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Parish Council Minutes

February 2000

Minutes of a Meeting of Appleby Magna Parish Council, held at the Church Hall, on Friday 11th February, 2000.


Mr. K. J. Colver, Mrs. D. Morris, Mr. J. Quimby and Mr. D. H. Saunders.

Apologies were received from and Mr. J. Lewis,

In the absence of the Chairman at the beginning of the meeting, Mr. D. H. Saunders, the Vice Chairman, took the Chair.


The minutes of the meeting held on 14th January, 2000 were taken as read, confirmed and signed.

Members were informed that in connection with minute 899 Red Hill Farm had a 1993 planning permission for the conversion and extension of agricultural building for use as offices. A condition of that permission is that the use of the premises shall remain strictly ancillary to the use of the adjoining land and buildings for agricultural purposes.

Urgent Items

The Vice-Chairman informed members that he had agreed to take the following matters as urgent items:-

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-pecuniary Interest

No such declarations were made.

Presentation by Representatives of Loangain

The Vice-Chairman introduced Peter C. B. Dixon a Director in the Town Planning Consultant firm of Hepher Dixon and Mr. John Edmond a Partner in Marrons Solicitors who wished to address the meeting on behalf of Loangain in connection with planning application 000032 for the erection of 100 bedroom hotel with ancillary restaurant and associated car parking, adj. A444/B5493/Rectory Lane.

Mr. Dixon expressed his appreciation in being permitted to address the meeting and said that he was aware of the long campaign against development on this site and that he had not come to make converts but to present the facts in relation to the present application and to answer questions on it.

He explained that at the present time Loangain had planning permission to build the 40 bedroom hotel which was being erected at the present time, it had appealed against the decision of NWLDC to refuse the variation of condition 3 of outline permission 950779 to extend the period for the submission of reserved matters until 2nd June, 2001 and it had submitted the current application for the erection of a 100 bedroom hotel. The principle for development on this site was already established.

Local concerns appeared to be that planning permission should not have been granted for this site at all, but the fact remains that, against officers recommendations, permission was granted in 1992, it was therefore established at that time that the site would be developed. He went on to outline the history of the site and of the applications and appeals. He stressed that it was clear from plans associated with the 40 bedroom application that a second phase was contemplated and the two storey design had been accepted by the Secretary of State for the Environment and one of his Inspectors. The current application was consistent with previous plans.

Another local concern which had been expressed was that the proposals were a stalking horse for further development. If planning permission is granted Loangain will only be able to implement the application as it stands. The use of the building for other purposes such as a nightclub or leisure facility would require an entirely new planning application.

If the current application is approved Loangain will not proceed with the public inquiry due to take place in June.

In reply to a question from the Vice-Chairman as to why it had taken so long for such a presentation to be made, Mr. Dixon explained that he had received instructions from Loangain in December, 1999. He had become aware of the strong local opposition to this matter and that there was a great deal of inaccurate information around. He therefore requested permission to address the Parish Council on this matter.

Dr. Fred Steward said it appeared that Mr. Dixon was defending the design of the current application and that it was very difficult to conceive a design which could be acceptable on a green field site next to the Old Rectory. The present proposals have realised villagers worst fears and it is clear that what is being built at present is only 1/3 of what is now being proposed. The style and size of the development was nothing like anything else in the village. He asked why, if Loangain was prepared to drop the appeal if the current application was successful, it did not withdraw the appeal now? The company’s lack of openness was a major concern to the village.

He went on to say that the present application had the appearance of a fast food outlet for passing motorists, despite the condition on the 40 bedroom hotel permission that the restaurant must be ancillary to that of the hotel and the maximum number of customers using the restaurant each day must not exceed a number double the average number using the residential accommodation. It would appear that Loangain wanted the best of both worlds. Is that why they have submitted a new application instead of applying for an extension to the existing permission?

Mr. Edmond replied that the design of the building should have been tested when the principle for development was agreed by the District Council. The present application contains design features which have already been approved. He also emphasised that previous plans were clear that phase two would follow.

Dr. Steward commented that the three sided block had never been to appeal or submitted to the District Council until recently. Mr. Edmond replied that he could not agree with that statement.

Mr. Dixon refuted that the Company were not being straightforward. The District Council or the Secretary of State were at liberty to impose any conditions on the appeal or the current application including a restaurant condition similar to that attached to the 40 bedroom permission.

Dr. Sonia Liff asked if the Company would be happy to see the restaurant condition attached to any 100 bedroom hotel permission?

Mr. Dixon replied that he accepted that the drawings could be interpreted to show a roadside restaurant but that was not what his client’s operate. A private hotel would not be able to refuse non-residents a drink at the bar. The restaurant was not intended to be freestanding.

Mr. John Dunkelman said that the new application was by the same company who had illegally removed a section of ancient hedgerow and that this was another reason why villagers had no trust in Loangain. It was very difficult to trust an applicant which did not uphold the law

Mr. Dixon stated that the District Council could require the reinstatement of any hedge. He had seen the literature on this matter and any fears were totally unjustifiable. In relation to the current application it was open to the District Council to impose such landscaping conditions as it thinks is appropriate.

Mr. Edmond said that he understood that Loangain did not own the site when the hedge was removed.

Mr. Gerald Box referred to a telephone conversation with a Director of Loangain who has said that he may be looking to change the development to a leisure centre within two years. This does not show the Company as being straightforward or trustworthy.

Mr. Edmond replied that no one can say what will happen in 2 or 3 years time. All that his client’s are doing is putting a proposal forward to complete the hotel on this site.

In reply to a question from the Vice- Chairman on how the current plan differed from previous applications Mr. Dixon explained that the roof profile had been reduced. It would not be any higher than the present 40 bedroom development

In reply to a question from Mr. John Quimby, the Chairman of the Parish Council who had joined the meeting during the discussion of this item, Mr. Dixon admitted he did not have any information on where the sewerage outfall from the site would be directed but that he would find out and inform the Parish Council in due course.

The Vice-Chairman thanked Mr. Dixon and Mr. Edmond for coming to the meeting and answering questions.

Before My. Dixon and Mr. Edmond left the meeting, Mr. Edmond concluded by offering to discuss any planning issues with the Chairman or to come to any future meeting if the Parish Council thought that it would be helpful.

Mr. D. Saunders left the meeting and took no further part in the business transacted.

Mr. J. Quimby in the Chair.

Question Time

Mr. Box requested the Parish Council to seriously consider the threat to local Post Offices and to support the retention of village Post Offices wherever possible.

Mr. Box asked the Parish Council to support the Transport Action Group.

Decisions taken under delegated powers

Members were informed that the Clerk, in consultation with the Chairman, had made no objection to planning application 000018 - erection of single storey side extension to McDonald’s Restaurant and had reiterated the Parish Councils previous views on application 991021 for the erection of 3 three storey dwellings r/o 30/32 Top Street

Police Matters

There was no police presence at the meeting.

Neighbourhood Watch

It was agreed that persons wishing to volunteer as Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators be invited to contact the Clerk to the Parish Council.

Budget and Financial Statements

That the information contained in the budget and financial statements from 1st April 1999 to 22nd January, 2000 be noted.

Account for payment

Resolved that the following account be paid:-

100666 Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation Stationery £54.04

Planning Application 000032 100 Bedroom Hotel

That in respect of planning application 000032 for the erection of 100 bedroom hotel with ancillary restaurant and associated car parking, adj. A444/B5493, Rectory Lane it was resolved that the District Council be informed that the Parish Council objects most strongly to this application for the following reasons:-

  1. This application is no different from the previous application which was refused.
  2. No need has been established for the development. Figures supplied by a similar local high class establishment have shown only a 50% to 60% occupancy Mondays to Fridays and 0 to 10% at weekends.
  3. The proposed hotel would represent a further unwarranted intrusion into the countryside for which there is no longer any justification having regard to lower levels of unemployment in the area and fewer jobs to be created than was the case when previous outline permission was granted for this site in 1996.
  4. Bowley’s Lane and the A444 have recently been affected by sewerage problems - to allow this development will only exacerbate current sewerage difficulties.
  5. Before the application is considered the District Council should seek an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) under regulation 7(2) of SI 293/99 Town and Country Planning (Environmental Assessments) ( England and Wales) Regulations 1999 which came into force on 14th March 1999. Under paragraph 12© in the table in schedule 2 of those regulations an EIA should be requested for hotels where the site is at least 0.5 hectares and the development is likely to have a significant effect on the environment by virtue of factors such as its nature, size or location.
  6. The District Council should also consider whether an EIA is required under 1985/86 European Directive which states that approval of details is a development consent. There is recent caselaw on this matter -May, 1999 Brown v Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council v Tew.
  7. The District Councils attention is drawn to the developer having already broken the law on this site in implementing the existing permission for a 40 bedroom hotel in that they had no authority to remove any hedgerow in Rectory Lane to gain a temporary access to the site. This is an offence under The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 made under Section 97 of the Environment Act 1995 and which came into operation on 1st June, 1997.
  8. If the District Council is minded to approve the application the Parish Council requests that a condition be included similar to that already imposed on the current 40 bedroom development in that the restaurant must be ancillary to that of the hotel and the maximum number of customers using the restaurant each day must not exceed a number double the average number using the residential accommodation. The Council is also requested to impose landscaping conditions to protect the vegetation on and surrounding the site and to request further planting to screen the site from the surrounding roads.

Traffic Calming on Top Street

That it be noted that the Highway Authority is unable to fund the installation of traffic calming measures at the present time.

Yew Tree Plaque

That a plaque with appropriate wording be ordered from Colbier for the millennium yew tree at a cost of approximately £50.

Dog Fouling

Members were informed that as the District Council had no jurisdiction over highway functions in Appleby Magna and it was unable to assist in the Highway Authority’s refusal to allow the Parish Council to use stencils on footways.

It was agreed that Mr. Mears of East Riding Borough Council be asked outline in writing the success of a similar scheme in East Riding and that a copy be passed to the Highway Authority with a request that it reconsiders it’s refusal for the use of stencils in Appleby Magna.

Urgent Items

The Chairman agreed to the urgent consideration of the following items of business for the reason stated below.

Recreation Ground Maintenance

Urgent to enable payment to be made as soon as possible.

That a donation of £397.42 be made to Appleby Magna Cricket Club in lieu of the maintenance of the Recreation Ground.( 100667).

Leicestershire and Rutland Playing Fields Association Subscription

Urgent to enable payment to be made as soon as possible.

That payment of £15.00 subscription to the Leicestershire and Rutland Playing Field Association be authorised (100664).

Council for the Protection of Rural England.

Urgent in view of the imminent date of the meeting

Members were informed of an invitation to join the North West Leicestershire CPRE meeting on 2nd March. It was agreed that the Parish Council join the CPRE at a reduced subscription of £10.00 (100665)

NWLDC’s Civic Dinner

Urgent to enable reservations to be made at the earliest opportunity.

Members were informed of an invitation to apply for tickets to NWLDC’s Civic Dinner to be held at the Charnwood Arms, Beverage Lane, Bardon on 7th April.

Planning Application 000116 Red Hill Farm

Urgent to enable observations to be made within the prescribed timescale.

That no objection be made to planning application 00016 for the erection of an extension to an agricultural building at Redhill Farm.

7.00 p.m. - 8.15 p.m.
11th February, 2000
Mrs E. Jeffrey