of the Ordinary Meeting of the Penrice Community Council held
on Wednesday 16th October 2013 at Oxwich and Penrice Community Hall at 7.30pm
Members Present: Councillor M Barnett
Councillor M Williams
Councillor A Glass
Councillor J Ellis
Councillor G Roberts
Councillor J Bowen
Councillor T Methuen-Campbell
There were approximately 25/30 members of the public present.
68/13 Apologies for Absence.
69/13 Declarations of Interest.
Cllr T Methuen-Campbell declared an interest in item 9 on the Agenda
relating to the Coalhouse on
The Chair advised the meeting that there were interests to be declared under Planning, but due to the fact that more that 50% of the Council had an interest this would be dealt with and explained at this part of the meeting.
70/13 To confirm the minutes of the Meeting held 18th September 2013.
Cllr A Glass proposed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of events, seconded Cllr G Roberts, carried unanimously.
71/13 Matters arising from the minutes.
72/13 Community Councils
1 One Voice Wales Notice of Area Committee Meeting 24th October 13 and also minutes of the
previous meeting. Noted
1 The Gower Newsletter Noted
74/13 Financial. £
1 Clerk salary Information protected under the Data Protection Act.
Cllr J Bowen proposed to pay, seconded Cllr G Roberts carried unanimously.
Cash in the bank at the end of August £ 13008.06
The Chair explained that due to the fact that more that 50% of Members had a prejudicial interest in item A to be discussed under planning, then the Council had applied to the CCS Standards Committee to obtain a dispensation, which allowed those Councillors affected to speak on this item, but not vote and this had been granted.
75/13 Planning cont….
The Councillors who were present and covered by this dispensation were, Cllr M Barnett, Cllr G Roberts, Cllr T Methuen- Campbell and Cllr J Ellis.
Cllrs J Bowen, A Glass and M Williams did not have interests in this item so were able to speak and vote on the application.
The Chair explained that the Cllrs with the prejudicial interests would leave the meeting during the final discussions and decision. The Chair also explained that the Council had received objections from members of the public that would be included in the meeting and also that the public would be invited to speak at this part of the meeting.
(A) Application number 2013/1322 ‘The Old Tennis Courts’, Horton Applicant Mrs S Mumby
Cllr A Glass gave an overview of the application and explained a brief history of the site. He outlined the plans. He advised that permission had been granted on the site which is currently occupied Emmanuel House.
Mr J Mumby advised from the floor that for the property named ‘The Farmhouse’ the planners had advised the architect to make it look like a barn conversion, hence the name.
The heights of the houses was not clear on the plans so was questioned. Mr J Mumby advised that they would be the same height as the new homes planned at Emmanuel House. They have tried to have some of the buildings at half height in order to protect the views of the houses behind the site.
A query was raised that ‘The Haven’ was a lot lower than the new houses planned at Emmanuel House.
Mrs S Mumby advised that the new houses on this site were planned on two different levels, in order to protect the view of the houses overlooking the site.
The Chairman advised that the Council had received five letters of objection, the points raised in the letters were read to the meeting as follows;
1 The development will have a huge impact on the Haven, which is to the west of the proposed development and it will be overbearing, overlooking and overshadowing the house, which is against policy EV16 in the UDP which states “ It has an acceptable relationship with adjacent buildings" and " it will not harm the amenity of neighbouring residents". The family will lose light from the height of the house and all their rooms on the East side will be looked into by the windows of property no.1. The big bedroom window on the west side of the Farmhouse will look directly over the garden of the Haven taking away their privacy.
The new properties will also have a higher roof level.
2 Loss of visual amenity to the Public. The view from the bottom gate of the Tennis Courts which portrays a very pretty and distinctive village. This view is not available elsewhere in the village and will be lost on the building of these houses.
75/13 Planning cont….
3 Planning Permission was given for the development at Emmanuel House on the basis that three houses would front and look on to the Tennis Courts as a feature.
Now they will look on to the sides of the houses on Plots 2 and 3 at a distance of approx. 15 metres.
4 Construction of two of the houses is over the public sewer and substantial parts within 3 metres. The sewer is 4 metres to the west of the eastern boundary of the site
And a strip 3 metres either side of this would take up over 30% of Plot 2.
5 All of the three buildings are far too large for the sites they occupy.
6 No provision has been made to widen the narrow lane accessing the site to the north which is 80 metres long. It is only one vehicle wide and there are no passing places
And no turning bay at the end. At present most lorries and vans making deliveries reverse down the entire length. At the moment this lane serves two houses but with the Emmanuel House development and this it will be seven houses.
7 If planning permission is given together with the permission already given for Emmanuel House development then there will be seven large executive houses in a small area which and will destroy the character of the lower part of the village.
8 Much is made in the application of the existing green focal area to the north of the development and how this will be increased by a new green area at the north of plots 1 and 2.
However the construction of these houses will cause this area to be lost to the rest of the village and will only be seen by the houses adjoining the area and access to the general public will only be down a narrow cul de sac.
9 There is no affordable housing – Only luxury housing in this proposal.
10.The house on plot 3 covers a very large area and the footprint it leaves dwarfs those surrounding it. The design of this house is completely out of character with those in the vicinity.
11.There is no economic or social need for a further development of three luxury executive style homes in a small village of less than 100 homes in an AONB.
12.The whole development does not fit in with the surrounding houses in either density or design and destroys the character of the village.
13.The area of the disused tennis courts is an amenity to the village as a play area, parking and an open space. In no way can this development be described as an improvement as suggested in the application.
14.There is no landscape design whatsoever.
75/13 Planning cont….
Other points raised by members were;
a. This area has been used as a play area by children. Members felt that this could not be used as an argument.
b. Not currently used as a tennis court.
c. Used as a parking area in the winter.
d. Bank holidays over 40 cars parked there. Mr J Mumby advised that he did try and remove these from this area when able as it is private land.
e. Where would the stone walls on the boundary at the lower end be?
Mr Mumby advised that they would not be right on the edge of the road.
f. Would the trees all remain?
g. The Haven would be losing a lot of light and privacy.
h. The village would be losing a lot of green space and gaining yet another substantial development on a small plot. It seems that any available bit of land is being used and this would be detrimental to the village and
would means a considerable loss of amenities to the neighbours.
i. ‘The Farmhouse’ has a lot of glass and the amount of light is a concern. There is a dark sky in this
j. Mr Mumby advised that the balcony is under the roof overhang and is only for the purpose of a
k. Why not put affordable housing in the area, this development is skewed toward the affluent.
l. In the statement in the application, there is a semi circular area referred to as green space, however with this development this area is only for private used and of no benefit to the public as will be owned by plot 1 and 2.
m. The sewer is currently running under two of the houses, how is this going to be overcome?
Mr Mumby advised that he would take this up with the architects.
Members of the public raised additional points and also Council Members added to these points raised;
1. The owner of Talbot Lodge from the floor felt that this proposed development was intrusive on the privacy of his property.
Mr J Mumby thought that it was only the kitchen that was mainly affected.
The same member of the public advised that several bedrooms and an outside BBQ area would also lose privacy if the new development was built. The balcony was of particular concern and overlooks a private part of the garden. The whole building is less than 20 metres from Talbot Lodge and is 2.5 to 3 metres higher. It is very intrusive on rooms that are in daily use and the glass frontage is a concern. It is sheltered by trees and shrubs at the moment but will be intrusive when these are cut to obtain the views.
Mr J Mumby advised that there were no rooms that were higher than the glass and confirmed that there were 4 sets of patio doors to have the views in the direction of Talbot Lodge.
2. Mr J Mumby confirmed that they planned to live in ‘The Farmhouse’, the largest of the developments, and sell the other two properties.
75/13 Planning cont….
3 The Owner of the Haven from the floor advised that the new house would block out a lot of light into their house and the larger house has two bedrooms overlooking the garden so all privacy in their garden would be lost. The property is only 10 metres from their garden. Page 20 of the statement on the application sites
4 The Haven is the property most affected by the application. The owners stated that they were devastated by this proposed development.
5 Another member of the public from the floor highlighted the fact that the sheer scale of the proposed houses in the development was a concern and that the footprint of the proposals could fit two of The Havens inside the footprint of one of the smaller houses. Talbot Lodge is 160 square metres, the new house is 300 square metres. This would be six times the size of the Haven.
6 The Owner of Talbot Lodge added that the surface area would be more than 50% bigger than their
house and would be out of scale with all other properties in the village.
7. What was happening with the bank at the lower end of the plot. ?
Mr J Mumby advised that the plan was to have a retaining wall instead of the bank.
At this point of the meeting Cllrs M Barnett, G Roberts, T Methuen-Campbell and J Ellis withdrew from the meeting for the remainder of this one item.
Cllr M Williams took the Chair.
i) Detailed elevations of the plans were needed. How close is the Haven to plot 1. ? A considerable loss of natural light to the Haven would result if this application was built. Footprint size was of concern in relation to the size of the plot. There was also an issue with the sewer location and the properties location currently was over the site of the sewer. The sewer can be moved but is currently a query. More affordable homes needed in Gower rather than very large houses.
ii) Focal green space, not for public benefit. This application does not sit comfortably with the UDP. Should be more affordable housing. Young local people are being priced out of the area due to these large expensive developments. With the area in question, it would possible to fit in a few affordable homes. Concern that these would become holiday homes as they are extremely large properties with very small gardens so they are low maintenance which would be ideal for short term living. Cannot develop within 3 metres of the sewer. Can’t see how this development can be as planned as the sewer would have to be re routed onto Emmanuel House land and it was not foreseen that this would be a possibility. There seemed to be common problems with this proposal, the height, loss of light and privacy. No letters of support only letters of objection. Too large a development for the plot, the size of the houses on the plan is excessive and the access is another concern. A lay by into the site could overcome this, but would mean 7 very large houses in this area including those planned in the Emmanuel House plot, too many in such a small area.
iii) This would adversely affect The Haven, and has been very upsetting for the owners of this property. The houses do not even look like Gower properties. If this application could be altered so that it does not adversely affect the residents especially those living in The Haven it might have been acceptable.
Cllr A Glass proposed to object to the application , primarily because it is too large in size an scale for the site and clashes with a public sewer, but also because of due to all the objections listed as read earlier in the meeting by Cllr M Barnett, seconded Cllr J Bowen, carried unanimously. Clerk to action SC
75/13 Planning cont….
(B) Application no 2013/1409 Mrs C Dinsdale Hillpark, Reynoldston
Cllr G Roberts proposed that there was no objection to the application, seconded Cllr A. Glass, carried unanimously.
76/13 The Noise from the Coal House.
Cllr Glass reported that members of the public had complained about recent fireworks that were let off at the Coal House very late at night and also live music that could be heard at the top of the village. This was due to two recent weddings being held at the Coal House. The loud thunder flashes were the main problem. Dogs were scared and also the local ponies may have been affected. Even someone in Slade Valley could hear it.
Cllr T Methuen-Campbell had expressed an interest in this item, but had been requested to remain in the meeting to speak with the residents who had attended the meeting to raise this problem.
The main problem was the low frequency base thudding.
Cllr T Methuen-Campbell apologized for what happened and explained that this was exceptional. The music license is until 12midnight. Fireworks have always been in this area as the Penrice Estate have given patrons of the Oxwich Bay Hotel permission in the past to have fireworks displays. In the future he will try and have any fireworks before 10.30pm and to omit the loud bangs and the music will finish in accordance with the license.
Everyone wanted the Coal House to succeed, but not at the expense of the residents.
Members of the public present were happy with the outcome of the discussions.
77/13 The Trees on Oxwich Green and the Children’s Swing.
Cllrs decided to defer these two items until the next meeting.
79/13 The Local Development Plan.
Cllr J Ellis gave a verbal update on the changes. Noted.
80/13 A Proposed Community Project funded by the PCC all ideas welcomed.
As there was a large community presence at this meeting, Council advised that they were looking to fund a community project with the finances made from the sale of land in Horton.
Agreed to put posters on the notice boards and on the website. This can be split between areas.
Cllrs J Ellis, M Williams and G Roberts to organize the posters. GR/MW/JE
81/13 Cllrs Reports and Questions
Website – Cllr J Ellis advised that the draft version of the PCC website is in place and any feedback is welcomed. A lot of work had already been put in and it was already looking very good. £500 was only to cover the costs incurred.
81/13 Cllrs Reports and Questions cont…
Cllr A Glass had attended the CCS budget/finance meeting and gave a verbal report.
82/13 Public Questions relating to the agenda. (limited to 10 minutes)
A member of the public from the floor asked about the community project and advised that she had organized an event in the Oxwich and Penrice Community Hall earlier in the day that she struggled to raise finance. The Clerk advised that if there were any small local community projects to write and request funding from the Council. Each would be dealt with on their individual merits and may be able to be assisted in obtaining funding.
83/13 Date and venue of next meeting.
20th November 2013 Horton Village Hall