Agenda item

Agenda item

A5 - 14/00051/FULM

Residential development for 27 dwellings including demolition/ conversion of former school (amended scheme)


Land Off Church Lane Ravenstone Coalville Leicestershire


Residential development for 27 dwellings including demolition/ conversion of former school (amended scheme)


Land Off Church Lane, Ravenstone, Coalville, Leicestershire


The Senior Planning Officer presented the report to Members. 


Ms S Lunn, Parish Councillor, addressed the Committee.  She stated that she had attended the recent Local Plan Advisory Group and during the meeting Councillor J Bridges stressed the importance of affordable housing.  This application had no affordable housing and would be setting a precedent for future developments.  She reminded Members that Planning Policy stated that if no affordable housing was proposed in an application, the developer should make it clear the reason for this.  There were no reasons given within the report.  Ms S Lunn questioned whether it was acceptable that there was no provision for affordable housing and urged Members to refuse the application.


Captain R White (retired), objector, addressed the Committee.  He urged Members to refuse the application due to the avenue of trees which formed the memorial for those fallen in the First World War.  He understood that some of the trees were no longer healthy but as they were protected due to the conservation area, they should simply be replaced and not destroyed entirely. The footpath was known as memorial walk and would be greatly missed. He believed that the development was too dense for a conservation area centre and would destroy the heritage of the area.  He added that a development had already been approved for the area and further development was not needed.


Dr M Eason, supporter, addressed the Committee.  He stated that there would be a number of benefits from the development including improving an overgrown and unsightly area, the school was a derelict eyesore and it would greatly improve the street scene.  He reported that he could find no evidence that the footpath was named memorial walk and residents that had lived in the area for many years had no recollection of this name.  He explained that tests undertaken on the fallen trees in the area indicated that they were approximately 50 years old and therefore could not be trees planted in memorial as they were not old enough.  He concluded that he felt dying trees were not an appropriate memorial.


Ms J Hodson, agent, addressed the Committee.  She commenced by stating that the application had been previously refused due to the lack of Section 106 contributions not concerns over the trees.  She explained that the revised application addressed all the Section 106 contributions apart from affordable housing.  She concluded that a memorial stone had been offered to the Parish Council but no response had been received.  She confirmed that the offer for the memorial stone still stood.


Councillor M Specht reported that due to the concerns of the trees that were raised when the application was previously considered, he had undertaken some research on the species of tree on the site.  He stated that it seemed impossible for the trees in question to have been planted over 100 years ago as the life span of the tree was only 50 to 60 years, this was why the trees were now unhealthy and dying.


The officer’s recommendation was moved by Councillor M Specht and seconded by Councillor A Bridges.


Councillor R Woodward commented that due to the lack of affordable housing he could not support the application.


Councillor T Neilson commented that he had previously opposed the proposed development on the site due to the lack of affordable housing and he believed that he should do the same for this application.  At this point he requested a recorded vote.


Councillor R Johnson reminded Members that there was Planning Policy regarding levels of affordable housing and if this application was approved it would set a precedent.  He added that it was important to encourage people onto the property ladder and this application was not doing that.  He stressed the importance of adhering to policy.


Councillor G Jones commented that he did not believe it was an appropriate area for low cost housing and he supported the application.


The Chairman asked for clarification on the reasons for refusal when the application was considered by Committee previously.  The Principal Planning Officer confirmed that it was refused on all elements of the Section 106 contributions not just affordable housing.


The Chairman reminded Members that if the application was to be refused, the Committee would need to consider the reasons for refusal.  Councillor R Johnson suggested that if the application was to be refused, the Committee adjourn to consider appropriate reasons for refusal.


A recorded vote having been requested, the voting was as follows:


For the motion:

Councillors G A Allman, A Bridges, J Bridges, J G Coxon, J Hoult, D Howe, G Jones, V Richichi, M Specht, D J Stevenson and M B Wyatt (11).


Against the motion:

Councillors R Adams, D Everitt, P Hyde, R Johnson, T Neilson and R Woodward (6).





The motion was declared CARRIED.




The application be permitted in accordance with the recommendation of the Head of Regeneration and Planning.



Supporting documents: