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Venue: Committee Room 'B' - The Diamond Jubilee Room, County Hall, Preston. View directions
Contact: Samantha Gorton
Apologies for absence
No apologies were received.
County Councillor Cullens replaced County Councillor Kay.
Disclosure of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests
Members are asked to consider any Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests they may have to disclose to the meeting in relation to matters under consideration on the Agenda.
No pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests were disclosed.
The committee are asked to agree that the Minutes of the last meeting held on 6 September 2023 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.
Resolved: That the minutes of the last meeting held on 6 September 2023 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.
The Update Sheet will be considered as part of each related agenda report.
The update sheet was circulated prior to the meeting (copy attached).
Fylde Borough: application number LCC/2022/0065 Proposed Anaerobic Digestion plant fuelled by imported feedstock including digester/gas holder and associated equipment, relocated flare, new earth banking/perimeter landscaping and underground gas export pipeline.
A report was presented on an application for a Proposed Anaerobic Digestion Plant including digester/gas holder and associated equipment, relocated flare, new earth banking/perimeter landscaping and underground gas export pipeline at Stanley Villa Farm, Back Lane, Weeton with Preese.
The report included the views of Fylde Borough Council, Weeton-with-Preese Parish Council, Greenhalgh Parish Council, the Environment Agency, LCC Highways Development Control and the Lead Local Flood Authority. Five representations objecting to the application had been received which were detailed in the Committee report.
Committee's attention was drawn to the Update Sheet which included details of an email from County Councillor Singleton and details of two additional letters from local residents objecting to the application.
The Head of Development Control presented a Powerpoint presentation showing site location plans, an air photograph of Stanley Villa Farm, proposals for the screen mound and digestor vessel, cross sections and landscaping proposals. Also shown were photographs of the view along Back Lane looking towards the site entrance, the view of Back Lane looking east towards the application site and the view of Back Lane looking west towards the site entrance.
Mr Jonathan Johnson, local resident and business owner, addressed the Committee and said the following:
'The papers circulated provide Committee with some additional information that explains the area, as this is missing from the Committee report. One particular issue is so severe, it merits deferment of the application. The extra information with the map on the front shows the location. When the consultation was sent out, the Planning Officer made the assumption that the only issue for consideration was the transport network and screening. Within the documents circulated, it says there's 3,600+ additional uses of HGVs. These aren't silent when either being unloaded or loaded. In the location where we live is a south-westerly prevailing wind which, if you look at the map, blows from the bottom left to the top right hand corner meaning that the people who bear the brunt of this site is my family and our caravan park and, further afield, the residents on Greenhalgh Lane. Greenhalgh Lane is the most densely populated area local to this development and the residents were not notified about it. The reason why people are commenting now is because they found out after the officer's report was published. I told one of my neighbours about the recommendation to approve the application and she didn't know anything about it. Bearing in mind officers haven't contacted them, I ask that this is deferred so neighbours can be contacted. This is the most dangerous application that's ever been put into the area of Greenhalgh as it damages the characteristics of the countryside which has been developed supporting tourism, that are amenities to people in the local area (horseriders, cyclists) and it is not sufficient to say they are not important. The amenities to people when you're developing towns should ensure they still have access to the places that actually contribute to their health ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
West Lancashire Borough: application number LCC/2023/0022 Retrospective application for the change of use of land to site for processing and recycling of inert waste. Former Haulage Yard, Simonswood Industrial Park, Stopgate Lane, Simonswood PDF 182 KB
A report was presented on a retrospective application for the change of use of land to site for processing and recycling of inert waste at the former Haulage Yard, Simonswood Industrial Park, Stopgate Lane, Simonswood.
The report included the views of West Lancashire Borough Council, Knowsley Council, Simonswood Parish Council, the Lead Local Flood Authority, the Environment Agency, LCC Highways Development Control and the Health and Safety Executive. Nine representations objecting to the application had been received including comments from Councillor Rigby (West Lancashire Councillor) and Councillors Brennan, Rowe and Wright (Knowsley Council), which were detailed in the Committee report.
The Head of Development Control presented a Powerpoint presentation showing site location plans and aerial views of the site and the nearest residential properties and photographs of the view from the site entrance and view of the site.
Mr Dale Milburn, Knowsley Council addressed the Committee and said the following:
'I am Knowsley's Executive Director for Regeneration and Economic Development responsible for the council's planning function. Simonswood Industrial Estate is no longer an industrial estate, it is a waste estate. I know you're aware of just how bad the conditions are there, when you visited the site last year. The amount of waste being processed on the site overall is significantly more than your local plan envisaged and there's been a total failure of regulatory authority to the detriment of the local residents. Unfortunately, I don't believe it's a good idea to keep endorsing waste activities on an estate where there are significant problems and evidence that the infrastructure cannot simply cope with what is already there. I firmly believe it's time to draw a line under it rather than continue to make things worse. At my request, officers from Knowsley have engaged with West Lancashire, Lancashire and the Environment Agency to develop an action plan to attempt to tackle the problems on the estate. Sadly, there is no guarantee that this will make anything significantly better or, even if it does, that things won't go backwards in a couple of years. With this in mind, I'll now turn to the application itself, which I do not feel is capable of support and I would respectfully urge you to move an alternative resolution to refuse it, based on the following reasons:
It is contrary to policy WM4; there is no processing building on site, despite the policy expectation on such sites. Why is Simonswood, which is in a terrible state, any different, especially given the irrefutable evidence of dust blown contamination to nearby residential properties. Access to the site is via the worst section of the estate road in terms of its condition and there is absolutely no certainty that that section of road will be improved, despite your officers suggestion to the contrary. There is no information about where the employees or visitors to the site would park. The site itself is insecure with an open boundary to the estate road, allowing material to spill out which it ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Burnley Borough: application number LCC/2023/0024 Demolition of existing building and construction and operation of an embedded waste fuel gasification and combined heat and power generation facility, utilising densified waste derived fuels at Hapton Valley Transfer Station, Hapton Valley Estate, Accrington Road, Burnley
A report was presented on an application for the demolition of the existing building and construction and operation of an embedded waste fuel gasification and combined heat and power generation facility, utilising densified waste derived fuels at Hapton Valley Transfer Station, Hapton Valley Estate, Accrington Road, Burnley.
The report included the views of Burnley Borough Council and their Environmental Health Department, Hapton Parish Council, LCC Lead Local Flood Authority, the Environment Agency, LCC Highways Development Control, the Coal Authority, United Utilities and LCC Ecology Service. Forty representations objecting to the application had been received, which were detailed in the Committee report.
The Principal Planner presented a Powerpoint presentation showing the site location plan and nearest residential properties, aerial view of the application site, proposed site layout diagrams, 3D visual illustration, elevations, and photographs showing access to the A679, site entrance, existing building to be demolished and building B in front of the application site.
Mr Russell Palmieri, a resident of Valley Gardens, addressed the Committee and said the following:
'I have lived there for 16 years and in the last five years have seen a significant change in Envirofuels. The application is for the facility to operate 24 hours per day. Every morning, apart from Sundays and bank holidays, residents are woken up at 5.30am by revving car engines. In May, Lancashire Waste, parent company of Envirofuels, wrote to a selected number of residents consulting on a proposal to have HGV movements on Sundays and bank holidays. This application is pushing the envelopes of the planning system and talks about relieving the pressure – the facility is already working at capacity and when most businesses get to capacity, they consider relocation; that is what this organisation should do as the site is not fit for purpose. I believe Lancashire County Council have a vested interest as they use this facility. I am hoping that Committee make the right decision. I asked the applicant to demonstrate to Committee two fully functional, similar safe systems as others being used in the UK; one in Yorkshire was mentioned in the planning statement, not using the same fuel. This is about heating and creating gas. I am concerned about gas storage. The applicant says it will create two jobs working 9.00am to 5.00pm – if this is Monday to Friday, it means the facility will not have anyone technically competent to look after it in the event of a failure.'
Councillor Jamie McGowan, Burnley Borough Council addressed the Committee and said the following:
'I am speaking on behalf of over 100 residents who are extremely concerned about the potential health risks of this site. This is a very complex planning application which involves Lancashire County Council, the Environment Agency and Burnley Council Environmental Health. I have visited Valley Gardens on numerous occasions and have seen the issues the residents are having with pollution emissions – black dust/char on windowsills and orange deposits on fences. The Environment Agency visited the site last year ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Wyre Borough: application number LCC/2023/0030 The extraction and processing of sand and gravel including the construction of new site access roads, landscaping and screening bunds, minerals washing plant and other associated infrastructure with restoration to leisure end-uses, agricultural land and biodiversity enhancement, using imported inert fill. Land off Bourbles Lane, Preesall PDF 132 KB
A report was presented on an application for the extraction and processing of sand and gravel including the construction of new site access roads, landscaping and screening bunds, minerals washing plant and other associated infrastructure with restoration to leisure end-uses, agricultural land and biodiversity enhancement, using imported inert fill, at land off Bourbles Lane, Preesall.
It was reported that this application had attracted over 500 representations. It was therefore considered that members of the Committee should visit the site and the surrounding area before considering the application.
Resolved: That the Committee visit the site before considering the planning application.
It was reported that, since the last meeting of the Development Control Committee on 6th September 2023, five decisions had been taken on development control matters by the Director of Environment and Planning, in accordance with the County Council’s Scheme of Delegation.
Resolved: That the report be noted.
An item of urgent business may only be considered under this heading where, by reason of special circumstances to be recorded in the Minutes, the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency. Wherever possible, the Chief Executive should be given advance warning of any Member’s intention to raise a matter under this heading.
There were no items of Urgent Business.
Date of Next Meeting
A provisional meeting date has been set for 8 November 2023 at 10.30am in Committee Room B – the Diamond Jubilee Room, County Hall, Preston.
The next scheduled meeting of the Development Control Committee will be held on Wednesday, 6 December 2023 at 10.30am in Committee Room B - the Diamond Jubilee Room, County Hall, Preston.
(i) A provisional meeting date had been set for an Extra-Ordinary Committee on 8 November 2023 at 10.30am in Committee Room B – the Diamond Jubilee Room, County Hall, Preston.
(ii) The next scheduled meeting of the Committee be held on Wednesday, 6 December 2023 at 10.30am in Committee Room B - the Diamond Jubilee Room, County Hall, Preston.