As I commented only the other day amid local concerns that Westgate Tesco's was already a done deal that you should never say never, tonight's Planning meeting (previewed here) exhibited that perfectly.
Taken first was the proposed car showroom outside Minster. The recommendation was to refuse on grounds that its the countryside and the need for the development did not outweigh this protection. The Committee felt strongly, though not unanimously, that it didn't count as countryside as per the rules and that with the clearing up of the site it would have a positive impact on the area therefore the refusal motion was defeated and replaced with a motion to defer and bring back with appropriate conditions whilst minded to approve at the next meeting.
Next up was the Ellington and Hereson application where Cllr Chris Wells requested that no traffic working on the site would come through Merrivale Heights. The Committee very strongly agreed with this leading to a debate between Members and Officers of how best to do this. Officers didn't seem to be taking on board the point that the Committee really didn't want any traffic going through there and the offer to block only heavy goods vehicles point blank refused. In the end the point got through and the decision was made to approve subject to certain attachments. In short, any traffic going into the site will do so via Ramsgate Road.
Soper's Yard came up next where immediately after the Officer had spoken a motion was made that rather than decide on the recommendation in front of them, they would attend a Site Visit (to be held on 4th January) due to the complexity of this application and to decide it at the next Planning meeting. Fair enough.
With the Solar Park in Minster agreed without debate, the final Planning meeting of 2012 ended.