Mewn perthynas cheisiadau y mae gan y Cyngor ddiddordeb ynddynt un ai fel ymgeisydd/asiant neu fel perchennog tir neu eiddo, atgoffir yr Aelodau fod yn rhaid iddynt anwybyddu’r agwedd hon, gan ystyried ceisiadau o’r fath a phenderfynu yn eu cylch ar sail rhinweddau’r ceisiadau cynllunio yn unig. Ni ddylid ystyried swyddogaeth y Cyngor fel perchennog tir, na materion cysylltiedig, wrth benderfynu ynghylch ceisiadau cynllunio o’r fath.

In relation to those applications which are identified as one in which the Council has an interest either as applicant/agent or in terms of land or property ownership, Members are reminded that they must set aside this aspect, and confine their consideration and determination of such applications exclusively to the merits of the planning issues arising. The Council’s land owning function, or other interests in the matter, must not be taken into account when determining such planning applications.

COMMITTEE:

    PLANNING COMMITTEE

DATE:

    18 AUGUST 2011

REPORT OF:

    HEAD OF PLANNING

I n d e x - A r e a W e s t

REF.

APPLICATIONS RECOMMENDED FOR APPROVAL

PAGE NOS.

W/24182

Outline for residential development (with affordable housing), school parking/drop off area and public play area at land rear of Fox and Hounds, Cae Ffynnon, Bancyfelin, Carmarthenshire, SA33 5ND

4 - 15

W/24449

Retrospective application for the use of an agricultural shed as dog breeding kennels at Beili Bedw Farm, Llanllwni, Pencader, Carmarthenshire, SA39 9DP

16 - 26

W/24829

Change of use from primary school/dwelling to a green technology eco centre and associated living accommodation at The Old School, Castle Road, Pencader, Carmarthenshire, SA39 9BS

27 - 35

W/24934

Proposed new housing development (16 units) at plot of land at Caradog Court, Ferryside, Carmarthenshire, SA17 5RR

36 - 48

Applications Recommended For Approval

Application No

W/24182

Application Type

Outline

Proposal &

Location

OUTLINE FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT (WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING), SCHOOL PARKING/DROP OFF AREA AND PUBLIC PLAY AREA AT LAND REAR OF FOX AND HOUNDS, CAE FFYNNON, BANCYFELIN, CARMARTHENSHIRE, SA33 5ND.

Applicant(s)

CWMDWYFRAN DEVELOPMENTS

Agent

MR ANDREW VAUGHAN HARRIES

Case Officer

Stuart Willis

Electoral Ward

St Clears

Date of validation

04.01.2011

This application is subject to a Section 106 Agreement.

CONSULTATIONS

Head of Transport – Has recommended the imposition of conditions with any permission relating to layout and form of any estate road, provision of footways and kerb radii. Conditions relating to parking and turning facilities are also requested along with the existing lay-by at the front of the school being removed prior to the beneficial use of the development. This would be due to the proposed new parking and turning area proposed to the rear of the school.

St Clears Town Council – Has responded with the following comments and observations:-

Local Member - County Councillor P Hughes has not commented to date.

Environment Agency – Has raised no objection to the proposal. State that the site should connect to the main sewer system and a condition be added to ensure so. Has highlighted that the Bancyfelin sewerage system discharges to the Cywyn which is currently failing to meet the Water Framework Directive water quality standards for phosphates. Request consultation with Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water to ensure that there is capacity to accommodate the additional flows. A condition is also recommended in relation to a pollution method statement being submitted. Comments relating to SuDS are also made.

Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water – Initially objected to the proposal however have subsequently responded again withdrawing this objection and providing further advice.

Parks – Have requested on site play facilities be provided together with a commuted sum to cover maintenance for a period of ten years. From the indicative layout the costs would be a maintenance fee of 21, 891 along with 33,171 based on 17 units at the site using the standard formula. This would total 55,062. A LEAP would be needed at the site.

Head of Public Protection Social Care and Housing – Has not commented to date. The indicative layout of the site shows four affordable units out of a total of seventeen units. This would represent approximately 24% of the number of units in line with the 25% requirement in the area.

Education – Have provided details of the occupancy of the nearby schools and have been involved in discussions regarding the proposed parking/turning area for the school.

Comments have also been received directly from the Head Teacher of Ysgol Bancyfelin and are summarised as follows:-

National Rail – Have raised no objection and provided further information in relation to safe operation of the railway and protection of the adjoining land.

Neighbours/Public - The application has been publicised by the posting of a Site Notice and at press with one response received to date. This made the following comments:-

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

The following previous application(s) has/have been received on the application site:-

TMT/03096 Proposed alterations and extensions to existing

public house and owners accommodation

(2 no dwelling houses)

Full planning permission 13 March 2003

W/07185 Residential development seven houses

five bungalows

Withdrawn 11 June 2004

W/15162 Erection of 18 houses with associated

infrastructure

Full planning refused 11 May 2007

APPRAISAL

If approved the application would be subject to a Section 106 Agreement as the indicative layout shows it would be for ten or more units and this agreement would require contributions towards affordable housing, public open space and education. For this application this would equate to:-

_ Approximately 25% of the total number of units being designated as affordable housing. From the indicative layout four units out of a total of seventeen are shown (24%).

_ The provision of on site public open space. In this instance the indicative layout shows an area of public play area provided on site. A sum of 55,062 would be required for maintenance and other costs to provide a LEAP.

_ The application includes the provision of a car parking/dropping off area for the adjacent school. The Agreement would state that the applicant would need to designate the appropriate area of land and construct the facilities or that there is a financial contribution towards education in line with the standard formula.

THE SITE

The application site comprises a number of fields currently under grass and used for grazing located off the northern flank of High Street, Bancyfelin. The site is located to the centre of Bancyfelin. The site is at the rear of a recently constructed cul-de-sac of dwellings known as Cae Ffynnon with the Fox and Hounds Public House at adjacent to the road. Part of the site is also located to the rear of Llanfihangel-Abercowin Primary School. To the north east and north west of the site are open fields. The railway line is located to the north of the fields. There is another cul-de-sac of houses located to the south west of the site.

There is a path from the school grounds behind the new cul-de-sac of dwellings to the village hall and existing dwellings to the south west. There are hedgerows on parts of the field boundaries within the site. The land generally slopes from the north west of the site towards the school and new cul-de-sac.

The site is at the centre of Bancyfelin and the site represents the whole of an area of land allocated for residential development in the Adopted Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan. The site is allocation CL14/a covers an area of 0.7ha and was allocated for eight units. The land to the rear of the school contains play facilities and is designated as a Recreation Area in the Unitary Development Plan. Additional land outside the residential allocation is also included in the application site. Land to the rear of the school grounds is included which stretches across the whole of the rear boundary of the school and also a portion of land to the side of it.

The dwellings in the surrounding area are generally two storey and include terraced, detached and semi-detached properties of varying ages and designs.

THE PROPOSAL

The application seeks outline planning permission for residential development with affordable housing, school parking/drop off area and public play area with all other matters being reserved. As such a decision relating to the principle of developing the site for residential use is has been requested at this stage. No fixed layout or details of siting are to be looked at though only an indicative layout has been provided in line with legislation showing the approximate location of dwellings, route and open spaces, points of access and scale parameters of the dwellings.

An indicative layout was submitted showing seventeen residential units at the site. A mix of detached and semi-detached properties is shown. There would be four units located outside the development limits adjacent to the boundary of the school. These are shown on the plan to be the affordable units and to be two storey, three bedroom dwellings. These would be two pairs of semi-detached properties. The remaining thirteen units would be detached and located off a cul-de-sac road. These are shown to be two storey, four bedroom dwellings.

The indicative layout shows an access off the existing road used to access the car park of the public house and the recent cul-de-sac of Cae Ffynnon. The road would continue north west with a turning to the west for the new cul-de-sac of detached properties which are all located within the allocated site. The road would also continue to the affordable units behind the school and loops around these dwellings. The road ends at an area shown for parking and drop off space for the existing school. Adjacent to the parking area to the east would be an area designated as a public play area. A footpath link is shown from the drop off/parking area along the rear boundary of the school to adjoin it to the main footway along the proposed road.

Indicative scale parameters are shown for the dwellings. The houses have indicative parameters as follows:-

The application proposes the provision of on site public open space in lieu of a financial contribution. In relation to education contributions it is proposed that the land to the northern part of the site is provided as a drop off/parking area for the school with a direct link to the school. At present there is a small lay by area to the front of the school off the county road. The applicant states that land equating to approximately 13% of the area for residential development would be provided for the public open space.

An Environmental Performance Statement was submitted in relation to the Code for Sustainable Homes.

A Design and Access statement was submitted with the application.

PLANNING POLICY

In the context of the current development control policy framework, the site lies within the settlement limits of the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan and has been allocated for residential development. As such the proposal is assessed in accordance with Policy H1 of the Unitary Development Plan.

Policy H2 allows residential proposal within limits providing there are no over riding concerns regarding highways, utility or amenity issues and compliance with other polices in the plan. Although the site is allocated these same considerations still apply.

Policies relating to contributions to affordable housing, public open space and education are also required such as REC8, GDC33 and H4.

Policy UT8 relates to surface water disposal and states that sustainable methods should be encouraged. UT1 relates to infrastructure in new developments.

Policies GDC11, GDC12 and T3 are applicable as these deal with highways considerations of development.

GDC1 deals with sustainability as does TAN22 in relation to sustainable buildings.

Policy H8 applies as the indicative plans shows residential development on land outside the development limits. Once of the exceptions for residential development outside of development limits are where it is for affordable housing.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIONS

Turing to the third party representations received to date.

The comments received did not object to the proposal and were generally supportive. However a number of issues were raised regarding the indicative layout. Comments were made that the site should be developed with future development to the north and east in mind. The area to the north of the site was submitted as a candidate site for the Local Development Plan but is not included in the deposit plan. However the Local Development Plan is only at draft deposit stage and as yet not adopted. Therefore the site may not be included in the final plan. The layout submitted is only indicative and is not to be agreed as part of this outline application

Comments were also made regarding the size and position of the proposed parking/drop off area and the play area. As stated above the layout is only indicative at this stage. The size of the play area as shown on the indicative layout is considered appropriate. The Head of Transport has not raised any objection regarding the parking/drop off area and any changes required could be made at the reserved matters stage. The indicative layout shows all the open market housing located within the developments limits and the allocated site. The enlargement or movement of the parking area and/or play facilities would be at the expense of the market housing which may affect the viability of the scheme. The location of any market housing outside the development limits would also not be likely to be considered acceptable. The drop off area is adjacent to the rear boundary of the school as is the play area.

The existing pedestrian link between the estate road and Lon Cowin is not affected as it is not part of the application site. This is not a formal right of way. Reference is made to creating a vehicular link along this route and a one way system. It is difficult to see how such as scheme would work within the confines of the development limits and providing sufficient space for the dwellings.

The indicative layout plan shows the provision of a parking/drop off area and public play area. These would be secured through a Section 106 Agreement. If the parking/turning area were not considered acceptable then a financial contribution in line with the standard formula would be requested and this option would be included in the Section 106 Agreement. A condition is recommended stating that only affordable housing could be located outside the development limits with all market housing having to be located within the limits.

CONCLUSION

After careful consideration of the site and its surrounding environs in the context of this application, together with the representations received to date it is considered that on balance the proposal is acceptable and accords with policy within the CUDP and national guidance.

The part of the site shown to have open market housing lies within an area of land allocated for residential development in the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan. Therefore subject to the usual considerations the principle of the land being used for these purposes is considered acceptable. The overall allocation was for 8 units. Although this is an outline planning application the applicant has provided indicative details of thirteen units on the site even though the layout is not to be agreed. A further four units are shown for affordable housing. These are shown to be located outside the development limits and allocation but adjacent to the development limits.

An indicative layout has been submitted which shows seventeen units in total at the site. The layout appears to show this number of units can be accommodated. Therefore although it appears this number of units is possible at the site changes to the layout would need to be considered in any reserved matters application.

Where a development proposes more units than the allocated number in the Unitary Development Plan the Authority must also consider whether the additional numbers would potentially harm the Welsh Language and Culture in the area. The site is allocated for eight units and the proposal is indicatively showing seventeen units at the site. As the number of units are not to be assessed this issue would be dealt with at reserved matters stage dependant on the number of units that would be proposed. It should be noted that the seventeen units includes four outside the allocation. Also the density at the indicative plan level would be similar to the recently constructed cul-de-sac immediately adjacent to the site to the south and older streets in the area. If the site was developed at the allocation of eight units this would only provide two affordable units.

Areas of on site open space are shown in place of a financial contribution. This application proposes to provide an on site play area outside the allocated land. The play area is indicatively shown to be located to the rear of the school in land outside the development limits. The area though would be adjacent to the existing school fields and play facilities. There would also need to be a contribution towards the maintenance of the area and the provision of equipment on it. Comments received from the relevant department have stated that a contribution of approximately 55,062 based on the indicative layout in total would be needed for this site. The indicative site area shown for the play area is approximately in line with the Authority’s policy of 13% of the site.

A contribution of approximately 25% of the total units is required towards affordable housing in this area. The application refers to four of the seventeen indicative units being designated as affordable housing and this is therefore likely to be considered acceptable. The Social Care and Housing Section have confirmed this is the appropriate level of the provision.

A contribution towards Education is also required for developments of this scale. However there needs to be justification for any contribution and therefore one can only be justified where there is an over subscription at the schools for which this site would be within the catchment area. This application however proposes to provide on site facilities for the adjacent school rather than a financial contribution. Adjacent to the area shown for the proposed play area and the affordable dwellings it is proposed to provide a car/bus parking area and drop off area for the school. At present there is a small drop off area to the front of the school on the main road and no on site parking. The application proposes to designate the land adjacent to the rear boundary of the school as a parking area. This again would be secured through a Section 106 Agreement to ensure its provision. Discussions have been held with the Education Department over this aspect of the proposal and at this stage have reservations over the potential use of the site. The application is in outline form and the layout provided is only indicative. Therefore it is not to be agreed at this stage. The Section 106 Agreement can therefore include the option for a financial contribution if the parking area is not seen to be appropriate at the time of the reserved matters submission.

A previous application at the site for 18 dwellings in 2007 raised objections from Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water. This was due to overloading of the Treatment Works. In response to consultation on this application they raised concerns initially over the capacity of the water treatment works that the site would drain in to. The Environment Agency also alluded to potential issues. Following further investigation by Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water they have responded again withdrawing their objection to the proposal.

The Head of Transport has raised no objection and recommended the imposition of a number of conditions. One of these relates to closing up the existing pull in to the front of the school. This is because of the provision of the new area to the rear of the school. As this may only potentially be needed then this condition will not be added. Instead if the new parking/turning area is to be proposed in the final scheme the requirement to close the lay-by could be included in the Section 106 Agreement.

No issues have been raised by the Planning Ecologist regarding the proposal. Details of landscaping would be provided at the reserved matters stage. The site currently has hedgerows along some of the boundaries and the planting of new hedgerows along the new boundaries would be preferable.

As such, this application is now put forward with a recommendation for approval subject to a Section 106 Agreement.

RECOMMENDATION – APPROVAL

CONDITIONS

1 The permission now granted is an outline permission only, within the meaning of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995.

2 The permission now granted relates to the land defined by the 1:1250 scale plan, received on 4th January 2011.

3 Application for approval of reserved matters must be made to the Local Planning Authority before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission, and the development must be commenced not later than whichever is the later of the following:-

4 Development shall not commence until detailed plans of the access; appearance; landscaping; layout; and scale of each building stated in the application, have been submitted, and received the written approval of the Local Planning Authority.

5 The dwellings hereby permitted shall be constructed to achieve a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and achieve a minimum of 1 credit under category Ene1 – ‘Dwelling Emission Rate’ in accordance with the requirements of The Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide (Version 3) November 2010.

6 No development shall commence until details of a 'Design Stage' assessment and related certification have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be carried out entirely in accordance with the approved assessment and certification unless the Local Planning Authority shall otherwise consent in writing.

7 The dwelling hereby approved shall not be occupied until a Code for Sustainable Homes ‘Post Construction Stage’ assessment has been carried out in relation to the dwelling and a ‘Final Certificate’ has been issued certifying that Code Level 3 and a minimum 1 credit under Ene1– ‘Dwelling Emission Rate’ have been achieved in accordance with the requirements of The Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide (Version 3) November 2010, and the Certificate has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

8 There shall be no more than seventeen units on the site.

9 Prior to its use by vehicular traffic, the new road shall be laid out and constructed with 5.5 metre carriageway, 1.8 metre footways, and 6 metre kerbed radii at its junctions.

10 No development shall commence until the written approval of the Local Planning Authority has been obtained for a scheme of parking and turning facilities within the curtilage of the site, and this shall be dedicated to serve the proposal. The approved scheme is to be fully implemented prior to any part of the development being brought into use, and thereafter shall be retained, unobstructed, in perpetuity. In particular, no part of the parking or turning facilities is to be obstructed by non-motorised vehicles.

