Issue - meetings

Meeting: 04/07/2023 - Planning Committee (Item 14)

14 Report of Director (Planning) - A.3 - 22/01138/FUL - Stonehall Farm Buildings, Stonehall Lane, Great Oakley, Harwich, Essex, CO12 5DD pdf icon PDF 349 KB

Proposed erection of 3 no. dwellings (in lieu of Prior Approval for three dwellings, subject of application 21/00788/COUNOT).


It was reported that this planning application was before the Planning Committee as the proposed development would conflict with the requirements of the Development Plan, principally Policy SPL2 (Settlement Development Boundaries) of the Tendring District Local Plan 2013-2033 and Beyond Section 2 (adopted January 2022) being located outside of any defined settlement development boundary and has a recommendation of approval.


Members were informed that this proposal of dwellings was sited in slightly different locations and resulted in a combined total of 65.5sqm additional footprint, however this was not considered to be materially different to the development approved under prior approval 21/00788/COUNOT. The overall height of Plots 1 and 2 were broadly the same as the existing building, with Plots increased but not to a significant extent.


The Committee heard that there were no significant issues with respect to neighbouring amenities or harm to trees, and there was sufficient parking provision. In addition, no objections had been raised by ECC Ecology subject to conditions. Whilst ECC Highways had objected on the grounds there was a lack of visibility splays information, due to the nature of the site and potential level of activity the existing use provided, as well as the fallback position, it was not considered the impact on the local highway network would be significantly harmful.


The Committee had before it the published Officer report containing the key planning issues, relevant planning policies, planning history, any response from consultees, written representations received and a recommendation of approval.


At the meeting, an oral presentation was made by the Council’s Planning Team Leader (JJ) in respect of the application.


There had been no updates circulated to the Committee prior to the meeting.


Mollie Foley, the applicant’s agent, spoke in support of the application.


Steve Pryer, a member of the public, spoke against the application.


Matters raised by Members of the Committee:-

Officer’s response thereto:-

Is there a fallback position on the footprint of the existing building?

*The Officer showed the changes on the screen*

Is the fallback conversion of the existing building on the current footprint?

Yes, that is correct. 

When the Class Q application was made, was there any discussion of Ecology? E.g., Bats, and other protected species.

Bio-diversity information was not available initially.

If the fallback position did not exist, would you be recommending approval?

It is unlikely that Officers would have recommended approval for three new builds in the countryside outside the Settlement Development Boundary of Great Oakley.

Given the new bio-diversity ecology information, what is the legal ability to convert existing buildings given that protected species are present?

Yes, realistic proportion exists, therefore fallback position is given considerable weight. ECC Ecology “holding objection” has been overcome, as little evidence of bats and barn owl activity exists and given the qualified ecologist’s belief that the current buildings are not suitable for protected species.

Would it be legal to convert given the presence of bats in some of the buildings?

Under Class Q – Ecology is not a major consideration,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14