Agenda item

Agenda item

Planning Application No. CB/18/01653/OUT (Cranfield & Marston Moretaine)


Address:       Waterhall Cottage, Wavendon Road, Salford, Milton Keynes, MK17 8AZ


Part retrospective outline  planning permission with all matters reserved for the change of use of the planning unit to a mixed use of dwelling house and vehicle repair workshop, as well as operational development consisting of the demolition of the existing garage building, the construction of a workshop building with office and the siting of a storage container.


Applicant:     Mr James Martin



Having declared an interest in this Item and having called-in the Item for determination by the Committee, the Chairman, Councillor K Matthews, (who was also a ward Member) vacated the Chair and sat behind the Committee tables.


Councillor R Berry in the Chair


The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/18/01653/OUT, an outline application with all matters reserved for the demolition of the existing garage building, the construction of a workshop building with office and the siting of a storage container as well as part retrospective change of use of the planning unit to a mixed use of dwelling house and vehicle repair with MOT testing.


In advance of consideration of the application the Committee’s 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 a representation from Councillor Robert Harrison of Hulcote and Salford Parish Council which opposed the application, Kevin Nesbit, an objector to the application and James Martin, the applicant.  All parties responded to Members’ requests for clarification.


The planning officer responded as follows to Members request for clarification:


·         The scale and impact of the workshop building – the application was in outline form so the final scale, design and physical location would be dealt with at the reserved matters stage.  The outline application sought confirmation in principle of the development.

·         The move toward B2 use in the village – a detailed planning history of the site was included in the officer report which showed a history of commercial use.  The site was regarded as previously developed land.

·         The use of a neighbouring site to the north as a precedent for development – a large agricultural building was present on the northern site which was subject to a separate application for commercial use.  Because of its scale, the agricultural building had been referred to in relation to the proposed development before Members.

·         The use of statistics in support of the application – the number of representations was correct.  However a significant majority of those in support originated from outside the village and parish.  The number of those who had commented was not a material planning consideration.

·         Neighbour’s loss of light – the indicative plan showed the proposed building to be 25 meters from the boundary to the neighbour to the east at The Old Chapel House which was a significant distance.  Further, the location would be addressed at the reserved matters stage.

·         The possible raising of the height of the site and thus the impact of the proposed building by filling in the existing hollow – the final land level would be a matter for the final design application through reserved matters.  However, he understood the building would be constructed on the existing land levels.  The nearby fence line with meter high haunching was not on the applicant’s land.

·         The partial presence of the site in Flood Zone 3, the need for culverting and the cost – there were various proposed conditions relating to drainage including the need for a suitable drainage scheme to be submitted.


(Note: The ward Member (Councillor Matthews) moved to the public speaker’s point in order to address the Committee)


The ward Member referred to his objections being set out within the officer report.  He added that he fully supported the Parish Council’s objections and those of the objector due to the detrimental impact of the application on the privacy and amenity of the latter.  In particular he referred to the submitted plans and that, whilst only indicative, the proposed building was shown as approximately 7 meters high and would invade the neighbour’s privacy.  The ward Member commented that the number of representations of support could not have originated solely from within the Parish.  He also referred to the issue of adequate mitigation through the imposition of conditions.  Nonetheless, the ward Member continued to express his opposition to the application for the reasons outlined.


At this point in the proceedings the ward Member left the Council Chamber and took no further part in the debate on this item or the vote thereon.


A second ward Member expressed her concern regarding the following issues relating to the application:


·         The removal of a row of mature trees which had been within the curtilage of the site and how, whilst permitted, had changed the character of the area.  The erection of industrial style fencing within in the neighbouring site to the north, which was the subject of a separate planning application and enforcement notice, had contributed to this change as had the use of fencing to replace hedge on the roadside.  A strong condition regarding landscape treatment was therefore required should the Committee decide to approve the application.

·         The scale of the proposed building as well as the scale, nature and quantum of business, given the site was, in essence, a rear garden.  Further, the investment appeared excessive for the level of business that it was claimed would be undertaken.

·         Whether the Committee had been provided with sufficient information to make a decision as to whether the scale of the proposed building was appropriate for the proposed location.  She also commented on the possible future development of the business and the lack of sufficient conditions to maintain the amenity of the neighbour to the east.  The ward Member felt that the application should have been a full application, rather than outline, as in its current state it lacked clarity, allowed too much latitude and could establish the principle of allowing a very large building to replace that currently on site.

·         The activities that might take place, the noise which could be generated and the impact of the scale of the building on the character of the area.

·         The footpaths and open fields to the rear of the site and the detrimental visual impact on the amenity of those persons using them by the development.  Shen then stated that, of the 136 neighbour representations in support of the application, 134 had originated from outside the village and as far away as Kent and Surrey.

·         That whilst the officer report referred to various noisy activities which were carried out with regard to MOT testing there appeared to be no comment from the proper officer in the report and the only proposed noise management would be through a general noise control condition.  Due to a lack of information she was unable to understand the noise levels that could be generated or their impact.

·         The proposed vehicle wash down area and the noise levels that could be generated based on the example which existed in Cranfield.  She queried whether the possible noise levels, frequency of use or disposal of water run off had been considered.  She expressed concern the run off could find its way into the nearby brook and requested a suitable condition be imposed if the Committee were minded to approve the application.

·         There was a likely increase in the number of vehicle movements but no figure had been given.  Further, a recommended condition referred to vehicle transporters and she queried where they would unload.

·         The proposed operating hours on Saturdays finished at 5.00 p.m.  She asked that this be amended to lunchtime.


In conclusion the ward Member stated that the proposed building was too large in scale in relation to the site, that the building height needed to be reduced, there was insufficient information on how the proposed building might affect the use of the site and what impact it would have on neighbours, that the application should have been full rather than outline and that the conditions needed to be more specific.


The planning officer responded to the points raised as follows:


·         The application was in outline form and the detailed assessment of the impact would take place at the reserved matters stage.

·         The correct number of public representations had been reported and he had stated that a significant number had not been from within the village or parish.

·         The pollution officer had commented within the officer report on noise issues and no objection had been raised subject to the inclusion of the recommended condition.  A further noise assessment would take place when the final design and location of the proposed building was submitted at reserved matters stage.

·         There were recommended conditions which applied to drainage and which required further details to be submitted on this matter and the impact on the site.  Any issues would be considered further under reserved matters.


The highways officer responded to the points raised as follows:


·         If the applicant was restricted to testing no larger than class 7 vehicles then there would be no need for HGV’s to access the site.  The only exception would be if a small flat-bed HGV was required to take o broken down vehicle to be repaired.  The HGV would then leave.

·         He was not aware of a need for large HGV transporters carrying multiple vehicles.

·         The size of the site meant it did not require a transport assessment to be carried out.

·         Given that there would be four bays and an MOT would take approximately 50-60 minutes per vehicle, the total number of vehicles per day would be approximately 20 giving rise to 40 movements in total.  This was not excessive and the local highway network could accommodate these vehicle movements.

·         The immediate road network was not subject to weight restrictions except at the junction of Broughton Road and Hulcote.


The second ward Member was concerned that if the outline application proposal for a building of 7.1 meters high was approved then a reserved matters application with a building of that height would be considered acceptable because the principle had already been established.


A second planning officer explained that the plans before Members were indicative of what might or might not be submitted at reserved matters.  If Members felt strongly about the scale of the proposed building they could set out what they felt was acceptable and include conditions relating to that.  However, the building needed to be of a particular height to allow the repair of class 4 vehicles.


The Committee considered the application and in summary discussed the following:


·         The proposal was not for a discrete, small scale increase but full a full industrial operation.

·         Whilst such sites brought employment to the rural economy once full consent was granted, and given the scale and size of the building, the numbers of employees on-site could expand and the Council would have no way of preventing a full scale business development.

·         The possible levelling up of the land by a meter and the resulting increase in the impact of the height of the new building.

·         The change in aspect for the neighbour and the village as a whole as the site became more industrialised.

·         The site to the north was also industrial in appearance.

·         The majority of representatives in support of the application were not local.

·         The wash down area would be noisy.

·         That if the existing residential element of the site were to relocate there would be no need to maintain a good relationship with the neighbour.

·         To refuse the application would, in effect, shut the business down.

·         The relevance of Policies DM3, DM4 and CS1 to the application.

·         The letter circulated by the objector to Members containing his proposed conditions for adoption should the Committee be mindful to approve the application.


The second planning officer responded to the possibility of restricting the types of vehicle repaired and the building height and scale and the imposition of landscaping conditions.  Members noted the degree of risk and uncertainty involved.


It was moved and seconded that the application be refused.  It was stressed that the intent was not to remove someone’s employment but to make a balanced judgement regarding the amenity of the village.  In response to the legal officer’s request for clarification on reasons for the refusal a Member commented that although an outline application the plans were detailed and specific showing a building 7.1 meters high.  In addition there was evidence that the ground level would be raised by approximately 1 meter thereby increasing the overall height to 8.1 meters to the detriment of local amenity.


On being put to the vote 7 Members voted to refuse the application 2 voted against refusal and 2 abstained.




that Planning Application No. CB/18/01653/OUT relating to Waterhall Cottage, Wavenden Road, Salford, Milton Keynes, MK17 8AZ be refused              as set out in the Schedule attached to these minutes.




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