To consider an application for the extension of Prizet Service Station to include drive-thru Costa restaurant, 8 high-speed electrical vehicle charging points, car parking, landscaping and associated infrastructure (resubmission of Planning Application No. SL/2020/0195).
Extension of Prizet Service Station to include drive-thru Costa restaurant, 8 no. high-speed electrical vehicle charging points, car parking, landscaping and associated infrastructure (Resubmission of SL/2020/0195)
Note – The Planning Officer’s presentation displayed at the meeting had been circulated to Members and displayed on the Council’s Website on the day before the meeting.
The Planning Officer presented Planning Application No. SL/2020/0579 which sought full planning permission for the erection of a drive-thru coffee shop with the provision of a car park comprising 31 spaces and eight electric charging points. He highlighted the site at Prizet Roadside Services, Helsington which was located 1 mile south of Kendal on the northbound side section of the A591. Referring to site plans and photographs, the Planning Officer illustrated the features of the site and the proposals for the single storey structure that would have a mono-pitched roof and would utilise local limestone for the walls. He reminded Members of a previous application that had been refused at the July 2020 Planning Committee but that this application, was completely separate. It was highlighted that the site was fairly remote from Kendal and that a sequential test had not been provided by the Applicant.
The Planning Officer highlighted that the proposal would help perpetuate car based travel and that the proposal raised a number of issues with Local Plan Policies and paragraph 86 of the National Planning Policy Framework which required a sequential test to be carried out in respect of main town centre use proposals, which had not been provided by the applicant. The proposal was contrary to the development strategy set out in the Local Plan as it was located in an open countryside location. An objection had been received from the Friends of the Lake District, who felt that the Drive-Thru coffee shop was not necessary and that the 8 charging points could be provided without the need for the coffee shop.
The Planning Officer referred to the benefits of the application which were 15 jobs that would be provided by the coffee shop and 8 electric charging points that were proposed for the site. In concluding his report, the Planning Officer highlighted the recommendation for refusal as the proposed site was located in an unsustainable location in a rural area and was harmful to the rural character of the area.
Note – at this point in the proceedings the Chairman requested that the public participant, speaking in support of the application, be dialled into the meeting to make his representation.
Simon Hockings, the applicant addressed the Planning Committee in favour of the application.
The Planning Officer responded to concerns raised during public participation.
Members thanked the Planning Officer for a well written report and gave consideration to the application. Members raised questions on the seating options in the proposed coffee shop, why the applicant had not completed the sequential testing, how the application had been called in and the difference between classification between drive-thru and full café/restaurant.
Members debated the application raising points on the application being contrary to a number of the National and Local policies and strategies, the number of Electric Vehicle charging points and their proximity to the site. Further discussion raised the potential increase in traffic and litter if the application was passed, the need for 15 jobs in the local area and the 8 charging points that would be provided by the site if passed and the need to look to the future.
A motion to reject the application was proposed and seconded and a vote was taken on the motion, during which all Planning Committee Members confirmed that they had, without interruption heard the full presentation and discussion on the item and it was
RESOLVED – That the application be refused for the following reasons:-
(1) The proposed development is located in the open countryside, remote from the nearest settlement of Kendal and therefore would result in unsustainable development in this rural location. The proposed development constitutes a ‘main town centre use’ but the application has not been subject to a sequential test where more sustainable sites within Kendal have been considered and discounted before out of town sites may be considered. The proposal would therefore be contrary to the aims of Policies CS1.1, CS1.2, CS2, CS7.1, CS7.2 and CS7.4 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy and Policies LA1.0 and LA1.1 of the South Lakeland Land Allocations Development Plan Document, and the sustainability aims of the National Planning Policy Framework.
(2) The proposed development, due to its close proximity to the road, its elevated nature and the lack of intervening vegetation will result in a development that is highly visible in the rural landscape and would be harmful to the character of the area. The proposed development is therefore contrary to Policy CS8.10 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy and Policies DM1 and DM2 of the Councils Development Management Policies.