Mewn perthynas Ô 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:

23 SEPTEMBER 2014

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/30547

Installation of a 100kw wind turbine of 42.3m to blade tip and associated infrastructure (access track and crane pad) (as an amendment to / in replacement of the previously consented application for a 75kw wind turbine of 39.631m to blade tip at Land at Coed Adam, Llangyndeyrn, Kidwelly, SA17 5EU

4 - 16

W/30620

Change of Use from dwelling to a 9-bed house of multiple occupancy (HMO) at Oak Well House, Job's Well Road, Carmarthen, SA31 3HG

17 - 23

APPLICATIONS RECOMMENDED FOR APPROVAL

Application No

W/30547

Application Type

Full Planning

Proposal &

Location

INSTALLATION OF A 100KW WIND TURBINE OF 42.3M TO BLADE TIP AND ASSOCIATED INFRASTRUCTURE (ACCESS TRACK AND CRANE PAD) (AS AN AMENDMENT TO / IN REPLACEMENT OF THE PREVIOUSLY CONSENTED APPLICATION FOR A 75KW WIND TURBINE OF 39.631M TO BLADE TIP AT LAND AT COED ADAM, LLANGYNDEYRN, KIDWELLY, SA17 5EU

Applicant(s)

KEITH PUGH

Agent

NEO ENVIRONMENTAL - PAUL NEARY

Case Officer

Gary Glenister

Electoral Ward

Llangyndeyrn

Date of validation

29/07/2014

CONSULTATIONS

Head of Public Protection – Has no objection to the original application subject to the imposition of appropriate conditions. The proposed alternative turbine is quieter so no increased impact is expected.

Local Members - County Councillor WT Evans is a member of Planning Committee and has not made prior comment.

Llangyndeyrn Community Council – Has no objection.

Natural Resources Wales – Has no objection to the proposed development however points out that the site is in an outstanding historic environment. The advice of the County Landscape Officer is therefore advised.

Dyfed Archaeology – Has no objection and recommends no further information is necessary.

Ministry of Defence – Has no objection.

Civil Aviation Authority – No observations received to date however had no objection to the original application.

Spectrum (On behalf of OfCom) – No observations received to date however had no objection to the original application.

The Joint Radio Company Ltd – Has no objection in respect of radio communications.

Neighbours/Public - The application has been publicised by the posting of 5 site notices with 4No responses received to date raising the following matters.

• Objection to additional turbine on site.

• Proposal is larger than approved

• Height and Visual impact

• Inefficient location

• Power is not needed for agricultural purposes

• Impact on tourism

• Absent land owner is not affected

• Mobile phone interference

• Overshaddowing

• Noise

• Solar is preferable

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

The following planning applications have been received on the application site.

W/03565 Change of use from cowshed to dwelling

Full planning permission 31 July 2000

W/29017 Change of use of a small area of land

currently designated as agricultural.

Land to be brought into the residential

curtilage of the house so that a tennis court

can be created.

Full planning permission 2 May 2014

W/29103 Installation of 75kw wind turbine of 39.6m

to blade tip and the associated

infrastructure including access track, turbine

foundations and crane hardstanding.

Full planning permission 13 May 2014

APPRAISAL

THE SITE

The turbine is proposed to be sited on agricultural land to the south south east of a farm complex known as Coed Adam. The site is within rolling countryside at an elevation of 125AOD. The land rises to the north with a small hillock which raises to 143AOD beyond which there are areas of woodland, so the proposal is partially obscured.

The site is surrounded by individual farmsteads and residential properties at a reasonable distance with the closest non financially tied property being Tygwyn at a distance of 430m.

The site would be visible from the A48 dual carriageway from a stretch to the north east at a distance of 2.5km, however it is noted that there is a larger machine intervening so the views of the proposal would be obscured. It would also be visible from Crwbin at a distance of approximately 2.8km.

The site has planning permission for a 75kw machine which has a 39.631m tip so this is the fall back position. This is not been developed as the applicant now seeks a larger machine.

THE PROPOSAL

Planning permission is sought for a wind turbine 160m to the south south east of the farm complex.

The proposal is for one 100kW turbine with three blades. The hub height is proposed to be 0.77m higher than approved at 30.1m with a blade diameter of 24.4m and a total height 2.66m higher than approved at 42.3m. The turbine produces on average 261,391kWh per annum. This equates to approximately saving 112tonnes of carbon per annum which is increasing from 79tonnes as approved.

An inverter house of 3m by 3m by a maximum of 3m high is also proposed.

The life expectancy is 25 years after which the turbine would be decommissioned and removed in its entirety.

The application has been accompanied by the following information:

Design and Access / Planning Statement, this summarises the statutory prescribed topic areas such as access, movement, community safety and character in the local context and summarising the background information. The submission also includes the following.

Visual Impact Assessment – this has been carried out in accordance with current good practice and guidance using the LANDMAP methodology. The assessment opines that the proposal would not have a significant impact on the sensory zones within which the site is located. The proposal is only 2.67m higher to tip than the extant machine which is not considered significant.

Ecological Assessment – The application has been accompanied by an ecological assessment including a red kite and lapwing assessment. This opines that the proposal is not likely to have an adverse impact on protected species.

Decommissioning – it is anticipated that after 25yrsm the turbine will be decommissioned and that the site will be restored so that all traces of the turbine will be removed.

Noise Assessment – the application includes a comprehensive noise assessment which includes cumulative impacts. The submission shows that noise is not considered likely to be unacceptable.

Shadow Flicker Assessment - states that this is not likely to be an issue given the relative positioning and distance of the turbine in relation to surrounding non economically tied dwellings.

Public Right of Way – there is a public right of way approximately 165m away to the north, however these are not within the fall over distance plus 10% which is best practice.

Archaeology and Cultural Heritage – a Historic Environment Appraisal has been submitted which shows than the proposal is not likely to have an adverse impact on the historic environment.

Hydrology – there is not likely to be any hydrological impact.

PLANNING POLICY

In the context of the current development control policy framework the site is located outside the defined development limits Llangyndeyrn as contained in the adopted Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan.

Policy GDC1 seeks to ensure that all new development is in compliance with principles of sustainability.

Policy GDC2 of the UDP requires that development proposals enhance the local environment in terms of mass, density plot ratio and scale, and should be of a suitable design appropriate to its location and utilise materials which are in keeping with the character of the surrounding area. Furthermore, the policy requires that proposals should avoid the loss of important features which contribute to the quality of the local environment and should have no unacceptable impact on the privacy and amenity of existing dwellings, buildings and other land uses and their respective occupiers.

Policy GDC8 states that the siting and design of proposed development should have full regard to the physical character and topography of the site by avoiding conspicuous locations on skylines or ridges, integrating the contours of the site, avoiding locations that would have an adverse visual impact on prominent buildings landscapes etc and the general locality of the site, height is acceptable and using topography to maximise energy efficiency where feasible.

Policy GDC11 seeks a satisfactory means of access and turning facilities. Adequate parking shall be provided not exceeding maximum standards. GDC12 states that proposals which generate an unacceptable level of traffic on the surrounding road network which would reduce highway safety on the network or reduce the amenity of residents along the route will be refused. This policy is reinforced by Policy T3 which seeks to ensure that the local road network is sufficient to serve the development and that all development proposals shall be served by appropriate access provision.

Policy UT5 provides general support for renewable energy proposals provided they individually or cumulatively don’t cause demonstrable harm to any landscape or any other features.

Policy UT6 (Wind Energy) states that favourable decisions will be given when proposals either individually or cumulatively would not cause demonstrable harm by virtue of having a significant adverse impact on the quality of the local environment, or to sites of nature conservation, historical or archaeological importance, agricultural value, areas designated for their landscape value, or to species of nature conservation and ecological value. The siting, design, layout and materials used should be sympathetic to the characteristics of the landform, contours and existing features of the landscape. Also, proposals do not give rise to problems of highway safety or place unacceptable demands on the provision of public services. Ancillary works, buildings and structures should be kept to a minimum and sited unobtrusively within the landscape. The proposals should not lead to a significant adverse increase in risk or nuisance to, and impacts on the amenities, of nearby residents or other members of the public arising from wind turbine operation, shadow flicker, safety risk, radio or telecommunications interference, no turbine should cause harm to the amenity of any residents and finally new connections to the local electricity distribution network should accord to Policy UT2. This states that when electricity service lines are proposed they should have as little adverse effect as possible on the environment.

National Policy is provided by Planning Policy Wales Edition 7 July 2014 as follows:

12.8 Renewable and Low Carbon Energy

12.8.10 At the same time, local planning authorities should:

Consideration is also given to Planning Policy Wales - Technical Advice Note (TAN) 8 - Planning for Renewable Energy. Para 2.12 states –

“The Assembly Government expects local planning authorities to encourage, via their development plan policies and when considering individual planning applications, smaller community based wind farm schemes (generally less than 5MW). This could be done through a set of local criteria that would determine the acceptability of such schemes and define in more detail what is meant by "smaller" and "community based". Local planning authorities should give careful consideration to these issues and provide criteria that are appropriate to local circumstances.”

Technical Advice Note (TAN) 6 Planning for Sustainable Rural Communities is also pertinent to the consideration of this proposal as on-farm renewable energy production is seen as a form of farm diversification that is positively encouraged in the right location. Not only does it potentially provide an alternative income source to sustain a rural enterprise, but also affords that enterprise energy security against rising energy costs.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIONS

Objection to an additional turbine on site is not relevant as the proposal is a substitution of turbine type and not an additional machine.

The proposal is some 2.67m larger than approved to tip and 0.77m higher at hub, therefore in the context of the site’s location, would not be discernibly higher than the approval. The increase in height is not considered likely to have an additional impact on third parties or the character and appearance of the open countryside.

The height and visual impact is not considered to be detrimental over and above the approved machine which has extant permission.

The efficiency of the location has been carefully examined by the applicants to ensure the proposal is viable. This is a commercial decision and is not material to whether it is acceptable in planning terms.

There is concern that power is not needed for agricultural purposes. This is noted, however turbines are generally connected to the National Grid so contribute to the green energy production nationally. The turbine has not been put forward on the basis of farm diversification.

The site is not close to any tourism related development and is not within a renown vista which attracts visitors. Therefore the impact on tourism is not considered to be material.

Whether the landowner is absent or present is not a material planning consideration.

There is concern over mobile phones given the recently erected machine at Nant y caws. Ofcom has been consulted on the proposal and has not objected on the basis of radio or mobile phone interference.

The potential for overshadowing has been assessed and is not considered likely to have an adverse impact on third parties.

Noise has been carefully considered and the cumulative impact of the proposal along with the Nantycaws turbine has been assessed. The turbine is a quieter model than previously approved so is likely to have less of a noise impact. Public protection had no objection previously and in this case have not commented, however any amendment to the conditions to reflect the amended turbine will be reflected in the addendum.

There is local opinion that solar is preferable, however this is not what’s being proposed. The local planning authority can only consider what’s before it, so the merits of solar over the proposed wind turbine has not been assessed.

CONCLUSION

In accordance with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999, the application has been screened to establish whether an Environmental Impact is required. Given the scale and nature of the proposal, the development is considered to be of no more than local importance and will not give rise to any adverse environmental impacts upon the surrounding area. On this basis, the requirements of an Environmental Impact Assessment are not considered to be applicable to the application. In arriving at this decision the authority have taken into account the selection criteria as set out in Schedule 3 of the above Regs.