11 Prior to the occupation of any of the dwellings herewith approved, the required access roads and footpaths from the existing public highway shall be laid out and constructed strictly in accordance with the plans herewith approved, to at least the base course levels, and with the visibility splays provided.

12 There shall be no open market housing located outside the allocated area as delineated by the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan.

13 All dwellings shall connect to the public sewer system.

REASONS

1 Required to be imposed pursuant to Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

2 For the avoidance of doubt as to the extent of the site.

3 The application is in outline form.

4 In the interest of visual amenity.

5-7 In the interest of sustainable development.

8 To prevent overloading of the public sewer system.

9-11 In the interest of highway safety.

12 To prevent the introduction of housing in the open countryside without the appropriate justification.

13 In the interest of sustainability.

NOTE(S)

1 The applicant is advised that this planning permission is subject to an appropriate Section 106 Agreement being entered into where the applicant shall confirm:-

2 Further advice and guidance from Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water is appended to this planning permission.

3 Further advice and guidance from the Environment Agency is appended to this planning permission.

4 Further advice and guidance from Network Rail is appended to this planning permission.

5 The Head of Transport further advises:-

SUMMARY REASONS FOR APPROVAL

In accordance with Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2004, the Council hereby certify that the proposal as hereby approved conforms with the relevant policies of the Development Plan (comprising the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan (UDP) 2006) and material considerations do not indicate otherwise. The policies which refer are as follows:-

Application No

W/24449

Application Type

Full Planning

Proposal &

Location

RETROSPECTIVE APPLICATION FOR THE USE OF AN AGRICULTURAL SHED AS DOG BREEDING KENNELS AT BEILI BEDW FARM, LLANLLWNI, PENCADER, CARMARTHENSHIRE, SA39 9DP

Applicant(s)

MR DYLAN JONES

Agent

OWEN BANKS PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT LTD

Case Officer

Stuart Willis

Electoral Ward

Llanfihangel-ar-arth

Date of validation

04.03.2011

CONSULTATIONS

Head of Transport – Has raised no concerns with the proposal.

Llanllwni Community Council – Has raised no objection to the application.

Local Member - County Councillor L Davies Evans has stated she supports the application for the following reasons:-

Environment Agency – Has raised no objection to the proposal following further details being provided regarding the disposal of foul materials.

Public Protection – Public Health Team have made comments relating to waste and emissions and referred to other legislation on the recently approved application for the increase in the number of dogs at the other building on the yard. Although these were suggested as planning conditions they are not considered to meet the six tests and/or are covered by other legislation.

The Animal Health Team has commented that the site has had a licence since at least 2000 when their records began. The current licence is for 155 bitches, 37 stud dogs and 4 other dogs. The current licence, which is renewed yearly, expires on 21st December 2011. Details of the conditions on the current licence have been provided and these refer to a number of issues including the following:-

They have confirmed that legislation requiring a certain staff to animal ratio is not in place as yet and for dog breeding there is no specific area of space required per animal. A Vet would visit the site prior to licence being issued and the issue of the number of dogs that could be kept at the site is then decided between the vet and the licensing officer. They have also stated that appropriate drainage is required before a licence is issued.

Noise Team – Have stated that they have no adverse comments to make in respect of noise. If the numbers of animals were increased at the site a further noise assessment would be require.

Neighbours/Public – A site notice was displayed with 739 representations having been received as a result. These objected to on the following grounds:-

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

W/25074 Variation of condition no 1 on application

D4/24409 to regularise the correct use of the

buildings housing up to 100 dogs Pending

W/22399 Agricultural shed

Planning permission 26 February 2010

W/22359 Agricultural shed

Agricultural Determination (pp not required) 28 January 2010

W/04263 Research and development

Planning permission 01 June 2001

D4/24409 Change of use calf pens to dog kennels

Planning permission 12 April 1994

D4/893 Siting of dwelling

Withdrawn

APPRAISAL

This application has been submitted following an investigation/action undertaken by the Authority’s Planning Enforcement Officers.

THE SITE

The application site consists of a former agricultural building now used as kennels on the main farmyard at the property known as Beili Bedw Farm. The site is located off the western flank of the A485 near the northern end of Llanllwni. The holding comprises approximately 120 acres within the ownership of the applicant with a further 100 acres of rented land. There are approximately 850 sheep on the holding.

The building was subject to a Prior Notification for an Agricultural Building in January 2010 where planning permission was not required. The building is of block and sheet construction typical of modern agricultural buildings and is located on to the eastern end of the main farm yard and adjacent to other buildings. There are a number of other buildings of various styles and scale around the yard. One of these is in use as kennels with others being in agricultural use. The farm yard is set back from the A road by approximately 250m. The application building is single storey.

There was a planning application recently approved at a nearby building on the yard for retrospective consent for increasing the number of dogs at the kennels in that building. That building is currently in use as a kennels and was subject to planning permission is 1994 for change if use to kennels. There were restrictions on that permission stating that the building could be used for a maximum of 9 dogs.

The site is located outside the development limits of Llanllwni but within 250m of them. The site is within a Special Landscape Area.

THE PROPOSAL

The application seeks planning permission for the change of use of the building from agricultural to dog breeding kennels.

The supporting statement refers to the building which measures 27.4m by 7.6m initially being used for agriculture following its construction, however the applicant later did not need it for this purpose due to additional land not being taken on and the new standards required by Animal Welfare Regulations requiring changes to the kennelling. It was not considered that the existing, older farm building being used for the dog breeding was sufficient and a second building was needed. With the availability of the application building due to agricultural requirements being less than anticipated it was considered the conversion of this would be preferable to an application for a new building. The building was then adapted with galvanised pen enclosures added and changes to the fenestration.

Further details were provided by the applicant to support the claim that the building had been used at some time for agricultural purposes. Drainage details were given stating that a cesspit is used for foul drainage and soakaways shown. Amended plans were submitted showing parking spaces adjacent to the building. It was stated that there are 1.5 full time workers associated with the dog breeding.

PLANNING POLICY

Policy GDC2 of the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan states that any proposed development must be in accordance with the relevant policies contained in the plan. In particular, development should be of a suitable design appropriate to its location, and should utilise material appropriate to the character of the area in which it’s located. Also, any proposed development should cause no harm to the privacy and amenity of existing dwellings, buildings, other structures and their respective occupiers and users.

Particular regard is given to Policy E6 of the UDP. It states that the policy of Carmarthenshire County Council is to permit extensions/ intensification and continuance of existing industrial or commercial enterprises within the plan area provided that neither the existing use nor the development proposal causing or are likely to create environmental damage, amenity, highway or public service provision objections or prejudice other development proposals. It also state that the development proposals must be of an appropriate scale and form, and are not detrimental to the respective townscape/landscape. Of particular relevance to this instance is criterion (v) will cause no harm to the privacy and amenity of existing dwellings, buildings, other structures, and their respective occupiers and users.

Policy GDC12 applies in relation to traffic generation and only allows development where the level of traffic would not cause harm to the highway safety on the road network or amenity of residents living alongside the network.

As the site is also a working agricultural holding Policy E8 – Farm Diversification also applies. Appropriate farm diversification schemes are permitted where the scale is compatible with the prime agricultural use, the proposal does not lead to unacceptable traffic generation or highways concerns and there would not be an adverse affect on the character, setting or appearance of the farm and the surrounding countryside. The policy also states that in terms of sequential search for the diversification use the preference is for the conversion of existing buildings on the working farm complex.

Policy EN16 applies as the site is located within a Special Landscape Area. Proposals are only allowed in such areas where they would not harm the character and appearance of the area.

Policy GDC3 applies in relation to development in the countryside. This sets out the exceptions where development in the countryside is allowed. This includes where there is an extension or intensification of an existing commercial use in line with policy E6, uses which are appropriate to the character of the rural area and cannot be provided within nearby settlements and where the scheme is for farm diversification.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIONS

Turning to the representations received to date.

A significant number of the objections related to moral and ethical comments relating to this type of commercial activity and the proposal sought to make money from the use. The proposal is for a commercial use and the Planning Authority needs to assess the proposal against the relevant planning policies. The comments that there is no demand for the animals are not a material planning consideration.

Another area where significant concerns were raised related to animal welfare including issues such as the staff to animal ratio, conditions the animals were kept in, hygiene and space for animals. Objectors also felt that the site contravened regulations relating to animal health. Fire safety and lack of fire risk assessment was referred to. Comments have also been received from the Animal Health Officer of the Public Protection Division. These state that the site has had a licence since 2000. The licence has to be renewed each year and the current licence is for 196 dogs. It is this licence and legislation outside the remit of the Planning Authority which would determine many issues relating to the numbers of animals and the conditions at the kennels. A licence has clearly been given on a number of occasions at the site and the numbers referred to in this and the other application at the site relate to the numbers within the licence. Details of the conditions on the current licence have been provided and these refer to a number of issues including the following:-

Any breach of licence would be investigated by the Public Protection Division. They have confirmed that legislation requiring a certain staff to animal ratio is not in place as yet and for dog breeding there is no specific area of space required per animal. A Vet would visit the site prior to licence being issued and the issue of the number of dogs that could be kept at the site is then decided between the vet and the licensing officer. They have also stated that appropriate drainage is required before a licence is issued. As such the issues referred to are covered by separate legislation and therefore are not part of the assessment of the planning application.

In relation to foul drainage at the site the application did not originally provide any details and objectors referred to this and the lack of a response from the Environment Agency. However following comments from the Environment Agency it was confirmed that there is a cesspit on site. The Environment Agency has commented again following this and has not objected to the proposal or requested the imposition of any planning conditions. They have made comments regarding other issue which will be appended to any permission.

Highways issues such as traffic generation, lack of parking and the site not being in a sustainable location were referred to. Amended plans showed the provision of 2 parking spaces relating to the business and there is also a large yard area to the front of the dwelling. The application building is accessed off the same access main farm complex and the dwelling. Therefore there would already be a certain level of traffic using the access. If the building were to return to agricultural use or to be used for other types of commercial use these would also generate traffic. The Head of Transport has been consulted on the application. There were no concerns raised by the Head of Transport. It is considered that the access and visibility are sufficient and that the level of traffic associated by the increase in the number of dogs would not be significantly detrimental to the road network. As such there are no concerns in regard to highway safety.

The site is located in the open countryside however it is a use that would be difficult to provide within settlement limits due to the potential impacts on amenity. The site is outside limits but within 250m of them. Therefore it is a relatively sustainable location with close links to the A road. It is a sufficient distance from nearby properties not to cause significant impact on the amenity levels of their occupants while also being relatively close to limits and the transport connections. While being diversification on the holding there is still a large number of livestock and the majority of the buildings on the holding remain in agricultural use.

The visual impact of the proposal was referred to. The proposal would not involve any significant changes to the external appearance of the building. The site is set back some 250m from the A road, there are other agricultural buildings between the road and the application site and there is also vegetation along the field boundaries. Due to this and the distances from any other dwellings it is not considered that there would be any significant visual impact from the proposal on the character and appearance of the area.

Inaccuracies on the application form were referred to. This included that the applicant wife works for Carmarthenshire County Council. An amended application form was submitted during the application rectifying this. Further details were also provided in relation to the foul sewage on an amended form. In relation to trees and hedgerows these are present in the surrounding area to the farm yard but are not directly affected by the building in question and therefore no tree survey was considered necessary. Impact on wildlife is referred to however as the building is located on the existing farm yard it is not considered that there would be any significant impact. The potential for disease being passed between livestock and the dogs and infection at the site is again not considered to be a material consideration.

Disturbance from noise and smell were raised. A Noise Assessment was requested during the application and was submitted which covered the building subject to this application and W/25074 which related to the other kennel building at the site. The site is also a working agricultural holding with 850 ewes and as such there would be noise and odour from the site already and from this building if it were used for livestock. There are agricultural buildings between the application site and the nearest dwellings. The Assessment has been assessed by the Noise Division of the Public Protection Section and they have responded stating there have no adverse comments to make. They do refer to the need for a further assessment if the number of animals were to increase at the site. As such a condition will be added to any permission stating the maximum number of dogs being 96. This would mean a total of 196 dogs in total when added to the condition imposed on the recently approved application to vary the number of dogs at the other kennel buildings. This equates to the same number as the licence and as such any increase in the number of animals would require planning permission. In relation to smell this would be covered by separate legislation. Reference is made to the proposal being for a “bad neighbour” activity. It is considered that as there are no significant noise disturbances or traffic concerns along with the distance from nearby dwellings and that other issues such as waste and smell are covered by separation that the proposal would not be a bad neighbour use in this location.

A number of responses referred to the application being retrospective, that there has been a breach of the previous consent and that the breach was not enforced against. There was a planning application at other buildings nearby on the yard. This stipulated that only 9 dogs could be kept at those buildings. A separate application has been submitted for those buildings to allow up to 100 dogs in them. No objections were received on that application and it was approved under delegated powers recently. This application for the change of use of the former agricultural building is as a result of enforcement action being taken. The fact that the application is retrospective does not alter the assessment of the application. It is still assessed against the relevant planning policies and planning considerations. The number of animals is proposed to be limited to that of the current licence and therefore would not set any precedent to the increase of numbers under the licence. The licence is separate legislation independent of any planning consents.

Some objections referred to the development prejudicing other developments however it was not explained how this would be the case. The site is located on the main farm yard several hundred metres from any other buildings on land outside the development limits. The building was applied for under a Prior Notification Process as an agricultural building. The applicant has stated that once constructed it was originally used for this purpose for a period of time and the Authority has no evidence to the contrary. Therefore although the building was originally proposed to be for agricultural use it has now been adapted and permission sought retrospectively for these works and the change of use to a kennel. The scale of the business was considered to be excessive by some objectors. In terms of the number of animals this is covered by the licence in regard to how many is considered appropriate at the facilities on the site. The site is sufficiently distant from dwellings as to not cause any significant adverse noise impact and the Head of Transport has raised no objection to the proposal in terms of traffic generation. The site is outside development limits but in relatively close proximity to them and the A484. Commercial uses such as these would not be suitable in a more built up area or in close proximity to residential uses. The site is also a working agricultural holding with 850 ewes. It is considered therefore that the proposal at this scale is acceptable.

The potential affect on tourism in the area was referred to however the use of the building for kennels at an agricultural holding is not considered to have any significant direct impact on tourism. The objections of this kind appear to refer to any perceived image of the area from dog breeding.

Comments were made over the consultation process. A site notice was erected near the entrance to the site in line with legislation.

CONCLUSION

After careful consideration of the scheme the proposal is considered acceptable in terms and accords with the above mentioned policies.

The proposal is considered to be an acceptable small scale employment use outside settlement limits and farm diversification scheme. The proposal is for the conversion of an existing building rather than a new building. Policies favour the re-use of existing buildings and those on the farm yard rather than constructing new buildings. Policies also allow for development in the countryside where such a location is required. As stated above the siting of such an enterprise within the settlement limits would be likely to cause concern over impacts on amenity and disturbance.

As such the application is put forward with a recommendation of approval subject to the following conditions.

RECOMMENDATION – APPROVAL

CONDITIONS

1 There shall be no more than 96 dogs kept in the building at any time.

REASONS

1 To protect amenity levels of nearby residents and prevent unsuitable intensification.

NOTE(S)

1 The above approved development relates to the following plans and documents and works should be carried out strictly in accordance with them unless amended by any conditions.above:-

2 Further advice and guidance from the Environment Agency is contained in their letter of 20th April 2011, a copy of which is appended to this planning permission.

3 In order that the residential amenities of local residents are not adversely affected by this development the Public Health Team recommend the following:-

SUMMARY REASONS FOR APPROVAL

In accordance with Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2004, the Council hereby certify that the proposal as hereby approved conforms with the relevant policies of the Development Plan (comprising the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan (UDP) 2006) and material considerations do not indicate otherwise. The policies which refer are as follows:-

Application No

W/24829

Application Type

Full Planning

Proposal &

Location

CHANGE OF USE FROM PRIMARY SCHOOL/DWELLING TO A GREEN TECHNOLOGY ECO CENTRE AND ASSOCIATED LIVING ACCOMMODATION AT THE OLD SCHOOL, CASTLE ROAD, PENCADER, CARMS, SA39 9BS

Applicant(s)

P.E.C.'S - MRS JAYNE HALL-EDWARDS

Agent

MR JEFFREY KEEN

Case Officer

Stuart Willis

Electoral Ward

Llanfihangel-ar-arth

Date of validation

25.05.2011

CONSULTATIONS

Head of Transport – Has raised no objection and requests that a condition be added to any permission stating that no manufacturing is to take place at the site.

Head of Public Protection – Has not made any detailed comments.

Llanfihangel-Ar-Arth Community Council – Has objected to the proposal on the following grounds:-

Local Member - County Councillor L Davies Evans has not commented to date.

Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water – Has raised no objection.

CADW – They stated that the proposal would have a direct effect on the Scheduled Ancient Monument as the site is adjacent to it and partly within it. They state the application has the potential to significantly impact on the setting of the Castle Pencader as well as the possibility of direct impacts on the scheduled area through ground works. As the footprint of the buildings is not to be altered they do not consider that it would substantively alter the setting of the Scheduled Ancient Monument. Further information was requested as to whether there would be a change in the footprint of any of the buildings (there is an increase in footprint of the toilet block) and whether any intrusive works, such as the rainwater harvesting and drainage would be within the Scheduled Ancient Monument (which parts were).

They responded after being informed of this stating that Scheduled Monument Consent would be needed unless the sections of the drainage within the Scheduled Ancient Monument were removed. Subsequently amended plans have been submitted showing the tank and pipes removed from this section.

Countryside Council for Wales – Further details were requested from the applicant. Details of the mitigation measures were shown on the amended plans and a method statement was submitted. Further details were provided as the initial ones were not considered suitable. The recommendation is subject to a favourable response from the Countryside Council for Wales.

Neighbours/Public – A site notice was displayed with no replies having been received as a result.

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

D4/6293 Mobile classroom

Approved with conditions 06 October 1979

D4/21663 Change of use as business/light

(C4/369) industrial Class B1

County Matter approved 05 December 1991

D4/21664 Change of use as general industrial

(C4/367) Class B2

County Matter approved 05 December 1991

D4/21665 Change of use as retail non food

(C4/368) County Matter Approved 05 December 1991

D4/21666 Change of use to residential

(C4/366) County Matter approved 05 December 1991

D4/21667 Redevelopment of site for residential

(C4/365) purposes

County Matter approved 05 December 1991

D4/21668 Change of use as storage and

(C4/370) distribution Class B8

County Matter approved 05 December 1991

APPRAISAL

THE SITE

The application site consists of a former school building of irregular shape located to the west of the centre of Pencader. There is a main school building generally of stone and slate materials but with some more modern sections. There is a large outbuilding to the eastern boundary of the site with a glazed main elevation. This is currently in a state of disrepair. There is another smaller outbuilding to the north of the main one which is a former toilet block. There is an attached residential dwelling known as School House which is separate from the application and from the former school use. The access to the site passes behind the separate dwelling before opening out to the school yard which generally slopes to the east. The Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) of Pencader Castle is adjacent to the eastern, northern and southern boundaries. There are mature trees along the boundaries of the site. The site is largely screened from all views apart from at the road entrance. At the time of the site visit the applicants were residing in a caravan in the yard area.

The site is located within the development limits as delineated in the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan. Permission was given in 1991 for the main building and associated outbuildings to be converted into a number of potential uses including residential, retail, industrial and light industrial. The building appears largely unused at present but appears to have last been used for residential purposes.

THE PROPOSAL

The application seeks full planning permission for a conversion of the former school/residential buildings in to a green technology eco centre and associated living accommodation.

The large outbuilding to the eastern boundary is to be used for purposes ancillary to the residential use and is to be used as a domestic garage and store. There are no proposed alterations to the external appearance of this building as part of the application.

The former toilet block is to be rebuilt/converted into a modern toilet and shower block. The smaller end section is to be demolished and rebuilt to provide a boiler room. This would be stonework to match the rest of the building. The new section would measure 2.7m by 2.8m and have the same ridge height as the main part of the building at 3.3m.

The main school building is to house the residential aspect of the development and the main commercial area. The ground floor would remain largely unaltered externally. This would contain several zones. Zone 1 is a small section to the western side where there would be a disabled wc and emergency exit. Zone 2 and 3 would be in the open hall/dining room area. These would be display areas for the various eco technology products as well as the sales area. Zone 4 is the only part of the ground floor related to the residential use and would have the bathroom and reception/living room. Zone 5 would be a class room for the training facilities forming part of the commercial use. Zone 6 comprises the entrance hall and the canteen area. Zone 7 would be the office associated with the commercial aspect of the conversion.

There would be extensions to the main building. One of these is the introduction of a gable/dormer on the south eastern elevation of the building. This is to create additional first floor space for the residential aspect of the conversion. The appearance, materials and fenestration would be similar to the existing gable on that elevation and the gable features elsewhere on the building. The gable would be smaller than that of the main building. There would be two solar panels to the roof adjacent to the new feature. A similar new gable/dormer feature is proposed to the southern elevation also again for the upper residential area. This is much smaller however again materials and design reflect the character of the existing main building. There is also a fire escape from this new section. Sixteen solar panels are proposed on this roof area. The upper floor residential accommodation would comprise two bedrooms, both with en-suite facilities and an open plan kitchen-diner and lounge. The more modern shallow pitch roof section is to be re-roofed using an opti-green system.

The block plan shows twelve parking spaces spread through the yard area of the site. It is proposed to connect the building to the main sewer system rather than using the existing septic tank. Rain water harvesting is proposed for surface water.

A bat survey was submitted with the application. This found a bat roost for a small number of common Pipistrelles. It states that although this would normally require a WAG licence there is an opportunity to carry out works while bats are not present (Oct-May). Some buildings also have evidence of nesting birds. Additional details were submitted regarding protected species following comments form the Countryside Council for Wales and the Planning Ecologist.

A Design and Access Statement has been submitted with the application and supporting statement which gives further details on the nature of the use. The business aspect of the development is to showcase sustainable green technologies for the general public and business to purchase, similar to a showroom. One of the applicants currently works in this field, supplying and fitting such technologies. There will also be advice given on reducing energy consumption. It has been stated that there is no manufacturing to take place at the site, goods would be kept within the buildings, and apart from the display areas, goods not kept on site for any lengthy periods but delivered soon before being fitted. Any deliveries would therefore be small vehicles and not in bulk. The other applicant comes from an education background. It is proposed that the classroom area is to be used to offer training courses for tradespeople in the sustainable products and technologies. The technologies involved include thermal, solar, ground and air source heat pumps, solar photovoltaic, grey and rain water harvesting, wood burners and biomass. The smaller outbuilding would be the customer and trainees facilities and the canteen for the education aspect of the site rather than open to the general public.

PLANNING POLICY

Policy GDC2 in the general development policy and includes reference to good design and proposals being visually appropriate to their location and context.

Policy GDC17 looks at conversions in general. This allows conversion of a building if the design is in keeping, it is structurally sound and the character of the building is retained. Issues of amenity and highways are also included.

In relation to protected species policies EN5-7 apply. EN5 requires developments to demonstrate there would be no demonstrable harm to species or their habitats. EN6 encourages the retention of habitats. EN7 requires conversions/re-use of existing buildings to make provision for the protection of any habitat for wildlife currently using the building.

The Habitats Directive, as implemented by the Conservation (Natural Habitats Etc.) Regulations 1994, contain three "derogation tests" which must be applied by WAG when determine a Bat Licence are also a consideration. A Local Planning Authority failing to do so would be in breach of Regulation 3(4) of the 1994 Regulations.

Policy E2 relates to small-scale employment within settlement limits. This allows such uses where they comply with the other relevant policies.

H2 applies in relation to residential development within development limits. This allows such proposals where there are no adverse issues relating to highways, amenity or utility provision.

T3, GDC11 and GDC12 apply in relation to highways and parking consideration.

GDC1 applies in relation to sustainability.

H13 applies in relation to caravans. These are permitted where the caravan is required to temporarily house an essential worker, in agriculture, forestry or other appropriate employment undertaking who must live on the spot rather than in a nearby settlement; or the caravan is temporarily required in conjunction with the construction of a single dwelling on a self-build plot, or during the construction of a replacement dwelling; and the caravan or mobile home will be located close to other buildings where possible and will not cause significant access, parking, infrastructural or amenity problems. Proposals should not have an unacceptable impact on the plan’s wider landscape or nature conservation objectives.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIONS

Turning to the adverse representations received to date.

The objection from the Community Council related to highways concerns. In relation to parking, twelve parking spaces are shown to be provided. The Head of Transport has responded on the application raising no objection to the proposal. Conditions have been recommended regarding preventing manufacturing and another will be imposed requiring the provision and retention of the parking spaces. Although the site is located on a bend in the road there is sufficient space to manoeuvre and sufficient visibility. The previous uses and permission at the site are also a consideration as these would have generated traffic using the same access but with no layout approved.

CONCLUSION

After careful consideration of the scheme the proposal is considered acceptable in terms of design and accords with policy.

