To consider application UTT/19/2266/OP.
The Principal Planning Officer presented an application for outline planning permission for the erection of up to 220 dwellings including 40% affordable housing (88 dwellings) with public open space, structural planting and landscaping and sustainable drainage system (SuDS) with vehicular access point from Bedwell Road. All matters reserved except for means of access.
The application was recommended for approval with conditions and a section s106.
There were additional conditions which related to design coding and the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group who suggested a contribution of £113k to mitigate the impact on local health care provision.
The following concerns were raised by Members:-
· Whether the development was sustainable.
· The issue of extra traffic on already heavily used roads especially through Ugley.
· Noise levels - the development was bound by the M11 on the western boundary and the railway on the east. Councillor Fairhurst suggested that sound screening all along the boundary of the M11 should be a condition.
· The site was not in an area being monitored for air quality so Members had no idea what the impact of the M11 and the railway had on air quality.
· The area was already over developed with too many houses built in the vicinity.
· The comments in the report from Network Rail regarding the rail crossing and the footpath and in particular their recommendation that no houses be occupied until the crossing was permanently closed.
· The cumulative impact of extra road users, which needed to be taken into account.
In response to questions from Councillor Bagnall, the ECC Highways Officer confirmed that she had read the report by Gardner Planning and had looked at the impact to the roads and footpaths. She said the measurements in the application were outside of acceptable distances and the footpath was not viable due to the comments made by Network Rail. She said that the developer had put forward additional information and although there was limited access to key facilities they had provided the opportunity to promote sustainable transport and cycling routes which had led to Highways withdrawing their refusal.
Members agreed that Highways acceptance of the proposal did not seem right; they relied on Highways to provide advice and did not think it was being provided.
The main concerns remained:-
· The main route out of the development was onto the already problematic Grove Hill.
· The Highways preferred route was stated as through Ugley Green but this would add an extra burden of traffic and drivers did not always follow preferred routes.
· Concern about extra traffic using Snakes Lane which was a protected lane.
· The need to safeguard rural roads.
The Development Manager said ECC Highways were professional. He said that this application could be refused on Gen 1 – sustainability, S7, Gen 4 due to the noise, Gen 6 and H9 – lack of infrastructure and Env 13 for air pollution.
Councillor Bagnall asked for it be noted that he thought TA1 and TA2 should also be a refusal reason.
Councillor Fairhurst proposed that the application be refused on the basis set out by the Development Manager.
Councillor LeCount seconded the motion.
RESOLVED to refuse the application.
Councillor P Lees, Councillor R Gooding, G Gardner, R Clifford (Stansted Parish Clerk and G Mott spoke against the application.
C Lee (applicant) spoke in support of the application.
The meeting adjourned at 11:40am and reconvened at 11:50 am