Demolition of existing single storey building and construction of two blocks comprising of 18 apartments with associated parking, landscaping and refuse and cycle storage.
The Head of Planning outlined the application in detail for the demolition of an existing single storey building and construction of two blocks comprised of 18 apartments with associated parking, landscaping and refuse and cycle storage.
The Head of Planning explained, following concerns from Members, that the windows located in Block B had been amended and would be fitted with obscure glazing to avoid overlooking of the adjoining property.
The amended application took into account the height and outlook of the design and the fourth floor had now been removed from the planning application.
A viability assessment had been verified by an Independent Development Consultant who concluded that the development was only a viable scheme if it contained 18 affordable homes and £20,000 of S106 contributions. The contributions were set out on page 33 of the report.
The Head of Planning confirmed there was an outstanding issue that needed to be resolved, which was Kent County Council (KCC) Biodiversity. This required additional information from the applicant which they had received in March 2023 and KCC had been reconsulted and their comments were awaited. As part of the recommendation, receipt of comments from KCC Biodiversity raising no objections to the proposal, delegated authority should be given to the Head of Planning to impose any subsequent conditions requested by KCC.
The Committee considered the application noting that any discussion regarding the distribution of the S106 contributions should be in consultation with the relevant Ward Councillors.
A Member suggested including, under Conditions 18 and 19, using specific native and local trees within the planting scheme and installing bird boxes and bee holes.
The Head of Planning confirmed that although the materials and detailing were critical in an application, officers of the Planning Team do go and review the finished site and look at the materials used, landscaping and design noting what worked well on a scheme and what not so well. Members were regularly updated and they also reviewed sites to learn lessons from the applications and designs. The Head of Planning confirmed he would ask whether ground source or air source heating could be included in the scheme.
The Head of Planning confirmed that where possible, mature trees would be saved however if that was not possible additional planting would be installed.
The Head of Planning confirmed that the distribution of the S106 contributions would be in consultation with the Ward Councillors.
Approved subject to:
A) Receipt of comments from KCC Biodiversity raising no objections to the proposal and delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning to impose any subsequent conditions requested by KCC.
B) The submission of a Unilateral Undertaking under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to secure:
i) £4,410 to assist with development of public realm improvements to Gillingham Town Centre.
ii) £3,339.90 to improve equipment and facilities at Twydall Library.
iii) £3,499.56 for the provision, improvement and promotion of waste and recycling services to cover the impact of the development.
iv) £4,923.90 to support the creation of a new swimming gala timing system and improved facility for club and community users at Medway Park.
v) £3,705.66 towards enhancement and/or expansion of community facilities 9 Agenda Item 4 which will serve the new residents of the development. vi) £4,965.84 towards Designated Habitats Mitigation.
C) The imposition of conditions 1 to 27 as set out in the report for the
reasons stated in the report.