Agenda item

2/2019/1554/FUL, Bleet Farm, Bleet Lane, Gillingham

To consider a report by the Head of Planning.


The Planning Officer introduced the application to erect a replacement dwelling and retain 3 No. parking spaces.


This application followed a previous application which had been refused and was then dismissed at appeal.   This revised scheme now proposed a 2 storey element but with a reduction in width and was set back further from the edge of the field.  The Planning Officer highlighted a full landscaping plan which was also available on the website


The Transport Development Liaison Manager advised that there was no objection from highways as the application was a like for like replacement dwelling.


A statement from the applicant was read out at the meeting and is attached to these minutes.


Local Members for Gillingham

Cllr Val Pothecary made reference to the objections and noted that there seemed to be some confusion of existing farmhouse in comparison with the new development.  The Planning Officer explained that the 50% increase was not a policy requirement but assists in the assessment of the application, this was not a key policy requirement.  The Inspector in the appeal decision advised that the outbuilding could be deemed part of the dwelling.  Following a question about whether the enclosed covered balcony had been included in the calculations, the Planning Officer advised it had not, only the external habitable floor space was calculated. Cllr Pothecary felt that any large building on the ridgeline was bound to be controversial and feared there would be light pollution.  Her main in concern was the increase in scale on the existing farmhouse and was unable to support application.


Cllr Belinda Ridout noted that this proposed dwelling was in a very elevated position overlooking the Stour Valley and was a contemporary design which would not suit everyone.  She had a few concerns:

  • Landscaping a good mix listed but in respect of a future maintenance scheme (Condition 5) could this be made more robust, maybe protect the planting and number of years for maintenance. The Area Manager advised that the standard condition was for 5 years but this could be extended to 15 years.
  • Glazing, concerned about glare. The Area Manager advised that this would need to be amended on the Plan but a condition for anti glare glazing could be included.  A condition could be added to require submission of detail of automatic blinds to come down outside of daylight hours.
  • Future maintenance of exterior cladding, can a condition be added to this effect.  With reference to the materials there was a need to ensure the property was nestled into the hills and this would need to be a neutral palette. The Planning Officer advised that Condition 8 could be amended to remove permitted development rights by stating this would include any rendering or cladding of the walls to address any long term concerns. 


Members comments and questions:

Cllr David Taylor asked where the balcony would look over to and that it could be rather imposing if it looked over the village.  The Planning Officer advised that the views were looking over the valley and the roof would overhang.  The property was a significant distance from the village and was not looming over any other properties.


Cllr Matt Hall made reference to the trees listed in the landscape plan and was concerned they were not the appropriate types and that there were better alternatives that could be used.  He felt the whole application seemed to be about blending the building in using the planting.   The Planning Officer advised that the Tree Officer had been consulted on the mix of species and supported the proposal. Cllr Hall felt that any tree planting must be of a minimum size when planted to ensure coverage. The Planning Officer undertook to look to amend the condition to address this.  The Area Manager added that Condition 5 supplied the exact landscaping element and species could perhaps be dealt with by conditions.  A paragraph could be added to say all planting shall be ….. and then specify the size, minimum of 3 metres.  The number of years was part of the maintenance condition and could be extended to 15 years.


Cllr Bill Pipe felt that this was a right and proper application and members’ should move to the vote.  He was not convinced the Committee should be putting stipulations on planning applications with regard to the height of trees.


Cllr Carole Jones was very pleased with the design but despaired of people who were afraid of a contemporary new look. She also felt the owner’s views should not be obstructed.


Cllr Jon Andrews, feel contemporary plan complements the views and would like to approve the application.


Cllr Tim Cook, supported the proposals submitted.  He felt the view should not be obstructed for the householders and that members needed to be bold in allowing this type of development.


Following discussion and confirmation of the amendments members wished to make to the Conditions, the proposal with amended Conditions was put to the vote:-


  • Additional condition – non reflective glazing
  • Additional condition – automated blackout blinds on NW elevation
  • Amended Condition 5 – soft landscaping
  • Amended Condition 6 – extend maintenance period to 15 years
  • Amended Condition 8 – removal of PD rights to include any changes to the external finishes of the dwelling house.


The proposal to include the amended conditions was carried, 6 members for and 4 members against.


Proposed: Cllr Ridout

Seconded:  Cllr Andrews



That the application be approved subject to the amended conditions outlined in the appendix to these minutes.

Supporting documents: