Agenda and minutes

Contact: Louise McLornan, Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item




            An apology for inability to attend was reported from Councillor Hanvey.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 644 KB


            The minutes of the meetings of 15th December were taken as read and signed as correct.  It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 7th January, subject to the omission of those matters in respect of which the Council had delegated its powers to the Committee.



Declarations of Interest


            Councillor Groogan declared an interest in item 7c – the Centralised Anaerobic Digestion (CAD) plant at lands to the northwest of existing Belfast City Council Waste Transfer Station, 2a Dargan Road, in that she had asked questions in relation to the application but that, as she had not expressed a view in respect of it, she was content that she could participate in any discussion on the matter.


            Councillor O’Hara also declared an interest in Item 7c – the CAD plant, in that he was on the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners as a political appointment, and that it had objected to the application. He advised that, as it was a Council appointment and as he did not have a pecuniary interest, he could fully participate in the discussion on the item.


            Councillor Nicholl declared an interest in Item 8a, the Proposed listing of nine Street Signs, in that a party colleague lived in one of the streets and she did not participate in the vote on the item.



Restricted Item


            The information contained in the report associated with the following item is restricted in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.


      Resolved – That the Committee agrees to exclude the members of the Press and public from the Committee meeting during discussion of these items as, due to the nature of the items, there would be a disclosure of exempt information as described in Section 42(4) and Section 6 of the Local Government Act (NI) 2014.



Finance Update


            The Committee was provided with an update on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Council’s financial position, and a strategy to address the forecast deficit and the mitigation measures which had and would be taken as the situation evolved.





Abandonments pdf icon PDF 610 KB


            The Committee noted that the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) proposed to abandon an area of footway at Albert Street/rear of Quadrant Place under Article 68(1) of the Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 1993.



Committee Site Visits pdf icon PDF 191 KB


The Committee noted that a site visit had been undertaken, on 13th January, to LA04/2019/2653/F - Demolition of existing property and erection of a 9 storey building (overall height 37m) comprising a ground floor retail unit together with cycle parking and plant areas and 8 floors of Grade A office accommodation at Chancery House, 88 Victoria Street.



Planning Decisions Issued pdf icon PDF 119 KB


            The Committee noted a list of decisions which had been taken under the delegated authority of the Director of Planning and Building Control, together with all other planning decisions which had been issued by the Planning Department between 14th December, 2020 and 11th January, 2021.



Planning Appeals Notified pdf icon PDF 94 KB


            The Committee noted the receipt of correspondence in respect of a number of planning appeals which had been submitted to the Planning Appeals Commission, together with the outcomes of a range of hearings which had been considered by the Commission.



Planning Applications pdf icon PDF 409 KB


Withdrawn Item


            The Committee noted that the following item had been withdrawn from the agenda:


·        LA04/2020/0426/F - Reconstruction of petrol station and ancillary retail unit including the replacement of fuel tanks, pumps and canopy alterations. Hot food takeaway unit, ATM, compactor and provision of an EV charging facility at 228 -232 Stewartstown Road.



LA04/2019/1540/F - Centralised Anaerobic Digestion (CAD) plant to include a bunded tank farm, (6no. digester tanks, 2no. buffer tanks. 1no. storage tank and associated pump rooms), biogas holder, biogas conditioning system, temperature control system, waste-water treatment plant (WWTP), motor circuit control room building, hot/cold water recovery system, feedstock reception and digestate treatment building, product storage building, odour control system and associated tanks, emergency gas flare, back-up boiler, administration/office building, car parking, 3no. Weighbridges, fire water tank and pump house, pipelines to existing combined heat and power (CHP) plant engines, switchgear, earth bunding, 3no. Accesses to existing Giant's Park Service road infrastructure and ancillary plant/site works on lands to the northwest of existing Belfast City Council Waste Transfer Station (2a Dargan Road) pdf icon PDF 871 KB


            Moved by Councillor Groogan

            Seconded by Councillor Garrett and


      Resolved - That the Committee agrees to:


1.      defer consideration of the item to request further information on the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) which had been carried out by Shared Environmental Services (SES), and;

2.      to hold a non-mandatory Pre-Determination Hearing in respect of the application in due course.



(Reconsidered item) LA04/2019/1833/F - New dwelling to replace previous dwelling on site at 11 Ashley Park, Dunmurry pdf icon PDF 445 KB


            The Principal Planning officer reminded the Committee that, at its meeting on 15th December, it had agreed to defer consideration of the application to enable a site visit to be undertaken to allow the Committee to acquaint itself with the location and the proposals at first hand.  The site visit had been scheduled to take place on 13th January, 2021, but no Members attended.


            She provided the Committee with the details of the proposal for a new dwelling to replace the previous dwelling on site, with connection to all existing services to the site and the use of the existing vehicular access into the site.  The site had previously contained a dwelling which was demolished between 2012 and 2015.  She explained that the site was white land within the BUAP and was in the Dunmurry draft Area of Townscape Character as designated within dBMAP.


She explained the key issues which had been considered in the assessment of the application, including the principle of a dwelling in that location, the character, layout, design, private amenity, access/parking and the impact on neighbouring amenity.


            She explained that the surrounding area comprised of dwellings which were set back from the road and contained driveways to the side. The proposed dwelling in the application was, in that regard, out of character. However, it was considered that the proposed dwelling was in a similar location to the previously demolished dwelling and it was therefore considered that, while the previous dwelling was demolished a number of years ago, it would attribute to the character of the area. She outlined that, in considering the previous dwelling, it was deemed that the proposal respected the surrounding context and was appropriate.


            She added that, when the designation of draft ATC was applied, the previous dwelling would have been in situ and, therefore, the proposal would not impact the character of the draft ATC given its similarities in location and massing to the previous dwelling. The proposal therefore complied with policy ATC 1 of the addendum to PPS 6.


            The Members were advised that the principle of a dwelling in the location was acceptable.  The Principal Planning officer advised that the design and layout was compatible with PPS7 and would not impact on the character of the area or result in an unacceptable impact to neighbouring amenity.


            However, she pointed out that an application could only be considered a replacement dwelling when there was a physical structure on the site to be replaced. PPS21 stated that the dwelling to be replaced must, as a minimum, have all external walls intact and that the access was also linked to the dwelling. She explained that, as the previous dwelling had been demolished, the development as a whole must be assessed as a new dwelling and considered under its own merits. The demolition of the previous dwelling meant that any new development and associated access had to adhere to current policy and guidance.


            She advised thatDFI Roads had objected to the proposal, as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10b


LA04/2018/2659/F - 22 residential units in a mix of 20 detached dwellings and 2 apartments with associated site works, parking and landscaping on lands on McClure Street to include land south of Railway and north of Powerscourt Place; between 10 Cameron Street and 85 Ormeau Road pdf icon PDF 962 KB


            The Principal Planning officer provided the Committee with the key aspects of the scheme.


            She outlined the issues which had been considered in the assessment of the development, including the principle of development, the design, layout, impact on character and appearance of the area, parking and access, amenity space provision, drainage and flooding, infrastructure, contamination and ecology.


            The Committee was advised that the Council was the landowner and that the site was located adjacent to a railway line and comprised two landscaped areas separated by McClure Street.  The Principal Planning officer advised that the site was located on the boundary of the city centre and was identified as open space in both versions of dBMAP.


            She provided the Members with the planning history of the site, which she advised was an important consideration of the current proposal.  She explained that application Z/2014/0586/F had been refused permission for 27 dwellings with no in curtilage car parking on the site. The Committee was advised that the proposal was dismissed at appeal, however, the Commission had determined that the principle of the use of the site for social housing represented substantial community benefit to outweigh the loss of the open space to meet an exception to Policy OS1 of PPS8.


            The Committee was advised that the current application had a reduced number of units, from 27 down to 22, and that it incorporated in curtilage parking.  The Principal Planning officer explained that the application was also accompanied by Flood Risk and Drainage Assessments.


            She highlighted to the Committee that 6 letters of support, 49 objections and 2 petitions of objection with 36 signatories had been received in respect of the proposed development. The objections were received from 32 different persons/addresses and raised issues primarily with respect to parking, traffic, noise, loss of open space, amenity and the character of the area. She explained that the issues had been addressed in the case officer’s report. The Members were advised that the most recent amended layout had been re-advertised and neighbour notified, with two representations having been received from one objector and one letter of support.


