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Planning Committee – 29th November 2023

3:33 pm, Tuesday, 23rd January 2024 - 1 month ago

Present:       

Councillor Pettigrew (in the Chair)

Councillors Batson, Beasant (substitute for Aisthorpe), Croft, Goodwin, Hasthorpe, Hudson, Holland, Lindley, Shutt and Silvester (substitute for Parkinson).

Officers in attendance:

  • Keith Thompson (Lead Solicitor)   
  • Sophie Pickerden (Committee Support Officer)
  • Martin Dixon (Planning Manager)
  • Richard Limmer (Senior Town Planner)
  • Lara Hattle-Fitzgerald (Senior Highway Development Control Officer)
  • Adam Brockbank (Highway Development Control Officer)
  • Rachel Graham (Ecology Manager)

Others in attendance:

  • Councillor Farren (Sidney Sussex Ward Councillor)
  • Councillor Jackson (Waltham Ward Councillor)
  • Councillor Shepherd (Scartho Ward Councillor)

There were 28 members of the public present and one member of the press.

P.46           APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies were received for this meeting from Councillors Aisthorpe and Parkinson.

P.47           DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no declarations of interest declared.

Councillor Pettigrew stated that he was a School Governor and had sought legal advice on whether he needed to declare an interest in P.48 Item 2 and P.48 Item 3. Councillor Pettigrew said that it had been determined that he did not need to declare an interest.

P.48           DEPOSITED PLANS AND APPLICATIONS   

Item 1 – DM/0539/23/FUL Land of Salversen Road (new Clee Sidings) Cleethorpes

Mr Limmer introduced the application and explained that it sought permission to erect an onshore aquaculture farm (Sui Generis) with associated water extraction and effluent discharge from and to the Grimsby Docks, alongside ancillary processing, energy centre, access, car parking, servicing, external lighting, landscaping and associated infrastructure. Mr Limmer stated that the application had been brought before the committee due to the number of objections received. He said that the site was located within the main port of the Grimsby Docks and was allocated in the local plan for employment use on operational port land. Mr Limmer said that policy five and seven of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan should be considered. He said that the proposed use whilst not directly related to the operational port, still related well with the current and historic use of Grimsby Docks and what the Port was used for including the adjacent fish market and various fish processing facilities on Grimsby docks and the wider area. Mr Limmer said that there had been several letters submitted in support of the application from other businesses in the industry. He said that the development would result in the creation of eighty jobs in the area. Mr Limmer stated that the development was acceptable in principle. He said that in terms of fish welfare and the concerns raised regarding the principle of fish farming, whilst those issues were noted they are not considered to be material planning considerations. Mr Limmer said that the proposed site was near to several houses on Harrington Street which faced the site. Mr Limmer said that the applicant had sought to address the concerns raised by neighbours and had reduced the height of part of the building to 6m where the building would be closest to the houses. Mr Limmer said that the applicant had also angled the building away from Harrington Street which would reduce the impacts on neighbours in regard to dominance, overlooking and privacy. He stated that there would also be a separation distance of over 50m between the nearest house and the proposed building. Mr Limmer said that in terms of visual impact, the building would clearly be visible to neighbours, but was not deemed to be detrimental. He said that noise concerns had also been raised by neighbours. Mr Limmer stated that a Noise Impact Assessment had been submitted which concluded that the development would not cause an undue impact on the neighbouring properties residential amenities. He explained that the Noise Impact Assessment had been reviewed and considered by the Environmental Health Team who had raised no objections to the application but had recommended conditions including that a Noise Verification Assessment be submitted. Mr Limmer said that neighbours had also raised concerns about potential odours from the development. He explained that the applicant had submitted an Odour Assessment which had determined that the overall potential for odour generation within the process taking place at the farm was low. Mr Limmer said that the Environmental Health Team had reviewed the Odour Assessment and the recommendations and had raised no objections. He said that a condition for an Odour Management Plan had been included within the application and therefore the application was considered acceptable in terms of odour impact. Mr Limmer stated that external lighting had also been raised as an issue by neighbours, which had resulted in a condition being included within the application requiring a final lighting scheme to be submitted and approved prior to external lighting being installed. Mr Limmer said that with the condition included the Environmental Health Team had not raised any objections to the application in regard to external lighting. Mr Limmer stated that there had been objections received which cited concerns on the impact the development would have on wildlife. He explained that even though the site was allocated in the local plan for employment use on operational port land, it was also designated as a wildlife site and was directly adjacent to the Humber Estuary. Mr Limmer stated that as the site was located directly adjacent to the Humber Estuary, the applicant had submitted a Habitat Regulation Assessment and Appropriate Assessment which would assess the potential effect of the development and outline the mitigation needed. He said that the application had also been considered by Natural England who had determined that they had no objections to the development. Mr Limmer said that the council’s ecology officer had also considered the development and the accompanying assessments and had deemed them to be acceptable. He said that a detailed Ecological Mitigation Strategy had been agreed and the mitigation measures proposed are outlined in the report. Mr Limmer said that a further condition had been required by the council’s ecology officer in relation to butterflies. He said that the council’s highways officer had also not raised any objections to the application, but conditions had been recommended which had subsequently been included within the application. Mr Limmer stated that the applicant had submitted a detailed drainage strategy which had been reviewed by the council’s drainage officer who had raised no objections to the application. He explained that a condition had been included within the application which would ensure any contamination issues are addressed. Mr Limmer said that the applicant had also submitted a detailed Flood Risk Assessment, which had been amended to address initial concerns raised by the Environment Agency. He said that following the amendment, the Environment Agency had confirmed that they had no objections to the application subject to conditions and the recommendations in the Flood Risk Assessment being fully carried out and that the Flood Warning and Evacuation Plan was deemed acceptable. Mr Limmer said that due to the nature of the application, various permits were required to be obtained by the applicant which would ensure the site was operated appropriately. Mr Limmer stated that the application was in accordance with policies 5, 7, 22, 33, 39 and 41 of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan and the principles of the National Planning Policy Framework. He said that the application was therefore recommended for approval with conditions.

Ms Penny spoke in objection to the application. She said that she had travelled for ten hours in order to be able to address the committee about her concerns regarding the application. Ms Penny said that the committee would be making a very important decision which would set a precedent. She said that she hoped the committee would be on the right side of history. Ms Penny said that the application was for a fish farm which would be one of the biggest fish farms on the planet. She stated that the proposed fish farm would cause destruction and that an accidental flip of a swich could cause the death of the fish. Ms Penny stated that world leading scientists had warned against the farms and that they had signed a joint letter which outlined the dangers of the farms. She said that experts had also determined that fish farms of the proposed size would put pressure on resources. Ms Penny said that if the council was serious in its aim of being carbon net zero, then the application should go no further. She stated that whilst she understood the needs for jobs, the committee must ask what the cost of those jobs would be. Ms Penny said that it would be reckless of the committee to approve the fish farm application.

Mr Borthwick spoke in objection to the application. He said that the proposed application represented a widely optimistic view of how the fish farm would work. He said that the figures presented do not add up and more water would be needed, and the fish farm would produce more waste. Mr Borthwick said that the applicant would be incapable on dealing with the problems that would arise. Mr Borthwick said that he had travelled 50 miles in order to be able to address the committee.

Mr Edwards spoke in objection to the application. He said that the fish farm being proposed was risky and would not be profitable. Mr Edwards said that a similar fish farm had recently been shut down and that fact should be a concern for investors. Mr Edwards stated that the only place, fish farms had been successful have been in the UAE. He said that fish farms were money losing exercises and that there would be inevitable consequences were the application to be approved.

Mr Berthet spoke on behalf of the applicant for the application. He said that his directors were committed to helping to meet the great demand for the growing seafood sector. Mr Berthet stated that were the application to be approved, they would be opening in 2024. He said that they had worked with all of the relevant consultees to create a scheme that aligned with planning policy. Mr Berthet said that they had consulted the local community. He explained that the development had reduced in size and the level of landscaping had increased. Mr Berthet said that the development would create jobs in the area. He said that they were committed to training local people and working with local schools and universities. Mr Berthet stated that the development would be located in the heart of the local area and would support suppliers and reduce the carbon footprint. He said that his company was already in dialogue with local businesses who had voiced their support for the development. Mr Berthet stated that his company believed that by operating ethically, they would be laying down the groundwork for a positive future and helping to continue the town’s great fishing heritage. He said that the development represented a significant economic opportunity to the area. Mr Berthet stated that their technology adviser had operated a similar development in Poland for many years without incident.

Councillor Farren spoke as Ward Councillor for the Sidney Sussex Ward. She said that the proposed site was located within her ward. Councillor Farren queried whether the eighty jobs that would be created would be offered to local people. She asked how this could be measured. Councillor Farren queried how the business would work with the schools and colleges, as at the moment the local colleges do not offer a specific degree in that sector. She said that more detail was needed from the applicant.

Councillor Hudson said that he was surprised to see the application had received objections. He said that the building would be low in height and would be relatively quiet. Councillor Hudson stated that the development would also lead to new jobs in the area. He said that he thought both Grimsby and Cleethorpes were lucky that the development was to be in the area. Councillor Hudson said that a similar development had operated without incident for years. He said that he could not see any problems with the application. Councillor Hudson stated that were the development to fail, the site would be re-developed into something else.

Councillor Holland said that he had studied the application and thought that there were positive factors within the application. He stated that the technology being used was new and the impact the technology could have on residents should not be ignored. Councillor Holland said that the development could mean a reduction in property values nearby. Councillor Holland stated that a full environmental survey should have been undertaken. He said that he believed the development would have a large carbon footprint and he could not find one as large as what this development would have that was also close to housing. Councillor Holland explained that the developments he had found that had similar carbon footprints had all been located near industrial zones. He stated that the committee owed it to residents to have a full planning environmental assessment. Councillor Holland said that the area needed entrepreneurs but as the development was the first one in the UK of the proposed size, it was within the public interest and the applicant’s interest for the environmental risk to be evaluated to the highest possible standard. Councillor Holland commented that whilst fish care was not a material planning consideration, there had been changes regarding sentience for all sorts of creatures. He stated that it was important that all aspects of the application were considered, and an environmental impact assessment needed to be undertaken. Councillor Holland queried what the total energy consumption for the farm would be. He proposed that the application be deferred to allow for the development’s environmental impact to be assessed. 

Councillor Lindley said that he agreed with Councillor Hudson. He said that the development would not encroach on existing houses. Councillor Lindley stated that he could not see any issues with the application. He said that the development would create jobs. Councillor Lindley said that it was important to grasp the opportunity that the development would bring. He said that he had read through all the objections and a lot of them were not against the concept of the farm but against it being located near to them. Councillor Lindley said that there was technology which would help to mitigate any odours and noise mitigation had also been considered. Councillor Lindley stated that opportunities such as the proposed development don’t come along very often, and the development would be a huge opportunity for the area. He said that he would listen to the rest of the debate.

Mr Dixon said that carbon footprint can be considered as a planning consideration, but the committee needed to balance out all the issues when making their determination.

Councillor Holland queried whether planning officers knew what the total energy consumption would be for the development.

Mr Dixon stated that he did not have that information.

Councillor Croft said that were the application to be approved, it would be good to see the fishing industry thrive.

Councillor Goodwin stated that she had attended a presentation about the development and there were concerns raised that the development would be looking straight onto an existing dwelling.

Mr Limmer stated that the applicant had responded to those concerns and had angled the development differently so it would not be facing straight onto a dwelling.

Councillor Goodwin seconded the proposal of deferment.

Councillor Beasant said that he had listened to all of the points made. He said that the development would not replace what the area once had. Councillor Beasant stated that he was a keen environmentalist and that the proposed site was habitat for wildlife. He commented that he wanted to be on the right side of history. Councillor Beasant stated that he would not support the application and would vote in support of the proposed deferment. He said that more information regarding the impact of the development was needed.

Councillor Hasthorpe said that officers are employed to make recommendations and they are experts in their field. He said that the committee’s role was to make the decision. Councillor Hasthorpe stated that he had listened to both sides of the debate. He proposed that the application be approved.

Councillor Shutt said that the committee members were not experts but had to analyse the information. He said that he had listened to both sides of the debate and had taken on board the points raised. Councillor Shutt stated that the proposed business model would not go away. He said that whilst the question regarding the total energy consumption of the development could not be answered, he queried whether officers could provide information on if there was to be a secondary supply for the site. Councillor Shutt said that he thought were they’re not to be a secondary supply, then were things to shut down due to issues at the farm, then all the fish would die as a result.

The Chair reminded the committee members that they had to consider material planning considerations when determining the application.

Mr Limmer stated that he did not have any information regarding a secondary supply.

Councillor Shutt said that were the application to be deferred, it would allow the applicant an opportunity to go away and address the issues mentioned and mitigate against them. Councillor Shutt stated that he was surprised that a secondary supply had not already been considered.

The Chair said that the applicant might have considered a secondary supply, but planning officers were not aware of any information attaining to that.

Councillor Shutt said that it was a difficult to make a decision without that information. He stated that he would support the proposal of deferment.

Councillor Batson said that the emissions were the important factor and unless there was evidence that the development would result in an increase of emissions, he did not see an issue with the application. He seconded the proposal to approve the application.

Mr Dixon clarified that the environmental impact of the development was important and that whilst it had been determined that a full environmental impact assessment was not necessary, that did not mean environmental concerns such as emissions, water quality and noise had not been considered. Mr Dixon referred committee members to the report which confirmed that there were no technical consultees who objected to the application. He stated that environmental issues were considered as part of the planning process.

Councillor Shutt asked that if deferment was to be decided upon, that as well as an environmental impact assessment being undertaken as a result, information regarding a secondary supply should also be provided by the applicant.

Councillor Holland and Councillor Goodwin agreed to the request from Councillor Shutt.

The committee took a vote on the proposal to defer the application. The committee voted 4 for and 7 against deferral of the application.

RESOLVED – That the application be approved with conditions.

(Note – the committee voted 7 for and 4 against for the application to be approved.)

Item 2 – DM/0465/23/FUL – Land Adj to Aldi, Matthew Telford Park, Grimsby

Mr Dixon introduced the application and explained that it sought permission to erect a new primary school with outdoor play facilities including football pitches, parking spaces, vehicle and pedestrian accesses, landscaping and a pick up and drop off point along Matthew Telford Way with associated works. Mr Dixon stated that the proposed school would provide education provision for 210 pupils. He said that the application had been brought before the committee due to the number of objections received. Mr Dixon stated that the site was located within the strategic residential development site of Scartho Top as allocated in the local plan. He said that the particular part of the Scartho Top site had been set aside for a school which the application was seeking to develop. Mr Dixon stated that the Scartho Top Master Plan had always envisaged the creation of a primary school. He said that the overall site had already started to be developed with the Aldi store being built. Mr Dixon said that the proposed development would complete the phasing for the village centre site. He further referred committee members to policy six of the local plan which outlined support for developments for new public infrastructure including schools. Mr Dixon stated that the application was acceptable in principle. He explained that the scale of the proposed development and the overall design would fit in with the general character of the area and the neighbouring buildings. Mr Dixon said that the council’s highways officer had reviewed the application and had concluded that a Transport Assessment needed to be submitted. He said that the Transport Assessment had subsequently concluded that there would not a severe impact on the highway network as a result of the proposed development. Mr Dixon stated that the applicant was also going to apply for Traffic Regulation Order in order to address concerns of on street parking. He informed committee members that Traffic Regulation Orders are determined through a separate process, but that one had been recommended by officers. Mr Dixon stated that the council’s highways officers had raised no objections to the application but had requested conditions be included in regard to construction management and final access details. Mr Dixon said that the there were no issues in regard to flooding and the council’s drainage officer had not objected to the application but had requested conditions be included within the application in order for final details to be agreed. He said that the council’s ecology officer had also raised no objections to the application but had requested conditions be included within the application. Mr Dixon stated that as the proposed development was mainly neighbouring commercial operators, it was not thought that the introduction of a school would be detrimental in terms of noise and disturbance. He said that a Noise Impact Assessment had been submitted by the applicant and was deemed to be acceptable by the Environmental Health Team. Mr Dixon said that there would also be no issues such as massing or overlooking as a result of the development. He explained that Sports England had raised the issue of ball strikes. Mr Dixon stated that a risk assessment had been undertaken which had recommended mitigation, but Sports England had stated that the risk assessment was not sufficient. Mr Dixon said however that Sports England had not raised any objection to the application. Mr Dixon stated that the application was in accordance with policies 5, 6, 22, 33, 34, 36, 38, 39, 41 and 42 of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan and sections 6, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16 of the National Planning Policy Framework. He said that the application was therefore recommended for approval with conditions.

Ms Scott spoke as the applicant for the application. She said that the Council had a statutory duty to provide school places for children. Ms Scott explained that two schools had previously been expanded to cope with the number of places needed but the numbers of places needed now were critical. She said that more school places would be needed in future due to developments in the Scartho Area. Ms Scott said that there was a justification for the development. She stated that schools were critical infrastructure.

Councillor Lindley said that he was pleased to see that a new school in Scartho was being proposed as he had supported the idea of a new school for a long time. Councillor Lindley stated that he was not averse to the application but had serious concerns which related to the proposed site. He said that prior to the care home and the Aldi being built in the area, you could walk through the nearby fields during the Summertime. Councillor Lindley said that during the Winer period, the fields are severely flooded and the pathways which had been put in after the care home and Aldi had been built are impossible to walk down as they are flooded and there are drainage issues. He said that he was surprised that the drainage officer had raised no concerns regarding the application. Councillor Lindley commented that were residents to be asked if they had concerns, they would say they had. He said that once the proposed school is built, there would be issues of access and issues with the footpaths as they are inadequate. Councillor Lindley stated that there was also no crossing provision on Matthew Telford Park, which was becoming busier and busier. He said that if a school was to be built on the proposed site, then there needed to be a crossing. Councillor Lindley said that he would hate to have to vote to refuse the application as the school was needed but schools need to be safe, and children need to be safe when accessing them. Councillor Lindley stated that he would listen to the rest of the debate.

Councillor Croft said that she agreed with Councillor Lindley in regard to the issue of the footpath.

The Chair said that it was useful to hear the views of the Ward Councillors. He said that he thought a fixed zebra crossing would be beneficial in the area. The Chair said that it might be useful to consider a deferment of the application in order to consider the issue.

Ms Hattle Fitzgerald said that there was technical approval for a crossing point on Matthew Telford Park. She stated that there was no requirement for a second one to be put in.

Councillor Lindley said that he was confused as to why the new crossing point was not included in the report as it was an integral part of the application. He said that he found it concerning that the information regarding the crossing point had not been included. Councillor Lindley stated that whilst the crossing point might not be in the specific location he would like, he did support the provision of a new crossing point.

The Chair suggested that further conditions regarding the maintenance of the footpath be included in the application as well as a condition that the school not be occupied until the crossing point is put in.

Councillor Shutt said that he valued the comments from the Ward Councillors but the fact that the flooding of the footpaths was not mentioned in the report could suggest it was not that serious. He said that he initially thought the application would be a quick one to consider but there are issues throughout the borough with parking at schools. Councillor Shutt said that he believed even with there being a proposed six car parking spaces available, there would still be issues with parking. Councillor Shutt said that he would like to see more parking spaces at proposed new school applications.

Councillor Goodwin stated that she would support the conditions the Chair outlined.

Councillor Lindley said that he had raised the issue of the flooding in the past. He said that he thought the paths were not the responsibility of the Council but the responsibility of the developers. Councillor Lindley queried whether a condition could be included that the developers must put something in place so the footpaths could be used year-round. He said that he did not want to see the school built with footpaths that are not suitable or fit for purpose. He said that the footpaths needed to be maintained and he would like a condition included about who is going to take responsibility of them. 

Ms Hattle Fitzgerald confirmed that the crossing point would be put in prior to the school being built.

Mr Dixon said that a condition could be included that the school could not be occupied until the issue about the footpaths was dealt with. Mr Dixon said that officers would work with the applicant to address the issue.

The Chair referred committee members to condition four in the report regarding drainage.

Councillor Hudson proposed that the application be approved with the additional conditions.

Councillor Lindley seconded the proposal of approval with the additional conditions.

RESOLVED – That the application be approved.

(Note – the committee voted unanimously for the application to be approved.)

Item 3 – DM/0448/23/FUL – Land off Sunningdale, Waltham

Mr Dixon introduced the application and explained that it sought permission to erect a new primary school to include the installation of a ventilation system, erection of fencing/gates and associated landscaping. Mr Dixon said that the application also sought permission for the creation of staff car parking, vehicular and pedestrian accesses from Sunningdale, pedestrian access from Archer Road, creation of playgrounds, a playing pitch, an athletics track, a habitat area, cycle storage and associated works. Mr Dixon said that the school would be able to accommodate up to 210 pupils. He said that the application had been brought before the committee due to the number of objections received. Mr Dixon referred committee members to policy six of the local plan which outlined support for developments for new public infrastructure including schools. He explained that the proposed site was also allocated in the local plan as educational land. Mr Dixon stated that the application was acceptable in principle. He said that the proposed building would be single storey and the scale, position and overall design would fit in with the general character of neighbouring buildings and wider area. Mr Dixon stated that a lot of representations had been received citing concerns over traffic and parking. He explained that a Traffic Assessment had been submitted by the applicant and reviewed by the council’s highways officer who had determined that there would not be a severe impact as a result of the proposed development. Mr Dixon said that the council’s highways officer had recommended conditions which had been included within the application and a Traffic Regulation Order had also been proposed. He explained that the process of having a Traffic Regulation Order was separate to the planning process but was included in the conditions. Mr Dixon said that it had also been determined that there would be adequate parking for staff at the proposed school. Mr Dixon stated that the proposed school building would be separated from the residential properties by an appropriate distance and therefore there would be no issues of massing, overshadowing or overlooking. He said that a Noise Impact Assessment had also been submitted by the applicant and reviewed by the council’s environmental health team who had raised no objections but had recommended conditions be included within the application. Mr Dixon said that a risk assessment was undertaken in relation to ball strikes following the issue being raised by Sports England. He explained that the Risk Assessment provided relevant mitigation, and this was accepted by Sports England who had not raised any objection to the application. Mr Dixon stated that the council’s ecology officer and drainage officer had raised no objections to the application but had recommended conditions which had been included within the application. Mr Dixon said that a community use agreement had been agreed regarding the playing field with the support of Sports England. Mr Dixon stated that the application was in accordance with policies 5, 6, 22, 33, 34, 36, 38, 39, 41 and 42 of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan and sections 6, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16 of the National Planning Policy Framework. He said that the application was therefore recommended for approval with conditions.

Mr Enderby spoke in objection to the application. He said that he lived in one of the properties that overlooked the site. Mr Enderby said that he did not think there was a need for the school in the area as the Waltham Leas School had enough places for the children who lived in Waltham. Mr Enderby stated that if the school was used by children who don’t live in the Waltham area, then he had concerns over traffic and parking. He explained that in the most recent census there was a drop of 15% in the birth rate which was mirrored nationally. Mr Enderby said that it appeared that trend would continue so he was not sure a new school was necessary. Mr Enderby stated that there was substantial development going on in Waltham around the proposed site and he was not sure that the area could deal with more traffic and an increase in vehicles on the road. He explained that Waltham was often gridlocked with traffic. Mr Enderby said that were it to be determined that there was the need for the school, then there were plenty of other sites with proper access that could be utilised. He said that the proposed site would have no on-site parking for anyone who was not a member of staff. Mr Enderby stated that he thought the proposed development would be a waste of public money and would probably end up becoming an empty shell in a few years. He said that once the development was built, you would not be able to get back the open space that was currently there.

Ms Scott spoke as the applicant for the application. She said that the Council had a statutory responsibility to provide school spaces for children. Ms Scott said that she understood the concerns raised by residents. She said that she took on board the comments made but that the issue remained that Waltham Leas School was full except for a few reception classes where there were some spaces available. Ms Scott stated that new homes were being built in the Waltham area as well as in nearby areas so there would be a demand for school places. Ms Scott said that in regard to parking, it was virtually impossible to police people’s behaviour and that whilst the school would have a procedure in place, they would not be able to police people’s behaviour. Ms Scott said that whilst she understood the resident’s concerns, the council have a statutory responsibility to provide school places.

Councillor Jackson spoke as the Ward Councillor for the Waltham Ward. He stated that he was not against the against the school development as there was reasons for the development of a new school. Councillor Jackson said that his main concern was in regard to traffic and parking in the area. He stated that he agreed with the words of the objector in regard to the issues of traffic and parking in the area. Councillor Jackson explained that the proposed site was allocated as education land and that, that had been the case for the past fifty years. Councillor Jackson said that he thought that were there to not be a new school on the site, the land would be unlikely to be an open space and would probably end up being used for housing. Councillor Jackson said that having houses on the site would also cause issues regarding traffic and parking. He said that the site was landlocked and was surrounded by narrow streets, all of which were busier than they were fifty years ago with lots of on street parking in the area. Councillor Jackson stated that the proposed School would generate additional traffic from staff going to work and parents dropping off their children and picking them up. He said that despite the Transport Plan, it would be naïve to think that that would always be followed. Councillor Jackson stated that there was lots of concern from residents regarding the issues of traffic and parking. He said that he did not believe the additional planning restrictions were adequate to deal with those concerns from residents. Councillor Jackson referred committee members to the Highways Officer’s report which stated that there had been a number of objections received. He said that this was a gross understatement. Councillor Jackson also referred committee members to the section in the Highways Report which stated that it had been determined that there would not be a severe impact on the highway network. Councillor Jackson said that this was a woefully inadequate assessment from the Highways Department which was a common occurrence, was dismissive of the issues and was an insult to local residents. Councillor Jackson asked the committee to consider the issues and challenge officers. He said that the committee did not have to concur with the Highways Department. Councillor Jackson stated that that he hoped the committee would consider further conditions.

The Chair stated that he had attended the parish council meeting where the application was discussed and there were concerns raised by residents regarding highways. He said that the application was approved but the main talking point at the meeting was about traffic.

Councillor Goodwin said that she did not think it was the Chair’s role to explain what happened at the parish council meeting. She said that the application had been approved by the parish council.

The Chair said that he was simply conveying what happened at the meeting as he had attended.

Councillor Goodwin stated that as the Chair, he should not have raised the issue of the parish council meeting.

Councillor Shutt stated that he understood Ms Scott’s point about the need for school places. He said that he also understood the points made by Councillor Jackson. Councillor Shutt said that there were issues regarding traffic and parking at existing schools and he did not believe that the Council should build new schools were there would be these same issues. He said that he thought he would vote to refuse the application.

Councillor Lindley stated that there clearly was a demand for the school. He said that there were significant developments being built in the area which would also bolster the demand. Councillor Lindley said that the majority of children go to schools in other catchments and that, that was not uncommon. He said that there were parking issues at schools throughout the borough and he did not think that should be a sole reason to refuse the application. Councillor Lindley said that the council had tried to resolve the problems regarding parking at schools in the past and he was unsure what the answer was to that ongoing problem. Councillor Lindley referred to condition eighteen in the report, regarding the proposed Traffic Regulation Order. He said that the wording of the condition was vague. Councillor Lindley said that more substantial conditions needed to be put in place. He stated that the safety of children was paramount and that the conditions needed to be weightier.

Councillor Hudson stated that he agreed with Councillor Shutt. He said that there were issues at existing schools, so when building new schools, the Council should be future proofing. Councillor Hudson said that the Ward Councillor supported the school but the issues regarding traffic and highways needed to be addressed. He said that it might be the case, that the site was the wrong site for a school. Councillor Hudson said that potentially other sites should be considered. He said that he would listen to the rest of the debate.

The Chair stated that at some of the new developments in Waltham, the homes were going to be retirements homes, so not all the homes being built were homes that would have children that needed school places.

Councillor Hasthorpe said that he thought it was important that the committee supported residents and the Ward Councillor as they know their area. He said that he believed the best action moving forward was to defer or refuse the application until such times that the issues are resolved.

Councillor Shutt said that it was difficult to address the issues with parking at existing schools. He said that when deciding on the location of a new school, the council should be thinking about the future. Councillor Shutt said that perhaps the proposed site was not the right one. He said that the site could be used for a different type of educational facility.

Councillor Goodwin said that she agreed that the committee needed to look at tightening up the conditions. She said that the school was needed and that previously when discussing other developments in the borough, the committee had stated that more infrastructure would be needed for the developments such as schools.

The Chair said that no one was debating the need for the school, but that the issues needed looking at in more detail. He proposed that the application be deferred in order to allow for the highways issues to be addressed.

Councillor Lindley seconded the proposal to defer the application. He said that by deferring the application it would provide time for the conditions to be looked at.

Mr Dixon reiterated that the proposed site was allocated in the local plan as educational land. He explained that condition eighteen in the report was worded that way as Traffic Regulation Order’s are not decided by the Planning Department and have to go through a separate process. Mr Dixon said that a Traffic Regulation Order can be requested by a condition, but it was not guaranteed that one would be put in place.

The Chair said that the site was allocated as educational land but there would be issues with parking. He said that even though the proposed site was located in a sustainable location, you would still have parents that would drive to the school to drop their children off.

Councillor Lindley said that he did not understand how the committee could be asked to make a decision about the application, when they do not know the outcome of a Traffic Regulation Order application. He said that he would be supporting the proposal to defer the application as it would allow time for the conditions to be looked at.

Councillor Beasant said that Ms Scott had a very difficult job. He said that he agreed with the proposal of the deferral. Councillor Beasant suggested that the application be deferred to either the Children and Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Panel or the Communities Scrutiny Panel to be considered thoroughly. He said that the safety of children was paramount.

Ms Hattle Fitzgerald said that she understood the issues around existing schools in relation to traffic and parking. She said that the Highways Department did look to encourage people to use more sustainable methods of travelling. She said that condition eighteen in the report had to be worded the way it was as an application for a Traffic Regulation Order was a separate legal process. Ms Hattle Fitzgerald said that a Transport Assessment was requested by the Highways Department and this was done. She said that she stood by the recommendation in the report and on the conclusion that the proposed development would have a minimum impact in terms of highways. Ms Hattle Fitzgerald said that she did not believe that there was a reason to refuse the application on highways grounds.

Councillor Shutt said that the Traffic Regulation Order was not the sole issue. He said that more parking was needed at the proposed development as well as the facility to allow people to drive onto the site and drop off their children.

The Chair said that he thought deferring the application would allow the applicant and relevant officers to reassess the plans.

Councillor Lindley said that there was no easy answer to the issues as if a drop off point was included as part of the application, that could encourage people to use their vehicles as their method of taking their children to school.

The Chair said there was also the issue of the impact to amenities of residents as well as the issue of safety.

Mr Dixon reiterated that a Transport Assessment had been undertaken.

Councillor Shutt said that he thought the proposed site was not the right site for a school.

RESOLVED – That the application be deferred.

(Note – the committee voted 10 for and 1 against for the application to be deferred.)

Item 4 – DM/0326/22/FUL – 299 Louth Road, Grimsby

Mr Dixon introduced the application and explained that it sought permission for change of use of a residential outbuilding to a beauty salon with amended access details. Mr Dixon stated that the business was already in operation. He said that the application had previously been before the committee due to a call in from Councillor Shepherd but was deferred in order for more details to be obtained regarding the access. Mr Dixon said that since the last meeting, officers had tried to obtain the information that committee members wanted, but the applicant had failed to provide that information. He said that the application could not be pending indefinitely so had been brought back before the committee. Mr Dixon stated that the proposed site was located within the development boundary for Scartho and the application was therefore acceptable in principle. Mr Dixon said that there were no issues with the outbuilding and the outbuilding would be allowed under permitted development were it to remain for residential use. He said the relevant issue was the change of use from a residential outbuilding to a beauty salon. Mr Dixon stated that there would not be any issues regarding massing or overlooking. Mr Dixon explained that it was not unusual for someone to operate a beauty salon at their home address. Mr Dixon said that the council’s highways officer had requested that the business be accessed through the existing driveway and not by Side Lane. He said that with the access being via Louth Road, the application was considered acceptable by the council’s highways officer. Mr Dixon explained that at the last meeting the application was deferred in order to allow officers to request details of how the access to Side Lane would be closed off and a timeframe be provided of when this would occur should approval be granted. Mr Dixon stated that even though the applicant had not provided officers with that information, it does not change the assessment made by the council’s highways officer. He said that the parking space in the existing driveway had been extended in the time that the application had been pending. Mr Dixon stated that the application was in accordance with policies 5, 22, 34 and 38 of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan and was therefore recommended for approval on a temporary basis for a time period of one year.  

Ms Dobbs spoke as the applicant for the application. She said that had initially applied for planning permission for an extension to her kitchen. Ms Dobbs stated that there were at home businesses close by to her house that do not have drives as large as hers. She said that since the deferral of the application, she had made more space in the driveway for parking. Ms Dobbs stated that in relation to opening the drive up, she was not able to do all that work at once as she was a small business and there are costs to doing so. She said that there was also the issue that at the front of her property, there was an electrical box stationed. Ms Dobbs said that she had been open for nine months and in doing so, there had not been a detriment to the area. She said that she should not be penalised for wanting to work from home as others did. Ms Dobbs said that she had, had no issues with her clients parking.  

Mr Gallacher spoke in support of the application. He said that businesses have to start somewhere. Mr Gallacher stated that Ms Dobbs had decided to have a salon as her business had grown over time. He said that she wanted it to be temporary and that they were looking at other premises where a beauty salon could be opened. Mr Gallacher said that there would be costs to opening the driveway up, as there were obstructions to consider as well.  

Councillor Shepherd spoke as the Ward Councillor for the Scartho Ward. He asked the committee to refuse the application. Councillor Shepherd said that the plans which had been submitted were not realistic as to what was on the ground. He said that in the plans submitted, they show a parking area to the side of bungalow which does not exist and there is a fence across it. Councillor Shepherd said that Side Lane was being used to access the premises and the drop kerb access that the Highways Department had recommended had not been put in. He stated that he had provided photos to the committee which showed the volume of vehicles that are parking on Louth Road. Councillor Shepherd said that Louth Road was very busy, and people were parking on the footpath. He said that people were also parking down Side Lane as well which was causing difficulty to residents. Councillor Shepherd said that there is insufficient parking on the site, and he recommended that the applicant consults with the public. Councillor Shepherd asked committee members to refuse the application.  

Councillor Hudson said that he did not understand why people would be parking on the road as shown in the photos in the supplementary. He said that he was not sure that they were necessarily visiting the applicant’s house as there was space in the applicant’s driveway to park. Councillor Hudson said that he understood the financial constraints with opening up onto Louth Road.  

Councillor Goodwin said that the photos that had been submitted showing cars parked on the roadside, might not have been the vehicles of people visiting the applicant. She said that there were lots of beauticians who worked from home so did not understand why the applicant could not do the same thing. Councillor Goodwin stated that there was lots of more room on the applicant’s driveway now. She proposed that the application be approved.  

Councillor Shutt queried whether the approval was time limited for one year. He said that he understood from the applicant’s statement that she was also looking to have her business be located elsewhere in the future.  

The Chair stated that were the application to be approved, permission would be time limited for a year and then the applicant would make a decision on whether they wanted to apply to extend that permission. He seconded the proposal to approve the application.  

Councillor Batson said that he was not happy that the Highways Department had not received any further information from the applicant regarding Side Lane. He said that when people submit planning applications and officers ask them for information, its important the applicant provides them with that information. Councillor Batson said that he was confused as to why Councillor Shepherd had not mentioned the issues of drainage and lighting during his time to speak as they were listed as the reasons on the call-in form, not parking issues.  

Councillor Shepherd stated that the call-in form was when the application was for an extension, not a business.  

Councillor Lindley said that he was disappointed that progress had not been made since the last meeting. He said that he was torn as on one hand as he had residents who were having difficulties accessing their properties and on the other, a resident who wanted to run her business. Councillor Lindley said that he was pleased that the access from Side Lane was not being used by customers. He said that there were still issues with the access and was unsure how the issue could be resolved. Councillor Lindley said that he would listen to the rest of the debate.  

Councillor Holland queried how much investment could be expected of a small business when the application was time limited. He suggested approving the application for a 6-month period rather than a year and then if the applicant was to apply to extend the permission, then the committee and officers would expect to see more progress made regarding the access.  

The Chair stated that the proposed works formed part of the application.  

Councillor Holland said that it was his understanding that the applicant only wanted to have her business be at her residential property temporarily.  

Councillor Shutt said that he understood Councillor Holland’s point but he thought that the year time limit on the application was a compromise.  

The Chair said that he thought six months would not be workable.  

Councillor Goodwin said that the applicant should be able to earn some money and then determine in time whether she wants to keep her beauty business as an at home business or whether she would like to move to a commercial unit. Councillor Goodwin said that were the applicant to want to remain as an at home beauty business then the dropped kerb application would need to be completed.  

Mr Dixon said that the applicant does not have planning permission to undertake the works proposed. He said if the application was to be approved, then the applicant would need to start and complete the works.  

Councillor Lindley stated that it was someone livelihood that the committee were discussing. He said that he would support the application as he did not want to see the application deferred or refused as it would re-start the whole process again. Councillor Lindley asked the applicant to engage with the Highways Department moving forward. He said that he would like to see an outcome that everyone was happy with.  

The Chair said that he agreed with Councillor Lindley. He said that the issue of parking was a serious one. The Chair asked the applicant to work with the Highways Department.  

RESOLVED – That the application be approved with conditions.

(Note – the committee voted unanimously for the application to be approved.)

Councillor Silvester left the meeting at this point.

Item 5 – DM/00567/23/FULA – Flat 5, Rear of 11 Rowston Street, Cleethorpes

Mr Dixon introduced the application and explained that it sought permission to remove an existing container, erect a first-floor extension, make alterations to provide an additional storey, alterations to window and door placements, erect boundary treatments and associated works at an existing detached flat. Mr Dixon stated that the application had been brought before the committee due to a call in from Councillor Freeston. Mr Dixon explained that a previous application for the proposed site had been dismissed at appeal with the Planning Inspectorate ruling that the proposed design was not acceptable. He said that the applicant had now changed the design to have a more traditional look. Mr Dixon stated that the proposed site was located within the development area of Cleethorpes and was acceptable in principle. He explained that proposed works included having the frontage of the property moved to the existing rear elevation which would result in the property fronting onto the adjoining street at Brooklands Avenue. He said that the existing frontage would be altered to become the rear elevation of the property. Mr Dixon said that works proposed are significant but were acceptable in design terms and would not harm the street scene. Mr Dixon explained that the application had been amended to include a protruding element which would be angled away from neighbours to the west, to reduce elements of overlooking and the loss of privacy. Mr Dixon said that the orientation and layout of the site and the openings, would reduce any issue of massing. He stated that there would also be an acceptable level of separation. Mr Dixon said that it was not felt that there would be an adverse impact on neighbouring amenities. Mr Dixon stated that access to the site would be from Brooklands Avenue, due to the proposed change to the frontage. He said the council’s highways officers had not objected to the application but had suggested a pre-commencement condition to secure details relating to construction traffic management. Mr Dixon said that there had been various discussions regarding the sewers that are beneath the existing property. He explained that structural details and calculations had been provided to Anglican Water who had subsequently not objected to the application. Mr Dixon said that Brooklands Avenue was not designated as a Conservation Area and the covenant was not a material planning consideration. Mr Dixon stated that the application was in accordance with policies 5, 22, 33, 34 of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan and was therefore recommended for approval with conditions.

Mr Taylor spoke in objection to the application. He said that on Brooklands Avenue, the houses were unique and Edwardian. Mr Taylor said that the character of the houses had been preserved on Brooklands Avenue. He said that Brooklands Avenue was also protected by a covenant which does not allow additional properties to be built. Mr Taylor said that residents were responsible for the roads and pathways outside of their houses as well as the drains. He said that the application was to have a new flat, and the applicant wanted to have the flat facing onto Brooklands Avenue. Mr Taylor said that this effectively meant that a new building would be on Brooklands Avenue which would go against the covenant. He said that the proposed windows that would face onto Brooklands Avenue would be sixty metres away from numbers 1 and 2 Brooklands Avenue. Mr Taylor stated that this would affect the resident’s privacy. Mr Taylor said that whilst the existing building had always been visible from the promenade, the new build would dominate Brooklands Avenue and would change the character of the area. He said that Anglican Water had stated that the proposed development should not be allowed as it could lead to damage to the sewers which would affect lots of people. Mr Taylor said that 32 families would be directly affected by the application. He stated that people’s privacy would be affected.

Mr Deakins spoke as the agent for the application. He said that there were three sewers underneath the property and what was proposed would be a lightweight timber structure. Mr Deakins stated that Anglican Water was okay with the plans proposed. He explained that the original application for the proposed development was initially more modern and what was before the committee now was the same plans but with a more traditional design. Mr Deakins said that he had taken cues from what is surrounding the building and the design now fitted in with the character of the area. Mr Deakins stated that in terms of concerns raised regarding privacy and overlooking, the plans are the same as the plans that the Planning Inspector found to be acceptable other than the design. Mr Deakins said that he hoped the committee would support the application.

Councillor Hudson said that in the appeal report, the Planning Inspectorate had dismissed the previous application on design grounds. Councillor Hudson stated that were the committee to refuse the application, costs could incur. Councillor Hudson said that an argument for potentially refusing the application could be made regarding the access.

Councillor Shutt stated that the proposal looked better than what the dwelling was currently like. He said that he did not think a covenant was a material planning consideration. Councillor Shutt said that he would listen to the debate.

The Chair said that the main objections are two issues that are not planning considerations. He said that the previous appeal report had to be taken into account.

Councillor Goodwin queried whether the dwelling could be accessed from Brooklands Avenue.

The Chair stated that it could be accessed from Brooklands Avenue.

Councillor Hudson said that he thought it would be an improvement to the dwelling’s current state. He proposed that that the application be approved.

Councillor Hasthorpe seconded the proposal to approve the application.

RESOLVED – That the application be approved with conditions.

(Note – the committee voted unanimously for the application to be approved.)

Item 6 – DM/0819/23/CEA – Land South of Hewitts Avenue, New Waltham

Mr Limmer introduced the application and explained that it was a Certificate of Lawfulness application for proposed use to implement planning application reference DC/871/11/HUM. Mr Limmer stated that as it was not a standard planning application and that the merits of the application were not to be considered by the committee members. He said that they were to consider whether the planning permission that had been granted was lawful. Mr Limmer said that the application had been brought before the committee due to a call in from Councillor Dawkins. Mr Limmer explained that the committee had to make their determination based on whether there had been a material start to the works which constituted a lawful commencement of the development and therefore the development would be extant and could be completed. Mr Limmer said that it had been confirmed on 17th October 2018 by a council officer that the works had commenced at the site. He explained that the work that had been undertaken involved the construction of an access into the site. Mr Limmer said that on the balance of probabilities it was considered that the development had commenced at the site. He stated that it was recommended that the Certificate of Lawfulness application be approved.

Mr Wight spoke in objection to the application. He queried to what in general terms is the council’s policy to protecting the environment and ecology. Mr Wright asked what the council’s position was on protecting trees. He queried whether the proposed site was excluded from those policies. Mr Wright asked whether biodiversity had been considered as part of the application. Mr Wright queried whether planning officers had discussed with the applicant the issue about protecting trees on the site.

Mr Hodson spoke as the agent for the application. He said that the application was not a standard application and that the merits of the application could not be considered. Mr Hodson stated that the issue to consider was the legal matter. He said that work on the development started on 31st July and was recorded and confirmed by the council’s own officers. Mr Hodson said that the owner of the site was looking to develop the scheme. He said that the queries raised regarding trees would be looked at, and the applicant would work with officers on the issue of protecting trees on the site.

Miss Pickerden read out a statement on behalf of Councillor Dawkins, Ward Councillor of the Humberston and New Waltham Ward.

Councillor Dawkins wrote in his statement that he had called the application for several reasons. He wrote that the area that had been air marked for the cabins was currently a greenfield site. Councillor Dawkins wrote that it is countryside and was a natural buffer between the residential area in New Waltham and the commercial area at Altyre Way. He wrote that the development was not a small-scale development and the amount of cabins being placed on the proposed site would be significant. Councillor Dawkins wrote that it would be over intensification and was not wanted in the local area. He wrote that the proposal was not in keeping with the local area and would be more suited for an area in Cleethorpes. Councillor Dawkins wrote that the roads around the proposed site were already extremely busy and would be even more busy when the Strawberry Fields development was complete. He wrote that the roundabout at Tesco’s could already not handle the traffic as it currently was. Councillor Dawkins wrote that he believed that when the original planning permission was granted the Ecological report had expired and on that ground alone the application should fail as the previous application was unlawful as Ecological reports only last for eighteen months. Councillor Dawkins wrote that although he would wish to see more tourists come to the area, he did not feel that the application does anything for Cleethorpes. Councillor Dawkins wrote that he respectfully requests that the committee consider what he had wrote and refuse the application.

The Chair responded to the question raised by Mr Wright. He explained that all planning applications are considered by the council’s trees officer, ecology officer and other technical consultees. The Chair stated that the application being considered was different to a standard planning application and that only the legal issue of whether the development had commenced was being considered at the current stage.

Councillor Hudson said that due to the type of application, the committee were not to consider the merits of the site and to only consider whether the works for the development had started. He said that work had obviously started as this had been confirmed by officers. Councillor Hudson proposed that the application be approved.

Councillor Shutt seconded the proposal to approve the application.

RESOLVED – That the application be approved with conditions.

(Note – the committee voted unanimously for the application to be approved.)

P.49           PLANS AND APPLICATIONS DETERMINED UNDER DELEGATED POWERS

The committee received plans and applications determined by the Director of Economy, Environment and Infrastructure under delegated powers during the period 20th October – 14th November 2023

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

P.50           PLANNING APPEALS

The committee received a report from the Director of Economy, Environment and Infrastructure regarding outstanding planning appeals.

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

P.51           EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded for the following business on the grounds that its discussion was likely to disclose exempt information within paragraph 6 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

P.52           ENFORCEMENT ISSUES

The committee considered any requests from any member of the committee to discuss any enforcement issues.

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

There being no further business, the Chair closed the meeting at 1:15pm.