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, County Councillor Paul Pavia, addressed the Committee via video recording and outlined the following points:
· This is a contentious and delicate application.
· From the rationale behind the enforcement investigation as subsequent application for change of use has been laid out in the report of the application.
· The majority of objections raised are from residents in St. Lawrence Park and concerns have been raised regarding a range of issues such as noise and disturbance relating to activity on the site, loss of own personal amenity, lack of parking and road safety issues and pollution. All these issues are outlined in the report of the application.
· Whether a residential location in a dense estate and limited cul-de-sac is suitable for such business use. The business has been operating on the site since 2017 and is known by Monmouthshire County Council Early Years Services and by the regulator Care Inspectorate Wales.
· There is also a large number of supporting correspondence from affected parents and from people who know the applicant although many of these do not live in the near vicinity.
· Praise the professional way in which the child-minding business is operated, emphasize the local acute need for such child-minding services and highlight the provisions that are in place that aim to mitigate the disruption.
· It is understood that the applicant has a number of policies that clients are expected to adhere to in order to mitigate the impact of issues such as noise and parking disruption. However, the local Member is unaware if these polices do reduce impact and whether such mitigation steps are considered to be acceptable by neighbours living close to the property in the cul-de-sac. Many of these neighbours have considered it necessary to respond to the application’s consultation in order for the Planning Committee to hear their views on this matter.
· There is an acknowledgement in some of the objecting comments that there have been improvements to noise and disruption over recent months. However, the view reflected is that this has been due to the planning applications pending. Concern has been expressed that if this application is approved then the problems may recur.
· The local Member considered that the Planning Committee needed to fully satisfy itself that the residents living directly in the vicinity of the property will not have their own personal peace and amenity infringed if the application is approved and whether any further conditions should be imposed.
· The applicant has informed the local Member that they have no intention of extending their child-minding business. However, there is a degree of scepticism amongst their near neighbours as to whether this is the case in light of the previous approved application.
· If the Committee is minded to approve the application then it should be mindful of the conditions outlined in the report which will provide neighbours with some level of reassurance.
The Senior Development Management Officer responded, as follows:
· The policies that are in place have been submitted and form part of this application and part of the approved documents. Therefore, non-compliance with those documents would provide officers with a greater level of control than at present. Officers are satisfied that there would not be any adverse impact regarding the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers or in terms of highway or pedestrian safety.
Having considered the report of the application and the views expressed it was proposed by County Councillor Ann Webb and seconded by County Councillor Maureen Powell that application DM/2023/00939 be approved subject to the conditions outlined in the report.
Upon being put to the vote the following votes were recorded:
For approval - 12
Against approval - 0
Abstentions - 0
The proposition was carried.
We resolved that application DM/2023/00939 be approved subject to the conditions outlined in the report.