Agenda item

20/P/01057 - White Horse Yard, High Street, Ripley, GU23 6BB


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


·         Mr Richard Bartholomew (to object) (in person)

·         Mr John Burns (to object) (in person)

·         Mr Mark Hendy (Agent) (In Support) (in person)


The Committee received a presentation from the planning officer, Jo Trask and noted the supplementary late sheets.  The application site was inset from the Green Belt with the exception of an area of land to the south and east which remained within the Green Belt.  It was an allocated site in the Local Plan for approximately 26 dwellings and 90 square metres of retail/service area.  The front part of the site was located within the Ripley Conservation Area and was an area of high archaeological potential.  The site was also within the 400 metres to 5 km of the Thames Basin Special Protection Area and was in proximity of Grade II and Grade II star listed buildings.  A curtilage listed wall was also located within the site which was subject to the listed building application on the agenda. 


The proposal was for the erection of 26 dwellings following the demolition of existing buildings on site as well as two sections of the listed wall.  All other structures to be demolished were not listed.  The development was comprised of a mix of detached and semi-detached terraced and flatted properties, 42 parking spaces onsite as well as one visitor parking space.  Access to the site would be provided from Whitehorse Lane and widened to 4-8 metres with a footpath provided to the east of the access road.  The proposed building heights ranged between 6.8 metres to 8.9 metres.  Numbers 1 to 3 have been designed to sit tight to the pavement and reflect the key characteristics of this part of the conservation area. 


The application proposed a mixture of 2 x 1 bed properties, 11x2 bed properties, 7x3 bed properties and 6x4 bed properties.  As detailed in the supplementary late sheets, the scheme also included the provision of 7 on site shared ownership units on plots 1 and 2.


In conclusion, the site was allocated under policy A44 within the Local Plan for approximately 26 dwellings plus 90 metres of retail or service use.  The proposal sought to provide 26 dwellings.  Some harm was afforded to the conflict with the Local Plan in the failure to provide the retail or service floor space.  The application was also accompanied by a viability appraisal report.  The recommendation then was that the Heads of Terms included a financial contribution towards affordable housing.  Since that time, the applicant had approached the Council and offered the provision of 7 onsite shared ownership units that had been supported by the Housing and Strategy Manager.  The benefits of the scheme afforded by the housing proposed outweighed the less than substantial harm to the heritage assets.


In response to comments made by the public speakers, the planning officer, Jo Trask confirmed that the County Council as the Highway Authority had been consulted on the application and recommended conditions.  They hadn’t identified any harm in terms of the use and widening of White Horse Lane.  The application proposed 42 parking spaces, one of which was a visitor space.  Based on the Council’s maximum parking standards, the development should provide 45 spaces, however the site was located within a sustainable location just off the High Street.  In terms of viability, the developer had now offered seven affordable shared ownership units.  The Council’s Tree Officer had assessed the site and noted that the trees to be removed were of lower quality and not suitable for a Tree Preservation Order.


The Chairman permitted Councillor Colin Cross to speak for five minutes in his capacity as ward councillor.  The Committee noted concerns raised regarding the removal of the retail allocation.  The Local Plan Policy A44 clearly stated that the allocation for the site was for approximately 26 homes and 90 square feet of retail or service use that fronts onto the High Street.  This would provide a shop frontage to encourage connections with other services in the village.  There were only three areas in Guildford that had been given a District Centre policy with Ripley being one of them.  The Marketing Report produced by Hurst Wayne stated that the site was on the periphery of the village centre and received little or no footfall.  This was not the case, given the site was located next to the Talbot Hotel and opposite a very busy pub and restaurant.  It was also located within the outer reaches of the local shopping area.  The village could not be broken down into primary and secondary centres.  It was accepted that residential flats could be constructed above the shops but the retail element on the High Street should not be lost.  Concern was also expressed at the lack of visitor parking and no provision of a cycle lane.  In addition, York cottage that was located adjacent to the site would be overshadowed by the proposed development, given it was a very old small cottage with low windows.


The Committee discussed the application and noted concerns raised regarding the foundations of the old cottage being disturbed by the proposed development and whether anything could be done to protect the property.


In relation to points raised by the Committee, the planning officer, Jo Trask confirmed that the Council did not have parking standards for the number of visitor spaces it should provide.  The Highways Authority had assessed the application and considered that one visitor parking space was acceptable.  Cyclists would most likely cycle on the road rather than the footpath, so a cycle lane was therefore not required on the pathway.  The impact on York Cottage had been assessed.  The terrace of three properties was set 1.8 metres to 1.4 metres away from the boundary and was hipped away so to avoid overlooking.  There was also one first floor window which served a bathroom.  On the supplementary late sheets, the conditions had been amended to include the requirement for obscure glazing.  The terrace also did not extend back as far as York Cottage, so there was no impact on light.  The terrace was set in a village location where you did find tight knit relationships between some properties.  With regard to the potential impact upon the York cottage foundations, this was not a planning matter and fell under different legislation that could not be considered under this application.  As alluded to previously, some harm had been attributed to the omission of the provision of up to 90 sqm of retail or service floorspace.  However, the site was located towards the periphery of the village centre and therefore the level of harm was weighed at the lower end of the balancing exercise when considered in light of policy A44 of the Local Plan.


The Committee noted that the Committee report referred to survey data conducted in May 2019 which showed a strong trading performance across the whole shopping centre.  Despite Covid, it would seem likely that the retail and service uses would bounce back because there was an interesting variety of shops in Ripley.  Accommodation could always be provided above the retail services and therefore housing could still be provided and not lost.


The Committee noted concerns regarding the effect of the development upon the Green Belt which was located close to it.  Access to the site also required demolition of part of the protected and listed walls.  Trees also needed to be removed to facilitate that access and widening exercise.


The planning officer, Jo Trask in response to comments raised by the Committee referred to the Marketing Report undertaken by Hurst Warne and the fact that they had identified the site as being at the periphery of the shopping centre and not receiving much footfall.  It was also confirmed that the development was contained within land inset from the Green Belt.  No objections had been raised from the Council’s Tree Officer with regard to the loss of trees and landscaping conditions would secure additional planting.  A Landscape and Ecological Management Plan was included at condition 29 which would restrict development of any kind within the Green Belt.  Landscaping details would also be secured for the whole site.   


The Committee accepted that conditions were in place to ensure the terraced houses had obscure glazed windows but the issue of lack of light was not addressed for York Cottage given that they would be looking at a fairly blank brick wall apart from one small window.  The Committee discussed the Lovelace Neighbourhood Plan which they noted had been adopted by the Council, carried full weight in their discussions and had been given due consideration by the planning officers.  The Lovelace Neighbourhood Plan required more parking spaces for such an application, however, the sustainable location of the proposed scheme meant that planning officers undertook a balancing exercise in accepting that the parking provision was adequate.


The planning officer, Jo Trask confirmed that the previous use onsite was a petrol forecourt that ran tight to the boundary with York Cottage.  The proposed residential development did not extend as far.  It was accepted that there would be an impact on residential amenity, but it was to a lesser extent that did not warrant refusal of the scheme. 


The Committee agreed that the proposed development by virtue of its failure to provide any retail or service uses was contrary to the requirements of policy A44 as cited in the Local Plan.  This was needed to ensure continued services and facilities in the District Centre.  The parking provision also fell below the maximum parking standards and the Committee was concerned regarding the lack of visitor parking provision which would create overspill parking in the adjoining roads.   


A motion was moved to approve the application, but was not seconded, the motion therefore failed.


A subsequent motion was moved and seconded to refuse the application which was carried.






















Cllr Ramsey Nagaty





Cllr Maddy Redpath





Cllr Pauline Searle





Cllr Paul Spooner





Cllr Angela Gunning





Cllr Jon Askew





Cllr Ruth Brothwell





Cllr Colin Cross





Cllr Will Salmon





Cllr Chris Barrass





Cllr Liz Hogger





Cllr Deborah Seabrook





Cllr Fiona White










In conclusion, having taken account of the representations received in relation to the application, the Committee


RESOLVED to refuse application 20/P/01057 for the following reasons:


1. The proposed development fails to provide any retail or service uses as required by site allocation policy A44, this would fail to provide liveliness and would reduce opportunities for connections with services and facilities in this part of the district centre. This would be contrary to policies A44 and E8 of the Guildford Borough Local Plan: Strategy and Sites 2015-2034 and the National Planning Policy Framework (2021).


2. The proposed development would fail to meet the maximum parking standards and would have inadequate visitor parking, any overspill car parking onto the surrounding roads which already experience parking congestion would have a harmful impact on the amenity and environment of the district centre of Ripley. This would be contrary to policy ID3 of the Guildford Borough Local Plan: Strategy and Sites 2015-2034, policy LNPI4 of the Lovelace Neighbourhood Plan (2019 - 2034) and the National Planning Policy Framework (2021).


