In the October edition of The Bridge Cllr Derek Cotterill writes about the meeting of the Uplands Planning Committee where the application for planning permission for the extension to the car park in Burford was discussed.
We understand that the committee did not reach a decision on the application and instead the councillors will make a visit to the site before giving the matter more consideration. This has now been fixed for 14 October at 9.30am.
The following is an extract from the draft minutes of the meeting.
Interim Development Manager Abby Fettes introduced the application for the expansion of the Guildenford car park northwards, to accommodate approximately 150 vehicles, to include two new footbridges, one alongside the existing road bridge and the second into the churchyard across the millstream. The report highlighted that this site was located in Cotswolds Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a flood zone. The Interim Development Manager reminded Councillors that this proposal had come before members last year and was refused on technical grounds as it had been felt there were other sites in Burford that could be considered in more detail. The following people addressed the Committee: John White Burford Town Councillor – In support of the application Councillor Derek Cotterill Ward Councillor In support of the application. Councillor Beaney requested clarification because he noted that the Church were supportive of the planning request according to the Ward Councillor, however, Historic England had objected. Who has the rights Historical England or the Church? The Interim Development Manager clarified that Councillor Beaney was referring to ecclesiastical exemption and that this application falls outside of that as its not works to the church. Mrs Fettes concluded her presentation by elaborating on technical issues including the impact on the historical setting, flood risk and biodiversity. Councillor Postan stated that Burford was a gateway to the Cotswolds, attracted many tourists and visitors and therefore felt that the car park was needed. He felt that the alternative to be looked at was too far away and narrow for some people to use effectively. He also felt that the area was currently classed as a recreational area, which he felt went against Council policy. In addition, he advised that flooding issues were usually resolved within 24 hours, but the river could do with silting regularly which would help. Councillor Poston therefore proposed that the planning request be accepted. Councillor Haine asked Councillor Postan to reference a policy reason for the proposal, as it was against the officer’s recommendation, and suggested that it could be beneficial for Councillors to consider a site visit. The Chairman asked for a seconder for Councillor Postan’s proposal, however, no seconder was forthcoming. The Chairman then proposed that the proposal be deferred until after a site visit had occurred and other sites had been fully investigated. This was seconded by Councillor Jackson. The proposal for a site visit was put to the vote and was carried. Councillor Poskitt suggested that the Highways Department needed to comment on the current planning request. Councillor Postan reminded members that the Planning Officer had given three reasons for refusal, and felt that only one of them would be dealt with by a site visit. Additionally, he felt the walking time and speed between car parks and the Church should be taken into account. The Chair noted the request. Councillor Jackson suggested that during the site visit, Councillors could also look at alternative sites. Councillor Haine advised that the site visit be set for 14 October at 09:30am. Councillor Jackson apologised in advance as he was unable to attend. Deferred for a site visit