A meeting of Eccleshall Parish Council Planning Committee was held on November 6th, 2019 at Eccleshall Community Centre at 7.30pm.

213/19). Present were: – Councillor P. Jones (Chairman); Councillor J. Leather
Councillor R. Langford; Councillor L. Dale
Councillor E. Amos; Councillor R. Taylor
Councillor M. Watson; Councillor S. Perren;  Councillor J. Jones;  Councillor P. Mullee

Mrs S.J. Worden (Clerk)
9 members of the Public

Apologies were received and accepted from Councillors Delanchy, Mifflin and Stenning.

214/19). Election of Vice-Chair: –
This was deferred until the next meeting as there were no nominees for consideration.

215/19). Public Participation: – There were nine members of the public in attendance.
A member of the public spoke of their concerns regarding any further development within Eccleshall, a lack of infrastructure in terms of medical services and issues with road congestion which would only be exacerbated with further housing.
A representative of the Flood Action Group raised a number of points which he wished Avison Young to address with regards to flooding of the area proposed for development. Floods were recorded in the area on the 27th October, yet it has been advised that the Environment Agency has re-assessed the flood risk as level one and suitable for development. Objections were also noted to the removal of an overflow pipe into the Sow from a nearby pumping station, which was recommended in the previous application. Concerns were also raised regarding the planned use of an attenuation pond for collection of surface water as the use of attenuation ponds at Sancerre Grange has resulted in flooding issues in the surrounding area due to its inefficiency.
Another resident also spoke about their concerns with flooding as a result of the Sancerre Grange development and that the attenuation ponds do not appear to be adequate for the amount of water it needs to contain. A further resident added to these concerns, specifically regarding the possibility of worsening of floods in the centre of Eccleshall as a result of new development on Castle Street.

216/19). To confirm the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on October 16th, 2019:- The minutes, which had been previously circulated, were agreed and signed.

217/19). Representatives from Avison Young property advisors – to provide an update on a proposed residential development on land east of Castle Street, Eccleshall.
Representatives from Avison Young (Mr. Nick Hardy, Planning Director and Ms. Kate Green, Senior Planner) presented an amended proposal for a proposed development on land off Castle Street. The previous application for up to 43 dwellings included two areas that extended beyond the settlement boundary, and feedback from statutory consultees included concerns about pedestrian links and connectivity to the town; planned building heights not in keeping with the conservation area; considerations regarding crossing points and speed restrictions and insufficient information submitted from the flood agency.
A new proposal has now been drawn up and a planning application will be submitted within the next two weeks. The considerations above have been taken into account, which includes reducing the development height and bringing all built elements back within the settlement boundary. The application will be for 37 houses, which will be set back from Castle St, and better aligned with existing houses. There is still one area located outside the settlement boundary, which is an attenuation basin. This will be a soft landscaping feature with no built elements apart from an outfall pipe. Drainage plans and flood risk assessments will be submitted as part of the application.

Councillors had a number of strong concerns about the development. The area is known to be an area where flooding occurs regularly, most recently evidenced on the 27th October, and many members highlighted this risk to Avison Young. Photos of the recent floods were provided.
Concerns were also raised about traffic issues at the proposed junction, which will prevent access in and out of the site. There were no lights or a roundabout proposed in the plans.
Mr. Hardy and Ms. Green were thanked for their attendance.

218/19). Planning decisions of Stafford Borough Council:-

19/31056/HOU– Single-storey rear extension to form sunroom. Petts Farm Blackwaters Road Offley Hay. Approved.

19/30772/HOU– Proposed Conversion of existing outbuilding to study and proposed link to house to provide wet room utility and hall. 11 Walton Hall Stafford Road Walton. Approved.

19/31084/FUL -Siting of a static caravan as a temporary dwelling unit for up to 2 years
and siting of a staff welfare unit for a period of up to 2 years during the construction of the new dwelling unit at Fledgling Farm. Fledgling Farm. Old Hall Lane Mill Meece. Approved.

19/31096/HOU – Proposed two storey part single storey extension to rear with alterations
to first floor window to front elevation. 3 Browns Bridge Slindon. Approved.

19/30961/FUL – Variation of condition 3 on 18/29491/FUL. Building Adjacent To Appledene Slindon Road Slindon. Approved.

19/30594/FUL – Replacement dwelling with extension of residential curtilage and retention of temporary caravan. Greatwood Farmhouse Offleybrook Road Offleybrook. Refused.