The proposal is for the conversion of the former school buildings. The site has formerly been granted permission for a number of uses including residential, industrial, retail and light industrial. This proposal includes aspects of each of these uses in the same development. The use is a mixed use and therefore considered a sui generis development. The site would re-use the whole of the former school building in relation to use falling within A1, C3, D1 and B1. The site is located within the settlement limits. Although there may be locations where these uses could be provided individually in allocated areas, the areas where these uses in combination could be provided without prejudicing some of the aspects proposed are fewer. For example in industrial locations it is unlikely the residential use would be appropriate. In retail areas it is unlikely the residential or educational uses would be appropriate. This site provides a rare opportunity for this unique development to take place. The site is close to the centre of Pencader and good transport links. It is considered that with suitable conditions relating to the use and tying the whole of the site as a single unit the principle of the use is acceptable.

The access to the site would pass in close proximity to the separate dwelling attached to the main school building adjacent to the road. No objection has been received from the occupant of this dwelling. However the Authority must still consider the potential affect on the amenity of the occupants. This dwelling appears to have been separate from the school for some time. Therefore it would have experienced significant disturbance and traffic at the time it was used as a school. Also the other uses previously approved in relation to commercial uses would have meant a certain level of traffic passing close to the site. Therefore it is not considered that any loss of amenity caused by additional traffic associated with the new mixed use is sufficient to warrant refusal of the application. The proposal includes a new extension for a fire escape on the southern elevation. Although there may be some reduction in amenity by potential overlooking the size of the fire escape is small and this would reduce the likelihood of it being used for recreational purposes. Again previous uses of the site would have been likely to generate disturbance.

The proposal includes additional dormer/gable features on two elevations of the building. These are the elevations largely screened from any public views due to the surrounding vegetation and orientation of the buildings. However the design and appearance remains an important consideration. The main school building is of traditional brick, stone and slate character typical of such 19th century buildings. The proposed new gable features reflect this. They utilise the same materials and the design aspects of the fenestration and detailing also reflect the character of the school building. Therefore they fit with the overall appearance and would not appear as alien features. The fire escape is relatively small and in the most screened position. The solar panels again are on the elevations most hidden from wider views. The sustainable benefits of these outweigh any visual harm.

The proposal has been amended to include reference to the caravan on site for the applicants to live in while the works are carried out. This is to be located on the yard and is currently on site. The provision is considered acceptable during the works and a condition will be added to ensure it is removed once the works are completed.

A bat survey was submitted with the application which showed signs of bats and nesting birds in parts of the building. The response from the Countryside Council for Wales and the Planning Ecologist has requested further details. These have been submitted however no response has been received to date and therefore the recommendation is subject to favourable comments relating to protected species.

Due to the nature of the proposed use of the site conditions are required to ensure appropriate use and to reduce any impact on amenity levels. A condition will be added relating to the opening times of the commercial use of the site. A condition will also be added tying the residential aspect of the site to the wider site as a whole. A condition is proposed to prevent outdoor storage on the site also. The large outbuilding is proposed for domestic use. Again a condition is recommended to prevent conversion of this to any other use. In relation to the canteen on site a condition is recommended preventing this being used sales to members of the public and only for use of those attending the educational courses. A condition is also proposed to state that the internal layout of the site is not altered without planning permission. This is to ensure that the mix of uses and the level they are currently shown are not altered in the future increasing the intensity of one individual use as this may not be considered appropriate.

The site is adjacent to a Scheduled Ancient Monument and part of the site is within the Scheduled Ancient Monument. The only area within the Scheduled Ancient Monument is where the rain water harvesting system is shown. This site is part of the curtilage of the school and does appear separated from the vegetation on the Scheduled Ancient Monument at that point. CADW requested further information regarding the scheme and following this stated that the drainage pipes and tank within the Scheduled Ancient Monument should be removed or additional monument consent would be required. Amended plans have since been submitted removing the works from that part of the site.

As such, this application is put forward with a recommendation for approval subject to favourable comments from the Countryside Council for Wales regarding protected species.

RECOMMENDATION – APPROVAL

CONDITIONS

1 The development hereby permitted shall be commenced before the expiration of five years from the date of this permission.

2 The residential dwelling hereby permitted as part of the development shall only be used in association with the overall development. It shall at no time be sold, let or sub-let as a separate unit of residential accommodation.

3 The building to the east of the school building shown as “outbuilding” on the amended 1:500 scale site plan received on 3rd August 2011 shall only be used for purposes ancillary to the residential dwelling hereby approved.

4 The canteen area shall only be used by those attending educational courses at the site.

5 The layout and floor space designation shall be strictly in accordance with the 1:50 scale floor plans received on 25th May 2011.

6 There shall be no outside storage at the site.

7 There shall be no manufacturing undertaken at the site.

8 The parking spaces shown on the amended 1:500 scale plan received on 3rd August 2011 shall be provided prior to the beneficial use of any part of the proposed development and shall be retained in perpetuity.

9 The static caravan shown on the amended 1:500 scale plan received on 3rd August 2011 shall be removed from the site upon the beneficial use of the dwelling hereby approved or within two years of the date of this permission, which ever is the earlier.

10 The developer shall ensure that a professionally qualified archaeologist is present during the undertaking of any ground works in the development area, so that an archaeological watching brief can be carried out. The archaeological watching brief will be undertaken to the standards laid down by the Institute for Archaeologists. The Planning Authority will be informed, in writing at least two weeks prior to the commencement of the development, of the name of the said archaeologist.

REASONS

1 Required to be imposed pursuant to Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

2 To ensure appropriate amenity levels for the occupants of the residential aspect of the proposal.

3-5 To prevent intensification of the commercial activity without appropriate consideration.

6 In the interest of visual amenities.

7+8 In the interest of highway safety.

9 Permission is only given for a temporary period during construction.

10 To ensure professional recording of buried archaeological deposits affected by the development.

NOTE(S)

1 The above approved development relates to the following plans and documents and works should be carried out strictly in accordance with them unless amended by any conditions above:-

2 The mixed use nature of the site means that the proposal does not fit within any defined use class and therefore is considered sui generis. Any change of use of the site would require planning permission.

3 Condition no 5 means that any alterations to the level of each use within the site or deviation form the floor plans approved as part of this permission would require planning permission.

4 Further advice and guidance from Dyfed Archaeological Trust is contained in their letter of 28th June 2011, a copy of which is appended to this planning permission.

5 Further advice and guidance from Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water is contained in their letter of 7th June 2011, a copy of which is appended to this planning permission.

SUMMARY REASONS FOR APPROVAL

In accordance with Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2004, the Council hereby certify that the proposal as hereby approved conforms with the relevant policies of the Development Plan (comprising the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan (UDP) 2006) and material considerations do not indicate otherwise. The policies which refer are as follows:-

Application No

W/24934

Application Type

Outline

Proposal &

Location

PROPOSED NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENT (16 UNITS) AT PLOT OF LAND AT, CARADOG COURT, FERRYSIDE, CARMS, SA17 5RR

Applicant(s)

A & B SAUNDERS

Agent

DAVID OWEN ASSOCIATES

Case Officer

Jonathan Locke

Electoral Ward

St Ishmael

Date of validation

13.06.2011

CONSULTATIONS

Head of Transport No response received to date.

Senior Public Rights of Way Officer – Advises that a public right of way lies adjacent to the development site. Provides advisory notes.

St Ishmael Community Council – Objection on the following grounds:

Local Members - County Councillor L Mair Stephens has not commented to date.

Environment Agency – No objection but recommends a condition and provides advisory notes.

Dwr Cymru/ Welsh Water – No objection but provides advisory notes.

Neighbours/Public – Neighbouring properties were made aware of this application by the erection of a site notice in the vicinity of the development site and along Brigstocke Terrace. A press notice was also issued. In response to formal consultation, one letter of objection has been received making reference to the following matters of observation:-

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

The following previous applications have been received on the application site:

W/00905 Access Road

Withdrawn 9 December 1998

D4/26438 Construction of three dwellings No decision

D4/23498 Siting of three dwellings

Outline planning permission 8 June 1993

D4/22106 Formation of altered access

Full planning refused 12 March 1992

D4/19235 Siting of two dwellings

Outline planning permission 6 March 1990

D4/16439 Siting of a dwelling

Outline planning permission 8 September 1988

D4/14350 Siting of two dwellings

Outline planning permission 26 March1987

D4/11215 Siting of a dwelling

Outline planning permission 18 October 1984

APPRAISAL

THE SITE

The application site is located to the South of the Grade II listed building known as Roberts Rest and gains its main access from an existing access road opposite Manselton Villas. The site is allocated in the Unitary Development Plan for residential development as stated in Policy H1 of the plan. The allocation from this site is intended to contribute to the overall supply of adequate housing within the County. Regarding the context of the development site, there is the ‘Lower Towy Valley’ Special Landscape Area directly abutting the eastern boundary, and to the West lies the ‘Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries’ SAC, and ‘Afon Tywi’ SSSI.

