Agenda item

Planning Application CR/2022/0187/FUL - Land to the North of Fleming Way (Eastman House and Former Flight Training Centre), Manor Royal, Crawley

To consider report PES/410aof the Head of Economy and Planning.





The Committee considered report PES/410a of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:


Demolition of existing buildings to provide two commercial buildings (Units A and B) for storage and distribution (B8) use with ancillary offices, with associated enabling works, access (including new access for Unit A off Hydehurst Lane), 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 permission for the construction of two buildings for storage and distribution use on a 4.3 hectare site within the Manor Royal Main Employment Area.  The Officer updated the Committee that, since the publication of the report, an additional representation had been received from the Planning Department at Gatwick Airport (GAL) regarding the safeguarding boundary for the possible development of a second runway.  Further information had also been provided by the applicant, and subsequent discussion had led to amendments to conditions 9 and 23 which were now to read as follows:

·       Condition 9: The development hereby approved shall be carried out in accordance with the details set out within the submitted Sustainability Statement for Planning, prepared by CPW dated 23rd February 2022 (Ref: 210911). The scheme shall be fully implemented in accordance with the approved details and any sources of renewable energy installed and made operational prior to the first occupation of the development hereby approved and the sustainability measures shall be retained thereafter unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

·       Condition 23:  Within six months of the first occupation of any commercial unit forming part of the development, a copy of a post-construction report, verifying that the unit or the commercial element of the development as a whole has achieved the minimum Energy and Water standards for BREEAM ‘Excellent’, shall be submitted to and agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.


The Committee heard that it had also been necessary to amend the recommendation, so the following clause was to be added to the recommendation in report PES/410a:  Agreement to revised condition 2 listing the amended drawings for Earthworks and External Materials as current versions (as listed in the agenda) do not reflect retained trees.  The Officer then gave details of the various relevant planning considerations as set out in the report.


Anthony Watkins, the applicant, spoke in support of the application.  Matters raised included:

·       The existing buildings at the site were no longer suitable; the proposed development would provide a high quality, flexible space which was hoped to attract many types of occupier.

·       The objection from GAL regarding the airport’s safeguarding boundary was noted, but it was felt that greater weight should be given to the current Local Plan than the emerging Local Plan.

·       The proposals had demonstrated water neutrality, a net biodiversity gain, a reduction in carbon emissions, and a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.


The Committee then considered the application.  Discussion ensued regarding the location of the Gatwick Airport safeguarding boundary as set out in the emerging Local Plan, which ran through the application site.  The Officer explained that some weight was able to be given to the emerging Local Plan in considering this matter, but this was at a very early stage in the process and was soon due to be subject to a new Regulation 19 consultation (under which objections and comments could be raised), and so the boundary was not yet finalised.  The current Local Plan did not show the boundary as being in conflict with the application site.  The Committee was therefore requested to consider the balance between the current and emerging Local Plans.


The following points were also raised as part of the discussion: 

·       The proposed tree loss and resultant ecology/biodiversity loss was unfortunate.  The Committee was informed that the most substantial trees were to be retained, replacements were to be planted, and all existing and replacement trees at the site were likely to be protected under a new area Tree Preservation Order.  Off-site mitigation was also proposed for tree/ecology loss at Crawters Brook in Manor Royal, of which some Committee members raised concerns.  The Officer highlighted that a Biodiversity Net Gain report was required via the S106 agreement.

·       It was queried whether the site would be in use 24 hours a day and whether there would be an increase in vehicle movements in the area.  The Officer highlighted that it was possible the building could be in use during off-peak hours but there was not likely to be a negative impact on the site’s neighbours as the majority of noise and activity would take place away from the residential flats as the loading doors were on the east side of the building.  Traffic modelling had shown that the local road network was able to cater for more vehicle movements.

·       A question was raised about the visibility of the proposed development from the long distance view splays from Target Hill and Tilgate Park.  It was highlighted that the building was located far from these sites and would therefore not significantly impact the views.

·       The energy-efficient nature of the development was praised.  It was noted that an excess of electricity may be generated, which would preferably be used by another building in the locality, or may be fed into the national grid.

·       It was highlighted that some standard clauses were missing from condition 3 – the Committee agreed that the wording be amended and that this form part of the substantive recommendation.




Delegate the decision to permit to the Head of Economy and Planning, subject to:


1.  A satisfactory conclusion to the notification process with Gatwick Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority in accordance with the requirements in Annex 1 of the Town and Country Planning (Safeguarded Aerodromes, Technical Sites and Military Explosives Storage Areas) Direction 2002;

2.  The conclusion of a Section 106 legal agreement to secure:

• Preparation and implementation of a final Biodiversity Net Gain report to cover the requirements set out in paragraph 5.44 of report PES/410a;

• Contribution towards off site tree planting based on the formula set out in Policy CH6 of the Local Plan;

• Manor Royal contribution of £8,244;

• Financial contribution of £7,300 towards the provision of waiting restrictions on Fleming Way payable on occupation of Unit B; and

• Travel Plan monitoring fee of £3,500;

3.  Agreement to revised condition 2 listing the amended drawings for Earthworks and External Materials as current versions (as listed in the agenda) do not reflect retained trees;


And subject to the conditions set out in report PES/410a (as amended).


Supporting documents: