Agenda item

Planning application - MC/15/3891 - Galvanising Shop, East Road, Historic Dockyard, Chatham, ME4 4TG



Internal alterations to provide enhanced performance/rehearsal space and new hub comprising reception, cafe and bar area with associated external seating area and new canopy to courtyard.




The Head of Planning outlined the planning applications for both MC/15/3891 and MC/15/3892. He advised the Committee that although the applicant was the University of Kent, the premises would not be operated for or by a Student Union as such facilities were in the process of being provided at the University Campus. He informed the Committee that the premises had been granted planning permission in 1984 for use as a Visitor Centre and could therefore be used for educational use without planning permission. The University currently utilise the space within the premises for art workshops, exhibitions and performance/rehearsal space and the projection of film.


In outlining the current proposals, the Head of Planning drew attention to  a proposed new condition for MC/15/3891 as set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet requiring the installation of secondary double glazing and the provision of an internal lobby.


With the agreement of the Committee Councillor Mackness spoke on the planning applications as Ward Councillor and expressed the following concerns:


·         No consultation had been undertaken with local residents on the proposals or the proposed hours of use.

·         No account has been taken of the affect of the proposals on the adjacent residential community.

·         Complaints have already been submitted by residents to Dockyard Security, Medway Council and the Historic Dockyard concerning noise nuisance arising from doors being left open and loud music being played until late.

·         Concern that the applications are retrospective on the basis that the premises is already being used for performance of music and he did not agree that it fell within the same planning class as a visitor centre.

·         Should the Committee be minded to approve the applications, consideration be given to requiring music to cease at 9pm and, on the basis that the use is intended for students, performances be limited to term time and not permitted for the full 12 months.

·         If the applications are approved and the applicant applies to the Licensing Committee, consideration be given to a clause being added that no performance shall take place outside of the building on the basis that the site is adjacent to residential properties.


The Committee discussed the applications having regard to the concerns expressed by the Ward Councillor and, in response to questions and the issues raised by the Ward Councillor, the Head of Planning advised:


·         The premises will be a University building and therefore live performances will be predominantly provided by students but if the University wishes to stage a reception, it was possible that a professional band would be used and the event attended by visitors.

·         Rehearsal space fell within the same planning use class as a Visitor Centre and therefore it was not considered that either application was retrospective.

·         The planning applications had been advertised on site and in the press  and by individual neighbour notification to the owners and occupiers of neighbouring properties. Having regard to the site plan included within the agenda, the Head of Planning confirmed that the number of consultation letters sent out would have been few in number.

·         The applications had also been the subject consultations internally with the Council’s Environmental Health Team and no information had been supplied as to complaints received from local residents.

·         In considering the planning applications prior to their submission to the Committee for consideration, discussions had taken place with the Historic Dockyard and the Historic Dockyard had confirmed that not only had they not received any complaints from residents but they had also discussed the proposals at a meeting with residents.

·         The Historic Dockyard controlled the Dockyard as a whole and valued both its relationship with the University and local residents. Therefore the Historic Dockyard had encouraged provision of secondary glazing within the premises even though there had not been any complaints from residents.

·         Buildings between the application site and the closest residential properties would serve to both screen and baffle any noise.

·         The hours stated in the application may not be used every night but would offer the University the potential of having the full hours of use if staging a reception or a performance. Such hours reflected hours operated elsewhere  in the Historic Dockyard. In addition, as the premises may be used for post graduates, it was not considered appropriate to restrict the use to term time only.


The Committee noted the points raised and gave particular attention as to whether or not to restrict the hours of use of the facility.


Arising from discussions, it was suggested that should the Committee be minded to approve the application, an informative be added to the planning permission advising that there is an expectation that the applicant and the Historic Dockyard will work with the local residents to protect amenities.




Approved with conditions 1 - 3 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report and a new condition 4 and informative as set out below:


4.         The improved and enhanced performance /rehearsal space shall not be brought into use until:


·         additional secondary glazing has been installed in accordance with details submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

·         The internal lobby shown on the plans hereby approved has been provided.


The approved details shall thereafter be retained.


Reason: In the interests of residential amenity and to comply with Policy BNE2 of the Medway Local Plan 2003




The applicant/Dockyard Trust is advised to keep details of any complaints regarding disturbance relating to the use of the Galvanising shop and to positively engage with residents on measures to satisfactorily address any complaints received.  To assist future planning and licencing applications a record should be kept of the complaints and responses. 



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