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Agenda Item No.

 

 

VALE OF GLAMORGAN CONSERVATION ADVISORY GROUP

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 9th September, 2010.

 

Present:  Councillor J.C. Bird (Chairman); Councillor H.J.W. James (Vice-Chairman); Mr. P. Jones (Cowbridge Charter Trust), Mr. G. Robertson (Penarth Society), Reverend Professor J.H. Thomas (Bonvilston Civic Trust), Mrs. H. March (Llantwit Major Local History Society), Councillor Mrs. E. Jervis (The Wenvoe History Group) and Councillor A. Williams (Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council).

 

Also present:  Mrs. J. Crofts, Mr. P Thomas and Mr. C. Hope.

 

 

(a)       Apologies for absence -

 

These were received from Mrs. P. Goodwin (Pride in Barry) and Councillor J. Veysey (Llancarfan Community Council).

 

 

(b)       Minutes -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 22nd July, 2010 be agreed.

 

 

(c)        Mr. Nicholas Lloyd -

 

The Chairman informed those present of the impending retirement of Mr. Nicholas Lloyd, Principal Planner. 

 

Members of the Group wished that their appreciation for the advice given by Mr. Lloyd over a period of many years should be placed on record, and that Mr. Lloyd be wished a long and happy retirement. 

 

 

(d)       Conservation Area Management in the Vale of Glamorgan: Review of the Conservation Area Advisory Group (Ref) -

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Cabinet, on 1st September, 2010 received a report which followed on from an earlier report advising of the receipt of a consultant's report into Conservation Area Management in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The report had included a consideration of options for administering the Council's Conservation Area Advisory Group and which made recommendations as to the remit and workings of that Group. 

 

Conservation Area Advisory Groups had been meeting in the Vale of Glamorgan for a period in excess of 30 years.  In June 2007, the Directorate of Environmental and Economic Regeneration reported on the submission of a document entitled 'Valuing Distinctive Places' produced by consultants (The Conservation Studio) on behalf of the Council. 

 

One of the recommendations from the Consultants was to seek to revitalise the role of the Conservation Area Advisory Group and this was the issue which had been the subject matter of the report presented to Cabinet.

 

The Consultants had recommended certain actions to include developing a Forum with a broader remit and membership, seeking greater professional involvement and national representations.  It was also suggested that the work of the Group or Forum would be more policy driven and focus less on the reactive role of responding to planning applications within Conservation Areas. 

 

Cabinet had felt that, whilst the recommendations and suggestions of the Consultants were noted, they were felt to be extremely aspirational especially at a time of budget constraints and conflicting priorities for the delivery of a statutory service within certain timescales.  The desire to increase the involvement of the 'wider community' in land use planning matters, including matters relating to historic environment was an important issue for the Council.  Many of the Council's initiatives already sought to involve the wider community in the planning system, for example:

 

·                    The Council was currently working on a Local Development Plan, a key element of which involved consultation and involvement with all sections of the community on a range of planning and associated issues.

·                    The Council had recently been consulting widely on a series of Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plans which had been progressing successfully outside of the sphere of the current Advisory Group.

·                    The Council facilitated several opportunities for liaison and discussions with Community and Town Councils through the Community Liaison Committee and the Annual Clerks Meeting as well as through consultation on planning applications and key policy documents.

·                    The Planning and Transportation Division had made arrangements to hold a Town and Community Council Forum on planning matters. 

 

Given the above initiatives and commitments, and given the need to consider priorities in the delivery of services across the Council, it had been recommended that a focused Group acting as a consultee on applications impacting upon the Council’s Conservation Areas was the most appropriate way of taking this work forward.  Irrespective of the above, it was still considered appropriate and reasonable to refer relevant policy matters to the Group for consultation purposes. 

 

To this end, it had been considered appropriate to seek a “core membership” by inviting representatives of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Society of Architects in Wales.  It was also suggested that invites be sent to the “six groups” namely,

 

·                    Ancient Monuments Society

·                    The Georgian Group

·                    The Victorian Society

·                    The Council for British Archaeology

·                    The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

·                    The Royal Commission of the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.

 

Other members from Local Interest Groups, Local Historical Societies and Town and Community Councils would be invited to meetings in the event of applications or policy matters being reported that relate to their specific areas and will be in a position to attend and participate in the discussions and vote on items that are relevant to their areas of interest.  The Chairmanship and Vice-Chairmanship of the Group would remain unaltered and the Group would continue to be administered by the Council’s Democratic Services Group.  Meetings would continue to be held monthly.

 

Cabinet had considered a suggested Terms of Reference which dealt with procedural issues regarding attendance and voting rights as well as the nature of applications to be reported to the Group. 

 

Having considered the report, Cabinet

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the content of the report be approved and that the report be referred to Planning Committee for consideration and to the Conservation Area Advisory Group and Community Liaison Committee for information.

 

(2)       T H A T subject to consideration of the views of Planning Committee, the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration and the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation, be authorised to implement the changes to the Conservation Area Advisory Group as outlined in paragraph 10 of the report.

 

(3)       T H A T a review of the effectiveness of the new arrangements be undertaken in 12 months with the findings reported back to Cabinet following the undertaking of that review.

 

(4)       T H A T this matter be reported to Council for approval if required by the Constitution.

 

Members of the Group were offered an opportunity to speak on the decision of Cabinet, and the following comments were received:

 

-                      Clearly the proposals replace a group of dedicated enthusiasts with a core of professionals.  We have detailed knowledge of the areas in which we live and the proposed core group would be unlikely to have this knowledge. 

-                      Whilst not doubting their abilities, the point was made that the proposed core group of architects and planners did represent vested interests. 

-                      There could be conflicts of interest, and a Register of Interests would need to be maintained.

-                      The other “Groups” who would be invited were national bodies - although their general knowledge was quite general, they did not have the local knowledge that was required to form an opinion.

-                      Groups such as ourselves would have to apply to be members - why can’t we be made automatic members?

-                      Why was it assumed that the new membership would do any better than the previous membership?

-                      The old membership of the Group contained no architects and the position from the Victorian Society was still vacant.  Why should things be any better after this Review?

-                      Mr. Cameron, the Prime Minister, speaks of the “Big Society”, yet the proposed membership of the Group would exclude “normal” people.

-                      If we were to be invited on an “as and when” basis, I doubt that we would want to be involved.

-                      Why was there no comment in the report of the Consultants on the effectiveness of the existing Group?

-                      The Consultants’ report spoke of more specialised advice being given at meetings, and this was laudable.  However, it seemed that the Council did not want to broaden the ability of the Group, but wanted to reduce the numbers of individuals sitting on the Group.

-                      If the newly constituted Group was dominated by “professional bodies” then there would be little local interest.

-                      The “professional representatives” who were members of the existing Group did not regularly attend meetings.

-                      The proposals were a retrograde step and it would be a pity to go ahead with them.

-                      Local knowledge was pre-eminent.

-                      I am sceptical about the value of bringing in professionals in view of their poor attendance.

-                      The Conservation Group had done very well over the years.

-                      The proposals suggested compacting the Group.  This was a retrograde step, and the membership of the Group should be expanding.

 

The following points were made in response:

 

-                      The proposed Core Group would comprise more than just representatives of professional bodies.

-                      It was accepted that the representatives of Architects and the RTPI did not regularly attend the Conservation Group.

-                      At present, the representatives of the Town and Community Councils could only speak on applications in their areas whereas the other members of the Group could speak on any application.  The new proposals sought to give an equality to both groups of representatives.

-                      Should a conflict of interest arise, there would be a register maintained for such purposes, as was the case at present.

-                      The proposals represented a more concentrated Group.

-                      No one decried the contribution made by the members of the Conservation Group.

-                      Town and Community Councils and local organisations would have equal representation under the proposals.

-                      The status quo would not be helpful to members of the Town and Community Councils.

-                      The Core Group would comprise more than representatives of professional organisations. 

-                      The Conservation Advisory Group had been involved in the review in the past. 

-                      Only discussions on policy matters would be open to all members, whereas the day to day Conservation applications would be dealt with by the smaller Group.

 

The Chairman stated that the resolution of Cabinet would be reported to the Planning Committee on 30th September 2010 for consideration and that if any member of the Conservation Advisory Group wished, they could express their feelings on the decision of the Cabinet in writing to the Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation (Councillor H.J.W. James) by 23rd September 2010 at the latest, following which the comments would be reported to the Planning Committee at the same time as the minute of today’s meeting. 

 

(Note for Members of the Planning Committee, 30th September, 2010: Copy of letter received from Professor R.J. Buswell attached to these minutes.)

 

 

(e)       Information Feedback -

 

No information feedback was reported.

 

 

(f)         Applications in Conservation Areas -

 

(i)         2010/00849/FUL      Received on 10 August 2010

 

Simon Parton and Nicola David, 2 Stradling Close, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, CF71 7BX

SP West, Sophia House, 28 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9LJ

 

20 High Street, Cowbridge

 

Demolition of existing stable block and toilet block.  Construction of two storey extension to rear and alterations to existing listed building.  Change of use to A1 Retail and Residential.

 

RECOMMENDED - REFUSAL.  It was felt that whilst the principle of the proposed change of use of the building was acceptable, the scale of the proposal at the rear of the building was overscaled in a backland area, and also that the design of the development was disappointing and should seek to retain frontage details.

 

 

(ii)        2010/00788/FUL      Received on 29 July 2010

 

Mr. Alex. Easton, Church House, 11 Highwalls Road, Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 4AG

S.P. West, Sophia House, 28 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9LJ

 

Church House, 11 Highwalls Road, Dinas Powys

 

Demolishing an existing add on building and associated outbuildings and create a new two storey extension to Highwalls Road.  To the rear a new conservatory and porch to be added to existing building.

 

RECOMMENDED - REFUSAL, given the mass and “jumbled” design of proposal which neither complemented nor enhanced the Conservation Area.

 

 

(iii)       2010/00828/FUL      Received on 5 August 2010

 

Mr. & Mrs. Howard Kynaston, Baytree House, Llanbethery, Vale of Glamorgan

Andrew Parker Architect, The Great Barn, Lillypot, Bonvilston, Vale of Glamorgan, CF5 6TR

 

The Chairman read the contents of an e-mail received from Community Councillor Veysey:

 

“I refer to Item 7 on the Agenda (Baytree House, Llanbethery).  I am unable to attend the meeting but I can inform you that the local Community Councillor who resides in this small village has not received any adverse comments about the proposal.  Clearly she is unable to comment upon the technical conservation aspects.”

 

Baytree House, Llanbethery

 

Proposed extension to existing garage and proposed part first floor extension to form 'granny annexe'.

 

RECOMMENDED - REFUSAL, given that the proposal represented an overscaled overdevelopment of the site, and would not preserve or enhance the Conservation Area.

 

 

(iv)       2010/00393/FUL      Received on 19 April 2010

 

Mrs. Anna Roper, Brynheulog, Llangan, Vale of Glamorgan, CF35 5DW

Mr. Marcus Hagley, The Old Malthouse, Trerhyngyll, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, CF71 7TN

 

Brynheulog, Llangan

 

Alteration and extension of existing building.

 

RECOMMENDED - APPROVAL.

 

 

(v)        2010/00704/FUL      Received on 7 July 2010

 

Mr. Matthew Turner, Harkacher Strasse, 40 Berg-Harkarchen, Munich, Bavaria, A2335

1010 Architects, Mr. T. Asprou, Studio 1, The Coach House, Stanwell Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 3EU

 

Quince Cottage, Llysworney, Cowbridge

 

Two storey and single storey extensions, including internal alterations and external detached carport.

 

RECOMMENDED - APPROVAL - Subject to further negotiation being undertaken between officers and the Applicant to try to reduce the length and massing and improve the design of the rear of the property.

 

 

(vi)       2010/00844/FUL      Received on 10 August 2010

 

Mr. Jason Rees, 26 Hardwicke Court, Llandaff, Cardiff, CF5 2LB

Mr. Simon Kennedy, Duffryn Mawr Farmhouse, Pontsarn Lane, Pendoylan, Vale of Glamorgan, CF71 7UP

 

Keepers House, Church Street, Llysworney

 

Proposed extension and refurbishment of existing dwelling.

 

RECOMMENDED - REFUSAL, on the grounds that the overbearing design and poor design would impact adversely on the character of the Conservation Area.