Agenda item

Agenda item

Planning Application No. CB/17/04833/FULL (Arlesey)


Address:       Land between 8A and 28 and rear of 28 to 38, New Road, Clifton (nearest postcode SG17 5JH)


Erection of up to 25 dwellings with allocated parking and associated works.


Applicant:     High Street Homes



The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/17/04833/FULL for the erection of up to 25 dwellings with allocated parking and associated works on land between 8A and 28 and the rear of 28 to 38 New Road, Clifton.


In advance of consideration of the application the Committee’s attention was drawn to additional/amended conditions (in the form of an informative) as set out in the Late Sheet.


In advance of consideration of the application the Committee received a representation from the agent for the applicant under the public participation scheme.


A Member referred the agent to the presence of an existing large bungalow at No. 39A Harbrook Lane at the north-eastern corner of the proposed development site.  He stated that one of the occupants’ concerns was that delivery vehicles to the new dwellings would, given the highway constraints including the presence of bollards, use the bungalow’s driveway to turn round on.  He asked the agent if there was anything which could be done to rectify this issue as a part of the permission, if only as an informative.  In response the agent stated that the Committee had previously considered the matter as part of the original application for 73 dwellings (on a site to the east of the current application site) and the solution approved included the installation of two bollards.


A ward Member stated that he had intended to raise the Parish Council’s objection on the proposed removal of a hedge but the matter had been answered by the planning officer who had reported that the hedgerows would be retained.  A second ward Member stated he was happy with the application.


A Member referred to the issues raised at the site inspection with regard to No. 39A and he asked the planning officer if, given the linked circumstances, there was any action that could be taken, for example the installation of a bollard further down Harbrook Lane and a dropped kerb. 


The planning officer responded to the points raised as follows:


·         He and the highways officer had examined the area and there was warning signage on the main road but it was difficult to see.  He also felt that that the problem was a satellite-navigation issue rather than something for the Council to deal with.  The Vice-Chairman concurred and pointed out that satellite-navigation still showed access as possible.  He asked if the bungalow’s residents had been consulted on whether they wanted further action to be taken.  The Chairman stated that nothing could be done as part of the current application and it would need to be taken up separately.

·         A ward Member stated that the additional signage had only been installed two months previously in response to the residents’ concerns and to the visits by delivery drivers using Harbrook Lane attempting to deliver to the new homes that had already been constructed nearby.  He stated that he was examining the possibility of additional signage with the residents.  The ward Member added that the easiest solution would be to put bollards at the bottom of Harbrook Lane and move the current bollards to the other end of the bungalow.  The residents would be able to access their property off of the new road.  He felt that would resolve all of the issues whilst allowing the public to continue to use the Lane as a permissive right of way.  The ward Member indicated that he would discuss this further with the residents.

·         Following a query by the Chairman as to who owned the land the bollards were currently on the ward Member advised that the land was privately owned by the owner of the footpath.


The Committee considered the application and in summary discussed the following:


·         A Member referred to affordable housing provision and commented that all the smaller, 2 bed properties were affordable dwellings but all the larger properties were for open market sale.  He asked if the housing officer had given any opinion as to why no larger dwellings had been made available on an affordable basis.  The Member also commented that the move to the provision of smaller properties was to enable people to enter the housing market but, unless someone qualified for affordable housing, the smallest property available for market sale had three bedrooms.  He expressed disappointment that none of the smaller properties had been made available on the open market and none of the larger properties were available on an affordable basis.  In response the planning officer stated that when looking at the application in the round the overall housing mix was considered and it was felt that the proposed mix was acceptable.  Another Member stated that he was aware that the housing team was specifically asking for four bed properties to meet the demand yet the officers did not appear to be taking this further.  The Chairman asked for the planning officers to be mindful that the housing officers were seeking larger properties for affordable/social housing.

·         A Member commented that he suspected that, given the time period required to submit and process a planning application, the Council could have had the application for a little while.  He then advised the Committee that he had asked the housing team to be very specific about the affordable homes it wished to see on a site, particularly where it was related to a Full application.  The Chairman stated that he had been present at the same meeting and confirmed that the request to the housing team had been made.  The planning officer replied that the application had been with the planning team for some time during which officers had attempted to redress a number of issues arising from the consultation process.  He estimated that, at this point, the applicant had been, or was in, a level of discussion with registered providers and he anticipated that they could be at a position where a registered provider had shown an interest in the site.  In terms of the overall housing mix the officer view was that it was acceptable in planning terms.  The Member stated that he was happy with the planning officer’s comments given that the application had been with the Council for a while.  He stressed that he had asked the regeneration housing team to look closely at each planning application and indicate what type of housing it required.  This information should be apparent in the future.  The Chairman drew Members’ attention to the registration of the application at the end of October 2017.

·         A Member referred to his concern at the increase in the proposed number of homes for the site from 20 at Outline stage to 25 in the current application.  He noted the density was nearly 50% higher in the latest part of the estate than in the earlier and that the highways officer had also expressed concern. He commented that, presumably, the roads on the rest of the estate were to an adoptable standard but it was stated in the officer report that the roads that formed part of the current application would not because they fell below the minimum standard.  In response the highways officer confirmed that the roads in the first phase were to an adoptable standard and complied with the Council’s guidelines.  However, the width of the roads in the current application was slightly substandard and that could lead to problems with maintenance or control under the New Roads and Street Works Act.  As a result the highway authority would not be willing to take on that liability.  As for being hazardous on a day to day basis he stated it was more difficult to explain or identify which was why it had not been recommended to refuse the application on highways grounds.  The highways officer then explained that it was for developers to put their roads forward for adoption by the highways authority and, even if roads were to the authority’s standards, it would not necessarily mean that they were adopted.  The Chairman stated that perhaps purchasers needed to be aware that the roads were not to an adoptable standard and that they would have to use a management company for maintenance and so forth, in addition to paying their Council Tax, but that would be for them to decide on.

·         A Member sought clarification on why the proposed roads were not up to standard.  In response the highways officer explained that under the Council’s Guide a highway should consist of a 4.8m wide carriageway with 2m wide footways or service margins on each side; giving a total width of 8.8m.  He believed that the proposed highway measured between 8m and 8.18m wide.  It was identified as a shared surface but within the shared surface it had 2m footway/service margin on one side and 1m on the other.  The missing 1m was a deviation from the authority’s standard.

·         The Member directed officer attention to the comment by the ecology officer stating that the development should deliver a net gain to biodiversity requesting a planning condition relating to that.


On being put to the vote 12 Members voted for approval, 0 voted against and 1 abstained.




that Planning Application No. CB/17/04833/FULL relating to land between 8A and 28 and rear of 28 to 38 New Road, Clifton be approved as set out in the Schedule attached to these minutes.




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