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Disclosures of Interest
In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, Councillors of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.
The following disclosures of interests were made:
The Planning Code of Conduct requires Councillors who have been lobbied, received correspondence or been approached by an interested party with respect to any planning matter should declare this at the meeting which discusses the matter. Councillors should declare if they have been lobbied at this point in the agenda.
The following lobbying declarations were made by Councillors:-
Councillors Irvine, Malik and P C Smith had been lobbied regarding application CR/2019/0214/OUT.
Councillor Purdy had been lobbied regarding application CR/2019/0403/FUL.
Councillor Jaggard had been lobbied regarding application CR/2019/0550/FUL.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 21 October 2019.
The minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 21 October 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
To consider report PES/326aof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to REFUSE
The Committee considered report PES/326a of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Retrospective application for retention of hardstanding/fencing and proposed change of use of grassland/woodland to vehicle storage.
The Principal Planning Officer (MR) provided a verbal summation of the application. The Committee heard that retrospective permission had been sought after changes made at the site had come to the attention of Officers. The site, which fell within the boundary of the Forge Wood development, had previously been allocated for ecological enhancement and a retention of green space. The Committee heard that the site had instead seen the loss of both flora and fauna, and that the applicant had not made moves to mitigate this loss. The Committee was asked to note an update to the report which saw the removal of refusal reason number 8 and that this would instead be recorded on the decision notice as an informative.
The Committee then considered the application. Committee members discussed the loss of trees at the site, which Officers described as having been felled quickly. The Committee expressed general dissatisfaction with the application and queries were raised regarding the potential for enforcement action to be taken in the future if a breach of planning conditions was to be found.
Refuse subject to reasons set out in report PES/326a, with the exception of reason 8.
To consider report PES/326c of the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to REFUSE
The Committee considered report PES/326c of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Outline application (access and layout to be determined with appearance, landscaping and scale reserved) for the erection of a part 3 and part 4 storey building comprising of 5 x 1no. Bedroom flats and 15 x 2no. Bedroom flats, following the demolition of existing semi-detached dwellings, the creation of a new vehicular access from Stonefield Close and associated works and landscaping (amended plans received).
Councillors A Belben, Hart, Irvine, Jaggard and Purdy declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer (MR) provided a verbal summation of the application. The Committee heard that the positioning, access and parking of the proposed development were deemed acceptable but there had been a failure to meet both the target threshold of 40% affordable housing as set out in the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015-2030, and the minimum threshold of 10% affordable housing as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
James Brill spoke in objection to the application. Concerns were raised regarding the size, parking, access, drainage, and general design and positioning of the development. The objector referred to the requirement for a minimum of a 21 metre gap between properties, and requested that Officers note that a town planning consultant had calculated that there would be a 15.74 gap metre to Alexandra Court. Concerns were also raised regarding disturbance to elderly residents of Stonefield Close and Alexandra Court.
Chris Maunders, on behalf of the applicant, spoke in support of the application and stated that the application had been submitted alongside a financial viability assessment, which had concluded that no affordable housing would be financially viable at the site. This assessment was reported as having stood up to further scrutiny. The negotiations that had occurred between the applicant and the LPA had been unsuccessful, and the Committee was informed that the applicant proposed to defend their position at appeal.
The Committee then considered the application. Committee members asked Officers to confirm the size of the gap between the proposed development and 26 Stonefield Close, which was noted at 28 metres to the side of the house. The Officer also advised that the Urban Design SPD distances between facing elevations apply to rear elevations and that an intervening road would be a different context to a rear-to-rear relationship, as there would already be a lower level of privacy due to existing public views of the side elevation of the neighbouring building.
The importance of affordable housing was discussed; Officers confirmed that Council policy requires affordable housing provision or a contribution to affordable housing in all residential dwellings where one or more unit is created.
Following discussion regarding the negotiation history between the applicant and the LPA, the Committee noted that the 40% requirement sought by policy H4 would not be viable, but Officers considered that the 10% threshold as set out in the NPPF should be provided as a minimum. The potential of the site ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To consider report PES/326dof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT
The Committee considered report PES/326d of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Erection of a three storey building to provide teaching facilities, classrooms and practical space for science technology engineering and maths (STEM) provision.
The Group Manager (Development Management) provided a verbal summation of the application and informed the Committee that further plans had been received which had led to the revision of several conditions in the original report, detailed as follows:
The committee was asked to note that the application site address would be changed from Central Sussex College to Crawley College.
