Agenda item

Change of use of land for the siting of up to 8 no. residential park homes.


It was reported that this application was before Members due to the development representing a departure from the development plan, proposing new residential park homes outside of the defined settlement development boundary for the area.


 Members were told that this application related to the land centrally located within Sacketts Grove Caravan Park site, on the western side of Jaywick Lane, Clacton. The site was largely laid to grass but contained the filled in remains of an outdoor swimming pool and an outbuilding which contained the pump house for the pool.


Members heard that the vehicular access from the public highway would utilise the existing Caravan Park entrance on Jaywick Lane. The site was bordered on all sides of existing park homes with wooden close boarded fences denoting existing plot boundaries.


This application proposed to change the use of the land for the siting of up to 8 no. residential park homes with associated development to facilitate the use including new access roads and hardstanding to form car parking. The development represented a small-scale addition to the existing and established park.


The site was located outside the Settlement Development Boundary and within a Safeguarded Holiday Park, Sacketts Grove was situated within a sustainable location close to amenities.


In the opinion of Officers, the development would cause no harm in terms of wider landscape, character, and appearance. It would deliver a windfall of up to eight additional dwellings contributing to the continued demand for high quality and affordable retirement and semi-retirement housing whilst also providing a small wind fall contribution to the Council’s five-year housing land supply.


Therefore, this application had been recommended for approval subject to a Unilateral Undertaking securing a financial contribution of £156.76 per dwelling toward recreational disturbance mitigation in accordance with RAMS.


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


An update sheet had been circulated to the Committee prior to the meeting with details of an additional objection letter that had been received as follows with the Officers’ response in bold:-


-       Contrary to the development plan – yet recommended for approval.

-       Outside settlement boundary and protected for caravans.

-       The application was refused initially by the same Planning Officer.

The application has not been subject of a formal determination. An initial view was provided via email to the applicant.

The principle of development is addressed within the officer’s report.


-       Licenced for 102 properties only.

Licensing falls outside the remit of Planning but a new / amended site licence would be required in the event of an approval.


-       Loss of central green area of the established park.

The site is not safeguarded amenity space or subject to any other policy designation that would secure or require it’s retention.


-       Surface water flooding issues.

The recommendation includes conditions to mitigate surface water flooding.



·         The Officer recommendation of approval remains unchanged.”


There was no public speaking on this application.


Matters raised by Members of the Committee:-

Officer’s response thereto:-

Are we satisfied everything is place with surface water?

Yes, Officers are satisfied with the surface water disposal as there is no requirement for consultation due to the area of the application site falling below 1 hectare.

Is there a legal requirement for caravans to be a minimum distance apart?

Yes, at least 6 metres apart in accordance with the Model Standards.

Applicant has admitted that the current layout fails some of the requirements within the Model Standards. However, this will be addressed via the proposed conditions.

Can you confirm then that TDC remains in control of the layout?

Yes, description has been amended and TDC have conditioned for a new layout to be submitted to address the planning concerns (retention of tree and tight access) plus the applicant needs to demonstrate compliance with the Model Standards.

Can we see a photograph of the proposed layout with the tree in question?

An existing block plan showing the position of the tree is not included within the applicant’s submission.

Can we have reassurance that the hornbeam tree can be preserved?

This is covered as part of proposed condition 3.

Can this site still take touring caravans and tents?

An appeal decision at Sandpiper Gardens gave permission for permanent homes. Saddlebrook Chase includes static caravans and tourers. Officers do not have the information to confirm if camping plots are available as the overall site history is very complex. This information is not required for the purposes of the assessment of this application.

Can we have reassurance on what is happening with the tree?

Officers would want to protect the tree and it is fully contained in the site. Officers were told that the tree is healthy, with amenity value but it is not visible to the wider public so therefore it is not conducive to a Tree Preservation Order to be made. Proposed conditions 3 and 5 seek to protect the hornbeam tree. 

Why are we saying “up to 8” plots?

The plan is indicative. Believe there is a scope for smaller units that could result in up to 8 plots and keep the tree. Officers have allowed the applicant to keep flexibility given other issues with meeting the Model Standards.

The applicant believes they can have 8 plots and that’s without the tree there so Officers say up to 8 with the tree.

What are the mitigation measures?

As permanent homes, they are covered by RAMS requirements therefore a financial contribution is needed from applicant. Covered by the Unilateral Undertaking (UU).

Could the committee see the final layout?

This application is for a change of use of the land, often there’s cases where planning would not have any control over the layout etc of these sorts of developments. However, in this case there is an opportunity for TDC to control the layout via the Conditions. Officers believe that there is no evidence to justify keeping the tree regardless of proposed layout.

If the applicant comes back with a layout that meets model standards but removes the tree but adds more planted trees, would that be considered?

Yes, it would be considered. The location of the new planting of the trees i.e. ideally in a more usable location for the public would be crucial as to whether it would be approved.


It was moved by Councillor Harris and seconded by Councillor Bray that this application be approved, subject to conditions and a Unilateral Undertaking in relation to a financial contribution towards recreation disturbance mitigation in accordance with RAMS.


It was then moved by Councillor Everett and seconded by Councillor Alexander by the way of an amendment that consideration of this application to deferred in order to enable the applicant to submit an amended site layout plan for the Committee’s consideration.Councillor Harris and seconded by Councillor Bray debated acceptance of the amendment without conclusion.


Following a suggestion by the Head of Planning that any Discharge of Condition application relating to the revised layout plan (including any fencing or means of enclosure) could be brought to the Committee for its determination, Councillors Everett and Alexander withdrew their amendment.


Councillors Harris and Bray agreed to incorporate the Head of Planning’s suggestion in their motion. On being put to the vote it was therefore unanimously:-


RESOLVED that, the Head of Planning (or equivalent authorised Officer), be authorised to grant permission for the development, subject to:-


(a)   The appropriate terms as summarised below and those as may be deemed necessary to the satisfaction of the Head of Planning to secure the completion of a Unilateral Undertaking under the provisions of section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 dealing with the following matters:


  • Financial contribution of £156.76 per dwelling being £1,254.08 (index linked) towards recreational disturbance mitigation in accordance with RAMS.


(b)   That the Head of Planning be authorised to grant planning permission subject to the agreed section 106 agreement and conditions as stated at paragraph 8.2 of the Officer’s report (A.1) or varied as is necessary to ensure the wording is enforceable, precise, and reasonable in all other respects, including appropriate updates, so long as the principle of the conditions as referenced is retained.


(c)   The informative notes as may be deemed necessary; and,


(d)   That any discharge condition application for site layout plan be submitted to the Planning Committee for its determination.


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