Agenda item

Planning Application CR/2020/0274/FUL - Ambulance Station, Ifield Avenue, West Green, Crawley

To consider report PES/362eof the Head of Economy and Planning.




The Committee considered report PES/362e of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:


Demolition of existing ambulance centre and erection of 39 flats with associated parking and amenity space.


Councillors Ascough, A Belben, Jaggard, Purdy, and P Smith declared they had visited the site.


The Principal Planning Officer (HW) provided a verbal summation of the application, which consisted of one block of flats and 22 car parking spaces with amenity space in the form of a central courtyard and roof terraces.  The Officer updated the Committee that further discussions with the applicant had led to amendments to the recommendation, which sought to delegate authority to the Planning Officer for amendments to noise conditions and to agree the final refuse and recycling store layout, as well as elevation detailing.  There had also been minor amendments to the wording of condition 13 and informative 2 since the publication of the report.


In line with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules, two statements submitted in regard to the application were read to the Committee.


A statement from the applicant, Tkei Homes, highlighted matters in support of the application including:

·         The ecological elements of the building’s design; including an internal courtyard/green space, green walls, and roof terrace.  The existing woodland to the north east of the site was to be retained.

·         The provision of 12 affordable housing units, which had been proposed following appraisals and discussion with the Local Planning Authority.

·         The building had been designed to take into consideration noise, ecology, and arboriculture issues, and for its appearance to complement the local streetscene.


A statement from Ian Harrison, a neighbour of the site, highlighted matters in objection to the application including:

·         Objections not to the building itself, but to the proposed number of car parking spaces.  The provision of 22 spaces for 39 flats was insufficient as each flat occupier could own at least one car.

·         Possible crowding caused by future occupiers parking on nearby streets.

·         A suggestion that the existing pedestrian crossing be moved and traffic lights be installed at the site’s exit on to Ifield Avenue – further traffic joining an already busy road system could be dangerous.


The Committee then considered the application.  General support was expressed for the design and appearance of the building, the proposed amenity space, and the inclusion of solar panels.  In response to a question about the possibility of unauthorised access to the bicycle storage area via the perforated walls, the Planning Officer suggested that further details could be sought from the applicant to confirm that the design did not allow for this.


Committee members discussed the development’s proposed access.  It was recognised that a balance needed to be sought between retaining a safe pedestrian crossing, ensuring efficient access to the site, and preventing further traffic on busy surrounding roads.  WSCC as the Highways authority had no objection to the site and had not requested changes to the road system or pedestrian crossings.  Concerns were also raised about the provision of parking spaces, which was lower than required by the Local Planning Authority’s parking standards.  This was alleviated, however, by the site’s sustainable location.


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 a Section 106 agreement as detailed in report PES/362e, and the conditions and informatives set out in the report including amended condition 13 and amended informative 2 as follows:


Condition 13:   The Bird Hazard Management Plan dated April 2021 shall be implemented as approved, upon completion of the roofs and shall remain in force for the life of the buildings. No subsequent alterations to the plan are to take place unless first submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

          REASON: It is necessary to manage the roofs in order to minimise its attractiveness to birds which could endanger the safe movement of aircraft and the operation of Gatwick Airport in accordance with Policy IN1 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015-2030.


Informative 2: 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:  For further details please refer to CAP 1096 ‘Guidance to Crane Operators on Aviation Lighting and Notification’ available at 


and delegate authority to Planning Officers to finalise the wording of the conditions relating to noise and to agree the scheme’s detailing of the refuse and recycling store and related elevation detailing.



Supporting documents: