Outline planning application with all matters reserved except access (to be taken from Eschol Road) for the construction of flexible EG (iii)/B2/B8 use class buildings, sui generis uses for energy uses and a lorry park, together with servicing, parking, landscaping, drainage, remediation, demolition and earthworks.
The Planning Consultant explained that this application was approved at the Planning Committee in November 2022, subject to the Heads of Terms being brought back to the Committee to enable Members to make an informed decision regarding highways.
As there was a level of uncertainty on the Peninsula, three options were considered:
If there was no HIF or other developments in the area, the mitigation would see alterations made to the Four Elms Roundabout and the Main Road Hoo Roundabout which the Applicant would undertake.
If there was no HIF bid but other developments were taking place, it had been agreed that the Applicant would make financial contributions of £3 million to equate to the cost of the Council undertaking the work.
If HIF did occur and planning permissions were in place for significant growth, the Applicant would make financial contributions to the Council of £3million to undertake the works.
As part of the Framework Travel Plan the Applicant intends to provide a shuttle bus, in the first instance, to run to and from Rochester Station during peak times in the morning and evening. It was intended that the S106 would include a review mechanism that would allow for the bus provisions to be reconsidered every three years, up to a period of ten years.
With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Sands addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor and outlined the following points and raised the following concerns:
The Committee discussed the planning application noting the points raised by the Ward Councillor.
Members thanked the Officers for all the work they had done, however, they were concerned with the amount of additional traffic on the highways, although these proposals would make sure that the impact was mitigated through the S106.
The Planning Consultant explained that with regards to the financial contribution and how the £3 million had been reached, the Council asked the Applicant to instruct an Independent Assessor to work out the cost for Medway Council to undertake these works for the two roundabouts even if the HIF project was successful. Although Members considered £3 million was not enough money for the works, it had been reviewed three times.
Members were encouraged by this project and hoped that any employment opportunities would be provided for the Hoo Peninsula and Medway residents.
The Planning Consultant confirmed that any recommendations for monitoring and managing the highways had been supported by the National Highways.
Approved subject to:
Final wording to be agreed with the Planning Consultant.