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Planning Committee Minutes – 28th February 2024

1:55 pm, Thursday, 11th April 2024 - 1 month ago

Present:       

Councillor Pettigrew (in the Chair)

Councillors Batson, Aisthorpe, Croft, Goodwin, Hasthorpe, Holland, Hudson, Lindley, Parkinson and Shutt.

Officers in attendance:

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

There were 25 members of the public present and one member of the press.

P.68           APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

No apologies were received for this meeting.

P.69           DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no declarations of interest declared.

Councillor Holland stated that he had declared an other registerable interest for a previous application for the same site and same applicant being considered in P.70 Item 3 and for reasons of consistency would again leave the room when the application was being considered as he had previously.

Mr Brockbank stated that he had been consulted as a neighbour for P.70 Item 2 and would therefore leave the room when the application was being considered.

P.70           DEPOSITED PLANS AND APPLICATIONS

Item 1 – DM/1133/23/FUL – Haven, Cleethorpes Beach (Thorpe Park Holiday Camp), Anthony Bank Road, Humberston

Mr Dixon introduced the application and explained that it sought retrospective planning permission for the redevelopment of an outdoor activities area with associated landscaping, drainage and underground infrastructure. He said that the application had been brought before the Planning Committee due to the number of objections received and an objection from Humberston Village Council. Mr Dixon explained that a previous application in 2021 was approved by the Planning Committee whilst an application in 2022 was refused on grounds of noise and disturbance to local amenities in particularly to users of the Humberston Fitties site. Mr Dixon stated that the site was located within the resort area of Humberston and Cleethorpes. He said that policy 12 of the local plan applied. Mr Dixon said that the principle use of the site was well established and that the application sought to add to the facilities at the site. Mr Dixon stated that whilst the majority of the facilities proposed had previously been approved under application DM/1037/21/FUL, their position on the site had now changed from that previous approval. He said that the application was acceptable in principle. Mr Dixon stated that it was not felt that there were any physical design issues or issue of visual intrusion. He explained that the design of the proposed acoustic fence was considered to be acceptable. Mr Dixon said that it was not felt that there were any design issues in relation to the conservation area. He stated that the council’s heritage officer had not objected to the application. Mr Dixon said that lots of objections had been raised regarding noise particularly in relation to the outdoor stage. He said noise was the reason the Planning Committee refused the previous application in 2022.  Mr Dixon explained that further reports had been submitted by the applicant since the refusal of the previous application. He said that the applicant had referred to consultation which had taken place with the Humberston Fitties, had undertaken a further noise assessment, proposed limited hours for the stage and had added an acoustic fence to the plans. Mr Dixon stated that the updated noise assessment had been considered by the council’s Environmental Protection officer who had deemed the noise assessment was suitable for the site and that the development would not have an adverse impact on neighbouring or local properties or chalets. Mr Dixon said that a condition had been added to the application in order to control the times of externally amplified entertainment. He said that the acoustic fence was not a requirement outlined in the noise assessment but had been included in the plans by the applicant as a betterment to the site. Mr Dixon said that the fence would aid in reducing the overall noise from the site.  Mr Dixon stated that in terms of considerations regarding overlooking, loss of light and massing, there were no residential properties nearby and there was an acceptable separation distance and screening between the site and the chalets at the Humberston Fitties. Mr Dixon stated that the council’s ecology officer had raised no objections to the application. He said that planning officers were awaiting sign off of a flood evacuation report which had been included as a condition with the application. Mr Dixon stated that the application was in accordance with policies 5, 12, 22, 34, 39 and 41 of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan and was therefore recommended for approval with conditions.

Mr Peet spoke in objection to the application. Mr Peet said that a mixed economy was a good thing, and he was not objecting to the idea of improved entertainment in the area. He stated however that he did object to Thorpe Park’s inability to keep their noise within their own boundaries. Mr Peet said that he was appealing to the Planning Committee to agree with the one hundred objectors. He said that his experience over the last two years had been hell, with the noise and nuisance coming from Thorpe Park. Mr Peet explained that this had not been the case before 2022. He said that in the last two years, he had lost all of his amenity, and the situation had impacted his health as well as other resident’s health. Mr Peet stated that the current application was the same application as the one the Planning Committee refused twelve months ago. He said that no effort had been made by the applicant to put the issue right and that the reasons the Planning Committee refused the application previously had not changed. Mr Peet said that the noise and disturbance was still detrimental to the Humberston Fitties. He stated that the development was in contrary to policy 5 and policy 39 of the local plan. Mr Peet said that the acoustic fence was a minor attempt to the address the issue, but the noise assessment stated that the acoustic fence would not have a material effect. Mr Peet said that the applicant had met with residents of the Humberston Fitties once but had not followed this up. He said that all of the previous noise assessments had failed and had required intervention from local authority officers. Mr Peet said that he had tried to engage with Thorpe Park about noise monitoring and they had agreed to provide him with the data but then had not done so. He said that the conclusion in the report failed to take into account the experiences of residents. Mr Peet said that the outdoor stage was used every day and that noise complaints had not been responded to. He asked the Planning Committee to refuse the application.

Mr Smith spoke as the agent for the application. He said that he welcomed the planning officer’s recommendation. Mr Smith explained that the current application formed part of the park’s ongoing investment programme. Mr Smith said that Cleethorpes Beach formerly Thorpe Park had to improve its facilities to keep being attractive to tourists. He said that the park currently employed over 650 local people. Mr Smith said that the proposed development had been constructed in line with the original planning permission. He said that he apologised that the initial planning application and the plans had not been followed. Mr Smith said that the Planning Committee had refused the last application due to concerns over noise. He explained that his team had sought to look at the issue of noise and had added the acoustic fencing. Mr Smith stated that the noise assessment outlined that the noise was acceptable for the site without the acoustic fencing being installed. Mr Smith stated that it had not been agreed that noise data would be shared with anyone. He said that the noise assessment had been reviewed by council officers who had determined that the noise would not have an adverse impact. Mr Smith said that in order to address local concerns, an additional condition could be added in regard to background noise. He said that the development would not cause a material change to the character of the area and there would be limited visibility. Mr Smith said that the previous reason in which the Planning Committee refused the last application had been addressed and the scheme complied. He asked the Planning Committee to approve the application. Mr Smith said that were the outdoor stage an issue, he would accept a split decision, in which everything else within the plans was approved except the stage. Mr Smith said that he would be willing to look at alternatives with officers if the application was deferred.

Councillor Hudson said that he always tried to support Thorpe Park as the services they offer were important. He said that it was Thorpe Park however that had not stuck to the previous plans in which they had permission for and if they had stuck to them, we wouldn’t be in the current situation. Councillor Hudson stated that on the one hand the report outlined that the noise levels were acceptable but then you have the objector saying that there not. Councillor Hudson said that the only way he could make a decision on the application would be for a site visit to take place so he could hear the noise himself as well as the rest of the Planning Committee. He said that he was not sure if that could be arranged. Councillor Hudson stated that he did not think there were any visual problems with the application and that it was noise that was the issue. He said that it appeared that the agent was willing to compromise and that if the outdoor stage was the issue, it might be worth deferring the application to allow for this. He stated that he would listen to the rest of the debate and was open to supporting various options. Councillor Hudson said that the report read like the Planning Committee should support the application, but the objectors experience matters.

Councillor Holland stated that noise was the key issue and that there were two different holiday environments to consider. He said that some of the objectors to the application had referred to the outdoor stage being moved, and the agent had also said that relocation of the outdoor stage could be considered. Councillor Holland said that relocation of the outdoor stage could alleviate some of the problems.

Councillor Goodwin said that she agreed with Councillor Holland about there being a compromise in regard to the outdoor stage. She queried why information had not been shared with residents. Councillor Goodwin stated that she agreed with Councillor Hudson and would support a proposal of a site visit as she would like to hear the music herself from the position of being in Thorpe Park and from the Humberston Fitties. Councillor Goodwin proposed that a site visit take place.

The Chair said that there did seem like there was a willingness to compromise from the agent. He proposed that the application be deferred in order to allow the applicant to consult with planning officers.

Councillor Shutt seconded the proposal to defer the application but suggested that a condition be added to the proposal of deferment that the applicant consult with residents of the Humberston Fitties.

The Chair said that he was not sure a condition could be added that enforced that, but it could be suggested to the applicant.

Mr Dixon said that he wouldn’t recommend including the condition in the planning application but could add a condition into the noise management plan. He said that planning officers would need to consult with the applicant on how they would want to progress with the application and whether that meant the stage being in a different position or the stage being removed entirely.

Councillor Shutt said that Councillor Hudson had made some good points. He said that deferment of the application was needed as well as consultation.

Councillor Parkinson said that he thought the inclusion of the acoustic fencing had shown willingness from the applicant. He queried whether there was data on how much the noise levels would drop as a result of the addition of the acoustic fencing. Councillor Parkinson said that noise limiting devices were usually used at sites similar to the site being considered. He asked whether a noise limiting device could be included in the plans. Councillor Parkinson stated that a site visit would be useful in the summer months. He said that he would support the proposal of deferment.

Mr Dixon stated that the acoustic fencing would mean noise would be reduced by five decibels.

Councillor Goodwin asked whether it was possible to defer the application and undertake a site visit. She said that the Planning Committee needed to know what the applicant was willing to do and what suited the residents of the Humberston Fitties. Councillor Goodwin stated that she would support deferment and a site visit.

Councillor Lindley said that he agreed with Councillor Goodwin. He stated that consultation with residents had been lacking. Councillor Lindley said that he thought it would be beneficial to undertake a site visit when the residents were on the site. He said that the problems stem from the fact that the applicant had not stuck to the plans in the original planning application and if they had done, there wouldn’t be the problems there were now. Councillor Lindley stated that he appreciated the attempts from the applicant to mitigate the noise with the addition of the fence, but he did not think a reduction of five decibels in noise would make much difference. He said that his view from when the plans were previously discussed had not really changed and he did not think the proposed changes would have a radical effect. Councillor Lindley said that he would support deferring the application and support a site visit. He said that he was disappointed that the application was before the Planning Committee now and not during the summer months.

The Chair stated that he would amend his initial proposal of deferment to include a site visit, which would be undertaken by the Planning Committee at an appropriate time.

Councillor Shutt agreed to the amended proposal.

Councillor Parkinson asked whether there could be an officer from the Environmental Health team present during the site visit and that the music from the outdoor stage be playing.

Mr Dixon stated that he would report back to the Planning Committee with the details of the site visit.

RESOLVED – That the application be deferred.

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

Mr Brockbank left the meeting at this point.