            The Committee noted that Environmental Health, DFI Roads, NI Water, Rivers Agency, NITHC, NIHE and NIEA had all been consulted and had offered no objection to the proposal.


            The Principal Planning officer drew the Committee’s attention to the Late Items pack, whereby correspondence had been received from an objector.  She outlined the Case officer’s response to the issues raised, including that DfI Roads had required a number of amendments to the application and that, during the processing of the application, an adjacent development on the lands had been approved by the Planning Appeals Commission, which required the application to be amended to take account of that committed development.


            In relation to the social housing element, the Principal Planning officer explained that officers had since considered that a legal agreement might be more appropriate to secure the social housing use on the site.  She explained that the Council’s Physical  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10c


LA04/2019/2229/F - 17.5m telecommunications column, with 6 antennae (3 enclosed within a shroud. 3 not enclosed) 3 radio units and 4 new equipment cabinets and associated ground works on footpath adjacent to no 318 Ravenhill Road. pdf icon PDF 563 KB


            The Planning Manager provided the principal aspects of the application for a 4G mast, with associated cabinets, to the Committee.


            The main issues which had been considered in the assessment of the case were the principle of development, the impact on the character and appearance of the area, mast sharing and the potential to share existing structures, health considerations and road safety.


            He explained that no third party objections had been received.


            The Committee was advised that DfI Roads objected to the proposal.  He drew the Committee’s attention to the Late Items pack, whereby DFI Roads had clarified their objection to the proposal, in that they felt that the column and cabinets would partially obscure the view of the existing advertising signage on the side of the shop.  DfI Roads advised that it felt that drivers might avert their attention from the road ahead for a greater period than would be required if the signage were unobstructed, as they tried to interpret what the signs were advertising.  Driver distraction was one of the main causes of road traffic collisions.


            The Planning Manager outlined that the signage referred to by DfI Roads was, in fact, unauthorised, and that an enforcement case had been opened in respect of it.  He explained that it was considered that the applicant should not be prejudiced because of unauthorised works by another party.


            He explained that DfI Roads had raised no other issues and that the mast was considered acceptable in other respects. The Committee was advised that the applicant had amended the proposal in an effort to reduce the extent to which the signs were obscured, with the proposed equipment only marginally obscuring part of one of the two signs.


            A Member queried what the outcome would be if the Committee was to approve the application for the mast while the unauthorised signage remained in place.


            The Planning Manager advised the Members that the agent for the application was in attendance and might be better placed to advise the Committee of their timeline between the approval of a planning application and the construction work on the mast.  He added that, if approval was granted to the mast, his expectation would be that Planning would promptly undertake enforcement action to remove the signs due to the potential for conflict.


            A further Member queried how long the signage had been there and whether the situation could arise whereby the Committee approved the mast and associated cabinets, and that the signage were also to remain as a result of having exceeded the timeline for enforcement action to be taken.  The Planning Manager confirmed to the Committee that officers had already considered that eventuality and he confirmed that the signage had not been in existence beyond the 10 year limit.


            In response to a request from a Member regarding the uncertainty around the permissions required for advertisement signage, the Director of Planning confirmed that the Committee was scheduled to receive training on enforcement in March 2020 and that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10d


Miscellaneous Items


Proposed Listing of nine Street Signs pdf icon PDF 319 KB

Additional documents:


            The Director of Planning and Building Control advised the Committee that correspondence had been received from the Historic Environment Division (HED) regarding the proposed listing of nine street signs in Belfast.  He explained that Article 80 (3) of the Planning Act (NI) 2011 required that HED consulted with the Council before placing any such sign on the statutory list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.


            The Committee agreed to recommend to the Historic Environment Division that it should proceed with the proposed listing of the following nine street signs, situated at the junctions of:


·        Beersbridge Road and Upper Newtownards Road;

·        Summerhill Parade and Barnett’s Road;

·        Knockland Park and Barnett’s Road;

·        Cherryvalley Park and Kensington Road;

·        Kensington Road and Knock Road;

·        Eastleigh Drive and Kincora Avenue;

·        Clonlee Drive and Upper Newtownards Road;

·        Belmont Church Road and Sydenham Avenue; and

·        Carolhill Gardens and Holywood Road.