To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for a greenkeeping facility (storage/workshop) and yard with ancillary office and sensor activated emergency lighting attached to proposed building
The report of the Chief Planning Officer set out an application for greenkeeping facilities (storage/workshop) and yard, with ancillary office and sensor activated emergency lighting attached to proposed building at Moortown Golf Club, Harrogate Road, Moortown, Leeds.
Members had attended a site visit earlier in the day, photographs and plans were shown throughout the presentation.
Members were advised of the following points:
· This was to be an additional building for the use of greenkeeping;
· Hard standing was to be created and access would remain via across The Fairway;
· Negotiations had taken place with an agreement to remove the proposed floodlights but to keep emergency lighting;
· The proposal was for a large shed looking building which would be clad in green so that it blended into the surroundings;
· There was a generous distance between the proposed building and residential properties;
· The proposed building was to be used for workshop, storage, office space and washrooms;
· The entrance off the Fairway would be accessed by staff only;
· Paragraph 3.2 was highlighted in relation to tree preservation that related to the main golf course and not the application site.
Mr Banks a local resident attended the meeting and spoke against the recommendation informing the Members of the following points:
· There had been 75 objections not 38 as stated in the report;
· The woodland area was identified by DEFRA who had made an inventory of the trees and that paragraph 3.2 did not cover the protected trees;
· There are many species located within that area such as bats, hedgehogs and deer. Although, it was noted that no surveys had been taken on species in the area;
· The community are subject to noise from machinery;
· Lack of privacy as the buildings would be close to residential dwellings;
· The proposed building is over large for the site;
· The water from drains and springs seems to be leaking into residential gardens since the trees were cleared;
· The Himalayan Balsam from the Club has now started invading the residential gardens;
· Herbicide is used to try and clear it from the club which then makes its way into the local springs causing ecological damage;
Responding to Members questions Mr Banks provided the following comments:
· There had been no consultation with residents;
· There was already planning permission for a greenkeeper building that was already on site but it was the view of Mr Banks the club did not want to use this building it as it had asbestos and would be costly to remove it;
Mr Rishworth, Club Secretary and Mr Robinson, Course Manager attended the meeting providing information and responding to Members questions on the following points:
· No increase in activity;
· No increase in access;
· No change in working styles;
· Machinery is currently double parked or left in the open which is why they need the extra building;
· 2 trees had to be removed in December 2017, but these trees were diseased;
· Some shrub land had been removed;
· Work alongside DEFRA and there is a moorland management plan. It was suggested by a Member that water loving trees should be planted to help dry out the soil;
· The building needs to be positioned where is it proposed so that there is sufficient turning space for the vehicles;
· There is no asbestos in the current buildings that are being used;
· The Himalayan Balsam had not been introduced by the club;
· Water could not be draining into the gardens from the Club as the residential area was slightly higher and it would be difficult for water to flow upwards;
· The building was to be dark green to be as natural as possible;
· The Club had used an agent who had discouraged consultation. However, in hindsight Mr Rishworth was of the view that it might have been better to consult with residents;
· The woodland would remain as it is, as this area was wet and it would be difficult to build on, this is why the building is proposed where it is;
· The trees would be protected during construction with a 5 metre clearance to mitigate damage;
· The greenkeepers start early as there is a ‘tee off’ at 7:15. There are reduced numbers of ground staff on a weekend;
· The club have a 10 year agreement with DEFRA to manage shrub land.
· The Himalayan Balsam could be sprayed to get rid of it round the course. The Chair did advise that ‘balsam bashing’ was the most effective way to remove the Balsam;
· It was the intention of the club to retain the current buildings and use them for storage.
Members had noted all the comments of the speakers and discussed the following issues:
· Landscape and boundary treatment and management
RESOLVED – To grant permission subject to the conditions set out on the submitted report and for the following conditions to be added:
· Approved plans
· Drainage and water storage (to explore the use of water butts)
· Landscaping scheme to be agreed with a recommendation that water loving trees should be planted;
· Long term retention of existing boundary treatment where the building is proposed.
Councillor Almas joined the meeting at 13:55 during this item and took no part in the voting.