The above planning application (link to online documents) was put before the the District Council’s Planning Committee on 20 June 2023. Members were not being asked to determine the application, because this is now in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate. The proposal in front of Members is for consideration of the decision that would likely have been made by the LPA if it had been in a position to formally determine the application.
The meeting can be viewed on YouTube at: (11) Planning Committee – 20 June 2023 – YouTube and the summary of decisions is now available to view here.
The Parish Council’s statement, as delivered by Cllr Paul Eldridge, is as follows:
Thank you, Mr Chairman. I am Vice-Chairman of, and speak on behalf of LW&GC PC, and we object to this application for Outline Consent.
I thank the Officers for including in their report the full details of the PC objections to the application which your members can see are based on:
(A) the applicant’s failure to comply with a number of both Local and Neighbourhood Plan Policies and
(B) defects and errors in Cala’s submission.
In addition, to these the PC would like to draw to the particular attention of the Committee the following key factors:-
- There has been no consultation by Cala whatsoever with the Parish Council or the Community regarding this Outline Application. We believe this is contrary to National Planning Policy Framework recommendations and should therefore in its own right be sufficient grounds for refusal of this application. Otherwise, what is the purpose of having a NPPF guidance.
- Cala’s application documents have been both incorrect and misleading. There are several obvious errors on plans which indicate land (blue edged) under Cala’s ownership which is not the case. Of most significance is that they say they have control over the woodland west of Waller Close which the Police have confirmed is incorrect. They use this alleged control to indicate linkage to Leek Wotton Sports Ground which can then be used to offset their inability to provide open space within the boundaries of their true ownership for their proposed housing numbers as required by both National and Local Policies.
- Regarding numbers. Cala are requesting you to grant based on “up to 83 dwellings” for the site. In your officer’s report and indeed in the Cala application there is reference to 115 properties being related to Policy DS22 and hence by implication 83 appear acceptably lower. The 115 proposed and accepted in the Local Plan was for the whole of the Woodcote Estate when the Police were vacating. This is not the case now. The Draft Master plan produced by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Parish Council’s own consultants clearly states that for the current Cala sites, total numbers of the order of 57 to 62 would be appropriate and in keeping with the requirements to preserve, Heritage, Landscaping and Ecology. Cala are proposing a maximum limit some 30% in excess of these independent and professional findings. The PC believes this is a significant overdevelopment of the site and is also grounds for refusal.
In summary Cala have acquired the sites totally at their own risk without any recourse to the Police and Crime Commissioner in the event of planning applications being rejected or curtailed. The Community should not have to overcome their commercial gamble by having excessive or inappropriate housing on this site.
The PC requests that you reject the Outline Application on the grounds that your Officers have recommended and on the these additional factors. If Cala return with other proposals, then we are sure that these will be fully assessed on their own merits against policy DS22, Local Plan and the Leek Wootton and Guys Cliffe Neighbourhood Plan which the current application fails to achieve.
If you propose to attempt to resolve some or all the Councils current objections by Section 106 agreements, then given the characteristics of the site we would urge you to involve the community in these discussion as it is we who must live with any of these resolutions.