Agenda item

Planning Application No. SL/2018/0253 - Beetham - Beetham Holiday Homes

To determine an application for the siting of 20 static holiday units to replace 20 touring pitches.

Minutes:

Siting of 20 static holiday units to replace 20 touring pitches (Mr C Russell (Westmorland Caravans (Beetham)) Ltd).

 

Note – Councillor Pete McSweeney declared a non-pecuniary interest in this item by virtue of the fact he was the Vice-Chairman of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Executive Committee. Having regard to the perception of bias and/or predetermination, he left the meeting during discussion and voting on the item.

 

Councillor Dave Khan declared a non-pecuniary interest by virtue of the fact the applicant was known to him. He remained in the meeting during discussion and voting on the item.

 

The Vice-Chairman, Councillor Eric Morrell, took the chair for this item.

 

The Planning Officer presented Planning Application No. SL/2018/0253 which sought permission to replace 20 touring caravan pitches, located on a field within the park and surrounded by existing static caravans, with 20 static caravan pitches located within three parcels of managed woodland clearings. She made reference to the site visit and displayed plans and photographs which detailed the proposals. The Planning Officer informed Members that the proposal was being brought before them for transparency and openness in light of the emerging Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) Development Plan Document (DPD) which was close to adoption. She went on to advise Members that it had come to light that the design of the units did not meet the definition of a twin unit caravan under the Caravan Sites Act 1968, as the height of some of the bespoke units measured up to four metres. It was recommended that an additional condition be imposed which would ensure the design met the definition of a twin unit caravan and that written approval be required prior to the commencement of the development. In addition a further two conditions were recommended which included the submission of a construction methodology for the units and submission of a Woodland Management Plan. The Planning Officer read out the late representation which had been received from South Lakeland District Council’s Revenues and Benefits Service Manager. The representation outlined that in regard to business rates and council tax financial benefits to the Local Authority, the scheme would be fairly cost neutral. She explained that The Planning Officer outlined the proposals and provided details of the design and materials of the bespoke units, the use of piles as an alternative to solid bases and she highlighted the constraints of the site which included a Limestone Pavement Order. She concluded by highlighting the key issues which applied to the application which were: the principle of replacing 20 touring caravan pitches with 20 static caravan pitches; the impact on the landscape of the area and on the Arnside & Silverdale AONB; and the biodiversity and geodiversity impact.

 

Lucy Barron, Manager of the Arnside & Silverdale AONB Partnership, addressed the Committee and stated that she was objecting to the proposal. She explained that there was a long established principle that a further static caravan development would be harmful to the character of the Arnside & Silverdale AONB and that the emerging AONB DPD articulated this. She went on to state that the proposal constituted a new static caravan development and AONB DPD policy AS11 stated that this would not be permitted and the policy also stated that proposal which replaced touring caravans with static caravans would not be permitted in order to protect the area. Ms Barron highlighted that the priority was protection of wildlife and its habitat and that there was a risk of a serious and detrimental impact on the AONB.

 

Mr Craig Russell, the applicant, addressed the Committee. He stated that Beetham Holiday Homes was a well-established holiday home park at the heart of the Arnside & Silverdale AONB and that, through conservation work, they had developed biodiversity on their land and cared for the geology, plant and animal life. He went on to explain that over the last 50 years his family had sought to be an exemplary park in regard to care for the environment, customer service and the quality of holiday homes provided. Mr Russell asked Members to support the proposals to convert 20 touring pitches to static holiday home pitches which would be more environmentally efficient. He stated that their track record of sustainable development and responsible management of the landscape was exemplary and that they aimed to provide an economical model for businesses in the industry. He explained that they had followed guidance of the Environment Agency, Natural England, local conservation bodies and that they had been supported by the Officers of South Lakeland District Council. In addition they had worked closely with the Woodland Trust, Butterfly Conservation and the Arnside and Silverdale Landscape Trust and that a number of societies used the park as a regular base for study visits and a recent geological survey had highlighted them as a good example of care for the landscape. He highlighted that Beetham Holiday Homes had partnered with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) on a number of projects which had included an entry to the Kendal Torchlight Carnival in 2014. Mr Russell stated that he had spoken at RSPB conferences and he had served on the Arnside & Silverdale AONB Executive Board for the past 10 years and helped draw up the AONB’s Management Plans. Mr Russell went on to state that Beetham Holiday Homes carefully considered the impact of development on biodiversity and that he was proud to say that parts of the park, which had been developed, were much more diverse with native species of birds, moths, butterflies, mammals and amphibians which led to a richer natural environment. He concluded his address by stating if he had not been confident of the facts that he would not have developed the plans before Members today, the plans had been carefully crafted and he asked Members to support the application.

 

Kate Bellwood, the applicant’s agent, addressed the Committee. She informed Members that the pre-application process had started in July 2017 and had involved planning officers, the AONB, Natural England and Lancaster Planning Policy. She explained that detailed ecological, drainage and landscape reports showed no harm to the limestone or the landscape and she asked Members to support the recommendation to approve the application.

 

In further presenting the report, the Interim Development Management Team Leader referred to the site visit and highlighted the screened layout and that Members would have to decide if there would be geological and topographical harm. He advised Members that they should take into consideration the transitional period between the adopted Saved Local Plan Policy T5 and the emerging policy AS11 of the AONB DPD.

 

The Planning Officer and Interim Development Management Team Leader responded to questions raised by Members.

 

Members gave consideration to the immerging policy AS11 and to the size of the proposed bespoke static units. Members agreed that it was a well-run site and commercial development which worked hand in hand with looking after the environment whilst supporting the local economy.

 

RESOLVED – That the application be granted subject to the following conditions:-

 

Condition (1)   The development hereby permitted shall begin not later than three years from the date of this decision.

 

Reason:           To comply with the requirements of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by Section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

 

Condition (2)   The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans:

 

Drawing Number: 18291_PL01_01 Rev B

Drawing Number: 18291_PL01_02 Rev B

Drawing Number: 18291_PL01_03

Drawing Number: K856-01 A

All above received by the Local Planning Authority 02 Nov 2018

 

Drawing Number: K856-SLP

Drawing Number: K856-02

Drawing Number: K856-03

Drawing Number: K856-04

Drawing Number: K856/05

Drawing Number: K856/06

All above received by the Local Planning Authority 23 March 2018

 

Reason:           For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.

 

PRIOR COMMENCEMENT

 

Condition (3)   Prior to the commencement of development a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) to cover the construction phase and a Biodiversity Enhancement & Management Plan (BEMP) to cover the post construction phase are required to be submitted and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason:           For the avoidance of doubt and in accordance with Policy CS8.4 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy.

 

Condition (4)   a)         No development shall take place until details of the implementation, adoption, maintenance and management of the sustainable drainage system have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  Those details shall follow the surface water drainage strategy as set out in the Flood Risk Assessment and Drainage Strategy ref 'K34735/01/FRA/RH Issue A and shall include a timetable for its implementation and a management and maintenance plan for the lifetime of the development which shall include the arrangements for adoption by any public body or statutory undertaker, or any other arrangements to secure the effective operation of the sustainable drainage system throughout its lifetime.

 

b)         Before any caravan unit is occupied / the caravan unit is first brought into use, a validation report (that demonstrates that the drainage scheme has been carried out in accordance with the approved plan) must be submitted to the Local Planning Authority.

 

c)         The system shall be implemented and thereafter managed and maintained in accordance with the approved sustainable drainage details / plan. 

 

Reason:           These details are required to be approved before the commencement of development to ensure surface water is managed in a sustainable way in accordance with Policy CS8.8 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy.

Condition (5)   a)         The development shall not be occupied until amended details of foul water treatment as set out in the Foul Drainage Strategy ref CN 18291 have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

b)         The development shall not be occupied until details of foul water treatment works have been provided on the site to serve the development.

 

c)         Before any caravan unit is occupied / caravan unit is first brought into use, a validation report (that demonstrates that the drainage scheme has been carried out in accordance with the approved plan) must be submitted to the Local Planning Authority.

 

d)         The approved works shall be retained as such thereafter.

 

Reason:           To ensure adequate provision is made for the management of [surface water / and sewage] disposal in accordance with saved Policy S26 of the South Lakeland Local Plan.

 

Condition (6)   Notwithstanding the submitted plans the size of the units shall not exceed the sizes as detailed within the twin units section of the Caravan Sites Act 1968. Plans shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority prior to commencement of development.

 

Reason:           For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.

 

Condition (7)   Prior to the commencement of development the construction methodology of the hereby approved 20 units shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason:           To preserve the local environment and landscape in accordance with saved Policy T5 of the South Lakeland Local Plan and Core Strategy Policy CS8.2

 

Condition (8)   a)         Furthering the Arboricultural Impact Assessment prepared by Yew Tree and Gardens and received by the Local Planning Authority 27 November 2018. No site clearance, preparatory work or development shall take place until a scheme for the protection of retained trees (the Tree Protection Plan) and the appropriate working methods (the arboricultural method statement) in accordance with Clause 7 of British Standard BS5837 - Trees in relation to Construction - Recommendations has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. 

 

b)         The tree protection measures shall be carried out as described and approved and shall be maintained until the development is completed.

 

Reason:           These details are required to be approved before the commencement of development to ensure the protection and retention of important landscape features in accordance with Policy CS8.1 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy.

 

PRIOR SITING OF CARAVANS / DURING CONSTRUCTION

 

Condition (9)   If during construction works it is found that any pipework or other utilities have to cross over limestone pavement or levels need to be raised over limestone pavement, prior to development permission must be sought and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason:           To ensure that the methods used will not damage the limestone pavement in accordance with Policy CS8.4 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy.

 

Condition (10)Prior to the siting of the caravans samples of external surfaces and a scheme to ensure that the external surfaces shall be matt finishes and in an appropriately specified colour shall be submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason:           To preserve the local environment and landscape in accordance with saved Policy T5 of the South Lakeland Local Plan and Core Strategy Policy CS8.2.

 

Condition (11)Prior to the siting of the caravans, a scheme for the provision of external lighting shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall include full details of the location, design, luminance levels, light spillage and hours of use of all external lighting within the site. The approved lighting scheme shall be implemented in full prior to first occupation of the development hereby approved.

 

Reason:           To preserve the local environment and landscape in accordance with saved Policy T5 of the South Lakeland Local Plan and Core Strategy Policy CS8.2.

 

Condition (12)A Phase One Assessment, with reference to gas protection, shall be presented to the Local Planning Authority for their approval.

 

Reason:           These details are required to be approved before the commencement of development to prevent harm to human health and the environment in accordance with National Planning Policy Framework.

 

 

Condition (13)No work for the construction of these developments, including demolition, shall take place on the site, except between the hours:

 

08.00 - 18.00 Monday to Friday; and

08.00 - 13.00 on Saturdays;

 

unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.   In particular, no work should be carried out on Sundays or officially recognised public holidays without the prior agreement in writing of the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason:           To safeguard the amenity of neighbouring occupiers in accordance with National Planning Policy Framework.

 

Condition (14)The development shall not proceed except in strict accordance with the mitigation strategy described in 'Ecological Appraisal' 'Report Reference 3460' prepared by Envirotech and deposited with the Local Planning Authority on 27 November 2018.

 

Reason:           For the avoidance of doubt and to prevent harm to protected species in accordance with Policy CS8.4 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy.

 

Condition (15)The development shall not proceed except in accordance with the mitigation strategy described in section 5.7 'Mitigation' of the 'Landscape and Visual Appraisal’ prepared by Stephen Laws and deposited with the Local Planning Authority on 27 November 2018.

 

Reason:           For the avoidance of doubt and in accordance with Policy CS8.4 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy.

 

Condition (16)The caravans shall be sited in accordance with drawing number K856-01A.  Any material change to the position of a caravan, or its replacement by another caravan in a different location shall only take place following an agreement in writing with the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason:           To preserve the local environment and landscape in accordance with saved Policy T5 of the South Lakeland Local Plan and Core Strategy Policy CS8.2.

 

PRIOR OCCUPATION

 

Condition (17)Prior to occupation of the hereby approved units additional interpretation packs to detail the significance of the local protected sites and the importance of the ecology of the limestone shall be made available to all new occupants of the hereby approved units and a copy of which is required to be submitted and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason:           For the avoidance of doubt and in accordance with Policy CS8.4 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy.

 

OTHER

 

Condition (18)No more than 20 caravans, as defined in the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 and the Caravan Sites Act 1968, shall be stationed on the site at any time, as shown on drawing number K856-01A.

 

Reason:           To preserve the local environment and landscape in accordance with saved Policy T5 of the South Lakeland Local Plan and Core Strategy Policy CS8.2.

 

Condition (19)No caravan shall be stationed on the land other than within the area shown on drawing number K856-01A

 

Reason:           To preserve the local environment and landscape in accordance with saved Policy T5 of the South Lakeland Local Plan and Core Strategy Policy CS8.2.

Condition (20)The caravans shall not be occupied other than as holiday accommodation.  They shall not be used at any time as sole and principal residences by any occupants.

 

Reason:           To safeguard the local tourist economy in accordance with Policy CS7.6 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy.

 

Condition (21)The planning permission hereby granted is for the replacement of the 20 touring pitches within the site known as Beetham Holiday Homes with the 20 static units in the positions as detailed on drawing number K856-01A. The use of the touring pitches shall cease on the date which this application receives planning permission and no touring caravans shall be brought onto site. This shall be maintained at all times.

 

Reason:           For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.

 

Condition (22)Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (or any order revoking and re-enacting that Order with or without modification), the written approval of the Local Planning Authority shall be obtained for the placing of any overhead electricity service lines on the site.

 

Reason:           To preserve the local environment and landscape in accordance with saved Policy T5 of the South Lakeland Local Plan and Core Strategy Policy CS8.2.

 

Condition (23)Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (or any order revoking and re-enacting that Order with or without modification), the written approval of the Local Planning Authority shall be obtained for the construction and siting of any buildings, structures, erections, motorhomes or touring caravans (whether temporary or otherwise) to be placed or parked on the site.

 

Reason:           To preserve the local environment and landscape in accordance with saved Policy T5 of the South Lakeland Local Plan and Core Strategy Policy CS8.2.

 

Condition (24)Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (or any order revoking and re-enacting that Order with or without modification), no fences, gates or walls shall be erected on site and no extensions to the caravans other than those expressly authorised by this permission without prior written approval of the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason:           To preserve the local environment and landscape in accordance with saved Policy T5 of the South Lakeland Local Plan and Core Strategy Policy CS8.2.

 

Condition (25)Other than decking/ terrace/ balcony areas hereby approved on drawing numbers K856-02, K856-03, K856-04, K856/05 & K856/06 & K856-01A, no additional decking, storage sheds or aerials shall be permitted without the prior written consent from the Local Planning Authority.

Reason:           To preserve the local environment and landscape in accordance with saved Policy T5 of the South Lakeland Local Plan and Core Strategy Policy CS8.2.

 

Condition (26)No retained trees shall be cut down, uprooted, destroyed, pruned, cut or damaged in any manner within five years from the date of commencement of the development hereby approved, other than in accordance with the approved plans and particulars, without the prior written approval of the Local Planning Authority.  If any retained tree is cut down, uprooted, destroyed or dies another tree shall be planted [in a location to be agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority] within the next available planting season and that tree shall be of a size and species that is first agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason:           To ensure the protection and retention of important landscape features in accordance with Policy CS8.1 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy.

 

In the exercise of its judgement in determining the appropriate balance of considerations, the Local Planning Authority has acted positively and proactively in determining this application proposal, taking into account all material considerations. Material considerations include planning policies and any representations that may have been received preceding the determination to grant planning permission in accordance with the presumption in favour of sustainable development as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.  The Local Planning Authority is satisfied that its processes and practices are compatible with the Human Rights Act and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

 

NOTE (1)        ADVICE FROM CONSULTEE TO BE SENT WITH THE DECISION NOTICE:

 

The applicant’s attention is drawn to the advice contained within the attached letter from the South Lakeland District Council Arboricultural Officer in respect of a Woodland Management Plan.

Supporting documents: