Minutes 9 August 2016


Councillors: Cllrs Mrs W Soilleux (Chair); G Davies (Vice Chair); R Williams; Mrs F Matthews; P Wargent; M Wilson; Mrs L Hoppé; Mrs J Karayiannis; N Shore and S Garner

In Attendance:
Mrs E Wilson (Parish Clerk/RFO); Cllr D Greenow (Ward Councillor); 4 Representatives of Applicant re Item 3

Members of the public: 8

1. To Accept Apologies for Absence
Cllr D Forrest

2. To Receive Declarations of Interest and Applications for Dispensation
Resolved: Noted

3. To Consider Comments on Design and Layout details for the following application:
161745 Land East of Church House, Lower Bartestree
Application for approval of reserved matters (Appearance, Landscaping, Layout, Scale) following outline approval P140757/O
Comments: Cllr Soilleux acknowledged and thanked Cllr Greenow for his involvement in arranging for the Applicant’s Representatives to attend and address the Meeting.
Lengthy discussions took place with the Representatives, the Parish Council and members of the public. The following points were discussed:
Northwest Corner
It was noted that the bungalows were very tight to the boundary in the northwest corner of the development. The Parish Council was advised that the original plan had been revised so that the bungalows are 3 metres away from the boundary.
Green Space
There was lengthy discussion regarding the lack of open/green space and little or no provision for a recreational area. Reference was made to the Design & Access Statement and the draft NDP, which is covered in the Parish Council’s previous comments dated 19 July 2016.
The Developers would not move on this point and advised that it was not financially viable to reduce the number of houses in order to make room for any green space.
No agreement was reached on this point.
Boundary Hedge
The Parish Council referred to Condition 15 of the Appeal Decision and the draft NDP Policy BL1(IV) and requested clarification regarding the proposed boundary and its maintenance.
The Developers advised that they intended to keep the existing hedge with fencing inside the boundary. The fencing would consist of wooden slats 2.1 metres high, which a gap of 500mm between the hedge and the fence. It was confirmed that new hedges would be planted in the existing gaps on the boundary line.
It was suggested that a native hard wood hedge be planted in the gaps on the boundary as this would be more secure and in keeping with the existing habitat.
Residents in close proximity to the development asked for the hedge to be kept at its existing height, as their privacy would be affected. The existing hedge is approximately 3 metres high when measured from the development side. The Developers advised that they could not confirm this as the height of the hedge would depend on maintenance requirements and they would need to consult a tree surgeon on this point. Agreement was not reached on this point.
It is intended that a management company will deal with maintenance of the boundary hedge and green space (such as it is)
Housing Design/Appearance
The Developers were referred to the comments made in their Design & Access Statement (2.5) and Paragraph 39 of the Appeal Decision. The Parish Council was concerned that the proposed design of the houses is bland and has no character or imagination.
The Developers agreed to look into different styles and colour schemes and will discuss this with the Planning Officer.
The Developers were asked how they intended to enhance bio-diversity in the area as suggested in the Design & Access Statement. They advised that they would install bird boxes and arrange maintenance of the hedges and green areas.
The Parish Council expressed concern that there appeared to be little or no sign of energy efficiency or saving as set out in the Design & Access Statement (2.4).
The Developers advised that they were unable to use solar panels as Western Power were unable to absorb any unused energy by households. The Parish Council felt that it would be helpful if the Developers request Western Power to give them a detailed technical answer on this point.
With regard to energy efficiency, the Parish Council was informed that the Developers use fabric first technology, which is about 10% over building regulation guidelines.
Given the Parish Council’s earlier comments the Developers advised that they had revised their plan and there were now 119 spaces, including garages, giving 26 more spaces.
With regard to bicycle storage, the Developers advised that the garages were 6m x 3m and therefore had ample storage available. The properties that do not have a garage will have a shed where bicycles can be stored.
It was confirmed that the footpath on the A438 from the entrance to the development ran to the bus stop.
It was requested that the pavements on the development site be flat and not sloping towards the road as this makes it very difficult for some pedestrians and those using wheelchairs. The Developers noted this.
Once reserved matters are agreed, the developers will apply for the public right of way to be diverted.
A professional Management Company will be appointed to deal with hedge and tree maintenance. A Residents’ Association will be needed, as householders will be required to contribute towards the cost of the Management Company.
Street Lighting
The Parish Council is not in favour of street lighting.
Employment for Village
An open invitation will be sent to local tradesmen to see if they can be involved in the development. Employment will only be available whilst the development is ongoing.
The Developers were asked about arrangements regarding foul water and sewage as there have been concerns regarding this during past years. They advised they would need to speak to Welsh Water on this point.
Site Layout
The Parish Council was not happy with the layout of housing on the site. The Architects have just used a ‘possible’ layout that appeared in the original outline planning application instead of starting with a blank sheet of paper.

Position of Houses on west side of development site
Residents immediately opposite the development were concerned that they will be overlooked by the 2-storey houses and asked if the bungalows could be moved to that location. The Developers advised that they would look into this and discuss a possible amendment to the original plans with local residents and the Planning Officer.
The Design and Access Statement states that views enjoyed by the residents of neighbouring properties will not be affected. Residents from those properties begged to differ and invited the Developers and the Planning Officer to their homes, so that they could see for themselves. The Developers accepted the invitation and would make arrangements after the Meeting.
Future Consultation
The Developers agreed to make the enquiries arising out of the Meeting and to arrange a Consultation Event in the group parish in the near future so that all residents will have an opportunity to give their views and to discuss the development further.
Resolved: The above comments will be sent to the Planning Officer at Herefordshire Council and Mr Martyn Johnson of Keepmoat will liaise with the Parish Clerk regarding the future consultation

Meeting concluded at 9.00 pm

Signature of Chair Date: 13 September 2016