The Chairman announced that officers would be presenting a joint presentation for Planning Applications 19/00592/FUL and 20/01140/LBC, Blue Bird Factory, Blue Bird Park, Bromsgrove Road, Romsley, Halesowen, Worcestershire.
Officers reported that with regards to:-
Planning Application 19/00592/FUL – that a further 5 objections from 3 individuals had been received. The majority of issues raised had related to matters already report ed. Those matters not previously listed related to:-
· The notification procedures for the Committee meeting.
· The conduct of the meeting on 1st November.
· Where the s.106 money was being directed to.
· The application of vacant building credit.
· An application for planning permission for a nearby development for 2 houses.
Planning Application – 20/01440/LBC – that a further 2 representations had been received from the same individual. The comments raised no material planning matters rather than issues associated with the listed building consent; as detailed in the published Committee Update, copies of which were provided to Members and published on the Council’s website prior to the commencement of the meeting.
Officers highlighted that as Members would recall, during the Planning Committee meeting held on 1st November 2021, the Committee resolved to defer Planning Application 19/00592/Ful, pending confirmation on the vacant building credit, which removed the requirement for the proposed development to provide affordable housing.
Officers explained that further information had now been received and officers drew Members’ attention to the ‘Vacant Building Credit (VBC) – What is the vacant building credit’? detailed information on pages 11 and 12 of the main agenda report and Section 8 – Affordable Housing and Vacant building credit, as detailed on pages 35 to 36 of the main agenda report.
Officers continued and informed the Committee that the proposed development comprised of the demolition of the existing modern industrial buildings on the site and the conversion of the retained Welfare and Administration buildings, to provide a total of 108 residential units. 9 units were proposed in the Administration building, 13 units were proposed in the Welfare building with the remainder of the dwellings new build.
In 2019 the Welfare and Administration building and the boundary walls, railings and gates fronting the highway were listed at Grade II and would therefore be retained.
Officers further drew Members’ attention to the following presentation slides:-
· Site Frontage - Administration and Welfare Buildings
· Proposed site layout plan
· Proposed house types
· Proposed street scenes
· Conversion of the Administration Building
· Conversion of the Welfare Building
Members were also reminded that during the Planning Committee meeting held on 1st November 2021, that some Members had raised some concern with regard to drainage and surface water flooding at the site.
Appendix 1 to the report provided the Drainage Note from Pegasus Group in respect of the proposed drainage and surface water flooding, as detailed on pages 45 to 51 of the main agenda report.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Mrs. L. Dowling (via Microsoft Teams) addressed the Committee in objection to Planning Application 19/00592/FUL.
Mr. K. Fenwick, the Applicant’s agent addressed the Committee in respect of both planning applications. Mr. P. Smith, on behalf of Hunnington Parish Council, addressed the Committee in objection to both planning applications; and Councillor M. A. Sherrey, Ward Councillor also addressed the Committee with regard to both planning applications.
The Committee then considered Planning Application 19/00592/FUL, which Officers had recommended to approve.
Councillor S. P. Douglas acknowledged that having had some of the queries raised by the Committee, at the last meeting expanded on, had been most helpful, however, she was still hearing the distress of the local residents.
Councillor Douglas suggested a proposal to expand the Condition, as detailed on page 42 – Ecology, with regard to trees and landscaping, in order to reflect the comments received from the Urban Designer and the consultant Conservation and Landscape officer, with regard to tree planting on the public realm and the northern and north-eastern aspects of the site being screened.
In response officers stated that Councillor Douglas’s suggestions with regard to additional street trees / hedging could be considered in the Landscape Environmental Plan. The developer was present and could consider the comments made by Councillor Douglas.
Members commented that whilst they recognised that more houses were needed and that the Council could not demonstrate a five year housing land supply, however the development would change the dynamics of the community and it would have been a good opportunity to include some affordable housing on the site.
Officers confirmed that no further comments had been received from North Worcestershire Water Management.
Members thanked officers for the additional information on the Vacant Building Credit (VBC) and further commented that they would have liked to have seen some affordable housing on the site, however, the additional detailed information on VBC showed that this would not happen.
Members further referred to the Drainage Note and the updated information as provided.
It was acknowledged that officers had provided further information, as requested by the Committee at the Planning Committee meeting held on 1st November 2021.
Members raised further questions with regard to play provision/open space/parks being located at the community recreation ground at St. Kenelms Road.
Officers stated that St. Kenelms Road was agreed following consultation with the Council’s Leisure officers and that the area was the nearest place suitable for offsite play equipment to be provided. Planning officers were not aware of any site within Hunnington and therefore Leisure officers had recommended St, Kenelms Road for the reasons as detailed on pages 23 and 24 of the main agenda report.
Officers informed the Committee that Members could include a Condition to the S106 contribution that discussions take place with the District Council, Hunnington Parish Council and the developer regarding the location of the offsite play provision; however, officers would also recommend that a time limit be included on such discussions taking place and an agreement being reached.
Members also raised a question in respect of the increased street lighting and bio-diversity.
In response officers referred Members to the Condition on page 42 of the main agenda report with regard to a lighting strategy, and the need to consider public safety as well as the wild life. Taking into account the concerns raised by Members, lighting pollution and an enhanced lighting strategy could be looked at.
Further debate followed on planning legislation, VBC and no affordable housing being provided on the proposed site and inclusivity .
Some Members stated that the questions raised and the reason why the planning application was deferred at the Planning Committee meeting held on 1st November 2021; had now been fully answered by officers.
Members referred to the comments received from Highways, as detailed on page 22 of the main agenda report.
Ms. K. Hanchett, Worcestershire Highways explained that the Highway Authority had recommended that the application be refused as the proposed site was in an unsustainable location as residents would be reliable on private cars. However, the Highway Authority had not recommended refusal on any highway grounds; and that there would be a contribution in respect of traffic calming.
Further discussions followed and it was mooted that the application be deferred again or refused as some Members were of the opinion that the development would not create a vibrant community and that there was no on-site play provision.
Officers highlighted that at the Planning Committee held on 1st November 2021, Members had the opportunity to discuss the proposed development in some detail; officers had worked with the developer over a two year period.
In response to the Committee, officers clarified that should Members be minded to approve the application, that following on from the earlier debate, Members had agreed that officers would:-
· look at the lighting strategy and enhance the Condition as detailed on page 42 of the main agenda report;
· change Condition (ix) to read - Look at the toddler junior play equipment at either / or Hunnington / St. Kenelms Road recreation ground, following discussions with the District Council, Hunnington Parish Council and the developer, no longer than 3 months, as detailed in the preamble above; and
· landscaping scheme to take into consideration Councillor Douglas’s comments regards tree and hedgerow cover, within the proposed site, as detailed in the preamble above.
Councillor J. E. King proposed an alternative Recommendation that, the application be deferred to allow further discussions between the developer, the planning department, the Parish Council, and any other interested parties. She was also concerned about offsite play provision for younger children, children under eight and the lack of a meeting place for residents to meet; and the possibility to consider the inclusion of 5/10 affordable homes on the site.
Officers further reiterated that Members, should the application be approved, had tasked officers to look into play provision, as detailed in the preamble above. With regard to affordable housing provision, officers reminded Councillor King, that the Committee had been provided with detailed information on VBC. This was requested by the Committee at the Planning Committee meeting held on 1st November 2021, when the planning application was deferred pending further information on VBC.
It was noted that there was no seconder for Councillor King’s alternative Recommendation to defer the application.
Having been alerted by a member of the public that they could smell smoke, the meeting stood adjourned from 19:09pm to 19:14pm to enable officers to investigate.
Having reconvened it was
RESOLVED that with reference to application 19/00592/FUL that full Planning Permission be granted, subject to:-
a) authority be delegated to the Head of Planning, Regeneration and Leisure to determine the application following the receipt of a suitable and satisfactory legal mechanism in relation to the following matters:-
(i) £400,000 towards improvements to bus services
(ii) £15,000 towards community transport services
(iii) £98, 511 towards school transport
(iv) £23, 760 towards personal travel planning service (£220/dwelling)
(v) £ 20, 519.78 towards NHS Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust
(vi) £161, 280 towards Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group NHS for premises expansion
(vii) £360, 469 towards primary phase education
(viii) £470, 188 towards secondary phase education
(ix) £77, 050 towards improvements to toddler junior play equipment at either Hunnington or St Kenelms Road recreation ground, following discussions with the District Council, Hunnington Parish Council and the developer, to be agreed within a 3 month period
(x) £5641.92 towards the provision of wheelie bins for the development
(xi) A S106 Monitoring fee
(xii) A flood response plan
(xiii) A Boardwalk Specification
(xiv) Various site restrictions in relation to drainage matters
(xv) The management and maintenance of the on-site open space
(xvi) The management and maintenance of the on-site SuDs facilities
b) that delegated powers be granted to the Head of Planning and Regeneration
to agree the final scope and detailed wording and numbering of conditions.
c) that when determining conditions that the comments from Members with regard to a lighting strategy, toddler junior play equipment and landscaping, as detailed in the preamble above, be included.
RESOLVED that with reference to application 20/01440/LBC that
a) Listed Building Consent be granted;
b) that delegated powers be granted to the Head of Planning and Regeneration to agree the final scope and detailed wording and numbering of conditions.