Agenda item

Appeal against Non-Determination of Planning Application CR/2018/0894/OUT - Steers Lane, Forge Wood, Pound Hill, Crawley

To consider Report PES/342 of the Head of Economy and Planning.


Item to follow.


The Committee considered report PES/342 of the Head of Economy and Planning which explained the circumstances in relation to planning application CR/2018/0894/OUT for which an appeal was 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 to update and inform the Committee of the current situation in regard to the application and appeal. 


The Principal Planning Officer (VC) provided a verbal summation of the application and updated the Committee that the Local Plan was up to date, containing relevant policies to the appeal development and that a 5 year supply of deliverable housing sites was demonstrated.  The current proposal for 185 units was significantly over the Local Plan figure of 75 units.  There were significant concerns raised over the disproportionate split of affordable units and private units, particularly given the over-concentration of units and the location of the affordable housing on the noisier parts of the site.  The Committee heard that space standards and private amenity space standards had not been met and whilst there was reference to communal gardens for the flats, no numerical figure was provided.  In regard to parking, whilst the actual numbers to be provided would meet the numerical requirement, their layout, arrangement and apportionment was not satisfactory.   In addition it was considered that the submitted scheme failed to respect the natural and built elements present within the locality and on the site.  In regard to open space and recreation provision it was not considered that the illustrative details demonstrated that the facilities would accord with policy requirements.  Furthermore, the noise environment, the layout and design of the development as submitted had not demonstrated that the scheme would provide a layout which would deliver a high standard of environment and quality of life for residents.


The Committee also heard that no S106 legal agreement had been completed to secure the affordable housing and on and off site infrastructure. However, should an S106 Agreement be completed prior to the public inquiry, the reason for refusal regarding this (number 2) would be overcome.


James Greengrass addressed the Committee in objection to the application and highlighted issues relating to the impact on the environment, wildlife, traffic implications, lack of infrastructure and impact on the streetscene and outlook.


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 the development before them was inappropriate to the surrounding area given the scale of the development and the information in relation to space standards, garden sizes, parking, housing mix requirements, affordable housing provision, open space and the noise environment.  Committee Members particularly highlighted the overall scale of the development together with the siting of the affordable units.  The Committee agreed that it would have been mindful to refuse the application for the reasons set out in report PES/342.




1.         That the report PES/342 be noted.


2.         Agreed that, if the application had been determined by the Planning Committee, it would have been minded to refuse it for the 2 reasons as set out in section 5.1 of report PES/342.


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