Construction of a four-storey building with undercroft parking comprising of forty 2-bedroom apartments together with new vehicle access from Manor Lane and associated landscaping.
The Head of Planning outlined the planning application and suggested that if the Committee was minded to approve the application, new conditions 25 – 35 be approved as set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet. In addition, he referred to additional information for the planning history of the site and the adjacent site and an additional representation received since despatch of the agenda from KCC Ecology, full details of which were also set out in the supplementary agenda advice sheet.
Referring to the representations received and detailed within the Committee report, the Head of Planning informed the Committee that Kelly Tolhurst MP had submitted an objection to the application as the local MP. However, her parents reside adjacent to the application site and it is likely therefore that she has a personal interest in the application. As such, he advised the Committee that it needed to reflect that local interest in the weighting it attached to her comments. It was his view that the Committee should attach the same weight to this objection as to those submitted by other objectors.
The Head of Planning reminded the Committee that a previous application for development of this site (reference MC/15/2332) had been refused in 2015 by the Committee but that this decision had been overturned on appeal by a Planning Inspector in August 2017. Therefore, the principle of development of this site for residential purposes had already been established and a reserved matters application for that scheme had been received.
Attention was drawn to a correction in the report in that reference to Policy H3 of the Local Plan and receipt of a viability statement on the top of page 34 of the agenda had been included in the report in error and should be disregarded as the applicant would be providing 25% affordable housing as part of the scheme.
The Head of Planning informed the Committee that having assessed the current application, officers were satisfied that it was an improvement on the scheme previously approved on appeal.
With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Tranter addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor, summarised as follows:
He also requested that if approved, Ward Councillors be consulted upon the proposed section 106 funding proposals so as to ensure the monies provide direct benefit in Borstal.
The Committee discussed the application having regard to a number of points raised by the Ward Councillor and noted that the indicative application approved at appeal had been for a three storey development to the rear and 5 storeys to the river front while the current application was now four storey, increasing the number of units by four.
The Head of Planning outlined the schools that were likely to benefit from the proposed Section 106 funding but stated that if the Committee was minded to approve the application, he would involve Ward Councillors in the discussions on the application of Section 106 monies.
In response to concerns as to the access to the site and traffic management generally, the Principal Transport Planner informed the Committee that as the site already had planning permission for 36 residential units and that this proposal was for an uplift of an additional four units, it was not considered that the current application would have a material impact on the highway function or traffic generation.
In response to a question, it was noted that the application did not include any Section 106 funding for greenspaces.
The Committee expressed the view that in the light of the concerns raised as to the lack of provision of Section 106 funding for greenspaces and the concerns relating to the existing road network and traffic flows; the need to know where the stored caravans will be re-located to and the maintenance of the building and in particular tanking of the lower ground floor to protect against flooding, the application should be deferred for further information.
Consideration of the application be deferred.