Agenda item

Agenda item

Planning Application No. CB/18/02240/OUT (Arlesey)


Address:       The Limes, 85 High Street, Henlow, SG16 6AB.


Application for Outline Planning for the erection of 3 dwelling houses and associated works, all matters reserved except access.


Applicant:     Mrs Wilkinson





The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/18/02240/OUT, an outline application for the erection of three dwelling houses and associated works, all matters reserved except access at The Limes, 85 High Street, Henlow, SG16 6AB.


In advance of consideration of the application the Committee’s attention was drawn to additional consultation responses, additional comments and additional/amended conditions.


There were no public representations.


Despite the withdrawal of objections by the ward Member who had called-in the application and a fellow ward Member, a third ward Member expressed concerns on the following issues:


·         The change to the environment for the residents of the Limes Care Home, the application site lying within the grounds of the Home, would lead to a substantial loss of amenity for its residents.

·         The impact on the High Street and the loss of parking due to the installation of a new access.

·         The loss of the bin store due to the new access and the need to relocate the former within the grounds of the Home.

·         The impact on the amenity of the neighbouring properties by the proposed, substantial, buildings; the impact being overbearing specifically to the north of the site though less so to the south due to the distance involved.


The planning officer responded to the points raised as follows:


·         This was an outline application and the dwellings and layout were indicative only.  The only matters for determination were the access and the principle of the development.

·         With regard to car parking recommended condition 11 required a reserved matters application to include vehicle parking to serve The Limes to the Council’s standards.

·         The access to the site was wide enough to accommodate parking along the access to replace the parking for The Limes that would be lost.

·         A replacement refuse collection point would be located at the site frontage.

·         The impact of the development could therefore be mitigated at the reserved matters stage.

·         The rear aspect of the site fell within an Important Countryside Gap as defined in Saved Policy CS21 from the Mid Bedfordshire Local Plan.  The Policy test was whether actual physical or visual coalescence would arise as a result of the development.  The application site was visually separate from the adjacent open countryside and the officer view was that it would not promote visual or physical coalescence between Henlow and Clifton.

·         There was an error in the report in paragraph 1.5.  The reference in the third sentence to ‘Clifton as a minor service centre’ should be deleted and replaced by ‘Henlow as a large village’.

·         The original application had been for four dwellings which would have left no amenity space for the residents of The Limes.  The subsequent reduction to three dwellings meant there was sufficient amenity space on the indicative plan to meet the Council’s guidance on space standards.                                                                            


Various Members continued to raise concerns regarding the loss of amenity space, including the loss of the carp pond, which it was felt provided therapeutic value for residents of The Limes.  The possible number of residents who were able to make use of the garden was considered as was the possibility of an alternative future use of the whole site.  Reference was also made to the objections raised by Henlow Parish Council.


It was the moved and seconded that the application be refused on the grounds of loss of amenity for the residents of The Limes and overdevelopment of the site.


The planning officer responded to the points raised as follows:


·         He had addressed the issue of amenity space from the officer perspective but it was now for Members to decide whether they agreed with that viewpoint.


Members continued to query the amount and quality of the amenity space  that would be left for the enjoyment of the residents of The Limes, queried the reference in the officer report  to ‘future occupiers’ of the site, and again raised the therapeutic value of the carp pond for residents with illnesses such as dementia.


The Planning Officer drew Members’ attention to the plans for the site, the total area within the control of The Limes and that the three proposed dwellings would be located within that area.  He stressed that the plans were indicative only and the size of the properties proposed at reserved matters could be smaller than shown and the size of the amenity space could increase.


A Member referred to the lack of information before them due to the application being in outline form.  Another Member referred to the highways officer’s statement in the officer report that the indicative layout showed two 4 bed dwellings and one 5 bed dwelling and, whilst that could change, that was the information before him. 


Following a query by a Member the planning officer explained that there was a backland development policy in the emerging Local Plan but it had only limited weight.  Further, the site before Members was considered to be previously developed because it held a C2 residential institution.  As such the application represented the reuse of previously developed land.


On being put to the vote 8 Members voted to refuse the application, 1 voted against refusal and 1 abstained.




that Planning Application CB/18/02240/OUT relating to The Limes, 85 High Street, Henlow, SG16 6AB be refused as set out in the Schedule attached to these minutes.




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