Agenda item

Planning Application DC/21/0152/HYB - Land South of Burwell Road, Exning (Report No: DEV/WS/21/031)

Report No: DEV/WS/21/031


Hybrid Planning Application - A. Full planning for 205 dwellings, garages, new vehicular accesses, pedestrian/cycle accesses, landscaping and associated open space and B. Outline planning - early years education facility



(Councillor Susan Glossop asked that it be noted that whilst she had been involved in the Exning Development Brief in her role as Cabinet Member for Growth she had not taken any part in the application that was before the Committee.)


Hybrid Planning Application - A. Full planning for 205 dwellings, garages, new vehicular accesses, pedestrian/cycle accesses, landscaping and associated open space and B. Outline planning - early years education facility


This application was referred to the Development Control Committee as the Officer’s recommendation of approval was contrary to the view of Exning Parish Council.


The Senior Planning Officer advised that the site in question was allocated in the Site Allocations Local Plan (SALP) 2019 under Policy SA12(a) which was adopted in September 2019. This site was known in the SALP document as Land South of Burwell Road and West of Queens View. Policy SA12(a) of the SALP 2019 document sets out that 15 hectares of land is allocated for residential development, with an indicative capacity of 205 dwellings.


The policy detailed that a Development Brief should be prepared which would help to determine access arrangements, landscaping and the delivery of a cycle path between the site and the village of Burwell. It then goes on to state that planning applications for the site should only be determined once the Development Brief has been adopted by the Local Planning Authority. A Development Brief was adopted for the site in April 2021, as referenced in detail within Report No DEV/WS/21/031.


Members were advised that during the course of the application amendments were made to the layout and design of the scheme and additional information was submitted regarding landscaping, air quality, transport, highways and drainage.


At the time of the agenda being published a 14-day re-consultation was being undertaken with neighbours and the Parish Council to inform them of the latest changes to the footpaths and house types. Attention was drawn to the supplementary ‘late papers’ which set out further comments received from neighbouring residents and the Officer’s response to these.


Members were also informed that an additional representation had been received from 149 Burwell Road after the late papers had been issued; the comments made within that representation which related to the Committee report would be read out under the public speaking part of the meeting.


Also within the late papers was an explanation in respect of the application’s reference number and the suffix used.


Lastly, following further discussions with the Highways Authority and the applicant/agent a number of amendments had been made to the conditions proposed.


Therefore, a full list of revised conditions was included within the late papers and Officers were recommending that the application be approved subject to these (as opposed to those listed in the report) and the completion of a Section 106 Agreement.


As part of her presentation the Senior Planning Officer showed videos of the site by way of a virtual ‘site visit’.


The Committee’s attention was drawn to Paragraph 73 of the report and the inaccurate reference therein to “three storey dwellings” which was to be disregarded.


Reference was also made to a related ongoing enforcement matter in respect of Phase 1 of the scheme. The Officer reminded Members that this matter was not pertinent to the determination of the application before them.


Speakers:    Dr Jean Whitaker (local resident) spoke against the application

                   Zachary Cater (local resident) spoke against the application

                   Councillor Terry Wood (Chair of Exning Parish Council) spoke against the application

                   Darren Cogman (agent) spoke in support of the application

                   (Neither Dr Whitaker or Mr Cater attended the meeting to personally address the Committee and instead the Democratic Services Officer read out pre-prepared statements on their behalf.)


Considerable debate took place on the application with some Members voicing concern at the lack of engagement undertaken by the applicant with the Parish Council and local residents.


A number of questions were posed which the Senior Planning Officer responded to and drew attention to the relevant conditions in respect of; those requested by Anglian Water, the ongoing monitoring in relation to the Travel Plan, electric charging points and the various sustainability measures in connection with the development.


The Officer also highlighted that the space standards compliance applied to all affordable housing units (61 in total) together with 123 of the market dwelling units. She also advised that that discussions were still ongoing in respect of the cycle link from Exning to Burwell.


Councillor James Lay raised specific concerns in relation to the wider highways impact the application could have on the roads into neighbouring Burwell and Newmarket. He also referenced the lack of available services for future additional residents in that, to his knowledge, local medical centres and primary schools were already at capacity.


The Service Manager (Planning – Development) drew attention to Paragraph 17 of the report which contained the Highways Authority’s response to the application and which did not identify any required improvement works to the wider highways network. She also reiterated that the site was allocated in the Site Allocation Local Plan and impacts such as highways matters had been thoroughly tested through the Examination process for the Plan.


The Senior Planning Officer also advised that East Cambridgeshire District Council was consulted on the application due to the proximity to Burwell and the traffic assessment that was undertaken took the pending Burwell residential developments into consideration.


Councillor Andy Neal highlighted Paragraph 111 of the report and the reference to the landscaping buffer. He raised concern that the buffer proposed in the scheme conflicted with the Development Brief as it had been reduced in size to accommodate a footpath. Councillor Neal suggested that instead of reducing the size of the buffer the number of dwellings could have been reduced to allow the footpath and therefore maintain the required 15m landscape buffer.


In view of the wider highways concerns, the landscape buffer conflict and perceived lack of engagement by the applicant with the Parish Council Councillor Lay proposed that the application be deferred to allow Officers additional time in which to raise these specific matters with the applicant and Highways Authority, in order to seek additional information. This was duly seconded by Councillor Neal.


Upon being put to the vote and with 12 voting for the motion and with 3 against, it was resolved that




Consideration of the planning application be DEFERRED to allow Officers additional time in which to raise the wider highways concerns and proposed landscaping buffer with the applicant and Highways Authority, in order to seek additional information. And to enable an opportunity for the applicant to undertake further engagement with the Parish Council.


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