A special meeting of Ryedale Planning Committee last night approved a planning application Prism Planning submitted to improve the efficiency of the Anaerobic Digestion plant under construction at Sand Hutton to enable it to inject additional biogas into the local network. There was strong local interest in the application, following the recent successful appeal submitted by Prism and this resulted in a special meeting being convened, solely to consider this proposal.
Following the initial appeal, technical work carried out with the network operator established a greater capacity in the local gas network than previously established. The approved plant would be able to bridge the gap with only a modest increase in the feedstock going in.
By a majority vote, the committee accepted the officer’s recommendation to support the scheme, despite concerns being expressed by some local residents. The application we presented clearly put forward the argument that our client was entitled to grow the extra crop on the farm and that there would be no increase in smell or noises as a result of the proposal. The crop would not need to go onto the local highway network so there were no traffic implications.
It’s slightly bizarre that some local residents remained implacably opposed to the idea of generating renewable energy on their doorstep and some very misleading allegations about the possible impacts of the development were put forward in an effort to try to mislead the planning committee. Fortunately, the submission we had put forward clearly highlighted the proper planning considerations and the planning committee, after due deliberation, gave consent for the amendment.
We recently attended Durham County Council’s Planning Committee (Central & East) to speak on behalf of a client in support of his application for a single house on a former allotment plot in Easington Colliery.
The application was recommended for approval and our client had been offered the opportunity of speaking at the meeting. Due to other commitments our client was unable to attend the meeting and his architectural designer, who had prepared and submitted the application, was hesitant about speaking at the meeting.
Our advice was sought; should our client be represented at the meeting and if so could we attend the meeting and speak in support of the application. We advised that it is always best that someone speaks in support of an application, even when the officer recommendation is for approval, otherwise you run the risk of objectors speaking and without the applicant being represented the Committee may show favour to the objectors and refuse the application against officer recommendation.
As it turned out the advice we gave our client was opportune as the application reported before ours also referred to a site in Easington Lane, was highly controversial and a lot of local residents attended the meeting at County Hall and one of their local Councillors (not a Planning Committee Member) spoke on their behalf and spoke very well. The same Councillor then spoke against our application. We then had the opportunity to speak in support of the proposal and the officer recommendation. Thankfully, when taken to the vote a majority of the Committee voted to approve the application and our client obtained the planning permission he sought. Would the same have happened had we not spoken in support of the proposal? We’ll never know but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you have a planning application about to go before Planning Committee and would like to seek advice we’re only a phone call or an e-mail away.
Prism had a busy day speaking at the regions planning committees last week, starting the morning at Hartlepool where they were successful in getting permission for 39 executive dwellings on a greenfield site as phase 1 of the High Tunstall development. It is hoped that later phases will go on to deliver around 1,000 homes for the town over the next 20 years or so once new access points on to the A19 have been resolved as strategic issues. Prism have a planning application lodged to help with this process so this was an important and useful start of the project which also saw a car park being provided to the local primary school to alleviate congestion, paid for by the developer.
A frantic lunch stop then saw us racing off to the planning committee at Stockton where a speech was made that led to consent being granted for a brownfield scheme of 9 new dwellings, (4 houses and 5 flats) on the site of a former public house at Yarm. Extensive negotiations on design and vehicle turning movements had taken place to get to an amended scheme that the LPA were happy with.
A busy day for all concerned but a very successful one for Prism and our clients.