Item 2 – DM/09/42/23/FUL Scout Hut, Waltham Road, Grimsby

Mr Dixon introduced the hybrid application and explained that it sought full planning permission for the demolition of the existing buildings and outline planning permission for the erection of up to four dwellings with access to be considered. Mr Dixon said that the outline permission was originally for six dwellings, but this had now been reduced to four. He stated that the application had been brought before the Planning Committee due to a call in from Councillor Shepherd and the number of objections received. Mr Dixon said that the proposed site was located within the development area of Grimsby in a highly sustainable area. He explained that the site used to host a community group who had since located to other accommodation and have confirmed the site was no longer suitable for them. Mr Dixon stated that the proposed development would therefore not lead to the loss of an important community asset. He said that the application was acceptable in principle. Mr Dixon said that due to the position of the site and the screening, the proposed development would have a limited impact on the appearance and character of the Scartho Conservation Area. Mr Dixon said that the council’s heritage officer had not objected to the application but had required that a condition be added to allow for an archaeological investigation to take place. Mr Dixon said that the indicative layout showed that the proposed development could be accommodated on the site without having an adverse impact on neighbouring amenities. He explained that the indicative plan showed that there would be a bungalow design at each end of the terrace which would limit the impact on neighbours particularly to the north and south where the development would adjoin the rear garden areas of existing properties. Mr Dixon stated that this would limit overlooking and massing. He said that a condition had been included with the application that the design proposed be followed. Mr Dixon said that a tree report had been submitted and it had been determined that the proposed development would not lead to a loss of trees of recognised value and any losses could be replaced. Mr Dixon stated that a lot of work had been undertaken regarding highways. He said that the proposed site had an existing use and access and vehicles could not be stopped from driving down there. Mr Dixon explained that the access would be widened to allow for two vehicles to pass which would limit the time vehicles would have to wait to enter the site, reducing congestion on the carriageway. He said that access to the site would also be limited by the traffic island and signage around the roundabout, stopping southbound vehicles turning directly into the site in an unsafe manner. Mr Dixon said that the council’s highways officer had considered the application and accepted the situation was not ideal. He stated that the council’s highways officer had sought the opinion of the traffic and road safety officers. Mr Dixon said that the council’s highways officer had concluded that the level of traffic movements associated with four dwellings would not amount to an unacceptable impact in regard to highway safety in the specific location and the residual cumulative impact on the road network would not be severe. Mr Dixon stated that the council drainage officer had not objected to the application but had recommended a condition regarding surface water drainage. Mr Dixon stated that the application was an opportunity to redevelop the site. He said that the application was in accordance with policies 5, 17, 22, 33, 36, 38 and 41 of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan and was therefore recommended for approval with conditions.

Mr Rigby spoke as the agent for the application. He said that the application had been the subject of lengthy consultation with both planning officers and highways officers. Mr Rigby stated that he was pleased that the application was supported by those officers. Mr Rigby said that the site used to be used by a scout group, but they had since stopped using it as the building was no longer fit for purpose. He said that the site was now vacant. Mr Rigby explained that the application presented an opportunity to develop vacant parts of the land. He said that he was seeking planning permission for four dwellings. Mr Rigby said that the neighbouring residential amenities had been carefully considered and there had been a subsequent reduction in scale. He explained that the proposed development would utilise the existing access as well as continue to serve existing properties, number four and number six. Mr Rigby said that the existing access would be widened to allow for two vehicles to pass. He explained that the council’s highways officer had fully reviewed the access and supported the application. He stated that the council’s highways officer felt there would not be a severe impact. Mr Rigby referred to the National Planning Policy Framework which outlined that “development should only be refused if there would be an unacceptable impact on highway safety, or the residual cumulative impacts on the highway network would be severe”. Mr Rigby said that the current buildings were very tired, and the application presented an opportunity. He said that he welcomed the officer’s recommendation.

Councillor Shepherd spoke as a Ward Councillor for the Scartho Ward. He said that he did not know what earth the highways department was on, whether it was this earth, google earth or fuller’s earth. Councillor Shepherd said that he had visited the specific area that morning and had seen that there were issues. Councillor Shepherd stated that residents were concerned about the proposed development. He said that the main issue was access and egress. Councillor Shepherd said that there was no right turn out of the site onto the main road, and instead drivers would have to go around to go back up to Waltham Road. Councillor Shepherd stated that if drivers wanted to turn right, they would not be able to, and this could lead to vehicles being backed up. Councillor Shepherd said that he was surprised that the cycle lane had not been mentioned. He said that he thought the situation was a danger waiting to happen. Councillor Shepherd said that the application was for four houses which could potentially mean two cars for each property which would mean eight cars altogether. He said that this would have an impact and would mean more cars using the access than have previously when the site was used as a scout hut. Councillor Shepherd said that highways officer had acknowledged that the area was a busy highway. He stated that other residents were concerned in regard to traffic pollution. Councillor Shepherd reiterated that the main problems would be access and egress. He said that not enough had been done to mitigate the impact the proposed development would have. Councillor Shepherd said that widening the lane would not be enough and drivers would not be able to turn right and would have to go around the roundabout which would cause more traffic. He stated that it was already a busy roundabout and drivers would have to exit out of the site with two metres of their vehicle out so they would be able to see past the adjacent house. Councillor Shepherd stated that he had concerns regarding safety for those using the cycle lane. He asked the Planning Committee to refuse the application.

Mr Dixon stated that a lot of work had been done in regard to the development’s impact on highways. He explained that the site was not a blank canvas and had an existing use. Mr Dixon stated that it was important that the Planning Committee considered that the site could be used as a community site again.

Ms Hattle-Fitzgerald said that lots of consultation had taken place and a road safety officer had visited the site. She said that she understood that the site was not ideal, but it did have an existing use, meaning it could be used as a community site. Ms Hattle-Fitzgerald explained that the Highways Department could only object to an application if the proposed development was to have a severe impact on the highway network. Ms Hattle-Fitzgerald said that as the application was for four dwellings, it had been determined that the development would not have a severe impact on the highway network. Ms Hattle-Fitzgerald clarified that there was no official cycle lane near the junction and that what Councillor Shepherd had referred to as a cycle land was instead the wide footpath.

Councillor Lindley stated that as a Ward Councillor for the Scartho Ward, he knew the area well. He said that as a development, it was a nice development and was well presented. Councillor Lindley said that if the development was proposed to be in a different location, it would be a nice addition, but he had concerns with where the development was to be located. He said that he agreed with Councillor Shepherd and access and egress was a major concern. Councillor Lindley said that the application was for four dwellings which could potentially mean eight vehicles using the access as well as other vehicles from visitors and delivery companies. He said that the proposed development would mean an increase in traffic in and out of the junction. Councillor Lindley said that drivers would not be able to turn right and that meant vehicles would have to immediately cross and try to negotiate to turn to the full cycle on the roundabout. He stated that it was a busy area and could lead to accidents with more traffic using the roundabout. Councillor Lindley explained that the site used to serve a scouts group which operated out of hours and there was a difference between the site being used by a group out of hours to having four residential properties on it. He stated that feeding more traffic onto the roundabout was dangerous, short sighted and he could not support the application. Councillor Lindley stated that he objected to the application on safety grounds and did not agree with the Highway’s Department’s conclusion. He proposed that the application be refused.

Councillor Goodwin said that when she first looked at the application, her first thought was how would people exit the site. She said that now she knew that the access was to be changed to allow for two vehicles to pass each other, she did not think the Planning Committee could refuse the application on highway grounds. Councillor Goodwin stated that the strawberry fields development was refused for a similar issue, was appealed and allowed on appeal. Councillor Goodwin said that was not happy to hear speakers disrespecting council officers and she thought the Chair should have intervened.

Councillor Croft said that when she considered the access and egress, the proposed development would be a nightmare. She seconded the proposal to refuse the application.

Councillor Batson said that he would support the proposal to refuse the application on safety grounds. He stated that he had concerns with people walking past and not seeing a vehicle exiting the access. Councillor Batson said that he was not sure why the traffic safety survey had only provided data up to 2021. He queried whether the site could be accessed from Pelham Place.

Councillor Hudson said that it was a nice development that was being proposed but the access was a serious issue. He said that all of the three Ward Councillors were against the application and that he personally avoided the road at all costs due to it being busy. Councillor Hudson said that he was not sure why the Planning Committee should support an application that would increase the traffic and the manoeuvres that drivers would have to do would be difficult. He said that he liked the proposed development but was not happy with the access and didn’t think we should take the risk. Councillor Hudson said that he liked Councillor Batson’s idea of using Pelham Place to access the site, but he wasn’t sure if that was workable. He said that he did not think the access would be allowed if it wasn’t already there. Councillor Hudson stated that having four residential properties use the access was different to a scout’s hut using it twice a week.

Councillor Parkinson queried whether the site could be accessed from Waltham Road.

Ms Hattle Fitzgerald said that you would have to go round and do a left turn into the site.

Councillor Parkinson said that the access would be awkward to navigate particularly during busy times. He said that he was torn on whether to support refusal or approval of the application. Councillor Parkinson said that there would not necessarily be two vehicles for each dwelling.

Mr Dixon clarified that Pelham Place was on a different level and therefore could not be used as a way to access the site.

The Chair reminded committee members that it was not the Planning Committee’s role to change an application and they must consider the application as it was.

Councillor Lindley said that whilst he understood Councillor Goodwin’s point, he did not think it was right to compare the application to other applications and that each application should be considered on individual merit. He said that the access would be narrow.

Ms Hattle Fitzgerald stated that the access would be widened by five metres and allow for two vehicles.

Councillor Lindley said that that would make the situation worse. He stated that had the access not been an existing access, he did not think the application would be approved. He said that whilst he had the greatest respect for the Highways Department, he disagreed with them on the conclusion they had reached.

Councillor Holland said that he did not think people needing to turn left would be a problem as other areas had a one-way system, but he could not support the application as the access was close to one of the busiest roundabouts. He stated that he could not see how that would be safe. Councillor Holland said that he would support the proposal to refuse the application.

Councillor Shutt queried whether a box junction would be possible.

Ms Hattle Fitzgerald stated that it would not be possible.

Councillor Shutt said that he understood the concerns around traffic as the traffic at the roundabout can be horrendous. He said that he was minded to support the proposal of refusing the application.

Councillor Aisthorpe said that she was undecided about the application. She said that the brownfield site did need attention. Councillor Aisthorpe thought that six dwellings would have been too much and was sceptical over four dwellings and would have preferred the site be used for two or three dwellings. She stated that the widening of the access would be better. Councillor Aisthorpe said that she used the roundabout daily and had concerns about residents entering and exiting the site. She said that she was minded to support the proposal of refusing the application.

Councillor Croft said that there was a tawny owl in the area. She said that accidents do occur on the roundabout, but they just don’t always get reported.

Councillor Lindley stated that the situation was an accident waiting to happen.

Mr Dixon sought clarification on the reasons for the proposal to refuse the application.

Councillor Lindley stated that he had proposed that the application be refused due to highway safety and impact on the highway network.

Councillor Croft agreed to the reasons of refusal.

RESOLVED – That the application be refused.

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

Mr Brockbank returned to the meeting at this point.

Councillor Holland left the meeting at this point.

Item 3 – DM/0997/23/FUL The Grange, Aylesbury Road, Great Coates

Mr Dixon introduced the application and explained that it sought planning permission to erect four dwellings with associated access, parking, landscaping and boundary treatments. He stated that the application had been brought before the Planning Committee due to a call in from Councillor Downes. Mr Dixon explained that a previous planning application for seven dwellings to be built on the site had recently been refused by the Planning Committee. He said that the site was located within the development boundary for Grimsby but was allocated as open space. Mr Dixon said that policy 43 of the local plan sought to safeguard the loss of public and private green spaces. He explained that there was criteria, where if satisfied, the Council could accept the loss of such spaces. Mr Dixon stated that the criteria had not been met and therefore the proposed development was not acceptable in principle. Mr Dixon said that the proposed dwellings would be well separated and would not cause undue harm to neighbouring residential amenities. Mr Dixon explained that the council’s heritage officer had objected to the application due to concerns around the impact the proposed development would have on the setting of both The Grange and St Nicholas Church as well as the impact on the character of the conservation area. He said that the proposed site provided space around The Grange which had been eroded by other developments. Mr Dixon said that the site also provided a green space between old Great Coates and the new development of Aylesby Park. Mr Dixon explained that the proposed development would separate The Grange from a large proportion of the grounds and would alter the Great Coates Conservation Area which would be detrimental. Mr Dixon stated that Historic England had also raised concerns about the proposed development’s impact on the heritage assets. Mr Dixon said that the council’s drainage officer had not objected to the application but had requested a condition be added to the application requiring detail of the surface water drainage system. He said that the council’s highways officer had not objected to the application but had requested conditions be added to the application. Mr Dixon said that the that the proposed development would be harmful to heritage assets and the loss of the green space had not been justified. Mr Dixon stated that the application was contrary to policies 5, 39 and 43 of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan and sections 15 and 16 of the National Planning Policy Framework. He said that the application was therefore recommended for refusal.

