Minutes of the extraordinary meeting of Litton Cheney Parish Council
held on Tuesday 12 October 2021 to consider planning application

P/OUT/2021/03262 – Outline planning application for 9 no dwellings. Land at White Thorne Cottage, Main Street, DT2 9AS


Present: Bill Orchard (Chairman); John Firrell; Andy King; Diana Maston; Andrew Price; Bella Spurrier; Maggie Walsh (Clerk).   Also in attendance: Katie Tregay (Planning Agent), Mr Romans (applicant) and 8 local residents


1.    Apologies Cllr Quentin Blacke

2.    Declarations of interest none

3.    Cllr Orchard opened the meeting and invited the agent to summarise the application.  KT explained this was an outline application to establish the principle of development on the site, with all matters reserved. The application was for 9 dwellings of mixed size. The application had been submitted within the context of DC’s shortfall of 5 year housing land supply, whereby local plan policies were overridden by the National Planning Policy Framework’s presumption in favour of development and the tilted balance. The tilted balance meant other benefits came into consideration: this proposal would contribute to supporting local amenities and any harm could be mitigated by screening.  Details of the proposal would not be available until the subsequent Details Application (assuming the application were granted), however, the Case Officer had requested indicative layout and landscaping plans and a preliminary flood risk assessment.  The Case Officer had also indicated that the proposal should include 3 affordable housing units: the applicant was agreeable to this and they could discuss the possibility of more than 3 affordable units.  It was appreciated that DC would not lightly set aside Local Plan policies but a development of 9 houses would help to reduce the shortfall.


4.    Democratic time The following questions/comments were raised

·         Supporting information submitted with the planning application claimed that Litton Cheney was a sustainable location with a bus service. Whilst the village does have a PH and primary school, this statement was misleading as there was only one return bus service per week (plus the school bus during term times, which was available for use by villagers subject to available space).  The nearest regular bus service was one mile away up a steep hill with no footpath.

·         Concern the proposed dwellings would be purchased for use as second homes and therefore the owners would contribute little to the community or its facilities.

·         Affordable homes would be welcome if they helped locals remain in the village.

·         What form would the affordable housing take?

·         Why was the proposal for septic tanks and not mains drainage?

5.    Katie Tregay responded to points raised and questions asked:

·           The proposed development would help support local amenities and make the village more sustainable

·           The nature of affordable housing provided would be decided after discussion with the Case Officer.

·           Details of the drainage would be established at Approval of Details stage and mains drainage would be considered.

6.    Chairman Bill Orchard thanked those present for their contribution, indicating that the PC would now discuss the application and make its decision but all were welcome to listen to the debate if they wished.

·           The PC needed to look beyond the proposal and consider its wider impact.

·           Existing and emerging Local Plan policies were that there should be no new development within villages such as Litton Cheney other than affordable dwellings and some exceptional circumstances such as agricultural need. This application had been submitted in light of Dorset Council’s lack of 5 year housing land supply.

·           The existing access would be shared by the 9 proposed houses as well as the 7 dwellings for which extant permission existed and the existing Charity Farm building – i.e., 17 dwellings in total.

·           The site seemed small to accommodate 9 dwellings. The access to the extant permission for 7 dwellings crosses the application site, thus reducing the area of land available to accommodate the 9 proposed dwellings.

·           The PC would find it easier to assess the impact once an indicative layout plan was available.

·           The PC supported provision of appropriate affordable housing in the village.

·           The PC had called the extraordinary meeting in order to meet the LPA’s original deadline of 14 October.  Since arranging the meeting, the PC had noted that the consultation deadline had gone back to 28 October.

·           The PC hoped to be reconsulted once the requested additional information was submitted to DC. Meanwhile, it was impossible to assess the impact of the application with no indicative plans.  The PC understood that requested plans were purely indicative and that the actual details would not be known unless/until a subsequent Approval of Details application were submitted.

Cllr Orchard proposed that the Clerk wrote to the Case Officer requesting the PC be reconsulted once the additional information was submitted and that the period for comment be extended until the requisite number of days after reconsultation or after November’s PC meeting, whichever was the later.  This was seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously.                                                                              MW


Meeting closed

Maggie Walsh
Parish Clerk