MINUTES OF A MEETING OF OULTON PARISH COUNCIL held at Oulton Congregational Chapel on Tuesday 15th March 2016
1. Present: Mr. Paul Killingback, Mr. G. Peck, Ms. S. Harrison, Mr. A. Nash, Ms. N. Poole, Ms. A. Shaw
Apologies: Mrs. S. Mather
Members of the public attended for item 4.
2. Minutes: Two sets of minutes were signed and approved, those of the 26th January and the 20th February.
3. Declarations of Interest: Ms. Harrison declared a prejudicial interest it item 4 Planning Application 20160323 as she was an employee of Hangman who owned the building. Ms. Harrison therefore left the room and took no part in the PC discussion and deliberations on this matter.
Ms. Shaw declared a non-prejudicial interest in that she is acquainted with both the owner and the applicant but felt that this was not a significant reason to be excluded from the discussion. This was agreed by other members of the PC.
4. Planning Application 20160323 Conversion of Former Chapel to a Dwelling and change of use of land at the Street, Oulton.
The Chairman closed the Parish Council meeting to give members of the public an opportunity to speak. The PC informed those present that, unusually, the applicant of the planning application (the proposed purchaser of the property) had actually withdrawn but the planning application still stood and therefore the PC and BDC must consider it. Mrs. Chesters, the current owner was present at the meeting and pointed out that something needed to be done with the building which was deteriorating rapidly. She would have preferred to have look to obtain outline planning permission for the conversion to a dwelling rather than the full planning permission which is before the PC. However, Ms. Shaw reminded everybody that it was this full application that must be considered. The next door neighbours, Mr. & Mrs. Farrell objected to lack of details on the plan in that the windows were inaccurately drawn on the plans and there was no mention that frosted glass would be retained. They also objected to the new window in the proposed extension in that it overlooked their garden, needed to be of frosted glass and not an opening light. Ms. Shaw confirmed that as a result of visiting the site and its surroundings there were a number of significant inaccuracies. These related to the size of the existing windows being drawn larger than they currently are, as was the rear window, the neighbours’ property being incorrectly represented and the eastern boundary incorrectly drawn. Added to this, Ms. Shaw also pointed out the deficiencies in the plans submitted, namely no mention of the retention of the existing frosting of the windows to the north side adjoining the neighbours’ property, or the number of opening lights on these windows. That is a consideration in terms of preventing intrusive overlooking. Most importantly there is no drawing or description on the site plan for the position
and arrangements for foul and rainwater drainage or storage of oil tanks etc.
Another neighbour, Mrs. Sue Hall, addressed the meeting. She confirmed she had used part of the land to the rear for over 20 years as a garden and whilst she acknowledged this had always been on a grace and favour basis she was disappointed not to have been consulted over the proposed boundaries as a matter of courtesy.
The Chairman reconvened the meeting. Members of the Parish Council pointed out that the plans were significantly incorrect in many details. Whilst the PC supported the appropriate development of the building in order to prevent further deterioration, it was agreed that the plans were inaccurate and deficient on important points. Furthermore, the fact that the original applicant has now withdrawn gives no comfort and actually gives rise to more uncertainty. If the property is subsequently sold with planning permission there are no guarantees that this is what a potential buyer would want. The building could not be brought back into use as a house without extra land and unfortunately the boundaries were incorrect and the drainage issues unclear. Then the matter was put to the vote the Parish council unanimously voted to object to the application on the grounds of inaccurate plans and lack of detail. It was agreed that a letter would be sent to the Planning Office at BDC, stating the objections and detailing the inaccuracies.
5. Financial Matters: A cheque was signed for £320.00 being the half year’s salary for the Clerk.
6. Box Day: This will be held on the 18th June. The organiser thanked Mrs Mather for handing over the paperwork in excellent condition.
7. Date of the next meeting: This will be held on Tuesday 10th May and will be Annual General Meeting to be held at 7.00 pm and the Annual Parish Meeting which will start at 8.00.
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