Posts Tagged ‘planning’
On 9th March I wrote here about a listed building application that had been lodged with Shropshire Council. I described myself as being “cautiously pleased” to see the application which aimed to carry out repairs, reinstatements and minor alterations to the historic Pinefield. I was cautious because I hadn’t seen the associated planning application for enabling development on the backland.
Today I’ve been notified that an application, reference number 17/00998/FUL, has been lodged with Shropshire Council seeking to erect “1no detached dwelling with garage, repair of existing outbuilding in close proximity and erection of 2no semi detached dwellings with attached 3bay garage”. A quick glance at the site layout indicates that the scheme appears to be far better laid out and less imposing than the previous application for four dwellings.
The very helpful aerial site perspective provided by the applicants certainly seems more sympathetic to its setting in the curtilage of the listed building, and to the conservation area. I remain concerned that the garden area remaining with Pinefield appears inadequate for such an imposing property, and when it is refurbished and, hopefully, occupied it is likely that the residents will have cars. No vehicular access is shown and even if a driveway is formed, parking and garaging will consume a large part of this garden space.Nonetheless, this is a step in the right direction and I welcome the progress. Doubtless local residents will take time to consider their opinion of the proposals. In view of the historic importance of Pinefield, its setting in the conservation area and my concerns about vehicular access and egress on the busy A458, I have requested that both applications are determined by Shropshire Council’s South Planning Committee.
As part of the Inspector’s Examination of the Site Allocations and Management of Development (SAMDev) Plan, Shropshire Council committed to an early partial review of its Local Plan, extending the plan period from 2026 to 2036. Strategic options include:
- Housing Requirement
- Strategic distribution of future growth
- Strategies for employment growth
- Delivering development in rural settlements
Much Wenlock, of course, has a Neighbourhood Development Plan which was adopted in July 2014. It covers the period from 2013 to 2026 and clearly the roll forward to 2036 raises a number of important issues. I am keen to ensure that the consultation process recognises the Neighbourhood Plan’s importance and the local tensions around housing numbers. I therefore spoke at Shropshire Council’s Cabinet meeting today (18th January). You can hear what I said at about 22:40 and Portfolio Holder Cllr Mal Price’s response at around 28:10.
From time to time, I’ll write a resumé of my week’s activities, mostly about my work at Shropshire Council and Much Wenlock Town Council, of which I’m a member. I’ve no intention of writing a piece every week (and probably not even every month), but it will give you a flavour of my typical week’s work.
- On Monday morning I drove to Shropshire Council’s offices at Stanley Lane, Bridgnorth for the South Planning Committee chair’s briefing. I’m vice-chair and have to attend for a number of reasons. Principally, if chairman Cllr David Evans finds himself unable to attend the planning meeting, I’m briefed and able to step into his shoes. Also, if there’s a matter being discussed for the area that a Planning Committee member represents, they take no part in the discussion and do not vote. If David was prevented from speaking, I would take the chair.
- The briefing was carried out by the Shropshire Council planning officers who would present the application to the meeting on the following day. Also squeezed into the small meeting room was the Council’s solicitor who would be providing legal advice to councillors, and the committee officer who would take the minutes of the meeting. There was a discussion about the key points in each planning application, and a briefing on which members of the public and which representatives of town and parish councils would be speaking. We also decided to ask the committee to vary the order of the agenda in order that the Ludlow supermarket application could be taken first. There was likely to be a lot of public interest and we generally try to ensure that folk don’t have to sit too long waiting for the item they want to hear.
- Once the briefing was complete, we met South Planning Committee members on the site of a planning application in Much Wenlock. This was for a proposed affordable dwelling development just off the A458 Bridgnorth Road and adjacent to Oakfield Park and the lane to Callaughton.The planning officer described the application, indicated where the site boundaries are and pointed out important aspects that had been raised in the period since the application was made. These included issues raised by neighbours and objectors, such as proximity of existing dwellings and drainage, access and traffic speed concerns. The site visit provides Planning Committee members with the opportunity to ask about physical features on site and to gain an understanding that will be helpful when considering the application at the formal Planning Committee meeting. Members of the public and local councils are able to attend site visits to hear what is said by the planning officer, but they are not permitted to engage in dialogue at this stage.
- On Monday afternoon I worked from home, answering emails, returning telephone messages from local residents and re-reading the papers for Tuesday’s South Planning Committee meeting – 150 pages this month. If there was anything I wanted to look at further, I looked it up on the Shropshire Council Planning portal. I also read the additional representations paper and reminded myself of a few policies in the Much Wenlock Neighbourhood Development Plan.
Planning – formal proposals for new development – is sometimes viewed with some unjustified suspicion. On the contrary, it is an open process and one where you can express your views.
There is a consultation period during which you may make comments to Shropshire Council. This is normally three weeks but, in practice, the Council will accept comments up until a day or two before the application is decided.
Only a minority (less than 5%) of applications go to planning committee. Most will be decided by officers, so it is best to get comments in promptly. If the application is amended, or if a further issue comes to mind after you have made your initial comments, you may submit a further comment.
Objections will generally only carry weight with the planning officer or committee if they are made on “material planning considerations”. These include issues such as loss of sunlight or privacy, highway issues, noise and smells, and the effect on listed buildings and conservation areas. Read the rest of this entry »
Much Wenlock’s surface water flooding problems have been addressed in Shropshire Council’s “Integrated Urban Drainage Management Plan”. This specifies two flood attenuation ponds, to hold floodwater back at The Sytche and Stretton Road. They have planning consent and negotiations are proceeding well to secure the land. Funding has been secured and work is expected to commence on these ponds at the end of this year.
A planning application in respect of a site to accommodate the resultant spoil is currently under consideration by Shropshire Council: 15/05359/FUL | Restoration of disused quarry to restore habitat, in particular to encourage the re-growth of calcareous grassland (UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority habitat), utilising surplus material from proposed attenuation ponds that will form the Much Wenlock Flood Alleviation Scheme | Westwood Quarry Stretton Westwood Much Wenlock Shropshire TF13 6DD
Update 1st March 2016: This planning application was approved by Shropshire Council’s South Planning Committee at this afternoon’s meeting. As the Local Member and in accordance with Shropshire Council’s constitution, I did not take part in consideration of this agenda item and I did not vote on it.
As I forecast in August, a planning application has now been submitted for the erection “of four detached dwellings; creation of vehicular access and estate road to include works to, and felling of, trees” at the rear of this property. The reference number is 15/02563/FUL and details may be found on Shropshire Council’s website.
Much Wenlock and the surrounding parishes continue to see an increasing number of planning applications. These range from small domestic extensions, which are usually not controversial, through to more significant proposals such as that for the Wenlock Edge Inn, the large portal-framed building in Farley, and for wind turbines.
You can see planning applications on-line – Much Wenlock library can help you find the website if you don’t have access to a computer at home. This is the website: http://planningpa.shropshire.gov.uk/online-applications. If you wish to express your opinion about a planning application, either in support or against, you may do so on-line or in writing to Shropshire Council.
Our local town or parish council is one of the principal consultees in the planning process. It may consider local opinion when commenting on applications. You are free to contact this local council to put forward your views.
As you may have read here and in the local press, the Much Wenlock Neighbourhood Plan referendum returned an 85% “Yes” vote. This is a very firm endorsement of the first such plan in the West Midlands to reach this stage. The turnout was 42%, one of the highest of the seventeen plans put to referendum in England so far.
What happens now? I have arranged a meeting on 22nd July where Shropshire Council officers will explain how the Neighbourhood Plan will work in practice when a planning application for a new development is submitted. They will also touch on other topics including the Much Wenlock Place Plan and the Community Infrastructure Levy.
All are welcome and there will be a question and answer session – the Priory Hall doors open at 7:30pm.