219/19). Planning Applications for Consideration:-

19/31241/HOU – Paint window frames and door from natural stain to Dulux heritage “Green Earth” Eggshell. 8 Small Lane, Eccleshall. There were no objections to this application.

19/31279/FUL – Variation of condition 2 on 17/27704/FUL and 17/27705/LBC. Lea Knowle Farm, Lea Knowle Lane, Bishops Offley. There were no objections to this application.

220/19). Any Further Applications for consideration:-

19/31282/FUL – Proposed redevelopment of farmhouse and farmyard including the conversion and demolition of existing agricultural buildings to create 11 No. total residential units. In conjunction with 19/31283/LBC. Brockton Hall, Brockton Lane, Eccleshall. It was discussed whether the plans included conversion of existing dwellings or included the demolition and construction of new buildings. The committee resolved to object to the application if it is determined to be for new dwellings in the countryside and as such, contrary to Policy C4 of the Plan for Stafford Borough.

19/31287/FUL – Conversion of two cottages to form one dwelling with proposed extension and partial demolition of existing outbuildings and store outbuildings. 2 Walton Hurst Cottages, Well Lane, Walton. There were no objections to this application.

221/19). Any Other Planning Matters:-

Update on response from Taylor Wimpey regarding balancing pond and play area fencing:
Following further discussions with Taylor Wimpey and the re-iteration of concerns regarding the safety of the attenuation feature, Taylor Wimpey have now agreed to supply and install a knee-high fence around the basin to provide a visual and physical barrier. They have also confirmed the installation of a post and rail fencing along the boundary between the play area and the Community Centre. The date of installation is pending.

To note the decision to uphold the TPO on trees located on land to the rear of St. Chads Road following the appeal meeting on the 18th October. It was noted that this was a successful outcome, and that the appeal had been well attended by residents. Disappointment was expressed that the letter sent by the Parish Council supporting the upholding of the TPO had not been read out at the meeting, showing Council had acted in support of the residents in formally requesting the rejection of the appeal. At future meetings, it would be ideal if a Councillor attends in order to ensure the letters are read out.

222/19). The Eagle Sculpture Update:- Initial feedback has been received from Staffordshire Police Design Advisor on the proposal, who was extremely helpful. A site meeting was held where a number of suggestions were discussed that would improve the design, both to reduce the likelihood of theft and to deter climbing. Suggestions included the installation of a rockery around the pole consisting of large boulders partially buried within the ground at a distance from the pole, and the planting of thorny plants such as roses which can be encouraged to grow up the pole, maintained regularly to prevent overgrowth. It was resolved for the Clerk to look into suitable landscape schemes and to obtain estimated costings for the landscaping. An amended plan would need to be submitted detailing, as a minimum, the dimensions of the landscaping and a description of its appearance. Concerns were noted as to the increased costs attributed to the project due to the issues that have arisen to date.

223/19). New & Proposed Developments:-
The Councillors discussed the proposal received earlier by Avison Young and re-iterated their strong concerns about the unsuitability of the development due to flood issues, traffic problems and the extension of the plan beyond the settlement boundary.
The committee noted that it wished to be proactive in expressing its concerns, and whether direct contact with the relevant statutory consultees (Highways and the Flood Agency) would be beneficial in ensuring their concerns and local knowledge of the area was given due consideration when the consultees scrutinised the application.
Avison Young noted that there had not been objections to the pumping station located on the new Burgage development which is outside of the boundary – however it was unclear whether this was actually just an expansion to a current pumping station which was already in place. Cllr. P. Jones will look at the plans.

224/19). Correspondence:-
A resident has complained to Bovis regarding a trip hazard caused by raised water meter covers as a result of incomplete pavement works. The Committee resolved for the Clerk to follow this up with Bovis to help obtain a resolution to the problem.

225/19). Accounts for payment:-

Authorisation was sought for payment of the following accounts:-

Eccleshall First Responders – annual sponsorship for defibrillator –  £50.00
Stafford Borough Council – Watering Contract – £7251.19
Creative Copy n Colour – Orders of service @ £117.00, surveys @ £76.80, bus leaflets and posters @ 26.00 £219.80
Poppy Appeal – donation for wreath –  £25.00
Wicksteed – annual playground inspection (Croxton) – £72.00
Mr. A.G. Jones – installation of Speed indication devices – £168.00
SLCC – Clerks Manual – £52.30

All were in favour and the cheques were signed.

226/19). Date and venue for next meeting:- November 20th, 2019, Eccleshall Community Centre
There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.55pm.