Agenda item

FUL/MAL/18/01475 - Clarks Farm, Wash Lane, Little Totham

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed, Members’ Update to be circulated)*.



Application Number



Clarks Farm Wash Lane Little Totham


Change of use from Sui Generis to a two bedroom residential dwelling (Class C3)


Mr S Cobb


Raymond Stemp Associates

Target Decision Date

27.02.2019 EOT 05.03.2019

Case Officer

Hannah Bowles, Tel: 01621 875730



Reason for Referral to the Committee / Council

Member Call In by: Councillor D Sismey

Reason: Public interest


Following the Officer’s presentation Councillor Robert Long, MBE, a Supporter (not as a representative of the Little Totham Parish Council), and Mr Steve Cobb, the Applicant, addressed the Committee.


Councillor D M Sismey questioned whether S1 and S8 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan (MDLDP) were applicable to the application due to the property not being a new build.  The Group Manager for Planning Service advised the Committee that S8 related to all developments and not exclusively new builds.


In response to Members’ questions the Planning Officer confirmed that the application was brought to Committee following the provision of further information on veterinarian employment at the site.


A further discussion ensued with Members raising concerns over how the application would impact use at the rest of the site, and whether E1 of the MDLDP would be applicable as there was a need for agricultural businesses within the district. 


It was noted that section 5.1.5 of the report should read 1.3 miles from Tolleshunt Major and not Tolleshunt Knights.  Members sympathised with the personal circumstances of the Applicant, and advised that they were not able to consider this as part of the planning application.


The Committee further discussed the use of the site, and whether approval of the application would inhibit use of the remainder of the site, including the closure of kennels and access were business use to continue.  Following Members enquiring into the history of the site, the Group Manager for Planning Service advised that in 2008 an application FUL/MAL/08/00569 was made for the demolition of the existing building and erection of a medical centre for greyhounds kennelled on the site. 


The Chairman queried whether Councillor D M Sismey wished to propose the motion of approving the application for the reason of S1 and S8 of the MDLDP not being applicable.  As this was not proposed the Chairman then put the Officer’s recommendation of refusal to the Committee and upon a vote being taken this was duly carried.


RESOLVED that the application be REFUSED for the following reasons:



1          Policies S1 and S8 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan seek to provide control over new buildings in rural areas that are beyond defined settlement boundaries, to ensure that new residential developments are directed to appropriate and sustainable locations and that the countryside is protected for its landscape value as well as its intrinsic character and beauty. The application site is in a rural location outside of the defined settlement boundary for Little Totham where policies of restraint apply. The Council can demonstrate a five year housing land supply to accord with the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework. The site has not been identified by the Council for development to meet future needs for the District and does not fall within either a Garden Suburb or Strategic Allocation for growth identified within the Local Development Plan to meet the objectively assessed needs for housing in the District. The development of this site does not therefore constitute sustainable development. In addition, the proposed development, as a result of the conversion and domestic paraphernalia, would be an unwelcome visual intrusion resulting in an urbanisation of the site to the detriment of the character and appearance of the rural area. As such, the proposal would be contrary to policies D1, S1, S2, S8, H4 and N2 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan and Government guidance contained in The National Planning Policy Framework.


2          Policy E1 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan requires the Applicant to demonstrate that the existing buildings cannot be used for an alternative employment use. The Applicant has provided insufficient information to support an exceptional grant of permission and has failed to demonstrate that every effort has been made to secure an appropriate employment use of the building other than converting it into residential use. Therefore, it is considered that the loss of the veterinary medical facility building, a Sui Generis Use, would not make a positive contribution to the rural economy, contrary to the aforementioned policies and the Government advice contained in the National Planning Policy Framework.





Supporting documents: