Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Panel - Thursday, 9th June, 2011 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: Jane Creer 020 8379 4093 Email: jane.creer@enfield.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

OPENING

(i)         Purpose of the meeting

 

(ii)        Introduction of Applicant’s representatives and Officers of the Council

Minutes:

NOTED

 

1.  Councillor Simon as Chairman welcomed all attendees to the meeting and introduced the Panel Members, the applicant’s representatives and Council officers.

 

2.  Councillor Simon apologised that there had been no more appropriate local venue available to hold this meeting.

 

3.  The purpose of the meeting was to provide local residents and other interested parties with the opportunity to give their views and to ask questions about the application LBE/11/0012. Panel Members would listen to all the comments to understand the key issues in deciding this application

2.

OFFICERS' SUMMARY OF THE PLANNING ISSUES

The site

 

The site has an area of approximately 2.82 ha, the majority of which comprises the site of the former gas holders, which have now been demolished. This part of the site is currently in the process of being remediated in accordance with a planning permission already granted for these works. The site also includes the existing hard surfaced games court to the South Street frontage, together with the car park serving Welcome Point.

 

The proposal

 

Erection of a part 2-storey, part 3-storey Primary and Secondary education academy (for 1935 pupils aged 3 - 18) incorporating an indoor 4 court sports hall and an outdoor Multi Use Games Area with floodlights and an all weather games pitch, staff car park and access from Woodall Road and additional car park and access from Falcon Road.

 

The school would comprise 30 nursery places, a 2 form entry primary school and 8 form entry secondary school.

 

The building would be part two, part three storey building with the secondary school element being in the three storey section and the primary school element within the two storey section. The three storey element would have a height of approximately 12m above ground level and the two storey element a height of approximately 9.2m.

 

Vehicle access to a staff car park would be taken from Woodall Road. 65 car parking spaces are proposed for staff.

 

The application also includes the provision of vehicle access from Falcon Road. This would be available as a drop off facility and would include provision for 34 car parking spaces, including replacement provision for Welcome Point.

 

Planning Issues for discussion

 

The design, size and scale of the proposed building

 

The position of the building in relation to neighbouring properties

 

Access to the site, pedestrian and vehicular

 

Parking provision

 

Replacement of facilities displaced as a result of the development

 

The approach to sustainable design

 

Public (and dedicated) transport for pupils and parents from area around Albany site.

Minutes:

NOTED

 

1.  Aled Richards, Head of Development Management clarified that the local Planning Authority was independent within the authority and took the same approach and impartial assessment of all planning applications. The Council’s Schools and Children’s Services department was the applicant in this case.

 

2.  Ultimately the decision on the application would be made by the Members of the Planning Committee. It was anticipated that the application would be presented to the meeting of Planning Committee on 26 July 2011.

 

3.  Details of the proposal and key planning issues were set out on the agenda paper. The application was for the erection of a part two-storey, part three-storey Primary and Secondary education academy (for 1935 pupils aged 3 – 18) incorporating an indoor four court sports hall and an outdoor Multi Use Games Area with floodlights and an all weather games pitch, staff car park and access from Woodall Road and additional car park and access from Falcon Road.

 

4.  Everyone who had sent a representation regarding the application would be advised of the Planning Committee date and there would be an opportunity to make a deputation to that meeting under the Council’s agreed procedures. Further details were available from the Planning Committee secretary (tel 020 8379 4093 or jane.creer@enfield.gov.uk).

3.

PRESENTATION BY THE APPLICANT / AGENT

Minutes:

NOTED

 

1.  Hannah Lawson, John McAslan and Partners, architects, gave a presentation with display boards on the proposal, including:

a.  There was a clear vision and strategy to the proposal and the opportunities that the school would provide to students, staff and the community in an inclusive environment. The academy would be a catalyst for change in the area, and encourage further regeneration and community pride. It would be welcoming, inspiring, motivating and engaging.

b.  The building had been developed as a response to the site and its constraints. There would be two principal frontages, to South Street and to Woodall Road. The academy would have a strong public frontage in South Street to give a real civic presence and be accessible to all.

c.  The plan for the academy was in a ‘pin wheel’ shape with sports, dance, drama and administrative facilities to the front and the primary school elements to the rear. Corridors had been designed out. The east and west wings would house the core teaching accommodation with traditional classrooms and breakout contemporary learning spaces. An impressive space would be at the heart of the school as the central focus including dining, performance and social space. Assemblies here could be open to potentially 600-700 pupils, and it would be possible to show theatre in the round.

d.  There would be a new pedestrian link to connect and engage the wider streetscape and existing links.

e.  Around the school would be extensive landscaping, an all-weather pitch and multi-use games area with floodlighting, play areas and outdoor learning and habitat areas, and a discrete primary school playground. The perimeter treatment included a lot of trees and would make a positive contribution to the local community.

f.  A civic space at the front would show the pride in the school and the connectivity to the community and feature seating, and security cameras and lighting.

g.  The entrance had been designed to provide a double security layer. Accessibility to sports and changing facilities would be available without the need to enter the main school, to make use easy for all.

h.  There would be replacement of existing parking for Welcome Point and provision of a drop-off area.

i.  The size and scale of the school would be complementary to the existing streetscape.

j.  The design included green roofs and sustainable designs.

k.  There would be investment in quality materials for the exterior which would stand the test of time and would weather naturally, including a timber and brick façade.

l.  A large number of cycle stores would be provided.

m.  60% of the money spent on the academy’s construction had been pledged to be spent within a 30 mile radius of the site. A ‘meet the contractor’ day had been held, and work experience placements and apprenticeships would be offered. There was a commitment to support local regeneration.

 

2.  Current pupils of Oasis Hadley Academy in Bell Lane (the former Albany School site) gave a presentation of their views,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

QUESTIONS BY PANEL MEMBERS

Minutes:

NOTED the following questions and observations from Members of the Panel:

 

1.  Members asked about the build programme and raised concerns that it may be very challenging and that any delays may have an impact on the completion date. It was confirmed that the applicant was aiming to gain approval of planning permission at the 26 July meeting of the Planning Committee and to complete a one year build programme and open the school in September 2012. Balfour Beatty had undertaken to start construction in August 2011 following a successful planning process. As one of the largest school contractors in the country, they were confident that the building would be complete within 53 weeks. Additionally, Lynne Dawes advised that a fall-back position would be for the academy to continue to operate on the Albany site with some minor work to accommodate all students potentially up to the October half term.

 

2.  Councillor Hurer had a concern that if the Planning Committee on 26 July were minded to request to make a site visit before determining the application, there may be a one month delay to the process. Councillor Simon suggested that if so minded, Committee Members could agree to schedule a site visit in advance of the 26 July meeting.

 

3.  In response to Councillor Hasan’s queries regarding the cost of the project, it was advised that the overall funding was around £25m. The proportion funded by the local council was around £7m.

 

4.  In response to Councillor Delman’s queries about the impact on the amenities of neighbouring properties, and any assessment of flooding risk, it was advised that a full range of impact assessments had been carried out and all the supplementary documents were publicly available to read and could be accessed via the Council’s website under the reference number LBE/11/0012.

 

5.  Councillor Simon asked about compliance with government standards for play space provision for primary and secondary age groups. It was confirmed that the academy would meet DFES guidance and play areas were compliant with current standards.

 

6.  In response to Councillor Simon’s queries whether cycle parking would be provided for primary as well as secondary pupils, it was confirmed that cycle parking would be dotted around a number of zones and would not be subject to congestion due to the staggered start times.

 

7.  In response to Councillor Hurer’s queries about local transport availability, particularly bus services, it was advised there was one bus route along South Street, but a number of other routes served Hertford Road and Nags Head Road where there were stops within practical walking distance. Current pupils advised that they found it easy to get to school by public transport.

 

8.  Councillor Simon asked that public transport from the Enfield Highway area, for both the very young primary children currently on the Albany site and their parents and secondary age children, and particularly the 191 bus service be looked at. It was confirmed that the travel plan would cover such issues and be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

OPEN SESSION - QUESTIONS AND VIEWS FROM THE FLOOR

Minutes:

NOTED the following comments and questions were received from local residents and other interested parties:

 

1.  A representative of the Ponders End Community Development Trust advised that it was accepted that the academy would go ahead, but it was important that details were right and that everything the community wanted was realised, in the construction phase and afterwards. The key points he wished to raise were:

a.  Given the likely rise in energy costs, had measures been taken to maximise the solar gain, and it had been noted that a lot of the buildings were end on to the southern aspect.

b.  There did not seem to be adequate provision for deliveries to Welcome Point community centre, especially if there was tree planting between the school and Welcome Point and if pedestrian access was increased. Deliveries were usually made in the day time.

c.  It was recognised that the academy ran an extended school day and he was concerned about the real opportunities that would be available for community use if pupils were using the site from 7.00am to the late evening.

 

2.  Responses were provided as follows:

a.  A balance had been drawn between solar gain and making sure buildings would not be too hot in summer. The orientation of the design was to maximise the play amenities that were south facing. The wider sustainability strategy was to meet 20% of energy coming from renewable sources. There would be photo-voltaic panels on the roofs and solar heating for the hot water system. In summer the school would produce more electricity than it would use and would be able to sell some back to the main grid, which would also provide a small income for the school. There would also be green sedum roofs on the primary block and provision of habitat areas. The BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) assessment showed that the development would achieve a ‘very good’ rating and aspired to improve on that.

b.  From the Falcon Road spur would be the replacement car parking for Welcome Point and access via the drop-off area. The delivery access would be re-provided and be more secure. There would be level access to assist deliveries and wheelchair accessibility, and the Falcon Road spur would have dedicated disabled parking spaces. Trees would improve the public realm but would not prevent access to Welcome Point. Councillor Simon advised that he would ask for this issue to be covered in the report to Planning Committee.

c.  The building had been designed to permit easy community use of different areas such as sports facilities or performance space. The current site was able to provide community use at the same time as school use and this would continue at the new building. The school was committed to working with the local community, and members of the Ponders End Community Trust had been asked to join the School Council. Pupils did not use the school every night and the majority were generally off-site by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

CLOSE OF MEETING

Minutes:

NOTED the closing points, including:

 

1.  Members of the public and all attendees were thanked for their attendance and constructive contributions to the meeting. Any further comments should be sent to the Council Planning Department. If representations were received before the end of June they would be included in the report, but any received after that time may have to be summarised and reported verbally at Committee. The report would also give details of any conditions to the planning permission and would be available to view as part of the agenda documents. If residents considered that conditions to any permission were not being adhered to they should contact the Council and this would be dealt with as swiftly as possible by enforcement officers.

 

2.  Notes taken at this meeting would be appended to the Planning Officers’ report to be considered by the Planning Committee at their meeting on Tuesday 26 July 2011 (7.30pm, Enfield Civic Centre).

 

3.  There was a deputation procedure whereby interested parties could request to address the Planning Committee meeting (details via the Committee Secretary 020 8379 4093 or jane.creer@enfield.gov.uk) and residents could also ask ward councillors to speak on their behalf.

 

4.  Full details of the application were available to view and download from the Council’s website www.enfield.gov.uk (Application Ref LBE/11/0012).