Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bath Road, Slough. View directions
Contact: Teresa Clark 01753 875018Items No. Item
Opening of Meeting
The meeting was opened and the Chair advised that the meeting would adjourn for ten minutes to allow members an opportunity to read the amendment sheet that was tabled at the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
(Members are reminded of their duty to declare personal and personal prejudicial interests in matters coming before this meeting as set out in the Local Code of Conduct).
In relation to agenda item 5, P/14696/000 – 58, Norway Drive, Slough, Councillor MacIsaac advised that he was a member of Wexham Court Parish Council which had objected to the planning application. He advised that he would approach the matter with an open mind.
The minutes of the Planning Committee held on 14th October 2009 were approved as a correct record.
With the agreement of the Chair, the order of business was varied to ensure that applications where objectors had indicated a wish to address the Committee were taken first.
Oral representations were made to the Committee by objectors and applicants or their agents under the public participation scheme and members under Rule 30, prior to the planning applications being considered by the Committee as follows:-
P/14696/000 – 58, Norway Drive, Slough – a member addressed the Committee under Rule 30.
P/09912/008 – 27, Stoke Road, Slough – an objector and the applicant’s agent addressed the Committee.
P/14664/000 – 97-99 and 58-60, Beechwood Gardens and, 58, High Street, Slough – 2 objectors addressed the Committee.
Details were tabled in the amendment sheet of alterations and amendments received to applications since the agenda was circulated, together with further representations.
Resolved – That the decisions be taken in respect of the planning applications as set out in the minutes below, subject to the information, including conditions and informatives set out in the report of the Head of Planning Policy and Projects and the amendment sheet tabled at the meeting, and subject to any further amendments and conditions agreed by the Committee.
P/14696/000- 58, Norway Drive, Slough – Erection of a 2 storey side extension with hipped and pitched roof and part single/part double storey rear extension with pitched and hipped roof (single storey rear extension with mono-pitched roof).
(Councillor Swindlehurst did not take part in the discussion or vote on the above application as he was not in attendance when the Officer introduced the report to the Committee).
Approved with conditions
Application Ref: P/09912/008 – 27, Stoke Road, Slough – Erection of a single-storey rear extension with pitched roof and installation of a compressor unit.
Approved subject to conditions.
P/14664/000 - 97-99 & 58-60, Beechwood Gardens and, 58, High Street, Slough – Demolition of No. 58, 60, 97 and 99 Beechwood Gardens and No. 58 High Street and erection of 2 No. three-bed apartments and 16 two-bed apartments with associated landscaping and parking.
(It was agreed that in the event that the Applicant submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, that Cllr P Choudhry would attend the hearing on behalf of the Planning Committee).
Refused for the following reasons:-
1. Having regard to the location of the site in a visually prominent position within a street scene strongly influenced by the character and scale of Beechwood Gardens, the development fails to provide a design which handles the transition between the domestic scale and character of Beechwood Gardens and nearby buildings located in Slough Town Centre to a satisfactory degree. The height, scale and massing of the development are not sufficiently compatible with the scale and character of Beechwood Gardens to provide adequate respect for its surroundings. As such the development is contrary to Core Policies 1 and 8 of the Slough Local Development Framework Core Strategy 2006 – 2026 and Policy EN1 of the Local Plan for Slough and the aims of PPS1 and PPS3 relating to the achievement of a design that respects its local context.
2. In the absence of the completion of a Section 106 Planning Obligation to secure financial contributions towards education and highways, the proposed development would be contrary to the advice contained within circular 05/05: planning obligations, Core Policy 10 of the Slough Local Development Framework, Core Strategy 2006 – 2026 and Developer Contributions and Affordable Housing (Section 106) Developer’s Guide Part 2, Interim Document November 2008 which seek to ensure that development proposals provide all reasonable levels of infrastructure, services and amenities made necessary by the development to ensure the proper planning of the area.
P/00322/017- Part of, Southern Electricity Plc, High Street, Chalvey, Slough – Details of 10 Zero carbon homes (5 three-bedroom houses; 3 two-bedroom houses; 2 flats), meeting room and plant room (reserved matters application re. first phase of outline permission for 48 homes).
Delegate to HPPP.
The Officer advised that following the deferral of the application P/12720/006- 307/311 Colnbrook By Pass, at the Committee meeting on 8th September 2009, consultations with the applicant and legal advisers had taken place.
The Committee was reminded that the purpose of the deferral was to enable gaps in the information accompanying the application to be addressed and to obtain legal advice on the procedures to be followed in the event that the Committee may wish to either refuse or approve the application. It was intended that the application be brought back to the Committee in November 2009.
A Committee visit to the site in question had recently been held.
The Officer advised that in the last couple of days the applicant had withdrawn the subject application with the intention to resubmit at a later date.
The Officer outlined a report to update members on the performance of the planning section on national performance indicators relating to the speed of determination, major, minor and other planning applications, which included household applications.
The Committee was advised that once again, in the case of minor and other categories, performance had been maintained at a standard higher than the required target. It was noted that 90% of other applications were dealt with within the eight week period and this figure was the same as that for the previous year. In the case of the minor applications, the current year to date figure was 48%, which was similar to the previous year’s final figure of 85% and well above the government target of 65%.
The performance for major applications was 74% which exceeded the government target of 60%. It was recognised that the continued good performance was due in part to the successful co-operative working of members and the decisions made at Planning Committee.
Resolved – That the report be noted and that the Committee wishes to place on record its congratulations to the Planning Team for their continued high standard of achievement in this area.
The Officer outlined a report to inform members of the changes to planning legislation and recommend changes to the Scheme of Delegation to Officers.
The Committee was advised that the Government had introduced amendments to planning legislation which came into force on 1st October 2009. These would provide Local Planning Authorities with the power to consider the extension of time limits on the validity of unimplemented planning permissions granted on or before 1st October 2009, and minor small scale changes to planning permissions (described as non material changes requiring a decision to be made within 28 days).
The powers on extension of time limits had been introduced to allow a simplified procedure when the only issue was the extension of time on an unimplemented planning permission. It was noted that the standard time limit on planning permissions was 3 years, dating from the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and was 5 years prior to this legislation.
The simplified procedure removed the need for a fresh application but the details of the application, such as the plans, must remain the same. The Council was not precluded from refusing a planning application to extend time limits but there would need to be must be some material change in planning policy or guidance.
It was not considered that the existing Scheme of Delegation to Officers covered a decision to extend time limits on applications made for this purpose. The Officer proposed that decisions on the extension of time limits be delegated to Officers and the Scheme of Delegation be amended accordingly. This would apply to all applications including those previously considered by the Planning Committee. If the scheme was altered in this way arrangements for Member call ins to the Planning Committee and for Officer’s to refer any application to Planning Committee would not be affected and applications could be brought to Committee for decision if there had been a material change in circumstances since the original decision.
The Officer advised that the Council had dealt with minor amendments following the grant of planning permission in an informal manner and there was no provision for the charging of fees. The Government had decided to address the absence of any formal procedure within legislation and the subsequent changes would enable the Council to charge prescribed fees for minor changes. The new powers fell within the scope of Sec 101 of the Local Government Act 1972 and could be construed as enabling all subsequent non material changes to be made after planning permission had been granted.
The Committee was advised that it would be prudent to simplify arrangements to make a specific amendment to the Scheme of Delegation to delegate to Officers all decisions under the new Section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and any regulations relating to the implementation of this section. It was noted that Decisions under this power must be made within 28 days.
In relation to other matters, it was thought prudent to make other changes to the existing Scheme of Delegation for clarification purposes.
The Committee was advised that in relation to applications to notify the Council about the demolition of dwellings, which did not benefit from a planning permission which included their demolition, the planning controls did not prevent demolition but enabled the Council to control the method of demolition and site restoration. In these cases a decision was required within 28 days. It was suggested that the Scheme of Delegation be amended accordingly.
The Officer advised that in the case of advertisements, the wording within the Scheme of Delegation was poor and did not explicitly cover all the types of advertisements that were within planning control nor the enforcement powers available under the Advertisement Regulations. It was suggested that the wording be revised to cover all types of advertisement.
The Committee noted that the proposal to amend the Delegation of Functions to Officers had been referred to the Member Panel on the Constitution on 12th November 2009. The Panel was concerned that the delegation did not refer to any time limit on the extension to be agreed and that there should be mention of how many times an application could be extended. There were also concerns that a distinction should be made between domestic and commercial properties when considering an extension of time limits and that there should be a notification process to neighbouring properties, once an extension of permission was approved.
The Committee noted the report and made a number of comments as follows:
· It was felt that the amendments were welcome and would require minimum implementation.
· The majority of Members did not share the concerns of the Member Panel on the Constitution.
· A Member felt that there should be a limit on the number of times that a permission could be renewed at this may require an eventual referral to the Committee.
· A Member felt that there could be problems with renewals on commercial properties.
Resolved - That the Council be recommended to approve the proposed amendments set out below subject to there being a suitable limit on the number of extended permissions in each case, and the provision of different time limits for domestic and commercial extensions of time limit, to be decided on the merit of each case.
(a) That the Scheme of Delegation, Development Control Functions, Appendix 2, be amended to include:
‘Applications to extend the time limits on planning permissions made in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure (Amendment No 3) (England) Order 2009’.
(b) That the Scheme of Delegation, Development Control Functions, Appendix 2, be amended to include:
‘Applications made pursuant to Section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act for non material changes to planning permission in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure (Amendment No 3) (England) Order 2009 and any other regulations and guidance relating to this provision’.
(c) That item 5, Development Control Functions, Appendix 2 be updated to refer to Article 3(2) of the Town and Country Planning General Development Procedure Order 1995.
(d) That Development Control Functions, Scheme of Delegation, Appendix 2, be amended to include:
‘Applications for the prior notification of the demolition of buildings pursuant to Part 31 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1995’.
(e) That item 42 in the Scheme of Delegation be replaced with:
‘Determination of applications for advertisement consent made in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 and in consultation with the Borough Secretary and Solicitor the powers in these regulations relating to the discontinuance of deemed consent’.
Planning Appeal Decisions
The Committee noted the receipt of various planning appeal decisions. A Member questioned whether costs had been awarded against the Council on any recent successful planning appeals. The Officer advised that he understood that costs had been awarded but he would confirm this with the Member.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
The Committee noted the status of various ongoing enforcement and prosecution cases.
Resolved – That the report be noted.