19/01961/FULM: Hybrid planning application for development of the site comprising: full application for the change of use of land for use as a caravan site as defined by S336 of the Town and Country Planning Act, together with associated works. Outline application for the erection of associated restaurant/bar/shop and office (access only)
- Meeting of Planning Committee, Tuesday, 5th October, 2021 6.00 pm (Item 32.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 32.
Land At Spring Lane Swannington Leicestershire LE67 8QR
Having declared a pecuniary interest in the item, Councillor R Boam stepped away from the committee and took a seat in the public gallery.
The Principal Planning Officer presented the report to members.
Councillor R Cairns, on behalf of Swannington Parish Council, addressed the committee highlighting the significant number of objections to the application and that fly tipping had been carried out for months on the site, with no enforcement action having been taken and that, should the application be approved the applicant would have a valid reason for continuing with the dumping. He noted the pressure from Central Government to allow developments where tourism was concerned, but there was defined need within the area. He urged the committee to refuse the application.
The Democratic Services Officer read out a statement on behalf of an objector highlighting, that the EIA lacked any credible screening exercise, that the assessment against policy S3 was flawed, as the impact on the separation between Coalville and Swannington had been dismissed purely due to the reduction within the scheme and, that criterion 4 of the same policy had been misinterpreted. It was noted that the assessment for criterion 5 was questionable, as because the site was within the National Forest, did not mean that it was acceptable for tourist accommodation. Concerns were also raised over mitigation measures, the assessment relating to amenity, the traffic survey and the ecology appraisal.
Mr D Hancock, agent, addressed the committee highlighting that the application had been in for two years during which time the applicant had worked closely with officers to bring forward the application before them, which had seen a significant reduction in the number of proposed units and has addressed all technical objections. He highlighted the number of jobs and the financial impact on the local economy the application would have and advised that the use of the site would be for holiday lets only. He noted that the proposal would provide for better public access to the site when compared with the existing arrangement which was restricted due to the site being privately owned and that the site would be run within a Family business that already operated a number of successful holiday parks in the UK. He asked the committee to support the application.
Councillor R Boam, ward member, addressed the committee highlighting the number of objections that he had received and advised that he fully supported the concerns raised by the Parish Council. He also noted the concerns over disruption to public access and the impact upon views of the walkers, the highway survey not having been redone since changes to the speed limit have been introduced along Spring Lane and that no EIA had been completed. He stated that the application was against policy S3 criterion ii. Councillor Boam stated that the site was isolated site and on land divorced from settlement boundaries and should therefore be refused.
Councillor R Boam then left the meeting and took no part in the debate and voting thereon.
In determining the application, members expressed concerns regarding the fact that no EIA had been carried out, the loss of a number of trees and that the application did not have regard to the climate change. They sought assurances that the application would not be a doorway to further development on the site, that an appropriate number of trees would be planted to replace those lost and that a note to the applicant be included to ensure all public rights of way be appropriately signposted.
Members were advised by officers that due process had been carried out in respect of screening and scoping in relation to the Environmental impact, and it was noted that local attractions were bringing in visitors from outside the district who would require accommodation.
The recommendation to permit the application in accordance with the officer’s recommendation was moved by Councillor J Bridges and seconded by Councillor R Morris.
The Chairman put the motion to the vote. A recorded vote being required, the voting was as detailed below.
The application be permitted in accordance with the recommendations of the Head of Planning and Infrastructure.
Councillor R Boam returned to the meeting