Planning Minutes – 24 March 2020

Minutes of the Planning Committee of Mereworth Parish Council held by electronic communication due to Covid-19 – 24 March 2020
PRESENT – Chairman – Jon Regan (JR), Jenny Thorogood (JT), Ted Murray (TM), Michael Bound (MB), Katherine Eykelenboom (KE), Andrew Wells (AW),

1. Apologies for absence – none

2. Declarations of Interests – none

3. Minutes of Planning meeting held 25 February 2020 – these had been distributed and were agreed as a true record

4. Questions from members of the public – none
(This is a concessionary short session and limited to 30 minutes. Five minutes per person will be allowed initially and only if time permits, will further comments be heard. This session is for information only and no action need be taken upon items raised)

5. TMBC Planning Applications
1. TM/20/00482/FL – 157 Butchers Lane, Mereworth
Loft conversion with a new pitched roof, dormers and Velux type roof lights; demolition of existing single garage and conservatory; re-design of the front garden and removal of part of the front wall to provide additional parking and improved access; and replacement of all windows and installation of new sliding doors to the rear
The proposal for enlarging no 157 Butchers Lane is the same design as no.177 which was refused initially by TMBC as being out of keeping with the area. This proposed development will be even more intrusive being on rising ground and having dormer windows set in the roof above the level of the dwellings either side and overlooking these. The height of the roof with the dormer windows would be completely out of keeping with its neighbours and the general look of the area. It would be very dominant; the only house to have had an increase in height approved is no.177. The remaining two storey houses or chalet bungalows are all as-built.
This proposal changes the character of the village from mixed dwellings and occupancy into an enclave which excludes smaller affordable properties such as these. The roof line will be out of keeping with the aligned properties.
In summary: The proposal is out of place in the context of the four bungalows;
It is overbearing on its neighbours, especially no. 159 with which it shares a garage;
The plot’s access and size are very restricted;
Nos 177 and 188 Butchers Lane cited by the applicants are located on much larger plots with much better access so there is no comparison with the work proposed at no. 157.

There will be a loss of light to no. 159 due to the increased roof height of no 157.
Mereworth Parish Council does not object to enlargement of the house but considers that this could be achieved satisfactorily by extending the single-storey building out at the back into its garden which is large enough to absorb this. The present building could be greatly enhanced without going to a second-storey. There is ample space at the back without destroying the garden and the garage could even be incorporated at the front as the application requests. This would remain in keeping with the other properties nearby.
Mereworth Parish Council objects to the proposals as published and looks forward to seeing a revised application

2. TM/20/00514/FL – Mereworth Castle Estate North, Tonbridge Road, Mereworth
Construction of new packing shed for washing, packing and storing produce grown on site.
Clerk had arranged a site visit for Parish Councillors to attend. (MB) attended and circulated a detailed report to all councillors.

It was agreed that the Parish Council supported this application.

6. TMBC Determinations – none
7. KCC Applications – none
8. Local Plan – Further information on the hearing sessions received and circulated. The hard copies of the Highways Appraisal had now been posted to the Programme Officer in readiness for the hearing.
Note: The hearings have been postponed due to Covid-19 and dates will be rearranged in due course.

9. Date of next Planning Committee meeting: 28 April 2020 – this meeting will also be conducted by electronic communications.