Agenda item

Planning Application CR/2021/0248/FUL - The Base, Fleming Way, Northgate, Crawley

To consider report PES/372aof the Head of Economy and Planning.





The Committee considered report PES/372a of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:


Demolition of the existing buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide two buildings (use class B8 - storage or distribution) with ancillary offices, parking and service yards, new site access, landscaping, boundary treatments and associated works.


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


The Senior Planning Officer provided a verbal summation of the application, which proposed commercial development at a site within the Manor Royal Business Improvement District (BID).  The Committee heard that, since the publication of the report, further discussions had taken place with the applicant leading to amendments to the wording of conditions 6 and 25, the removal of condition 16, and the addition of a new condition 26.  Delegated authority to officers was also sought regarding amendments to the Environment Agency (contamination) and ecology conditions due to ongoing discussions with the relevant consultees.


Matthew Mainwaring, the agent on behalf of the applicant, spoke in support of the application.  Matters raised included:

·         The application’s compliance with Local Planning Authority policies, including those related to car and cycle parking.

·         The environmental sustainability of the proposal which had received a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating and would result in a biodiversity net gain at the site, with ecological enhancements connected to existing local green infrastructure.

·         The discussions between the applicant, Local Planning Authority, and Manor Royal BID Board which had resulted in positive outcomes (including the addition of the micropark proposal).


The Committee then considered the application.  The provision of solar panels and the micropark were considered positive aspects of the application, as was the proposal to retain the large protected oak tree at the front of the site.  Concerns were raised regarding the loss of six protected (and four unprotected) trees, however the Committee acknowledged the net gain in biodiversity that would result from the proposed redevelopment of the site.  Furthermore, the Section 106 agreement was to secure a contribution of £14,700 in lieu of the required 21 replacement trees.  Assurance was sought from the Committee that remaining trees were to be safeguarded during construction.


It was clarified that a further contribution of £784 - £2 per additional square metre of new floorspace proposed (above the existing floorspace currently on site) was to be secured toward enhancements to the public realm.


Clarification was sought regarding the parking provision.  Of the two proposed parking areas, one offered a shortfall of parking spaces while the other offered a surplus.  The access to the two parking areas was shared, so the combined overall provision of spaces was deemed acceptable.


It was recognised that the buildings proposed were for storage use, which provided fewer employment opportunities than those allocated for office use, however Local Plan policy E3 allowed for ‘B’ use classes so the application was policy compliant in this regard.  The proposal was deemed to be potentially beneficial to the local economy given the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lack of demand for office space.




Permit subject to the conclusion of a Section 106 legal agreement, the conditions and informatives set out in report PES/372a (excluding condition 16), the amended and new conditions set out below, and the provision of delegated authority to officers for amendments to the Environment Agency (contamination) and ecology conditions.


6. Before any work for the implementation of this permission commences (excluding demolition), detailed plans and particulars of the land levels and the finished floor levels of the buildings shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, and the development shall be constructed in accordance with the approved levels.

REASON: To enable the Local Planning Authority to control the development in detail in the interests of amenity in accordance with Policy CH3 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015-2030.

Reason for pre-commencement: This condition is required pre-commencement as it relates to how the site layout and building will be constructed.


25. Prior to occupation of Unit 1 or Unit 2, full details of hard and soft landscaping works shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

These details shall also include:

- Grassed areas

- The species, number and spacing of trees and shrubs

The approved details of the landscaping shall be carried out in the first planting and seeding season, following the first occupation of either building, and any trees or plants which, within a period of five years from the completion of development die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased, shall be replaced in the next planting season with other of similar size and species, unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent to any variation. No subsequent alterations to the approved landscaping scheme are to take place unless submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall be implemented as approved.

REASON: To avoid endangering the safe movement of aircraft and the operation of Gatwick Airport through the attraction of birds and an increase in the bird hazard risk of the application site in accordance with Policy IN1 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015-2030, and in the interests of the amenity and of the environment of the development in accordance with Policy CH3 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015 - 2030.


26. Prior to the first occupation of Unit 1 or 2, the package of mitigation measures, as referenced in the Air Quality Mitigation email dated 24 June 2021, shall be implemented in full, unless otherwise approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. 

REASON: To ensure that the development does not have a negative impact on air quality in accordance with Policy ENV12 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015 – 2030 and to accord with the air quality mitigation contained within the submitted Air Quality Assessment provided by Air Quality Consultants Ltd and dated March 2021.



Supporting documents: