Agenda item

UTT/20/3419/DFO - Land West of Woodside Way, GREAT DUNMOW

To consider application UTT/20/3419/DFO.


The Principal Planning Officer presented an application for the Approval of Reserved Matters for the details of layout, scale, landscaping and appearance to provide 464 residential dwellings and associated infrastructure works. 


He said that the site comprised the southern parcel of the site at Woodside Way, and was currently formed of 3 agricultural fields, measuring 26.1ha or 64.5 acres.  An oil pipeline crossed through the site and the responsibility for maintenance would be with the management company.


The amount of high density development (30 to 40 dwellings per hectare) had been reduced from what was consented at the outline stage and that which remained had shifted away from the Stortford Road frontage, whilst a much larger area covered by the lowest density development (15 to 25 dwellings per hectare), had been located along the western edge, adjacent High Wood, and along the Stortford Road frontage so as to reduce the apparent density of the development.


The proposed dwellings would be a mix of 1-4-bedroom units, with affordable

housing provision, indicating a mix of shared ownership and affordable rents as approved as part of the s106 Agreement. 36 units (8%) would be provided as homes suitable for the elderly, comprising 16 bungalows and 20 ground floor maisonettes.


The development would provide public open space within the heart of the development, together with tree and hedgerow planting, habitat creation, including natural and semi-natural green space, children’s and youth play areas, allotments, pitch quality ground, including sports pavilions, and an area set aside for a Primary School.


The application was recommended for approval with conditions.


In response to Members questions, Officers clarified the following:-


  • The overall site had initial planning for 790 dwellings in the 2005 Local Plan which was subsequently divided into north and south parcels.  This application was for 464 dwellings on the southern parcel owned by Bellway.
  • The owners of the oil pipeline were satisfied with the layout and were ultimately responsible for the pipeline, not the local authority.
  • A note would be added to the conditions to ensure that similar sized replacement trees would be provided. 
  • The Council’s Tree Officer had been involved and sanctioned the removal of some trees on the site. Members requested that the applicant try to increase the number of trees from the 400 suggested to at least one tree per dwelling.
  • Highways were on board with the scheme subject to conditions as set out in the report.  The scheme was policy compliant, providing 1100 car parking spaces which included visitors parking. 
  • All utilities had been checked for sufficient provision.
  • Confirmation was given that the buffer was 23 metres from the physical houses to the edge of Highwood all the way round the site.
  • It was important to remember that the quality of the scheme was good and had the involvement and co-operation of the Community.


Members expressed disappointment that only 32% of affordable housing had previously been agreed.  Councillor Freeman suggested that it was unrealistic to ask for 50% affordable homes on the northern parcel of land to make up for the shortfall,  however it could be requested that more of the houses were built as 1 or 2 bedroom units to try to remedy the situation. 


The Development Manager said it was unfortunate that Members had not been on the Committee in 2015 when the outline permission was granted at 32% for affordable housing.


The Chair agreed and said all the Committee could do was ensure that all applications going forward would only be approved at 40% affordable housing..


Councillor Reeve asked for it to be noted that this was unsatisfactory.


There were concerns raised by several Members about the traffic conditions and the cumulative effect of this and other developments.  Officers agreed and said that Great Dunmow Town Council had employed their own traffic engineers to look into this matter further.


Councillor LeCount proposed that the application be approved with the following additional conditons added:-


  • An informative note added to Essex County Council (ECC) Highways regarding the concerns of the cumulative effect of developments on the spine road.
  • Any trees that were replaced to be of a similar size as those removed and that the replacement of trees was on going after the 10 years stipulated.
  • To remove the permitted development rights of the bungalows.
  • A plea to the developer to increase the number of trees to at least one per house built, therefore 464 minimum.


Councillor Fairhurst seconded the motion.


RESOLVED to approve the application with conditions.


Councillor M Coleman (Great Dunmow Town Council) and K Wheeler (agent) spoke in support of the application.


The meeting adjourned at 11:31am and reconvened at 11:36 am



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