Minutes Extraordinary Meeting 23rd May 2017

Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council on Tuesday 23rd May 2017

Present: Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Diane Russell, Cllr Linda Middleton, Cllr David Niblett, Cllr Barbara Nurse, Cllr Jane Bayliss, County Councillor Sebastian Bowen, Parish Clerk Ms E. Lewis.
Plus approximately 35 members of the public.

1. Apologies for absence: Apologies were received from Michael Denny and Duncan Grant. Accepted.

2. Minutes of the meeting held on 2nd May 2017: The minutes were agreed and signed as a true record.

3. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation: No declarations were made.

4. Public Participation

4.1 Views of local residents on Parish matters: All parishioners present wished to raise issues related to item 5.1 and the Chair opened the meeting to their comments. The position of the Neighbourhood Development Plan was clarified: the regulation 16 consultation ends on the 25th May and, if Herefordshire Council decide the plan is ready to go forward for independent examination, it then will hold legal weight in planning decisions. This decision is likely to be issued within 2-3 weeks of the 25th May. The land identified in the application is not included in the site allocation in the NDP, and is outside of the proposed Lucton settlement boundary. The ward councillor, Sebastian Bowen, indicated that he would be pressing for this application to go before the planning committee and that the number of individual objections already submitted to Herefordshire Council would help him make the case for this.
The following points were made in raising objections to the proposed development:

  • There have been two previous applications for development on this site which have been turned down, nothing material has changed since these were refused and objections to development remain the same;
  • These are not the type of houses that the community requires;
  • Lucton is a quiet rural hamlet and this development represents an increase of 25% to the settlement;
  • The proposed development adjoins a conservation area and is not in keeping with this;
  • There are no village facilities;
  • Access to the site and extra traffic on a narrow single road is a huge safety issue;
  • The bus service referred to in the application is only twice per week in one direction;
  • The application states it is not within 20 metres of a water course but it is within this distance of the stream in Lucton;
  • There are documents, such as the traffic report, on the Herefordshire Council planning portal that can’t be accessed.
  • The Ecology report was completed in February, which is not a time when the diversity of wildlife in the area will be apparent.

5. Planning:

5.1 171291 – Land adjacent to Farm Close, Becknell Lane Lucton – 10 dwellings: The Parish Council agreed that they wished to object to the application on the following grounds:

1. The site is not one of those allocated in the NDP.
2. The site is outside the Lucton settlement boundary as defined in the NDP.
3. Herefordshire Core Strategy incorrectly describes Lucton as a village. In previous strategy documents is was always correctly described as a hamlet.
4. There are no services in Lucton.
5. The nearest amenities are in Yarpole, 3 miles away.
6. The application refers to a “regular” bus service but fails to mention the service frequency, which is only twice a week. However, it is not a return bus service.
7. Any further development in Lucton, particularly new builds, will have a deleterious effect on the character of the hamlet. The proposal for 10 new houses would increase the hamlet by 25% which is disproportionate and unsustainable.
8. The application states that it is not within 20m of a watercourse. This is not correct as the site plan clearly shows. There is a watercourse running along the western boundary of the site, as is the pond.
9. The application states that the site is 3 miles from Leominster. This is incorrect. Using narrow country lanes, it is 5.5 miles. Using two lane roads it is 7 miles.
10. The application for 10 houses fails all 5 of the RA2 points against which a housing proposal will be considered:

(i) The proposal reflects the size, role and function of the village, which, given the size of the hamlet of Lucton and the complete lack of facilities therein, this application does not;
(ii) Gives priority of development of brownfield sites, the field in question has been used as agricultural land for the past two years;
(iii) Reflects the character of the village and surrounding environments – we do not believe that this development does anything to enhance the Lucton conservation area, as noted in the report from the Building Conservation Officer;
(iv) Contributing to deliverability of appropriate mix of dwellings to meet the needs of all sectors of the community, the plans to build 5 three bedroom houses and 5 four bedroom houses do not meet the needs of the local community;
(v) Demonstrating community support, the Parish NDP does not include this site within its housing site allocation, notwithstanding which, of the approximately 25 residents present at the public meeting, all wished to object to the proposal. It was also noted that prior to the meeting 16 individual objections had been submitted via the Herefordshire Council planning portal. There is no community support for this development.

6. Items for next agenda: No items were raised.

7. Date of Next meeting: Tuesday 6th June 2017, 7.30pm