To consider report PES/362aof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT.
The Committee considered report PES/362a of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Approval of reserved matters pursuant to CR/2016/0294/OUT for residential led mixed use redevelopment (multi deck car park removed from scheme) (amended plans received).
Councillors Ascough, A Belben, Jaggard, Mwagale, Purdy, and P Smith declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer (HW) provided a verbal summation of the reserved matters application regarding a total of 223 dwellings across three residential blocks. The Officer reminded the Committee of the previously approved outline application and summarised the various amendments that had since been made to the proposals, one of which was that the Overline House element of the application now formed a separate application (CR/2029/0660/FUL).
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 – Surinder Arora, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Arora Group – related to three applications on the agenda (CR/2019/0602/ARM, CR/2019/0660/FUL, and CR/2019/0661/FUL) and highlighted matters including:
· The applicant’s successful negotiations with Network Rail to overcome issues caused by the site’s proximity to the railway line, which resulted in amendments to the approved outline scheme. Works to the railway station were to be phase 1 of the development.
· The sustainable location of the development and the contribution it would make to Crawley’s housing supply.
· The applicant’s history of investment in Crawley and commitment to providing construction jobs that arise from the scheme to local residents.
The Committee then considered the application. The following matters were raised:
· Concerns regarding the proposed number of parking spaces. The Officer confirmed that residents would not be eligible for parking permits in East Park as the site was in a different parking zone, but the provision of car club membership for residents aimed to alleviate parking pressures. Cycle spaces, public transport links, and the sustainable location of the site would also mitigate this.
· Overshadowing on Station Way. A Committee member raised concerns about limited gaps to let light fall between the blocks. The Officer confirmed that the illustrative outline scheme showed two larger gaps (approx. 16 and 18 metres respectively), and the current application proposed three smaller gaps (approx. 5m each) and a significant gap between Overline House and the adjacent Moka development. A ten storey building was shown in the outline application; the nature of a development of this size meant that some overshadowing was inevitable.
· A green wall. This was illustratively shown within the outline application, but was no longer a part of the design. It had been concluded that this was unfeasible on a north-facing wall due to limited sunlight. Artistic perforated panels were instead proposed, as well as low-level planters.
· The size of the studio flats. Clarification was sought and the Officer confirmed that the two smallest flats (40 square metres each) were 10sqm smaller than the standards set out in the Urban Design SPD.
· Access to the ground floor terrace. The Officer suggested that the terrace was likely to be accessible to all residents of building three.
· Solar panels. The Officer confirmed that solar panels were proposed; full details were to be received via an application to discharge the condition.
· The railway station car park, of which the number of parking spaces was to remain at its current number (97).
· Disappointment regarding the lack of affordable housing. The Officer confirmed that two independent assessments concluded that the scheme could not support affordable housing; this was therefore not a consideration as part of the reserved matters application.
· The design and appearance of the proposed scheme, which were agreed to be an improvement upon the existing buildings at the site and create a positive impression of Crawley.
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 Ascough, A Belben, Hart, Irvine, Jaggard, Mwagale, Pickett, Purdy, Rana, and P Smith (10).
Against the recommendation:
Permit subject to the completion of a Deed of Variation to the previously agreed S106 agreement (as detailed in report PES/362a) and the conditions and informatives set out in the report.