The representative of the Head of Development Management made the following points by Way of introduction:
a. The details of the application site were outlined
b. A number of maps of the Avonmouth & Severnside Enterprise Area were shared
c. The summary of the development extracted from the report:
· The application relates to a major infrastructure project to provide addition flood protection works and ecological mitigation works in the Avonmouth area.
· The project runs from Lamplighters Marsh in the south up to the Severn Crossing in South Gloucestershire, and hence parallel applications have been submitted to both authorities.
· The project intends to provide two areas of ecological mitigation, to include proposed wetland environment at Hallen Marsh.
· The project intends to protect existing homes and business, has the potential of providing additional employment land to meet the needs of the city.
d. Concerns were raised from the public consultation
· Challenge to the Flood Risk Assessment
· The amendment sheet with committee detailed the issues raised by the Bristol Port Company with regards the modelling that was undertaken and the issues relating to the Lock Gates.
e. Offices sought Delegated Authority to enable the finalisation of the detailed technical conditions relating to the application.
f. Committee were advised that both authorities had to approve the development of this joint project, to enable matters to progress. South Gloucestershire would be considering the application in the New Year towards the end of January or early February 2019.
g. Officers requested that Committee delegate authority to Officers to grant planning permission subject to conditions (to be granted) and to delay issuing the decision such that it coincided with the decision being made on the South Gloucestershire application.
Questions for clarification
h. Concerns were raised about the Lock Gate issue not being resolved before the application came to committee. Members asked:
· Why the lock gate issue had not been resolved before the application came to committee
· Whether the application could be taken in part to allow for the a resolution of the lock gates
· If the application could be deferred
i. Officers advised
· that the development would not preclude an opportunity for future consideration on the issue of funding (of the Lock Gates) and to formulate a solution, but not as part of this application.
· That Officers were unable to direct that the suggested works were completed at this stage as the wider issue is with other parties to determine;
· the application could be deferred for wider discussion on the lock gates but there is no immediate solution available on the issue,;
· the application provided resilience to the area notwithstanding the gap;
· that future discussions on conditions to extend the length of the wall can be part of the development process;
j. Trees: Officers advised that the tree replacement conditions would be developed further and could be done via phasing scheme to be conditioned.
k. Questions were asked of Officers relating to the timing of the current application in relation to the wider scheme.
l. Officers explained that the application put to committee had to be considered and not the scope of the project. The scope of the project has been determined by others although further consideration to closing the gap up to the lock gates is being discussed with the relevant parties;; and that there were alternative solutions to the lock gates from yet undetermined flood defences options which may come forward in the future.
m. It was asked of Officers whether committee could be provided with an update on unresolved conditions on the 9th January. Members were informed that an update can be provided at a future meeting and that information can be issued in tandem with South Gloucestershire.
n. Officers provided a further explanation to the maps detailing the flooding scenarios with and without the scheme.
o. Members asked whether the scheme did more good than harm and Officers gave assurance that it did.
p. Cllr Clarke questioned whether committee could approve the scheme in its current format.
q. Cllr Stevens stated he would find it difficult to approve a scheme with a ‘hole’ in it.
r. Cllr Davies concluded that the report was very technical and it was right to trust the observations and guidance of Officers in this instance; that the application would have a major impact on preventing floods events.
s. Cllr Windows concluded that the application did more good than harm to the area in question and would support Officers recommendation.
t. Chair was aware of local issues and would support Officers recommendation and for delegated decision to Officers.
u. Cllr Clough proposed and Cllr Windows seconded that committee accept the Officers recommendation as set out in the Amendment sheet and grant the applications subject to conditions and grant Officers delegated authority.
v. When put to the vote:
Resolved (5 for; 3 against; 1 abstention) that the application be approved subject to the recommendations detailed in the amendment sheet and agreed conditions. That Officers have delegated authority to issue the decision as set out in the report.