Description of Application: Erection of single storey extension to south east elevation to provide permanent classroom.
The Head of Development Management stated that the single storey extension had already been constructed and completed so in essence this was a retrospective planning application.
The Planning Officers had recommended that the application be approved.
It was noted that objections to the application had been received.
Ward Councillor Katy Boughey commented that pupil numbers were due to increase from 401 to 420 by September 2022 and that the Highways Department had not raised any concerns. However Cllr Boughey was aware from her local knowledge of the area that parking on Grange Drive and the surrounding roads when pupils and staff arrive and depart was very busy, in fact it could be described as chaotic. This was mainly due to inconsiderate parking by parents.
Councillor Boughey expressed the view that an up to date Travel Plan was definitely needed. She was concerned that a Travel Plan had not been submitted with the application and requested that an up to date Travel Plan be provided by the beginning of April 2022. Councillor Boughey noted that this was a retrospective application and was not impressed with the fact that the applicant was not paying proper attention to planning law and procedures.
Councillor Boughey referred to a previous application from the school with respect to the sports pitch. As part of this planning application a condition for permission was that planting be undertaken along the boundary wall with Clifford Avenue. It was the case that one year later, despite two requests from the Planning Officers, this condition had not been complied with. There was no indication that the school had any intentions to comply with this condition as they had installed false grass right up to the Boundary Fence. Cllr Boughey felt that some form of action should be authorised by Committee to elicit a positive outcome with respect to this condition, so that planting could be in place by April 2022.
Councillor Boughey referred to Section 7.3.8 of the report where it mentioned the possibility of the school accessing he roof area in the future. She stated that if Members were minded to grant the application that a condition be added that stipulated that no structure should be added to the roof without prior planning permission.
Ward Councillor Suraj Sharma agreed with the issues raised by Cllr Boughey with respect to the Travel Plan and expressed surprise that this structure had been built without seeking planning permission first. He said that he was not against the structure being there, but did see the need for a Travel Plan.
Members referred back to the issue that had been previously raised with respect to the planting conditions that had not been complied with. They asked if enforcement action in this regard could be authorised by the Committee. The Council's legal representative advised that this request could be minuted and that it could be dealt with under delegated powers. He said that this request could be put forward to the Planning Enforcement Manager with the requested enforcement action be implemented if he considered it appropriate.
It was agreed that a legal agreement be drawn up so that the temporary modular building would not co-exist with the new structure.
A Member felt that this application would not be the end of the applications from the school and she suggested that the Council request that the school submit a master plan that would highlight planned future development. The Head of Development Management said that an informative to this effect to the school could be something that could be considered.
Members, having considered the report, objections and representations, RESOLVED that the application BE DEFERRED to seek the submission of a Travel Plan, to request a Masterplan for future development proposals, and for a legal agreement to secure the removal of the modular building. The Planning Enforcement Manager was also to consider if enforcement action was expedient for the failure to comply with the condition for boundary planting.