Officers explained that this application was being reported to the Planning Committee because the applicant was Redditch Borough Council. As such the application fell outside the scheme of delegation to Officers.
Officers presented the report and in doing so drew Members’ attention to the presentation slides on pages 17-23 of the Site Plans and Presentations pack.
The application sought outline planning permission for residential development comprising 2, three bedroomed houses with all matters reserved for future consideration(access, layout, scale, appearance and landscaping).
Officers highlighted that although the matter of access was not for consideration at this stage, an indicative plan had been submitted showing vehicular access off Union Street to the south where four car parking spaces could be created (two for each dwelling).
Officers reiterated that this application was an outline application with all matters reserved, and as such only the principle of development could be considered. The application plans included an indicative layout, however, this was for illustrative purposes only to demonstrate how the site could be developed to accommodate the two dwellings and not how the site would be developed.
Officers also drew Members’ attention to the Arboricultural Officer’s comments with regard to the two trees currently on site, a small Hawthorn and a semi mature Silver Birch, being removed, as detailed on page 11 of the main agenda report. The trees were not currently covered by any Tree Preservation Order (TPO) and the Arboricultural Officer had no objection to their removal to facilitate any proposed development.
Members then considered the application which Officers had recommended be approved.
Members referred to the Relevant Planning History as detailed on page 10 of the main agenda report, which highlighted that planning permission was granted on 29.09.1977 for laying out of public space and asked Officers if they were aware what the pervious land use was.
Officers responded that prior to this the land had contained several terraced houses that had fallen into disrepair and needed to be demolished, and that at the time the best use of the land was deemed to be public space.
Members also referred to the footpath, as detailed on page 20 of the Site Plans and Presentations pack, and whether this was an official footpath. Officers clarified that this was not an official footpath and thus would not need to be moved as part of any planning application.
Members commented that there was a major problem with fly tipping on this plot of land so therefore welcomed the application to convert the land back to housing.
Members further enquired about the two trees on the plot of land that would be removed and if the Council had a replacement ‘tree for tree’ scheme. Officers clarified that there was no TPO attached to either of the trees so a developer would not need to consider them.
Members further clarified and discussed if there was a scheme in place to plant a tree elsewhere in the Borough for each tree removed. Officers informed Members that there was no such regulation from a planning perspective and that they had not been aware of a separate Council policy/scheme.
Members then asked if there would be a policy in place, to which the Chair reminded Members that this was a matter for the Council to debate and did not form part of the remit of the Planning Committee.
On being put to a vote, it was
Having regard to the development plan and to all other material considerations, that OUTLINE planning permission be granted subject to the Conditions and Informatives, as detailed on pages 15-19 of the main agenda report.