Agenda item

UTT/20/2639/OP - Land to the West of Stortford Road, CLAVERING

To consider application UTT/20/2639/OP.


The Senior Planning Officer presented an outline application with all matters reserved except for access, for the demolition of "Poppies" and the erection of up to 31 dwellings (including 12 affordable homes) and 38 visitor parking spaces for the adjacent school.


A balancing pond is proposed to the south east of the site to provide a suitable

drainage scheme to serve the proposed development.


The scheme was recommended for approval with conditions subject to an S106 legal obligation. 


The Development Manager acknowledged the obvious strength of feeling from the speakers but said they had been unfair to Officers who had a difficult job as every development had objections.  He made the following points about the application:


·         The 5 year land supply was an issue along with a lack of a neighbourhood plan for the area. 

·         Despite the long access road this was not an isolated site.

·         The appeal was upheld on one issue which was the impact on the landscape.  He advised Members to consider if the application overcame that objection.


In response to a question from Councillor LeCount the Senior Planning Officer said that there were 17 spaces along the access road with further spaces within the main site.  He said the cars dropping off at the school would leave by driving onto the site. Highways had suggested conditions which had been added, but no objections were raised by them.


Councillor Pavitt understood the Parish Council’s position, however he said the application was sustainable and that it benefited the school as the drop off was improved.  He said the re-designed application with a wooded area was good for biodiversity. 


Councillor Loughlin said the application had not changed significantly, she said the issues remained and for that reason she would refuse the application on S7 grounds.


Councillor Freeman said he thought it was a good application, he suggested a condition was added regarding the turning of cars after drop off, as he was concerned about the potential chaos at the entrance to the estate. 


Councillor Bagnall said he was concerned about the loss of agricultural land he said the application was not sustainable because of the long walk to reach the amenities; meaning people would use their cars instead.  He was concerned the development was in the wrong location and detrimental to the landscape, and he could not support the application.


Councillor Sutton agreed with other Councillors who had concerns, she said the estate community would be isolated from the rest of the village, and felt that not much had changed since the last application.


Councillor Coote said he was against this application due to the increase in the number of cars, pollution, and safety issues around the school and he did not think Essex County Council Highways had looked into this or the possible effects on children’s safety. He said their support of the application was inadequate and inappropriate.


Councillor Caton said he agreed with Councillor Pavitt, but he was concerned about the impact on the landscape.  He said it was a difficult decision to make on the basis of the current 5 year land supply position and the need to avoid too many decisions being overturned on appeal when this was a relatively modest sized site. 


Councillor Light said there were no amenities, apart from a small supermarket, no secondary school and that commuting for work made the site unsustainable.  She was concerned about the loss of agricultural land.  She would refuse the application.


Councillor Reeve said the application did have merits and that there was a need to find suitable sites, he was minded to approve but he had concerns about going against local opposition.


Councillor Light proposed to refuse on the basis of S7.


Councillor Coote seconded the motion.  This motion was not carried by the majority of the Committee.


Councillor LeCount proposed that the application be approved with S106 Agreement conditions including traffic restrictions and tree planting along the footpath areas. 


Councillor Reeve seconded the motion.


RESOLVED to approve the application with S106 Agreement conditions.


Councillor E Oliver, F Woods, P Walters and Councillor Gill spoke against the application

S Bampton (agent) spoke in support of the application


The meeting adjourned at 11:40pm and reconvened at 1:00pm




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