Agenda item

Agenda item

Planning Application No. CB/18/01537/FULL (Heath & Reach)


Address:       The White House, High Street, Eggington, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 9PQ


Removal of hedge and construction of panel fence facing highway with replacement yew (Retrospective).


Applicant:     Mr Janes





The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/18/01837/FULL, a retrospective application for removal of hedge and construction of panel fence facing highway and replacement Yew, at The White House, High Street, Eggington, Leighton Buzzard, LU 9PQ.


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


In advance of consideration of the application the Committee received representations from an objector under the public participation scheme.


A Member asked for clarification from the objector regarding his concerns about ownership of land, the objector responded that the fence has been erected on the boundary of land owned by the White House, any planting therefore would be on land outside of the applicants ownership. It was acknowledged by the Chairman that the land is under Highways ownership and any suggested planting to soften the appearance of the fence would be under permission from the Highways department.


The objector then raised comments made by the Conservation Officer that there would be no objection providing there was adequate room for planting on land within the applicants control. The Chairman addressed that the applicant does not claim that they have the right to plant. The planting was a suggested condition from the Conservation Officer to soften the appearance of the fence, this was along side suggestions muting of the colour.


The Planning Officer responded to the objectors comments as follows:

·         It was noted the impact of the concrete posts and gravel boards can be muted during the muting process. Should the Yew trees be planted they would be hidden.

·         The Tree and Landscape Officer has deemed that there was sufficient space to grow a meaningful Yew Tree hedge.


The Highways Officer added the following comments:

·         With regards to loss of visibility for pedestrians, it was noted that the previous boundary hedge was over a meter in height and there was no information to suggest that an accident had ever occurred in the area.

·         It was noted that the applicant will have to apply to Highways for permission to carry out planting and it would have to be maintained to no more than 600mm in height.


A Member commented that a Yew hedge would grow more than 600mm in height, the Highways Officer responded that the appropriate height of the hedge would be an issue for subsequent negotiation. The Member felt that clarity on the size of the hedge was an important point due to the emphasis of the hedge in the conditions of the application. The Planning Officer responded that the hedge shown on the plans was 600mm.


A Member added that she thought that to contain a Yew tree at 60cm tall would not be practical. In support a Member added that within his ward there has been  a problem with hedges overgrowing on to the footpath, with regards to the hedge in question he noted there would be a risk of the sprawl of the hedge encroaching onto the footpath, especially during the establishment stages as it will need to be allowed to grow before maintenance. If the fence was set back he would have no objection to this measure but as it was set out he felt this would adversely affect the safety of people using the footpath. The Chairman noted the point of overgrown hedges and stated that the hedge would be in the ownership of the Council and it would be up to the Council to make sure that it does not happen.


A Member again raised the point that a Yew tree would not be suitable for a hedge that was to be trimmed back at 60cm. She asked why a Yew tree was chosen and what was previously removed. The Planning Officer noted that mixed hedging was removed and the suggestion of a Yew tree was put forward by Councillor Janes and when questioned about other suitable plants, she agreed that the condition of a Yew Tree could be replaced with a more suitable plant.


A Member asked for clarity over the height of the fence. This was noted as 2.meters.


A Member added that there were mitigating factors that could help this application, firstly there could be many types of hedging plant that could grow perfectly well along the fence, secondly it would be feasible to change the panels, and thirdly traffic measures could be applied to make the entrance safer. The Chairman noted that with regards to the fence panels, the application could not be changed only accepted or refused, with regards to the type of hedging, that could be specified in the conditions of the application as could measures to improve the visibility to the entrance.


A Member added that he had concerns over the amount of space between the proposed hedge and the path way. The Chair responded that the application was very specific concerning the Yew hedge and members should be mindful of that when taking vote. It was noted there were many different varieties of Yew and it would be possible to find a suitable one.


A Member asked about possibly deferring the application so Officers can clarify the discussed issues with the applicant.


A Member added again that she thought the hedging was inappropriate, although she acknowledged her opinion was not shared by the Officers.


It was noted that the proposal of Yew hedging could not be changed but as there are many varieties, it would be possible to choose an appropriate variety.


It was noted that mitigating suggestions of re-coloration of the fence should be part of the conditions.


There was also a condition added to supply signage on the applicants land to warn drivers of pedestrians in the area – this was supported by Highways Officer.


On being put to the vote 9 Members voted for approval, 1 voted against and 2 abstained.




That the Planning Application No. CB/18/01837/FULL, a retrospective application for removal of hedge and construction of panel fence facing highway and replacement Yew, at The White House, High Street, Eggington, Leighton Buzzard, LU 9PQ, be approved as set out in the Schedule attached to these minutes.



Supporting documents: