Agenda item

21/00693/OUT - Golf Driving Range, Burnham Road, Woodham Mortimer

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



Application Number



Golf Driving Range Burnham Road Woodham Mortimer


Outline planning permission with the matter of access for consideration is sought for the demolition of the building and replacement of the driving range and pitch & putt with up to 25 new one and two bedroom single storey dwellings and public open space with an equipped play area.


Joshua Charles Ltd


Ian Robottom

Target Decision Date


Case Officer

Hannah Bowles



Reason for Referral to the Committee / Council

Major Application

Member Call In from Councillor M F L Durham, the reason for this call in is that this is a major application of significance to the area.


Prior to the presentation it was verbally reported that subsequent to the circulation of the Members’ Update the applicant had requested that their application be deferred to the next North Western area planning meeting, however the Officer stated that it was considered reasonable for the determination of the application to proceed as there had been no considerations brought to the Officers attention, or any considerations that would materially affect the report being considered.  Following the Officer’s presentation, the Chairman opened the debate.


At this point the Lead Specialist: Development Management confirmed that the application under consideration was not a brownfield site.


Councillor Siddall raised concerns about the density of the development, the absence of a completed Section 106 agreement or any contributions and the fact that there was no affordable housing allocated. The Officer advised that the applicant had indicated a willingness to provide affordable units but in the absence of a legal agreement the committee deemed that not good enough.


Councillor Siddall then proposed that the application be refused in accordance with the Officer’s recommendation. This was duly seconded by Councillor Keyes.


The Chairman put Councillor Siddall’s proposal to the Committee and upon a vote

being taken it was agreed.


RESOLVED that the application be REFUSED for the following reasons:


1.       The application site is in an unsustainable and rural location and remote from

essential support facilities and community services; is inaccessible by a range of

transport modes and is located where the need to travel would be maximised and the use of sustainable transport modes would be minimised and would therefore represent an unsustainable form of development, failing in relation to the social strand of sustainability. Therefore, the proposal conflicts with the National Planning Policy Framework's "presumption of sustainable development" and policies S1, S8 and T2 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan.

2.       The proposed development would fundamentally alter the open character of the

south western edge of the village. The provision of twenty-five unjustified

residential dwellings on this site currently used as golf driving range / pitch and

putt would fail to provide visual enhancement to the wider rural locality,

representing the encroachment of built form into the rural site and sprawl of

development into the countryside. The layout of the access road is in stark

contrast to the existing development within Woodham Mortimer and is considered

to contribute to the harm of the proposal. Therefore, the proposal fails on the

environmental stand of sustainability, in conflict the National Planning Policy

Framework's "presumption of sustainable development" and policies S1, S8, D1,

and H4 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan and guidance contained

within the National Planning Policy Framework.

3.       The proposed residential development would result in the unjustified loss of an

employment use, community facility, tourism facility and sports and leisure facility.

It has not been satisfactorily justified or evidenced that the sites present use

significantly harms the character and amenity of the area, the proposed use

would be a greater benefit to the community, or that the site has been marketed

for sale or rent and that there is a confirmed lack of interest. Further, it has not

been demonstrated that the existing use is no longer viable, that there will be no

significant loss of tourism facilities or that the land is surplus to requirements to

meet local need or that alternative provision in the locality can meet the needs.

Therefore, the proposal conflicts with policies E1, E3, E5 and N3 of the Maldon

District Local Development Plan and guidance contained within the National

Planning Policy Framework.

4.       In the absence of a completed legal agreement pursuant to Section 106 of the

Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the development makes no contribution for affordable housing to meet the identified need in the locality, the necessary

financial contribution towards Essex Coast Recreational Disturbance Avoidance

and Mitigation Strategy and NHS services, the management and maintenance of

the public open space and would fail to secure the provision of residential travel

packs for sustainable modes of transport, required for the future occupiers of the

site contrary to Policies S1, D1, H1 and I1 of the Maldon District Local

Development Plan and Government advice contained within the National

Planning Policy Framework.

Supporting documents: