Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee
Wednesday 4 September 2019 12.00 pm

Venue: Guildhall, Derry

Items
No. Item

P94/19

Notice and Summons of Meeting

Minutes:

The Head of Planning read the Notice and Summons for the Meeting.

P95/19

Members Attendance and Apologies

Minutes:

The Head of Planning completed the roll call and noted apologies for         

Councillor Logue.

P96/19

Declarations of Member's Interests

Minutes:

Councillor Dobbins declared an interest in planning application                    

LA11/2018/0848/F.

Chairpersons Business

P97/19

Expression of Sympathy

Minutes:

The Chair expressed his condolences to Alderman Bresland on the recent death of his wife Lila and to Councillor J Barr on the recent death of his grandmother Nellie Barr.

 

P98/19

Order of Business

Minutes:

The Chair referred to the high volume of planning applications to be presented following the Council recess period.  He suggested that Members consider only taking half of the applications today and the remaining applications would be deferred to a Special Meeting of                           Planning scheduled to take place later in the month.  He said that this                     approach reflected a more efficient management of time and avoided               speakers associated with the applications having to sit through the                              meeting for a lengthy period of time only to discover that their                            application would not be presented today.

                       

Discussion ensued after which it was agreed that the following                      applications would be presented and the remaining would be                        deferred to a Special Planning Committee Meeting scheduled to take       place on 23 September 2019.

 

§  LA11/2018/0237/O

§  LA11/2018/0698/O

§  LA11/2018/0897/F

§  LA11/2017/1132/F

§  LA11/2018/0854/O

§  LA11/2018/0356/O

§  LA11/2018/0139/F

§  LA11/2017/0913/O

§  LA11/2019/0127/F

§  LA11/2019/0124/O

 

P99/19

Site Visit Deferrals

Minutes:

Members noted site visit deferrals for the following planning applications listed for decision:

 

§  LA11/2017/0251/F

§  LA11/2018/0481/F

§  LA11/2018/1053/O

 

P100/19

Late Information Received

Minutes:

The Head of Planning reported that late information was received in            respect to planning application LA11/2018/0686/F and the application   would be deferred to allow for further consultation after which the                      application would be returned for consideration by Committee.

                        Members noted late information received for the following                                        applications:

§  LA11/2017/1077/F

§  LA11/2018/0356/O

§  LA11/2017/0251/F

§  LA11/2017/0913/O

§  LA11/2018/0481/F

§  LA11/2018/1191/F

§  LA11/2019/0127/F

§  LA11/2018/0686/F

§  LA11/2018/1038/O

§  J/2011/0082/F

§  LA11/2019/0075/F

§  LA11/2019/0099/O

 

P101/19

Confirmation of the Open Minutes of the Planning Committee held on Wednesday 3 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 328 KB

Minutes:

The Open Minutes of Planning Committee meeting held on 3 July 2019       (P72/19-P88/19) were agreed and signed by the Chair of Committee.

 

Matters Arising

P102/19

Planning Application: LA11/2018/0817/O

Minutes:

The Lead Legal Services Officer in response to Councillor Kelly                                   confirmed that no legal advice was received to date.

 

P103/19

Deferred Applications

Minutes:

Councillor Kelly referred to those applications that be returned for                            further consideration/consultation and queried the time frame                                   and how this impacted on statistics in going forward.  The Head of                                Planning Performance and Improvement agreed to provide an update                     report at a future meeting.

P104/19

Planning Applications List with Recommendations for Decision pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Legal Services Officer reminded Members that in line with Planning protocol, they are not permitted to contribute to the discussion or vote unless they were present for the entirety of an item.  He noted that the Council had a responsibility to ensure that business was completed.  The need for a quorum for reconsiderations could present a challenge to this.  Reconsiderations should therefore be considered as the item being presented afresh and Members should consider the entirety of the documentation and the Minutes of the previous Meeting.  Provided they had done so they could contribute to the debate and vote on reconsiderations.

        

Reconsidered Applications

                       

LA11/2018/0237/O – Site for two storey farm dwelling and                     detached domestic garage at site 80 metres north of 5 Tagharina     Road, Lower Tully, Newbuildings, Londonderry.

        

The Head of Planning presented the above application, details of which      had been previously circulated to Members.  She provided an overview         of the background to the application and advised that on further            consideration of all points the professional opinion to refuse planning          permission remained for reasons as outlined within the report.  She            further advised however, that if Members were minded to overturn the          recommendation that conditions without prejudice were included in the     report. 

              

The Members received speaking rights from Mr Adrian Browne, agent.

Councillor Kelly referred to the proposal being contrary to CTY 10 part        (b) of PPS 21 in that two development opportunities having been ‘sold off’, being transferred to family members in the previous 10 years.  He     alluded to the fact that from DAERA perspective, they have encouraged         farmers to off-load to family members in order to avoid huge             inheritance tax, however Planning Policy contradicts DAERA’s advice            and this caused him great concern and he sought clarification in that respect.

 

The PPO advised that whilst she acknowledged the concerns raised by         Councillor Kelly her professional opinion was solely based on evidence   provided by the applicant which had resulted in non-compliance with       Policy CTY 10 (a) of PPS 21.

              

Councillor McKinney and Councillor Gallagher left the room at this               stage.

              

Alderman Kerrigan joined the meeting at this stage.  

              

Discussion ensued after which Councillor Kelly moved, seconded by             Alderman McClintock not to accept the officer recommendation to                     refuse planning permission.

               The outcome of the vote:  For 6, Against 0, Abstention 5.  The proposal                   was carried. 

                       

For 6, Against 0, Abstention 5 – Proposal was carried.

                       

The Committee

                                   

                                    Resolved       not to accept the officer recommendation                                                                 to refuse planning application                                                                                       LA11/2018/0237/O and for planning                                                                           approval to be granted with conditions                                                                attached.

              

LA11/2018/0698/O - Proposed erection of dwelling and domestic garage adjacent to and south-east of 61 Woodend Road, Strabane.

              

The Head of Planning presented the above application, details of which had been previously circulated to Members.  She provided an overview of the background to the application and advised that the original recommendation to refuse planning permission remained, however, if Members were minded to approve that conditions without prejudice were provided within the report.

  

The Members received speaking rights from  ...  view the full minutes text for item P104/19

P105/19

DAERA Consultation on Forestry Plan Scoping for West Tyrone pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Officer presented the above report, details of which had been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of this report is to advise Members that Council has been consulted on the scoping of a Forestry Plan for West Tyrone and, given that forestry and woodlands are a potentially important land use in the District, it is proposed that the Planning Committee considers and sends the attached response (Appendix 29) to DAERA Forest Service.

 

Councillor Dobbins stated that any proposed forestry plans should be welcomed.  She stated that although the recommendations were ‘soft’ they were to be welcomed in an environmental capacity.

 

Councillor Kelly welcomed the letter and stated that some forests planted in his area did not seem to be connected to the wider landscape.  He further stated that in his opinion, that approach would be detrimental to the aesthetics of the landscape and although addressed within the response, enquired if officers had considered this in the LDP.  He stated that it was important when laying out their forestry that it was connected and followed the contours of the landscape rather than buying a farm and planting it with spruce trees.  He suggested that native species of trees should also be considered rather than just pure spruce plantations which were not native trees to the area.

 

In response, the Principal Planning Officer concurred with the remarks made by Councillor Kelly.  He stated that the wording of the considerations showed that they were being much more sensitive to all of those issues.  He stated that the elements set out in the consultation did consider the visual impact to the landscape, softer borders with much more of a mixed forestry and more of a mixed nature of deciduous species particularly on the boundaries to give softer lines.  He stated that the consultation was very positive and that officers emphasised those points in the response but it was important that we were not just bounding our District with forests which would be detrimental to the LDP objectives to sustain vibrant, rural communities.

 

Councillor McGuire recalled that in previous years, once forests had been cut down a lot of acreage in those areas was used as forms of renewable energy.  He stated that it was important to have clarity on the matter and Members were consulted regarding future plans for those harvested areas.

 

In response, the Principal Planning Officer stated that the consultation had mentioned regenerating the forests in a different way, however there had been no mention of any alternative land uses or renewable energy applications.  He stated that if Members were content that Council would like to be consulted on the matter and could be added to the response as a consideration. 

 

Councillor Kelly enquired if mapping of the forestry land throughout the District be designated within the LDP.

 

In response, the Principal Planning Officer stated that forestry, like agriculture, would not be designated within the LDP, however it would be referenced in the background papers.  He added  ...  view the full minutes text for item P105/19

P106/19

DfC Consultation on Affordable Housing Definition pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Officer presented the above report, details of which had been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of the report was to advise Members that the Department for Communities (DfC) is undertaking a public consultation on the proposed changes to the Definition of Affordable Housing and, given that affordable housing is an important issue in the District, it is proposed that the Planning Committee considers and sends the attached response (Appendix 30) to DfC.

                       

Councillor Gallagher stated that other factors must be considered such as the bedroom tax and also matching families to the current available housing stock.   He added that planning officers had to consider the matter of housing quality matching affordability.

 

In response to a query from Councillor Dobbins, the Principal Planning Officer stated debates had taken place around the pro’s and con’s and merits of right-to-buy and whether it should be considered as part of the definition.  He further stated that such a debate was considered unnecessary within a planning definition, however it may be valid for housing authorities and associations.

