Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 29 April 2020 6.30pm

Venue: Civic Suite - Level 2, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR

Contact: Ellen Wright, Democratic Services Officer 

Note: We would strongly discourage members of the public from attending this meeting in person in light of Government advice on social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting will be livestreamed, details of which will be set out below ahead of the meeting. 

Media

Items
No. Item

813.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Adeoye, Barrett, Bhutia, Etheridge, Sylvia Griffin, McDonald, Potter and Chrissy Stamp.

814.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 1 April 2020.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 1 April 2020 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct subject to the inclusion of the following apologies for absence:

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Adeoye, Barrett, Bhutia, Bowler, Buckwell, Curry, Etheridge, Sylvia Griffin, McDonald, Chrissy Stamp, and Thorne.

815.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report. 

Minutes:

There were none.

816.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 371 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct.  Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 4.

 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other significant interests (OSIs)

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

The Head of Planning referred to planning application MC/19/2361 – Patmans Wharf, Upnor Road, Upnor, Rochester and advised that as a number of objectors were known to him, he had had no involvement in the processing of this application. He advised that as he was the only Planning Officer in attendance at this meeting he would only be able to present the application as set out in the report and answer matters of fact but not matters of opinion or balance.

 

817.

Planning application - MC/19/2709 - St Bartholomews Hospital, New Road, Rochester pdf icon PDF 685 KB

River

 

Part demolition of the existing buildings, construction of new buildings and conversion of the former St Bartholomew's Hospital to provide 155 residential units together with associated car parking, cycle parking, hard and soft landscaping, tree removal, boundary treatment, access, utilities and other associated works, restoration, part demolition and conversion of the Grade II listed mortuary to provide 88 sqm community space Class (D1/D2).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application in detail and reminded the Committee that this application had previously been considered by the Committee on 4 March 2020 when consideration had been deferred pending receipt of further information and consideration in relation to matters of viability, appearance and scale of the extensions and the proposed unit mix.

 

He advised that since the meeting on 4 March 2020, the applicants had provided a letter from Savills in support of the unit mix and had provided an email setting out comments on the unit mix, viability and Section 106 costs, details of which were set out in the committee report.

 

In particular, the Head of Planning drew attention to the applicant’s statement that the committee report on 4 March 2020 had not made it explicit that the monetary cost of works to the Waterworks would be £594,754 and the Garden of Reflection £200,000.

 

With regard to the unit mix, the applicants had advised that the residential units were aimed at local young professionals.

 

The Council’s Viability Consultant, Martin Aust then informed the Committee of the outcome of his independent viability assessment which concurred with the findings of the applicant’s viability report. The net profit indicated in the appraisal was only 12.3% of the Gross Development Value with a target rate of return of 20% to reflect the risk of the project. Irrespective of the risk, the 12.3% profit was currently below the minimum guide of 15% as set out in the Government’s National Planning Guidance on Viability.

 

The Committee discussed the application noting the importance of this prominent historic building located in a conservation area and an important regeneration site in Medway. It was noted that the building had been vacant since 2016 following the closure of the former hospital. Whilst there was concern that this development would not include an element of affordable housing or any financial contributions towards local greenspaces, and that a different unit mix may have been preferable, the Committee expressed appreciation for the additional information submitted by the applicant and the detailed explanation of the viability assessment.

 

Decision:

 

Approved subject to:

 

a)     A Section 106 agreement being entered into to secure the following:

 

     i)        A contribution of £38,061.80 towards bird disturbance mitigation.

    ii)        Alterations and improvements to the public highway (s278 works).

   iii)        Repairs and restoration of the listed waterworks building (mortuary building).

   iv)        Public realm improvements and landscaping to the Garden of Reflection.

 

b)     Conditions 1 – 32 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report.

818.

Planning application - MC/19/2710 - St Bartholomews Hospital, New Road, Rochester pdf icon PDF 678 KB

River

 

Listed building consent for part demolition of the existing buildings, construction of new buildings and conversion of the former St Bartholomew's Hospital to provide 155 residential units together with associated car parking, cycle parking, hard and soft landscaping, tree removal, boundary treatment, access, utilities and other associated works, restoration, part demolition and conversion of the Grade II listed mortuary to provide 88 sqm community space (Class D1/D2).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application and drew attention to the supplementary agenda advice sheet which set out a revised wording for the proposal section of the report.

 

Decision:

 

Approved with conditions 1 – 6 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report.

 

819.

Planning application - MC/19/2361 - Patmans Wharf, Upnor Road, Upnor, Rochester pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Strood Rural

 

Change of use from boat storage yard to residential, construction of six 3 bed terraced houses and two 2 bed flats with associated landscaping and parking.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application and informed the Committee of an amendment to the planning appraisal section of the report in that the applicant had now completed and signed the bird mitigation agreement. Therefore, the proposed development would comply with Policies S6 and BNE35 and paragraphs 175 and 176 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

 

In addition, he advised that since despatch of the agenda, one further letter of representation had been received, a copy of which had been appended to the supplementary agenda advice sheet and which he read out in full.

 

Councillor Williams as Ward Councillor had also submitted representations and as Councillor Williams had been unable to attend this virtual meeting, the Head of Planning read out his comments summarised as follows:

 

  • The loss of sailing facilities would be detrimental to the village of Upnor and spoil the character of the village which is becoming overdeveloped.
  • Additional traffic generated by the development will exacerbate existing traffic problems.
  • The location of the proposed development would be directly facing a marine engineering company which would likely lead to future noise complaints and the site is located on a flood zone 2 area.

 

Referring to the comments from the Ward Councillor, the Head of Planning advised the Committee that the Environment Agency had originally objected to this planning application but had removed such objections subject to the suggested conditions being imposed.

 

The Committee discussed the application having regard to the uniqueness of the village of Upnor, the location of the application site and its proximity to a marine engineering company that by the nature of its work generates noise.

 

In response, the Head of Planning confirmed that there had been complaints from residents living in Lower Upnor concerning the levels of noise generated by the Marine Engineering Company and the site for this current application would be located closer to the Marine Engineering Company than other residential properties. He advised that no noise assessment had been submitted by the applicants in support of the application.

 

The Committee also expressed concern as to the type of piling which would be used on site, and in response the Head of Planning drew attention to proposed condition 19 which addressed this issue.

 

Following consideration, it was suggested that the application be deferred to enable officers to obtain further information on the impact that this proposed development would have upon the village and the potential of noise disturbance to the future occupiers of the proposed houses and flats having regard to the proximity of the site to an established Marine Engineering Company.

 

Decision:

 

Consideration of this application be deferred to enable officers to obtain further information on the impact that this proposed development would have upon the village and the potential of noise disturbance to the future occupiers of the proposed houses and flats having regard to the proximity of the site to an established Marine Engineering Company.

 

820.

Planning application - MC/19/0994 - Land Adjacent To Balancing Pond, St Andrews Park, Halling, Kent pdf icon PDF 348 KB

Cuxton and Halling

 

Construction of an extra care facility comprising of thirty six 1-bedroom and fifty two 2-bedroom apartments with communal facilities including restaurant, offices and a  separate retail unit (Class A1) with associated landscaping, access, parking and infrastructure.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application in detail and informed the Committee that Councillor Fearn as Ward Councillor had submitted representations and, as he had been unable to attend this virtual meeting, the Head of Planning read out his comments summarised as follows:

 

  • Whilst not objecting to the location of a care facility at this site, this current application exceeds that approved at outline planning stage and a building of 4 – 5 storeys with a flat roof is out of keeping with the surrounding area.
  • A pending planning application for a leisure use of a site in close proximity to the application site, if approved, will create noise disturbance to the future occupants of the care facility.
  • The proposed development will increase pressure on the Riverside Medical Practice, the proposed retail unit is too close to residential properties and the refuse store is in an unacceptable location.

 

The Head of Planning informed the Committee that the proposed extra care facility would not be a care home or sheltered accommodation but would be available for persons over 55 where at least one person in the home would require care for at least 3.5 hours a week.

 

He advised that the original application had been reduced from 95 to 88 units of which 50 would be affordable, 25 would be shared ownership and 25 affordable rent which would be secured by condition.

 

The Committee discussed the application having regard to the concerns of the Ward Councillor and, in particular, the increased size of the proposed buildings.

 

The Head of Planning advised that when originally submitted, there was concern as to the height, massing and visual impact of the proposed buildings but officers had undertaken work with the applicants to reduce the size of the development, relocate buildings away from the roundabout, increase landscaping and use materials to help soften the visual impact of the development.

 

It was suggested that if the application was approved, an additional condition be imposed stating the age and 3.5 hour care requirement of the residents of the extra care facility. In response, the Head of Planning agreed that such condition could be imposed and asked that if approved, he be granted delegated authority to approve the wording of such condition with the Chairman.

 

Decision:

 

a)  Approved with conditions 1 – 20 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report and an additional condition 21 as follows:

 

21.  Regardless of tenure type, residents must be aged over 55 and at least one of the occupants of each unit must have a minimum care and/or support need of 3.5 hours per week.

 

b)  The Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to agree the final wording of condition 21 with the Chairman.

 

821.

Planning application - MC/18/1796 - Land South of Lower Rainham Road, Rainham, Gillingham pdf icon PDF 544 KB

Rainham North

 

Outline planning application (all matters reserved except access) for the development of up to 202 residential dwellings (Use Class C3), open space, landscaping (including Sustainable Urban Drainage), access, up to 455 car parking spaces and associated works.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application and in drawing attention to the supplementary agenda advice sheet suggested that if the Committee was minded to approve the application, proposed condition 4 be amended to take account of a revised plan, and proposed condition 21 (air quality) be replaced, details of which were set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet.

 

In addition, he drew attention to the representatives section of the report and informed the Committee that as this application had originally been submitted in 2018, it was possible that the Ward Councillors who had commented for Swale Borough Council in 2018 may no longer hold such positions.

 

He informed the Committee that Councillors Potter and Carr as Ward Councillors had submitted representations and, as they had been unable to attend this virtual meeting, the Head of Planning read out their comments summarised as follows:

 

  • The application is an overdevelopment of the area and will exacerbate existing highway congestion and will negatively impact the local community with the increased traffic congestion affecting air quality and the subsequent health of local residents.
  • Flooding and sewage capacity
  • The allocation of Section 106 contributions

 

In response to the Ward Councillors’ comments as to the impact that the development would have on air quality, the Head of Planning advised the Committee that subject to the implementation of an air quality management plan that would be secured by the proposed conditions, this application was considered acceptable.

 

In addition, he advised that the traffic volume generated by this application had already been taken into account when assessing other schemes in the vicinity of this particular application site. This was supported by the Principal Transport Planner who advised that when a transport modelling assessment had been undertaken, account had been taken of the potential impact of this proposed development.

 

The Committee discussed the planning application having regard to the concerns expressed by the Ward Councillors and the number of developments coming forward for this part of Medway prior to the approval of the new Local Plan.

 

In response, the Head of Planning reminded the Committee that the Council was currently working to produce a new Local Plan but in the meantime, the Government had provided the Council with a housing target requirement. He stressed that this application had been outstanding since 2018 and a consequence of continued deferral would be the potential loss of other more sensitive sites through appeal. He referred to other developments in the vicinity of the application site which had already been successful via the planning appeal process and advised that this section of land had limited landscape quality and, if refused, it was likely that it would go to appeal and the Council could lose with costs.

 

The Committee expressed concern as to the number of applications coming forward for development in Rainham but reluctantly noted that the success of planning appeals for other sites was required to be taken into account when determining planning applications.

 

In considering the application,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 821.

822.

Planning application - MC/19/0493 - Rochester Riverside, Rochester ME1 1NH pdf icon PDF 558 KB

River

 

Reserved matters application for the construction of a 2 storey 1- form entry primary school and nursery school with 2- form entry core facilities together with a multi-use games area and sports facilities; temporary landscaping; transport infrastructure and access roads.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application and informed the Committee that if it was minded to approve the application, the applicant had requested an amendment to the wording of proposed conditions 2 and 6 asking for the submission of details prior to commencement of groundworks rather than within 6 months of the date of the permission due to delays in the project and difficulties getting contractors on site to undertake works due to Covid-19.

 

The Head of Planning then outlined the planning application in detail and drew attention to the supplementary agenda advice sheet which contained the reason for proposed condition 11 which had been omitted from the committee report and a new condition 13 to require a scheme of heritage interpretation to be incorporated within the development.

 

The Committee discussed the application and whilst satisfied with the application, expressed concern as the loss of the pedestrian crossing facility from the Station Car Park across Corporation Street to the Quakers Building. Whilst it was appreciated that a new pedestrian crossing had been provided further along Corporation Street close to the entrance/exit to the Railway Station, it was considered that once the school was built at Riverside, pupils coming from Rochester would likely use the former crossing point which was no longer controlled by lights.

 

In response, the Head of Planning and Principal Transport Planner advised upon the various access points to the proposed school and the Principal Transport Planner advised that discussions were ongoing within the Directorate concerning the uncontrolled crossing in Corporation Street.

 

Decision:

 

Approved with conditions 1, 3 – 5, 7 – 10, and 12 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report and conditions 2 and 6 amended, condition 11 corrected and new condition 13 as follows:

 

 

2.      Prior to commencement of above ground works, a plan indicating the positions, design, materials and type of boundary treatment to be erected around the listed wall will be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  The boundary treatment shall be completed in accordance with the approved details before the building is first occupied and shall thereafter be retained.  

 

Reason: To ensure that the appearance of the development is satisfactory and without prejudice to conditions of visual amenity in the locality, in accordance with Policy BNE1 of the Medway Local Plan 2003.

 

6.         Prior to commencement of above ground works, details of the methodology for conservation work to the listed roman wall, in accordance with the recommendations set out in the Conservation Management Plan dated March 2020 and Schedule of Works and Specification dated April 2020, including a schedule of works, shall be submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority. The approved details of the works to the listed roman wall, pursuant to this condition, shall be implemented prior to the first occupation of the school and shall thereafter be retained and maintained in accordance with the approved details. 

 

Reason: To avoid any irreversible  ...  view the full minutes text for item 822.

823.

Planning application - MC/19/3275 - Berengrave Nursery, Berengrave Lane, Rainham, Gillingham pdf icon PDF 476 KB

Rainham North

 

Construction of 60 dwellings, together with associated parking, landscaping and infrastructure. Representing a net increase of 18 new dwellings over and above 121 dwellings granted under outline application MC/17/3687.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application in detail and informed the Committee that Councillors Potter and Carr as Ward Councillors had submitted representations and, as they had been unable to attend this virtual meeting, the Head of Planning read out their comments summarised as follows:

 

·         Having regard to the history of this site and the original application, the developer should not be permitted to change the development proposals and provide an additional 18 new dwellings over and above that agreed under outline planning application MC/17/3687.

 

The Head of Planning explained the reasons for the developer’s request to amend the original proposals and drew attention to page 158 of the agenda which set out information as to the dwellings to be provided at this site which would include a mixture of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units and incorporated a mix of dwelling designs throughout the scheme.

 

The Committee expressed disappointment that the developer felt unable to deliver the original scheme, particularly as there was a shortage of large 4 – 5 bedroom properties in Medway but noted that officers had worked with the developer on the revised scheme so as to ensure that the sensitive areas of the site were protected and retained including ecology, landscaping, the site frontage and areas located closest to residential properties.

 

Decision:

 

Approved subject to:

 

 

a)    A Section 106 Agreement under the terms of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to secure the following developer's contributions:

 

i)          25% Affordable Housing on-site = to 5 dwellings. To comprise 3 units (60%) rented and (2 Units) 40% shared ownership.   

ii)        To improve facilities and equipment at Rainham Library -  £2,972.70

iii)       Public Right of Way - improvement GB5 and GB6 -              £ 934.50

iv)       Green space                                                                        £6,694.21

v)        Youth provision in Rainham Area                                        £1,409.76

vi)       Waste and recycling                                                            £3,114.90

vii)      Nursery - One or more of Thames View, St Thomas of

Canterbury, a new free school in the area                         £24,821.64

viii)      Primary - One or more of: Thames View, St Thomas of

 Canterbury,a new free school in the area                         £19,148.07

ix)       Secondary  -  One or more of The Howard, Rainham

Girls, Rainham Mark Grammar, Robert Napier, a new

 free school in the area                                                       £48,273.48

x)        Sixth Form - One or more of The Howard, Rainham

    Girls, Rainham Mark Grammar, Robert Napier, a new

       free school in the area                                                       £9,076.63

xi)       To improve sustainable transport infrastructure                   £6,694.21

xii)      NHS  Thames Avenue Surgery                                          £11,382.48

xiii)    Bird Disturbance Mitigation                                                  £4,418.28

xiv)    To provide off-site ecological improvements at

     Berengrave Nature reserve park                                       £15,619.83

xv)      Great lines Heritage Park                                                      £  498.00

xvi)    Towards design improvements to improve highway

           capacity at A2/Birling Ave and/or A2/Bloors Lane

           junctions                                                                               £2,231.40

 

b)    Conditions 1 – 12 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report.

824.

Planning application - MC/19/2532 - Land at the Maltings, Rainham, Gillingham pdf icon PDF 568 KB

Rainham South

 

Construction of 29 dwellings alongside associated parking, access, infrastructure and landscaping works.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of Planning outlined the planning application and suggested that if the Committee was minded to approve the application, a further condition be imposed which removed permitted development rights for a change of use from C3 to C4.

 

The Committee discussed the application.

 

Decision:

 

Approved subject to:

 

a)  The applicant entering into an agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act to secure:

 

i)     A contribution of £5,018.45 towards waste and recycling activities related to the development.

ii)    A contribution of £7,060.63 towards improving Sports Facilities in the area.

iii)   A contribution of £139,417.89 towards education and the provision of nursery, primary and secondary school places in the area.

iv)   A contribution of £2,271.28 towards youth services to support creative art sessions for young people in the local area for ages 8-19 and up to 25 for people with disabilities.

v)    A contribution of £7,121.40 towards bird disturbance mitigation measures.

vi)   A contribution of £18,338.44 to support the foundation and development of the Rainham locality Primary Care Network.

vii) A contribution of £4,789.35 towards the improvement of facilities and equipment at Rainham library.

viii) A contribution of £60,977.60 towards the maintenance and management of open space within the ward (in addition to the on-site provision of a small Local Area of Play, to be secured by planning condition value at £13,015,90).

ix)  A contribution £24,556.00 towards improvements at A2/Mierscourt Junction.

x)   A contribution of £5,200.00 towards improving the GB12 path and also mitigating the effects of increased usage of the other local PROW’s in this rural setting, namely GB13 and GB16.

xi)   A contribution of £5,313.96 towards improvements at Farthing Corner Community Hall payable on 22nd occupation.

xii)  25% Affordable Housing units.

 

b)    Conditions 1 – 24 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report and additional condition 25 as follows:

 

25.      Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (or any order amending, revoking and re-enacting that Order with or without modification) all dwellinghouses herein approved shall remain in use as a dwellinghouse falling within Class C3 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) (or any order amending, revoking and re-enacting that Order with or without modification) and no change of use shall be carried out unless planning permission has been granted on an application relating thereto.

 

Reason:  To enable the Local Planning Authority to control such development in the interests of amenity, in accordance with Policy BNE2 of the Medway Local Plan 2003.