Ms Flemming spoke in objection to the application. She said that she was speaking on behalf of other residents in the area as well. Ms Flemming stated that she strongly objected to the application based on a number of reasons. She said that she would like to address Councillor Downes’s reasons for calling in the application. She said that if the current owners were truly being sympathetic to the surrounding areas, they would not be trying to proceed with the application. Ms Flemming stated that there was also never an area of overgrown bramble. Ms Flemming said that she could not see when the parish council had discussed the application as she could not see it as an item in their published agendas. She stated that Historic England had raised an objection to the application, the Georgian Society had raised concerns as well as the Grimsby and Cleethorpes Civic Society. Ms Flemming stated that the council’s heritage officer had also raised an objection to the application. Ms Flemming said that those organisations were experts in their subject matter and the Planning Committee should heed their advice. She said that the loss of biodiversity would be significant. Ms Flemming referred the Planning Committee to policy 43 of the local plan. Ms Flemming said that whilst it may not be a planning consideration, the price of houses could be affected as a result of the proposed development. Ms Flemming asked the Planning Committee to support the officer’s recommendation. She said that once the green space was gone, it was gone.

Mr Deakins spoke as the agent for the application. He said that a previous application for seven dwellings had been refused. Mr Deakins said that at the last meeting a comment from Councillor Hasthorpe about not being able to grow land had rung in his ears and he had reconsidered the scheme after that. Mr Deakins said that the application was now a smaller scheme for four dwellings. He said that the character of the site was the tree line. Mr Deakins stated that at the last meeting, there was a suggestion that a site visit take place. Mr Deakins said that the current trees were in poor condition and significant investment would be needed and the landowner saw this as worthwhile. Mr Deakins stated that he fully recognised the importance of St Nicholas Church and The Grange and whilst he had respect for the council’s heritage officer, he did disagree with them. Mr Deakins said that the proposed scheme would make sure the views were uninterrupted. He said that it was a well-rounded scheme and he hoped committee members would take that into account.

Miss Pickerden read out a statement on behalf of a Ward Councillor for the Yarborough Ward, Councillor Downes.

Councillor Downes wrote in her statement that she had chosen to support the application for a number of reasons. She wrote that having been welcomed to visit the site to enable her to make an informed decision she was able to see first-hand that the land was a diverse haven for wildlife. Councillor Downes wrote that in its previous ownership, the plot adjacent to the Grange and separated by a wall, was nothing more than derelict, dense, bramble which was not accessible by visiting wildlife. She wrote that it was not what one would expect when thinking about valuable green space. Councillor Downes wrote that the site however had been returned by the current owners to several acres of useable green space and people can now access the whole site via foot, walk around it and it is home to an abundance of wildlife now able to enjoy its diversity. She wrote that it had taken years of work in a way that was hard to convey, and much effort and she doubted that very few owners of the site would have shown it such commitment and time. Councillor Downes wrote that if the application were to be approved to allow four homes to be built, that would result in a loss of some green space. She wrote however that the loss of green space would be far more considerable should The Grange be sold and purchased by owners who might not commit such time and resource to retain the site as it currently was and allowed it to return to its previous derelict state. Councillor Downes wrote that it was not a space used by the public and was previously so overgrown it had little to offer visiting wildlife. She wrote that the current owners second plans were to build a reduced number of homes on the site which would in turn carve up the green space with each sale but guarantee it would not return to the overgrowth and wasted space it once was. She wrote that the number of homes on the plans versus the space would guarantee there be a retained green space to the site. Councillor Downes wrote that the plans for the four homes was far less detrimental to the heritage of the existing Grange than the houses around it which had previously been approved by planning. She wrote that there were plans being championed by NELC to build 595 homes on the field directly opposite this house as part of the Grimsby West Urban extension. Councillor Downes wrote that the reasons for declining this application seemed out of sync somewhat with the areas future and previous applications which had and would be heard by the panel. Councillor Downes wrote that perhaps the most convincing reason she had for supporting the application was her concerns for the future use of the site. She wrote that if sold, and planning laws were changed in favour of developments of this kind, she would have grave concerns the site could be used for thirty plus homes, which would be catastrophic for the area, neighbours and wildlife alike, as well as the heritage of the ward. Councillor Downes wrote that she was a firm believer in the right homes being in the right place. She wrote that the Village Council had raised no objections to the four homes.  Councillor Downes wrote that she understood the worries of neighbours and their concerns of the effect of house building on the site, but she did believe that the low numbers of houses would ensure the future of the space and ensure minimal loss of green space as opposed to potential future applications.

Councillor Hasthorpe stated that his mind had not changed from when the application was previously considered. He proposed that the application be refused based on the reasons outlined in the officer’s report.

Councillor Parkinson said that he thought the plans had been improved but he was going to support the planning officer’s recommendation. He seconded the proposal to refuse the application.

Councillor Hudson said that he thought the area would be a wonderful place to live but he was unsure whether the proposed dwellings would take up too much of the valuable land. He said that he thought the initial seven that were proposed were too much. Councillor Hudson stated that he was unsure about the application as there were dwellings being built around the site. He said that he also took into consideration the concerns from the council’s heritage officer. Councillor Hudson stated that he would listen to the rest of the debate.

Councillor Lindley said that he thought the plans had been improved from the previous plans that were presented. He said that he was undecided about the application.

Councillor Shutt said that he could recall when the previous application had been brought before the Planning Committee. He said that he had not been conflicted when he considered the previous plans, but the current plans were better. Councillor Shutt said that whilst there might be houses being built around the site, the Planning Committee had to consider the specific site on its own merit. He said that he thought the green space was special and should be left alone.

Councillor Aisthorpe stated that she agreed with Councillor Shutt. She said that were the application to be approved if could lead to further development on the site and could ruin the surrounding land. She said that Councillor Downes comment about a new owner potentially not looking after the land as well as the current owner was speculating as a new owner might look after the land just as well. Councillor Aisthorpe stated that the Planning Committee should protect the land.

Councillor Hasthorpe said that the land was for wildlife.

RESOLVED – That the application be refused.

(Note – the committee voted 8 for and 0 against with 2 abstentions for the application to be refused.)

Councillor Holland returned to the meeting at this point.

Item 4 – DM/0711/23/FUL 338 Wellington Street, Grimsby

Ms Loring introduced the application and explained that it sought planning permission for a change of use from a single residential dwelling to a Chinese herbal clinic at the ground floor and residential accommodation to the ground and first floor. Ms Loring stated that the application included a 1.2 metre-high wall with railings to the front and the installation of a shop front at the ground floor. She said that the application had been brought before the Planning Committee due to the number of objections received. Ms Loring said that there was a fence at the property which had been subject to enforcement action. She explained that the current application sought to also remediate that issue. Ms Loring stated that the site was located in the development area of Grimsby and was acceptable in principle. She said that the residential provision at the site would remain but would be reduced to the rear ground floor with sleeping accommodation on the first floor. Ms Loring said that the front ground floor area would be converted to commercial use. She said that the works would include the installation of a shop front with a signage area that would be subject to separate advertising consent. Ms Loring stated that the existing fence at the boundary would be removed and replaced with walls, pillars and railings which would be no higher than 1.2 metres. She said that this was considered a betterment to the site and would address the enforcement issue. Ms Loring stated that the council’s highways officer had raised no objection to the application following the changes made to the boundary treatment. Ms Loring said that whilst the provision of a commercial use space would be expected to increase the activity at the site, it was unlikely to be overly intensive. She said that the floor space of the commercial unit was small and similar to other commercial use spaces that are located in residential areas. Ms Loring said that there were other commercial units nearby with a pharmacy being adjacent to the property. She explained that it was not considered that the proposed development would be detrimental to neighbouring amenities due to its small scale and the character of the area. Ms Loring stated that a condition had been added to the application which limited the hours of operation. Ms Loring said that anti-social behaviour had been raised as a concern by objectors, but it had been determined that the proposed development would not in itself cause this. Ms Loring said as the application was for a change of use, a sequential test was not needed. She said that the council’s drainage officer and the Environment Agency had not objected to the application. Ms Loring stated that the application was in accordance with policies 5, 22 and 33 of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan and sections 5 and 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework. She said that the application was recommended for approval with conditions.

Miss Pickerden read out a statement on behalf of the applicant Ms Yang.

Ms Yang wrote in her statement that she would follow the conditions. She wrote that the objections to the application were all misrepresentations. Ms Yang wrote that she reasonably believed that one neighbour had orchestrated all of the complaints. She wrote that she would employ a professional team to solve all the complaints and questions logically, lawfully, professionally and reasonably in order to sort everything out.

Councillor Hudson said that the proposed building was next to a pharmacy and a garage, and he couldn’t see there being any issues. He said that the proposals would result in a betterment to the site. Councillor Hudson proposed that the application be approved.

Councillor Lindley stated that he did not think the proposals would have a detrimental impact. He seconded the proposal to approve the application.

Councillor Parkinson said that he did not think there would be any issues if the proposals went ahead. He said that he was happy to support the application.

Councillor Shutt stated he did not think the proposals would have a detrimental impact.

RESOLVED – That the application be approved with conditions.

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

Item 5 – DM/0025/24/FUL – 61 Glebe Road, Humberston

Ms Loring introduced the application and explained that it sought planning permission to make alterations to create a roof terrace above an existing double garage and passage to include metal railings and timber fence to surround with an external metal staircase to the rear. Ms Loring stated that the application had been brought before the Planning Committee due the applicant being an elected member and an objection from the parish council. Ms Loring said that one of the neighbours had objected to the application but there had also been some comments of support received by other neighbours. She said that the proposed site was located within the development area of Humberston and was acceptable in principle. Ms Loring said that policy 5 of the local plan outlined that consideration must be given as to the impact the proposed development would have on the character of the area. She explained that the addition of a roof terrace would be highly visible from the street and the proposed scale and finish of the roof terrace was a poor design and was considered to be detrimental to the character of the area. She stated that the roof terrace would be an alien feature within the street scene. Ms Loring explained that the roof terrace would sit just over two metres away from the sidewall of the flats next door where the flats access doors are positioned as well as a first-floor window. Ms Loring said that the close proximity of the roof terrace and its 1.6-metre-high fence would have an adverse impact on the neighbouring flats. Ms Loring stated that the application failed to accord with policies 5 and 22 of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan and section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework and therefore was recommended for refusal.

Mr Dawkins spoke as the applicant for the application. He said that he was speaking as the applicant and was not speaking in his capacity as Ward Councillor. Mr Dawkins said that he and his wife had a small rear garden and had decided to consider other options in how they could utilise more space. Mr Dawkins said that he understood the concerns raised by the objector and was willing to work with that neighbour. He said that he was not happy with the objection from the parish council as they had not shown the letters of support he had received regarding the application and had only considered the objection. Mr Dawkins stated that all of bungalows opposite supported the application and there had been no objection from the resident at the other flat. Mr Dawkins said that he intended to put planters on the roof and make it look nice in the area. He said that other balconies in other areas might not have planning permission, but he wanted to go about it in the correct way.

