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Contact: Sophie Butcher, Democratic Services Officer
Apologies for absence and notification of substitute members
Apologies for absence were given by Councillors Chris Barrass and Angela Goodwin for whom their were no substitutes in attendance.
Local code of conduct - disclosable pecuniary interests
In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda. Any councillor with a DPI must not participate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must also withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.
If that DPI has not been registered, you must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.
Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.
There were no disclosures of interest.
To receive any announcements from the Chairman of the Committee.
The Committee noted the procedure for determining planning applications.
The Committee considered the above-mentioned full application for erection of two pairs of four-bedroom dwellings with associated access and landscaping.
The Committee received a presentation from the planning officer, Daniel Cooklin-Smith. The site was a 6-hectare plot located within Gomshall, the Green Belt and was also within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Numbers 5 – 14 Highview were all properties located directly opposite the plot of land and flanking the site was 20 Queen Street to the west and Gomshall Cottage to the east. 20 Queen Street would have some oblique views into the site but was determined by the time of year due to the density of vegetation. To the rear was also a wooded area which screened the site and visibility of it. The site was therefore only really visible to the properties located at numbers 5-14 Highview; however their view of the Surrey Hills would not be interrupted by this development.
In relation to the planning history, a previous application, 15/P/01447, for the creation of 10 dwellings was refused because of its impact upon the Green Belt but was subsequently upheld at appeal. The Committee noted that comments made by the Planning Inspector that the Council had accepted, by fact and degree, that the village was within Gomshall. Further, that the site was expansive in scale and surrounded on three sides by loosely developed land. The development of ten dwellings spanning the full width of the site was therefore not perceived to represent limited infilling. The Inspector also concluded that the proposal would not be harmful to the character and appearance of the area. Planning officers had therefore deduced from this that the more modest proposal of four dwellings would not have an impact on the wider area.
The Committee noted that this was a new proposal for four dwellings, split into two pairs of semi-detached houses, which did not span the full width of the site and was loosely developed. Internally, each house would consist of four double bedrooms and were allocated a generous amount of amenity space which complied with the national space standard requirements. The dwellings were of contemporary design, surrounded by landscaping and located on a slope which reduced their overall impact and dominance on the surrounding area. The landscaping proposed enhanced the surrounding trees and was supported by Guildford’s Arboricultural Officer. The access to the new houses was also considered acceptable by Surrey Highways.
In conclusion, it was outlined by the planning officer that the main issues related to the Green Belt. Paragraph 149 of the NPPF stated that an exception for building in the Green Belt was limited infilling in villages. The Local Plan states that limited infilling maybe appropriate outside the identified settlement boundaries where it can be demonstrated that the site could be considered to be within a village. Gomshall was identified as one of those villages. The Planning Inspector stated that the 10 dwellings spanning the full width of the site would not represent ... view the full minutes text for item PL4