Agenda item

Planning Application CR/2017/1057/FUL - BCL House, Gatwick Road, Northgate, Crawley

To consider report PES/247 (b)of the Head of Economic and Environmental Services.






The Committee considered report PES/247 (b) of the Head of Economic and Environmental Services which proposed as follows:


Demolition of existing showroom and redevelopment of site to B1 Office with associated parking and landscaping.


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


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


·         Although at this stage a Bird Hazard Management Plan had not been submitted, the Applicant had agreed to make that submission, and this matter was reflected in Condition 15.

·         That with regard to paragraph 5.22 of the report, the reference to “five new silver birch trees” should be deleted and replaced with “five new lime trees”. 


Mr John Browning addressed the Committee in objection to the application, whilst Mr Steve Sawyer, representing the Manor Royal BID Company, addressed the Committee in support of the application.  Many of the objections raised reflected those detailed in the report, including those on the grounds of height, scale and siting and the visual impact these issues would have upon Tinsley Lane.  In addition, there were concerns raised on grounds including: 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.  Some Members expressed their own concerns regarding this application, including in particular those in relation to the scale of the proposed development and the further intensification of development in the Manor Royal Buffer Zone.  In response to issues and concerns raised, the Principal Planning Officer:


·         Acknowledged that the proposed building, due to its height and scale, would have an adverse impact on residential amenity through its impact upon the outlook from nearby dwellings.  The proposed building has been designed to reduce its impact by stepping upwards away from the residential properties and would have screening from the proposed landscaping. The distance from the building to the facing neighbouring houses and the existing relationship to the road would not result in the development creating a harmful loss of privacy, a loss of light or a significant overbearing impact.

·         Advised Members that the nearby Northwood Park site had planning permission to be redeveloped to a more significant height and similar overall scale to the application now before the Committee.

·         Indicated that new trees to be planted would be big enough (4 to 5m in height) and multi stemmed, to help screening at the early stage of their planting.

·         Explained that the existing and proposed trees, together with planting on the roof terraces, would reduce views from the proposed building further and significantly soften the appearance of its rear elevation. 

·         Considered that the proposals would have no material impact in reducing the effectiveness of residents’ solar panels.

·         Emphasised that external lighting would be covered by condition, with trees and other screening measures proposed to help mitigate any associated light pollution.  Should, however, there be any such pollution emanating from the proposed site, this would be investigated by the Council’s Environmental Health Team.

·         Confirmed that the ongoing maintenance of landscaping would be controlled by condition through the submission of a landscape management plan.

·         Commented that car parking controls already in place within Tinsley Lane would further help to limit parking in that residential area.

·         Explained that the proposed level of car parking for the application site was considered acceptable by the Local Highway Authority and broadly met the Council’s standards. 

·         Confirmed that access to the proposed site would be from Gatwick Road towards the southern end of the site, and would form a left in left out access.

·         Emphasised that any potential harm caused to residential amenity had to be considered alongside the significant economic benefits of the scheme and by its high design quality.


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




Delegate to the Head of Economic and Environmental Services to Permit, subject to:


(i)         The submission of an ecological report demonstrating the acceptability of the scheme to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority and the inclusion of any related conditions.


(ii)        The satisfactory conclusion of a Section 106 agreement to secure:

·         the contribution of £261,600 towards Gatwick Road highways improvements.

·         the Manor Royal Public Realm contribution of £13,274.

·         the developer signing up to the Developer and Partner Charter.


(iii)       A potential revised Bird Hazard Management Plan condition.


(iv)      The Conditions set out in report PES/247 (b).



Supporting documents: