Agenda and draft minutes

Planning and Regulatory Committee - Wednesday, 26 October 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Surrey County Council, Woodhatch Place, 11 Cockshot Hill, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 8EF

Contact: Joss Butler  Email: joss.butler@surreycc.gov.uk

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Items
No. Item

66/22

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

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    To receive any apologies for absence and notices of substitutions under Standing Order 41.

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    Minutes:

    None received.

67/22

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING pdf icon PDF 220 KB

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    To confirm the minutes of the last meeting held on 27 July 2022.

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    Minutes:

    The Minutes were approved as an accurate record of the previous meeting.

68/22

PETITIONS

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    To receive any petitions from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 84 (please see note 5 below).

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    There were none.

69/22

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

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    To answer any questions received from local government electors within Surrey in accordance with Standing Order 85 (please see note 6 below).

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    Minutes:

    There were none.

70/22

MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME

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    To answer any questions received from Members of the Council in accordance with Standing Order 68.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    There were none.

71/22

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS

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    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter

    (i)            Any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or

    (ii)           Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting

    NOTES:

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest

    ·         As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner)

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Jonathan Hulley confirmed that he would be speaking as a local Member on the Land at Trumps Farm application and would therefore leave the room during the item’s debate.

     

    The Chairman agreed to reorder the agenda.

72/22

Minerals/Waste EL2022/1648 - Silvermere Haven Pet Cemetery, Byfleet Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1DZ. pdf icon PDF 605 KB

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    Retrospective application to retain office building and cold store unit building for a temporary period.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Officers:

    Dawn Horton-Baker, Planning Development Team Leader

     

    Speakers:

     

    The Local Member, Tim Oliver, attended the meeting virtually and made the following comments:

     

    1.    That he was opposed to the application.

    2.    That building in the Green Belt should not be approved except in very special circumstances, and that the reasons for special circumstances outlined in the report were inadequate.

    3.    That the potential harm to the Green Belt was not clearly outweighed by other considerations and therefore the application should be refused.

    4.    That the Member was surprised that the applicant claimed not have known that permission was required when the buildings were installed two years ago.

    5.    That the Byfleet Road was already a congested road.

    6.    That the site should not be allowed to expand simply for commercial gain.

    7.    That Paragraphs 29 to 31 of the report set out clearly all the reasons why the application breeched the Elmbridge Development Plan Policy DM17.

    8.    That the application did not adequately address the loss of openness of the Green Belt or the inappropriateness of the development.

    9.    That the application was a significant industrial operation and did not meet the test of having very special circumstances.

    10.  The Member urged the Committee to refuse the application.   

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    Officers introduced the report and provided a brief summary. Members noted details of the application which was a retrospective application to retain an office building and cold store unit building for a temporary period. Details of the application, photographs and plans could be found from page 457 of the meeting’s agenda.

    2.    The Chairman noted that the Committee had previously visited the site during a site visit.

    3.    A Member stated that most Members were opposed to the process of receiving retrospective applications.

    4.    A Member of the Committee disagreed with the report which stated that the application site was predominately within a rural area. Furthermore the Member stated that the site was for industrial use and was inappropriate for a residential area.

    5.    A Member highlighted that improvements to Junction 10 of the M25 included changes to the start of Byfleet Road which would cause congestion. Further increased congestion due to the proposed development was therefore unwelcomed.

    6.    A Member stated that the additional buildings were only required due to increased demand for new services provided by the crematorium.

    7.    A Member said that the benefits of the application did not outweigh any potential impact to the Green Belt.

    8.    A Member stated that there had been no complaints received on the service provided by the applicant, and as the buildings were for a temporary period, they had no objection to the application.

    9.    A Member stated that they felt uncomfortable with the lack of neutrality within the report and the refences to a potential future application. 

    10.  A Member said that the local area was residential and not industrial. Furthermore the Member stated that they felt the report had been written with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72/22

73/22

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO STANDING ORDERS RELATING TO PUBLIC SPEAKING AT THIS COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 231 KB

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    This report seeks the support of the Planning and Regulatory Committee to proposed changes to the Standing Orders relating to public speaking at that committee (on applications to the council as Commons Registration Authority) for recommendation to Council for approval.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Officers:

    Judith Shephard, Senior Lawyer

    Catherine Valiant, Countryside Access Officer - Commons

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    Officers introduced the item and provided an overview of the proposal.

    2.    Members noted that the proposal was related to commons, town and village greens and not Rights of Way matters.

     

    Actions / Further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

    Resolved:

     

    The Committee agreed:

     

    1.    The proposed changes to the Standing Orders relating to public speaking at this committee (as set out in paragraph 12 of the report)

    2.    That a report be taken to Council seeking approval of the proposed changes and amendment of the Council’s Constitution.

     

    The Committee adjourned between 11:25am – 11:30am.

     

     

74/22

Minerals/Waste TA/2021/1655 - Land at Kings Farm, Tilburstow Hill Road, South Godstone, Surrey RH9 8LB pdf icon PDF 796 KB

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    Installation of two steam methane reformation (SMR) units for the production of hydrogen from methane extracted from Bletchingley Wellsite and layout alterations including: a compressor package, surge tank, nitrogen supply tank, the laying of pipelines adjacent to the access track, two pre-reformer units, a Distribution Network Operator switch room, one 2MW generator, a tanker loading area for three transportation trailers, and a pressure reducing separation package on some 1.78 hectares and use of the access track for export of hydrogen for a temporary period with restoration to agriculture.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Officers:

    Samantha Murphy, Planning Development Team Leader

     

    Speakers:

     

    Peter Murphy made representations in objection to the application. The following key points were made:

     

    1.    Concerns related to the additional Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) traffic caused by the application.

    2.    That the applicant had only recently clarified that there was no current gas production from the site, and that the proposed wellhead had been capped since initial exploration, All proposed gas extraction of the consequent emissions would be new.

    3.    That the statement that there would be no increase in the production, and that the proposed development would lead to a decrease in greenhouse emissions, was incorrect.

    4.    That the current gas to hydrogen proposal was the most damaging environmentally.

    5.    That all the carbon dioxide produced by the high energy intensive process would be released into the atmosphere on site.

    6.    That there was no realistic possibility of ‘carbon capture’ technology being viable for the installation. 

    7.    That a recently commissioned report by the United Kingdom (UK) Government had warned of the dangers of direct hydrogen leakage into the atmosphere. That the application had failed to mentioned any potential venting or leakage of hydrogen during the starting and stopping of the production process or loading of trailers.

    8.    That the applicant had not responded to a query related to what would happen if the transport to and from the site was disrupted.

    9.    That a recent IPCC report made clear that there was no amount of new fossil fuel extraction was consistent with climate safety.

    10.  That the council had declared a climate emergency and had set a target for 56% emissions reduction across all industry in the county by 2035, and that the emissions from grey hydrogen production would put the target further out of reach.

     

    On behalf of the applicant, Jonathan Rowlatt and Ross Glover spoke in response to the public speakers’ comments. The following key points were made:

     

    1.    That the single reason for refusal that had been identified was related to inappropriate development in the Green Belt, and that the 2020 consent concluded inappropriate development however very special circumstances were accepted.

    2.    That the only issue now included in the officer report was related to the physical size of the development as it had been assessed against the 2015 approved rather than the 2020 approval. When assessing against the 2020 approval the only real difference was a ~10% increase in plant site coverage and a 3 metre increase in flue hight. All other elements were as approved in 2020. The two schemes were not materially different. Therefore the very special circumstances that justified the 2020 consent still existed.

    3.    That it was essentially concluded that the proposals would have no impact on the openness or character of the green belt and are not materially different from what had already been approved.

    4.    That the application responded to the ongoing energy crisis, the nations energy transition, climate change, and the county’s ambitions to improve air quality.

    5.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74/22

75/22

Minerals/Waste MO/2017/0953/SCC - Auclaye Brickworks, Horsham Road, Capel, Surrey, RH5 5JH pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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    Review of planning permission Ref MO/75/1165 dated 30 July 1976 pursuant to the Environment Act 1995 so as to determine full modern working and restoration conditions.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Officers:

    Samantha Murphy, Planning Development Team Leader

    Abigail Grealy, Principal Transport Development Planning Offcer

     

    Speakers:

     

    Lesley Bushnell made representations in objection to the application. The following key points were made:

     

    1.    That local residents had been campaigning against the application since 2017.

    2.    That the permission granted in 1976 was for a low-key brickmaking operation spread over several years. The present proposal was for a shorter term application, with none of the clay processed onsite,

    3.    That the 1976 permission imposed a limit of 16 vehicles movements per day, and 50 per week. The current proposal was for 150 HGV movements per day, or 825 per week.

    4.    That the point of access for the site was on a notoriously dangerous bend. Over the years local residents had photographed accidents along the road however not all accidents were recorded by the Police.

    5.    That Police and Surrey Highways had recently reduced the speed limit from 50MPH to 40MPH.

    6.    Stated that there would be an impact on neighbouring properties and an impact on quality of life along the Horsham Road. 

    7.    That North Farm Drive was not wide enough to accommodate two HGVs and the traffic lights proposed would impede on the freedom of residents.

    8.    That, in summary, the proposed traffic movements for the updated application, the extra traffic travelling along the A24, and the intensity of the operation were fundamentally different from the permission granted in 1976 and should not be considered under the ROMP process.

    9.    That, if granted, an amendment was made to have much lower movements applied.

     

    David Taylor made representations in objection to the application. The following key points were made:

     

    1.    That about 50 people had received a letter from Surrey County Council around five years ago on the proposal and that it was a surprise to local residents. The application had not shown up in local searches when properties were being bought and sold.

    2.    That the proposal may have an adverse impact on property values.

    3.    That visibility was okay at present due to the hedge being cut back however hedge cutting may change if the event of new ownership.

    4.    Raised concerns around the danger to drivers and cyclists when HGVs leave and enter the site

    5.    Raised concerns around whether the site would abide by the hours of operation. 

     

    Craig Stewart made representations in objection to the application. The following key points were made:

     

    1.    Raised concerns around the increase in vehicle movements on a notoriously dangerous section of the A24

    2.    That, when entering the site, there was a risk of HGVs causing traffic on the A24 causing chaos and a risk to life.

    3.    That machinery would be around 10 metres away from his property boundary causing noise and dust to enter and preventing use of the land during spring and summer months.

    4.    That there would be an open view of the site’s works from his property impacting the resident and his family.

    5.    Noted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75/22

76/22

Minerals and Waste Application RU.20/1047 - Land at Trumps Farm, Kitsmead Lane, Longcross, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 0EF pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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    Erection and operation of a small scale clinical waste thermal treatment facility including ancillary buildings, structures, parking, hardstanding and landscape works.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Officers:

    David Maxwell, Senior Planning Policy Officer

     

    Speakers:

     

    The Local Member, Jonathan Hulley, made the following comments:

     

    1.    That he objected to the application.

    2.    That 160 letters of representation had been received from local residents, a petition was signed by 597 members of the local community and the local residents association had circulated a written objection on the grounds that there was no proper basis provided on why the site had been chosen and that there was a lack of alternative site option explored.

    3.    That the Environmental Agency had not lodged a report on its views on the application

    4.    Asked Members to consider the comments of the County Landfill Site Manager found within paragraphs 333, 334, 335, 336 and 337. The Member summarised that the views provided were that a ground risk assessment did not appear to have been submitted with the application to address the proximity to the boundary of the landfill site. The landfill site was subject to ongoing management of landfill gas and leachate and so there was risk to health and safety being within the proximity of a thermal site. The Member stated that a further detailed assessment was required as highlighted in paragraph 338 of the report before the Committee made a decision.

     

    Cllr Jonathan Hulley left the room for the duration of the debate.

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    Officers introduced the report and provided a brief summary. Members noted that the proposal was for the erection and operation of a small scale clinical waste thermal treatment facility including ancillary buildings, structures, parking, hardstanding and landscape works. Members noted details of the application, photographs and plans which could be found from page 9 of the meeting’s agenda.

    2.    A Member stated that they felt uncomfortable making a decision on an application when the Environmental Agency had not provided any indication on whether consent would be received. Officers explained they were  informed that the EA had low resource and needed to prioritise the applications they respond to. The current application was not deemed to be a priority. Members noted that the applicant would need to apply for a permit so would receive any feedback from the EA during that process. The Member reiterate their discomfort and felt a response should be provided by the EA before the committee’s consideration.

    3.    A Member asked whether it would be possible to include a condition to ensure the facility processed local waste rather than national waste. Officers explained that they had considered the need for the proposal and had received evidence of the catchment area for waste which included Northern Surrey and the M3 corridor. Members had a discussion on whether there were options available to restrict the applicant from receiving waste outside of the county.  

    4.    Officers noted that the height of the proposed flue would be set by the Environmental Agency however assessments had been based of a height of 26 metres which was the maximum as noted in paragraph 34  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76/22

77/22

Minerals/Waste GU22/CON/00006 - Land to the north east of Slyfield Industrial Estate, Moorfield Road, Guildford GU1 1RR pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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    Construction and operation of a new sewage treatment works and associated above and below ground infrastructure, including new final effluent and storm water outfall, and new transfer tunnel.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Officers:

    Janine Wright, Principal Planning Officer

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The officer introduced the report and provided a brief summary. Members noted that the application was for the construction and operation of a new sewage treatment works and associated above and below ground infrastructure, including new final effluent and storm water outfall, and new transfer tunnel. Members noted details of the application, photographs and plans as noted within the report from page 129 of the meeting’s agenda. Members noted that an update sheet had been circulated.

    2.    A Member stated that they were uncomfortable with building a water treatment centre above a landfall site. The Member further stated that they felt the conditions would be difficult to enforce.

    3.    A Member said that there was a need to build infrastructure to meet the needs of society.  

    4.    A Member reiterated another Members concerns related to building a water treatment facility above a landfill site.

    5.    A Member stressed that there was a need to be very careful as the proposal was the first of its kind.

    6.    A Member raised concerns around discharge into the River Wey. Officers explained that the existing sewage treatment plant discharged into the River Wey and that there had been extensive work with the EA and the applicant to ensure that the water discharged would not harm the habitat and life within the river.

    7.    Members noted details of timescales as noted within the construction plan.

    8.    The Chairman moved the recommendation which received unanimous support.

     

    Actions / Further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

    Resolved:

     

    The Committee agreed that, subject to the prior completion of a Section 106 Legal Agreement, to PERMIT subject to conditions and informatives.

78/22

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

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    The next meeting of the Planning & Regulatory Committee will be on 16 November 2022.

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    Minutes:

    The date of the next meeting was noted.