Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Woodgreen, Witney
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2021.
The minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2021 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bolger, Davies, Langridge and Woodruff.
Councillor Poskitt substituted for Councillor Chapple, Councillor Graham substituted for Councillor Rylett and Councillor Mead substituted for Councillor St John.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations from Members of the Committee on any items to be considered at the meeting.
During the course of the meeting, Councillor Good advised that he was the Council’s representative on the Cotswolds Conservation Board.
To enable the Committee to re-consider the resolution of Uplands Area Planning Sub-Committee to approve the application.
That the application be refused, in line with the recommendation in the annexed report.
Prior to consideration of this item, the Chairman, Councillor Haine, advised that following receipt of correspondence relating to the meeting of the Uplands Committee, and having taken advice from the Monitoring Officer, he had decided to step down as Chairman for this item. Councillor Fenton took the Chair in his capacity as Vice-Chairman. Councillor Haine remained as a member of the Development Control Committee and addressed the meeting accordingly.
The Committee received a report from the Business Manager – Development Management, Mr Shaw, which dealt with the consideration of a planning application to develop the Old Mill, Kingham as a 33 bedroomed hotel and ancillary facilities.
Following a meeting of the Uplands Planning Sub-committee in July 2021, the Business Manager – Development Management had decided to refer the previously taken decision to the full Development Control Committee, as was his prerogative under the Council’s Scheme of Delegation.
Mr Shaw introduced the report and provided clarification on the extant permission for five units on site, pre and post development and gave an overview of his reasons for calling the decision in to Committee. It was noted that the Council had sought separate legal advice on the matter and there was no evidence that this application was not a major development. In addition, the pandemic did not constitute exceptional circumstances. For information, the legal advice received was detailed in section 4.1 of the report.
The following people addressed the Committee:
Mr Christopher Stockwell, objecting;
Mr John Dewar, Kingham Parish Council, objecting; and
Mr James Roberts, applicant, supporting.
Councillor Leverton asked Mr Stockwell if the general opinion of Kingham resident’s had been collated via a survey. Mr Stockwell advised that most residents had communicated their objections through the village Facebook group, other social media methods or via email to the Parish Council.
Councillor Graham asked for clarification on the objection received from County Highways and it was noted that the Environment Agency had objected as per section 1.16 of the report.
Mr Shaw continued with the presentation of the report and highlighted key areas including the objection from the Parish Council, the scale of the development in a village setting and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the significant amount of built form being introduced, the extant permission for five detached dwellings and the officer view that the development would be harmful to the character of the settlement.
Whilst officers did not dispute that the site needed reinvestment, this was not felt to be suitable reason for approving major development in the AONB. The report detailed the Landscaping officer’s comments at 5.28 of the report, along with the opinion of the Cotswold Conservation Board at 5.29 and the Conservation Officer’s comments at section 5.36 of the report.
Members were signposted to the detail in the report relating to the Exceptional Circumstances case, the Landscape Impact, the impact on Heritage Assets and the accessibility and highways issues.
In summary, Mr Shaw reiterated his officer’s original recommendation of refusal for the reasons outlined ... view the full minutes text for item 4.