Application DM/2019/00800 - Demolition of existing bungalow and outbuildings and replacement with 2no. detached two storey dwelling houses with altered driveway access from highway. Homestead, Wainfield Lane, Gwehelog, Usk
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 a Section 106 Agreement.
The application was presented to Planning Committee on 3rd March 2020 with a recommendation for approval. At this meeting it was proposed that the application be approved subject to the six conditions outlined in the report and subject to a Section 106 Agreement. Also, that an additional condition be added to approve the details of foul drainage including the removal of the existing arrangement. It was subsequently considered that the drainage details should be made available prior to approval to allow scrutiny from the Sustainable Drainage Approving Body (SAB), Natural Resources Wales, local residents, the Community Council and Local Member.
The local Member for Llanbadoc attended the meeting by invitation of the Chair and outlined the following points:
· If the application is approved foul drainage issues need to be addressed.
· The proposed application is a better alignment with less overlooking of the adjacent property.
· The local Member would like the Planning Committee to consider lowering the ridge height slightly in line with surrounding properties.
· There has been concerns regarding drainage and the dimensions of the plot.
· The Section 106 funding is a modest contribution.
· The local Member asked for information on sprinkler systems being installed in newly built properties.
· Wainfield Lane had been recently resurfaced. The local Member asked if a bond could be agreed to ensure that any damage to the newly resurfaced road is made good.
Gwehelog 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:
‘The council responded to this application on 29 June 2020, when the members unanimously objected on the following grounds:
• This is an attempt to fit two properties into one plot which itself has been subject of previous splitting. This will make inadequate sized plots and be out of character for what is essentially a rural setting.
• The original plan for the houses to be built one in front of the other has been rejected by planning and new plans were submitted with the houses adjacent to each other to comply with ‘the ribbon effect’ of the rest of the lane. However, the point remains that there is insufficient land space for two houses on this tiny plot.
• Members were concerned that the proposed development would compromise the privacy of another adjacent house.
• The council were and are concerned with the proposals for drainage on this land which is predominantly Monmouthshire clay.
The last point certainly has not been clarified by subsequent tests which were undertaken following a long period of dry weather. We remain very concerned by the proposals for foul drainage.
We are concerned by the apparent confusion over boundaries - there appears to be slight but significant inflation of the plot size, this could be important in respect of meeting the requirements for drainage run-off.
We feel that the development might run counter to policy LPD H3 because this is not an infill, a house will be demolished and substituted by two others. This extends the building boundary of Wainfield Lane into open country.’
Mr. G. Buckle, 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:
‘Thank you Chairman for the opportunity to respond to the issues raised relating to drainage at the above development.
The comments have made some assumptions; as at the time of writing we have not received any additional objections from The Community Council and have surmised that these are based on the adjoining neighbours’ objections (Mrs. Backland), who I understand is now a Community Councillor.
The proposals submitted for the surface water drainage have been accepted and approved by Monmouthshire County Council SAB Officers, following extensive testing by our Clients Specialists.
The foul drainage proposals have been vetted and approved by Monmouthshire County Council Building Control Officers and Natural Resources Wales, who have no objections to the proposals.
The location of the sewage treatment plants and outfall drainage meet current Regulations and each dwelling will be served separately by a KLARGESTER BIOTEC 2, 7 person population tank, which meets with the new guidance.
For the avoidance of doubt, the septic tank serving the existing bungalow will be grubbed up and removed. It is also confirmed that the foundations of the bungalow will also be removed.
The infiltration drainage proposed for the sewage treatment tanks fully complies with current Building Regulations and this is supported by Monmouthshire County Council Building Control Officers.
For the avoidance of doubt, and contrary to recent comments from the neighbour, the soakaways are located a minimum of 5.0m from the lane/road, which complies fully with Building Regulations. The soakaway will not have a detrimental impact on the lane, unlike the adjoining property, which allows surface water to drain freely from the driveway on to the highway surface.
The properties on the opposite side of the development will not be affected, as the drainage for the development will be contained on site as approved by Natural Resources Wales and Building Control.
It is agreed that surface water should not be allowed to drain from the site and affect other properties, which is an existing problem caused by recently constructed properties on the Northern side of Wainfield Lane.
Members should be made aware that the drainage proposals for this site will not impact on the properties at lower level or on the lane itself and this is fully supported by Natural Resources Wales and Monmouthshire County Council Building Control.
B.R.E. 365 is a standard method of testing, to ensure that the ground is suitable for natural drainage, allowing natural dissipation and attenuation. The tests have been undertaken and approved by Natural Resources Wales.
Members should be made aware, contrary to the Community Council and neighbour comments, that the scheme has been adjusted to meet Local Authority Building Control Approval and also undergone vigorous scrutiny and approval by Natural Resources Wales.
Again, contrary to comments raised by the adjoining neighbour and the Community Council, the boundaries have not been falsified. The original Topographical Survey indicated the face of hedgerow. The hedgerow has been thinned recently and the stock fence exposed, which corresponds exactly to our Clients land ownership boundary. This has been clearly identified on the amended Site Plan, which was surveyed and prepared by a Professional Land Surveyor (Usk Land Survey) and therefore, there is no falsification what so ever of the site boundaries.
The proposal is wholly within our Clients ownership and the drainage field fits well within our Clients site boundaries, verified and approved by Natural Resources Wales and the Local Authority Building Control Officers.
Natural Resources Wales require the foul drainage field to be at least 2.0m from boundaries and not 2.5m as stated by objectors.
In summary, we would confirm the following:
? The position of the foul treatment plant complies fully with current Building
Regulations Part H, and this is supported by Monmouthshire County Council
Building Control Officers.
? The percolation testing method has been approved by Natural Resources Wales in accordance with B.R.E. 365.
? Building Regulations state that the treatment plant can be 7.0m from the property and not 10.0m as stated by objectors.
As requested by members at the Planning Committee on 03 March 2020, details of the drainage were to be provided prior to the issue of the Approval Notice. The drainage details have been provided and approved by Natural Resources Wales and Monmouthshire County Council Building Control and SAB Officers, therefore there is no reason why the Planning Permission should not be issued.
The Section 106 Agreement was signed on 04 August 2020 in respect of Affordable Housing Contribution.
Our Clients would like to conclude with this final statement:
As can be seen, all of these issues arise from Mrs. Backland who became a member of the Community Council 3 months ago. It is evident that her own personal opinions aren’t represented by the community which has been stated throughout. As a new family to the area, we are very quickly losing confidence in our Community Council and the work they do may be subsequently devalued. As stated by the Local Government Act 2000, the task of any Community Council is to identify the needs and aspirations of its community and to make decisions that will lead to appropriate action. At some point this might involve setting priorities on the competing or conflicting needs of different sections of the community. We have gathered results from professionals in the relevant fields, with approval from all the relevant bodies yet we are still being vilified by our neighbour/Community Councillor whose opinion has no factual grounds.’
Having considered the report of the application and the views expressed, the following points were noted:
· The application was approved in March 2020 and the details of the scheme have not changed apart from the submission of foul drainage details.
· A Section 106 Agreement had also been secured at this time which equated to £8,491.
· Building regulations will ensure that the properties will require the installation of a sprinkler system.
· In response to the request for a bond to protect the road surface of Wainfield Lane, this would be a matter for the Highways Department to address, as this matter falls outside of the scope of the planning application.
· It was considered that there were no reasons to refuse the application.
It was proposed by County Councillor A. Davies and seconded by County Councillor P. Murphy that application DM/2019/00800 be approved subject to the conditions outlined in the report and subject to a Section 106 Agreement. An additional condition also be added, as outlined in the report, to address foul drainage issues.
Upon being put to the vote the following votes were recorded:
For approval - 13
Against approval - 0
Abstentions - 0
The proposition was carried.
We resolved that application DM/2019/00800 be approved subject to the conditions outlined in the report and subject to a Section 106 Agreement. An additional condition also be added, as outlined in the report, to address foul drainage issues.