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                        Hazelwood Parish Council

   Minutes of EPCM held in the Memorial Hall 08-11-2016

Present : Cllrs J.Harris , R.Heath , G.Wall , K.Walker ( Chairman )

Apologies : Cllr. M.Thwaites

2. Variation in order of business : KW proposed to switch agenda items 4 and 5 , and then take Planning Application AVA/2016/1126 as the first of the Planning items. Agreed Unanimously.

3. Declaration of Members’ Interests : Cllr. Heath declared a conflict owing to his personal relationship with the Applicant ( Mr. M Sutton ) for AVA/2016/1126. Cllr Heath advised he wished to speak to this item as a member of the public, and would not vote with the PC on the Application. The Chairman accepted this position.

4. Public exclusion: There were no agenda items deemed to require public exclusion.

5. Public Speaking : There were 15 members of the public present ( listed separately ) all of whom spoke regarding AVA/2016/1126 ;

Mr. C Winfield : Asked whether the number of formal responses to a Planning Application would impact the Planning Authority’s attitude to the Application. KW confirmed that the weight of public response would be meaningful, and that all interested parties should make their views known to the Planning Authority.

Cllr.Heath : Felt that  the “ Neighbourhood Plan e-mails list “ should not have been used to advertise this particular EPCM and it’s agenda.

Messrs. Winfield & Farrell commented that the use of the list had been very useful in forwarding information which otherwise would have been denied to them – particularly this EPC Meeting and it’s agenda items of wide Village interest. Cllr Heath said that all PC meetings were publicised elsewhere.

Mr. M.Say ( Over Lane resident & NPSG secretary ) said that he was “ guilty “ of using the e-mail list and made no apologies. He felt that the Application was unsympathetic to the Parish, and was an attempt to exploit AVBC’s lack of a Plan. The “need” for certain housing types expressed in the Application design & Access Statement was totally unsubstantiated, and the Application as a whole was in no measure compliant with the Neighbourhood Plan.  The scale of the Application was utterly inconsistent with NP1 which called for single dwellings except in exceptional circumstances, the Applicant had chosen not to consult the Parish Council ,  and no Visual Impact Statement had been prepared.

Mr. M Sutton commented that he had tried to engage with the Village at the start of the NP process but had been rebuffed by the NPSG Chairman. Mr.K Eaton rejected this claim, noting that the NPSG was not the entity to handle any pre-Application discussion, rather it was the PC who should manage this.

Mr. Say continued – Hazlelwood was not part of the AVBC Plan as a key development area, the Application would bring increased traffic density to the area , it would form a bridgehead for ongoing housing penetration in the area where there were no amenities appropriate for the “target  residents “ ( retirees and first time buyers, ) the concept was urban in concept and carried the inevitable threat of light and other pollutants.  No “ Greater Need “ had been demonstrated in the Application; Hazelwood’s exceptional views and panoramas would suffer immeasurable HARM, and residents would bear the major element of the damage done to the village.  Mr. Say’s comments were received by the meeting with applause.

Cllr. Heath commented that  pre Application discussion with the PC was not mandatory , neither  a Visual Impact Statement since in this case there would adequate screening from the established hedgerow. KW responded that the Visual Impact on the site would not just be from one direction – and would be a major element affecting views westward from Firestone. Also that pre consultation would address issues like the apparent lack of respect for the Neighbourhood Plan in it’s final form, in which there is no policy requirement for affordable housing.

Comments from the floor highlighted the view that the Application threatened “ Ribbon Development “ in the area , on-road parking with associated safety concerns , and the lack of amenities ( shops , schools , medical etc) for a proposal for affordable housing with it’s attendant social needs not presently satisfied in Hazelwood.

Mr. Sutton noted that his family had farmed and lived in the area since 1898. He felt that his attempts to engage with the Parish HAD been rebuffed, and that he had been open about his personal aspiration to secure competitive accommodation for his own family from the outset of the NP process. The application reflected his perception of a housing need which was not met by the Neighbourhood Plan.

KW Responded that the Neighbourhood Plan was the culmination of a 40 month project which was proven to reflect the aspirations of Parishioners for their Village, and was democratically defined. It could not be reasonable for an individual to ignore this and to attempt to impose his own solutions onto Hazelwood, and this attempted imposition would be strongly resisted.

Mr. Winfield felt that the Application was a vehicle for turning farmland into profit.

KW then called for the PC to vote on the Application -  Cllr Heath made no comment, Cllrs Wall , Harris and Walker all voted to oppose the Application .  KW advised the meeting that the next PCM would be on November 22nd in the Bowls Pavilion, and that the meeting would continue to consider other Planning Apps. A majority of the public left at this point.

AVA/2016/1065 – Primrose Cottage – Unanimously agreed to support.

AVA/2016/1049 – Lubrizol Expansion – Unanimously agreed to support, although clarification would be sought by KW on some detail issues ( lack of perspective views of the site / travel plan etc.)

AVA/2016/1098 – Over Lane Farm new Spa: Unanimously agreed to support.

It was also noted that a prior Application considered by the PP – AVA/2016/1019 Driveway at The Mount – had been provisionally refused by AVBC pending modification to the hedges and improvements to visibility.  The Applicant ( Mr Eaton ) commented that the required changes were in process.

Cheques presented for signature were signed – that to T1 was agreed could be signed when the HMH chequebook was available.

Next Meeting Tuesday November 22nd. at 7 p.m. in the Bowls Pavilion.