Agenda item

20/01344/FUL - Dengie Project, Knightswood Centre, Steeple Road, Southminster, Essex

To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery (copy enclosed, Members’ Update to be circulated)*.







The DengieProjectTrust Knightswood CentreSteeple Road Southminster



Conversion of2No.  existing buildings (previous use classC2)into11 flatsand 2maisonettesandthe construction of 3 new bungalowsto rear.




BlaineMcMahon -DAPArchitecture







Reason forReferral totheCommittee/ Council

Major Application


At this point Councillors Mrs P A Channer, M W Helm and A L Hull declared a non-pecuniary interest in this item of business as they were acquainted with a member of the Dengie Project Trust.


Following the Officer’s presentation, the Chairman, exercising her discretion as a result of extenuating circumstances, read out a submission from an Objector, Mr Newbury. She then opened the debate to Members.


A lengthy discussion ensued where Members raised concerns particularly around the urbanisation of the countryside, with specific emphasis on the inappropriate design of the proposed conversion, the additional strain this would cause to the local infrastructure and that it was unsustainable given the benefits did not outweigh the harm the development would cause.


Councillor Beale requested that a letter be sent to Essex County Council Highways outlining the Committee’s concerns regarding Steeple Road. This was agreed by assent.


Councillor Stamp said that she would not be supporting the application and proposed that it be refused, contrary to the Officer’s recommendation, for the reasons that it was harmful to the character and appearance of the rural area; encroaching on the countryside; it would increase demands on local infrastructure, it would not be a sustainable development and it was contrary to Policy H4. This was seconded by Councillor Skeens. 


The Lead Specialist Place advised that Officers considered that there was an acceptable level of public services and that the development would not cause demonstrable harm. It was a material consideration that this site could lawfully be used for a residential type of use. There was a significant shortage of housing units and the government encouraged re-use of these types of brownfield sites for residential accommodation.


Further discussion followed regarding developments being proposed without commensurate increases in services. Members felt that whilst development was necessary it should be in appropriate locations and this site already contained an adequate amount of buildings.


The Chairman then moved to a vote on Councillor Stamp’s proposal to refuse the application and Councillor Stamp requested a recorded vote which was duly seconded, the results of which were as follows:-

For the Recommendation to refuse

Councillors M G Bassenger, N Skeens and W Stamp


Against the recommendation to refuse

Councillors B S Beale and M W Helm



Councillors V J Bell, Mrs P A Channer and A L Hull.


RESOLVED that the application be REFUSED for the following reasons.


1.     The development would cause harm to the character and appearance of the rural area within which the site is located as a result of the urbanisation of the countryside location particularly due to the inappropriate design of the converted buildings, contrary to Policies S8, D1 and H4 of the approved Maldon District Local Development Plan and the NPPF.

2.     The occupiers of the proposed residential units would increase the demand for local infrastructure with particular reference to education and GPs, contrary to Policy I1 of the approved Maldon District Local Development Plan.

3.     The proposal does not constitute sustainable development as there would be no benefits which outweighed the harm the development would cause, contrary to Policy S1 of the approved Maldon District Local Development Plan and the NPPF.


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