Agenda and minutes
Venue: The Council Chamber, County Hall, The Rhadyr, Usk, NP15 1GA with remote attendance
Contact: Democratic Services
Declarations of Interest
The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting dated 4th July 2023 were confirmed and signed by the Chair.
Application DM/2022/00815 - Installation of bio-mass boiler unit (990kW heat) and ancillary equipment, fuel (bio-mass) storage area, replacement of underground heating pipes, installation of 500mm. dia. flue pipe, together with cladding of previously open NE elevation of building with colour coated steel sheets to match existing. The installation is currently being undertaken and will be required solely to provide heat for the farm's poultry unit. The bio-mass boiler is to replace an existing LPG (fossil fuel) heating plant. Trostrey Court Farm Barns, Clytha Road, Trostrey Common, Gwehelog, Monmouthshire PDF 350 KB
We considered the report of the application and late correspondence which was recommended for approval subject to the conditions outlined in the report and subject to the conditions as amended in late correspondence, plus an additional condition 5 in relation to regular servicing of the boiler.
It was noted that the wording in condition 2 would be revised to just involve virgin wood as a fuel and to incorporate monitoring of the fuel type to ensure compliance with British Standards.
Llanarth Fawr Community Council had submitted a written statement in respect of this application which was read to the Committee by the Head of Planning, as follows:
‘The Council is aware that a request has been made to defer consideration of this application because insufficient evidence is available to show concerns raised over a number of issues, particularly noise, have not been fully resolved. We support this request.
On the question of noise, no proper noise assessment (compliant with BS 4142:2014/A1 2019 Methods for Rating and Assessing Industrial and Commercial Sound) has been undertaken. We do not agree with the Case Officer and the Environmental Health (EH) Officer’s short visit during office hours (i.e. not in the evening / night or weekend) could sensibly be said to comply with the BS standard. In any event, there has been no assessment at all of the noise impact during night-time and weekend operation (the plant will operate 24/7).
TAN 11 (Noise) at Annex B (revised 2015) notes: “The significance of sound of an industrial and / or commercial nature typically depends upon both the margin by which the rating level of the specific sound source exceeds the background sound level and also the context in which the sound occurs”. Further, since background sound levels vary throughout a 24-hour period it will usually be necessary to assess the acceptability of sound levels for separate periods (e.g., day and night) chosen to suit the hours of operation of the proposed development. Similar considerations apply to developments that will emit significant noise at the weekend as well as during the week.
The Case Officer relies at para 6.3.6 on the Environmental Health (EH) Officer’s daytime visit. They did not experience any significant noise, but without any detail on actual sound / tone levels emitted following the baffle cowl mitigation, or on background sound levels. The EH Officer suggests future noise complaints could be raised under statutory nuisance legislation. Planning Policy Wales (edition 11) states: “The planning system must protect amenity, and it is not acceptable to rely on statutory nuisance under the Environmental protection Act 1990to do so.” This is because “Lower levels of noise, however, can still be annoying or disruptive and impact on amenity and as such should be protected through the planning process wherever necessary”.
We recommend that an assessment by means of BS 4142 is undertaken to protect the amenity of residents in Llancayo and Bettws Newydd, as well as those living opposite the site in Monkswood, ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Application DM/2022/00331 - Development of commercial units suitable for use classes B1, B2 and B8 plus associated external works. Land at Severn Bridge Industrial Estate, Pill Row, Caldicot PDF 245 KB
We considered the report of the application and late correspondence which was presented for refusal for the reason outlined in the report.
The applicant’s representatives, Emily Armstrong and Neville Shaw, attended the meeting by invitation of the Chair and outlined the following points:
· The applicant owns 36 units totalling 257,000 sq. ft. at the Severn Bridge Industrial Estate. Currently, there is no available space.
· New lettings have recently been secured of over 37,000 sq. ft. bringing the estate to 100% occupancy.
· A further five tenants have been retained totalling 40,000 sq. ft.
· Enquiries have been received from new and existing businesses that wish to expand into this location and increase employment levels.
· This development is seen as a space for start-up businesses.
· The application is targeting a floor area of approximately 32,000 sq. ft.
· Current take up figures equates to six months of supply and it is anticipated that the development will be let within six months of completion.
· Over 100 jobs have been secured within the current site and it is anticipated that at least 60 jobs will be created once the buildings are operational.
· The applicant would like to engage with local supply chains throughout the development and to work with local employment agencies to provide jobs to local people throughout the construction phase.
· Following discussions with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Local Planning Authority (LPA) it had been agreed that the applicant would take river flood modelling of the site in relation to the adjacent Nedern Brook with the purpose to determine whether the development of the site would have any off-site flooding impacts on adjacent land in extreme storm events. The modelling exercise proved to the satisfaction of all stakeholders that there would be no significant off-site flood related impacts even in extreme storm events and accounting for future climate change.
· In order to meet NRW criteria of no off-site flooding, the modelling exercise undertaken created a balance between limited raising of site levels in order to minimise on site flooding in extreme events and also avoiding any off-site flood impacts in such extreme events. The applicant considers that this balance has been achieved with this modelling exercise with flood depths over the site varying between 0.9 of a metre.
· NRW’s review of the modelling exercise noted that flood depths in areas of the site in extreme events were in excess of the allowances that are provided as guidance in TAN 15. Although the model flood depths and extreme storm events are in excess of the maximum flood depths identified in TAN 15, it is within NRW’s powers to treat TAN 15 as indicative and not mandatory.
· NRW currently elects to treat these flood depth allowances as a firm requirement which is why it has objected to this development.
· The NRW historic flooding database indicates that the site has not previously flooded. No recorded historic flood events have been identified in the modelled reach of the Nedern Brook.
· The site will remain dry in all ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
We considered the report of the application and late correspondence which was recommended for approval subject to the conditions outlined in the report.
The local Member for Mount Pleasant addressed the Committee via Video recording and outlined the following points:
· This is a contentious application and is the fourth change of use application put forward by the applicant for neighbouring dwellings of houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) in an historic conservation area. The local Member and residents consider that this application is disproportionate.
· The Council does not have a policy or supplementary guidance on multiple HMOs due to the small numbers across Monmouthshire.
· HMOs are a model of tenure that is more akin to our inner-city areas, particularly with our universities.
· Whilst there is no Monmouthshire County Council guidance, there is Welsh Government guidance which sets out the trends and associated challenges of HMOs within Welsh local authorities.
· Problems associated with HMOs are damage to social cohesion with higher levels of transient residents and fewer long-term households and established families, reduction in the quality of the local environment and street scene, change of character in the area, increased pressure on parking and increases in anti-social behaviour. Antisocial behaviour has been a reality for neighbours living next to HMOs already in situ.
· Local residents have been affected by noise from existing HMOs and the police have had to be called on several occasions regarding antisocial behaviour.
· The guidance states that due to the nature of HMOs residents from vulnerable groups who are likely to be unrelated can find living in HMOs a more intensive experience than in single household uses. This may have an impact, not just on the residents in an HMO but on the wider neighbourhood and the likelihood of this increases with the high concentrations of such properties.
· Welsh Government continues to encourage local authorities to move away from HMOs to more self-contained accommodation.
· Strong objections to the application have been received from the Highways Department regarding highway safety, parking stress and the proliferation of HMOs in the vicinity. Parking stress already exists at this location.
· The local Member considers that the developer has disregard for residents living in Hardwick Hill Lane and in Steep Street by seeking a further application for an HMO.
· The local Member considers that the Planning Committee should consider refusal of the application as there are already three HMOs in this area and an additional HMO is not required as it was considered to be an unacceptable model for the Council.
Having considered the report and the views expressed, the following points were noted:
· The HMO will be managed by Monmouthshire County Council.
· HMOs are much needed within the Authority, but measures need to be established to reduce the potential for antisocial behaviour.
· It was considered that Monmouthshire County Council should establish an HMO policy in line with current Welsh Government guidelines.
· Consideration should be given to the provision of bicycle parking facilities on the site.
· Concern was expressed regarding the density of ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
FOR INFORMATION - The Planning Inspectorate - Appeals Decisions Received:
We received the Planning Inspectorate report which related to an appeal decision following a site visit that had been held at land northwest of Holly Lodge, Five Lane North, Caerwent on 3rd May 2023.
We noted that the appeal had been dismissed.
We received the Planning Inspectorate report which related to costs decisions in respect of an appeal decision following a site visit that had been held on 3rd May 2023, as follows:
Application A - Costs application in relation to Appeal Ref: CAS-02144-F2P1C5.
Site address: Land at High Mass Cottage, Five Lanes North, Five Lanes, Caerwent, Caldicot.
Application B - Costs application in relation to Appeal Ref: CAS-02244-P5N1M3. Site address: Land NW of Holly Lodge, Five Lane North, Caerwent.
Application A – Ref: CAS-02144-F2P1C5 - The Enforcement Appeal:
The application for a full award of costs was allowed.
Application B – Ref: CAS-02244-P5N1M3 - The Planning Appeal:
The application for an award of costs was refused.