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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.
No disclosures of interests were made.
The Planning Code of Conduct requires any councillors who have been lobbied, received correspondence, or been approached by an interested party regarding any planning matter to declare this at the meeting at which the matter is being considered. Councillors should declare if they have been lobbied at this point in the meeting.
The following lobbying declarations were made by councillors:
All councillors in attendance had been lobbied but had expressed no view on application CR/2021/0685/OUT.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 3 April 2023.
The minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 3 April 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
To consider report PES/413aof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to REFUSE.
Outline application for demolition of existing residential dwelling and outbuildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a new 64-bed Class C2 care home with associated car parking and landscaping.
Councillors Ali, Burrett, Jaggard and Mwagale declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer provided a verbal summation of the application which sought outline planning permission, with access to be approved. The other matters of appearance, landscaping, layout and scale would be considered at the reserved matters stage, if the application were to be approved. The illustrative material gave an indication of how the development might be accommodated on the site. The Committee heard that the site was within the defined built-up area and within the wider allocation in the current Local Plan for the new Forge Wood neighbourhood under Policy H2. However, it was outside of the area shown on the approved Forge Wood master plan and as such was classed as residual land. All development must accord with the policies and objectives set out in the Local Plan as a whole.
Tom Edmunds, the gent (Walsingham Planning), spoke on behalf of the applicant in support of the application. Matters raised included:
· There was a strong need for housing in Crawley, including older people’s accommodation. The proposal for a high-quality, purpose-built care home would meet this need, particularly in the area of Forge Wood which was allocated for housing and undergoing significant change.
· The scheme would create jobs during the construction phase and during operation, whilst also contributing business rates to the borough.
· The proposal was an outline application and suitably worded conditions would provide the Council control and reassurance for later reserved details, together with a S106 Agreement for financial contributions which the applicant would be prepared to enter into, should the Council grant consent.
The Committee then considered the application. Following a query from a Committee member, the Principal Planning Officer clarified the visibility splays calculation and access. WSCC had confirmed that the visibility splays were in accordance with standards and that manoeuvring could take place to a satisfactory level. Some Committee members raised concerns that there was no pavement on the west side of the Balcombe Road. It was noted there was a pavement on the eastern side, to which the application proposed connecting onto two crossing points and two short sections of pavement either side of the site access. There may be future options following further Forge Wood developments, including a possible connection from the Steers Lane development to the south. However, views were expressed that pedestrian access to the site was unsuitable as residents, visitors and staff would be required to cross the Balcombe Road.
A question was raised regarding the S106 Agreement. The Principal Planning Officer confirmed that if the application were to be permitted, a S106 Agreement would be required. It was clarified that the refusal reason was in place as a S106 Agreement ... view the full minutes text for item 4.