Planning Application No. CB/17/04447/FULL (Caddington)
- Meeting of DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE, Wednesday, 23 May 2018 10.00 a.m. (Item 12.)
- View the background to item 12.
Address: 4 Cotswold Farm Business Park, Millfield Lane, Caddington, Luton, LU1 4AJ
The proposal seeks the redevelopment of this previously developed land, comprising the demolition of the existing buildings, removal of hard surfaces, and for the construction of seven dwellings, private access road, parking and landscaping. The proposed development would consist of seven new dwellings with internal access road, parking and landscaping.
Applicant: Raybridge Corporation
The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/17/04447/FULL for the redevelopment of previously developed land, comprising the demolition of the existing buildings, removal of hard surfaces, and for the construction of seven dwellings, private access road, parking and landscaping at 4 Cotswold Farm Business Park, Millfield Lane, Caddington, Luton, LU1 4AJ.
In advance of consideration of the application the Committee’s attention was drawn to additional consultation/publicity responses and additional comments 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 ward Member referred to the viability of the Cotswold Farm Business Park and pointed out that there was an advert for a vacant commercial unit at an adjacent business park at Eaton Bray. He stated that this type of accommodation was not currently sought after and it was proven not to be commercially viable. The ward Member added that, from a local perspective, there would be no issue regarding the loss of the units. He indicated his full support for the recommended redevelopment and also welcomed the provision of a footpath allowing pedestrian access to Caddington which would add to the sustainability of the proposal. He concluded by stating that the application would add a small number of high quality homes to the existing local housing stock and complied with the content of the Neighbourhood Plan.
The second ward Member spoke to Caddington Parish Council’s comments opposing the application and to the Neighbourhood Plan. He first gave the reason why the Chairman of the Parish Council’s Sub-Committee had been unable to attend although he felt that this did not explain the absence of any other Parish Council representative from the Sub-Committee to explain the Parish Council’s opposition. The ward Member stated that the Neighbourhood Plan mentioned the Cotswold Farm Business Park as the provider of commercial business units but the Plan also mentioned that the business park at Eaton Bray had absorbed the capacity and, as mentioned, even Eaton Bray had unlet space. Further, the Plan, whilst supporting the provision of new commercial floor space if there was somewhere appropriate for it in the Plan area, went on to state that this was not at the Cotswold Business Park due to its location and that, currently, it was not commercially viable. He expressed disappointment with the Parish Council’s comments which he felt were flawed. He indicated his support for the proposal and stated that it did not conflict with the aspirations of the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Committee considered the application and in summary discussed the following:
· A Member expressed incredulity at the developer’s claim that the site was unviable given the site already had most of the services in place. The proposed seven dwellings, in the absence of any affordable homes on site, would sell for approximately £400-£500k. He also expressed disbelief that a viability appraisal had concluded that only by the absence of affordable housing was the scheme viable. In response the Chairman reminded the Member that the applicant was excused from the need to provide affordable homes because the internal floor space of the development was less than 1000 square feet; the figure having been reached by deducting the square footage of the existing commercial units to be demolished. He also reminded the Member of the Ministerial statement that a developer was not required to make affordable homes available in a development of less than 10 dwellings, as the application was.
· The Member referred to the likely profits from the development and commented that, despite this, the application made no contribution towards the local community. However, in acknowledgement that policy favoured the application, he moved approval whilst also making clear his displeasure at the situation.
· A Member asked if the viability assessment had been challenged. However, the Chairman advised that it was the policies regarding the development’s floor space and the number of proposed dwellings that were of relevance. Even if the application could be proved to be viable it would not be possible to impose a levy against the application.
On being put to the vote 10 Members voted for approval, 0 voted against and 2 abstained.
that Planning Application No. CB/17/04447/FULL relating to 4 Cotswold Farm Business Park, Millfield Lane, Caddington, Luton. LU1 4AJ be approved as set out in the Schedule attached to these minutes.
(Note: At this point Councillor N Young declared a Personal Interest in the above Item. He stated that he had not made a decision on the application prior to the meeting. He also stated that he had met the applicant a number of times at business functions at the Business Park).
- 08 17.04447 Map, item 12. PDF 210 KB
- 08 17.04447 Report, item 12. PDF 184 KB
- 08 17.04447 Schedule, item 12. PDF 81 KB