Minutes of Meeting of the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Planning Applications Committee commenced on site at 23 Lindsay Avenue, Inverness and thereafter held in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness on Tuesday 8 September 2009 at 10.00 am.
Mr R A C Balfour, Mr S Black, Mr I Brown, Mr A Christie, Mr J Crawford, Mrs M C Davidson, Mr D Fallows, Mr J Finnie, Mr A Graham, Mr D Henderson, Mr J Holden, Mr D Kerr, Ms L MacDonald, Mr A S Park, Mr Bob Wynd.
Non-Members also present:
Mr F Parr, Mr T Prag, Mr N Donald.
Officials in attendance:
Ms S Blease, Solicitor (Clerk)
Mr D Polson, Area Planning and Building Standards Manager, Planning and Development Service
Ms N Drummond, Team Leader, Planning and Development Service
Mr A McCracken, Team Leader, Planning and Development Service
Mr R Patton, Principal Officer (Land), Planning and Development Service
Mr L Houlker, Technical Manager, Transport, Environmental and Community Services
Mrs L Dunn, Committee Administrator, Chief Executive’s Office
At the commencement of the meeting, the Committee AGREED to appoint Mr A S Park interim Chairman of the meeting.
Mr A S Park in the Chair
1. Briefing on Protocol for the Webcasting of Meetings
The Chairman advised the Committee that the meeting was being filmed for live webcast and subsequent archiving for broadcast via the Council’s internet site.
He advised that, as Chair, he had the discretion to terminate or suspend filming if, in his opinion, continuing to do so would prejudice the proceedings of the meeting or if, on advice, he considered that continued filming might infringe the rights of any individual.
The Committee NOTED the briefing on protocol for the webcasting of meetings.
2. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Mr J S Gray, Miss J Campbell and Mr H Wood.
3. Minutes of Planning Applications Committee
There was circulated Minutes of the Committee meeting held on 11 August 2009, the terms of which were APPROVED.
4. Planning Applications to be Determined relating to Site
There was circulated Report No. PLI-65/09 by the Area Planning and Building Standards Manager as follows:-
Erection of a two storey extension to the rear and side of 23 Lindsay Avenue, Inverness 09/00287/FULIN PLI-65-09
Mr A Christie declared a non-financial interest in this item having previously discussed the matter with the applicant. He remained in the meeting but did not participate in the determination of the application.
The Committee NOTED that only those Members who had been present at the earlier site visit would be able to take part in consideration of this item. These were: Mr S Black, Mr I Brown, Mr J Crawford, Mr D Fallows, Mr J Finnie, Mr A Graham, Mr D Henderson, Mr D Kerr, Ms L MacDonald, Mr A S Park and Mr B Wynd. (Mr A Christie had also attended the site inspection but, for the reasons stated, would not be further participating in this item.)
The Area Planning and Building Standards Manager outlined the application and report which recommended that planning permission be refused for the reasons stated in the report.
During discussion, the Committee expressed concern that although the applicant had sought and followed the advice issued by the case officer in amending the application to its current form, the report nonetheless recommended refusal of the application. Responding, the Area Planning and Building Standards Manager explained that there had been a misunderstanding in respect of the advice given and an apology had been made to the applicant for this. Nevertheless, he explained that it was felt that the application had overstepped the mark of acceptability, particularly in relation to the new guidance given in Development Advice Note 1 and, consequently, the report recommended that the application be refused.
Responding to a question in respect of precedent set by the approval of other extensions in the area, the Area Building and Standards Manager explained that precedent was a material consideration but that the new guidance in the Development Advice Note 1 must also be taken into account. It was a matter for Members to decide how much weight was to be given to precedent or to the new guidance but he encouraged Members to attach greater weight to the new guidance.
Following further discussion, the general consensus of the Committee was that the application in its current form should be approved but that the applicant should be encouraged to submit a revised application which excluded the wrap around, as he had indicated at the site inspection had been his original intention. Concern was expressed that this would involve further cost to the applicant, but it was noted that the Authority had no discretion to waive any required application fee.
The Area Planning and Building Standards Manager suggested that, if planning permission were granted, a covering letter could be issued from the Service providing the applicant with the option to amend their design. With Members’ approval, any such amendment would be dealt with under delegated powers.
It was also recommended that Advice Note 1 on House Extensions should be reviewed to ensure that it contained sufficient information for applicants.
Thereafter, the Committee agreed to GRANT planning permission, subject to a covering letter being issued from the Planning and Development Service indicating that, if the applicant was minded to amend the application, the Committee had instructed the Service to deal with that amendment under delegated powers and to consider any such application sympathetically.
5. Planning Applications to be Determined
There were circulated Reports No. PLI-66/09 – PLI-72/09 by the Area Planning and Building Standards Manager as follows:-
Development of 4 care home units (22 beds) and 17 flats (amended from 20) 08/00100/OUTNA PLI-66-09
The Team Leader, Mr McCracken, summarised the application and report which recommended that planning permission be granted in principle subject to the conditions set out in the report.
During discussion, while support was expressed for the 4 care home units, concern was expressed that the additional 17 flats represented possible over development of the site. Concern was also expressed at the lack of adequate parking and turning provision, potential access difficulties and loss of trees.
Responding to concerns, the Technical Manager advised that he was satisfied with the visibility splays that the additional access now proposed although this would not be achieved without some impact on the adjacent wall. With regard to parking arrangements, the original comments from TECs Roads had been made in respect of the original application for 20 flats. The revised layout for the amended application now before the Committee for 17 flats included changes to proposed parking arrangements which included no provision for a turning area. Service vehicles would therefore have to reverse either in or out of the site and this was unacceptable in road safety terms. Nor was their provision for a footpath.
With regard to trees, the Principal Officer (Land) advised that if the current indicative layout were followed there would be a significant impact on the existing trees with 50 out of the current 85 being removed. These were of varying qualify but he still had concerns about this level of impact particularly as the opportunity for replacement planting was limited. He further advised that any increase in provision for parking and turning areas would impact even further on the trees. It was also clarified that under the original planning permission for the existing care home, there was a requirement for a hedge to be planted between the development and the sawmill to help mitigate noise.
Responding to the suggestion that the Committee might be minded to defer determination of the application to allow for further discussion with the applicant with a view to their reducing the number of flats, the Team Leader advised that he thought the applicant would be unwilling to do this as they had already indicated that further reduction in the number of flats would make the overall development commercially unviable.
Following discussion, Ms L MacDonald, seconded by Mr D Kerr, MOVED that the application be refused against recommendation on the grounds of over development of the site, excessive loss of trees, access problems, inadequate parking provision and lack of provision for turning or for service vehicles.
There being no amendment to the Motion, the Committee agreed to REFUSE planning permission for the reasons stated in the Motion.
Change of use of the public footpath at the pend adjacent to 69 Oldtown Road to a combination of a store for the landlord (Cairn Housing Association Limited) and new entrance hall for 69 Oldtown Road 09/00212/FULIN PLI-67-09
The Committee NOTED that in terms of Standing Order 13.2 a local member vote had been granted to Mr F Parr and Mr N Donald.
The Area Planning and Building Standards Manager outlined the application and report which recommended that planning permission be refused for the reasons stated therein.
During discussion, local Members emphasised the scale of the vandalism problem and the level of anti-social behaviour that took place in this area and the distress which this caused to local residents and schoolchildren who were too frightened to use the pend due to the number of youths who regularly congregated in the area. It was further stressed that a lot of work had been undertaken by all agencies involved to resolve the situation, including enhanced lighting for the area, greater engagement with the young people and providing activities for them. The problems nonetheless continued.
Although, the report had indicated that granting planning permission could set a precedent and would simply displace the anti-social behaviour, Members highlighted that pends in other areas had been closed. In addition, it was felt that this was a unique situation and it was unlikely that the level of severity of anti-social behaviour would be replicated elsewhere.
Thereafter, Mr D Henderson, seconded by Mr J Finnie, MOVED that the application be approved against recommendation on the grounds that the development would accord with Policy G1 and was not judged to be significantly detrimental in terms of any of the criteria listed in Policy G2. In particular, it would lead to a reduction in anti-social behaviour in the area of Hilton Shopping Centre and to an improvement in the amenity of local residents. The minimal reduction in local pedestrian access it would cause was considered acceptable. It was consistent with longer-term plans to improve security in the Hilton area.
There being no amendment to the Motion, the Committee agreed to GRANT planning permission for the reasons stated in the Motion.
Create pond for SUDS purposes within Inshes District Park, Inverness 08/00702/FULIN PLI-68-09
The Committee agreed to DEFER this item to allow a site inspection to take place.
Erection of 1m high fence 09/00083FULNA PLI-69-09
The Committee agreed to GRANT planning permission subject to conditions as detailed in the report.
Erection of two houses which incorporated recording, rehearsal studio and office space – approval of conditions and reconsideration of requirement for a S75 legal agreement 09/00258/FULIN PLI-70-09
The Planning Team Leader explained that while the application had previously been approved by Committee subject to a Section 75 agreement to tie the recording studio business to the houses, this was now considered unnecessary as the recording, rehearsal and office space would form integral parts of the houses and could not therefore be severed. She invited Members therefore either to dispense with the requirement for prior conclusion of a Section 75 agreement entirely or, if Members were so minded, to limit its scope to an agreement preventing further residential development on the landholding.
She also invited Members to approve the conditions recommended in the report.
The Committee AGREED to DISPENSE with the requirement for prior conclusion of a Section 75 agreement and to APPROVE the conditions recommended in the report.
prior approval for the erection of storage shed at land east of Oakfield, Easter Bogbain, Drumossie, Inverness 09/00552/AGRIN PLI-71-09
The Committee agreed to DEFER this item to allow a site inspection to take place.
Alter and extend house including replacement sun lounge and attic conversion with dormer window 09/00534/FULIN PLI-72-09
The Area Planning and Building Standards Manager, being the applicant, left the Chamber for the duration of this item.
The Planning Team Leader summarised the application and the report which recommended that planning permission be granted subject to the conditions set out in the report.
The Committee agreed to GRANT planning permission subject to the conditions set out in the report.
6. Appeals to the Scottish Government Directorate for Planning and
The Committee NOTED that the following Appeal had been received and to decide the means of determining the appeals where appropriate:-
i. Planning Appeal (08/00768/LBCIN; 08/00769/FULIN) Maple Court,
12 Ballifeary Lane, Inverness, IV3 5SG
Appeal against the decision of the Highland Council to refuse Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent.
The appellants had requested the appeal be determined by means of a Hearing and this was AGREED by the Committee.
7. Delegated Decisions
The Committee NOTED that the list of delegated decisions of planning applications was available via The Highland Council Website.
8. Planning Applications Committee: 2010 Meeting Dates
The Committee AGREED the following meeting dates for the Planning Applications Committee in 2010:-
- 19 January 2010
- 2 March 2010
- 13 April 2010
- 25 May 2010
- 3 August 2010
- 14 September 2010
- 26 October 2010
- 7 December 2010
The meeting closed at 11.40 am.