Officers clarified that the Application had been brought to the Planning Committee for consideration at the request of Councillor S. G. Hession.
Officers explained that the floor area of the development exceeded 1000 square metres, and therefore, under the Council’s Scheme of Delegation had been referred for determination by Planning Committee Members.
Officers further reported that two additional representations had been received with regard to attending the virtual Planning Committee meeting, Committee Members being unable to attend Site Visits; and the ongoing problems due to poor drainage in the rear gardens and the removal of trees. The two representations along with the officer’s responses were detailed in the Committee Update Report; copies of which were provided to Members and published on the Council’s website prior to the commencement of the meeting.
Officers presented the report and in doing so informed Members that the application sought planning permission to demolish thew two existing bungalows and erect 7 detached dwellings. This would result in a net increase of 5 dwellings. Plots 1 to 4 would have four bedrooms with a further room in the roof space described as a cinema room. Plots 5 to 7 would have four bedrooms with no additional room in the roof space.
Members were further informed that extant permission existed for 7 dwellings on this site, which proposed a similar site layout. The proposal before Members differed in terms of house type design and number of bedrooms, which had been increased with the current scheme.
Concerns had been raised in respect of amenity and officers drew Members’ attention to the Design and Amenity information, as detailed on pages 57 and 58 of the main agenda report.
The site sat alongside Lea Green Drive, which was a cul-de-sac development, and the proposal was arranged using perimeter block design principles. Furthermore, careful consideration had been given to ensure that separation distances between existing and proposed dwellings and garden sizes had been achieved to accord with the SPD design guidelines.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Mr. G. Gadd, addressed the Committee in objection to the application. Mr. K. Lawrence, the applicant’s agent and Councillor S. G. Hession, Ward Councillor also addressed Committee Members.
The Committee then considered the Application, which had been recommended for approval by Officers.
Members referred to the objection received from Wythall Parish Council in respect that they did not feel it was possible to enforce that the use of the additional floor space was restricted to a cinema room and was not converted at a later date.
Members commented that they were in agreement with the matters raised in objection to the application and BDP7 of the Bromsgrove District Plan (Local Plan) - namely ‘Damage to the area is not outweighed by public benefits of increasing housing supply’.
The proposed development would make the housing supply worse, as 5 bedroom dwellings were not as affordable or accessible to everyone. The Local Plan referred to opening up housing to more people by making homes affordable by prioritising 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom dwellings.
Officers responded to questions from Members with regards to the number of sparrow boxes on the proposed site and s106 monies.
Officers responded to Members questions with regards to the concerns raised by local residents in respect of ongoing drainage issues. Officers stated that the area was known to be an area that suffered from poor drainage and boggy land during heavy rain. North Worcestershire Water Management had commented that due to known flood risk in the area, it was important to ensure water was correctly managed to ensure no increase in flood risk elsewhere. A drainage strategy including a full set of calculations verifying the capacity of attenuation was to be used and the pre- and post- development runoff rates and volumes would be required, which could be conditioned.
Officers further commented that the conditions would address the issue of drainage, so could therefore improve the situation. Once the local flood authority was involved in the drainage scheme, it would seek the best possible outcome for the site.
Officers further reiterated that North Worcestershire Water Management had raised no objections to the application.
An alternative recommendation was proposed and seconded that planning permission be refused due to the proposed development not being in line with Policy BDP7 of the Bromsgrove District Plan, in respect of housing mix.
On being put to the vote, the alternative recommendation was lost.
RESOLVED that planning permission be granted subject to the Conditions, as detailed on pages 60 to 64 of the main agenda report.