Agenda item

Application No: 20/0003/GLMAJW Site: Allstones Sand & Gravel Centre, land off Myers Road, Gloucester GL1 3QD

The Committee is asked to consider the proposal in relation to the variation of Conditions. 

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services facilitated the meeting and advised the Committee and registered speakers of the procedure which would be undertaken during the course of the virtual meeting.  For the benefit of the public watching via the live YouTube link the following Officers were introduced: Linda Townsend: Senior Planning Officer for the current application, Nick Bainton: Senior Planning Officer, Denis Canney:  Senior Planning Officer, Sarah Pearse: Principal Planning Officer, Kevin Phillips: Planning Development Team Manager, Simon Excell: Lead Commissioner, Carrie Denness: Principal Lawyer and Martin Evans: Solicitor.  

 

The facilitator introduced the following Technical Advisors: Nick Rowson: Atkins, Gary Kennison: County Ecologist, Stephen Hawley and Matthew Prince: Highways Development Management, Adam Lawrence, Atkins.   

 

A summary of the application was presented by Linda Townsend, Senior Planning Officer aided by a PowerPoint presentation. 

 

It was explained that a planning application has been made under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 seeking to vary 6 planning conditions on the current planning permission 07/0081/GLMAJW which controls how the site should operate as a waste transfer station.  The proposal arose out of the changes the applicant had already made to the operational aspects of the business in order to improve efficiency of waste recovery and reduce manual handling.

 

The application site had approval to accept up to 75,000 tonnes of waste a year of household, commercial and industrial wastes such as soil, wood, plastic, ferrous and non ferrous metal waste which was sorted by type, bulked up on site and then transported for reprocessing elsewhere or landfilling of residual waste.  No change was proposed to the amount or to the type of wastes accepted on the site.  

 

The Case Officer reported that following the public consultation on the proposals, six objections had been received from local residents to which the local County Councillor had raised his own concerns.  The issues raised in these objections related primarily to the loss of amenity, particularly from noise and dust from waste operations as well as impact on the highway.  There were no objections from the statutory consultees.  The Case Officer referred to a late representation received from one of the objectors, it was noted that this had been circulated along with the Officers response to Members prior to the Committee meeting.  The officer asked if the item could be taken as read, given a mixed response the Chairman decided to call for a brief adjournment after the officer presentation had concluded to allow members sufficient time to read them in detail. 

 

Members were advised at slide 2, that the following corrections needed to be made to the report.  These were noted as: 

-           Paragraph 1.2: “initially” on 5th line had been misspelt and the words “are directed” had been omitted after “different waste streams” on the 7th line.

-           Paragraph 1.4: the word “is” should be replaced by “are” after “Materials” on the fourth line.

-           Paragraph 2.3: in Existing Condition 2 “with” in third line should be “within” and this also applied to Condition 2 of the recommended conditions in Section 8.0.

-           The reason for condition 17 in Section 8.0 needed to follow the amended condition and not before it. 

 

Slide 3 detailed the application site, it was noted that it was located 1km south-east of Gloucester city centre.  This elongated site lay to the north of the Cheltenham to Gloucester railway line and to the northwest of an area of land known as the Railway Triangle.   Eastern Avenue was over 500 metres to the east and Metz Way was 75 metres to the south.  The application site was accessed from Myers Road via Horton Road which was approximately 180 metres from the western end of the site.

 

The Case Officer reported that only the 0.8 ha application site had planning permission for a waste transfer operation, it formed part of the applicant’s much larger landholding to the east and west. Members were reminded of the approval of a renewal of a temporary planning consent at the January 2020 meeting for inert waste recycling on the 1.89 ha tear drop shaped site at the western end of the site.  Other land in the applicant’s control was used for the storage and sale of sand and aggregates, skip storage and also a concrete batching plant operated by Breedons.

 

Slide 4 gave an aerial view of the Allstone site entrance onto Myers Road, leading off Horton Road. It was noted that Morrisons Supermarket, was accessed off Metz Way.  Gloucester Royal Hospital was located to the west of Horton Road. The residential area known as Swallow Park was located to the north west of the application, while Armscroft Park estate lies to the north east.   The area of public open space to the north of the site was also known as Armscroft Park, this was used by the Gloucester Old Boys Rugby Club.  The Rugby Clubhouse and its car park were adjacent to the northern boundary of the application site.  The Clubhouse and car park were reached by a long access road, from Myers Road.  The access road runs along the northern boundary of the adjacent part of Allstones site and separates it from the rear gardens of dwellings on Norman Ball Way on Swallow Park.  Wotton Brook runs along the eastern side of Armscroft Park within 34 metres of the eastern end of the application site, but the application site was not in the floodplain. The Brook was culverted under the railway line.

 

Slide 5 displayed the footprint of the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) building which took up most of the application site, with the boundary following the northern and eastern walls of the building.  The remaining part of the site comprised of the yard which wrapped around the south and west sides of the building.  The proposal was to include the two areas shown hatched on the southern and western sides of the building for bulking up waste.   The existing permission did not permit areas outside the MRF building to be used in connection with the waste transfer operation.

 

The Committee were asked to note that access to the application site was from its North West corner, leading to Allstones main site gates.  A weighbridge was located close to the application site access in the north western corner of the application site.  A one way traffic system operated around the northern, eastern then southern walls of the MRF building, allowing vehicles to exit the site by same access route. 

 

The applicant sought to regularise the installation of ancillary structures.  They include a modular building used as a canteen, a pedestrian gate to provide access to the Rugby Club car parking area to the north and backup generator which had been located along the northern site boundary of the application site. Two covered sand storage bays known as Zapp shelters had been installed along the southwestern and southern application site boundary.

 

It was explained that a two storey office building, located adjacent to the northern site boundary and the site access was granted permission on 24.07.20 under planning reference 20/0019/GLMAJW as the structure straddled the application site boundary.

 

This photograph on slide 6 showed the main site entrance gates from Myers Road.

Slide 7 photograph showed the view looking back towards the entrance gates from within the application site.  The site office and canteen building could be seen on the right and the edge of a Zapp shelter on the western site boundary could be seen to the left of the entrance to the application site.

 

Slide 8 through to slide 14 gave varying views of the site, including access points and the site boundaries.  

 

Members were advised at slide 15, that the rugby club car park was accessed by a road which ran between the northern boundary of Allstones site and the rear gardens of properties on the Swallow Park estate.  It was highlighted that there was security fencing on the northern boundary of Allstones site but this was not part of the application site.  The nearest property to the application site was 14 Norman Ball Way which was 50 m to the NW and 32 Blinkshorn Bridge Lane was 75m to the E of the site.

 

The proposed amendment to the site layout on slide 16 included the use of an area of the yard outside the western doors of the MRF building for bulking up of waste to be taken off the site.  Slide 17 displayed the second area outside of the MRF building proposed to be used for bulking wood waste and located outside of the door on the southern elevation.

 

The Committee were shown a floor plan with building elevations and advised that the applicant also sought approval for alterations which have been made to the MRF building, as detailed in slide 18. Three large electrically operated roller shutter doors have been added to the northern elevation while there are now four doors on the western elevation.  These are shown at the top of the drawing. 

 

The floor plan showed the layout inside the MRF building with the waste reception area at the western end and a large mechanised picking line at the centre of the building.  Waste wood for shredding was stored in bays along the southern internal wall, by the southern door and plastic waste was stored in the north east corner by the eastern door.   The northern doors provided access for vehicles removing soil fines, bagged sand and for overnight parking.

 

Slides 19 through to slide 23 gave an overview of the internal site operation within the building.  

 

The Committee’s attention was drawn to slide 24 which displayed the centre of the MRF building, it showed the mechanised picking line where the employees worked within a climate controlled area.  The employees picked off different materials from the conveyor, as it passed before them which were then dropped into the bays below, segregating and bulking up the different waste streams. 

 

Slide 25 displayed the northern side of the picking plant and the red coloured conveyor system which allowed fine soils and particles to drop from the conveyor into the bays below before entering the enclosed picking station.  The hopper shown to the left of the yellow walkway was used to bag sand which was loaded onto pallets and removed via the northern door.

 

Slide 26 revealed the view of the three new doors on the northern side of the building, looking towards the western end.  The hopper/bagging machine could be seen in the foreground of the photograph. 

 

Slide 27 showed where wood waste was shredded inside the building by the machine on the left of the photograph and removed by the southern door which could be seen on the right.

 

The  photograph on slide 28 was taken by the eastern door of the building and showed some UPVC being bulked up in a storage bay and the end of the picking line. 

Side 29 showed the eastern elevation of the MRF building and was taken from the aggregate storage area which was not within the application site.  The application site boundary follows the eastern wall of the MRF building.  Measures such as keeping the outside yard clean and dampening down areas in dry weather are an important control measure set out in the dust suppression scheme which has been submitted for approval.

 

Members were advised on slide 31 that the existing planning permission was subject to a planning condition which limited noise from the application site to 55dB at the application site boundary.  The applicant proposed to amend this condition to 55dB at the nearest residential receptor.  The applicant recognised that the assessment of the impact of noise on the surrounding area would be an important consideration in this proposal.  The applicant had commissioned noise consultants to prepare a noise impact assessment of their operations.

 

 It was explained that Slide 31 taken from the appendix of the Noise Impact Assessment  (NIA) shows the noise contour plan around the MRF building.  This shows  the 50 – 55db noise contour in brown and that residential properties to the north and east of the site should not be adversely affected by noise.  Given the results of the noise survey, a revised noise limit of 47dB had been agreed at the nearest dwellings. 

 

The Case Officer advised Members that in addition to the NIA, the applicant’s noise consultants prepared a Noise Management Plan which sets out a number of noise mitigation measures which would assist in reducing the impact of noise from operations on the site.  These included the use of an automatic door opening and closing system particularly for doors along the northern and eastern elevations so they were open for the minimum time necessary to allow a vehicle to pass through.  Other mitigation related to good site management, loading and unloading of vehicles and turning off of engines whilst vehicles were waiting.  

 

The committee were advised that an important aspect of the Noise Management Plan  (NMP) was the applicant's commitment to undertake an annual noise survey  of the site or more frequently in case of noise complaint.  The agreed noise monitoring locations were shown on slide 32 and would form part of a planning condition which would allow the Waste Planning Authority (WPA) to monitor compliance.

 

The Case Officer referred to slide 33, which detailed the main issue raised in the determination of this application related to concerns about noise and dust on the amenity on neighbouring residential properties.  The applicant submitted information in the form of a Noise Impact Assessment and Noise Management Plan which had satisfied the Council’s technical advisor and the statutory consultees that the recycling operation could be carried out without adverse impact on residential amenity.  Details of a scheme to control air quality had satisfied the City Council’s Environmental Health Officer (EHO).

 

The Case Officer reported that to improve clarity and hopefully compliance, all the planning conditions of the previous planning permission had been reviewed and the amendments were shown in Section 8.0 of the report in bold and underlined to show revised wording proposed by the applicant and the WPA.  Strikethrough showed the deleted text. An additional planning condition related to the setting up of a site liaison group had been recommended to mirror that imposed on the adjacent inert waste recycling site under temporary permission reference19/0070/GLMAJW. 

 

In addition, the case officer recommended the following small amendments to the planning conditions which appear in the report: these were noted as follows:

-           Condition 2 : “The development herby permitted shall be carried out within the site edged red with a continuous line on the site location plan.”

-           Condition 7: “The doors on the north and east elevations shall not be used for bulking out purposes and shall only be used for the following operational purposes.  Those associated with the north door of the MRF building to be: removal of bagged aggregates; removal of fine soils; overnight parking of vehicles.”

-           Condition 11: “If after any 9 month period it seems that the annual limit may be exceeded, measures to reduce the rate of throughput for the immediately following 12 month period shall be agreed in writing with the Waste Planning Authority.”

 

The Case Officer concluded that, given the lack of material planning reasons why permission should not be granted; subject to the inclusion of the revisions to the recommended planning conditions in section 8.0,  the Case Officer was of the opinion that the operator could address the concerns raised by the public, provided that all the mitigation measures proposed by the applicant were adhered to. The granting of permission to vary planning consent 07/0081 was therefore recommended.

 

The Chairman reminded Members of the late representation which had been mentioned at the start of the Case Officer’s presentation and which had been circulated the day before to Members of the committee via email.   It was noted this representation made a number of detailed comments and posed questions and as not all Members had had the opportunity to read it, the Chairman called for a brief adjournment at 10:45am, to enable members to read the representation and response.  The Committee Clerk confirmed that a copy of this email had  also been sent to the registered speakers and County Councillor  for information. 

 

The Committee reconvened at 10:50am, the Chairman confirmed with members of the Committee that they had read the late representation and officer response. 

 

The Chairman invited the registered speaks to address the Committee.  The facilitator recapped the order of speakers for the benefit of the public watching via YouTube.

 

Mrs Theresa Leather (objecting): 

“Good Morning Chair and Committee

 

Firstly let me introduce myself.

 

My name is Theresa Leather and my family moved onto the Armscroft Estate 60 years ago. I grew up here until I left for University but have spent some years living overseas, returning every summer to visit the family. I have recently returned to live in the family home to renovate it after my parents passed away. Sadly it is a project that I am beginning to regret. A lot of time and money has been spent on refurbishing and I have noticed an increase in the size of the Allstones plant and its impact on the community. The noise, dust and smell that resonate from the facility is absolutely not acceptable.

 

As I came back to Gloucester to retire I have since discovered that I can only appreciate my home on a Saturday afternoon and Sunday when the'' banging and clanking'' and dust in the air has stopped. The last August Bank Holiday of two and a half days was so pleasant and peaceful!

From my point of view it is all too evident that the plant has become far too big, situated between two residential areas, the doctor's surgery, the hospital and most importantly the school in Horton Road.  An accident waiting to happen judging by the way the lorries laden with skips race up and down the road. The traffic was horrendous yesterday.

 

Furthermore some families have had to make the decision to move away to avoid the disruption and others worry about selling their existing houses. '' Would you want to move into an area that is noisy, dusty and at times very smelly?'' Potential newcomers have been discouraged!!

 

What's more who knows what the dust is causing to people's health? In my road alone we have cancer recovering patients, throat and asthmatic problems.

Residents are constantly cleaning their cars and windows, the list goes on and on.

 

So my burning questions are;

Why are you continually allowing Mr Ford to violate the rules and conditions and make peoples lives a misery, many who have given up complaining and I quote ''What's the point, the council aren't interested and won't do anything'' ?I hasten to add that was not a very reassuring comment for a returning native to hear.

 

Why does he seek planning permission on his site, after a job has already been completed?

 

Why does he monopolize the Old Boys car park so that dog walkers have to look elsewhere to park? He clearly has enough room for his employees to park inside!  You’ve seen the pictures. 

 

Why do you feel that without informing the residents that he can take it upon himself to work on a Sunday morning 6th September? When approached to ask the question, ''Why are you working on a Sunday morning'', he wouldn't reply and fled in away his Range Rover! As  a result of his annoyance of being caught out, he most certainly retaliated over the last few days as the increased noise level had to be reported to the Environmental  Agency again and the smell was overpowering. I liken it to a pig farm.  Does anyone ever monitor this site?

 

Why can noise be heard at least if not more than thirty minutes before they are due to start at 7.30am? Especially the motorbike that arrives at exactly 6:25am every morning.

 

Why is recycling in what was once a beautiful sort after area, so important above the well being of the residents who live in such close proximity.? After another fraught call to the Allstone office I was assured that they are planning to move out but are waiting on you the council to find them a new site. How long does it take?

Surely it is time to do something deserving for the Armscroft and Swallow Park communities that have had enough over the years and move them out ASAP.

 

And lastly I find it very demoralizing that a few people should dictate the environment in which residents live especially when they themselves have not experienced it first hand. Come and live in our houses. 

 

To conclude ;This is an age old complaint which my late father battled with for years, on behalf of the Armscroft community before he died. And like him, whilst I have no disregard whatsoever for the service that the facility offers it should simply NOT be where it presently is, end of. A new location outside of the city must surely be a cleaner and safer option for all concerned.  Thank you for your time and listening.”

