To consider report PES/328a of the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT
The Committee considered report PES/328a of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Construction of a bus gate to enable buses to pass between the residential neighbourhoods of Bewbush and Kilnwood Vale along with associated pedestrian walkway, drainage and landscaping (amended plans received).
Councillors A Belben, Jaggard, and Purdy declared they had visited the site.
The Group Manager (Development Management) provided a verbal summation of the application and updated the Committee following further information from the applicant. Additional comments had been made by the British Horse Society regarding the level of use of the bus gate and the visibility for equestrians at the new crossing, to which reassurance had been provided. It was also confirmed that cyclists would have a legal right to use the bus gate.
The Group Manager (Development Management) advised that, due to the lack of provision of a cross section drawing by the applicant, an amendment to bullet point 3 of condition 7 was required to allow the drawing to be provided as part of the landscaping condition. It was therefore proposed that bullet point 3 of condition 7 be amended to read:
“Details of all fencing to include the proposed boundary treatment for the rear boundaries of numbers 37-42 Manor Fields to be informed by a detailed cross section drawing showing the change in levels between the rear gardens and carriageway.”
The Committee was also informed that an additional condition (to be condition 10) was proposed which required the completion of a noise survey by the applicant. The proposed condition was suggested to satisfy the Council’s Environmental Health team’s request that further information about the noise impact on residents be provided. Proposed new condition 10 would therefore read:
“The development hereby approved shall not be brought into use unless and until there has been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority in writing a Noise Survey and a detailed scheme of mitigation. The agreed mitigation measures shall be implemented prior to the first use of the bus gate.
REASON: To safeguard the amenity of occupiers of noise sensitive properties in accordance with policy ENV11 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015-2030.”
John Zebedee spoke in objection to the application. Concerns were raised regarding the diversion of the bus route and in turn, the potential for the loss of bus stops on Sullivan Drive. This was said to inhibit accessibility for local Bewbush residents, particularly those who were elderly or less able-bodied.
Jim Beavan, on behalf of the applicant, spoke in support of the application. It was noted that a need for the bus gate had been identified in order to provide convenient links between Bewbush and Kilnwood Vale, and would also be usable for emergency vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. The Committee heard that the applicant had considered issues of privacy and landscaping at the site, among others.
The Committee then considered the application. Committee members expressed concern over the future of the bus stops on Sullivan Drive and, following a discussion, it was agreed that both Metrobus and West Sussex County Council were to be contacted regarding those concerns and that a copy of that correspondence would be held on file. Planning Officers provided information and clarification where possible to the Committee following discussion on the below topics:
· The re-routing of the adjacent bridleway, and the safety and visibility of the road for equestrians
· The proposed height of the road surface and the impact on residents’ privacy
· The functionality and location of the ANPR cameras
· The safety of those using the nearby play area
· The number of buses forecast to use the bus gate, which was stated as a maximum of 26 per hour in both directions.
Permit subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement and the conditions set out in report PES/328a, including the revised condition 7 and the new condition 10 as set out above.