Minutes of an Extraordinary Planning Meeting held in St George’s Church on Thursday 5th December 2019 at 7 pm.
Present: Cllr W Knight in the Chair, Cllrs P Christie, P White, P Loudoun, N Harding, A Bell, I Vaughan-Arbuckle, D Pearson.
There were c. 40 members of the public present.
The meeting was audio-recorded.
- Apologies for absence. None.
- Declarations of Interest / Grant of Dispensations. None.
- Public Participation Period. The meeting was adjourned for this agenda item.
The Chair took public comments on:
- b) 6/2019/0566, Mr and Mrs Hand, Sunray, East Drove, Langton Matravers, BH19 3HF. Erect a shed (retrospective) – None.
c)/d) 6/2019/0617/18(LBC), Mr Mike & Mrs Rhiannon Eland, Little Durnford, Old Malthouse Lane, Langton Matravers, Swanage, BH19 3JA. Erect single storey side extension – None.
- a) 6/2019/0604, Old Malthouse (Purbeck) Limited, The Old Malthouse, High Street, Langton Matravers BH19 3HB. Redevelopment of site including demolition of several school buildings, conversion & construction of new buildings to provide 20 dwellings with vehicular access, off street parking, gardens & landscaping.
There were 4 written comments, and 13 members of the public, including representatives from St George’s Primary and Pre-Schools raised a wide range of concerns, the main content of which were included in the Council’s subsequent response to the application. The architect, Alistair Scott and Jo Tasker, Planning consultant involved with the scheme also made comments: Ms Tasker, when questioned by the Chair following a reference to ‘Phase 2’ made by a member of the public, said that ‘no Phase 2 is intended at the moment’.
The meeting was reconvened.
- Planning Matters.
- b) 6/2019/0566, Mr and Mrs Hand, Sunray, East Drove, Langton Matravers, BH19 3HF. Erect a shed (retrospective). No Objection
c)/d) 6/2019/0617/18(LBC), Mr Mike & Mrs Rhiannon Eland, Little Durnford, Old Malthouse Lane, Langton Matravers, Swanage, BH19 3JA. Erect single storey side extension. No Objection to Householder and Listed Building Consent applications.
- Receive planning decisions affecting this parish since the last Parish Council Meeting:
- a) 6/2019/0601 Mr Merrick, Headbury, Old Malthouse Lane, Langton Matravers, BH19 3JA. Non material amendment to planning permission 6/2019/0291 (Erect two storey side extension and a single storey side extension) to enlarge landing window in the rear elevation and increase the number of solar panels on the roof. Add internal doors to the music room. Approved
The Council then returned to Item 4 a), 6/2019/0604, Old Malthouse (Purbeck) Limited, The Old Malthouse, High Street, Langton Matravers BH19 3HB. Redevelopment of site including demolition of several school buildings, conversion & construction of new buildings to provide 20 dwellings with vehicular access, off street parking, gardens & landscaping. It was RESOLVED: To ask Dorset Cllr Brooks to put the application forward for decision by Planning Committee rather than a delegated planning officer.
Cllrs made initial statements about aspects of the application, areas of concern included lack of affordable housing and no attempt to meet local housing needs, traffic/Highways issues, loss of biodiversity, density and appearance and no plans for any low carbon building.
It was RESOLVED: To object to the application on the following grounds:
Local, strategic and national planning policies and policies in the Development Plan.
a) The ‘Vacant Building Credit’ policy used by the developers to avoid offering any affordable housing does not apply because the buildings are abandoned rather than vacant (see Court of Appeal ruling Hughes v Secretary of State for the Environment  for definition of abandoned buildings as applied to vacant building credit) ).
b) Part of the development (the parking area to the North on Old Malthouse Lane) is outside the settlement boundary, triggering a requirement for affordable housing under the Purbeck Local Plan (2012).
c) Paragraphs 7, 8, and 9 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2019) make clear that sustainability for communities is an important: the aim should be ‘to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by ensuring that a sufficient number and range of homes can be provided to meet the needs of present and future generations’. Para 77 says ‘In rural areas, planning policies and decisions should be responsive to local circumstances and support housing developments that reflect local needs’. This development does not do either, as the main need is for affordable homes. Recent newbuilds in the village have been almost exclusively sold for the second or holiday home market, which does not meet local needs.
Emerging new Purbeck Local Plan. All dwellings should all be subject to the Second Homes policy proposed in the new Purbeck Local Plan; the development plans do not reflect this at present.
Overlooking/loss of privacy. Neighbours on the west side Old Malthouse Lane will be adversely affected by the relative height and propinquity of new buildings on the east side; these are both taller and closer than the present buildings on plan; there will be loss of privacy for these neighbours.
Highway issues. (para refs are to the Transport statement included as part of the application)
a) Transport generation. The transport statement in the plans incorrectly states the volume of traffic. The statement is based on 20 dwellings whereas parking is also being provided within the development for the 3 additional cottages fronting on to the High Street, plus the plans should take into account the 2 dwellings which will also use the lane as part of the redeveloped Science block. As such total traffic movements should be based on 25 and not 20 dwellings.
b) Vehicular access/ Highway safety. The access and visibility splay to the B3069 is clearly inadequate; furthermore the last time that data for traffic speeds on the B3069 was collected (para 1.4) was 2008; it should not be assumed that speeds will have remained constant. Furthermore, the development is likely to result in overspill parking on the B3069 in the immediate neighbourhood of the OMH lane junction, close to the village school and on an already narrow part of the High Street which is effectively single-lane through much of its length. There is insufficient space for the ‘turning area’ to the North (para 3.3). The width of Old Malthouse Lane at the south end will be narrowed by the westward moving of the footprint of the buildings at that point (referred to in 3 above), plus the developers do not seem to have taken into account the fact that dwellings on the West side of the lane at that point have car parking spaces outside, thus effectively narrowing the width still more. This will make any 2-way movement challenging. The application requires more robust Vehicle Impact Assessment and Traffic Management plans, both for the development once built and during the construction phase.
Smells and fumes. The proposed bin store adjoins Old Malthouse Lane, and will create unpleasant smells and potential blocking of other vehicles during use of the store and during bin collections for those already living in the lane.
Loss or Effect on Trees. The development will result in the loss of at least 13 trees; there should be more replanting than is presently proposed to replace these in line with Dorset Council Biodiversity Appraisal Protocol and Dorset Biodiversity Compensation Framework Version 3, Autumn 2018.Section B, Mitigation, Page 10.
Adverse Impact on Nature Conservation interests and Biodiversity.
The proposed demolition of some buildings which are presently bat, swift and house martin roosts and have been for 40+ years is likely to be detrimental to these populations. There are 8 known species of bats there, and a special licence is needed to do any building work which might affect them. Though the developers say that no work will be undertaken between the end of March and beginning of September, this is an unrealistic promise with such a large development.
Effect on Conservation Area/density/visual appearance/design. The proposed development will have an adverse effect on the Langton Matravers Conservation Area, insofar as the density is much too high. There should be more use of local Purbeck stone and lower roof levels to be more in keeping with other buildings in the area.
Related Matters. It was further agreed:
Construction Management Statement.
Langton Matravers Parish Council asks that before any development goes ahead, the developers provide a full and robust Construction Management Statement indicating how noise, pollution, vehicle movements and other matters will be managed and mitigated during the construction phase and addresses how these movements will be co-ordinated with cotemporaneous developments. This should include a timetable of proposed activities and agreement to minimise effect on neighbours and traffic in the village.
Environmentally Friendly Development.
The Council asks that, in line with Dorset Council’s climate emergency statement the plans are altered to include solar panels, ground/air source heat pumps or other types of carbon neutral design throughout.
The Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and contributions.
The meeting closed at 8.35pm.