Construction of a Foodstore (Use Class E(a) - Retail) together with associated car and cycle parking, servicing, landscaping, and associated works.
The Planning Manager outlined the planning application and reminded the Committee that there had been a number of planning permissions granted in relation to this scheme but which had been successfully challenged by judicial review by a third party objector on various grounds, details of which were set out within the report. She advised that there was a judicial review in relation to the most recent grant of planning permission (MC/20/3077) and this permission had since been quashed by consent order signed and dated 10 September 2021.
Given the fact that they had been quashed, those previous grants of permission did not constitute material considerations but for the sake of completeness a summary of the reasons why they had been quashed had been set out in full within the report.
Attention was drawn to proposed condition 5 which had been duplicated within the report and it was suggested that if the Committee was minded to approve the application, the first printed version be deleted.
In addition, the Planning Manager drew attention to changes to the appraisal and conclusion sections of the report and referred to amendments detailed on the supplementary agenda advice sheet.
Attention was drawn to page 50 of the agenda setting out consultation responses to the current planning application and, in particular, the objections received from the third party objector along with the applicant’s response. The Committee was informed that following the quashing of MC/20/1431 planning permission on 21 January 2021, the application was subsequently live again. The Planning Manager informed the Committee that a revised Flood Risk Assessment and Drainage Strategy Doc Ref: CW/190320/FRA/RevD (dated April 2021) had been submitted on 20 April 2020 and a 21 day consultation had been issued.
The application had then been included on the Planning Committee agenda on 21 July 2021 but had been withdrawn by officers due to a printing error omitting a section of the report. A letter had then been received from Shoosmiths on behalf of the third party objector raising a number of issues which had now been addressed in the Planning Appraisal section of the current report.
The Committee discussed the application and expressed the view that the applicants had undertaken all they could to address the issues raised by the third party objector to the satisfaction of officers and it was clear that this was a continued attempt by a competitor business in trying to block competition.
The Committee noted that the provision of a supermarket at this site had been supported by local residents.
A Member who was relatively new to the Committee and therefore had not been involved in considering previous planning applications for this site questioned why the Trafalgar Centre site in High Street Chatham had not been considered suitable for the siting of a supermarket. In response, the Planning Manager and Principal Transport Planner advised that the site would not be able to accommodate the parking which would be required for deliveries and servicing arrangements necessary for the supermarket and was therefore not considered suitable.
Approved with conditions 1 – 4 and 6 – 27 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report and condition 5 amended as follows:
5. No development shall take place until a scheme based on sustainable drainage principles, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority in consultation with the Lead Local Flood Authority.
The scheme shall include (where applicable):
Details of the design of the scheme (in conjunction with the landscaping plan where applicable).
A timetable for its implementation (including phased implementation).
Operational maintenance and management plan including access requirements for each sustainable drainage component.
Proposed arrangements for future adoption by any public body, statutory undertaker or management company.
The development shall be undertaken in accordance with the agreed scheme.
Reason: Required prior to development to manage surface water during and post construction and for the lifetime of the development as outlined at paragraphs 167 and 169 of National Planning Policy Framework 2021 and Policy CF13 of the Medway Local Plan 2003.