DM/2022/00969 Erection of a steel framed portal building to be used for the production and canning of spring water - Tump Farm, Usk Road, Llantrisant, NP15 1LU
We considered the report of the application which was referred by the Delegation Panel and is recommended for approval subject to the conditions outlined in the report with the additional condition as presented today as follows:
· Prior to the initial production of canned spring water, a noise management plan should be submitted and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The noise management plan should detail measures that will be implemented to manage noise from the proposed development, including operating hours, to prevent impact on the amenity of residents living in the locality. The proposed development shall therefore be carried out in accordance with the noise management plan in perpetuity, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning authority. Reason: To protect the amenity of neighbouring properties and to ensure compliance with LDP Policy EP1.
The Local Member for Llangybi Fawr, also Planning Committee Member outlined the following points:
· The application to create a diversified farm business was welcomed.
· Spring water is already being extracted and stored on site. Natural Resources Wales has no concerns other than noting that if the business is expanded, this would warrant a planning application and a license will also be required.
· In terms of the road to the farm, this is frequently used by HGVs to several farms, it was suggested that one additional HGV per week would not cause a detrimental effect.
· The planting of fruit trees was welcomed for the wildlife and biodiversity on the farm.
· The canning process is planned to be sustainable and carbon neutral.
· The applicant has been sympathetic to the design of the building and kept it aligned to buildings on the farm.
· Very little noise will be generated from the canning process. Business hours will be 7am to 6pm (Monday-Saturday)
No speakers from Llantrisant Community Council were present. At the Chair’s discretion, Jonathan Eadie, spoke on behalf of residents of three properties impacted by the application excluding the applicants’ properties.
· The three properties are supplied by a borehole and sited off the Old road, Llantrisant abutting Wentwood Forest and are omitted from the report.
· NRW has assessed water requirements for the farm, current, and approved dwellings, and the new canning operation.
· Environmental Health wants to consider noise levels of the proposed operations in an inferior single skin, uninsulated metal shed. Noise emanating from the valley side is amplified upwards contrary to the report and is not mitigated by vegetation as recessed in the valley. A noise management plan was requested.
· The proposal offends NRW’s duty under the Future Wales National Plan to balance current and future water needs (environment, society, and economy).
· Extraction and removal from site reduces water resilience and places incremental strain on a single source. Reduced water levels and borehole pressures threaten viability of existing homes and businesses.
· Tankers bringing water from offsite sources increases noise and traffic
· Similar ventures have scaled to 24/7 operation with increased noise and traffic, and other adverse outcomes.
· Unsuppressed manufacturing noise for 48 hours over a six-day week is not the same as intermittent agricultural activity which is acceptable.
· Creation of an orchard does not materially offset the industrial impacts and risks to rare and protected species.
· The report does not allow the committee to discharge its duty under Planning Policy Wales (PPW11).
The applicant, Mark Williams, attended the meeting and outlined the following points:
· Family Farm with costs too high and revenue too low hence the need to diversify.
· A sustainable development supporting the climate agenda, for the family and community and supports the Council’s own objectives. The Corporate Plan refers to sustainable, local agricultural and farming practices with public services and residents consuming more local and seasonal produce, to provide more encourage businesses and with a focus on innovation in the food and drink sector.
· The shed is in keeping with existing farm buildings and planning to reinstate the orchard with more fruit trees that could possibly flavour the water in future.
· The farm is part of a Welsh Government project involving planting hedgerows, trees and creating streamside corridors and ponds. The environment is a key focus.
· Local hospitality and businesses are keen to stock the water to support Monmouthshire’s food and drink sector.
· The water is the farm’s own personal / private supply and water from farming practices is utilised - no abstraction license is required. The water has been tested; outcomes awaited. The spring water emerges naturally 24 hours a day. No boreholes are planned. It is stored in a storage tank and taken by gravity to the farm. If the water is not used, it is returned to the stream or ground.
· A fully costed business plan has been shared with planning officers and significant further investment is planned.
Having considered the report of the application and the views expressed, the following points were noted:
· There is sufficient distance from neighbours not to be affected by noise.
· Water supply: Residents have their own water supply via borehole.
· The Farm has 250acres; in periods of rainfall there will be considerable run off likely to be in excess of requirements.
· Water extraction is not a planning consideration.
· The site is accessed on the highway between Wentwood and Usk which is a good road for motor vehicles to use.
· The driveway entrance has a large visibility display and therefore good visibility on entry/exit to site.
· The report anticipated just HGV and three small vans at the site per week and would cause little impact on the highway and volume of traffic. Highways has raised concerns if the site was to expand only.
· Low key development, low height building and low detrimental impact.
· Tree planting will provide the benefit of low carbon emissions and will improve the visual impact of the area
· Biodiversity benefit of providing wildlife with food, shelter and habitat.
· More detail on renewable energy and sustainable methods was requested.
· Farmers need to diversify and additional income needs to be derived from the land.
· It’s a rural county and there is a need to support start-up businesses such as this
The Development Management Area Manager responded:
· Policy background relates to RE3 agricultural diversification that has several criteria (three not relevant) and the application meets the remainder:
1. Non agricultural development is running in conjunction complementary to the activities on the site at present
2. Supported by a business case
3. Can demonstrate that all the existing buildings are being used where a new build is required
4. Proposals for new builds meet the criteria in LC1 (landscape policies)
5. Proposed the building will be cut into the bank so there is a proposed condition to require a full Section drawing to show the level of cut, the retaining wall, and its construction. It is anticipated it will match the existing arrangements in blockwork with timber post and rail fence.
The application is supported and policy compliant.
· In terms of scalability, the proposed equipment is capable of canning 8000 cans a day equating to 1 HGV and three small van visits per week. The Highways Officer is satisfied. In terms of production and highways impact, the operation is considered acceptable.
· There is a condition to limit use within this building so if the business expands with a new building, a planning application would be required.
· The noise management plan requires operating hours to be specified and adhered to.
· Water abstraction is not part of the consideration of this application and is dealt with through NRW.
· In terms of biodiversity, the land is grazed and has limited ecological value. There are biodiversity enhancements such as tree planting on the site plan considered acceptable with no objections from NRW
· Energy efficiency measures: Policy does not prescribe levels of energy efficiency. This aspect can be managed through building regulations. The applicants have made a commitment that the building will be environmentally friendly.
· Clarification was provided that on the elevation drawings it is shown that there are juniper green metal sheeting for all elevations on the building so if timber cladding was to be used, that would need separate consideration as part of an amendment to the plans. An amended plan would be considered by Delegated Panel.
The applicant responded to the following points:
· The cut in level with the other buildings will be one uniform level.
· 8000 cans a day is the maximum capacity of the proposed machinery achievable by e.g. Year 3.
· Plan to installed PV panels on the roof after two years, also rainwater harvesting .
· Sustainable local wood will be used for the cladding on the front of the building. With Juniper Green 40mm insulated panels around the outside
Upon being put to the vote the following votes were recorded:
For approval - 14
Against approval - 0
Abstentions - 0
The proposition was carried.
We resolved to approve application: DM/2022/00969 subject to agreeing a revised external materials plan (to include timber cladding) via Panel; additional conditions to require a site section and a Noise Management Plan