Councillor Gary White spoke on this application.
The Council’s Senior Planning Officer, Nick Bromley referred Members to
Section 6 of the report which covered the planning obligations and financial viability. Section 6.3 set out information received from an independent financial advisor and Butters John Bee had confirmed that the scheme could only financially support the £83,110. The distribution of that amount was for debating by this Committee. Officers had recommended that the money go to secondary education places to mitigate the impact of the development.
Councillor Holland stated that, at Outline stage the Committee had determined that in order for the development to be acceptable, it should include the £5,579 per dwelling towards the maintenance of open land facilities. He did not see that that had changed as the Council was not allowed to secure S.106 agreements where they were not necessary. Councillor Holland stated that, if the lack of that made the scheme unviable, it should not be approved.
Councillor Northcott suggested that the developer go back and review the figures and submit a scheme that was viable and met with the contribution requirements that were in place.
The Chair stated that the debate had focussed on the reduction in the S.106
Contribution and nothing had been discussed regarding recommendation C relating to the actual development. The Committee had shown a dislike to recommendations A and B. The Chair asked, if recommendations A and B were rejected, where would recommendation C stand. The Council’s Head of Planning and Development, Shawn Fleet advised that all three recommendations were linked, so if Members were unhappy with the amount of the contribution and its being targeted towards the school, the whole scheme would fall.
The Chair stated there were two debates. One was that the Committee felt that the independent valuer had not done the work sufficiently well and were looking at a revision of the figure. However, if it was felt that the independent valuer had correctly assessed the situation, it was within the power of this Committee to divide the money up in different ways.
A motion was put forward by Councillor John Williams to defer the application to allow the developer to come back with a more acceptable proposal in respect of the S.106 contribution. This was seconded by Councillor Reddish.
Councillor Mark Holland put forward a motion of refusal stating that the developer needed to come back with a viable scheme. This was seconded by Councillor Northcott.
Summing up, the Chair, stated that a vote would be taken on deferral and then the formulation of Councillor Holland’s motion for refusal on the grounds that the monies proposed were not sufficient to mitigate the impact of the development on the local community.
Shawn Fleet stated that if the application was deferred, officers would go back to the applicant to discuss the S.106.
Votes were taken on both proposals but the vote for deferral fell.
Resolved: (i) That the discharge of S106 be not agreed
(ii) That the variation of S106 agreement as set out in the supplementary report be not approved.
(iii) That the Reserved Matters application be refused for the following reason:
The level of Section 106 Obligations is not policy compliant and therefore not sufficient to mitigate the impact of the proposed development, as set out in the reserved matters application, on the local community. The proposed development would therefore be contrary to Policies CSP5 and CSP10 of the Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent Core Spatial Strategy 2006-2026, saved Policy of the Newcastle-under-Lyme Local Plan 2011, the Council’s Open Space Strategy, Staffordshire Education Infrastructure Contributions Policy and the aims and objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.