Steven King, Planning Applications Team Leader, introduced the report for the full planning permission for the redevelopment of the site to provide 145 new residential flats with Commercial floorspace (A2 use) and associated car parking. He noted that two buildings remained on the site in Clair Road but the majority of buildings that used to be on the site had been demolished. The Planning Applications Team Leader noted that the proposed buildings were now more uniform in height, the two upper floors would be set back and the landscaping to the frontage would improve the street scene.
The Team Leader highlighted that the principle of the development had already been established and the high quality design would improve the public realm. The design optimises the use of the site. He confirmed that Design Review Panel had been consulted and both they and the Urban Designer were content with the proposal. 30% affordable rented accommodation would be included in the section 106 agreement and the Housing Team were content. The main impact of the development would be to the properties to the north of the site. Although the view would change significantly the loss of light had been assessed and there would be no significant adverse impact to the occupants.
The Team Leader stated that the two main access points remained the same as the outline application and vehicle movements from the site would be less than those in peak hours from the previous use of the site. The car parking spaces had reduced to 76 with a dedicated number allocated for the affordable units, 30 spaces for the 44 units. This was 12 spaces less than the consented scheme. However, the level of parking provision was acceptable as the site is in a highly sustainable location next to the railway station, a supermarket and is within walking distance of the town centre.
Tim Rodway, agent, and Stephens Andrews, architect for the applicant, spoke in favour of the application.
A Member sought clarification from the officer regarding the installation of access gates and the classification of the commercial floorspace. The Team Leader confirmed that no gates would be installed and condition 12 requested details of the Car Park Management Plan. He noted that the application before the Committee was for A2 use and any future change of use would require a further planning permission. He advised that this did not mean that alternative uses on the ground floor would not be considered, the planning condition just meant that proposed changes of use would require planning permission.
Members discussed the reduction in car parking spaces, allocation of spaces to the flats and access points to the buildings and car park.
The Team Leader confirmed each commercial floor space had separate access points. He noted that Highways and the environmental health officer were content with the Construction Management Plan that was approved under the outline planning permission. The site would be developed from block A through to block D. He noted that if a variation in the Construction Management Plan was required the applicant would have to contact the planning department. He advised that condition 3 was relevant due to the historical use of the site and had been recommended by the contaminated land officer in the approved outline permission. In response to questions regarding satellite dishes he confirmed that there were no permitted development rights on the flats for residents to make external changes to the building without obtaining the required planning permission.
The Chairman stated that conditions 6 and 7 dealt with the Urban Designers comments. He noted that the all residential units would be rented and the applicant should ensure the Car Parking Management Plan would meet the needs of the tenants.
A Member asked whether the Council was content with the impact of the amenity on daylight and noise levels and queried the Car Club Scheme. The Chairman noted that the flats would have a three year tenure. The Team Leader confirmed that the applicant could build in flexibility when submitting the Car Park Management Plan.
Several Members stated they supported the scheme and were pleased to note the additional financial contribution for Newtons Surgery.
The Chairman noted that no more Members wished to speak so took Members to Recommendations A and B as set out in the report. These were approved unanimously.
That planning permission be granted subject to the completion of a section 106 legal agreement to secure the necessary infrastructure contributions and affordable housing and the conditions listed in the appendix.
If the applicants have not entered into a satisfactory section 106 agreement to secure the necessary infrastructure payments and affordable housing by 28th June 2019 then the application should be refused at the discretion of Divisional Leader for Planning and Economy for the following reason:
The proposal fails to provide the required infrastructure contributions necessary to
serve the development and the required affordable housing. The proposal therefore
conflicts with polices DP20 and DP31 of the District Plan.