Dunsfold Liaison Group - Friday, 10th February, 2017 2.00 pm

Proposed venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming

Contact: Amy McNulty  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item




Apologies for absence had been received from Cllr John Gray, and Planning Enforcement Team Leader, Beth Howland-Smith.



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The Chairman, Elizabeth Sims, began the meeting by reminding members of the Terms of Reference of the Dunsfold Liaison Group. She stated that these meetings took place in order to facilitate a dialogue between officers and representatives of Dunsfold Park in regard to planning and environmental enforcement issues and reiterated that these were not decision-making meetings.


The Chairman also welcomed two new members to the Group; Cllr Liz Townsend who represented Cranleigh West Ward and Shabeg Nagra who had recently joined the Council as the Deputy Environmental Health Manager.


The notes that had been circulated prior to the meeting had omitted the detail in regard to the recent planning complaints; an amended version was tabled at the meeting.


There were no matters arising out of the notes of the last meeting.



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The Group reviewed the calendar of planned events. Victoria Choularton, Senior Planning Enforcement Officer, explained that there were currently five dates for planned temporary events as well as eight dates under the Everyman permission. Victoria stated that these dates would be added to the website in due course.


The planned PD dates were as follows:


·         13 May – Lotus 7 Charity Handling Day

·         25 & 26 June – Supercar Event (Dad’s Day Out)

·         26 & 27 August – Wings and Wheels


The planned Everyman (WA/2014/0813) dates were as follows:


·         16 – 18 March

·         20 – 22 April

·         18 – 20 May

·         25 – 27 May


Jamie McAllister added that there were some further provisional dates, and that these would be sent through once they had been confirmed.



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The Group noted that since the last meeting in August 2016, nine complaints had been received in relation to planning enforcement. Victoria Choularton highlighted the complaint received on 11 August 2016 where no further action had been taken; this complaint related to an alleged breach over traffic counts. It was alleged that on six days in April and June, the traffic count had exceeded the limit set by the WA/2007/0372 permission. Victoria explained that when assessing whether this complaint justified further investigation and whether any harm was caused, she had to take into account the advice of Surrey County Council given in relation to the 2015 permission which found that 3348 movements were not harmful. When taking this figure into consideration, the data only alleged that the traffic counts had been exceeded on two days and therefore it was found that there was insufficient evidence of a material breach of planning control.


Jamie McAllister added that the data that had been submitted by the complainant did not correlate to their recorded traffic data. He explained that by measuring traffic movements on the road, other traffic movements would have been captured, not just vehicles visiting Dunsfold Park. Jamie gave as an example of this, the work that had been taking place on the new Compass Bridge by the Wey and Arun Canal Trust. Gerry Forristal added that their system used loops on the ground at the gates which ensured that only traffic visiting the site was captured.


Cllr Deanus explained that not all members were aware of the new limit advised by Surrey County Council and asked that this information be shared with members to ensure they were giving consistent advice to residents. Having noted that two breaches had not been considered sufficient evidence of a breach of planning control, Cllr Deanus queried how many breaches would need to occur before enforcement would take place. Elizabeth Sims, Head of Planning, explained that the enforcement system would apply to any alleged breach, and officers would need to gather a body of evidence to demonstrate persistent, material harm. It was therefore not possible to put a specific number on how may breaches would result in enforcement action; officers would need to look at the data, identify patterns and weigh up the harm. Cllr Deanus asked whether the Council writes to applicants to inform them that an alleged breach had occurred, as he felt that it needed to be clear that the Council would take action in response to breaches. Peter Cleveland, Development Control Manager, reassured the Group that the Council had written to the applicant to inform them of the alleged breach and to inform them that officers would be monitoring the situation.


Cllr Townsend asked what were the two figures of traffic movements that exceeded the 3348 level. Officers agreed to provide this information after the meeting.


Jamie added that the condition had been imposed to prevent harm, and that the underlying reason for the cap was so as to not exceed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.




Gisella De Gennaro, Senior Environmental Health Officer, informed the Group that there had been two environmental health complaints since the last meeting. The first complaint related to track noise, and diary sheets had been sent to the complainant. The completed diary sheets did not give the information necessary to make an assessment and so officers visited the site when the noise was occurring. Although the sounds of the track were audible, it was not found to be a statutory nuisance. Officers had offered to visit on another occasion to measure the noise again but had received no further contact from the complainant.


The second complaint had not come directly to Environmental Health. Officers had given advice to contact Environmental Health directly in future, or to use the electronic form. Gisella explained that limited action could be taken with third party complaints as they did not contain all the information required to fully investigate. No further complaints had been received.


Noting that some of the recent complaints related to construction works, Gerry Forristal shared photographs of the construction that was currently under way which also showed the trees screening the site. He acknowledged that it was inevitable that construction would generate some noise but stated that Dunsfold Park was working to get the buildings up as quickly and efficiently as possible. He emphasised that there were no floodlights used on site, and this was supported by the photographs.


It was noted that there had been some complaints in relation to working out of hours and Sunday working. Gerry stated that no Sunday working was taking place; Dunsfold Park had received the Waverley Code of Practice from Planning Services and the Site Manager had signed up to it.




The Group reviewed the trip movements for the period 22 June 2016 to 8 January 2017. It was noted that the average night movements were within the condition cap. 38 days exceeded the cap set by the 2007 permission, however taking into account the new cap of 3348 there were only 11 days over this, four of these were PD days and so outside the scope of the permission, therefore only seven days had exceeded the cap. Victoria Choularton stated therefore that there was insufficient evidence of a material breach to justify enforcement action at this time, but that officers would continue to monitor the situation and attempt to identify patterns. Gerry Forristal agreed with Victoria’s assessment of the data; he stated that traffic levels were unpredictable and they had been unable to identify any trends. He also noted that there were also a considerable number of days when the traffic movements had been well below the level of the cap.


Gerry added that the data now differentiated between HGVs and other traffic, however noted that that ‘HGVs’ included any vehicle over 3.5 tons, which was approximately anything larger than a transit van, so did not necessarily mean large articulated lorries.


Cllr Byham noted that the HGV figures for the Compass Gate were higher than Stovolds Hill and Gerry explained that Dunsfold Park had requested that all HGVs use this gate.


Jamie McAllister provided an update on the re-instatement of the BBC track area. He stated that all the concrete had been removed and soil filled in; it would then be re-seeded in March.


Peter Cleveland provided an update on the current live application in relation to the new settlement. The permission had been granted by the Joint Planning Committee, subject to referral to the Secretary of Sate and the completing of the s.106 agreement by 14 June. Discussions were ongoing with the applicants and solicitors; there were detailed Heads of Terms to inform the legal agreement. Peter agreed to circulate the Heads of Terms to members for easy reference. It was hoped that the s.106 agreement would be completed ahead of schedule. There had not yet been a response from the Secretary of State as to whether the application would be called in, but the s.106 agreement would still need to be completed by the time of the Inquiry if there was to be one.




Cllr Seaborne asked when the six new units would be completed. Gerry Forristal stated that all work should be completed by late summer with occupancy expected in August or September.




It was agreed that the next meeting would be held following the submission of the next batch of traffic data, in early July.


The Chairman reminded members of the Group that complaints could still be raised with officers in the interim, and that should any urgent issues arise, a meeting could be convened earlier than July.