Planning Application No. CB/16/05513/FULL (Arlesey)
- Meeting of DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 10.00 a.m. (Item 155.)
- View the background to item 155.
Address: Land and buildings at 35-41 High Street, builders office and entrance to Primrose Lane, Arlesey (nearest postcode
Remodelling of the High Street, Primrose Lane, Mill Lane, Station Road junction and creation of a new southern access to land west of the High Street, demolition of existing site buildings and erection of two retail and twenty residential units.
Applicant: Warden Developments Ltd, Samuel Beadie (Arlesey) Ltd
The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/16/05513/FULL for the remodelling of the High Street, Primrose Lane, Mill Lane, Station Road junction and creation of a new southern access to land west of the High Street, demolition of existing site buildings and erection of two retail and twenty residential units at land and buildings at 35-41 High Street, builders office and entrance to Primrose Lane, Arlesey.
In advance of consideration of the application the Committee’s attention was drawn to additional consultation/publicity responses, amended/additional conditions and additional informatives as set out in the Late Sheet. The planning officer also advised that two additional comments had been received from neighbours to the application site after the Late Sheet had been compiled. The neighbours had objected to the application and expressed concern over highways issues relating to traffic generation and parking provision. The planning officer stated that all of the issues had been covered within the officer report.
In advance of consideration of the application the Committee received a representation from an objector to the application under the public participation scheme.
A ward Member commented that the former garage forecourt (to the northern side of the junction) was full of cars as it was used as an informal parking space by local residents after 7.00 p.m. He also stated that, in his capacity as an Executive Member for Highways, he was constantly asked for parking enforcement in the area to resolve some of the traffic issues. Whilst the application attempted to meet planning requirements, including those for parking, the extensive use of the forecourt space exceeded the parking provision which would be provided by the proposed three parking spaces. The ward Member emphasised that he had concerns, as did Arlesey Town Council and others, on the proposed level of parking provision compared to the large number of vehicles already being parked on the site.
The ward Member next drew the Committee’s attention to the Town Council’s concern regarding the demolition of a 1920’s Art Deco building and 19th century cottages should the development be approved. He did, however, acknowledge that demolition was necessary. He also acknowledged an element of conflict given that the previous application for the site had been approved and, technically, the current application met the Council’s design guide requirements for parking spaces. The ward Member then reminded the meeting that the Town Council had not supported the previous application and it had asked the ward Member to make clear that it did not support the current one.
The ward Member stated that he could see the merits in the provision of the proposed roundabout, which he preferred to traffic lights, and which he felt would actually help with the traffic flow. He expressed appreciation of the applicant’s decision to change the proposal with regard to this matter.
The ward Member stated that the Town Council had asked him to make the Committee fully aware its concerns regarding the application. He then commented that whilst it met the need to provide the link road through (in the form of a new southern access to land west of the High Street) and enabled a reduction in the traffic on the High Street the proposed shopping units would be difficult to fill given the construction of a new town centre just half a mile away. Whilst not part of the application before Members he stated that both he and the Town Council had taken this point into account.
The Chairman referred to matters raised by the objector relating to the absence of private open space for the occupants of the proposed flats and a lack of parking for the proposed commercial units and that neither, therefore, complied with the Council’s design guide.
The planning officer responded to the points raised as follows:
· The absence of private amenity space in the form of balconies or any general amenity space for the flats had been balanced against this being essentially a previously approved scheme. Concessions had already been made with regard to the design of the development as a whole to ensure that the application was not a regurgitation of the previous scheme and that current parking standards were met and highways matters addressed. She added that it wasn’t possible to make significant improvements in order to provide additional amenity opportunities. Further, given that the application had been previously approved, the absence of private amenity space would not provide a standalone reason for refusal.
· She again stated that the current application was not simply a regurgitation of the previously approved scheme and there had been a number of concessions made with regard to the design and layout to ensure that there was better parking provision than previously approved. With regard to the retail parking she stated that it had been approved by the highways officer as appropriate. On this basis she felt that it was not possible to utilise the level of parking provision as a reason for refusal.
· In response to a query by the Chairman the planning officer confirmed that she believed the benefits outweighed the concerns which had been raised.
The Chairman commented that the Council’s design guide was a guide that was subject to change.
The Committee considered the application and in summary discussed the following:
· A Member stated that this was a previously conditioned scheme with some amendments and the Committee was, therefore, almost bound to approve the application before it unless some element was significantly different. He referred to the proposed flats and how the government was strongly encouraging increased density within town centres and the bringing forward of as many homes as was possible.
· The Member then commented on the Arlesey Cross Masterplan, possible new powers to local authorities under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the role played by the provision of standalone access routes into the various sites within the Arlesey Cross development area. He also referred to the Committee’s recent approval of an application for the northern end of the development area and suggested the Council’s position should applicants fail to act in a manner considered conducive to future development. Following further comment he stated that he did not feel that it was possible to amend the current application and moved it.
· A Member’s suggestion that the Council’s design guide be reviewed and how this could be advantageous for the Committee when determining applications in the future. In response the Chairman advised the meeting that he understood a review was currently underway and a Member of the Committee, in his role as the Executive Member for Regeneration, confirmed this. Discussion took place on the origins of the design guide, its shortcomings and possible areas of focus.
· A Member’s concern regarding the proposed combination of off plot and on street car parking as a solution to the parking issue and asked if no alternative was possible. In response the highways officer stated that the residential units were fully provided for using on plot car parking. The planning officer added that the Master Plan allowed for the most appropriate parking solution to be provided and in this case this took the form of on plot parking for residents with on street parking bays off the High Street to serve the retail units.
On being put to the vote 10 Members for approval, 1 voted against and 1 abstained.
that Planning Application No. CB/16/05513/FULL relating to land and buildings at 35-41 High Street, builder’s office and entrance to Primrose Lane, Arlesey be approved as set out in the Schedule attached to these minutes.
- 08 16.05513 Map, item 155. PDF 838 KB
- 08 16.05513 Report, item 155. PDF 230 KB
- 08 16.05513 Schedule, item 155. PDF 131 KB