Planning Committee – 14 October 2010 (Special Meeting)
Chair: Councillor Collinson
Venue: Pittwood House, Scunthorpe
- Declarations of Personal and Personal and Prejudicial Interests, significant contact with applicants, objectors or third parties (Lobbying) and Whipping Arrangements (if any).
- Major Planning Application for Determination – Application PA/2009/0600 by Able UK Ltd – erection of buildings and use of land for purposes within Use Classes A3, C1, B1, B2 and B8 for port-related storage and associated service facilities together with amenity landscaping and habitat creation, including flood defences, new railway siding, estate roads, sewage and drainage facilities, floodlighting, waste processing facility, hydrogen pipeline spur and two 20 metre telecommunication masts – land off Skitter Road, East Halton. (Report of the Head of Planning).
PRESENT: Councillor Collinson (in the chair).
Councillors Whiteley (Vice-Chair), Ali, Bainbridge, Carlile, B. Briggs, Eckhardt, England, L Foster, Grant, C Sherwood, N Sherwood and Wardle.
The committee met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.
1282 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS, SIGNIFICANT CONTACT WITH APPLICANTS OR THIRD PARTIES (LOBBYING) AND WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) –
The following members declared personal interests: –
Nature of Interest
|Cllr Bainbridge||1283||09/0600||Lead Member for Regeneration and Renaissance.|
|Cllr Wardle||1283||09/0600||Had had contact with applicants and objectors.|
1283 (26) MAJOR PLANNING APPLICATION – Application PA/2009/0600 by Able UK Ltd for the erection of buildings and use of land for purposes within Use Classes A3, C1, B1, B2 and B8 for port-related storage and associated service facilities together with amenity landscaping and habitat creation, including flood defences, new railway siding, estate roads, sewage and drainage facilities, floodlighting, waste processing facility, hydrogen pipeline spur and two 20 metre telecommunication masts on land off Skitter Road, East Halton.
The Head of Planning submitted a report on this major application for determination by the committee including a summary of policy context, representations arising from consultation and publicity and assessment of the application.
Prior to consideration of the application five objectors and a representative of the applicant addressed the committee.
The first objector was concerned at the loss of 900 acres of arable farmland and bird habitat.
Two other objectors, who were residents of East Halton, were concerned at potential noise and light pollution and drainage problems. They also objected to the loss of a “buffer zone” that was allocated under policy IN6 of the North Lincolnshire Local Plan and had also been contained in earlier development plans and to the increased traffic that the proposal would generate. The existing A160 would not be able to cope with this and there was uncertainty as to whether improvements to this road would now be carried out.
An objector representing the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) stated that the South Humber bank was a world-class wetland habitat of national and international importance. The application was not ready to be determined as there were a number of important issues yet to be resolved. No Appropriate Assessment had been carried out for flood defence works. The Appropriate Assessment produced should have been done as an in-combination assessment to include the applicant’s further proposal adjacent to the site. The proposed mitigation measures for birds were unclear and inadequate. Natural England had objected and the committee was legally obliged to have regard to this.
An objector representing Associated British Ports (ABP) claimed that the nature of the proposal had changed since the application had first been submitted. Initially the proposal had been for a “stand alone” facility, however it now appeared to be the first phase of a larger development. It should therefore be considered alongside the second phase of the proposal. An “in-combination” appropriate assessment should have been carried out. It was the view of his company that the application should be withdrawn and resubmitted with the further proposals. If the committee determined the present application it would fetter its ability to determine any future application for the further development.
In response to the issues raised by speakers the Service Director Legal and Democratic advised that Counsel’s opinion had been sought in relation to the issue of an in-combination assessment. That opinion was that an in-combination assessment was not required at the present time as the applicants’ plan for the “second phase” was not yet a “project” in terms of the Habitat Regulations. Any application for planning permission would be determined by the Infrastructure Planning Commission rather than the council.
The applicants’ representative stated in relation to the objection by RSPB that there was a mitigation strategy planned for the whole of the South Humber Bank. There were differing views regarding the necessary size and location of mitigation areas.
So far as the objections from the local residents were concerned, buffer zones around developments were usually agreed in connection with the developments as they were determined rather than as a development plan policy.
The applicants had obtained their own legal opinion which was that an in-combination assessment was not required.
The proposal would be extremely beneficial to the local economy.
The Head of Planning updated his report in relation to correspondence with ABP, Natural England, the Highways Agency, the RSPB, English Heritage and the Environment Agency. He and the Service Director (Highways and Planning) gave presentations on the application, which was by far the largest that the committee had ever had to deal with. Other officers answered members’ questions.
Resolved – (a) That the committee is mindful to grant permission for the development; (b) that the application be referred to the Secretary of State in accordance with statutory procedures to enable him to consider whether or not he wishes to intervene; (c) that in the event of the Secretary of State deciding not to intervene the Head of Planning be authorised to grant permission subject to the completion of a formal agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, providing for the sum of £1,255,000 to secure highway improvements in the vicinity of the proposed development necessitated by the development, and to the conditions contained in the report.