Agenda item

Planning Application CR/2016/0972/FUL - 44 Goffs Park Road, (formerly Oakhurst Grange), Southgate, Crawley

To consider report PES/245 (a)of the Head of Economic and Environmental Services





The Committee considered report PES/245 (a) of the Head of Economic and Environmental Services which proposed as follows:


Demolition of existing buildings and erection of a continuing care retirement community (Class C2) (amended plans received).


Councillors B J Burgess, Jaggard, Skudder, P C Smith, Stone and Tarrant declared they had visited the site.


The Principal Planning Officer (Hamish Walke) provided a verbal summation of the application and the following updates:-


Replacement Condition 20 – lighting:

Before the development is first occupied, details of a scheme for all external lighting shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The lighting shall be implemented in accordance with the approved scheme and no additional external lighting shall be added or positioned on site without the prior written permission of the Local Planning Authority.                                         REASON: To safeguard the amenities of nearby residents and to avoid potential disturbance to bats using the site in accordance with Policies CH3 and ENV2 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015-2030.


Condition 3 – Construction Management Plan – additional bullet point:

  • “Any temporary lighting required during the construction period”

Add to REASON “and to avoid potential disturbance to bats using the site …”


Additional Condition on cycle parking (as discussed in para 1.52 on page 24 of the report):

Notwithstanding the details shown on drawing 10324_PL003 Rev C, revised details of secure, covered and easily accessible cycle parking provision for staff and visitors shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  The approved cycle parking shall be implemented in accordance with the agreed details and made available for use before the first occupation of the development hereby approved. 

REASON: To ensure adequate provision of cycle parking in accessible locations in accordance with policy IN4 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015-2030 and the standards within the Council’s Urban Design Supplementary Planning Guidance.



Mr Sanj Sandhar, Mr Mark Regan, Mr Harry Ford, Cabinet Member Councillor Jones, and Councillor Pickett, as a Ward Member for Southgate, addressed the Committee in objection to the application, whilst Mr John Sneddon, the Agent, addressed the Committee in support of the application.  Many of the objections raised reflected those detailed in the report, including that the application offered no provision for affordable housing.  In addition, there were particular concerns raised on such grounds as: height, scale and massing - which it was considered would resultin an unsympathetic form of development, design, which it was felt was out of keeping with the character of the area, loss of light and privacy, landscaping, increased traffic and parking, and impacts on highway safety.


The Committee then considered the application.  The Committee discussed the issues arising, including the comments raised by the speakers and concerns raised by objectors.  A number of Members expressed their own concerns regarding this application, including in particular those in relation to the non-provision of affordable housing.  In response to issues and concerns raised, the Principal Planning Officer:


·         Agreed that it was unfortunate that the 12 Re-enablement units, to help older people back into their own homes, had been removed from the Scheme as originally submitted, and indicated that under the Local Plan Policy H2 there was no requirement on the Applicant to provide such a facility.

·         Acknowledged that, without the provision for affordable housing, the Local Planning Authority could not require the Applicant to specifically secure care units for existing Crawley residents.  The scheme might free up existing larger Crawley homes and hospital beds, but this could not be controlled through the planning system.

·         Emphasised that a critical issue for officers in assessing this planning application had been whether there was a requirement for the provision of affordable housing.

·         Explained that the proposed development would provide a total of 121 individual units of accommodation for older people. This would help to address some of the local housing needs of an ageing population and would be in accordance with the site allocation under Policy H2 of the Local Plan.

·         Advised that Officers had been unable to secure affordable housing provision from the 34 Care Apartments, which were considered by Officers, although not the Applicant, to potentially fall within the C3 (dwelling house) use class.

·         Acknowledged that the lack of an affordable housing contribution did weigh against the scheme in this sense, although, as set out in the report, appeal decisions on such schemes had often taken the view that such units fell within the C2 (Residential Institutions) use class. Officers felt that taking into account the barrister’s advice as reported, appeal decisions, and given that this was a unique development in Crawley, the scheme would be difficult to refuse on this basis.  The Local Plan review would address the issue of affordable provision within such schemes.

·         Confirmed that in terms of design, officers felt that the revised Scheme would have a more contemporary feel, whilst respecting the traditional materials used in the surrounding area.  The scheme was now considered adequate in terms of design and external appearance.

·         Indicated that there was scope for additional planting along the boundaries to enhance existing landscaping and further screen views of the new buildings from the existing adjoining houses. In response to a question, the Principal Planning Officer confirmed that Members, if they wished, could attach a condition to secure obscure glazing for some of the Block A windows, which provided light to bathrooms, kitchens, and provided a secondary window to living areas. The relatively limited adverse impact identified would need to be assessed in the balance of all material planning considerations.

·         Indicated that whilst new trees to be planted as part of the proposed Landscape Masterplan would take time to grow, the intention was to enhance the overall landscape in a way that would have an immediate impact (with no Leylandii proposed) and which would help to secure a high quality landscaping scheme, helping to overcome any gaps between the scheme and surrounding properties, with longer term benefits.  This would require planting of some more substantial trees to address specific existing gaps in vegetation.

·         Advised that the proposed new pedestrian only link from the site onto Perryfield Road would be open during limited daytime hours, between about 9 am and 3 pm.

·         Acknowledged that there were concerns raised from residents of Perryfield Road, living close to the access point, about the creation of this pedestrian access, but that the new access would offer a significantly quicker route for future residents, staff and visitors to/from Crawley town centre.  Whilst the new pedestrian access would be likely to increase use by pedestrians along this part of Perryfield Road, the level of movement was likely to be limited and would be quiet, as it would be restricted to pedestrians only. A legal agreement could be used to secure the implementation and ongoing availability of this pedestrian access.

·         Confirmed that the Local Highway Authority (LHA) was satisfied that visibility at the existing access to Goffs Park Road was acceptable. The development was not anticipated to give rise to severe highway capacity.

·         Advised that the LHA had recommended conditions to ensure that the proposed parking provision was made available, that the impact of construction traffic was addressed and that encouragement of travel by sustainable means was carried out. Subject to these controls and to revisions to cycle parking, the Scheme was considered acceptable by the Highway Authority in transport and highways terms.

·         Emphasised that the cycle provision and new pedestrian access should help to encourage travel by sustainable means.



The Committee continued to consider carefully the application information including the concerns raised, but in so doing took into account all other material considerations associated with this Scheme.




Permit, subject to:


(i)         The conclusion of a Section 106 Agreement to secure:

·                    Qualifying requirements relating to age (over 60) and minimum level of

care (one and a half hours per week) for future residents;

·                    Implementation and ongoing availability of the proposed pedestrian

access to Perryfield Road.


(ii)        The Conditions set out in report PES/245 (a).


(iii)       The updated Conditions above.

Supporting documents: