Planning Committee – 12 January 2011

Chair: Councillor Collinson
Venue: The Council Chamber, Pittwood House, Scunthorpe
Time: 2pm


  1. Substitutions.
  2. Declarations of Personal and Personal and Prejudicial Interests, significant contact with applicants, objectors or third parties (Lobbying) and Whipping Arrangements (if any).
  3. To take the minutes of the meeting held on 15 December 2010 as a correct record and authorise the chair to sign.
  4. Major planning application for determination by the committee.
  5. Planning and other applications for determination by the committee.
  6. Enforcement Update.
  • WF/2009/0657 – Saxby Wind Farm.
  • Government proposals for changes to planning application fees in England.
  • Broughton Woodlands – Report of the Service Director Highways and Planning.

Note: All reports are by the Head of Planning unless otherwise stated.


PRESENT: Councillor Collinson (in the chair).

Councillors Whiteley (Vice-Chair), Ali, Bainbridge, B Briggs, Carlile, Eckhardt, England, Grant, Mrs Redfern, Regan, C Sherwood, N Sherwood.

Councillors J Briggs, Poole, K Vickers and Waltham attended the meeting in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 1.37 (b).

The committee met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.


The following members declared that they had been lobbied: –

Cllrs B Briggs, Collinson, C Sherwood
and N Sherwood
1309 WF/2009/0657

The following members attending the meeting in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 1.37 (b), declared that they had been lobbied: –

Cllr K Vickers 1309 WF/2009/0657
Cllr Waltham 1309 WF/2009/0657

Councillor Regan declared that he could be considered to have predetermined his position on application 09/0657, as he had spoken against the application under Procedure Rule 1.37 (b) at the previous meeting. (Minute 1309 refers)

1305 MINUTESResolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of the meeting held on 15 December 2010, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair, subject to the correction of minute 1296 by the inclusion of Cllr Collinson in the list of members declaring that they had been lobbied in respect of application 09/0657.

1306 (39) MAJOR PLANNING APPLICATION – The Head of Planning submitted a report incorporating a schedule containing details of a major application for determination by the committee including summaries of policy context, representations arising from consultation and publicity and assessment of the applications. The Head of Planning updated the report orally where appropriate. Other officers attending gave advice and answered members’ questions as requested.

(i) 10/1029 by Redrow Homes Ltd for the erection of 38 dwellings (amended layout and house types) on Plots 21-88 Tofts Road, Barton-upon-Humber.

Resolved – That it be noted that this application has been withdrawn.

(ii) Mr M Mr C and Ms M Welch for the erection of 13 dwellings (re-submission of PA/2009/1179) on land rear of 13 Queen Street, Barton-upon-Humber

Prior to consideration of this application, the applicant’s agent and two objectors addressed the committee.

The applicants’ agent referred to the grounds of objection. In relation to the issue of the removal of trees from the site, the scheme retained mature trees on the site. Those to be felled were diseased or dying. The density of the development was between 12 and 30 per hectare, which was in keeping with the location. Only four of the units would be two-storey. The dwellings would be constructed from high quality materials. The proposed contribution for playground and open space would be for improvements to off-site provision.

The objectors were concerned that the proposal was not in accordance with the council’s policy on affordable housing and policies HE2 and H 8 of the Local Plan. There would be overlooking of neighbouring properties. The development was inappropriate in a Conservation Area. Car parking was inadequate. The site was in a flood risk area.

Resolved – (a) That the committee is mindful to grant permission for the development; (b) that the Head of Planning be authorised to grant permission subject to the conditions contained in the report and to completion of a formal agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 providing for a commuted sum of £5,715.77 to put towards upgrading existing and placing additional provisions at the nearby Butts Road children’s playground and public open space area in accordance with SPG 10, and (c) that if the obligation is not completed by 31 January 2011, the Head of Planning and Regeneration be authorised to refuse the application on the grounds of the development being contrary to policy H10 because of the inadequate provision of open space in the vicinity of the site.

1307 (40) PLANNING AND OTHER APPLICATIONS – The Head of Planning submitted a report incorporating a schedule containing details of applications for determination by the committee including summaries of policy context, representations arising from consultation and publicity and assessment of the applications. The Head of Planning updated the reports orally where appropriate. Other officers attending gave advice and answered members’ questions as requested.

(i) 10/0731 by Mrs R McKenzie for outline permission (with all matters reserved) for the erection of a dwelling and garage in the grounds of Springmeadow, Town Hill, Broughton.

Resolved – That permission be granted in accordance with the recommendation contained in the report.

(ii) 10/1188 by Mr R Smith for the erection of three dwellings on land adjoining 2 Holme Hill, Crowle.

Resolved – That permission be granted in accordance with the recommendation contained in the report.

(iii) 10/1272 by Mrs E Muscroft for the construction of a two-storey extension linked to existing house together with pitched roof over existing flat roof and creation of bedroom in roof space at Langholme Farm Cottage, access road to Langholme, Westwoodside

Resolved – That permission be granted in accordance with the recommendation contained in the report.

1308 (41) ENFORCEMENT UPDATE – The Head of Planning submitted a schedule giving details of progress in respect of matters on which he had taken enforcement action under delegated authority.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

(Councillor Regan left the meeting prior to consideration of the following item. Minute 1309)

1309 (42) APPLICATION WF/2009/0657 – Further to minute 1300 (i), the Head of Planning and the Service Director Legal and Democratic submitted a joint report inviting the committee to discuss potential reasons for refusal of this application.

Having considered the matter, officers were of the opinion that the following reason for refusal could be substantiated:

“The proposed development would introduce very substantial industrial structures into an area of significant natural beauty, which is largely unspoilt, on the highest and most prominent point in North Lincolnshire, where the landscape is characterised by gently rolling agricultural land within the Wolds. In this area vertical structures of the size and scale proposed would be particularly harmful to the visual amenity of wide areas of North Lincolnshire and beyond. The proposals are therefore contrary to policy LC7 (Landscape Protection) of the North Lincolnshire Local Plan and policy ENV10 (Landscape) of the Regional Spatial Strategy.’

The Head of Planning advised the committee of the contents of a late representation on the application.

Resolved – That the application be refused for the reason set put in the report and an additional reason regarding the adverse impact the development would have on the setting of a section of the Viking Way.

(Councillor Regan returned to the meeting).

1310 (43) GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS FOR CHANGES TO PLANNING APPLICATION FEES IN ENGLAND – The Head of Planning submitted a report advising members of proposals issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in a consultation paper of proposed changes to the planning applications fees regime which would decentralise responsibility for the setting of fees to local planning authorities. The paper also proposed to allow authorities to charge for some types of applications, which were currently free.

Fees were currently set nationally, which meant that they did not take account of differing local circumstances and market conditions. In the view of Central Government, this was contrary to the spirit of localism and the principle that decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level, by people who were accountable to the public.

Government research indicated that the majority of local planning authorities were failing to recover costs from fee income, whilst some authorities were actually generating more income through charging fees than it actually cost the council to process and run the development control/management service. The Government therefore considered that, to overcome this, each local planning authority should be enabled to set their own fees regime which reflected local costs and would also encourage them to run a fair and efficient system.

It was expected that any changes would be implemented from April 2011 with a six-month transition period until October 2011.

Planning fees had originally introduced by Government in 1980 and were supposed to reflect the possible private benefit implicit in the granting of planning permission on any given site. Fees were supposed to be based on the overall cost of handling, administering and determining applications, including related overheads. In the financial year 2009/10 some 466,000 planning applications had been submitted to local planning authorities which had generated £209 million in fee income. However, this still did not fully recover the total cost of administering the service. The Local Government Association (LGA) had said that allowing councils to charge the full cost of processing planning applications would help plug a £230 million black hole in the funding regime. The LGA had indicated that, in its opinion, last year town halls had to ‘subsidise developers by more than £500 for every planning application submitted because rules set in Whitehall prevented them from charging the full cost.’

The last time national planning fees had been revised had been in April 2008 when they had been increased by 23% to help authorities recover more of their costs. It was therefore now nearly three years since the last fees increase.

Section 303 (10) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 stated that the income from a fee must not exceed the cost of performing the fee-related function (handling, processing and determining planning applications in this instance). This meant that any planning fees regime could not be used to make a profit.

The government had put forward in the consultation paper three separate options as follows:

Option 1 would decentralise responsibility for setting fees for planning applications to local planning authorities.

Option 2 would maintain the current fees system.

Option 3 would maintain the current fees system but with changes to the detail, particularly as to the type of applications which would incur a fee and exemptions that would apply.

In recommending that Option 3 be the favoured way forward, the Head of Planning considered that this would be an opportunity for Central Government to review the detail of the planning fees regime and to start or to at least allow local planning authorities to charge for certain types of development which are currently exempt. In particular, the exemption which allowed applications to be resubmitted with a free go should be removed. The cost of determining a second application for the same site following refusal or withdrawal was equally as costly to the local authority as the initial proposal. Furthermore, applications for the felling or pruning of trees incurred a considerable cost burden on the council and, together with applications for listed building consent, should be charged for. At present the local authority picked up the full cost of processing and determining such applications.

Resolved – That the government be advised (a) that North Lincolnshire Council would prefer the planning fees regime to continue to be set at a national rather than local level; (b) that the existing national fees regime be reviewed annually to reflect changes in costs rather than the historically extensive and lengthy intervals between review which places undue pressure on local development control/planning services, and (c) the national fees regime should be altered to include fee charging for the determination of applications for the felling and pruning of trees, listed building consents and development in conservation areas which were a significant burden on the local authority.

1311 (44) BROUGHTON WOODLANDS – The Service Director Infrastructure submitted a report on the expediency of making an order covering part of Broughton woodlands.

An appeal decision in 2010 in relation to a proposal to change the use of part of Broughton Woods into a golf course suggested that “were the council to consider the woodlands to be under imminent threat, then a Woodland Tree Preservation Order (TPO) might secure their continued existence”. Following that decision the council had received 125 requests for such an order to be made although these requests did not specify the part of the wood that the individuals considered should be the subject of an order.

Section 198 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 stated that Local Planning Authorities might make a TPO if it appeared to them to be“expedient in the interests of amenity to make provision for the preservation of trees or woodland in their area”. The key words for consideration in this extract were amenity and expedient.

Though amenity was not defined in the act, Government advice stated there should be a reasonable degree of public benefit either present or in the future. That public benefit might be from the contribution to the landscape, intrinsic beauty, scarcity, wildlife habitat, screening an eyesore or future development, and other environmental, social and economic benefits. Broughton Woods offered many of these benefits and therefore merited protection on amenity grounds.

However although a woodland might merit protection on amenity grounds, it might not be expedient to make a TPO to protect it. Therefore the key consideration, given that the woodland had an amenity benefit, was whether it was expedient to make a TPO.

The report set out a number of reasons why it was not considered expedient to make a TPO in this instance.

Resolved – That no Tree Preservation Order be made on Broughton Woodlands at the present time.