After careful consideration of the site and surrounding environs in light of the application and supporting information, it is considered that the proposal is for a 42.3m turbine which whilst modest compared to the commercial wind farms seen within the strategic areas, would be a significant development within the context of the site. The scale height and impact of each turbine has a different potential impact depending on the specific location and therefore each case has to be considered on its merits.

In terms of direct impacts the proposal is not likely to be detrimental in terms of noise, health and residential amenity given the scale and the distance from residential properties and fall back position of a turbine which is only 2.67m lower to tip.

The proposal needs to be assessed within the context of the open countryside and the landscape within which it is proposed. The site at Coed Adam is not on a significant landscape feature as it is within the rolling countryside.

It is considered that the proposal would not have a significant direct impact on the site or the landform itself in terms of physical harm even though it is visible within the immediate context. It would also be visible from the A48 and from the Crwbin ridge from a distance.

There has been a turbine recently erected at the refuse tip. This is a larger model with a tip of 77m so is some 34.7m higher than the proposal. This is clearly visible from the application site however given the difference in scale and the intervening landscape features, there is unlikely to be an unacceptable cumulative impact.

It is therefore concluded that whilst there would be a localised impact on the immediate surroundings, it is considered that given the separation distance, the proposal is not likely to have an unacceptable adverse impact on residential amenity or the character and appearance of the open countryside overall, therefore the proposal is in accordance with the above policies.

RECOMMENDATION – APPROVAL

CONDITIONS

REASONS

9 To prevent unacceptable landscape and visual impacts.

SUMMARY REASONS FOR APPROVAL

In accordance with Article 24 of the Town & Country Planning (Development Management Procedure)(Wales) Order 2012, 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) Adopted July 2006) and material considerations do not indicate otherwise. The policies which refer are as follows:

NOTES

Nesting Birds

Application No

W/30620

Application Type

Full Planning

Proposal &

Location

CHANGE OF USE FROM DWELLING TO A 9-BED HOUSE OF MULTIPLE OCCUPANCY (HMO) AT OAK WELL HOUSE, JOB'S WELL ROAD, CARMARTHEN, SA31 3HG

Applicant(s)

DR AND MRS ROGERS

Agent

CDN PLANNING (WALES) LTD - MR MATTHEW HARD

Case Officer

Stuart Willis

Electoral Ward

Carmarthen West

Date of validation

07/08/2014

CONSULTATIONS

Public Protection Division – Has stated that there has not been any formal record of complaints received for the site since it began operating in 2012. A complaint is in the process of being logged now following a complaint raised during the planning application. They have recommended conditions regarding timing of works and BS standards. As the proposal does not require any demolition or construction the condition is not considered appropriate. The conditions regarding BS standards relate to other legislation and therefore again are not considered appropriate for a planning permission.

Carmarthen Town Council – Has not commented to date

Local Members - County Councillor A Speake has objected to the proposal on the following grounds:

Anti Social Behaviour Coordinator – Stated to the best of their knowledge there have not been any complaints of noise or anti-social behaviour at this address.

Housing Standards Officer – Has confirmed that the site has had a licence to operate as a HMO since 2012. This licence runs until 2017. The licence has allowed up to 10 people to reside at the property since 2012. They have also confirmed that they have not received any formal complaints regarding the site since it began operating. The licence refers to the property being considered “reasonably suitable for occupation by 10 persons”.

Neighbours/Public – 11 adjacent properties were notified and to date 3 representations have been received raising the following concerns/objections:

Concern that permission would increase and worsen nuisance and noise

Existing noise from only 6 students ended after complaints

Approval would bring more people to the property

Overlooking from windows opposite

Entrance near traffic lights is already busy, proposal would increase risk of an accident

Additional windows added increase overlooking

Why is consultation now taking place when use is already in place

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

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

D4/22922 Four bedroom detached house and garage

D4/22061 Construction of four semi detached

D4/19733 Siting of one residential unit and garage

APPRAISAL

THE SITE

The application site consists of a detached 2 storey property located on the eastern side of Job’s Well Road, Carmarthen. The property was granted planning permission in 1993 for a four bedroom house and garage. The property is set back from the road and has properties to the rear and both sides. The approval of the planning permission for the house showed first floor windows on the northern elevation of the property. This was prior to the properties to the north off Ffynnon Waun being approved and constructed. The application property is at a lower level than the adjacent properties to the north and higher than those off Royal Oak Terrace. There is off road parking to the front of the dwelling as well as the internal parking in garages. The site has had a license to be operated as a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) since 2012 with the license running until 2017. This license allowed up to 10 people to occupy the premises. Whilst a licence has been in place since 2012 planning permission has not been applied for previously.

The site lies within the development limits of Carmarthen as delineated by the Carmarthenshire UDP.

THE PROPOSAL

The application seeks full planning permission for the conversion of building in to a 9 bed room house of multiple occupancy (HMO).

An additional window to the northern elevation of the building has been added at some time since the original construction. No other alterations to the external appearance of the property are included in the application.

A total of 5 parking spaces are shown for the site.

PLANNING POLICIES

In the context of the current development control policy framework, of the CUDP, the main planning policies are: -

Reference should also be drawn to Policy GDC11 of the CUDP which states that all development, as appropriate will need to be served by an appropriate parking provision, not exceeding the Council's maximum parking standards.

Of more relevance to the proposal is the Council’s policy relating to conversions – GDC17. Amongst other criteria the policy permits the re-use and conversion of buildings providing the architectural character and appearance of the building is retained and that the proposed use would not give rise to unacceptable problems relating to access, amenity, nature conservation or the provision of services.

GDC12 applies again in relation to the surrounding road network but also in relation to disturbance from traffic on the amenity of residents alongside developments.

Policy H9 relates to conversion or subdivision of existing dwellings. The policy states that proposals for flats or dwellings of multiple occupancy will be permitted providing the dwelling is of a suitable size and capable of being converted in compliance with all internal space and privacy standards, adequate parking, turning area and access can be provided, the proposal would not cause an undesirable over intensification of use and would not have a detrimental effect (including cumulative impact) on the use and character of the area or the privacy/amenity of neighbouring properties and that the proposal accords with policy GDC17 of the plan.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIONS

Turning to the adverse representations received to date.

The issue of parking, traffic generation and highway safety have been raised. Discussions with the Highways Officer indicated that 5 parking spaces would be considered sufficient for a 9 bedroom unit. Plans show that this many spaces can be provided and a condition is suggested to ensure the provision and retention of these. In terms of highway safety the application proposes no changes to the existing access. This is the same access that was approved when the original dwelling was granted. Whilst there may now be more traffic with more occupants there remains a turning area and sufficient parking. It is not considered that any additional traffic generation would warrant refusal taking in to account the heavy use of the road already. The site is also located near to the campus and is presently rented to students. Therefore there may be a lower level of car ownership.

The local member refers to an advert in the Western Mail dated the 8th of July. There appears to have been confusion regarding this being the public notification as part of the planning application. The advert was due to the ownership of the site being unknown in part. The advert was in line with the legislation regarding efforts that need to be made by applicants where all parties with an interest are not known. This is separate to any publicity as part of the application by the Authority. As stated above letters were sent to all the adjacent properties to notify them of the application once the application was registered, again in line with the relevant legislation.

There were concerns that the HMO would be completely out of character with the surrounding and nearby residential homes of families. The UDP policy refers to there being a desire to not have an over intensification of this type of use. It is not considered this would be the case. The property would have no extensions and externally would remain extensively the same as it was when used as a dwelling house other than one additional window. Subject to there being no significant concerns with other matters the location of the site is considered appropriate.

The application has been made for a HMO which currently s occupied by students. If permission was granted it would be for the use of the building as a HMO of any kind, not restricted to the applicants. Therefore this is a consideration and the application has been assessed as such. Policy H9 refers to a number of criterion in relation to where such uses are acceptable. One is concerned with the dwelling being of a suitable size and being capable of being converted. No proposed extensions are proposed. No objections have been received from consultees and separate legislation and guidance applies in terms of the internal space and the site has had a licence since 2012. Any changes internally would not require planning permission. Therefore the building is considered to be capable of being converted.

The next criteria relates to an undesirable over intensification of the use and detrimental effect on the character or privacy of the neighbouring properties. The building is detached and set in a relatively large plot as well as being set back from the road. Whilst there may be some disturbance from the use, the existing use as a dwelling may also cause disturbance. Policy GDC17 relates to conversion in general and it is considered that the proposal complies with that policy also.

Reference has been made to the lack of consultation prior to the use being started at the site. The application is retrospective. Once an application was received the appropriate publicity has been carried out.

A HMO is a sui generis use while a dwelling falls within the C3 use class. Several factors are taken in to consideration when assessing whether a use falls within one use or the other. In this instance the number of people residing at the site in one factor that means it is not deemed a C3 use. In terms of the use class in England there is a specific use class has been created for HMO’s (C4). This use class does not exist in Wales and as explained above the use is considered to be sui generis.

The impact on amenity was another area raised, particularly in relation to noise and disturbance. Reference has been made to previous complaints regarding the property. The Licensing Officer has no record of any previous formal complaints having been received and this is the same for the Public Protection Division and the Anti-Social Behaviour Officer. Following the submission of this application a complaint has now been formally logged.

Issues relating to amenity were raised such as noise and nuisance. The site has front and rear garden area. Whilst there are residential properties to the sides and rear there are tall boundary treatments in places. One additional window appears to have been added since the original permission for the dwelling house at first floor level. This is on the north facing elevation where there are already 2 first floor windows. The addition of a window in this elevation would not have required planning permission until last year if the property was being use as a dwelling. The original approval for the dwelling showed 2 first floor windows in the northern elevation. The adjacent properties were not in place at that time and therefore there would have been no concerns with overlooking. This is clearly now a matter that needs to be addressed. 2 of the windows in this elevation are for bedrooms, whilst the other is for a “social area”. It is recommended that a condition be added to any approval requiring the “social area” window to be fitted with obscure glazing and be top opening only. This would mean that only 2 opening, non glazed windows would face the other properties. This would be the same as was previously the case.

How disturbance could be dealt with if it did occur were planning permission given should be considered. Controls would be covered by separate legislation and any nuisance cannot be pre-determined. The concern related to the removal of those causing a disturbance may mean that the problem was not resolved as further notices from the Public Protection remit would need to be issued for each person rather than the property as a whole if there were issues. Again this pre-empts that there would be issues from occupants. However as the residents would not own the property this would suggest that any problem occupants could be more easily removed. Also if the problem occupant was removed then this would address the matter. Such concerns appears to be based on the assumption that there would be continual disturbance from several occupants. There are powers to deal with the issues even if those powers would need to be exercised with individuals. The powers however are there to deal with the matter.

One issues that has been raised is in terms of the number of people at the property and the perception that this will change if planning permission is given. The license for the property has stated it is suitable for up to 10 people to occupy. Whilst it may not have had this number since it began operating the licence would have allowed it. The change in the number of bedrooms does not alter the licence.

CONCLUSION

After careful consideration of the scheme as submitted taking into account the representations received, it is considered that on balance the scheme is acceptable and does accord with UDP or national policy and guidance.

As such the application is put forward with a recommendation of approval.

RECOMMENDATION – APPROVAL

CONDITIONS

Reasons for Granting Planning Permission

The decision to grant planning permission has been taken in accordance with Section 38 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase act 2004, which requires that, in determining a planning application the determination must be in accordance with the Development Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

It is considered that the proposed development complies with Policy GDC17, GDC2, GDC11, GDC12 and H9 of the adopted UDP in that it is not considered the proposal would have a significantly adverse impact on the amenity of the area, external alterations or extensions are required, it would not represent an over intensification of similar uses nor would it cause any highways safety or parking concerns

NOTES