Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee - Tuesday, 2nd March, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item


Declarations of Interest


County Councillor A. Easson declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest pursuant to the Members’ Code of Conduct in respect of application DM/2020/01872 as he spoke on this matter on behalf of Caldicot Town Council. He then observed proceedings and abstained from voting on this application.


Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 237 KB


The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting dated 2nd February 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair.


Application DM/2020/00881 - Removal of condition 1 from planning consent 2314 (Date of Decision: 01/09/1975) - Occupation of the proposed bungalow shall be limited to a person employed or last employed wholly or mainly locally in agriculture as defined in Section 290(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, or a dependent of such person residing with him. Bushes Farm, Chapel Road, Earlswood, Monmouthshire pdf icon PDF 260 KB


We considered the report of the application which was recommended for approval as follows:


The occupancy of the dwelling shall be restricted to those:


a)    solely or mainly working or last working on a rural enterprise in the locality where there is / was a defined functional need; or if it can be demonstrated that there are no such eligible occupiers, to those;


b)    who would be eligible for consideration for affordable housing under the local authority's housing policies: or if it can be demonstrated that there are no persons eligible for occupation under either a) and b);


c)    widows, widowers or civil partners of the above and any resident dependants.


Shirenewton Community Council, had submitted a written statement outlining the community council’s objections to the application which was read to the Planning Committee by the Head of Planning, as follows:


‘1. Shirenewton Community Council objects to the entire removal of the Agricultural Occupancy Condition (AOC) but would approve a variation extending it to allow occupation connected to local rural enterprises on the following grounds as we understand that a market gardener has expressed interest in acquiring the property.

2. The site consists of a dilapidated bungalow unoccupied now for some 11 years. The applicant asserts that the property has been on the market for over a year and interest has come from buyers who in the main cannot satisfy the agricultural occupancy condition although an offer of £142000 with the AOC remaining in place was rejected. The applicant has however imposed an overage clause for further money to be paid in the event of discharge of the AOC or the grant of planning permission, which clause does not appear to have been factored into the property valuations by the selling agents nor the District Valuer. The offer of £142,000 demonstrates that the property is saleable albeit not at the price sought by the applicant, which is not a reason for discharging the AOC, neither is the applicant's assertion that the AOC prevents him obtaining a loan for the cost of the renovation work as if correct the applicant's recourse is the sale of the property. We now understand that the offer of £142,000 has been overtaken by a much higher offer from the prospective market gardener. This demonstrates that there are buyers who would fund the work.  Indeed we understand the applicant himself only acquired the site (with the farm) in very recent years.

3. That no farm or forest employee has come forward either to buy or rent the property is more an indication of what they can afford. As a community our residents desire housing to be available at a price reflecting what our families can afford. Retaining the AOC constrains the market price making the property more affordable for farm and forest businesses and extending the AOC to rural enterprises would increase the market for such a property. Removing the AOC in its entirety would at a stroke release the property onto the private  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Application DM/2020/01872 - Change of use of retail shop A1 to A3 take-away (hot) food (resubmission of DM/2019/01648). Cobblers Pride, 9 Newport Road, Caldicot, NP26 4BG pdf icon PDF 217 KB


We considered the report of the application and late correspondence which was

recommended for approval subject to the three conditions outlined in the report.


Should the Planning Committee be minded to approve the application, officers recommended that an additional condition be imposed to secure details of the proposed flue to the rear of the unit to ensure amenity issues of third parties are safeguarded and retained in perpetuity.


Councillor A. Easson, representing Caldicot Town Council, outlined the following points:


·         Within a quarter of a mile there are 12 food outlets and two public houses. The Town Council had expressed concern that to add an additional outlet would not be a benefit to the town centre.


·         Recently, a fresh fruit and vegetable shop was opened within the town centre.


·         When the Covid-19 restrictions are removed, the only non-essential properties re-opening in the town centre will be two gift shops, a card shop and a charity shop.


·         The Town Council would like the developers to investigate ways of getting retail outlets back into the town centre.


·         Consultation is currently underway to enhance the whole of the town centre via major financial input.  The Town Council has concerns whether this proposal will fit in with the re-development of the town centre.


Mr. W. Collins, applicant’s agent, had submitted a written statement in support of the application which was read to the Planning Committee by the Head of Planning, as follows:


‘These representations are made by Rackham Planning on behalf of the applicant, the owner of an existing Caldicot based business, in support of the application for a change of use from A1 retail to A3 hot food take-away at 9 Newport Road, Caldicot.


We are pleased to note that approval of the application is supported by the case officer, Caldicot Town Team and Highways Development Control.


We consider this proposal would benefit the town centre by bringing a vacant unit back into use, increasing footfall throughout the day and evening, whilst also helping safeguard the future vitality of the town centre. The unit has been vacant for two and a half years and is currently having a harmful impact on the vitality of the street frontage. By being empty the unit is detracting visitors from making a journey to the town centre and offering no support to the aims and purpose of the town centre. Therefore, this proposal offers an opportunity for the unit to have a positive impact by being brought back into use. The proposed opening hours from midday to 23:30 in the evening Monday to Sunday will engage the premises with lunchtime trade and attract footfall throughout the week.


Whilst noting that Caldicot Town Council recommended the previous application to be approved, we understand their concern that there are already a number of take-aways in the town centre. However, town centres all around the country are in a stage of transition and with the shift to online retailing, there is simply no demand at this time for retail, as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Presentation on Future Wales 2040 - The National Plan


We received a presentation on Future Wales 2040 – The National Plan.  In doing so, the following points were noted following questions:


·         In terms of Future Wales Policy 1 the Welsh Government supports sustainable growth in all parts of Wales.


·         There are three national growth areas with specific areas outlining where employment and housing should be prioritising infrastructure.


·         The challenges in Monmouthshire are affordability, age demographic and connectivity.  A level of growth is required in order to address our issues and objectives.


·         The National Plan is clear in supporting rural locations and the rural economy.


·         The key is to create sustainable development and have the right development in the right locations.


·         A certain level of growth is required in order to address the key issues such as providing affordable housing.


·         The level of development is in line with the National Plan.


·         In terms of the green belt, the Strategic Development Plan (SDP) will allocate that land providing a more definitive map of where this development will be located. However, it was acknowledged that further details were required.


·         In terms of the Green Belt and the SDP, the Corporate Joint Committee will be developing the SDP. Welsh Government has outlined specific Strategic Development Plan regulations regarding how that plan will develop as well as ensuring that there will be full consultation on the document with local communities and the South East Wales region. The process will be similar to the Local Development Plan consultation process.


·         With regard to the growth level, Monmouthshire has local issues and local challenges to address.  A key element is ensuring that there is sustainable development with a view to meeting Monmouthshire’s housing requirements and to address affordable housing challenges in terms of affordability.


·         The Future Wales Plan outlines the need for 110,000 homes across Wales.  There are 7605 homes in the proposed option for the replacement plan.  There are 2945 new allocations on new sites.  Given the scale of Monmouthshire and the challenges that we have, the level of growth is in proportion with the aims of Future Wales.


·         For the new Local Development Plan, the projected housing numbers are 450 dwellings per annum.


·         The Head of Planning would arrange a Local Development Plan workshop for all Members to attend in respect of the Future Wales 2040 National Plan.