IRVINE, 30 November 2010 - At a Meeting of the Planning Committee of North Ayrshire Council at 2.00 p.m.
Margie Currie, Robert Barr, Ian Clarkson, William Gibson, Ronnie McNicol, Pat McPhee, John Moffat and Ryan Oldfather.
R. Forrest, Planning Services Manager, J. Miller, Chief Development Management Officer and A. Craig, Senior Solicitor (Corporate Services); and M. Anderson, Committee Services Officer (Chief Executive's Service).
Councillor Currie in the Chair.
Apologies for Absence
Elizabeth McLardy and David Munn.
1. Declarations of Interest
In terms of Standing Order 16, Councillor Gibson, as a member of the Board of Cunninghame Housing Association Limited, declared an interest in Agenda Item 5: North Ayrshire Council (Old Caley Road, Queens Road and Green Avenue, Irvine) Stopping Up Order 2010, and took no part in the discussion thereon.
The Minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee, held on 9 November 2010, were signed in accordance with Paragraph 7 (1) of Schedule 7 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.
10/00543/PP: Irvine: Montgomerie Park: Site to East of 5 Earlswood Wynd
David Wilson Homes, 7 Buchanan Gate, Cumbernauld Road, Stepps, have applied for planning permission for the erection of a temporary sales cabin for a period of 2 years and the installation of all associated services, hardstanding, drainage and landscaping on a site to the east of 5 Earlswood Wynd, Montgomerie Park, Irvine.
The Committee agreed to grant the application subject to the following conditions:-
1. That all planting, seeding or turfing comprised in the approved details of landscaping shall be carried out in the first planting season and seeding seasons following the occupation of the buildings or the completion of the development, whichever is the sooner; and any trees or plants which, within a period of five years from the completion of the development die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of a similar size and species, unless North Ayrshire Council as Planning Authority gives written consent to any variation.
2. That the development and associated landscaping hereby permitted shall be removed and the land restored to its former condition on or before 30 November 2012.
4. The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2011: Householder Permitted Development Rights: Consultation Paper
Submitted report by the Solicitor to the Council on the details of the above consultation paper (including draft circular 1/2011 on Householder Permitted Development) and its implications, and seeking agreement to the Council's response to the Scottish Government.
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 (as amended) sets out the current regulations for permitted development rights. The consultation paper considers that the 1992 Order is too restrictive, meaning that many minor and uncontroversial proposals require planning permission due primarily to the floor area criteria or to instances where the property backs onto a road. The amended order, as set out at Appendix 1 to the report, seeks to simplify and potentially remove approximately 20-25% of householder planning applications by making the following key changes:-
creating 3 new classes, making it easier to apply for development proposals to the appropriate class and for the limitations in each class to be more relevant;
expanding the use of "principal elevation" to distinguish what is usually the front and rear of a dwellinghouse in order to relax restrictions on development in rear gardens;
allowing alterations and improvements to dwellinghouses within a "1 metre bubble" around the walls or roof of a dwellinghouse, which removes the current complex provisions for satellite dishes and some domestic microgeneration equipment and clarifies the position on rooflights;
introducing a new site coverage criterion, with a limitation meaning that there must be at least the same area of garden remaining undeveloped as developed, which would allow a visual assessment rather than having to calculate precise areas;
introducing new definitions for calculating the height of a building and external dimensions; and
maintaining strict controls for development within Conservation Areas and within the curtilage of Listed Buildings.
Sections 3.3-3.9 of the report provided further detail on the nature of the changes, and Appendix 2 set out the proposed response to the consultation exercise.
Members expressed concern about privacy issues surrounding balconies and upper floor windows on the side elevation of extensions.
The Committee agreed to approve the comments set out in Appendix 2 to the report as the Council's response to the consultation, subject to the inclusion of the recommendation that restrictions should apply to balconies and upper floor windows on the side elevation of extensions due to address issues associated with overlooking.
5. The North Ayrshire Council (Old Caley Road, Queen Road and Green Avenue, Irvine) Stopping Up Order 2010
Submitted report by the Solicitor to the Council on the confirmation, without modification, of The North Ayrshire Council (Old Caley Road, Queen Road and Green Avenue, Irvine) Stopping Up Order 2010.
At its meeting on 29 June 2010, the Planning Committee agreed to grant planning permission for the erection of 94 dwellinghouses on the site of 99 existing dwellinghouses at Vineburgh, Irvine. On 17 August 2010, the Committee further agreed to promote a Stopping Up Order under Sections 207 and 208 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 for the stopping up of the vehicular through-route from 2 Fleming Terrace via Old Caley Road and vehicular access between Green Avenue and Old Caley Road in order to facilitate the residential development. The Order was advertised on 22 October and the objections period expired on 19 November 2010. No objections have been received.
The Committee agreed to confirm, without modification, The North Ayrshire Council (Old Caley Road, Queens Road and Green Avenue, Irvine) Stopping Up Order 2010 in terms of Section 207 and 208 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.
6. Development Management: Operational Changes
Submitted report by the Solicitor to the Council on changes to procedure, published material and other measures to continue the improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the Development Management service to the benefit of Members and stakeholders. A copy of a North Ayrshire Council Local Authority Factsheet referred to at a recent Planning Conveners' meeting, was circulated for the information of Members.
The Chief Development Management Officer clarified that reference within the recommendation of the report to paragraph 3.10 should instead be to paragraph 3.9.
The Council's Development Management service has been the subject of considerable change since the introduction of the Planning Etc (Scotland) Act 2006. In the light of operational experience, the report proposed a number of changes to procedure, published material and other measures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Service to the benefit of Members and stakeholders, including:-
Promoting interim design guidance to target consistent minimum quality standards for planning applications;
Publishing on the Council's website the recently approved revised Enforcement Charter, to explain the range and scope of the Planning Authority's powers;
Greater clarity in Committee reports, including ensuring that observations are clearly attributed to the party making the comment and noting where matters raised are not material planning considerations;
Considering whether Local Development Plan policies should be included in full within Committee reports;
Reducing the frequency of Planning Committee meetings from 6-weekly to 3-weekly in recognition of the reduction in business;
Arrangements for assisting the Committee in producing appropriate conditions or reasons for refusal, where necessary;
Securing customer feedback from all stakeholders in the Development Management process;
Additional staff training to address any information gaps arising as Government agencies disengage with some of the planning process;
Enhancing Members' use of eplanning in both applications for planning permission and the work of the Local Review Body;
Examining further opportunities for Officer and Member training aligned to the new planning system, Members' Code of Conduct, etc; and
Arrangements for Chair's briefings, where necessary, and for Member contact with Officers.
The report sought the Committee's views on the proposals in general and, in particular, on whether relevant Local Development Plan policies should be contained in full within Committee reports and if there might be an opportunity to seek to enhance Members' use of eplanning in both applications for planning permission and the work of the Local Review Body.
Members discussed the implications of the proposals in terms of operational effectiveness, expressing the view that Local Development Plan policies should continue to be included in the analysis section of reports, the Planning Committee should continue to meet on a 3-weekly basis and further Member training on eplanning should be offered in combination, if possible, with planned Code of Conduct training.
The Committee agreed (a) to endorse the proposed operational changes set out in the report, subject to a recommendation to the Council that the frequency of Planning Committee meetings remains on a 3-weekly cycle; (b) that Local Development Plan policies continue to be included in the analysis section of Planning Committee reports; and (c) that it be remitted to the Solicitor to the Council to make arrangements for further Member training on eplanning, combined, if possible, with planned training on the new Code of Conduct as it relates to Planning.