 

Councillor Dobbins further enquired if an area would be zoned for affordable housing to allow the location of social housing if the need had been identified.

 

In response, the Principal Planning Officer stated that it was within the policy to promote affordable housing and similarly to allow for an exception to areas defined for social housing need.  He advised that all housing should be developed on housing land, however where there was an area for social housing need an exception could be made.  However, if the exception was made for affordable housing which is much more general, it could undermine the potential soundness of the LDP if that wider definition was adopted.

 

Councillor Kelly asked if the response was made from a planning perspective rather than in a broader sense where Council could respond.

 

In response, the Lead Legal Services Officer stated that he was not aware of the matter being raised at any of the other Committees.  However, any individual or party could respond as it is an open consultation.

 

The Chair advised Members that the consultation closed on 13 September, therefore this provided limited scope in terms of a broader response.

The outcome of the vote; For 12, Against 0, Abstention 1.

 

            The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members agree to Planning officers responding to the Department for the Communities with the letter as set out in Appendix 30. 

 

P107/19

Wind Farm Appeal to An Bord Pleanála against Refusal of Planning application by Donegal County Council for proposed wind farm development at Momeen and Lettergull, Lifford, Co. Donegal pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Planning Officer presented the above report, details of which had been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of the report was to advise Members of receipt of a letter from An Bord Pleanála dated 12 August 2019 and a consultation letter from DFI Strategic Planning Division dated 15 August 2019 in relation to application LA11/2018/0937/TBA for the erection of a wind farm in Co. Donegal (see attached Appendix 31).

 

Councillor Boyle stated that Council should be supporting Donegal in relation to the appeal, particularly in respect of the plans for the transport corridor in east Donegal.

 

Councillor Kelly expressed concern that the company had still not supplied the additional information as requested. 

 

The Principal Planning Officer advised that the information received recently had not differed within the environmental statement and that no additional visual information had submitted from An Bord Pleanála.

 

Councillor Kelly stated that such matters should to be brought to the attention of An Bord Pleanána.  He emphasised that the plans for the transport corridor were an enormous project for the northwest infrastructure which must not be in any way prejudiced.

 

            The Committee

 

Recommended        that a visual interpretation must be submitted and also the impact on the northwest transport corridor to be included in the response.

 

 

Open for Information

P108/19

Planning Appeals Update pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Officer presented the above report, details of which had been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of the report was to appraise Members on planning appeals currently in the system.  A background table was enclosed in Appendix 33 showing the current status of any live appeals and any decisions made since the last Meeting.

 

Councillor Kelly enquired if costs awarded to Council regarding a recent appeal and asked if it had ever reached a conclusion.

 

The Lead Legal Services Officer advised that the matter of fees was currently under dispute.

                        Members noted the content of the above report.

 

P109/19

Enforcement Review April-June 2019 (1st Quarter) pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Minutes:

The Senior Planning Officer presented the above report, details of which had been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of the report was to update Members on the progress made by the Planning Enforcement section for the first Quarter of the business year 2019 -2020.

           

Members noted the content of the above report.

 

P110/19

Consultation from Dfi on Draft Development Plan Practice Note DPPN 10 - Submitting Development Plan Documents for Independent Examination pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Additional documents:

P111/19

Provisional Tree Preservation Order (pTPO) at Derry Road, Strabane pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Planning Officer presented the above report, details of which had been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of the report was to advise Membersthat Council has recently served a Provisional Tree Preservation Order (pTPO) on lands at 32 to 36 Derry Road, Strabane. The report advises Members on the reason for serving this pTPO and the procedure for carrying this Order forward. A copy of the Provisional TPO, including Map, is attached at Appendix 38.

 

The Head of Planning advised that only a temporary (Provisional) TPO was currently in place on the site and that the process for a permanent TPO was ongoing.  

 

Councillor Gallagher stated that he was aware of anti-social behaviour in that area and demolition had taken place recently on that site and asked for more information regarding the process.

 

In response, the Head of Planning outlined the process including advising on the submission with a report regarding the nature of the trees on the site and owners/those affected/interested parties having the opportunity to make representation at a future meeting.  She further stated that Planning Department have delegated powers to make the provisional TPO, however the Committee must make the decision regarding a full TPO and all information regarding the matter would be returned and presented in a report.

 

In response, to a query from Councillor Dobbins, the Senior Planning Officer stated that any work carried on a protected tree without permission was a direct offence with quite substantial fines in the region of approximately £10,000.

 

The Lead Legal Services Officer then advised that the fine was theoretically completely unlimited.

 

Members noted the content of the above report and the attached copy of the Provisional TPO.

 

P112/19

List of Decisions Issued - July and August 2019 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted for information the List of Decisions issued during the months of July and August 2019.

 

The meeting went into confidential business.