Returning to the allocation of the site for residential development, this refers to the land which is within the development limits of Ferryside, however, a 0.2 hectare slice of the 1.61 hectare application site which lies to the East would be outside development limits. It was apparent from the detailed site visit that whilst this area would be outside limits, it appears to follow the natural lie of the land as it slopes upwards, with the brow of the hill and tree line forming the natural border to the site.

With regard to neighbouring properties, there are a number of residential dwellings which lie to the west of the site along Brigstocke Terrace at a lower level than the application site by approximately 5 metres. The separation between this line of properties and the application site is formed by an existing public footpath and a row of trees which run along the sloping embankment that borders the west of the site. To the West, South and East of the site there are mature trees, planting and shrubs, the greater proportion of which is located to the East. The site which is described as being dense/continuous shrub has been largely cleared and levelled. It is clear that most of the work on the site has involved the clearing of shrubs and the profiling of land, with a small number of trees having been removed to the South East corner of the site.

The topography of the site is sloping from East to West, with the steeper proportion of the site lying to the East and to the corner where the application site falls outside development limits. Moving Westward across the site, it slopes steeply, then it levels off where an access route has been cleared, then slopes down again to the lower level which has again been levelled and cleared.

Finally, the development site is located a walking distance from a generous number of amenities which include a train platform, a school and bus routes.

THE PROPOSAL

This planning application seeks to gain Outline Planning Permission for the construction of 16 dwellings on land at Caradog Court, Ferryside. The only matters up for consideration under this application are access and layout, with the remaining matters left to be considered at a reserved matters stage. Details that have been submitted include a site survey with site section references, Site layout and preliminary landscaping, site layout with indicative site utilities/services, indicative drainage layouts, indicative for the proposed development, and indicative elevations demonstrating possible dwelling designs for the plots.

The mix of housing which is being proposed (the design of which would be finalised at a reserved matters stage), would include a mix of different types and with 2 units for social rented/affordable housing.

The Design and Access statement provides some additional background to the proposals and what the intentions are, namely:

PLANNING POLICY

In terms of the application's policy context, reference is made to the following Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan policies:-

Policy GDC2 of the Unitary Development Plan requires that all forms of new development are expected to be designed, sited and landscaped so as to maintain or enhance the physical environment. Particular regard is given to a number of criteria including, the scale, form, materials, siting and layout in relation to the character and amenity of the surrounding environment.

Policy GDC8 of the Unitary Development Plan states that the siting and design of proposed developments should have full regard to physical character and topography of the site with regard to avoiding prominent skyline locations, integrating the development without causing overlooking or overshadowing to adjoining buildings.

The provisions of Policy GDC9 will be considered i.e. new housing development should include appropriate amenity and utility space proportionate to the scale, layout, and location of the proposed development.

Policy GDC11 of the Unitary Development Plan seeks to ensure that all new development is served by an appropriate access incorporating adequate visibility to allow for the safe access and parking of vehicles. Policy GDC12 of the plan seeks to ensure that proposals which would generate levels of traffic on the surrounding road network, which would cause harm to highway safety on that network or to the amenity of residents living alongside that network will be refused.

As the proposal is considered a major development, the contents of Policy T2 of the plan are relevant. This policy requires the design and layouts of all such developments should where appropriate include safe and convenient pedestrian routes within and from the site, adequate provision for public transport facilities, highway drainage measures that seek to reduce environmental impacts such as SUDS, and sites which would generate significant trip generation should be accompanied by transport assessments setting out proposed measures for the delivery of more sustainable travel patterns.

Policy GDC20 of the plan seeks to ensure that wherever appropriate, proposed developments will include an appropriate and comprehensive landscape design scheme, including a survey of existing site vegetation. The implementation of such a scheme should take place within the first planting season following commencement of development. Such a scheme should identify the location and species of both existing and proposed trees, hedgerows, shrubs and hedgerows and include details of any earthworks, seeding, or turfing required.

Policy H2 of the plan relates to residential development within settlements and states that such proposals would be permitted provided that the proposal conforms to, and does not conflict with the policies of the plan. Policy H3 of the plan then seeks to ensure the appropriate development of housing sites and requires for details to be submitted that demonstrate the land is efficiently developed to its full potential.

The proposed development includes a scheme of affordable housing, and Policy H4 of the plan states that in such instances, planning permission will only be granted if the future occupancy can be regulated by means of a legal agreement (Section 106) or other control to ensure that the dwelling (s) remain affordable for subsequent occupiers.

Whilst the proposal is not to extend garden areas, some of the proposed site and by illustration of the indicative layouts, some of the dwellings and garden areas lie outside the development limits. Therefore it is deemed that the contents of Policy H14 of the plan are relevant. This policy seeks to refuse proposals that would have a detrimental impact on the general amenity, character and visual appearance of the local area, the proposal would lead to ribbon development or if the proposal includes the construction of any building or other domestic paraphernalia.

Whilst much of the site has been cleared, there are some trees and vegetation around the borders of the site which need to be identified and possibly protected. Therefore the content of a number of conservation policies are relevant. Policy EN5 seeks to ensure that development is not permitted where it would cause demonstrable harm to species or their habitats protected by legislation and where appropriate positive mitigation measures should be provided. Policy EN6 reinforces the previous policy by stating that it should be encouraged for the retention of existing and the creation of new habitats of wildlife importance. Policy EN9 then concerns site protection in relation to habitats and species of biodiversity concern, and requires the affect on the value of a site for biodiversity to me kept to a minimum and where appropriate compensatory measures should be sought.

Finally as the site directly adjoins the Lower Towy Special Landscape Area, the contents of Policy EN16 are relevant. This policy states that developments which would result in harm to their character and appearance will be refused. Specifically regarding sites which are within or adjoining Special Landscape Areas, this policy encourages the submission of suitable schemes of landscape improvement, enhancement and management which would then be the subject of conditions.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIONS

Following formal consultations, one letter of objection from the Community Council and one letter of concern from a neighbouring resident were received. The concerns raised in those letters make mention of the following:

Community Council Response:-

Neighbour response:

In response, it is considered that the existing access which currently serves a number of properties would be sufficient in order to cater for the additional units without a detrimental impact on highway safety. There is a wide visibility splay where the access road meets Port Way, which although steep would allow good visibility in both directions prior to entering that carriageway. The Head of Transport, following formal consultation has not yet responded, however the response will be included in the addendum. Subject to a recommendation from the Head of Transport for approval, this application will be reported to committee.

With regard to matters concerning drainage and the potential impact on Brigstocke Terrace as a result of water run off from the site and the capacity of the local sewers to cater for the extra sewerage created by the development, both Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water and the Environment Agency have responded with no objections to the proposed development but both recommend standard advice be taken on board. The proposal includes detail within the Design and Access Statement stating the hard landscaping within the application site would be permeable to aid in the natural drainage of surface water. SUDS would be used to drain surface water along with attenuation trenches and soakaway systems.

Finally, with regard to the concern that has been received regarding the strip of land to the south west of the application site which is currently a sloping embankment upon which there is a row of mature trees, it is not considered that the application site would encroach on this land, however, by including detailed and defined boundary treatment for each proposed dwelling with any reserved matters submission, the ability to encroach onto this land will be significantly reduced. It is not felt necessary to take any additional measures to ensure the protection of this strip.

CONCLUSION

This site has been allocated as a residential development site in the current UDP and as such would form part of the housing provision which has been outlined for the County. There is a significant portion of the site which is outside development limits to the South-East, however, it was evident from the detailed site inspection that the current development limits would run through much of one corner of the site and would not follow the natural contours or natural boundaries of the site. Therefore, it is considered reasonable for the development to overlap the limits at this particular location. In reality, the only parts of the site which would cross this development line would be the smaller affordable units for the site and a number of garden amenity areas for dwellings to the South-East of the site. This is as indicated on the indicative drawings submitted in support of this application. As such, the opinion is held that the proposed development would not appear to encroach upon the rural area outside development limits and would not be contrary to policy in this regard.

