Further details relating to the application were included in the Supplementary Report.
The Planning Manager (Development Control) presented the report which gave details of the application and highlighted the location and features of the site and key issues.
Councillors Dexter Bullock, Mary Dooley and Andrew Joesbury attended the meeting and spoke in support of the application.
Matthew Williams of Williams Gallagher, representing the owners of Idlewells shopping centre and many other smaller business in the nearby towns, attended the meeting and spoke against the application.
The agent on behalf of the applicant attended the meeting and spoke in support of the application.
Committee considered the application having regard to the Bolsover District Local Plan, the emerging Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.
Members considered the identified conflict with the adopted Local Plan was diminished by the site allocation in the new Local Plan, which meant that the Council had already accepted the principle of development on this land through the plan making process.
An objection based on the site being outside of the settlement framework as defined by the adopted Local Plan would be unsustainable if any weight were to be attached to the new Local Plan.
Taking into account the status of the new Local Plan having been through examination in public and modifications, Members gave the new Local Plan significant weight and considered that the proposal would conflict with the allocation of this site for B1 and B2 uses in the new Local Plan.
However, Members were aware of additional but unallocated employment land coming forward in the local area and considered this would offset the loss of employment land in this particular location. This would also ensure the loss of this employment land would not compromise land availability for employment uses over the plan period across the District.
Members were also aware of proposals to locate employment buildings on the rear part of the site allocation which also provided some mitigation for the loss of part of this land for B2 and B8 uses.
In considering the relevant merits of local employment opportunities provided by the proposals (primarily retail and service industry) and by the site allocation (primarily industry and logistics), Members considered that they were of equal value and were mindful the Council’s Economic Development Team had advised the Council currently has no evidence to prioritise one sector over the over.
Members were also especially mindful of the fact that the Council’s independent and impartial consultants had advised that both the sequential tests and retail impact tests had been passed and the advice offered on the retail impact assessment was confirmed to be correct with reference to the changed situation in Sutton in Ashfield as reported by objectors to the proposals.
With this in mind, Members acknowledged that the proposals would have adverse impacts on Mansfield and Sutton town centres and that these impacts were of grave concern to many objecting to the proposals but were satisfied the impacts of the proposals would not amount to a significant adverse impact on any town centre likely to be affected by these proposals.
Finally, Members weighed the benefits of granting planning permission against the adverse impacts of the scheme with regard to the diminished weight they placed on the relevant reasons for refusal listed in the officer report. Significant weight was placed on the benefits to the local area and local economy, including the local economies of the neighbouring authorities, of approving a development that would create more jobs than B2 and B8 uses on this site.
In reaching this conclusion, Members also took into account the jobs created by the development proposals would come forward more quickly than could be achieved by relying on the site allocation. While there was more certainty on delivery of the development proposals, there was no immediate likelihood B2 and B8 uses would come forward if this application were to have been refused in accordance with the officer recommendation.
Taking all the above factors into account, and on the individual planning merits of this case, Members concluded that the benefits of granting planning permission demonstrably and significantly offset and outweighed the adverse impacts of doing so subject to the conditions suggested by the applicant to place suitable controls on the retails proposals.
Accordingly, it was moved and seconded that the application be approved subject to conditions and that delegated authority be granted to the Planning Manager to refer these proposals to the Secretary of State and to impose appropriate planning conditions based on the applicant’s suggested conditions, conditions recommended by statutory consultees and standard conditions relating to time limits, approved plans etc. on the permission to be granted for this development if the application is not called in.
Moved by Councillor Steve Fritchley and seconded by Councillor Duncan McGregor
RESOLVED that application 18/00470/FUL be approved, contrary to officer recommendation for the grounds set out above, and that authority be delegated to the Planning Manager (Development Control) to refer the proposal to the Secretary of State and to impose appropriate planning conditions based on the applicant’s suggested conditions, conditions recommended by statutory consultees and standard conditions relating to time limits, approved plans etc. on the permission to be granted for this development if the application is not called in.