Agenda and minutes

Development Management Committee - Thursday 15th June 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item



To note any substitution of Committee Members made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.

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The following Councillors attended as Substitutes:

·       Cllr Lucy Musk for Cllr James Broach

·       Cllr Adrienne Nix for Cllr Frank Marsh

·       Cllr Julie Cragg for Cllr Samuel Kasumu

·       Cllr Alastair Hellyer for Cllr Rebecca Lass




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Apologies for absence were received from Councillors James Broach, Rebecca Lass, Samuel Kasumu and Frank Marsh.



To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 9th March 2023 as previously circulated.

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The minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2023 were agreed.



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There were no items of urgent business, and no items were withdrawn from the agenda.



To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on the Agenda.

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Councillors Bolton and Thompson non-pecunary interests as County Councillors.


6/2022/2725/HOUSE - 15 REEVES COURT, WELWYN AL6 9FU pdf icon PDF 411 KB

Report of the Assistant Director (Planning).

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The Committee received the report of the Assistant Director, Planning.


The application presented had been called in at the request of Councillor Smith for the following reasons:

·      Residents are concerned with the loss of privacy and amenity to nearby properties; and

·      The application raises some unusual and sensitive planning issues due to its location and has attracted a high level of localised public interest.


The planning application sought permission for the retention of an elevated playhouse around an oak tree, which is covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). The wooden playhouse was made from Redwood and Spruce soft wood and measures an overall height of approximately 4.5m, with a raised platform of approximately 1.8m in height. The raised platform of the playhouse is built around the oak tree, a bridge, a swing set and an enclosed playhouse with a small window.


Rebecca Delaney, Applicant, spoke regarding the application:

We've received the report from Ms Charles, it's very thorough and addresses all of the objections and concerns that have been raised in respect of the application, the report essentially sets out all of the representations that we would have been making to the committee today. The only thing that we would wish to add is that the Playhouse comes with an annual maintenance contract, what that means is that it will be inspected on an annual basis to ensure that if the tree is growing, that the part of the Playhouse that sits around the tree is altered and adapted to ensure that there's no damage to the tree overtime.


Thank you very much.”



Sophie Cresswell, Objector, spoke regarding the application:

I strongly object to the gargantuan 4.5 metre tall structure, which is the same height as a double decker bus during warmer weather, it lends itself to frequent use large. Unscreened windows of the observe of the observatory tower face towards and are a similar height to bedroom windows of 17 which has a sunken garden. There is no protection to private amenity space upstairs per photos 2 and 3. You've seen nor in areas of downstairs. I implore a site visit to 17 to prove how intrusive the structure is, to illustrate the relationship between the structure and areas of 17 which viewers can see into and to appreciate how the differing ground levels maximised the impact of the height and bulk of the structure. From the report there are several misleading points to 2.2 fails miserably in its attempt to describe the whole site and so spoke of the structure it slightly larger than the largest variant of articulated lorry, excluding the supporting legs it is wholly at or above the top of the 1.8 metre fence.


The impact from the elevated platform is not confined to the Playhouse, it includes extensive bulk from various deck verandas and a bridge.

Paragraph 9.17 [of the report] claims a degree of overlooking is acceptable and to be expected I questioned this arbitrary measure of acceptable  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.


6/2022/2533/VAR - CAMPUS WEST THE CAMPUS WELWYN AL8 6BX pdf icon PDF 635 KB

Report of the Assistant Director (Planning).

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The Committee received the report of the Assistant Director, Planning.


The application site comprises of the Campus West Car Park which measures approximately 1.2 hectares in size. The site is located entirely within the Conservation Area and the Ayot Greenway Local Wildlife Site runs along the northern boundary.


Planning permission is now sought under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for a variation of the approved plans condition (No. 21) on planning permission 6/2021/2207/MAJ for changes to the lighting arrangement.


Karen Winbow, Objector, spoke regarding the application:

When the major planning application was decided in December 21, planning officer, Ray Lee, said, back shields to perimeter lights would be installed and diffusers for headlights.  There aren’t any diffusers and limited back shields.


I have written numerous e-mails and still there are no back shields on some of the lights and the ones that are there serve no purpose. They are small bent pieces of metal that are three foot behind the light head so don't shield the light.


At the December 21 meeting, at 55 minutes, Raymond Lee said “install back shields to the lights around the perimeter of the site to reduce light spill.”

and he said, “not result in a significant increase in light pollution over and above the existing situation”.  At 1.00 hour, 17 minutes he also said “utilise shielding, therefore, overall impact will not be material”. At 1.00 hour 53 minutes Jonathan Bolton said lights will be shielded. At 1.00 hour 57 minutes, Alistair Hellyer said there should be a condition that there is conifer screening.  There is no conifer screening.


There are three lights that directly shine into our property, the 6 metre light on the corner of roller city has no shield and the two new lights on the corner of the car park face us and can't be shielded.  Lights facing our property and not capable of being shielded even if their low illumines will impact us more than lights with a higher facing away from us.


The 6 metre light needs a side shield or preferably reduced to a 3 metre

light and shielded. These lights impact us, particularly in the wintertime, particularly when there are no leaves on the trees. The chart of the lumens shown tonight shows that light spillage on northern boundary is the greatest of all the boundaries, even after the reduction of lumens proposed in this application.


I therefore would like the councillors to refuse planning permission. The council do what they want, including installing whatever lights they want, then drawing up three lots of plans to show where they have been installed. The car park is open. It should never have been opened until planning permission was granted, including all the conditions being satisfied. One of the conditions is that a crossing is installed before first use. The car park was opened before work even commenced on the crossing, and the crossing was only commissioned today. The council have behaved  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.


Appeal Decisions Committee Report pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Report of the Assistant Director (Planning) on Appeal Decisions 28/02/2023 to 02/06/2023

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The report was NOTED, and it was agreed that going forward the report would include the original date of call in.


Future Applications Report pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Report of the Assistant Director (Planning) on future planning applications.

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There were no items which required urgent consideration.