Councillor Hudson said that he could see no issues with the application and thought the proposed development would improve the street scene and make the flat roof look interesting. He said that he did not think the development would be detrimental and that some neighbours were in support of the development. Councillor Hudson proposed that the application be approved.

Councillor Lindley said that he agreed with Councillor Hudson and could see any particular problems with the proposed development. He said that he thought that had the application been for a two-storey extension, the application would have probably been approved. Councillor Lindley said that the proposed development was different, but he thought it would look nice when completed. He stated that the comments received in support of the development outweighed the comments received objecting. Councillor Lindley seconded the proposal to approve the application.

Councillor Croft stated that she would support the application.

Councillor Goodwin asked whether the garage was in line with the flats next door or whether it went further back.

The Chair stated that the garage was in line with the next-door flats.

Councillor Parkinson said that he was not sure about the application. He queried whether the railings were open railings.

Ms Loring stated that there would be a screen, and that the open railings were there for decorative purposes.

Councillor Parkinson said that he thought the proposed development was slightly odd but was not sure that was enough to say the development would have a detrimental impact. Councillor Parkinson said that he took on board that the application had received some comments of support from neighbours. He said that he was inclined to support the application.

Councillor Shutt stated that he thought the proposed development was unusual. He queried that if the garden space at the rear of the garage was in great condition, would the committee then consider that the development was overlooking that garden space. Councillor Shutt said that he thought the issue of overlooking should be considered as the Planning Committee have to consider what things could be like and not always as they are at the present time. He said that he would want to see a condition added to the application to increase the height of the fence to six foot in the section that overlooked the garden space in order to avoid issues of overlooking and loss of privacy.

Councillor Holland said that he was concerned about the proximity of the proposed development to the side wall and the overlooking of the garden space. He stated that he would not be supporting the application.

Councillor Aisthorpe said that she agreed with Councillor Holland. She said that an objection had been received from the next-door neighbour. Councillor Aisthorpe said that she was concerned about overlooking. She stated that she would not be supporting the application.

Councillor Goodwin said that whilst she thought the idea of a roof top garden was great and the plans looked good, she had concerns about the development’s impact on the street scene and that it would cause issues regarding overlooking. Councillor Goodwin said that the proposed development would stick out like a sore thumb in the street scene. She stated that she would not be supporting the application.

Councillor Lindley said that the current neighbour or a previous neighbour had sold the garage to the applicant. He said that the garden space was not in a great condition and that whilst the space might be tidied up by someone new, that person would know about the roof terrace before moving in and would either decide to move in with it being there or not move in. Councillor Lindley said that he thought refusing the application on those grounds was unreasonable.

Councillor Parkinson asked whether the fence was five foot in height near the staircase.

Ms Loring said that it was a mix.

Councillor Parkinson queried whether a condition could be added to increase the height of the fence to 6 feet.

Mr Dixon stated that, that would have to be considered, but that could lead to issues of massing for the neighbours.

Councillor Parkinson stated that he would support the application if the fence was 6 feet.

Councillor Goodwin said that there was also an objection from Humberston Village Council. She said that if she lived next door she would feel that the proposed development was too intrusive. Councillor Goodwin stated that the proposed development would stick out in the street scene.

Councillor Hudson said that he did not agree with the fence being 6 foot in height. He stated that he thought the addition of a roof top garden would be an improvement to the street scene and he hoped to see more of them in the area.

Councillor Shutt said that he would agree with Councillor Hudson if the garage backed on to the applicant’s own property and garden. He said that the next-door neighbour objected to the application, and he would support them. Councillor Shutt said that the applicant might consider purchasing the garden space at the back of the garage.

Councillor Lindley said that it was a fantastic idea and had the application have been for a two-storey extension, he thought it would be approved.

Councillor Batson stated that he thought that the proposed development would look silly on the street scene. He said that he could not see anywhere nearby where there was an existing roof top garden. Councillor Batson said that it would not look right in the area, and he would not be supporting the application.

Councillor Holland stated that he understood Councillor Batson’s concerns and he did not think the proposed development was acceptable.

The Chair stated that a roof top garden was an innovative idea and could look nice. He said that if the size was to be reduced, he could look more favourably on the application.

The committee took a vote, and upon a vote, 5 voted for and 6 voted against the application being approved.

Councillor Hudson proposed that the application be deferred to allow for discussions regarding the reduction of the development.

Councillor Lindley seconded the proposal to defer the application.

Councillor Holland said that he thought it would be a better idea for the application to be resubmitted as a new application if changes were made.

Councillor Goodwin sought clarification as to why the application was not refused if the proposal of approval had failed.

Mr Thompson clarified that even though a vote to approve the application had failed that did not automatically mean that the application had been refused as there were more than two outcomes in which the committee could vote for. He stated that as the motion to approve the application had failed, a committee member had to propose a new motion, that motion would then need to be seconded by a different committee member and a vote would take place until a motion was supported by a majority of committee members.

RESOLVED – That the application be deferred.

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

Item 6 – DM/1219/23/FUL10, 12 and 16 Abbey Walk, Grimsby

Mr Dixon introduced the application and explained that it sought permission to replace existing first floor timber windows with uPVC windows and associated works. Mr Dixon said that the application had been brought before the Planning Committee due to a call in from Councillor Wilson. Mr Dixon said that the main issue for the Planning Committee to consider was the impact the proposed replacement windows would have on the visual appearance and character of the building and the resulting impacts on the Grimsby Central Conservation Area. Mr Dixon said that the current windows at the property were timber sash windows and uPVC windows would not be able to replicate them. He said that they would be chunkier in appearance and lack the detailing of the current windows. He said that the proposal would have a negative impact on the character and appearance of the character of the conservation area. Mr Dixon stated that the application was not in accordance with policies 5, 22 and 39 of the North East Lincolnshire Local Plan, sections 12 and 16 of the National Planning Policy Framework and section 72 of the Planning Act 1990. He said that the application was therefore recommended for refusal.  

Mr Smith spoke as the agent for the application. He referred to photos he had provided and stated that the property being considered was the end terrace. Mr Smith said that the property was not listed and had no heritage value. He said that the existing windows were timber but were inefficient. Mr Smith explained that the proposed windows would have a like for like design appearance. Mr Smith stated that the other properties on the street had, had changes made to them over time and some had been completely altered and some had uPVC windows. Mr Smith stated that the proposed windows would save energy cost. He asked the Planning Committee to support the application.

Miss Pickerden read out a statement on behalf of a Ward Councillor for the West Marsh Ward, Councillor Wilson.

Councillor Wilson wrote that he understood that the heritage officer had recommended refusal due to the property’s location within a conservation area. He wrote however, that he firmly believed that there were compelling reasons to reconsider the recommendation. Councillor Wilson wrote that it was pertinent to note that the heritage officer had indicated that their objection was not to the concept of double glazing itself, but rather to the use of uPVC material. He wrote that the council’s heritage officer had stated that if the windows were wooden, their objection would not apply. Councillor Wilson wrote that this indicated that the current windows, which lacked architectural value and were not deemed worthy of preservation, do not hold significance beyond their materiality. Councillor Wilson that it was important to emphasize that from a visual standpoint, there would be no discernible difference between wooden and uPVC windows when viewed from a distance. He wrote that the primary value of the windows lies in the vista they provide, which remains unchanged regardless of the material used. Councillor Wilson wrote that therefore, the installation of uPVC windows would not detract from the aesthetic appeal or historical character of the area. He wrote that similar modifications, including the installation of uPVC windows, had been successfully carried out in neighbouring properties within the same block. Councillor Wilson wrote that the modifications had seamlessly integrated into the surroundings without compromising the visual integrity of the neighbourhood. Councillor Wilson wrote that the practical benefits of uPVC windows, such as superior insulation and energy efficiency, aligned with modern sustainability goals and contributed positively to the well-being of the community. He wrote that he respectfully urged the Planning Committee to grant planning permission for the installation of uPVC windows on the top floor of 6-10,12 and 16 Abbey Walk. Councillor Wilson wrote that the decision would not only enhance the use of the property but would also align with broader sustainability objectives.

Councillor Hudson said that he agreed with Councillor Wilson. Councillor Hudson said that we had moved on from wooden windows. He said that uPVC windows are of good quality that you struggle to know the difference between those windows and wooden windows as they look the same. Councillor Hudson proposed that the application be approved.

Councillor Hasthorpe stated that he agreed with both Councillor Hudson and Councillor Wilson. He said that you would not know the difference between the windows from a distance. Councillor Hasthorpe seconded the proposal to approve the application.

Councillor Lindley said that some of the rules and regulations around heritage might need updating. He stated that uPVC was a more cost-efficient way of maintaining windows. Councillor Lindley said that when you look at photos of the street which is a conservation area, all of the buildings are different and had been changed. Councillor Lindley stated that common sense should override the conservation issue. He said that he would support the application.

Councillor Holland said that wooden windows in some cases have 200-year life span and uPVC do not last anywhere near as long. He stated that the ecological cost of uPVC windows was quite high. Councillor Holland said that wooden windows look better in conservation areas, and he did not accept the argument that wooden windows were no longer relevant. He said that he was minded to support the officers recommendation.

Councillor Shutt said that he agreed with Councillor Lindley that regulations around heritage might need to be updated. He said that the use of uPVC windows would not be detrimental.

Councillor Parkinson stated that the street scene was a mis match and had been changed over time. He said that he would like to see a condition added that the upstairs windows match the downstairs windows in terms of profile. Councillor Parkinson said that he did agree that wooden windows would be better but would also cost more. He said that it was sometimes worth spending the extra money in order to keep the originality of a building. Councillor Parkinson said that he agreed with the officer’s recommendation.

Councillor Hudson said that had, the buildings been preserved along with the features, he would agree with Councillor Holland and Councillor Parkinson. Councillor Hudson said however that he did not see why the Planning Committee would force the applicant to spend more money when they can get cheaper windows which would be similar when other features on the street had already been changed.

Councillor Shutt stated that there had not been a consistent approach to conservation on the street and he did not think the Planning Committee could enforce one now.

Mr Dixon said that there had been changes over time to policies about heritage and conservation areas. He said that the Planning Committee had to consider where to draw the line. Mr Dixon stated that wooden windows were the more sustainable option.

Councillor Parkinson said that were the application to be approved, he would like to see a condition added that the windows be like for like to the current ones.

Councillor Hudson stated that, that was what was being proposed in the plans.

Councillor Aisthorpe stated that the Council had a policy for a reason. She said that whilst she understood the comments made about changes having already taken place in the conservation area, she did not think that justified allowing further change. Councillor Aisthorpe said that wooden windows were effective.

Councillor Holland said that he agreed with Councillor Aisthorpe. He said that as a Council, we should be trying to restore our heritage.

Councillor Shutt said that a similar discussion had taken place at a previous Planning Committee meeting regarding external shutters in a conservation area. He said that the Planning Committee had to make decisions based on the real world.

Councillor Lindley said that there needed to be consistent approach. He said that some of the windows in the area were already uPVC windows.

Councillor Parkinson stated that a line could be drawn and that the Planning Committee should be looking at reversing the process. He said that he would want a condition added that the windows must be like for like.

Councillor Hudson said that he was happy with the conditions as they were.

RESOLVED – That the application be approved with conditions.

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

P.71           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 18th January 2024 – 14th February 2024

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

P.72           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.73           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.74           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.