- Meeting of East Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee, Tuesday, 17th November, 2020 6.30 pm (Item 6.)
Proposal: Holmer Green Senior School, Parish Piece, Holmer Green, Buckinghamshire, HP15 6SP
- The planning officer advised that since publication of the report, comments had been received from Sport England who raised no objection to the application.
- There was one addendum to the report which was circulated to members prior to the committee and read out at the meeting. This was to add a section 9 to the officer’s report and read ‘The council needs to have regard to its public sector equality duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. This sets out the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it. Furthermore, under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, local authorities have the general duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need and as far as is consistent with that duty including by providing a range of level of services appropriate to those children’s needs. In this case being a school site, children have the potential to be affected by this decision. Due regard has been had to the council’s duty under the Public Sector Equality Duty and the Children Act. The council has acknowledged in the officer’s report the benefits the dome will provide including covered space for PE, additional indoor space for exams, breaks and short term benefits for social distancing. However, a balancing exercise weighing the harm arising to the public interest against the benefits above has been undertaken and it should be noted that planning law allows councils as local planning authorities to make decisions on planning applications having regard to the public interest. Furthermore, the interests of the children attending the adjacent infant school also need to be taken in to consideration and the development is considered to create a loss of light for pupils of that school to an unacceptable level. Guidance in the Government’s Planning Practice Guidance provides a local authority needs to be mindful that the best interests of a particular child will not always outweigh other considerations including those that impact negatively on the environment or the wider community. The development plan sets out the policies and criteria in accordance with Government policy and advice for making decisions on planning applications. It is necessary to balance the benefits against the issues of wider public interest in respect of the significant harm identified as set out in the report. In this case it is considered that the harm to the issues of wider public interest outweigh the stated benefits of the dome. The applicant’s right to a fair hearing under article 6 of the first protocol of the Human Rights Act is protected through the established appeals in general.’
- The Planning Officer made a correction to the wording of paragraph 8.1 on page 52 of the agenda pack, amending the second sentence to read ‘Given that the recommendation is to refuse planning permission, it is also recommended that it is expedient to take enforcement action to require removal of the dome for the same reasons as for the refusal of planning permission.’
- The Planning Officer advised that for clarity the second reason for refusal outlined in the report would be split into two separate reasons. A separate reason number 3 would commence from the sentence starting ‘Furthermore, the noise from using the courts…’
- Speaking on behalf of Little Missenden Parish Council: Councillor Jane Fallon
- A written statement was received from Mr Denis Brill and read out on behalf of the objectors.
- Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Mr Ed Hillyard
It was proposed by Cllr J Waters, seconded by J Burton and resolved:
A. that permission be refused subject to the suggested amendment to separate the second reason for refusal as noted above; and
B. that it is expedient for enforcement action be taken in respect of the unauthorised development for the reasons as set out in the officer’s report as amended.