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Agenda item

Pilcher Homes Tower House, Askham Fields Lane, Askham Bryan, York [19/00454/FUL]

Erection of one building to form additional office space (Use Class B1) [Rural West York Ward] [Site Visit]


Members considered a full application from Swain and Pilcher for the erection of a building to form additional office space (Use Class B1) at Pilcher Homes Tower House Askham Fields Lane Askham Bryan York.


Leah Swain, joint applicant (Community First Yorkshire) spoke in support of the application. She explained that Community First Yorkshire is a rural charity providing health support. The charity had been at the offices at Askham Bryan for nine years and at the moment was in period of growth resulting in a need for more meeting room space at the offices. She highlighted that the charity could relocate elsewhere in North Yorkshire where premises were cheaper, but they wished to remain in York. In response to questions from the Committee, she confirmed that:

·        At the moment there was no space for one to one meetings or working group meetings.

·        There would be three additional car parking spaces in the car park in addition to the existing eight spaces should the application be approved.

·        Links with the nearby Askham Bryan College were not substantial although there were links with volunteers from the College.


The Head of Development Services was asked and confirmed that with reference to flood risk and drainage, there had been no objections raised from Yorkshire Water or the Ainsty Drainage Board, however concerns raised by the Flood Risk Management Team regarding surface water run-off being drained into a soak-away would be dealt with by conditions.


Resolved: That the application be approved.




                     i.        The application site is located within the general extent of the York Green Belt and serves a number of Green Belt purposes. As such it falls to be considered under paragraph 143 of the NPPF which states that inappropriate development, is by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances. Very special circumstances will not exist unless the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness and any other harm are clearly outweighed by other considerations. National planning policy dictates that substantial weight should be given to any harm to the Green Belt.


                    ii.        National planning policy (para. 145) states that the construction of new building in the Green Belt should be regarded as inappropriate unless it falls within one of the exceptions to this outlined in paragraph 145 b of the NPPF.   The proposal does not fall within one of the exception categories and it fails to  preserve the openness of the Green Belt and conflicts with the purposes of including land  within the Green Belt, namely parts C of policy 134 of the NPPF (assisting in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment), contrary to paragraph 145b of the NPPF.


                  iii.        The proposal is considered to be acceptable on other relevant matters, such as design, impact upon highways, neighbouring residential amenity and drainage and floodrisk. Moderate weight is applied to these matters.  Weighing up the planning balance, it is considered that the considerations set out in paragraphs 4.29-4.30, 4.32-4.35 and 4.36 would collectively clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt.  No other harm has been identified and that the very special circumstances necessary to justify the proposed development exist.


Supporting documents:


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