To consider report PES/361a of the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT.
The Committee considered report PES/361a of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Approval of reserved matters pursuant to outline application CR/2018/0894/OUT to consider landscaping, layout and scale in respect of the erection of 185 dwellings and associated car parking and infrastructure.
Councillors Ascough, A Belben, Jaggard, Mwagale, Purdy, and P Smith declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer provided a verbal summation of the application, which sought approval of the reserved matters for the application sited between Steers Lane and Balcombe Road, of which the principle of development for 185 units and the access had been previously established by the granting of outline planning permission on appeal. The Officer summarised the site’s planning history. The design and layout of the scheme had been significantly revised and was of higher quality than prior proposals at the site due to revisions to the housing mix, improved locations for the affordable and low cost units across the site, improved noise mitigation measures from both road and air traffic, and improved landscaping, amenity green space, and children’s play space proposals.
The Officer then updated the Committee that, since the publication of the report, conditions 3 and 5 and informative 3 had been amended, and a new condition 7 had been added. The amendments provided minor clarifications.
In line with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules, a statement submitted in regard to the application was read to the Committee.
The statement from the applicant, Bellway Homes, highlighted matters including:
· A need for housing in the Crawley area.
· The proposed scheme’s mix of 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom houses and apartments, which included provision of 74 affordable homes.
· The positive outcomes of discussions between the applicant and the Local Planning Authority, particularly regarding pedestrian connections with the site, urban design, housing mix and access to green spaces.
The Committee then considered the application. The following matters were discussed:
· Clarification that the application had been submitted by a different developer to the earlier outline application at the site, following the sale of the land.
· Concerns regarding noise levels across the site. It was confirmed that the Council’s Environmental Health Officer originally had concerns regarding the combined road and air traffic noise, but that the tailored design of the amended plans for the proposed development had addressed these concerns as the mitigation measures aimed to protect habitable rooms from noise. Four rooms across the site were projected to experience noise exceedance; this was deemed an acceptable number on balance.
· Climate impact; concerns were raised regarding the proposed use of gas boilers within the dwellings. The Officer confirmed that there was not currently a requirement for newly built dwellings to desist from using gas boilers, nor was there a requirement for all dwellings to include solar panels. These elements were considered as part of the overall sustainability measures and as such were policy compliant and considered satisfactory.
· The separation distances and potential for overlooking. The Officer confirmed that there were a small number of instances where the minimum standard for separation distances between dwellings were not met, however compliance with this was a guideline, not a requirement, as per the Urban Design Supplementary Planning Document. Any potential overlooking was between non-habitable rooms only or had been addressed by the use of obscured glazing where relevant. The proposals were therefore considered acceptable on balance.
· Garden sizes of the houses at the site – of which all but five gardens met the minimum standard size guideline. The final details of the balconies of the flats were to be secured by condition.
· The delivery of the amenity green spaces, which was secured by the Section 106 agreement. Also secured by the agreement (and the application conditions) were the children’s play facilities; due to be a trim trail or similar. The agreement secured a financial contribution toward allotments, which would not be provided at the site.
The Committee recognised the decision by the Planning Inspectorate to grant permission for the principle of 185 units at the site. Committee members considered it important that, while the number of units could not be adjusted, the development be of a high quality design and build.
A recorded vote was taken on the recommendation in accordance with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules. The names of the councillors voting for and against the recommendation, along with any abstentions, were recorded as follows:
For the recommendation:
Councillors A Belben, Hart, Irvine, Jaggard, Pickett, Purdy, Rana, and P Smith (8).
Against the recommendation:
Councillors Ascough and Mwagale (2).
Permit subject to the conditions and informatives set out in report PES/361a, with conditions 3 and 5 and informative 3 amended as follows, and the addition of new condition 7 as follows:
3. No solar panels or renewables which may be required pursuant to the discharge of condition 27 on outline permission CR/2018/0894/OUT shall be installed on the dwelling to which they relate unless and until full details of their design, appearance and location have been submitted to and agreed by the Local Planning Authority in writing. No subsequent alterations to the approved scheme are to take place unless submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The works shall be implemented in accordance with the agreed details prior to the first occupation of the unit which they are intended to serve and thereafter retained.
REASON: To control the design of the development and to ensure it does not endanger the safe movement of aircraft or the operation of Gatwick Airport through interference with communication, navigational aids and surveillance equipment and glare issues in accordance with policies CH3 and IN1 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015 - 2030
5. Prior to first occupation of the dwelling to which they relate, the following windows shall be glazed with obscured glass as shown on the approved plans:
Plots 101 – 104: rear (west) elevation windows to dressing room/wardrobe area.
Block 2 Plots 170 and 175: rear (west) elevation windows to living room and kitchen.
Block 5 Plots 141, 144, 148, 149 and 153: side (south) elevation) windows to dining room and living room.
These windows shall thereafter be permanently maintained in accordance with the agreed details.
REASON: To protect the amenities and privacy of future occupiers in accordance with policy CH3 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015 -2030.
7. Notwithstanding any boundary details shown on other plans hereby approved, the alignment of the garden boundaries of the dwellings hereby permitted shall be in strict accordance with plan number 06181-BEL-SL-02 Rev D.
REASON: For the avoidance of doubt and to ensure a satisfactory layout in the interests of amenity and in accordance with policy CH3 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015 – 2030.
3. Given the nature of the proposed development it is possible that a crane may be required during its construction. We would, therefore, draw the applicant’s attention to the requirement within the British Standard Code of Practice for the safe use of Cranes, for crane operators to consult the aerodrome before erecting a crane in close proximity to an aerodrome. Gatwick Airport requires a minimum of four weeks notice. For crane queries/applications please email: email@example.com. For further details relating to the crane process please refer to CAP1096 ‘Guidance to Crane Operators on Aviation Lighting and Notification’ available at www.caa.co.uk. The applicant is also referred to the requirements of condition 17 Construction Management Plan on outline permission CR/2018/0894/OUT in respect of cranes.