Agenda item

Agenda item

Planning Application No. CB/18/00464/FULL (Shefford)


Address:       The White Hart Hotel, Northbridge Street, Shefford, SG17 5DH


The development of 3 detached new dwelling houses.


Applicant:     REL Group Ltd





The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/18/00464/FULL, an application for the development of three detached dwellings at The White Heart Hotel, North Bridge Street, Shefford, SG17 5DH.


In advance of consideration of the application the Committees attention was drawn to additional consultation/publicity responses as set out in the Late Sheet.


In advance of consideration of the application the Committee received representations from Shefford Town Council and the applicant under the public participation scheme.


A ward Member addressed the Committee with the following points:

·         The site had been eliminated from consideration for inclusion within the Local Plan as it was on a flood plain.

·         With regard to windfall development, he noted that there were over 60 new properties being developed in Shefford, all of which fell below the government requirement to supply contribution/community funding as they were developments of 10 or less dwellings.  

·         He referred to a previous approved application in Shefford in which the education contribution would be used to transport children out of the local area to school due to lack of places at local schools. He noted that the children from this development would be subject to the same issues and would have to travel to school at the expense of the Council.

·         He raised concerns about the guarantees of the flood mitigations and their effects on the existing dwellings.

·         He noted that the size of the plots and gardens went against the Councils design guidelines.

·         On the basis of the points raised above, he asked Members to reject the application.


The Planning Officer responded to points raised by the public speakers and the ward Member as follows:

·         In relation to the garden size of Plot 1, the Officer noted although they did not strictly comply with the design guidelines, there was some flexibility within those standards, an example given was if the site was an infill site. The Plot did however comply with the guidelines in the overall area of the garden size. It was also noted that as a condition, the right for permitted development on plot 1 would be removed to maintain adequate amenity space.

·         He noted that the application could not be considered against the emerging Local Plan, as a different process was used to consider sites for allocation into the Local Plan.

·         With regards to flood risk, it was noted the Environment Agency had raised no objections to the flood risk assessment, they felt that the recommendations within the report were acceptable and they have been conditioned within the application.

·         With regards to schooling, it was noted that as the development was for three houses, the NPPF guidance was against any education contribution being sought from a development of that scale.


A Member noted that design guidelines cannot be seen to bind the hands of an Authority, especially when demand for properties in the area was phenomenal. He noted that the Environment Agency was satisfied with the flood risk recommendations and he recommended the application be moved for approval.


A Member commented on issues raised by the Town Council on possible issues with insuring the proposed dwellings as they are on a flood plain. He suggested that building on flood plains could be unsustainable.


A Member asked the Planning Officer if the White Heart pub had been consulted about the loss of unofficial car parking spaces at the back of the pub and if there was an agreement made with the applicant over the use of the land for the towns annual firework display. The Highways Officer responded that five parking spaces are being provided within the development area which is beyond what is required and the pub already has a small parking area for patrons. He noted that the area in question was not a formal car parking area for the pub and there would be enough space for a turning area for vehicles servicing the pub. The Chair added that the removal of an informal car parking area cannot be a planning consideration. The applicant must be confident that there would sufficient alternative.


The Planning Officer added that the conditions imposed on Plot 1 with regard to the removal of permitted development, could also cover Plot 2 if the Committee deemed it appropriate. The Committee moved as set out with condition to Plot 1 only.


On being put to the vote, 11 Members voted for approval and 1 abstained.




That Planning Application No. CB/18/00464/FULL relating to The White Heart Hotel, North Bridge Street, Shefford, SG17 5DH be approved as set out in the Schedule attached to these Minutes.



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