3. In the absence of a completed planning obligation the development fails to mitigate its impact on infrastructure provision. This may include, but is not limited to the following:

· a contribution towards early years, primary years and secondary years education infrastructure;

· a contribution of £6,000 towards the speed management plan for the High Street;

· a contribution of £30,000 to improve the junction of Newark Lane and Ripley Lane;

· a contribution towards playing fields/youth;

· a contribution towards playspace;

· a contribution towards amenity/Natural open space;

· 7 shared ownership affordable housing units on site (plots 1, 16-21)

· SANG to be privately secured;

· a contribution towards SAMM. Accordingly, the proposal would be contrary policy LNPI1, LNPI3, LNPI5, LNPI6, LNPH2 of the of the Lovelace Neighbourhood Plan (2019 – 2034), policies ID1 and ID3 of the Guildford Borough Local Plan: Strategy and Sites (LPSS) 2015-2034, Planning Contributions SPD 2017 and the National Planning Policy Framework (2021).


4. The site lies within the 400m to 5km zone of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (TBHSPA). The Local Planning Authority is not satisfied that there will be no likely significant effect on the Special Protection Area and, in the absence of an appropriate assessment, is unable to satisfy itself that this proposal, either alone or in combination with other development, would not have an adverse effect on the integrity of the Special Protection Area and the relevant Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). In this respect, significant concerns remain with regard to the adverse effect on the integrity of the Special Protection Area in that there is likely to be an increase in dog walking, general recreational use, damage to the habitat and disturbance to the protected species within the protected areas. As such the development is contrary to the objectives of policy P5 of the Guildford Borough Local Plan: Strategy and Sites 2019 and conflicts with saved policy NRM6 of the South East Plan 2009. For the same reasons the development would fail to meet the requirements of Regulation 63 of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 as amended, and as the development does not meet the requirements of Regulation 64 the Local Planning Authority must refuse to grant planning permission.


1.      This decision relates expressly to drawing(s):


Drawing Title

Dwg. Ref (As Submitted)

Dwg Ref. (As Amended) 26.5.21

Location Plan



Site Layout Plan



Rev A Plots 1-3 Plans and Elevations


1366/PLN/202 Rev A

Plot 4 Plans and Elevations



Plots 5-6 Plans and Elevations



Plot 7-8 Plans and Elevations


1366/PLN/205 Rev A

Plots 9-10 Plans and Elevations



Plot 11 Plans and Elevations


1366/PLN/207 Rev A

Plot 12 Plans and Elevations


1366/PLN/208 Rev A

Plot 13 Plans and Elevations



Plot 14 Plans and Elevations



Plot 15 Plans and Elevations



Plots 16-23 Plans (renumbered as Plots 16-21)


1366/PLN/212 Rev A

Plots 16-23 Elevations (renumbered as Plots 16-21)


1366/PLN/213 Rev A

Plot 24 Plans and Elevations (renumbered as Plot 22)


1366/PLN/214 Rev A

Plot 25 Plans and Elevations (renumbered as Plot 23)


1366/PLN/215 Rev A

Plots 26-27 Plans and Elevations (renumbered as Plots 24 and 25)


1366/PLN/216 Rev A

Plot 28 Plans and Elevations (renumbered as Plot 26)


1366/PLN/217 Rev A

Site Sections


1366/PLN/218 Rev A

Indicative Street Scene, Proposed View

1 1366/PLN/219


Block Plan


1366/PLN/220 Rev A

Demolition Plan



Car Barns, Plans and Elevations


1366/PLN/222 Rev A


2.    This statement is provided in accordance with Article 35(2) of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. Guildford Borough Council seek to take a positive and proactive approach to development proposals. We work with applicants in a positive and proactive manner by:

· Offering a pre application advice service

· Where pre-application advice has been sought and that advice has been followed we will advise applicants/agents of any further issues arising during the course of the application

· Where possible officers will seek minor amendments to overcome issues identified at an early stage in the application process However, Guildford Borough Council will generally not engage in unnecessary negotiation for fundamentally unacceptable proposals or where significant changes to an application is required. In this case the council worked with the applicant to overcome concerns and amended plans and onsite affordable housing were provided, however, these alterations would not overcome concerns that were raised in relation to the lack of any retail and service uses and the provision of car parking.

Supporting documents: