Agenda item



Description of application – Provision of 25 new dwellings comprising 10 x 1 bed and 15 x 2 bed and realignment of Burnt Ash Lane public car park to provide 84 parking spaces, including with 15 residential parking spaces.


Oral representations from a neighbour in objection to the application included comments in regard to:-


·  public car parking provision and the impact on local residents and businesses;

·  insufficient car parking provision for residents;

·  the uncomplimentary design of the development which was out of keeping with its surroundings;

·  loss of privacy to residents;

·  density of the development;

·  issues with overlooking;

·  standard of accommodation; and

·  concerns in regard to the Air Quality Assessment.


Oral representations from the applicant’s agent in support of the application included the following points:-


·  No technical objections to the development were raised by members of the public.

·  The provision of 25 new affordable homes for local people would not cause harm to the residential amenities of neighbouring properties.

·  No technical objections were raised by statutory consultees and no adverse harm had been identified.

·  All relevant surveys to the standard required by statutory consultees had been conducted.

·  The scheme provided much-needed new housing on a Council owned site and made a swift contribution to the Council’s housing supply.

·  The scheme would lead the way in low-carbon affordable housing in the borough and was an exemplar development in terms of sustainability, quality and affordable housing provision.

·  There would be no impact on current site usage in regard to fire access, refuse collection and residential refuse collection.  The existing recycling facilities, electric charging points, motorcycle and disabled parking spaces would be retained or re-provided within the site. A planning condition ensured that the Council would regulate waste management strategy.

·  The existing public car park would remain free to the public with no restriction on parking hours. Parking spaces would be realigned to accommodate the proposed homes. The scheme would provide additional lighting, CCTV and natural surveillance.

·  No objections were raised by Highways, the lead local flood authority or Thames Water.

·  12 swift bricks would be provided to assist activities designed to abate the decline in local swift populations, as recommended by the local RSPB. The introduction of planting and landscaping would also contribute.

·  The Council had no plans to introduce parking charges which addressed the objection from the Roslin Way Leisure Garden and Allotment Association.


The agent made the following statements in response to questions from Members:-


·  The implementation of additional planting (including trees) would be considered.

·  The timescale for possession of the site to completion of the scheme was 35 weeks. The car park would close on week 14 and re-open on week 29.

·  The applicant would be willing to provide 100% active electrical car charging points.

·  The swift bricks were designed to be compatible with modular housing but  would need to be replaced after a certain amount of time which the applicant was willing to do.

·  The proposed staircase and lift would be enclosed and therefore protected from adverse weather conditions.


The Head of Development Management gave the following updates:-


·  Following publication of the report, 30 additional representations had been received in regard to:-


o  inadequate car parking and increased traffic;

o  increased parking demand in neighbouring streets;

o  pressure from other uses in the area including a new retail store and the driving test centre had not been considered;

o  impact on allotment users – there was a covenant stating that the land would continue to be used as a free car park;

o  parking reduction would impact on local shops in the area;

o  inadequate infrastructure (schools, GP services and public utilities);

o  overdevelopment;

o  overlooking and loss of privacy;

o  noise and air pollution;

o  crime and anti-social behaviour;

o  inadequate lighting;

o  Pike Close would also be redeveloped and this should be taken into account; and

o  Adverse impact on property values.


The Head of Development Management also clarified information provided in the report regarding affordable housing with particular attention to paragraphs 6.2.7, 7.3 and 8.1 as follows:-


·  The application proposed 25 additional new homes at 100 percent affordable rent. This was outlined in the affordable housing statement which would form part of the approved documents. This proposal exceeded the policy requirements for affordable housing on publicly owned sites. Policy requires 50% of housing on public land to be affordable with a tenure split of 60% affordable rent and 40% intermediate provision.


·  Affordable housing was usually secured by a Section 106 agreement. However, as the Council was the applicant in this case and could not enter into a Section 106 agreement with itself, the Council’s legal department had advised that affordable housing should be secured by condition. The condition as recommended would secure affordable housing up to the policy compliant level of 50% (of all habitable rooms), to ensure that it was compliant with the statutory tests for planning conditions.


Having considered the above points, the officer recommendation remained to

grant planning permission for the reasons set out in the main agenda.


Councillor Fawthrop moved that the application be permitted with an added condition relating to the provision of 100% active electric vehicle charging points.  Councillor Brock seconded the motion and requested a further condition be added which required the specific bird boxes to be replaced at the end of their lifetime.


Councillor Allen supported the proposal and emphasised the need for the scheme to be completed within 35 weeks as stated by the applicant’s agent.


Committee Member and Ward Member Councillor Turner acknowledged it was the Council’s duty to look after homeless people and that this modular scheme was the first of many to be established in the Borough.  Councillor Turner considered there were sufficient transport, education and GP services in the area to support residents’ needs.


The Chairman stated that the application conformed to planning policies.  Adequate parking facilities would be available and the scheme would provide much needed housing for homeless people.


Having considered the report, objections and representations, Members RESOLVED that the application be granted PERMISSION as recommended, subject to the conditions set out in the report of the Assistant Director, Planning and Building Control.  Two further conditions were added which required the provision of 100% active electric vehicle charging points and that bird boxes be replaced at the end of their lifetime.

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