Agenda item

20/00511/FUL - Land off Beech Drive, Thornton

Application for residential development of 49 dwellings with associated infrastructure, access and areas of open space.


Late items received after preparation of agenda:



Following the agenda the agent has submitted amended plans, following the comments from LCC Highways in regards to the adoptability of the proposed roads within the site. Additionally a soft landscaping plan has been submitted demonstrating the indicative landscaping for the site.



Leicestershire County Council (Highways) have provided further comments on the application:

1)        The amendments have overcome the main concerns and any amendments needed at a S38 process would not be significant to require a change to the planning permission and therefore the Local Highway Authority would consider the layout for adoption should planning permission be granted.


Neighbourhood Plan

Bagworth, Thornton & Stanton under Bardon Neighbourhood Plan is currently at regulation 14 stage. The pre-submission consultation ended in May 2021 and preparation for submission is currently underway. The plan does not identify this site as an allocation for housing or any other designations and does not seek to include the site within the settlement boundary. Due to the stage the Neighbourhood Plan is within the process, limited weight can be afforded to this Neighbourhood Plan in the determination of this application to it in line with paragraph 48 of the NPPF.


The Council have sought independent Highways advice in regards to the impact of the proposal. A summary of their response is,:

‘In technical terms there is a finely balanced argument to be taken in relation to substandard visibility. The achievable visibility is a reduction of 42% in the required visibility, which is a significant shortfall, and a shortfall that could be regarded as a significant safety hazard to justify refusal of planning permission. The increase in traffic/dwellings served by this junction of some 78% would increase the number of opportunities for collisions to occur. However, to counter this argument, it is an existing junction that serves 63 dwellings and there is no history of accidents from its daily use. Furthermore, design guidance contained in Manual for Streets 1 and 2 suggests that reduced visibility can lead to drivers taking more care and that a reduction will not necessarily lead to a significant problem. Overall, there is a valid case to support both sides of the argument and the Council will need to balance this in their decision making.

The applicant has acknowledged the potential difficulties for them in terms of visibility at the junction by offering two traffic calming schemes through the application process. The first scheme was seen as not comprehensive enough by LCC and following the submission of the second scheme LCC appear to have withdrawn their request for traffic calming altogether. In my view, the offer of traffic calming, if designed correctly, would be a significant benefit to highway safety. This is particularly the case in view of the close proximity of the primary school on Main Street, which adds further weight to the importance of highway safety. A traffic calming scheme should cover both the length of Main Street including the school frontage and the Hawthorn Drive junction. If this scheme were offered then I believe this level of mitigation would allow the development to be approved from a highway safety point of view; overcoming any concerns related to reduced visibility at the Hawthorn Drive junction.

In my view, the internal layout deficiencies should be addressed by the applicant for the long term benefit of the future residents. The future residents have the right to ask the Council to adopt the road in the future under the private street works code, but for this to happen, the residents would need to pay for the road to be brought up to adoption standards. Therefore, a non-compliant road that is built at this stage would potentially place a significant financial burden on residents in the future, when in reality there is no obstacle to ensuring that the road is built to an adoptable standard at the outset.’

Leicestershire County Council Highways have responded stating:

During its appraisal of the proposed development the LHA reviewed a number of supporting documents submitted by the applicant and its own resources to provide its final response on the application.

Prior to issuing the final highway observations the LHA came to the decision that the data did not support the request for the traffic calming.  The evidence showed that there were no personal injury collisions on Main Street, the speeds provided by the applicant (28 mph) were below the posted speed limit for Main Street of 30 mph and the reduced visibility caused by parked cars was an existing situation. 

Furthermore the Road Safety Audit submitted by the applicant identified a number of issues with the design of the initial traffic calming scheme and given the site specific circumstances of Main Street e.g. a number of terraced properties, on-street parking and the existing recorded speeds, the LHA concluded that traffic calming would not be required to facilitate the proposed development.

Whilst the LHA appreciate this situation may not be ideal for local residents, given all the evidence the LHA could not demonstrate that the impact of the proposed development would be severe on the highway and the proposed traffic calming scheme would not meet all the tests for a condition as set out in paragraph 56 of the NPPF.

Following this additional information and Leicestershire County Council Highways lack of support for speed reduction measures and identification that the impact of the development would not be severe it is considered on balance that, notwithstanding the reduced visibility at the Hawthorn Drive/Main Street junction the application is acceptable in highways terms.                


The applicant has identified that they have been working with Environment Bank to identify a site to off-set the biodiversity loss which would be experienced on site. The Environment Bank are actively looking to set up a biodiversity mitigation resource in the area and are in contact with landowners at present. The Environment Bank and applicants are confident that there will be an opportunity to contribute to a joint scheme or if needs be find a bespoke project to deal with the mitigation in one hit.


The applicants have confirmed that they are happy to include this provision themselves without the need of a monetary contribution to the Council. This off site biodiversity enhancement would be secured within the Section 106, through the requirement for the submission of details and a requirement for it to be completed within a specified period.  

This is considered reasonable and necessary to make the development acceptable in accordance with Policy DM6 of the SADMP.


A soft landscaping scheme has been submitted however this does not provide the level of detail required to condition. Therefore a landscaping condition is recommended to ensure the full details are provided prior to the commencement of development.


The recommendation for approval remains unchanged, subject to the following amendments:

The last bullet of the S106 obligations should be changed to:

·                Off-site biodiversity improvement works to be undertaken by the applicant

Condition 2 to be amended to read:

2.               The development hereby permitted shall not be carried out otherwise than in complete accordance with the submitted application details, as follows:

Dwg No. 3520-02D – Materials Plan

Dwg No. 3520 – 03D - Hard Landscaping & Boundaries

Dwg No. 3520 – 04B - Parking Layout

Dwg No. 3520 – 06AA Proposed Site Plan

Dwg No. ADC1092-DR-100 P7 S38 Works General Arrangement

Received 15/07/2021

Dwg No. ADC1092-DR-066-P1 Swept Paths Refuse

Dwg No. ACD1092-DR-005-P1 Internal Layout Design Layout

Dwg No. ADC1092-DR-110 P3 S38 Works Horizontal Annotation

Dwg No. ADC1092-DR-115 P2 S38 Works Vertical Annotation

Receieved 13/05/2021

Dwg No. 3520 - 10A - Tatton

Dwg No. 3520 - 11A - Lyme +(Render)

Dwg No. 3520 - 12A - Lyme +

Dwg No. 3520 - 14A - Sudeley V

Dwg No. 3520 - 15A - Sutton +

Dwg No. 3520 - 16 – M2

Dwg No. 3520 - 17A - HQI 3-1

Dwg No. 3520 - 18A - HQI 2-1

Dwg No. 3520 - 23A - Wentworth

Dwg No. 3520 - 24A - Wentworth (Render)

Dwg No. 3520 - 25A - Holdenby detached

Dwg No. 3520 - 26A - Waddesdon (Half Render)

Dwg No. 3520 - 27A - Double Garage

Dwg No. 3520 - 28A - Single Garage

Dwg No. 3520 - 29 - Cropston

Dwg No. 3520 - 30D Site Sections

Dwg No. 3520 - 31 - Cropston (Half Render)

Dwg No. 3520 - 32 - Street Scenes

Dwg No. 3520 - 33 - HQI 3-1 detached

Dwg No. 3520 - 34 - Sutton

Dwg No. 3520 - 35 - Waddesdon

Receieved 12/05/2021


Dwg No. ADC1092-DR-100 P4 S38 Works General Arrangement – received 16/06/2021

edp6140_r006-A-HoT for Woodland Management Plan – received 23/06/2021

  Site Location Plan – received 01/06/2020

Reason: To ensure a satisfactory form of development in accordance with Policies DM1, DM4 and DM10 of the adopted Site Allocations and Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (2016).

20.         Notwithstanding the submitted details, no development shall take place until a scheme of soft landscaping works, including an implementation scheme, has been submitted in writing to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The scheme shall be carried out in full accordance with the approved landscaping scheme. The soft landscaping scheme shall be maintained for a period of five years from the date of planting. During this period any trees or shrubs which die or are damaged, removed, or seriously diseased shall be replaced by trees or shrubs of a similar size and species to those originally planted at which time shall be specified in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

Reason To ensure that the development has a satisfactory external appearance in accordance with Policies DM4 and DM10 of the adopted Site Allocations and Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (2016).


Application for residential development of 49 dwellings with associated infrastructure, access and areas of open space.


An objector, the agent, the county councillor and the ward councillor spoke on this application.


Notwithstanding the officer’s recommendation that permission be granted, it was moved by Councillor Bray and seconded by Councillor Boothby that permission be refused as the significant and demonstrable impact on the countryside would not be outweighed by the benefit of providing housing and would therefore be contrary to policy DM4 of the Site Allocations and Development Management Policies DPD and the substandard visibility of the junction of Hawthorn Drive and Main Street would have an unacceptable impact on highway safety contrary to policy DM17 of the Site Allocations and Development Management Policies DPDand paragraph 109 of the NPPF.


Upon being put to the vote, the motion was CARRIED and it was unanimously


RESOLVED – permission be refused for the following reasons:


(i)            The development, due to its incursion into the countryside to the south west of the village of Thornton would have a significant and demonstrable impact on the intrinsic value, beauty and open character of the countryside. This is not outweighed by the benefit of providing housing. The development is therefore contrary to policy DM4 of the Site Allocations and Development Management Policies DPD;


(ii)          The substandard visibility of the junction of Hawthorn Drive and Main Street would lead to an unacceptable impact on highway safety contrary to policy DM17 of the Site Allocations and Development Management Policies DPD and paragraph 109 of the National Planning Policy Framework.


At this juncture, Councillor Boothby declared a personal interest in the following application due to the applicant being a member of his political group.

Supporting documents: