Agenda item

21/00193/FULM - Land Adjacent Cliffords Farm, Burnham Road, Althorne, Essex

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



Application Number



Land Adjacent Cliffords Farm, Burnham Road, Althorne, Essex


Erect 13No. dwellings comprising 8No. one and two-bedroom affordable apartments in 2 x two-storey buildings, and 5No. 4/5 bedroom two-storey detached houses with garages, form three new vehicular accesses onto Burnham Road, private drives, vehicle parking and manoeuvring areas and gardens, and lay out hard and soft landscaping


Mrs Georgina McHugh


Mr Stewart Rowe - The Planning And Design Bureau Ltd

Target Decision Date


Case Officer

Louise Staplehurst



Reason for Referral to the Committee / Council

Major Application



A Members’ Update had been circulated prior to the meeting that noted Essex County Council’s Highways Authority (ECC) had no objections and four of their recommended conditions would be imposed. It also detailed further consultations and representations received and noted that the Lead Local Flood Authority now considered the proposalto be acceptable in terms ofdrainage. It had recommendedfour conditionswhich were considered to meet the sixtests which will be imposed.


Following the Officer’s presentation an Objector, Mr Paul Burgess, a representative from Althorne Parish Council, Councillor Terry Inkpen and the Agent, Stewart Rowe, addressed the Committee. At this point both Councillor Mrs P A Channer and MW Helm declared a non-pecuniary interest as trustees of a local Alms-house.


The Chairman then called on Councillor Morris to speak. In response to a point of order it was clarified that Councillor Morris had approached the Chairman in advance of the meeting requesting to speak and she had used her discretion as Chairman to allow him to speak as an ‘in attendance’ member (Rule 19).  Given Councillor Morris’s opening remarks Councillor Channer said she wished it recorded in the minutes that she found his comments totally offensive and unacceptable.


The Chairman then invoked the Chairman protocol for managing member behaviour in meetings and the business of the meeting resumed with a debate on the proposal.


Councillor Boyce commenced by saying that the application had no merit and was not suitable for affordable housing due to the unsustainable location, the lack of public transport and the historic sewer surcharge issues. Councillor Bassenger concurred with this and raised further concerns regarding the adverse impact on the character of the area, poor design, the unsustainable location, lack of economic benefit and the low impact a small development of this nature would have on the Five Year Housing Land Supply (5YHLS). He proposed that the application be refused.


The Lead Specialist Place then addressed the reasons for refusal and advised the Committee which reasons were tenable, reminding Members that the decision was within their gift. Councillor Bassenger revised his reasons for refusal to:- the adverse impact on the character of the area; poor design and the unstainable location. This was seconded by Councillor Stamp.


Further debate took place around the need to provide affordable housing for young people in the area, the adverse impact of the development, no amenities, no public transport links and the potential to set a dangerous precedent if allowed.


There being no further debate the Chairman put the proposal to refuse the application  to the Committee. In accordance with Procedure RuleNo.13 (3) Councillor Channer requested a recorded vote, duly seconded by Councillor Bassenger. The results were as follows:-


For the proposal to Refuse

Councillors M G Bassenger, B S Beale, V J Bell, R G Boyce, Mrs  P A Channer and W Stamp.


Against the proposal to Refuse

Councillor A S Fluker and A L Hull.



Councillors R P F Dewick and M W Helm.


RESOLVED that the application be REFUSED for the reasons as outlined above and below:


1.     The proposed development is considered to have a harmful impact on the character and appearance of the area. This is exacerbated by the design of the development. The proposal is therefore, contrary to policies S1, S8, D1 and H4 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan and the guidance contained within the National Planning Policy Framework.

2.     The site would be disconnected from services and facilities and by reason of its location, it would provide poor quality and limited access to public transportation, resulting in an increased need of private vehicle ownership. The development would therefore be unsustainable and contrary to policies S1, S8, T1 and T2 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan and the guidance contained within the National Planning Policy Framework.

3.     In the absence of a completed legal agreement pursuant to Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, securing a necessary financial contribution towards Essex Coast Recreational disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy, affordable housing, a footpath to the front of the site and an Impact Assessment and Conservation Payment Certificate document in relation to the District Level Licensing Scheme for Great Crested Newts, the development would not mitigate the harm arising from the development, contrary to Policies S1, and I1 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan and the guidance contained within the National Planning Policy Framework.



Councillor R P F Dewick left the Chamber at this point.

Supporting documents: