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Disclosures of Interest
In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, Councillors 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 that Councillors who have been lobbied, received correspondence or been approached by an interested party regarding 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 meeting.
The following lobbying declarations were made by Councillors:-
Councillors A Belben, Hart, Irvine, Jaggard, Mwagale, Purdy, and P Smith had been lobbied regarding application CR/2018/0172/FUL – Gatwick School, 23 Gatwick Road, Northgate, Crawley.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 12 January 2021.
The minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 12 January 2021 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
To consider report PES/359aof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT.
The Committee considered reportof the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Permanent change of use from offices (B1) to co-educational school (D1), including new external over-cladding, new windows and doors, new build sports hall and stairway, revised car parking, external play areas and landscaping.
Councillors A Belben, Jaggard, Mwagale, Purdy, and P Smith declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer (VC) provided a verbal summation of the application, which consisted of the change of use of the two main buildings linked by a smaller adjoining building, and external alterations and an extension. The application also included proposals for a sports hall, multi-use games area, and various parking arrangements. The site had been operating as a school with limited pupil numbers since 2014, initially under permitted development rights and subsequently under two temporary permissions – this application sought to increase the maximum number of pupils to 1020. The Officer advised that the Local Plan and Government policy emphasised the importance of establishing new educational facilities. The Officer outlined various aspects of the application related to traffic and parking management that had been adapted since the refusal of the previous application in 2015.
The Officer highlighted the addendum to the report which had been published as a supplementary agenda. The addendum referred to the Local Planning Authority’s consideration of the Public Sector Equality Duty and protected characteristics in regard to the application, specifically in terms of noise levels at the site.
The Committee heard that a further representation had been received since the report was published which consisted of a public petition of 1,441 signatures in support of the application.
The Committee was asked to note that there was an error in paragraph 5.82 of the report – it should read ’39 parent spaces' rather than ’19 parent spaces’.
The Officer then updated the Committee that conditions 9, 13, and 16 had been amended following negotiation with the applicant and agent since the report was published. The amended conditions read as follows:
‘9. All planting, seeding or turfing comprised in the approved details of landscaping shall be carried out in the first planting and seeding seasons following the completion of the development, and any trees or plants which within a period of five years from the completion of the development die, are removed, or become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species, unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent to any variation.
REASON: In the interests of amenity and of the environment of the development in accordance with Policy CH3 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015 - 2030.’
‘13. The provisions of the Car Park Management Plan (January 2021) shall be implemented and operated as approved for the lifetime of the development, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
REASON: To ensure the safe operation of the car park and in the interests of highway safety, ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To consider report PES/359bof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT.
The Committee considered report PES/359b of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Erection of L shaped 4 storey building comprising 59 x flats with associated landscaping, refuse and cycle storage, infrastructure works and parking court at the rear (amended plans received).
Councillors A Belben, Jaggard, Purdy, and P Smith declared they had visited the site.
The Senior Planning Officer provided a verbal summation of the application. The proposed development was situated on a brownfield site which was an allocated deliverable housing site in the Local Plan. The building was said to be of an acceptable size and design, and the proposed provision of 20% affordable housing units had been justified in viability terms. The provision of 40 parking spaces represented a shortfall of between 29 and 42 spaces based on the Council’s indicative parking standards, but due to the sustainable location of the site, local car ownership data, the submission of a Travel Plan, the provision of sufficient cycle parking, and WSCC’s Highways department having no objection, the parking provision was considered to be acceptable on balance.
In line with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules, a statement submitted by members of the public in regard to the application were read to the Committee.
A statement from the agent (Savills) on behalf of the applicant (Bellway Homes) highlighted matters including:
· The site was an allocated key housing site and had been vacant for over 20 years; the application sought to regenerate the site.
· The proposal sought to utilise the available space by maximising the number of homes at the site, 12 of which would be affordable housing units.
· Design aspects of the proposal allowed for an improved street scene, natural surveillance of its surroundings, and enhancements to structural landscaping.
The Committee then considered the application. Committee members expressed support for the sustainable location of the development and the condition to secure fixed solar panels on the roof of the building. A Committee member suggested the creation of a ramp at the eastern side of the site to allow for easier cycle access between Russell Way and the Tilgate Drive footpath/cycle path (the existing access was via a steep ramp and steps). The Officer confirmed that this had not been required by WSCC’s Highways department and was therefore not included in the Section 106 agreement.
A recorded vote was taken on the recommendation in accordance with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules. The names of the councillors voting for and against the recommendation, along with any abstentions, were recorded as follows:
For the recommendation to permit:
Councillors Ascough, A Belben, Hart, Irvine, Jaggard, Mwagale, Pickett, Purdy, Rana, and P Smith (10).
Against the recommendation to permit:
Permit subject to the conclusion of a Section 106 agreement and the conditions set out in report PES/359b.
To consider report PES/359cof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT.
The Committee considered report PES/359c of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Erection of 85 affordable houses & flats, comprising:
18 x one bedroom flats
38 x two bedroom flats
9 x two bedroom houses
17 x three bedroom houses
3 x four bedroom houses
Access roads, car parking, sports pitch, open space & associated works (amended plans and description).
Councillors A Belben, Purdy, and P Smith declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer (MR) provided a verbal summation of the application, which sought permission for a development of 85 units on part of the land at Breezehurst playing fields. The proposals included access via new roadways and a total of 140 parking spaces. Improvement works to the remaining section of the playing field and playing fields off-site were proposed to be secured via conditions and a Section 106 agreement.
The Officer updated the Committee that paragraph 2.3 of the report should make reference to the removal of five trees rather than three trees. It was also clarified that the wording of the recommendation was to become ‘to permit subject to the completion of the S106 Agreement and the following conditions’. The Officer then provided the following updates regarding the plans and drawings to be considered:
· Drawings 16 (House Type 4A Floor Plans & Elevations) and 17 (House Type 4B Floor Plans & Elevations) had been superseded;
· Drawings 18 (Apartment Block A – Ground & First Floor Plans) and 19 (Apartment Block A – Second Floor & Roof Plans) were corrected to revision P04, rather than P03;
· Drawing 24 (Apartment Blocks B, C, D & E – North & South Elevations) was correct to revision P05, rather than P04;
· Drawings 28, 29, 30, 31, and 32 (Street A, B, C, and D Elevations) remained relevant but were not to be included on the decision notice.
In line with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules, three statements submitted by members of the public in regard to the application were read to the Committee.
Three statements from neighbours to the site – Hannah Wheeler, Myra Goodenough, and Nichola Godwin – raised the following matters:
· The green space had a community feel and was currently of benefit to many local residents who had concerns about the loss of the space and the future plans for the remaining section of the field.
· A lack of communication regarding the potential for development at the site.
· Concerns regarding the disruption, noise, and dust caused by building works, as well as the impact on traffic after completion of the development.
The Committee considered the application. Discussion ensued regarding the loss of a section of the playing fields and Committee members expressed sympathy for the neighbours affected by this. The Officer explained that Bewbush had a good provision of playing fields but that their quality and usability was poor. The works to the retained section of the playing fields would improve the quality of sports provision locally, and the Section 106 agreement would secure from the applicant ongoing ... view the full minutes text for item 6.