Application DM/2019/00184 - Proposed Log Pod and composting toilet on stone base for tourism purposes, existing off street car parking and turning area to be surfaced in rolled stone, translocation of hedgerow to improve visibility to existing access. Old Park Cottage, Gethley Road, Parkhouse, Trellech
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, County Councillor J. McKenna, also a Planning Committee Member, outlined the following points:
· Local residents had indicated that the land had been left to Gwent Wildlife Trust which had been sold off and had caused upset amongst residents.
· It was considered that the land had not been utilised for its intended purpose and it was now a civil matter rather than a Planning consideration.
· The local Member had wished for the land to remain as wildlife friendly as possible with minimal impact on the environment.
· The application is for one pod and it was considered that the application would not be detrimental to the environment nor add a significant amount of traffic to the highway.
· The entrance is located on a straight piece of road appearing safe to enter and exit the site.
· There are plans to remove 50 metres of the hedge which might affect habitat purposes. However, there is a replanting programme that will occur.
· The local Member is pleased with condition 11 within the report in which the height of the hedge will be retained to a minimum of 2.4m. This will also ensure that the pod is less visible from the highway. However, it was noted that the site will be more exposed during the winter months due to reduced foliage.
· Concern was expressed regarding how close the pod is to a neighbouring property with regard to noise pollution. However, it was acknowledged that the pod will only sleep two people with noise likely to be kept at a minimum.
· The owners do not live on site so there is a need to address excessive noise levels should this occur and address how the matter would be dealt with.
· There are no shower / hand washing facilities on site. Neither is there water on site for preparing food.
· Tourism should be encouraged within Monmouthshire.
· One pod is unlikely to have a large impact on the area. However, the local member expressed reservations should the site be expanded.
Having considered the report of the application and the views expressed, the following points were noted:
· The scheme was originally for an amenity plot. However, it had been identified that this would not comply with Planning Policy. The applicant therefore changed the scheme to a glamping pod. Should the application be approved, a condition would be put in place to ensure that there would be a stay of no more than 28 days per calendar year per visitor.
· The hedge had been inspected by an ecologist. It was considered that the hedge should be retained in its current line as it provided privacy for nearby residents.
· Concern was expressed regarding the lack of water provision on the site. However, it was noted that the glampers would be aware of the lack of water provision on site and would bring their own water supply.
It was proposed by County Councillor B. Callard and seconded by County Councillor P. Murphy that application DM/2019/00184 be approved subject to the conditions outlined in the report and also subject to the roadside hedge adjacent to the access being retained but trimmed back to 0.9m high by 5m each side of the proposed access and also maintained as such in perpetuity. The applicant will indicate this on a plan before the decision is issued and the planning authority would and refer to the plan in a revised condition.
Upon being put to the vote the following votes were recorded:
In favour of the proposal - 15
Against the proposal - 0
Abstentions - 0
The proposition was carried.
We resolved that application DM/2019/00184 be approved subject to the conditions outlined in the report and also subject to the roadside hedge adjacent to the access being retained but trimmed back to 0.9m high by 5m each side of the proposed access and also maintained as such in perpetuity. The applicant will indicate this on a plan before the decision is issued and the planning authority would refer to the plan in a revised condition.