Application for a non-material amendment to planning permission 70262 (conversion of existing buildings to create 14 dwellings together with erection of 7 new dwellings & associated works) in respect of removal of (4) visitors car parking spaces. Report by the Senior Planning Officer (attached).
The Committee considered a report by the Senior Planning Officer (SM) (circulated previously) in relation to planning application 77246.
The Senior Corporate and Community Services Officer read out a statement received on behalf of Marc Cornelius, Chair of South Molton Town Council Planning Committee to the Committee.
Councillor Bushell (Ward Member) addressed the Committee.
Councillor Worden (Ward Member) addressed the Committee.
In response to questions, the Senior Planning Officer (SM) advised the following:
· The provision of four visitors car parking spaces was in relation to this development and not for the provision of general parking spaces in South Molton.
· Two parking spaces were allocated for each dwelling and these would remain.
· It was proposed that the area where the visitors parking spaces were originally located would be amended to allow for the existing 1:3 bank to remain in situ and no further excavations would be required.
In response to questions, the Service Manager (Development Management) advised the following:
· She was aware of the parking challenges of East Street.
· This application was a procedural matter and not a planning application. It was considered to be a non-material amendment to planning permission 70262. Paragraph 16 of the Town and Country Planning Act applied allowed for the application to be amended.
· The provision of visitor spaces was not considered to be material as no conditions had been imposed on application 70262 to provide these spaces. There was no policy requirement and the Highways Authority had not requested visitor spaces to be provided.
· The original planning application 70262 in her view could not have been refused on the basis that no visitor parking spaces were provided.
· A material amendment would be if there was a significant change to the planning permission such as an increase in the number of dwellings or a change in description of the original application.
· This application could not provide a resolution to the parking problems that existed in East Street.
· There was no legal way to enforce and prevent others from parking in the designated parking spaces on the site.
· South Molton was a main centre for where development should take place as it was a sustainable location.
· The nearest public car park was the Central car park.
· If there was a Judicial Review, the High Court would look at whether it was a material or non material application. A material application would be if there was a fundamental change to the planning permission and there was not. The Court would not take into consideration tractors travelling along East Street.
In response to questions, the Solicitor and Data Protection Officer advised the following:
· The application for a non-material amendment was in accordance with paragraph 96 (a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
· It was not an application for a planning permission and therefore the same statutory processes were not required here. Therefore, procedurally officers had followed the correct procedure for this type of application.
· There were no grounds for appeal. The only option would be a Judicial Review where the applicant could make an application if they considered that the Local Planning Authority had not made a decision, had taken into consideration any irrelevant matters or had not followed procedures or actions correctly.
· Officers received applications for non-material and material amendments frequently. Planning Officers would look across the breadth of other applications to ensure consistency with other decisions and this application was considered to be a non-material amendment.
· A Judicial Review would involve a High Court and there would be costs for defending the application in addition to the Judicial Review. There would potentially be a significant costs application against the Local Planning Authority.
· If the application was refused, the Committee would need to provide reasons for going against the Planning Officer’s recommendation. The reasons would need to be based on evidence which needed to be robust, compelling and substantive.
RESOLVED (6 for, 4 against, 0 abstained) that the application be APPROVED as recommended by the Senior Planning Officer.