Recommendation: Conditional approval
Proposal: Full application for the proposed erection of 3 no. buildings (units R1, R2 and R3) for business use (Use Classes B1(a), (b), (c) and B8) with ancillary office space, parking and associated works
Applicant: J P Winkworth Limited
The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 55 to 86.
The Committee were advised that there were no Members’ Updates.
In line with the given deadlines, two public written submissions were received for this item. These submissions were circulated to Members in advance, and noted on the evening. The submissions as provided can be found below.
Roderic Vaughan, resident, provided the following submission in objection to the application.
“Lambs Farm Business Park LFBP is not in Spencers Wood (paragraph 12 of report); is in rural parish of Swallowfield in open countryside, where a presumption against new development applies, in principle, based on current Development Plans.
Expansion of rural business parks like LFBP are considered strategically, through the Local Plan. This was done, but without success. Around 2010 it was noted the site ‘could be recognised as having scope for consolidation or limited additional development’. LFBP was considered as a potential employment allocation through the MDDP when the Examiner noted ‘evidence to support the site’s inclusion on the basis of additional land is required, or that they are preferable in location, sustainability or deliverability, is not convincing’. There has been major expansion at LFBP since 2012. Sound planning principles have been ignored; potential further development at LFBP was found to be unsustainable at public examinations.
Policy CP 11 is relevant; restricts development outside development limits. Rural enterprise is referred to in the report in paragraph 7. Key consideration is whether the proposal contributes to a ‘sustainable rural enterprise’, which is not the case as stated previously and therefore conflicts with criterion 1 of CP11. Paragraph 10 of the report states ‘there is no excessive encroachment away from original buildings’. Actually, this development is part of a continual encroachment of built form into the open countryside.
The application site and additional land was previously used for HGV parking without permission. Use was permitted in December 2018, with part of the land returned to pasture and a landscaping scheme introduced as conditions. The retrospective application noted parking arrangements at LFBP have always been generous to benefit occupiers. Massing of buildings to meet more business floorspace will displace HGV parking and will create pressure for further expansion. Expansion is already excessive according to criterion 2 of CP11. It also fails the test of criterion 3 of CP11 of ‘not being within suitably located buildings etc..’. The proposal conflicts with CP11.
The NPPF, paragraph 83, states ‘Planning Policies and decisions should enable the sustainable growth and expansion of all types of businesses in rural areas’. Carte blanche to any rural employment development is not permitted; it needs to be sustainable, the proposal isn’t and should be refused.”
J P Winkworth Ltd, applicant, provided the following submission in ... view the full minutes text for item 6