The following revisions were made regarding the recommendation and conditions in the committee report:
Revised recommendation (deleting Travel Plan reference):
PERMIT subject to:
21. Upon the first occupation of the development hereby approved, the applicant shall implement the measures incorporated within the approved Crawley College STEM Travel Plan (revised and submitted on 13 November 2019). The Applicant shall thereafter monitor, report and subsequently revise the Travel Plan as specified within the approved document unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
Reason: To encourage and promote sustainable transport, reduce reliance on the private car and in accordance with policy IN3 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015 - 2030.
2. The development hereby permitted shall not be carried out other than in accordance with the approved plans as listed below save as varied by the conditions hereafter:
To consider report PES/326eof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT
Erection of front and rear extensions to Units XA1/XA2 of Nyetimber Ltd Winery building.
The Principal Planning Officer (MR) provided a verbal summation of the application. The Committee was asked to note that the reference to drawing number 19030-CFN-00-01-DR-M-2111 RevS2-P1 should instead read 19030-CFN-00-01-DR-M-2111 RevS2-P2. The Committee heard that the proposed extensions were of the same design and style as the current building, and that there would be minimal impact on public views due to the building’s location. Officers had raised concerns over the low number of car parking spaces available at the site but deemed this acceptable considering the few employees hired by Nyetimber and the way the business operates. Any future change of occupancy of the building remained a concern in regard to availability of parking. Officers welcomed the expansion of a local business. It was noted that a S106 Agreement was necessary to control the use of the site for this specific operator and to secure a Manor Royal Contribution
The Committee heard a revision be made to condition 12 to read:
‘Before the use of the extensions hereby permitted commences, measures to enable the development to be 'network ready' in the event that a District Energy Scheme is delivered in the vicinity shall be implemented in accordance with drawing no.19030-CFN-00-01-DR-M-2111 RevS2-P2 unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
REASON: In the interests of environmental sustainability in accordance with Policy ENV7 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015-2030’.
Antonia Catlow, on behalf of the agent, spoke in support of the application. The business’ success was described, as well as a desire to improve energy efficiency and maintain landscaping at the site. It was noted that a proportion of the existing parking spaces were currently fenced off and inaccessible – meaning the proposed development was anticipated to create two extra spaces rather than lose any. The business was willing to liaise with the LPA regarding any potential occupants of the building in the future.
The Committee then considered the application. The change to parking space availability was noted, as was the importance of an open dialogue with Nyetimber should the business relocate.
Permit subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement, together with the conditions and informatives set out in report PES/26e.
To consider report PES/326fof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT
The Committee considered report PES/326f of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Change of use from storage & distribution (Class B8) to a flexible use including general industrial (Class B2) and/or storage & distribution (Class B8) use and physical works to the car park
The Group Manager (Development Management) provided a verbal summation of the application. The Committee was informed that there was an intention to reconfigure the car park to accommodate parking and introduce a one-way system to the site. The proposed layout would provide a total of 177 car parking spaces, and it was necessary for the amount of B2-use floorspace to be limited as, if all the floorspace was changed to B2 use, there would be a requirement for 295 spaces (a shortfall of 118 parking spaces). A maximum of 4,776sq m of B2 floorspace was proposed to be permitted via condition; this would be a deficit of 10 parking spaces. However it was considered that this slight shortfall in parking spaces against the adopted standard was acceptable given the relatively sustainable location of Camino Park.
The Committee then considered the application. In response to a query raised, it was noted that the previous occupier was Evans Cycles and it was important to maintain and reinforce a business function within the main employment area.
Permit subject to conditions set out in report PES/326f.
To consider report PES/326gof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to REFUSE
The Committee considered report PES/326g of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Loft conversion incorporating a rear dormer and erection of first floor extension over existing garage, one roof light on rear roof slope and three roof lights on front roof slope (amended description & amended plans received)
Councillors Belben, Hart, Irvine, Jaggard and P C Smith declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer (MR) provided a verbal summation of the application and updated the Committee that the application had been revised to exclude the rear dormer and consequently paragraphs 5.11 and 5.12 within the report were no longer relevant. The application description and recommendation had been amended as follows:
Erection of first floor extension over existing garage, one roof light on rear roof slope and three roof lights on front roof slope (amended description & amended plans received)
REFUSE - For the following reason(s):-
1. The proposed first floor side extension, by virtue of their design, scale/massing, bulk and prominence, would appear visually dominant and discordant, would fail to respect the scale, design and form of the original property, and would be harmful to the character and appearance of the existing dwelling and the visual amenities of the street scene. The proposal conflicts with the Policies CH2 and CH3 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015-2030, the Urban Design Supplementary Planning Document (2016) and the relevant paragraphs of the National Planning Policy (2019).
In updating the Committee further, the Principal Planning Officer clarified the issues in regard to the design, scale and prominence of the proposed extension in relation to the existing design of the house and its context in a group of four similar houses. The Officer described harm to the visual amenity of the area and the street scene.
Paul Clarke (the agent) spoke in support of the planning application, whilst Councillor Millar-Smith (Ward member) also spoke on the application (both objecting to the recommendation for refusal).
The Committee then considered the application. In response to issues raised, the Principal Planning Officer:
· Confirmed the difference between the height of the proposed extension and that of the extension previously permitted.
· Responded to the two concerns with the side extension relating to its bulk and mass, together with the loss of the barn hip element of the roof and how the resultant building would appear incongruous with the alteration to the shape of the main roof and the addition of the barn hip extension roof to the main roof as altered. The extension would not have a meaningful setdown and the proposed first floor side extension would result in the loss of the barn hip element of the main roof.
· Acknowledged that the previously permitted extension would result in the provision of less accommodation for the applicant than the new extension proposal.
· Identified that other examples of properties discussed were in different contexts, and were houses of different design.
The Committee expressed concern that a precedent could be set ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
To consider report PES/326hof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT
The Committee considered report PES/326h of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Proposed replacement of existing windows and doors.
Councillors Belben, Jaggard and Purdy declared they had visited the site.
The Group Manager (Development Management) provided a verbal summation of the application. The Committee was advised that a number of the flats within the neighbourhood centre had already undergone similar changes to the windows and doors and as a result it was not considered that the proposed change would significantly impact the visual amenity of the streetscene of Southgate Neighbourhood Centre Conservation Area.
The Committee then considered the application. In response to concerns and issues raised, it was acknowledged that uPVC windows and doors were not the most environmentally friendly material as the substance itself was not easily recyclable. However the proposal was beneficial for the occupants as it improved insulation, reduced draughts and energy consumption in comparison to metal windows. It was considered to accord with relevant Local Plan policies, the Urban Design SPD and the NPPF.
Permit subject to conditions set out in report PES/326h.
To consider Report PES/342 of the Head of Economy and Planning.
Item to follow.
The Committee considered report PES/342 of the Head of Economy and Planning which explained the circumstances in relation to planning application CR/2018/0894/OUT for which an appeal was underway. The appeal had been lodged on the grounds that the Local Planning Authority had failed to determine the application within the statutory time frame. Although the Planning Committee was no longer in a position to formally determine the planning application, the report set out the officers’ concerns with the application and the grounds on which they considered the planning appeal should be defended.
The report provided an opportunity to update and inform the Committee of the current situation in regard to the application and appeal.
The Principal Planning Officer (VC) provided a verbal summation of the application and updated the Committee that the Local Plan was up to date, containing relevant policies to the appeal development and that a 5 year supply of deliverable housing sites was demonstrated. The current proposal for 185 units was significantly over the Local Plan figure of 75 units. There were significant concerns raised over the disproportionate split of affordable units and private units, particularly given the over-concentration of units and the location of the affordable housing on the noisier parts of the site. The Committee heard that space standards and private amenity space standards had not been met and whilst there was reference to communal gardens for the flats, no numerical figure was provided. In regard to parking, whilst the actual numbers to be provided would meet the numerical requirement, their layout, arrangement and apportionment was not satisfactory. In addition it was considered that the submitted scheme failed to respect the natural and built elements present within the locality and on the site. In regard to open space and recreation provision it was not considered that the illustrative details demonstrated that the facilities would accord with policy requirements. Furthermore, the noise environment, the layout and design of the development as submitted had not demonstrated that the scheme would provide a layout which would deliver a high standard of environment and quality of life for residents.
The Committee also heard that no S106 legal agreement had been completed to secure the affordable housing and on and off site infrastructure. However, should an S106 Agreement be completed prior to the public inquiry, the reason for refusal regarding this (number 2) would be overcome.
James Greengrass addressed the Committee in objection to the application and highlighted issues relating to the impact on the environment, wildlife, traffic implications, lack of infrastructure and impact on the streetscene and outlook.
The Committee then considered whether it would have approved the application, had it been brought before the Committee for determination. The Committee was of the opinion that the development before them was inappropriate to the surrounding area given the scale of the development and the information in relation to space standards, garden sizes, parking, housing mix requirements, affordable housing provision, open space and the noise environment. Committee Members particularly highlighted the overall ... view the full minutes text for item 11.