Agenda item


Outline application for residential development (up to 30 dwellings) with all matters reserved for later approval


Land to rear of 1-9 Ralphs Lane, Wyberton, Boston, PE21 7AX


Mr W B Lake


Outline planning application for residential development (up to 30

dwellings) with all other matters reserved    

Land to rear of 1-9 Ralphs Lane, Wyberton,  Boston, PE21 7AX

Mr W.B. Lake


The Growth Manager presented the report initially directing Councillors attention to page 9 of the report and paragraph 7.9 which said that the SELLP was currently out for consultation in relation to modifications.  To clarify the position, the consultation had closed in August and as such officers were now giving significant weight to a number of the policies within the local plan. 


Representation was received from Mr Clark in support of the application which included:


Stating he was a director of Clark Group Construction Mr Clark stated that aside from building for local clients, the company also undertook their own residential developments for the open market and had done several to date within the local area.  The development on Aaron Way Kirton having been a finalist in the Boston Brough Council Bulding Control Awards.  Confirming he was speaking as a supporter for the application Mr Clark noted that his local company were always willing to work with the local planning authority in identyfying favourable sites for development to meet the housing needs set out by Government.  The application site was one which had received positive pre application advice from Boston Borough Council’s planning department earlier in the year and that he felt was ideal for development due to being a largley infill piece of land, with excellent access to the public and in easy reach of all utilities to service the site.  From a purchasers perspective the site was within 150m of a public bus stop and within easy reach of a variety of services and facilities within Wyberton including  primary school, parish hall, public house and post office and food store. Should the application be approved the section.106 contribution for the development would a total of £171k split between 3 local schools including £68k to Wyberton Primary School.  Furthermore construction of such a development would provide jobs and employment for the local economy.




Representation was received from Mr Forman the agent for the applicant which included:


Stating his company Guy Forman Architects was an award winning practice working in the residential, heritage and town planning sectors, Mr Forman advised that the application was the subject of a pre planning application enquiry to Boston Borough Council earlier in the year.  He stated he was pleased to confirm that positive pre application advice had been received by the planning officers to the proposal.  Whilst the site sat outside, but abutted the development boundary, on the basis that Boston Borough was unable to show a 5 year housing supply along with the new local plan not yet adopeted, Boston Borough Council’s planning department had confirmed the site in question was favourable for development for circa. 30 dwellings.  However, they did advised it would not be favourable once the new local plan had been adopted.  Concious of not proceeding with the scheme should time not be on the applicants side, Boston Borough Council’s Planning department confirmed in spring 2018 that the new local plan would not be adopted until late autumn, early winter at the earliest.  Accordingly this provided the knoweldge to the client that there was sufficient time to prepare, submit and decide the application prior to the new local plan being adopted.  On that basis the client proceeded with the application and to date had spent over £29k on the application including the £7.500 planning fee along with surveys which had formed the application.  The application was sumitted at the beginning of July and positive comments were received from the planning case officer at the beginning of September.  However the Development Manager then advised via email, that Policy 1 Spatial Strategy of the new Local Plan would be implmented from the 28 August 2018 for current planning applications, even though the new Local Plan had not been adopted.  The result of this was the planning case officer having no choice but to recommend the application be refused.  The implementation of Policy 1 was contrary to what the applicants had been advised at pre application stage.  Since that time the applicant and agent had met with the planning case officer and Development Manager to discuss how the situation had arisen.  The applicant was very grateful for the planning officers for requesting the application be decided by committee.  Following on from that situation, Members were asked not to overlook why the site was seen as most favourable for residential development by Boston Borough Council’s Planning department, earlier in the year.  The site had the feel of an infil site with 60% of the site permieter already abbuted to the build up areas of Wyberton.  Of the 18 properties which abutted the application site only 4 had objected to the proposal.  The Parish Council had not commented on the proposals and there had been no negative comment from any of the consultees with Lincolnshire Highways and the Environment Agency being satisfied.  In conclusion Mr Forman noted the officers comments within the report which stated that the proposal showed a very good site layout and the propsed relationship with the existing dwellings was acceptable.



Representation was received from the Ward Member Councillor Richard Austin which included:


Stating he largely agreed with the officer report Councilor Austin highlighted one issue he felt committee needed to be aware of.  London Road which ran past the site was a very busy fast road which caused great concern amongst the local community.   The concern grew to such an extent that about 6 months before this application was known, a petition was raised by 400 people that there should be a pedetrian crossing put in place to allow safe crossing of the road.  The proposed developmet would add to the footfall with the need to cross the road for buses and facilities.  The petiion had been sumbitted to Lincolmnshire County Council who were carrying out a traffic assessment on the site prior to deciding if there would be a criteria for a level crossing.  In the event that it was proved and the criteria met, then there would be a need for developers contributions before such a pedestrian crossing would be agreed,  Should the application be agreed then members should request that a contribtion be built into the conditions.


The Growth Manager intervened during initial deliberation of this item in response to member concerns in respect of the advice provided by officers during the pre-application stage and the change to that advice on the introduction of Policy 1 Spatial Straegy.   Mrs Hughes confirmed that the situation had been unfortunate in that pre application advice had been given by officers in March 2018, at which time the adopted plan had the weight attached along with the position of the Council’s five year land supply, in that a lot of developments were receiving favourable decision because of that situation.  Since then a change of National Policy in terms of the NPPF 2018 that had influcened some Council decisions, along with consultations for the modifications to the SELLP which concluded in August at which time we received Legal Advice that in accordance with the NPPF, where there had not been significant objections to a particular policy and in general conformity with the local plan, that the Council would then be attaching significant weight with those policies.  Council advised all applicants and agents shortly afterwards to appraise them of the position.  Regretably the application in question had fallen between the old policies and the new policies.  As a Council officers can only consider the policies that are in place at the time of decision making.


Following further concerns questionning Mrs Hughes response, Mr Parsons the Legal Officer stated that unfortunately it was a situation whereby it was for the applicant to take their own advice.  Pre application advice was given soundly on the position at the time it was given.  It was updated as soon as the SELLP had that relvant positon to put weight upon it.  It was not for the Council to say that, having said something intially they therefore had to stay with that:  it was nothing that carried weight through to determination stage.  It was incredibly unfortunate but it was for the applicant to seek to see and ajudge the risk of when the SELLP was going to get final consultation and take their advice upon it.  It was unfortunate but with any change in planning policy there has to be a line and often that line had to be strict.   Mr Parsons concluded by stating that the application had to brought to committee to allow members to judge it against the planning regime and the local plan in place now which had weight, for committee to determine it on that basis as against the application simply being refused.  10 months ago at that point in time the Council did not have its 5 year supply nor had the SELLP gone through final consultation:  at that point it would have had a greater change of success because of that criteria in place then.  That criteria had now changed and the application had to be judged on its merits against the plan and policy in line with process.


Following strong concerns raised by a member about the strength of the local plan in its current process and what procedures were in place for it to deliver the 5 year supply of housing, Mrs Hughes responded stating that whilst she did not have figures she could advise that the Government had recently produced figures in terms of our need and the policy team were reviewing that in the context of the plan.  Furthermore Mrs Hughes noted that the number that was in the report was less than what the Council had looked to be delivering. 


It was moved by Councillor James Edwards and seconded by Councillor Paul Skinner that committee refuse the application in line with officer recommendation for the reasons given therein with the additional reason requesting provision of a complete section 106,



Vote:      In Favour. 9        Against 1.      Abstention:  1.


RESOLVED:  That the application be refused in line with officer recommendation for the following reasons:


1.            The proposed development, by virtue of the location outside of the defined village boundary together with the addition of 30 dwellings when compared to the existing character of the area would result in an urbanising effect which would have significant and demonstrable harm to its rural setting.  The proposal is therefore contrary to Boston Borough Local Plan Policies C01 and G1, South East Lincolnshire Local Plan 2011-2036 Policy 1 and the National Planning Policy Framework 2018, paragraphs 78 and 79 which seek to resist new dwellings unless the harm is outweighed by the benefits.  The proposal, due to its location is also considered to fail to meet the aims of sustainable development as defined in paragraph 8 and 9 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2018 by introducing built form outside of development limits.


Refused Drawing Numbers: 261-PLN-E-00 Site Location Plan (1/2)

                                                261-PLN-P-01 Master Plan (2/2)


2.            Whilst the applicant has indicated willingness to enter into a Section 106 Planning obligation, a completed obligation what has not been received to deliver affordable housing, based on 16.6% provision of overall housing provision and educational contribution of £171.042.  The proposal therefore fails to provide the necessary infrastructure required as a result of the development and fails to meet the aims of the sustainable development, contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework 2018


It is recorded that Councillor Stephen Woodliffe re-joined the meeting at this part in the proceeding and further recorded that Councillor Michael Cooper absented from the meeting.


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