In addition to the above, Policy H3 of the plan requires that allocated housing sites are developed to their full potential and it is considered that by utilising the site in its entirety the proposed development would be developing the site to its full potential and would represent the best and most efficient use of space whilst not constituting an over development of the site. The indicative site layout clearly demonstrates that it is possible for each dwelling to include individual parking arrangements, appropriate spacing and adequate (in some cases significant) garden amenity areas. Further amenity areas are proposed within the central island of the proposed development, however further details of how this would be constructed and maintained would be required as part of a reserved matters application. Therefore, the proposal would be considered to be in accordance with Policy GDC9 of the plan.

Turning to matters of visual appearance, topography and impacts on the landscape, it is deemed that whilst the proposal would be situated on a sloping landscape, there would be no unacceptable impact on landscape. From a local point of view, the proposed development would be largely screened from view by the hillside to the East, and by significant tree strips to the South and West. Further afield, in analysing the potential impact from the other side of the Afon Towy SSSI (and Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries SAC), the proposed development is likely to be visible, however it is considered this would not be at an unacceptable level given the appearance of the existing development of Ferryside, attached onto which, this proposal would appear a natural addition. The allocated site for which this development relates is not considered to be a prominent location and as such would be in accordance with Policy GDC8 of the plan.

With regard to amenity issues, there are no residential properties to the East of the site, and dwellings to the South are both sufficiently spaced and screened to not suffer a loss of amenity from the development of the application site. To the West there are a number of terraced properties the other side of a public footpath along Brigstocke Terrace. With a separation distance of over 23 metres between the rear of these dwellings and the border of the application site (proposed dwellings would be much further than this and could be another 9 metres away as indicated by indicative plans), along with mature planting, it is deemed that despite being at a higher level than the dwellings along Brigstocke Terrace, existing dwellings would not experience a significant loss of amenity as a result of the proposed development. It is recognised that the mature tree line is located outside the application site boundary and the ownership of the applicant, and as such a comprehensive landscaping scheme which includes effective boundary treatment and/or planting would be required as a reserved matter for consideration.

The majority of the new development to the North of the application site is within the applicants' ownership, however there are some occupied dwellings which would require their amenities to be protected. As an example, the dwelling known as Ty Cyntaf is located just 2 metres (approximate) from the application site boundary, and as such the aforementioned landscaping scheme would need to ensure that amenities of such dwellings are protected by effective screening and boundary treatment. Furthermore, the design of dwellings would also have to ensure amenities of existing properties are protected. Such detail would be submitted and analysed as part of a reserved matters application.

As part of the proposal, it is proposed that two of the 16 units on the site would be affordable housing in line with the requirements of Policy H4 of the plan. These two affordable dwellings would help ensure that an element of affordable housing for those in the locality is available. In light of the conditions placed by inspectors on recent appeals, it is seen that a condition would be sufficient to ensure the affordable housing element is provided instead of using a Section 106 agreement.

With regard to the highways considerations for the development, it is considered that the proposal would be appropriate and in accordance with the relevant policies of the Unitary Development Plan, however, final determination of whether the proposal would have no unacceptable impact on highway safety would reside with the Head of Transport from who a response is required.

Finally with regard to the requirements of Policy GDC1 of the plan and the need for developments to reduce car usage and energy consumption, the proposed development would be located near the centre of Ferryside where, within walking distance there are a number of sustainable transport nodes such as train and the public bus. Furthermore, the proposed dwellings would be constructed to a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 which would incorporate effective energy and resource efficient layout and design in accordance with the sustainability principles of the plan.

In light of the above appraisal, it is considered that the proposal is acceptable in the context of its surroundings and accords with the general criteria set out in the policies of the Unitary Development Plan. Therefore it is recommended that the proposed development be approved subject to the receipt of a favourable response from the Head of Transport.

RECOMMENDATION – APPROVAL

CONDITIONS

1 Application for approval of reserved matters must be made to the Local Planning Authority before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission, and the development must be commenced not later than whichever is the later of the following:-

2 Development shall not commence until detailed plans of the siting, design, external appearance and materials of the development, together with the means of access thereto, have been submitted, and received the written approval of the Local Planning Authority.

3 Details of the design, height and materials of construction of boundary treatment for the site and individual plots, where applicable, shall be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority prior to the commencement of the development to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority.

4 The dwellings hereby permitted shall be constructed to achieve a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and achieve a minimum of 1 credit under category Ene1 – ‘Dwelling Emission Rate’ in accordance with the requirements of The Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide (Version 3) November 2010.

5 No development shall commence until details of a 'Design Stage' assessment and related certification have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be carried out entirely in accordance with the approved assessment and certification unless the Local Planning Authority shall otherwise consent in writing.

6 The dwellings hereby approved shall not be occupied until a Code for Sustainable Homes ‘Post Construction Stage’ assessment has been carried out in relation to the dwelling and a ‘Final Certificate’ has been issued certifying that Code Level 3 and a minimum 1 credit under Ene1– ‘Dwelling Emission Rate’ have been achieved in accordance with the requirements of The Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide (Version 3) November 2010, and the Certificate has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

7 The developer shall ensure that a suitably qualified archaeologist is present during the undertaking of any ground works in the development area, so that an archaeological watching brief can be conducted. The archaeological watching brief will be undertaken to the standards laid down by the Institute of Field Archaeologists. The Local Planning Authority will be informed in writing, at least two weeks prior to the commencement of the development, of the name of the said archaeologist.

8 A detailed landscaping scheme for the whole site including the retention of any existing features and the indication of species, size and number of trees and/or shrubs to be planted shall be submitted to and specifically approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority prior to the commencement of the development and shall, following approval of such a scheme, be implemented in the first planting season following commencement of the development or at such other time as may be specifically approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

9 A Method Statement detailing all necessary pollution prevention measures for the construction phase of the development shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority prior to the commencement of development

10 No development shall commence until a scheme for the comprehensive and integrated drainage of the site showing how foul water, surface water and land drainage will be dealt with and this has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

11 No development shall commence until a scheme for the provision of affordable housing as part of the development has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The affordable housing shall be provided in accordance with the approved scheme. The scheme shall include:

REASONS

1 Required to be imposed pursuant to Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

2-3 In the interest of protecting the character and general amenities of the area.

4-6 In the interest of sustainable development and compliance with the Code for Sustainable Homes.

7 In the interest of archaeology.

8 In the interest of protecting general amenities and the visual appearance of the area.

9 In the interest of protecting the surrounding environment from pollution.

10 To ensure that effective drainage facilities are provided for the proposed development, and that no adverse impact occurs to the environment or the existing public sewerage system.

11 To ensure affordable housing provision for the site.

NOTE(S)

1 The development hereby permitted relates to the following schedule of plans:-

received on 13th June 2011, unless amended by any attached conditions.

2 Please note that this consent is specific to the plans and particulars approved as part of the application. Any departure from the approved plans will constitute unauthorised development and may be liable to enforcement action. You (or any subsequent developer) should advise the Council of any actual or proposed variations from the approved plans immediately so that you can be advised how to best resolve the matter.

In addition, any Conditions which the Council has imposed on this consent will be listed above and should be read carefully. It is your (or any subsequent developers') responsibility to ensure that the terms of all Conditions are met in full at the appropriate time (as outlined in the specific condition).

The commencement of development without firstly meeting in full the terms of any Conditions which require the submission of details prior to the commencement of development will constitute unauthorised development. This will necessitate the submission of a further application to retain the unauthorised development and may render you liable to formal enforcement action.

Failure on the part of the developer to observe the requirements of any other Conditions could result in the Council pursuing formal enforcement action in the form of a Breach of Condition Notice.

3 Further advice and guidance from the Environment Agency is contained in their letter dated the 4th July 2011, a copy of which is appended to this planning permission.

4 Condition 9 requires a Method Statement to be submitted prior to the commencement of development to detail all necessary pollution prevention measures for the construction phase of the development and shall identify as a minimum:

The Method Statement should then be efficiently communicated to all contractors and sub-contractors (for example, via toolbox talks) and any deficiencies rectified immediately.

5 Further advice and guidance from Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water is contained in their letter dated the 1st July 2011, a copy of which is appended to this planning permission.

6 Further advice from the Public Rights of Way Officer is contained in their letter dated 10th February 2011, a copy of which is appended to this planning permission.

7 Further advice and guidance from the Local Authority’s Planning Ecologist is contained in their letter dated the 27th July 2011, a copy of which is appended to this planning permission.

SUMMARY REASONS FOR APPROVAL

In accordance with Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2004, the Council hereby certify that the proposal as hereby approved conforms with the relevant policies of the Development Plan (comprising the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan (UDP) 2006) and material considerations do not indicate otherwise. The policies which refer are as follows:-