Planning Report and Presentation – The Head of Planning Services submitted a report in respect of application PLA114/22 Land At Down Farm, Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, 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 – None.
Registered Speakers – There were 3 speakers that registered in accordance with the Council’s Constitution (Planning Committee Procedure Rules)
· Mr Reece Lemon, Senior Planner, Lee Evans Partnership LLP
Parish Council Representative:
· Mr Graham White, Chair of Lamberhurst Parish Council spoke in support of the application.
Borough Councillor not on the Planning Committee:
· Councillor David Knight, Goudhurst and Lamerhurst spoke in support of the application.
Matters of clarification by Officers and Committee Members’ questions to Officers included:
i. The link through the site was discussed and it was advised that there was a contribution which the applicant had agreed to that had been requested by Kent County Council (KCC) Public Rights of Way team to make improvements to the footpaths. It was also highlighted that through off-site works and through the Road Safety Audit, improvements were scheduled to be made to the existing footways to the south were issues had arisen that increased linkages to surrounding footpaths.
ii. The contribution to the GP practice came from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG0, and was on a calculated basis, so Officers considered it was appropriate in terms of scale.
iii. Condition 26 sought the details and the timetable for the installation of the footway linking the housing scheme to the public right of away, along with improvements to the public right of way that will occur within the site.
iv. Disability access had not been specifically requested through the housing consultation however the applicant had agreed to M4(2) where possible and on a cascade basis where affordable.
Committee Member debate and Officer clarification included:
i. The dark skies policy for the area and the PR lighting for security requested by Kent Police were highlighted as a concern.
ii. It was thought that this was a really good example of an application which the Inspector clearly has endorsed, it had responded to the needs of the local community and was building on the local neighbourhood plan.
iii. The applicant was applauded for their affordable and social rented housing contribution.
iv. Thanks were given to the Officer for a comprehensive report.
v. Historic England’s concerns were noted.
vi. It was considered essential to have at least 6 affordable housing properties in rural areas which included shared ownership.
vii. An informative to draw attention to the comments from Kent Fire Brigade was included.
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 Patterson, seconded by Councillor Atwood and a vote was taken to approve the application in line with the officer recommendation.
RESOLVED – That application PLA114/22 be granted subject to the completion of a Section 106 legal agreement, plans, conditions and informatives as set out in the agenda report and the additional informative below.
1. The applicant's attention is drawn to the need for early consideration of the comments of Kent Fire & Rescue when designing proposals to comply with the Building Regulations.