Agenda and draft minutes

Appeals Committee
Thursday, 28th June 2018 1.00 p.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

Contact: Jane Glenton, Democratic Services: telephone (01524) 582068 or email  jglenton@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Site Visits

Minutes:

Prior to commencement of the meeting, site visits were undertaken in response to objections received to Tree Preservation Order No. 641 (2018) – Trees established on land at Home Farm, Main Road, Galgate and Tree Preservation Order No. 646 (2018) – Two areas of trees established on Land at Capernwray Diving Centre,
Jackdaw Quarry, Capernwray Road, Capernwray.

 

The following Members were present on the site visits:

 

Tree Preservation Order No. 641 (2018) – Trees established on land at Home Farm, Main Road, Galgate

 

Councillors Claire Cozler (Chairman), Tracy Brown, Joan Jackson, Terrie Metcalfe and Malcolm Thomas

 

Officers in Attendance:

 

Maxine Knagg

-

Tree Protection Officer

 

 

 

Jane Glenton

-

Democratic Support Officer

 

Tree Preservation Order No. 646 (2018) – Capernwray Diving Centre,
Jackdaw Quarry, Capernwray Road, Capernwray

 

Councillors Claire Cozler (Chairman), Alan Biddulph Tracy Brown, Joan Jackson, Terrie Metcalfe and Malcolm Thomas 

 

Officers in Attendance:

 

Maxine Knagg

-

Tree Protection Officer

 

 

 

Jane Glenton

-

Democratic Support Officer

 

 

 

 

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

To appoint a Vice-Chairman for the 2018/19 municipal year.

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Brown and seconded by Councillor Biddulph that Councillor Metcalfe be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Appeals Committee for the Municipal Year 2018/19.  There being no further nominations, the Chairman declared the proposal to be carried.

 

Resolved:

 

That Councillor Metcalfe be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Appeals Committee for the Municipal Year 2018/19.

3.

Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2017 (previously circulated) 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 7th December 2017 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

4.

Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chairman

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

5.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests, which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests.  (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting.)

 

Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Members should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests, which they have already declared in the Register, at this point in the meeting.

 

In accordance with Part B, Section 2 of the Code of Conduct, Members are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests, as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct. 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

Matters for Decision

With the agreement of the Committee, the Chairman brought forward agenda item number 7 - Tree Preservation Order No. 646 (2018) - Two Areas of Trees Established on Land at Capernwray Diving Centre, Jackdaw Quarry, Capernwray Road, Capernwray - to allow those present for that item to leave following its consideration.

Councillor Biddulph had not been present on the site visit for Tree Preservation Order No. 646 (2018) and took no part in the decision making.

6.

Tree Preservation Order No. 646 (2018) - Two Areas of Trees Established on Land at Capernwray Diving Centre, Jackdaw Quarry, Capernwray Road, Capernwray pdf icon PDF 301 KB

Report of the Interim Head of Legal and Governance Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report of the Interim Head of Legal and Governance Services to enable Members to consider an objection received to Tree Preservation Order No. 646 (2018) relating to two areas of trees established on land at Capernwray Diving Centre, Jackdaw Quarry, Capernwray Road, Capernwray, and thereafter whether or not to confirm the Order.

 

It was reported that the land in question was privately owned by the Appellant.  The site was used for recreational activities associated with the business of the Diving Centre.  Within the wider site, there were a number of privately owned holiday chalets.

 

Lancaster City Council had received concerns expressed from a member of the public that mature trees within the site had been removed without authorisation and that ongoing site works may be in breach of a planning permission.  The alleged breach of planning permission was a separate matter, which was under investigation by a Council Enforcement Officer, and was not for consideration by the Appeals Committee.

 

At the time of the complaint, it had been made clear to the Council that alleged engineering and tree felling works were in progress and ongoing.  In such challenging circumstances, a Local Planning Authority had powers to make and serve an “Emergency” Tree Preservation Order to protect the remaining trees, as expediency was of paramount importance in order to be successful.  As such, there was no requirement to survey the site trees, and a provisional order could be made and executed swiftly.

 

In determining whether or not to confirm Tree Preservation Order No. 646 (2018), Members heard the representations of the Appellant’s representatives, Mr. Skelton and Mr. Wood, and the Tree Protection Officer, on behalf of Lancaster City Council.

 

Mr. Alistair Skelton of Steven Abbott Associates LLP, on behalf of the Appellant, Mrs. Carol Hack of Hack Enterprises Ltd and Mr. Anthony Wood of Yewtree NW, on behalf of the Appellant, Mrs. Carol Hack of Hack Enterprises Ltd

 

Members were advised that Mr. Skelton and Mr. Wood had been instructed to make formal representations and to object to the Tree Preservation Order as currently made, based on the following:

 

(1)        a thorough walk-over of all areas covered by the Tree Preservation Order (undertaken on 27th March 2018);  

(2)        a review of the planning history of the Capernwray Diving Centre site utilising the Council’s online planning search facility and documents and plans provided by Hack Enterprises Ltd;

(3)        relevant legislation;

(4)        relevant National Planning Policy and National Planning Practice Guidance relating to Tree Preservation Orders.

 

It was reported that the Appellant had owned and operated the Capernwray Diving Centre site since 1997 and had developed leisure and tourism-based facilities during this time.  They were conscious of the landscape and biodiversity attributes of the site and had taken appropriate professional/environmental advice when engaging in the planning process.

 

It was their opinion that Council officers responsible for the preparation of the Tree Preservation Order had not thoroughly, or objectively, considered relevant planning matters that would be material when  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Tree Preservation Order No. 641 (2018) - Trees established on land at Home Farm, Main Road, Galgate pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Report of the Interim Head of Legal and Governance Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report of the Interim Head of Legal and Governance Services to enable Members to consider the objection received to Tree Preservation Order No. 641 (2018) relating to trees located on land at Home Farm, Main Road, Galgate, and thereafter whether or not to confirm the Order.

 

It was reported that the land in question was privately owned by the Appellant.  It was a site that the Council was aware of, insomuch as it may come forward for possible future development.  It was understood that the site had, as yet, not been assessed with regard to its potential for future development. 

 

Lancaster City Council had received concerns from a member of the public that the trees within the site may be removed or inappropriately managed prior to the submission of a future planning application for development of the site.  The trees at that time were not protected in law and, as such, could have been removed without the requirement for prior consultation with the Council.

 

In determining whether or not to confirm Tree Preservation Order No. 641 (2018) Members considered the written representations of the Appellant, Mrs. S. Charles, and the Tree Protection Officer, on behalf of Lancaster City Council.

 

Representation of Mrs. S. Charles, Appellant

 

The Council had received a letter of objection to the Tree Preservation Order, dated
13th February 2018, from Mrs. S. Charles’s solicitors, Oglethorpe, Sturton and Gillibrand.  This, and the Council’s letter in response, dated 5th April 2018, were set out in the report. 

 

An email, dated 26th June 2018, had been received from Mrs. Charles advising that she was unable to attend the hearing.  Attached to the email was a copy of a letter from her solicitor, giving the reasons why it was thought that the Tree Preservation Order was unnecessary.  Also attached was a copy of the proposed plan for building on the estate.  The email and attachments had been circulated to Members prior to the hearing.

 

In determining whether or not to confirm Tree Preservation Order No. 641 (2018), Members considered the points raised in Mrs. Charles’s letter/email and enclosures.  The points raised in the solicitor’s letter were:

 

(1)        The making of a Tree Preservation Order over such a large area and without prior consultation had taken their client by surprise.  The areas outlined included large areas of rural working farm and woodland and it was extremely cumbersome to have a blanket Tree Preservation Order over such large areas of woodland.  It would be impractical to have to request permission for lopping and managing the woodland on every occasion.

 

(2)        Their client was not aware of any visits by the Tree Protection Officer on to the land to survey the woodlands and inspect the trees.

 

(3)        The purpose of Tree Preservation Orders was to preserve and protect woodland and trees of particular value, not large areas of land in rural areas.

 

(4)        Their client was willing to work co-operatively with the Council in relation to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.