

The next Planning Committee meeting was scheduled for Wednesday 6 December 2023.