Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

79.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Michael, Fawthrop and Terry. Councillor Harmer attended as substitute for Councillor Terry.  The Committee noted that whilst the Chairman, Councillor Alexa Michael had been unable to join the meeting in person, she had joined via conference call and would be able to comment and ask questions, but would not vote on any items.

80.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no additional declarations of interest.

81.

QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING pdf icon PDF 445 KB

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting.

 

Questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda.  Please ensure that questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5 pm on 4 January 2022..

Minutes:

23 questions for oral and written response were received and these are attached at Appendix A.

 

Noting that a large number of questions related to a recent application that had been submitted for the Walnuts site in Orpington, the Chairman provided some context to the current position of the application.

 

An application had been received, just before Christmas, for the development of the Walnuts.  On receipt of an application various stages had to be completed the first of which was validation (checking that all the necessary documents had been received and that all fees had been paid).  The application was currently still in that process.  Consequently, until that phase had been complete, no analysis or assessment of the merits or failings of the application would take place.  The validation process should end soon and once it did the application would be available on the Council’s Planning Portal and at that point interested parties would have an opportunity to input comments.  Only after the public consultation was completed, an assessment of the application as submitted undertaken, and any further discussions with the applicant finalised would an application be presented to the Development Control Committee for consideration and decision.  This could take several months.

 

 

 

 

 

82.

CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 2 NOVEMBER 2021 AND 1 DECEMBER 2021 pdf icon PDF 672 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 2 November 2021, and 1 December 2021, were agreed and signed as a correct record.

83.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES pdf icon PDF 284 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD22004

 

The Committee noted progress against actions outstanding from previous meetings.  The Chairman confirmed that the Shop Front Design guides had been published on the website and the outstanding action was complete.

84.

PLANNING APPLICATION (21/03231/FULL1) - 70 HIGH STREET, BROMLEY, BR1 1EG (Bromley Town Ward) pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Description of application – Demolition of existing buildings (66-70 High Street) and erection of a part 13 and part 16 storey building to provide 559 sqm (GIA) retail floorspace (Use Class Ea) and 68 residential units with associated disabled car parking spaces, cycle parking and refuse storage area.

 

The Planning Officer gave a brief presentation, providing an overview of the application and update on the report.

 

The Committee noted that the application was up for non-determination and the reasons were set out in the report.  There was a possibility that during the appeal process further information could be supplied to address these and Officers were therefore requesting authority to remove the relevant reasons to contest the appeal in the event that agreement was reached.

 

The Committee further noted that final comments from the Health and Safety Executive concerning fire safety were still awaited.  Officers were therefore asking for further authority to add any additional reasons to contest the appeal.

 

In response to a question from the Chairman, the Planning Officer explained that it had not been possible to determine the application because further information was required.  Information was received in December 2021, however, at that point it was not possible to make a recommendation.

 

Committee Member and Ward Member Councillor Will Harmer expressed concerns around how the Council founds itself in a position where it was essentially taken out of the decision-making process by an applicant going to appeal who could then add the additional documents that had initially been sought by the Council to enable the Appeal inspector to make a more informed decision.  Concerns were expressed that a precedent could be set in the future.  Questions were raised about why the application was not refused at the 13 week point when the relevant information was not supplied.

 

It was noted that there were a number of reasons for refusal listed in the report.  It was a poor application that lacked on many fronts.  Councillor Harmer therefore moved the Officer recommendation that the appeal be contested for the reasons set out in the report.

 

The Planning Officer confirmed that it was common that during the appeal process further information was submitted, and agreement reached.  The Council would also have to be seen to be reasonable if an issue could be resolved without it being heard at appeal this could prevent costs in certain circumstances.  In terms of the receipt of information within the 13-week period, some statutory consultees requested further information and it was good practice to allow time for that information in order to resolved all issues and make an informed decision.  At the validation stage it may not be clear that some information was not included in documents.  It was only possible to validate what was on the local list and the local list had now been revised.

 

In response to a question, the Planning Officer confirmed that the timetable for the appeal concerning the previous application was not yet known.