 

Mrs Valerie Gannon (objecting):

“Good Morning Chair/Committee.

 

As stated previously I am up everyday at 06.00. I witness the MRF building open, lorries leaving the site with empty skips, entering the site with waste and hear the racket from the reversing vehicles and loader. The PMO on an unannounced visit found no breach of opening times and the afore-mentioned processes are not deemed operations-unbelievable.

 

You spend a lot of time in your report looking at the impact of noise and how it doesn’t exceed certain decibels.

 

My analogy for noise would be chronic pain. The pain initially is manageable but due to the consistent nature eventually it has a major impact on well-being. This would explain why 10% of suicides are due to chronic pain.

 

You allude to the cumulative effect on a community’s well-being and that there should be engagement with the local communities to understand and mitigate this-when has the applicant ever approached the community?

 

I rang Allstones on the 10th April (Good Friday) to ask why they were working that day. I explained that it was my first day off for several weeks as I am a nurse manager at the hospital. I was told that they had permission to work the Friday bank holidays- a direct lie. So I informed them I would ring the council on Tuesday to confirm this. The call ended. I was then rang back by a person called Richard who was very aggressive and accused me of ‘you know more about our company than we do’ for the first time I am in agreement with this company. I live and breathe it, not metaphorically, literally. He then proceeded to tell me to f*** off four times before putting the phone down- Very professional, very engaging.

 

You have recommended to allow the bulking out and receipt of waste to be carried out at the West Door. This will mean those doors continually open but officers have decided it won’t have any further impact. Have you witnessed the bulking out of waste into the large containers? No amount of sprinklers will suppress the dust and debris flying about during that procedure.

 

We cannot understand how 12 years ago when the amount of waste coming in was a lot less it was deemed by one of your officers not appropriate for the west doors to be open due to the local amenity-actually I prefer to call it a housing estate, it adds in the human factor so we cannot understand why now you recommend that not only can the doors be open but the majority of the operations will happen at the west doors.  Amazingly these doors are metres away from a play area.

 

The south doors will have the ‘noisy’ bulking out of wood, but its okay everybody because the building will be a barrier. So what is the barrier for the west doors? Our homes presumably.

 

Why was no enforcement taken about the doors that were cut in before they submitted their application, was it seen as too trivial a breach? And the canteen and the generator-there’s a theme here!!

 

He has stated that he has spent £100,000 on the roof isn’t that just good housekeeping to keep the building safe. And the automatic doors-well if he hadn’t cut the hole for the doors illegally he wouldn’t have needed the doors.

 

We have been trying to ascertain from the council who owns the Old Boys Car Park to no avail- again no transparency. Although cars park on it, it has dramatically changed. It has gone from being used for 10 hours a week for rugby training/matches with a locked gate in between for security to a car park for Allstone employees used for 62 hours a week with no locked gate. But it’s ok everybody as they have a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with the rugby club-remarkable.

 

CONCLUSION

 

As long as you reach your goal to increase recycling to 60% by 2020 across the county you’ll give yourselves a pat on the back, but you are not so concerned with how it’s done or who it impacts.

 

Thank you to the County Council, City Council and Environmental Agency for your total lack of support and spineless approach to dealing with this company.   Thank you for listening.”

 

Mr Simon Ford (Applicant): 

“Thank you Mr Chairman.

 

My name is Simon Ford and I’m the Managing Director of Allstone.

 

Allstone is a family business that has traded in Gloucester since 1983.

We are one of the largest independent sand and gravel and waste recycling

businesses in the south-west.

 

We currently employ 71 people all from Gloucester, 2 of which are apprentices.  Our policy has always been to continually reinvest in our business and our people. 

 

In the same way that the County Council have had to make changes to the way

that they deal with their waste streams we have had to do exactly the same.

 

Our waste recycling business handles a variety of waste streams including

construction and demolition wastes and our customer base spans both the

public and private sectors.

 

Allstone contributes to both the National Waste Policy and the County

Council’s sustainable waste management objectives as set out in

the Adopted Waste Core Strategy. We recycle 98% of all of our waste streams.

 

The Planning Officer has clarified in her presentation what we are proposing.  The changes proposed have been designed to increase

efficiency and improve the safety of our employees.

 

Mr Chairman, our application has been recommended for planning permission

by Officers and I would like to emphasise to Members of the Planning

Committee that not one single objection has been made by any Statutory

Consultee and this includes Gloucester City Council.

 

Members will see from the Committee Report that there are 8 pages

dedicated to the question of noise. In a nutshell, no objection is raised by

Atkins who have carefully evaluated all relevant noise matters.

 

Allstone has actively engaged in the multi Agency Liaison Group which has met

approximately every 3 months and comprises of representatives of Allstone,

GCC, the City Council and the Environment Agency. During that

time, Allstone have invested over £180,000 on making changes in response to

various matters that have been raised by the Liaison Group.

 

Over the course of the last 12 months only 4 complaints have been made and 3

of them had nothing to do with Allstone. Regrettably, we have experienced one persistent complainant who makes allegations about noise events which upon scrutiny of our CCTV systems have been found to be entirely spurious

 

I would like to emphasise to Members of the Planning Committee that our

entire working area which covers both the inside of the building and all the

external areas are covered by CCTV. Sadly, we have experienced one persistent

complainant who makes allegations about noise events which upon scrutiny of

our CCTV systems have been found to be entirely spurious.

 

Although we have experienced the lockdown period, our aggregates recycling business has remained open during that period and I can advise that not one single complaint has been made over  8 months.

 

At the January Planning Committee, the local Councillor made reference to the

need for Allstone to relocate our business

 

On that matter, we have kept your Officers up to date on the efforts we have

made to identify any suitable potential relocation sites.  Setting aside the

retained commercial Agent we have instructed, we have also written directly

to the County Council’s Economic Development Team, the  Director of Planning

Policy at the County Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership, the Head of

Planning Policy at the City Council and the Director of Regeneration at the City

Council.  Despite these efforts, no one has been able to pinpoint any potential

opportunities for relocation.

 

It’s all well and good for our local Councillor to make comments about

relocation but the reality is that this is a lot easier said than done.

 

In my view, all options for relocation should be on the table and that should

include the County Council making provision in the forthcoming new Waste

Local Plan.

 

In conclusion, we are a hard working local family business that has been

established in the City for many years and we employ many local people. We

have a track record of helping our local community.

 

Our planning application has been very carefully assessed by all of the

professional Statutory Consultees and it has also been very carefully

considered by your professional Officers. No objection has been raised to the

acceptability of our planning application and we would respectfully ask that

planning permission be granted.

 

Thank you for your time.”

 

It was noted that Councillor Preest had lost his live feed during the later part of Mrs Gannon’s presentation and part of the way through Mr Ford presentations.  It was noted that Councillor Preest had re-joined the meeting, during the course of Mr Ford’s presentation Once Councillor Preest confirmed that he was present in the virtual meeting room, the Committee Clerk emailed him copies of the speeches for his due consideration.

 

County Councillor Jeremy Hilton (Speech summarised):

Councillor Hilton explained that the Allstone site operated close to local resident’s homes and they had a reputation for not listening to local people.  Cllr Hilton referred to Mr Ford’s statement in terms of looking for a new site outside of the city, he fully supported Mr Ford on that point but he felt it was a pity that the applicant had not copied him in as the local member to any correspondence to the statutory consultees as he felt he could of helped Allstones. 

 

Councillor Hilton made reference to the fact that Allstone had already installed the building before applying for planning permission.  He noted that a lot of money had been invested in the building but felt the process should be followed first.   He stated the County Enforcement Officers were doing a better job, as the City Council and the EHO were not so quick to act in the past, hence local residents concerns. 

 

Councillor Hilton informed the Committee that Conditions associated with this application were stronger o previous occasions, however the application still spoke of bulking waste outside of the main building.   He asked officers if they believed the new conditions would make it easier for the County Enforcement Officer and others to enforce the conditions in terms of compliance. 

 

With regard to the liaison group he had not been consulted and referred to his offer the January meeting to be involved in the group.  He noted that this was a recommendation and not a requirement, he suggested that either himself, Cllr Howard Hyman or Cllr Emily Ryall as the local representatives should be included as part of the group as they understood what the local concerns were. 

 

Councillor Hilton also referred to the amount of HGV vehicles waiting  outside the homes of numbers 10,12 and 14 Norman Ball Way, in relation to the weighbridge.  As lorries waited there and the noise and emissions from the engines impacted on their homes.  It was noted that there was no screening at the weighbridge either.  He felt that Allstones had not considered the impact on those residents who lived close by. 

 

Councillor Hilton once again advised the Applicant that he was happy to help, and asked Mr Ford to copy him in to any future correspondence. 

He summarised by saying that he didn’t believe Allstones were actively looking for alternative sites outside of the city.  Given there was planning permission on the site for houses, he thought Allstones should relocate and all parties would then be happy. 

 

The Chairman asked Councillor Preest if he had read the emailed presentations and he was content to continue.  Councillor Preest confirmed this was the case. 

 

Public speakers were invited to remain in the virtual meeting if they wished to do so. 

The Chairman invited questions from Members following the presentations

Councillor Tracey wished to know if the application site was parallel with the railway line.  The Case Officer confirmed that was the case and referred to the aerial photograph within the presentation for clarity. 

 

Councillor Tracey questioned how many of the 71 staff parked in the Old Boys Rugby Club car park, she questioned the noise of the lorries, the condition of the road and also wished to know if the operating hours could change on a Saturday morning. 

The Case Officer explained that she didn’t have the information available in terms of the number of individuals who parked in the rugby club car park, as that was not part of the application.

 

 It was noted that a drivers briefing was part of  the  noise management plan and would require a briefing to be conducted before a visit to the site.  It was noted that this was possibly an area that could be taken up via the liaison group. 

The Case Officer explained that in relation to the condition of Myers Road/Horton Road, there was no planning condition to seek a repair.  Horton Road was due to be resurfaced in the next financial year and the highway manager was  aware of the issues with Myers Road. 

 

It was noted that possibly a later start time of 8:30 may be considered to be too late for the movement of loads. 

 

At the Chairman’s discretion Mr Ford was asked if he could answer the question in relation to the number of staff who parked in the rugby club car park.  Mr Ford explained that they had recently undertaken a cycle to work scheme, and some member of staff car shared, however he estimated 22 vehicles parked in the car park. 

 

Councillor Brown questioned that lack of confidence by the local community and shared their concerns in relation to noise and wished to know where the play area was situated in relation to the application site.  The Case Officer referred the aerial photograph in the earlier presentation to indicate the play area to the north of the rugby clubhouse. 

 

Councillor Fisher questioned the procedure given that Councillor Preest had lost his connection during the presentations.  Legal advice was sought from the Lawyer who confirmed that as Councillor Preest had read and digested the written submissions of the speakers he was in receipt of all the information that other Members had in respect of the application and she was satisfied that he could continue to participate in the meeting.  Councillor Preest once again confirmed he had read and digested the speaker’s submissions. 

 

Councillor Parsons questioned if asbestos was handled on site.  The Case Officer advised the committee that she was not aware of any asbestos on the site and she had not seen any specialist facility on site either.  The Chairman referred the question to the applicant.  Mr Ford explained that they didn’t actively encourage it, however on occasion customers buried asbestos sheeting under other waste.  In the event of asbestos being found the skip was placed in quarantine, the EHO was advised and the customer was contacted.  In addition, staff had full PPE to deal with the situation.  

 

Councillor Preest added that he had sympathy with the objectors and Allstones.  He felt that Allstones were a local company that employed locally and supported the economy.  He wondered if drivers had been given briefings on having consideration for the local residents and wished to know what the Local Authority were doing in terms of assisting Allstones to relocate.  He referred to page 120 of the report, in relation to the site liaison group. 

 

At this juncture the Committee Clerk advised the committee that it was not appropriate at this stage to ask further questions of the applicant.  The Lawyer also confirmed the advice given, in that the applicant had the opportunity during his presentation to address the Committee in his allotted time frame.  It was noted that it could be seen to be unfair by the objectors, to continue to ask questions of the applicant.  The Committee were asked to consider the application before them. 

 

The Case Officer explained that the terms of reference for the liaison group were yet to be finalised, especially in relation to representatives from the community and District Council representative.  However, It was note that the review of the Waste Core Strategy was about to commence and that this may lead to more potential sites coming forward during consultation.  The Lead Commissioner for Strategic Infrastructure was invited to comment on what assistance his department could give  and he added that the Economic Development Team would assist where possible. 

 

Councillor Hale questioned the sorting of materials and the noise generated in terms of decibels and the frequency.  The Technical Advisor for Noise stated that in the outdoor environment noise levels varied for different sources and there were different frequencies. 

 

Councillor Hale wished to know how many breeches had occurred against noise levels.  The Lawyer advised the Committee that breeches were not part of the decision making process. 

 

Councillor Cordwell asked for clarification of what could be amended in a Section 73 application.   The case officer confirmed that the principle of development was already established, however, where there were planning conditions it was possible to change and remove these as long as this did not change the principle of the development permitted.

 

Councillor Preest once again confirmed that he was present and content at this stage. 

 

At this juncture, the committee took a brief adjournment at 11:57am. 

 

The Committee reconvened at 12:05pm and entered into debate.  

 

Councillor Bird proposed to accept the officer’s recommendation, he referred to the points made and felt there were no fundamental reason not to allow the application. 

This motion was seconded by Councillor Parsons and Councillor Cordwell.

Councillor Morgan was supportive of the proposal and for there to be a District representative on the liaison group.  However he felt that once a year was not adequate to monitor the noise levels and requested that this be made more frequently. 

 

Councillor Fisher concurred with Councillor Morgan’s point on monitoring and suggested this could be done remotely, in light of the current situation. 

Councillor Robinson was supportive of the conditions and the need for a district representative on the liaison group.  He requested that the Lead Commissioner’s Team work with the applicant to seek an alternative site. 

 

Councillor Parsons requested clarity in terms of amending the conditions in relation to noise.  The Lawyer explained that he was looking outside of the remit of the application, it was noted that this was within the District Council’s Environmental Health Officers remit. 

 

Councillor Hirst remarked that there were two weaknesses, one was in terms of the enforcement issues in terms of annual noise monitoring, and he felt this should be quarterly and the issue of screening of the weighbridge on site.  The Lawyer reminded members that any noise or odour issues were for Gloucester City Council to investigate as the relevant environmental health authority.  It was noted that GCC could write to advise Gloucester City Council that it would be beneficial to have a district representative on the liaison group. 

 

Councillor Tracey queried the opening times again the Lawyer explained that was not within the proposal before the Committee for consideration. 

 

The Lawyer explained that members needed to confirm if they accepted the proposed amendments that were highlighted by the Case Officer at the beginning of the presentation when confirming the recommendation. . Members confirmed they were content with the amended conditions. 

 

Councillor Hirst referred to Condition 26 and the new site liaison group asking if the condition could be amended to state who must be party to the group, the Lawyer advised that the liaison group was lead by the operator directly and she was not minded to advise additional wording at this stage. 

 

In terms of the liaison group and its membership, Members asked if the Case Officer could contact the District Authority on behalf of the WPA to request  local representation.  It was noted as the applicant was present at the meeting; he would undoubtedly be taking this point on board. 

 

 

Councillor Cordwell referred to the amended conditions and sought clarification.  The Case Officer confirmed those amended conditions would be included within the planning permission if granted. 

 

Councillor Brown was disappointed that the Committee were unable to include a condition which related to the local representative in relation to the liaison group.  The Case Officer explained that the liaison group were progressing with the terms of reference and this point would be taken up with the applicant. 

 

The Case Officer stated that the liaison group was moving forward with the terms of reference. 

 

The facilitator recapped that the Committee agreed the amended conditions and other matters raised relating to the noise monitoring, the site search and screening of the weighbridge and that these would be brought to the attention of the City Council.

 

On being put to the vote, the application was passed (10 in favour and 2 against). 

 

The Planning Committee therefore:

 

Resolved

That planning permission be granted for the reasons summarised in paragraphs 7.102 to 7.108 subject to the planning conditions recommended in Section 8.0 of the report as detailed in the presentation. 

 

Supporting documents: