To consider report PES/303of the Head of Economy and Planning.
The Committee considered report PES/303 of the Head of Economy and Planning which explained the circumstances in relation to planning application CR/2017/0879/FUL for which an appeal was now 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 for the Committee to consider the merits of the application, comment on the refusal reasons and the officer’s appraisal of the scheme and consider whether there should be any other issues added or removed from the Local Planning Authority’s draft appeal statement attached as Appendix 1 to report PES/303.
Councillors Boxall, Jaggard, Stone, Tarrant and Thomas declared they had visited the site.
The (Group Manager (Development Management) provided a verbal summation of the application and the officer’s report. The Committee was advised that, whilst officers supported the principle of development on the site, they had significant concerns regarding the impact the proposal would have on 10 Ifield Road, the High Street Conservation Area and the George Hotel which were all heritage assets. In addition it was considered that the development was unacceptable in the street scene and surroundings due to its scale, massing and design. The development’s design, layout and proximity to the public footpaths/roads, outlook and separation between buildings would also create an inadequate environment for any future occupier of the development. The layout and design of the development did not mitigate the harmful noise impacts on potential future occupiers. The development would also have a harmful impact on future neighbouring residential occupiers. Sustainability policies had not been demonstrated.
Lynda Wyer (the Agent for the application) addressed the Committee in support of the application. Ms Wyer explained how, in her opinion, the Council had not provided timely advice with regard to the application and as a result the application had not been determined within the statutory time frame. She also considered that the case officers concerns with the application were contrary to the pre-application she had been provided with. The applicant had therefore taken the decision to lodge an appeal.
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, as a whole, the Council had a good record of pre-application engagement with applicants and that the development before them was inappropriate to the surrounding area and inadequate in design. The Committee agreed the Committee would have been minded to refuse the application for the reasons set out in report PES/303.
1. That the report be noted;
2. Agreed that, if the application had been determined by the Planning Committee, it would have been minded to refuse it on the 8 reasons set out in Section 6.1 of report PES/303.