Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 22nd May, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions

Contact: Sophie Butcher, Democratic Services Officer 


No. Item


Apologies for absence and notification of substitute members

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Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Joss Bigmore, Lizzie Griffiths, James Jones and Maddy Redpath.  Councillors Catherine Young and Gillian Harwood attended as substitutes for Councillors Joss Bigmore and Lizzie Griffiths respectively.  There were no substitutes in attendance for Councillors James Jones or Maddy Redpath.


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.


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There were no disclosures of interest declared.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 24 April 2024 as attached at Item 3. A copy of the minutes will be placed on the dais prior to the meeting.

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The minutes of the Planning Committee held on 24 April 2024 were agreed and signed by the Chairperson as a true and accurate record.



To receive any announcements from the Chairman of the Committee.

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The Committee noted the Chairperson’s announcements.


22/P/01306 - Land at the former Highlands Nurseries, Portsmouth Road, Ripley, GU23 6EY pdf icon PDF 2 MB

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Prior to the consideration of the application, the following persons addressed the Committee with Public Speaking Procedure Rules 3(b):


·        Mr Callum Evans (to object);

·        Mr Frederick Trodd (to object);

·        Councillor Rowland Cornell (Ripley Parish Council) (in support) and;

·        Mr Adam Constantinou (Agent) (in support)


The Committee considered the above-mentioned application for erection of 25 no. affordable dwellings, with vehicular and

pedestrian access, public open space, car parking, tree works

and landscaping. (As amended by plans received on 25.10.23

and 01.11.23).


The Committee received a presentation from the Senior Planning Officer, John Busher.  The Committee noted the supplementary late sheets, specifically that Surrey County Council had withdrawn their requirement for primary and secondary years contributions.  They were now only seeking a £26,000 contribution towards early years education.  A few minor amendments had also been made to conditions with the addition of two informatives.  Two late letters of objections were also sent directly to councillors, one of those objections included a number of photographs taken from the rear garden of one of the neighbouring properties, which had superimposed images of the proposed dwellings.  Planning Officers wanted members to look at the images with a huge degree of caution as they did not accurately depict the dwellings as they are proposed.  No information was available as to whether they had been accurately scaled or if the heights were acceptable for their positions.


The application site was located on the western side of Portsmouth Road to the south of Ripley village.  The site is located within the Green Belt and was formerly a horticultural nursery and currently vacant and overgrown with trees and vegetation.  Residential properties were located to the north, two detached properties to the south and a ribbon of development on the other side of Portsmouth Road.   To the west was farmland known as Highlands Farm. The site was covered by an Area Tree Preservation Order (TPO) which was made in 2001 and covered all mature oak and ash trees. 

The proposal sought permission for 25 affordable dwellings which were to be secured as affordable rent.  In normal circumstances the construction of new buildings in the Green Belt was considered to be inappropriate development.  However, the NPPF listed a number of exceptions, such as providing limited affordable housing for local community needs.  Guildford also had it own policy on rural exception homes, policy H3, and officers felt that the proposal was an appropriate form of development in the Green Belt.


The existing access would be utilised and widened from Portsmouth Road.  The dwellings proposed would observe the established building line fronting onto Portsmouth Road.  The existing mature trees on the front boundary of the site would be retained and the dwellings well screened from views in the street scene.  A total of 47 parking spaces would be provided onsite and 12 of those were proposed to be constructed in grass crete so to soften the appearance of the parking area.  A footpath ran along the southern edge of the access  ...  view the full minutes text for item PL5


24/P/00308 - Orchard Walls, Beech Avenue, Effingham pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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The Committee considered the above-mentioned full application for erection of metal gates and railings at entrance into development.  The application had been referred to the Planning Committee by the Executive Head of Planning and Development.


The Committee received a presentation from the Senior Planning Officer, Victoria Bates.  The Committee noted the supplementary late sheets where an additional condition had been proposed to secure landscaping.  The applicant had also submitted an additional drawing showing the proposed streetscene elevation.  An appeal decision had been included for the Committee’s information.  Lastly, the parish council had submitted an additional letter which elaborated upon some of the points they had originally raised.  


The application sought planning permission for the erection of metal gates and railings at the entrance into the development of Orchard Walls, Beech Avenue in Effingham.  The application site was located on the north side of Beech Avenue, close to Effingham Village which was inset from the Green Belt.  The site consisted of the entrance to a cul de sac of eight dwellings which were currently being constructed pursuant to planning permission 23/P/00136. 


The site was located outside of the Effingham Conservation Area.  The development in the cul-de-sac was more suburban in character and quite different in terms of the pattern of development within the historic core of Effingham village.  The site was formerly occupied by a single dwelling set within a large garden that was accessed off Beech Avenue which was fronting onto the Conservation Area.  Whilst the dwellings themselves were visible from the Conservation Area, the new access and proposed gates were very much viewed in the context of the Beech Close street scene.


The development was still under construction and some landscaping had been planted out.  Additional landscaping was proposed as part of this scheme adjacent to the gates.  Beech hedging was a characteristic boundary treatment in this area and new beech hedging had been recently planted along Orchard Walls. 




The proposal had been reviewed by the County Highway Authority who had advised that there would be no adverse impact upon highway safety.  Objections had been raised by the Parish Council and third parties in relation to the proposals impact on the setting of the Effingham Conservation Area and on the surrounding area, particularly the boundary treatments along Beech Close.


The Committee was referred to an application which the Council had refused earlier this year.  Planning officers considered it to be similar to the current proposal – 23/P/01779 and was in relation to entrance gates that were allowed at appeal.  The Inspector concluded as part of that appeal that the development had a very private feel already due to the narrowness of the access and considered that it made a very limited contribution in terms of the opportunity for social interactions or promoting social cohesion.  In allowing the appeal, the Inspector acknowledged that the creation of gated communities did not represent good design, however, given the circumstances of the site, the Inspector felt that the addition of the gates  would  ...  view the full minutes text for item PL6


Planning appeal decisions pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Committee members are asked to note the details of Appeal Decisions as attached at Item 6.

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The Committee discussed and noted the appeal decisions.