Agenda item

21/P/02643 - Tretower House, Merrow Street, Guildford, GU4 7AT


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


·         Ms Regena Coult (to object) (in person) and;

·         Mr Joe Jelley (in support) (MD of Aspen Homes) (in person)


The Committee considered the erection of a single dwelling and attached garage on land between Smugglers End and Merlins, Smugglers Way.


The Committee received a presentation from the planning officer, Kelly Jethwa.  The Committee noted that the application involved six new homes on the garden of Tretower with a pair of semi-detached dwellings facing the road and four detached homes in the existing rear garden.  The southernmost access would be moved slightly north and widened to provide access for the six new houses with the retained access for Tretower.  There would be two visitor bays provided onsite and further space in the front garden where most of the properties would benefit from side-by-side parking for the detached houses and tandem parking for the semi-detached houses.  The elevations of the semi-detached dwellings would be mainly comprised of brick and tiling.  The detached houses at the rear would have a fully hipped roof with an attractive chimney on the side protruding from the roof.  On page 61 of the agenda details the planning history of the site and a previously withdrawn scheme where larger buildings were proposed, and less space provided between the boundaries.  Some tree clearance was required at the side, but additional tree planting would be introduced along the front to mitigate from that loss.  Looking towards Colliers Way there was an adequate separation distance between the proposed building as well as tree screening.  There would not be a loss of amenity to these neighbours.  The applicant had provided an energy strategy and they had provided measures which would be secured by condition.  The strategy included consideration of sustainable lifestyles, water efficiency, cycle parking and a lot of electrical vehicle charging points. 


The site had been identified as a toad habitat but had less legal protection than that for bats of a great crested newt.  However, mitigation to reduce impact on their habitat had been proposed and assessed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust.  The Council’s Consultee on Biodiversity and Ecology matters had found the scheme to be acceptable.  In addition, whilst the site was not a major application because it was below 10 new dwellings, a Flood Risk Assessment had been submitted following concerns from third parties and had been reviewed by Surrey County Council as a Lead Local Flood Authority. They had recommended conditions regarding the detail design for the scheme as well as a financial contribution from the development to improve the drains along Barrow Street.  The application was therefore recommended for approval subject to conditions, changes in the late sheets and a S106 Agreement.  


The Committee discussed the application and queried how close the houses were to the west of the site as they appeared to be much taller.  The Committee also noted that there were chimneys yet there was no gas.  There was also mention of an orchard, could planning officers confirm its location and how it would be managed. 


The Committee asked what additional measures would be put in place to protect the amphibious population as the development would disturb the local wildlife.  The site was small, but its biodiversity also needed to be protected.  The modifications made to the proposed development were good. The condition about reducing heating didn’t stop gas nor did it specify solar power.


In response to the Committee’s queries, the planning officer confirmed that additional rooms had been created in the roof with roof lights and therefore the 45-degree pitch roof had been applied to accommodate the rooms as well as achieving local distinctiveness with the Surrey vernacular.   


The chimneys were false and therefore did not have a fireplace for wood burning or coal.  The chimneys were included as a decorative addition to respond to the local features of properties and would not be 100% airtight.  Regarding mitigation measures there were a series of conditions recommended in the report, 6, 7 and 8 as well as an amended condition 6 that stated that before any development took place on site, they were required to submit a Landscape and Ecological Management Plan.  This would ensure that before a spade was put in the ground that there was going to be appropriate measures employed regarding biodiversity net gain. 


Regarding the requirement for biodiversity net gain, this had not been included in the law for England but was anticipated because it required a change to the Town and Country Planning Act.  Therefore, we were reliant upon the Development Plan which has an aim to increase biodiversity net gain, but it was still coming through the system.  The weight that could be applied to that was therefore limited however, the Council’s consultee, Surrey Wildlife Trust, had found the proposal to be acceptable and conditions would reflect those provisions were made. 


With regard to the garden being colonised, surveys had been carried out in the last two years and found the techniques to be accurate and reliable.  The planning authority did not have any authority currently to stipulate that gas could not be used as an energy source in people’s homes, however the applicant had submitted an energy strategy and committed to providing 25% of the energy needs from a non-renewable source.  In this case they would be using a combination of solar and potentially air source heat pumps and a condition would be applied once they knew when they would be undertaking the final building control design. 


A motion was moved and seconded to approve the application subject to a S106 which was carried.










Cllr Ruth Brothwell





Cllr Bob McShee





Cllr Maddy Redpath





Cllr Ramsey Nagaty





Cllr Colin Cross





Cllr Angela Goodwin





Cllr Jon Askew





Cllr Pauline Searle





Cllr Deborah Seabrook





Cllr Liz Hogger





Cllr Angela Gunning





Cllr Graham Eyre





Cllr Fiona White





Cllr Paul Spooner









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


RESOLVED to approve application 21/P/02643 subject:


(i)            That a S106 Agreement be entered into to secure the provision of:


·         SANG and SAMM Contributions in accordance with the formula of the updated tariff

·         £15,000 contribution to Surrey County Council for the full drainage investigation and maintenance on Merrow Street.


If the terms of the S106 or wording of the planning conditions are significantly amended as part of ongoing S106 or planning condition(s) negotiations any changes shall be agreed in consultation with the Chairman of the Planning Committee and lead Ward Member.


(ii)           That upon completion of the above, the application be determined by the Head of Place.  The preliminary view is that the application should be granted subject to conditions.

(iii)          That in the event a satisfactory S106 is not completed the Head of Place be able to refuse the planning application.


And the following updated conditions:


Condition 6 is amended to ensure the Landscape Ecological Management Plan is submitted to the LPA for approval prior to the commencement of development.

Condition 6 wording amended as follows:


Prior to the commencement of development, a detailed landscape and ecological management plan (LEMP) for the site to include detailed landscaping proposals and the enhancement and mitigation measures set out in the 'Addendum to Planning Supporting Letter - Ecology (from Tetra Tech Planning) dated 8 March 2021, must be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  The LEMP should include adequate details of proposed impact avoidance, mitigation and enhancement and include details of the following:


a) description and evaluation of features to be managed

b) ecological trends and constraints on site that might influence management

c) aims and objectives of management

d) appropriate management options for achieving aims and objectives

e) prescriptions for management actions together with a plan of management compartments

f) preparation of a work schedule (including an annual work plan capable of being rolled forward over a five-year period)

g) details of the body or organisation responsible for implementation of the plan

h) ongoing monitoring and remedial measures

i) legal and funding mechanisms by which the long-term implementation of the plan will be secured by the application with the management body(ies) responsible for its delivery

j) monitoring strategy, including details of how contingencies and / or remedial action will be identified, agreed and implemented so that the development still delivers the fully functioning biodiversity objectives of the originally approved scheme

k) final biodiversity net gain assessment

The development shall be implemented in accordance with the agreed LEMP.

Reason: To increase the biodiversity of the site and mitigate any impact from the development.


Condition 20 is updated to include reference to the proposed sustainability measures as set out in the Planning Supporting Letter (Page 11) from Tetra Tech (dated 17 December 2021) . Condition updated as follows:


Condition 20 wording amended as follows:

The development shall be carried out in accordance with the sustainability measures set out in the submitted Climate Change and Sustainability Questionnaire (received 20 December 2021) and the sustainability measures set out on Page 11 of the Planning Supporting Letter from Tetra Tech (dated 17 December 2021).

Reason: To ensure that measures to make the development sustainable and efficient in the use of energy, water and materials are included in the development.



Supporting documents: