Agenda item

Application for Consideration - 22/01017/REM Brook House, Cranbrook Road, Hawkhurst, Cranbrook, Kent.


Planning Report and Presentation – The Head of Planning Services submitted a report in respect of application PLA88/22 Brook House, Cranbrook Road, Hawkhurst, Cranbrook, Kent and this was summarised at the meeting by Ms Jennifer Begeman Principal 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)



·        Mr Andy Wilford, Head of Land and Planning at Esquire Developments.


Parish Council Representative:

·        Ms Clare Escombe, spoke in objection to the application on behalf of Hawkhurst Parish Council.


Borough Councillors not on the Planning Committee:

·        Councillor Beverley Palmer, Hawkhurst and Sandhurst provided a statement that was read out by the Clerk.


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

                 i.          There were 2 minor corrections in the committee report: 1) Correction at para 10.04 – 3rd bullet point, at the top of page 32:  (Insertion required) “There are no Tree Preservation Orders affected by the development, and the layout and design of the development …” 2) Correction at para 10.56 - first sentence of that paragraph, page 39: (date correction) The first sentence, the date should say “this came into force in December 2021.” not 2020 as stated in the report.

                ii.          The affordable housing (AH) allocation was as set out in the outline consent there was no proposal to change that and that was as agreed by the Planning Inspector.

               iii.          Paragraph 12 of Appendix A showed the Planning Inspectors decision related to the Highway Access.

              iv.          Works to the access, Cranbrook Road, the installation of the traffic lights and crossing points were agreed with Kent County Council (KCC) Highways under their separate legislation along with the extent of adoptable road needed outside of the application. It was stated that further discussions may be held with KCC Highways related to the access however the Planning Committee had no way to insist those discussions took place.

                v.          Section 7.27 of the report highlighted concerns from the Council’s Landscape and Biodiversity Officer, this was addressed and Officers considered that conditions 6 and 8 in the report had dealt with those concerns with further details to be provided.

              vi.          It was advised that there was no requirement under the outline consent to close off the northern access. The Planning Inspector considered the Brook House as a separate access to the wider allocation. The Council and KCC Highways highlighted that as a concern at the appeal however the Inspector disagreed.

             vii.          If there were private rights of access that did not allow people to cross parts of the site there may be internal separation to prevent potential short cuts, that was outside planning controls and would be part of individual private rights of way agreements.

            viii.          It was advised that the application was in keeping with the outline proposal in terms of stories and heights.

              ix.          Condition 6 and condition 8 addressed landscaping and full details were due to be delivered at a later date.

                x.          Condition 5 addressed full details of external materials which would be used and once the information was submitted the Council’s Conservation and Urban Design Officer, would be consulted.

              xi.          The social and affordable housing was discussed with the Council’s Housing Officer at the appeal and it was not possible to revisit that.


Committee Member debate and Officer clarification included:

                 i.          Concerns were raised about the use of entry/exit at the Vets.

                ii.          Members enquired why the AH had been put on the site separately, this was addressed and it was confirmed that in terms of blocks, flats and apartments the AH is separated to allow the housing association to have control.

               iii.          Members felt that the allocation of affordable housing was pathetic at 25%.

              iv.          The access proposal to Cranbrook Road was thought to be ludicrous.

                v.          Members felt frustrated at the Planning Inspector’s decision which they felt was poor and left them with no option to overturn.


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 Bailey, seconded by Councillor Pope and a vote was taken to approve the application in line with the officer recommendation.


RESOLVED – That application PLA88/22 be granted subject to the plans, conditions and informatives as set out in the agenda report.

Supporting documents: