Outline planning application with some matters reserved (appearance, landscaping, layout and scale) for up to 64 dwellings (including 25% affordable), planting and landscaping, informal open space, vehicular access point from Lower Rainham Road and associated ancillary works.
The Head of Planning outlined the planning application in detail and referring to the supplementary agenda advice sheet drew attention to a suggested amendment to the proposed Section 106, the request for delegated authority for him to consult with the occupiers of properties upon the proposed alternative parking arrangements and an amendment to proposed condition 24.
In addition, the Head of Planning referred to revised wording for the planning appraisal section of the report as it related to development trip generation and impact. The revised wording stated that the Highways Authority was mindful of the current capacity pressures along Lower Rainham Road and, in particular, the signals adjacent to the Three Mariners Pub. Work on the emerging Local Plan included a Strategic Transport Assessment and whilst it was considered that development of this particular site would not result in severe highway capacity issues, it was likely that improvements would need to be undertaken and accordingly a request for highway improvements between the site access and Berengrave Lane had been requested to enlarge the bridge crossing to facilitate two way vehicle movements.
With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Potter addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor and raised the following concerns:
· This application was a further encroachment onto open space in Rainham and when added to other developments already having received planning permission, it was now time to consider the cumulative impact of these developments and their impact on the area and in particular the highways network.
· This proposed development would impact upon traffic using Lower Rainham Road and would add to existing traffic congestion and extend journey times. Periods of congestion on this road were often variable and before any further development was approved for this area of Rainham, a full assessment of the usage of the highways network should be undertaken.
· If the Committee is minded to approve the application, the financial contribution under the Section 106 agreement for youth provision should be directed towards youth facilities in Rainham rather than Gillingham.
The Committee discussed the application having regard to the concerns raised by the Ward Councillor.
The Principal Transport Planner, referring to the National Planning Policy Framework advised the Committee that a planning application could only be refused on highway grounds where the impact of the development on traffic movement was severe. Having undertaken an assessment of this particular development, it was considered that whilst there would be some impact, this would not be at a level to meet the threshold of being severe.
In response to the Ward Councillor’s comments that traffic congestion on the Lower Rainham Road tended to be variable, he commented that recent highways works on the A2 and Bloors Lane would have resulted in an increased level of traffic using Lower Rainham Road.
The Head of Planning informed the Committee that the traffic impact study had taken into account all permitted developments, even those that were not yet in place.
The Head of Planning also outlined the work that had been undertaken as part of the Local Plan process on identifying sites for development in Medway and in particular, residential development so as to meet the requirement to identify a 5 year housing land supply. Unfortunately, there were insufficient brownfield sites available to meet the required need.
The Committee noted that as part of this planning application, the applicant had offered to make available a section of land within the development for parking for the occupiers of the properties along the southern side of Lower Rainham Road (between the application site and junction of Station Road and Lower Rainham Road). If this was acceptable to the occupiers of these properties, a Traffic Regulation Order would be imposed providing parking restrictions on Lower Rainham Road and removing parking outside their properties.
Approved subject to:
a) A Section 106 agreement to secure:
i) 25% affordable dwelling units (equal to 16 dwellings).
ii) the following Education contributions:
Nursery: £86,117.76 towards expansion at one or more of Riverside Primary, Thames View Primary, or a new free school in the area.
Primary: £211,379.84 towards expansion at one or more of Riverside Primary, Thames View Primary, or a new free school in the area.
Secondary: £122,821.25 towards expansion at one or more of Rainham Mark Grammar School, Rainham Girls School, The Howard School, or a new free school in the area.
iii) A contribution of £4,890.88 towards youth provision to support young people in Rainham to access computer training for skill improvements with specific location of this expenditure being agreed in consultation with Ward Councillors.
iv) A contribution of £15,052.12 towards sport facilities to improve swimming pool and associated changing area.
v) A contribution of £159,342.72 towards open space and outdoor formal sport. To enhance open space facilities within the vicinity of the development including Berengrave Nature Reserve and/or Riverside Country Park and/or Berengrave Chalk Pit Allotments.
vi) A contribution of £53,000 towards ecological and public access provision management at Berengrave Nature Conservation site.
vii) A contribution of £3,200 towards surface improvement and signposts of the nearby PROWS GB5,GB6, GB44, GB1 to mitigate additional footfall.
viii) A contribution of £39,491.20 to support the reconfiguration and equipping of the Rainham Healthy Living Centre to support new models for the provision of Local Care.
ix) A contribution of £36,000 towards Lower Rainham Road highway improvement involving road widening west of Berengarve Allotment and east of Berengrave Lane and improvement to sustainable transport.
x) A contribution of 15,335.04 towards bird mitigation measures.
Total £730,130.81 = £11,408.29 contribution per dwelling.
b) Prior to issuing the decision notice, the Local Planning Authority shall carry out consultation with the occupiers of the properties along the southern side of Lower Rainham Road (between the application site and junction of Station Road with Lower Rainham Road) to establish whether they support the on site car parking provision that condition 24 will provide and the parking restriction that the proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) will impose. Should the response of the occupiers of these properties be negative towards the provision of on site parking and the TRO, the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to seek the monetary value equal to cost associated with the delivering of the on site parking and TRO in order to carry out highway design capacity improvement in immediate area. Any monetary equivalent will be secured as part of the Section 106 Agreement.
c) Conditions 1 – 23 and 25 - 36 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report and condition 24 amended as follows:
24. The reserved matters application shall provide details of on-site car parking provision with associated vehicular, pedestrian access and management for use by the residents of properties on the south side of Lower Rainham Road, between the application site and Station Road mini roundabout. The approved parking provision and associated access shall be provided prior to the implementation of the Traffic Regulation Order.
Reason: In the interests of highway safety and amenities of the local residents and in accordance with Policies, T1, T13 and BNE2 of the Medway Local Plan 2003.