Agenda item

20/00157/FUL Land East of Bradwell Power Station, Downhall Beach, Bradwell-on-Sea

Following consideration of legal advice (at Agenda Item 6) to determine the above application.  Please see report of the Director of Service Delivery (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

Application Number

20/00157/FUL

Location

Land East of Bradwell Power Station, Downhall Beach, Bradwell-on-Sea

Proposal

Application to carry out ground investigations, load test and associated works in connection with a proposed new Nuclear Power Station at Bradwell-on-Sea, together with the creation of two site compound areas and associated parking areas.

Applicant

Bradwell Power Generation Company Limited

Agent

N/A

Target Decision Date

EOT: 17/07/2020

Case Officer

Devan Hearnah

Parish

BRADWELL-ON-SEA

Reason for Referral to the Committee / Council

Not Delegated to Officers

Major Application

 

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery, having regard to the legal advice provided at Agenda Item 6.  It was noted that the report and Members’ Update considered by the District Planning Committee at its meeting on 9 July 2020 were attached as Appendices 1 and 2.

 

Following some discussion Councillor K M H Lagan proposed that the application be refused, contrary to the Officers’ recommendation.  In presenting his proposal Councillor Lagan raised a number of points of concern, some of which he related specifically to the suggested conditions set out in the Officers’ report.  This proposal was duly seconded.

 

A lengthy debate ensued, and a number of other Members raised further concerns.  At this point and in light of the motion for refusal the Committee discussed reasons for refusal.

 

In response to a question regarding deferring the decision pending expert advice, the Lead Specialist Place advised hat Members could defer a planning application to seek more information, although what that information was would need to be detailed.  The Officer reminded the Committee that this application had already been granted an extension of time by the applicant which ended today, and Members should legally make a decision today.  Should Members not make a decision then the applicant could make an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate for non-determination of the application.

 

After further discussion, Councillor Lagan clarified his earlier proposal advising that the reasons for refusal should relate to noise and disturbance on ecology matters, historical environment relating to archaeology and heritage assets and that the Council based on the legal advice received should seek and appoint technical experts in these areas to ensure every area was covered. 

 

In response to a question regarding the procedure Members were advised that they needed to consider the first motion which had been seconded, although this could be amended, prior to considering any other proposals.

 

The Specialist – Development Management provided the Committee with further information in response to concerns raised which included:

 

·                 The Adopted LDP and NPPF were taken into consideration by Officers along with the temporary nature of the works and mitigating actions proposed to minimise concern;

 

·                 Conditions were proposed to mitigate concerns regarding contamination, dust, ecology etc.

 

·                 The fencing proposed around the compound area was for security;

 

·                 The noise assessment had not found that the noise would be harmful to those in the surrounding area;

 

·                 Following consultation with Environmental Health and other consultees it was felt that as the hours of operation proposed were not at one time it was considered there would not be harm resulting.

 

·                 Noise barriers were proposed around each bore hole whilst it was being worked on;

 

·                 Drilling fluids from the bore holes etc. would be taken away and not allowed to drain onto the land;

 

Members were also reminded at this point that the application was not for a new nuclear power station at Bradwell and the application in front of them had to be determined as presented and therefore Members were unable to alter the number of bore holes etc.

 

The Committee then discussed the reasons for refusal and referred back to the two reasons for refusal agreed when this application was last considered by the Committee.  Following detailed discussions Councillor Lagan amended his earlier proposition, that the application be refused for the following reasons and this was duly seconded:

 

1.               The proposed development would detrimentally impact upon the historic environment, namely as a result of the proximity of the works to the WWII Aerodrome remains (Watch Office / Control Tower, Station Headquarters Building, Blister Hangers, Runway remains and Perimeter track) which are an important asset to our local heritage and of National importance which are non-designated heritage assets.  The development is considered to overwhelm the setting of these buildings by way of interrupting the flat, open landscape they sit within. Furthermore, the site plays an important role in terms of archaeology and the extensive ground works will result in the potential irreversible disturbance of important archaeological assets.  As such the proposal would be contrary to the requirements policies S1, D1 and D3 of the Maldon District local Development Plan and paragraph 179 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

 

2.               Inadequate information has been submitted to demonstrate that the proposal would not result in negative impacts on important ecological assets including protected species, resulting from noise, vibration and disturbance. The proposal would therefore be contrary to Policies S1, S8, D1 and N2 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan and the guidance contained within The National Planning Policy Framework.

 

Upon a vote being taken this was duly agreed.

 

RESOLVED that this application be REFUSED for the following reasons:

1.               The proposed development would detrimentally impact upon the historic environment, namely as a result of the proximity of the works to the WWII Aerodrome remains (Watch Office / Control Tower, Station Headquarters Building, Hangers, Runway remains and Perimeter track) which are an important asset to our local heritage and of National importance. The development is considered to overwhelm the setting of these buildings by way of interrupting the flat, open landscape they sit within. Furthermore, the site plays an important role in terms of archaeology and the extensive ground works will result in the potential irreversible disturbance of important archaeological assets. As such the proposal would be contrary to the requirements policies S1, D1 and D3 of the Maldon District local Development Plan and paragraph 179 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

2.               Inadequate information has been submitted to demonstrate that the proposal would not result in negative impacts on important ecological assets including protected species, resulting from noise, vibration and disturbance. The proposal would therefore be contrary to Policies S1, S8, D1 and N2 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan and the guidance contained within The National Planning Policy Framework.

 

Councillor R G Boyce left the meeting during this item of business and did not return.

Supporting documents: