Agenda item

Application DM/2020/00234 - Erection of 2 x 4 no. detached residential dwellings. Pathways, Vinegar Hill, Undy


We considered the report of the application which was recommended for approval subject to the conditions outlined in the report and subject to a Section 106 Legal Agreement.


Mrs S. Lloyd, representing objectors to the application, had prepared a video which was presented to Planning Committee and the following points were outlined:


·         Residents have public safety concerns regarding access to the site which they consider have not been satisfactorily addressed.


·         The pathways site can only be accessed via a junction on an ‘s’ bend approximately half way up Vinegar Hill, a busy narrow single track road with no pavements.


·         The access is narrow, complex and hazardous with unique topographical features.


·         The site access road is a piece of unregistered land over which three properties, Firbank, Gwyn Royson and Pathways, currently have access rights.


·         The onsite road is privately owned by Pathways and currently serves the existing Pathways house.


·         All three houses were built before 1900.


·         From the junction with Vinegar Hill, the site access road meets the onsite road and narrows considerably to 2.8m, constrained on either side by a high boundary wall to Firbank and Gwyn Royson.


·         Beyond the Pathways gates there is a tight, blind bend with a steep drop to the south.  The combination of the narrow width, high boundary walls and steep drop severely reduces the turning width for long wheelbase vehicles.


·         The visibility splay is poor and there is no pavement or refuge for pedestrians.


·         There are doubts as to whether a fire engine could navigate the blind bend in the road. Concern was expressed regarding safety issues if such a vehicle was required to navigate this section of the road.


·         The Highways report does not assess the blind bend and analysis has not been conducted to determine the dimensions of the largest vehicle that can safely navigate the turn.


·         There is no Fire Authority assessment to determine if a fire engine could access the new houses.  A statement had been received from the Planning Authority stating that the proposal meets the general requirements of a shared private drive and provides adequate access for service vehicles including fire and rescue vehicles.


·         Residents have provided measurements and video footage demonstrating the access is not adequate and does not meet the standards used by the County Council.


·         It was considered that there was a highways safety issue in respect of the application. It was requested that the Planning Committee considers deferring the application until documented evidence against access standards is provided.


Having considered the report of the application and the views expressed by the objector, the following points were noted:


·         A condition should be added that all roof lights should be low profile.


·         A sand and cement render could be provided with a coloured coating.


·         Highways and access issues had been raised by the objector.  Concern was also expressed that the roof windows did not adhere to the current street scene and that there could be privacy issues and overlooking occurring as a result of the topography of the site.   It was suggested that consideration of the application be deferred to allow the Committee to undertake a site inspection. 


·         It was considered that access to the highway and visibility was appropriate and that existing properties would have had to have been accessible for emergency vehicles.


·         The additional properties would not create much more additional traffic.


·         The Development Management Area Manager informed the Committee that the condition requires access improvement details to be provided to the Local Planning Authority.  This would relate primarily to surfacing improvements. For larger vehicles, particularly through the construction phase, there is a construction traffic management plan condition attached to the application which would be subject to consultation with the Highways Department.  The Highways Department considers that the cumulative impact is acceptable.


The local Member for the Elms ward attended the meeting by invitation of the Chair and outlined the following points.


·         Concern was expressed regarding the safety issues on the highway, access and egress to the site.


·         The local Member asked that consideration of the application be deferred for the Planning Committee to hold a site inspection. If this is not agreed, the local Member asked that a Fire Authority assessment be undertaken and the findings be shared with local residents.


·         There is only a one track lane with no footway.  It is used as a walkway from the Rockfield development, Vinegar Hill and the Bellway site to access Undy Primary School. Many children commute along the one track lane to access the school.


·         A large volume of traffic travels along this road which raises concern for pedestrians accessing this route.


·         Concern was expressed that large vehicles would not be able to access the ‘s’ bend at the top of Vinegar Hill.


It was proposed by County Councillor P. Murphy and seconded by County Councillor R. Harris that application DM/2020/00234 be approved subject to the conditions outlined in the report and that an additional condition be added to ensure all roof lights are low profile. As well as being subject to a Section 106 Legal Agreement.


As part of the formal discharge of the condition application process the local Member would be consulted on this.


Upon being put to the vote, the following votes were recorded:


In favour of the proposal                 -           8

Against the proposal                       -           1

Abstentions                                       -           1


The proposition was carried.


We resolved that application DM/2020/00234 be approved subject to the conditions outlined in the report and that an additional condition be added to ensure all roof lights are low profile. As well as being subject to a Section 106 Legal Agreement.


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