 

Councillor Michael highlighted that were the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

85.

PLANNING SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS pdf icon PDF 430 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report set out the current position in respect of continuous service improvements to the Planning Service and sought agreement for recommended actions.

The Chairman noted that the Local Planning Protocol was an evolving document to reflect continuous improvements in planning processes.  The Committee noted that the most recent recommendations would enable the Council to have a robust protocol and process around its Planning Committees.

Councillor Allen reported that the sections of the report concerning ethical standards had been discussed at Standards Committee the previous evening where the recommendations had been endorsed. 

In response to a question concerning whether the Council remained at risk of designation, the Assistant Director for Planning confirmed that the latest check showed that Bromley was not currently in the criteria, however that may be because of delays in the appeals process resulting from the recent lockdowns.  There was therefore no room for complacency. 

In response to a question, the Assistant Director confirmed that the recommendations concerning the inability of “Calling In” Members to move and second motions would also apply to any substitute members on the Committee.

Councillor Michael proposed two small amendments to paragraph 3.13 (Recommendations 9&10):

For question 3 – application reference number –an added requirement for the Member to give a brief description.

An additional question: Do you need to declare any interests?

The Committee endorsed the proposed changes.

Members noted that it was not possible for a Councillor to Call-in an application in another ward, unless they had the agreement of the relevant ward councillors.

In respect of the issue of Pre-application discussions with applicants, the Assistant Director for Planning, confirmed that there was usually a confidentiality agreement in respect of such discussions.  It could be possible for ward members to engage, but only with the agreement of the applicant.

RESOLVED: That:

1. Actions as recommended against each item in the table in Section 3.4 of the report be agreed;

2. The recommendations of the Standards Committee from July 2021 in Section 3.5 of the report be agreed;

3. The related changes to the Scheme of Delegation in Section 3.7 of the report be agreed

4. The related changes to the Local Planning Protocol in Sections 3.8 – 3.12 of the report be agreed subject to the amendments outlined above;

5. The creation of an online form for planning ‘call in’ requests as set out in Section 3.13 of the report with the two amendments proposed by Councillor Michael be agreed;

6. The non-related amendment to the Scheme of Delegation set out in paragraph 3.14 of the report be agreed;

7. The change to weekly list procedures set out in paragraph 3.15 of the report be agreed

8. That resolutions 3,4 and 6 above be considered by Full Council.

 

 

86.

ORPINGTON TOWN CENTRE SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING DOCUMENT – CONSULTATION DRAFT pdf icon PDF 234 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2021/067

 

The report recommended that the revised Orpington Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was published for six weeks public consultation. The SPD provided guidance to assist with the determination of planning applications in the Orpington Town Centre area, including guidance on design requirements.  Following the consultation period, the draft would return to Committee for adoption.

In opening the discussion, the Chairman noted that the purpose of the document was to give some guidelines around development in Orpington Town Centre, it did not have legal weight in its own right but once approved would be a planning consideration when applications were considered.  When the Local Plan was revised in 2024 it was expected that much of the supplementary planning document would be uplifted into a revised Local Plan.

Committee Member and local Ward Councillor William Huntington-Thresher highlighted that it would be helpful to have a document offering guidelines for anyone considering investing in the town centre. It was noted that there was further work to be undertaken on the document although the full consultation should be progressed.  Noting that there were a lot of people who were interested, it was suggested that the consultation period should be extended beyond 6 weeks.  In addition, it was suggested that SPD Note 12 should be modified to require that there should be no reduction in parking at development sites

Councillor Huntington-Thresher moved that the draft Orpington Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document be endorsed for public consultation with consideration being given to extending the consultation beyond 6 weeks and an amendment to SPD Note 12 to suggested that there should be no reduction in parking at development sites.

The Committee noted with disappointment the low response rate to the initial consultation.  Members also expressed concern at the processes that had been followed, noting that whilst Orpington Ward Councillors may have been consulted over a number of months, councillors from surrounding wards had no knowledge of the consultation.  The need to build the confidence of local residents was highlighted and there was agreement that the consultation period should be extended to give all interested parties the opportunity to engage.  It was noted that with the current Covid situation it would be difficult to engage with local residents’ associations and provide a response within 6 weeks.  It was also important that local residents felt that they had a genuine input into the process.  It was therefore appropriate to have at least a 12-week consultation period.

Members highlighted that there were many aspects of the consultation that required further clarity.

In response to a question concerning the implication of purdah, the Legal Advisor to the Committee advised that the consultation could start before the start of purdah and could continue during the pre-election period as it would be considered to be continuing with normal council business.

The Committee sought assurances around the consultation that would be taking place.  It was highlighted that more elected Members needed to be consulted and given the opportunity to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

87.

UPDATE OF THE PLANNING OBLIGATIONS SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING DOCUMENT – CONSULTATION DRAFT pdf icon PDF 253 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2021/066

 

The report recommended that the revised Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was published for six weeks public consultation. The SPD was an update of the current SPD which was adopted in 2010. The update was necessary to reflect changes following the adoption of the Bromley Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and changes to national, regional and local planning policy since 2010.

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

1.  The draft Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (shown at Appendix 1) be endorsed for six weeks public consultation, noting that there may be further minor amendments prior to consultation.

 

2.  The matter be referred to the Renewal, Recreation and Housing Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee for pre-decision scrutiny.

 

 

88.

CONFIRMATION OF ARTICLE 4 DIRECTIONS TO REMOVE PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS FOR UPWARDS EXTENSIONS IN SPECIFIED AREAS pdf icon PDF 345 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2021/068

 

The report recommended that the Council confirmed 16 non-immediate Article 4 Directions to withdraw permitted development (PD) rights which allowed certain buildings to extend upwards by up to two storeys to provide new or extended residential units. These Directions would apply to the 13 Areas of Special Residential Character as shown in the Bromley Local Plan (January 2019); and to three discrete areas which fall within local views.

The areas selected for the Directions were areas which add significant character and distinctiveness, linked to adopted policy in the adopted Local Plan. The Article 4 Directions would help to protect this character and distinctiveness which is a positive benefit for local amenity.

In line with the requirements of legislation, representations on the proposed Directions were sought. The Council was required to take into account any representations made before it confirmed the Article 4 Directions. Two representations were received, both in support of specific Directions. If confirmed, the Directions would come into force on 15 March 2022.

RESOLVED: That:

1.  The confirmation of 16 non-immediate Article 4 Directions to withdraw various permitted development rights granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) (“the GPDO”), Schedule 2, Part 1 and Part 20. The areas covered by the Directions are shown on the maps at Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 be endorsed;

2.  The matter be referred to the Renewal, Recreation and Housing Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee for pre-decision scrutiny; and

3.  It be noted that the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing will be asked to confirm the 16 non-immediate Directions covering the areas shown on the maps at Appendix 1 and Appendix 2, to come into force on 15 March 2022.

 

89.

CONFIRMATION OF ARTICLE 4 DIRECTIONS TO REMOVE PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS FOR OFFICE TO RESIDENTIAL DEMOLITION IN BROMLEY’S DESIGNATED OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL AREAS pdf icon PDF 348 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2021/069

 

The report recommended that the Council confirmed 18 non-immediate Article 4 Directions to withdraw permitted development (PD) rights which allowed the demolition of purpose-built detached buildings used for offices (within former B1a office, B1b research and B1c light industrial uses) together with their replacement with a single detached block of flats or a single dwelling house. These Directions would apply to the three Business Improvement Areas (BIA) in Bromley Town Centre; Strategic Industrial Locations (SIL); the majority of Locally Significant Industrial Sites (LSIS); and all three Office Clusters, all as shown in the Bromley Local Plan (January 2019).

The areas selected for the Directions were key areas for the retention and promotion of offices, research and light industrial uses. The Article 4 Directions would accompany the existing Directions which removed Part 3, Class O office to residential PD rights within the Business Improvement Areas and three Office Clusters. It was considered expedient to restrict the operation of the new office to residential demolition PD right in the key areas outlined above due to the strategic importance of these designated areas. The Directions would thereby avoid harmful impacts upon economic development and ensure any development within the areas was properly planned in line with the policies in the adopted Local Plan.

In line with the requirements of legislation, representations on the proposed Directions were sought. The Council was required take into account any representations made before it confirmed the Article 4 Directions. One representation was received, which made general comments on the Direction covering the Franklin Industrial Estate LSIS, specifically noting numerous benefits of the existing concentration of businesses in the area and the need to protect these. If confirmed, the Directions would come into force on 11 May 2022.

Councillor William Huntington-Thresher questioned why the directions only related to the demolition of offices, as there is also a risk of existing offices converting to residential use with no demolition needed. The Head of Planning Policy and Strategy confirmed that the PD rights which allow demolition were separate to other PD rights which allow conversion, and that Article 4 Directions were already in place to remove these other PD rights in certain parts of the borough.

Councillor Alexa Michael urged the Committee to confirm the 18 non-immediate Article 4 Directions.  As a Borough Bromley needed to be seen to be taking its office and industrial spaces very seriously in order to benefit the local economy.  It was also suggested that this and the Article 4 Directions in Minute 88 should be widely publicised.

RESOLVED: That:

  1. The confirmation of 18 non-immediate Article 4 Directions to withdraw PD rights granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) (“the GPDO”), Schedule 2, Part 20, Class ZA be endorsed. The areas covered by the Directions are shown on the map at Appendix 1.
  2. The matter be referred to the Renewal, Recreation and Housing Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee for pre-decision scrutiny.
  3. It be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

UPDATE ON HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION pdf icon PDF 276 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2021/070

 

The report provided an update on evidence relating to Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the Borough, following a report to Development Control Committee, Renewal, Recreation and Housing Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee and Executive in summer 2021.

At the meeting of 15 July 2021, Executive authorised the making of two Article 4 Directions to remove C3 to C4 permitted development (PD) rights; an immediate Direction covering Biggin Hill and Darwin wards, and a non-immediate Direction covering the rest of the Borough. The immediate Direction must be confirmed by 28 February 2021 in order to remain in force after this date, while the non-immediate Direction must be confirmed before 1 September in order for it to come into effect.

The report summarised the current evidence available in relation to HMOs in the Borough, and considered that there was not sufficient justification to confirm either of the Directions, in line with the requirements of national planning policy and guidance.

Noting that the Officer’s recommendation, based on the lack of empirical evidence of the quantum of HMOs in the Borough, was that the Article 4 Directions were not confirmed, the Chairman noted that this was not consistent with the experience of local ward councillors who were seeing a greater volume of HMOs beginning to appear.  Acknowledging the difficulties that Officers may have in identifying the hard evidence, the Chairman proposed that the Committee recommend that the Article 4 Directions be confirmed.

The Committee noted that a number of neighbouring boroughs and boroughs across London had Article 4 Directions for HMOs in place and there was extended control over HMOs in all neighbouring boroughs.  A Member highlighted the need for HMOs to be planned for and for Committees to consider applications.  It was further noted that information on the 2021 Census may be delayed, and equally, if there were houses that were planned to be converted into HMOs after the Census was conducted, they would not show up in the census data.

The Committee noted that the Portfolio Holder would be required to confirm both the immediate and non-immediate Article 4 Directions following pre-decision scrutiny by the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee.

The Chairman moved that the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing be recommended to confirm both the immediate Article 4 Direction covering Biggin Hill and Darwin wards and non-immediate Article 4 Direction covering all wards of the Borough with the exception of Biggin Hill and Darwin.  The motion was seconded by Councillor Harmer, put to the vote and CARRIED.

RESOLVED: That

1. The updated evidence relating to HMOs set out in this report, which supplements the May 2021 evidence base document at Appendix 1 be noted;

2. The Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing be recommended to confirm the immediate Article 4 Direction covering Biggin Hill and Darwin wards.

3. The Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing be recommended to confirm the non-immediate Article 4 Direction covering all wards of the Borough with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 90.

Appendix A pdf icon PDF 463 KB

 

Original Text: