Agenda and minutes

P12-02232PLA Ordnance Road Library Application, Planning Panel - Thursday, 18th October, 2012 7.30 pm

Venue: St George's Parish Hall, 710 Hertford Road, Enfield, EN3 6NR

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

 

  1. The purpose of the meeting was to provide local residents and other interested parties the opportunity to ask questions about the application and for the applicants, officers and Panel Members to listen to all the comments.

 

  1. A decision on the application would be made by the full Planning Committee at a future date.

2.

OFFICERS' SUMMARY OF THE PLANNING ISSUES

The Site

 

The application site comprises the Ordnance Road Library site located at the junction of Ordnance Road and Hertford Road. The site incorporates the existing Library building together with a parking area providing 14 spaces, served from Ordnance Road. The site also contains a number of trees to both the Ordnance Road and Hertford Road frontages, and to the common boundary with the adjacent residential property to the north.

 

The site is bounded to the north by two-storey residential properties fronting Hertford Road and to the east by three storey blocks of flats to the Ordnance Road frontage. Opposite the site is the Coop supermarket with its car parking facilities.

 

Proposal

 

The application proposes the demolition of the existing Library and the erection of a new part single storey, part three storey building to provide a replacement Library, a community hall and the provision of a new General Practice (GP) health facility and a dental surgery.

 

The ground floor of the building would accommodate part of the new Library and the GP surgery, comprising a main reception area, waiting room and eight consulting/treatment rooms. The first floor would house the remainder of the Library and the IT Centre, as well as staff facilities. The dental practice would be situated on the second floor, along with the community hall and associated office and catering facilities. Two lifts are proposed to serve the functions on the upper floors.

 

The majority of the existing trees on site will be retained and enhanced soft landscaping.

 

The existing 14 space car park would be retained along with its point of access from Ordnance Road. Pedestrian access would be from both Ordnance Road and Hertford Road.

 

Planning issues for discussion

 

The siting and design of the proposed building in the context of the character of the area

 

The siting and design of the building and its relationship to adjoining properties

 

The traffic generation associated with the development and the level of car parking proposed.

 

Minutes:

NOTED

 

1.   Aled Richards, Head of Development Management, gave a brief outline of the application and the issues that had been raised by residents.

 

2.   The public consultation process had started and there had already been a considerable amount of pre- application discussion with the community. 127 consultation letters had been sent out to neighbouring residents and four site notices displayed. The consultation period would end on 6 November, but the Planning Department would accept late representations up until 5.00pm on the day before the Planning Committee meeting and these would be reported verbally to the Committee.

 

3.   It was intended to present the application to Planning Committee at its meeting on Tuesday 27 November. The agenda for that meeting would be published on the Council’s website on Friday 16 November.

 

4.   The main planning issues were:

      ?  The design and implications on the street scene and on adjoining properties.

      ?  The traffic generation associated with the development.

 

5.   To date, no representations had been received in relation to the application, either in support or objection. Officers would be interested to receive residents’ views.

3.

PRESENTATION BY THE APPLICANT / AGENT

Minutes:

NOTED

 

1.   Ray James, the Council’s Director of Health, Housing and Adult Social Care, gave an introduction of the proposals:

      ?  The Council had heard a significant number of representations from local people regarding access to GP surgeries, especially the Ordnance Road practice. There was also poor access to NHS dentistry.

      ?  The site currently housed a forty year old library building and the local community hall was in need of major repair.

      ?  The proposal was for a modern, fully-accessible landmark building with state of the art library facilities, a GP practice which was able to take around 6,000 patients, a dental practice providing NHS dentistry, and a community space.

      ?  The building was proposed on the existing Ordnance Road Library site, which was chosen after an NHS feasibility study expressed preference for that site in a prominent location on a main road which could be readily accessed.

      ?  The building would be run by the Council in partnership with NHS North Central London.

 

2.   Tony Burley, Director of Nightingale Associates, the architects, gave an illustrated presentation on the proposal, including:

      ?  The architects were experienced in designing public buildings nationwide. They were working with HRS engineering specialists.

      ?  The site was in a place where lots of different uses conjoined, on a major road corner, with good transport links, adjacent to residential properties and significant greenscape.

      ?  The existing building was a late 1960s/early 1970s library which was suffering signs of age.

      ?  Three different uses were being designed in the shared space, including a library use facing out to the community, and more inward looking medical facilities. There would be one front door with an entrance canopy, but individual access to the services. The library would have the most instant visual connection to the street, with the GP surgery in a private zone. There was highest demand for ground floor uses and the ground floor area would be maximised. The other floors would have a smaller footprint. The first floor would contain the rest of the library facilities and the top floor would have the community hall space and dental surgery.

      ?  There would be two lifts for public access to the upper floors.

      ?  Trees made a significant positive contribution to the area and it was wished to retain the tree feature.

      ?  The road layout meant that the access arrangements could not be changed from the existing situation.

      ?  Trees close to the boundary with the neighbouring property would be retained as far as possible and roots protected during the construction phase. Twelve trees would be removed in total, which had been identified as lower value specimens. Four trees would be replaced on the Ordnance Road elevation.

      ?  A similar sized car park retaining provision for 14 cars would be provided, but with increased usability as parking bay widths would be increased by removing a wall. There would be three designated disabled spaced, and three spaces to be designated for NHS staff who were on call. Three electrical charging points would be provided.

      ?  The intention was for allocated  ...  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.   Councillor Keazor asked questions in respect of car parking allocation, trees and the temporary library facility. It was confirmed there would be 14 on-site parking spaces, including three designated for disabled use and three for NHS staff on emergency call, leaving eight for other patients. There would be an undertaking with staff that they would use alternative parking provision. The approach with the trees would be in keeping with the findings of the arboricultural survey about the quality of the trees and to be sympathetic to the benefit of the trees on site. The temporary library would be the subject of a separate planning application, but the intention was there would be no reduction of opening hours. As the temporary library would be smaller, current users were being surveyed on their priorities.

 

2.   In response to Councillor Constantinides’ query regarding the dental surgery, it was advised that the contract would be let to an NHS dentist and would have to take NHS patients.

 

3.   Councillor Chamberlain asked about cycle parking and the layout of the building. It was confirmed there would be a canopy for fifteen cycles to be parked at the main entrance, and there would also be cycle parking at the side of the building, in ‘Sheffield’ cycle racks. The amount of cycle parking was in line with BREEAM guidance and would exceed current use. To enable accessibility to all floors, priority had been given to provision of two lifts. Councillor Chamberlain remained concerned that the two floors of the library should be connected without the need to go through another space.

 

4.   Councillor Hurer asked about any other similar schemes, and management of the car park. It was advised that there were no similar buildings in Enfield, but numerous joint service centres existed in London and beyond. The NHS had clear standards for buildings, with emphasis on confidentiality and sound-proofing and infection control, and all had been incorporated in this building design. From an example in Islington, feedback from residents was that likelihood of people using all the facilities increased. The need for the parking space to be carefully managed was acknowledged, and the need for a signed undertaking from users of the building. There would be 14 genuine spaces in the car park. Suggestions from library users and GP patients were welcomed.

 

5.   Councillor Bakir asked about the funding/cost of the project and security and staffing proposals. It was advised that the Council would cover the capital cost and the NHS would enter into a rental scheme for the GP and dental surgery spaces. The revenue costs to the Council would not be higher than currently for their functions. Competitive bidding processes around the project were ongoing so no figures were publicly available at this time. The Council was also in discussions with the NHS regarding security as part of the terms of lease. Security issues had also been raised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

QUESTIONS FROM WARD COUNCILLORS

Minutes:

NOTED the following questions and observations from local Ward Councillors.

 

1.   Councillor Christine Hamilton, Enfield Lock Ward Councillor, spoke in support of the joint service centre. She believed this development would be a fantastic opportunity to provide a building that would bring desperately needed services to Eastern Enfield. Constituents frequently reported problems accessing or registering with a GP. Former Councillor Hones put forward a councillor call for action through the Health Scrutiny Panel which was taken forward by Councillor Uzoanya from 2010. The current library had a first floor which had not been used for years and was not making the best use of the space, and costs of repairs and maintenance were substantial.

 

      Some said the NHS should provide a GP/health centre on the Ordnance pub site, but this was not an option as the NHS did not have the funding/resources to provide this and they were 100% behind the library redevelopment.

 

      There was cross party support for this centre and this opportunity must be taken to deliver decent services in this area.

 

2.   Councillor Ozzie Uzoanya, Enfield Lock Ward Councillor, spoke in support of the proposal and praised the unique and sustainable design. There were a growing number of residents in the east of the borough and many people did not have access to a GP. This proposal would double capacity. There was a considerable amount of support from residents; there had been several consultation events held and the previous event attracted around 90 residents. Positive feedback was also gained at a consultation event on the regeneration of North East Enfield on 29 September which was visited by around 400 people.

 

3.   Councillor Alev Cazimoglu, Enfield Highway Ward Councillor, confirmed that she also chaired the Council’s Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Panel and that she was very much in support of this proposal. Residents had waited a long time for improvements to local services and she was eager to see this amenity developed quickly. There were health inequalities in this part of the borough, and issues with access to health services.

 

4.   Councillor Yusuf Cicek, Turkey Street Ward Councillor, commented that this was an excellent scheme, which many of his ward residents would make use of. He also praised the use of solar panels and new technology in the design.

 

5.   Councillor Tahsin Ibrahim, Turkey Street Ward Councillor, also offered congratulations on the excellent scheme, which was needed in this area.

6.

OPEN SESSION - QUESTIONS AND VIEWS FROM THE FLOOR

Minutes:

NOTED the following questions and observations from attendees:

 

1.   In response to a resident’s query regarding the Ordnance pub site, it was advised that no planning applications had been registered at the moment.

 

2.   A resident questioned the health impact assessment documentation which stated that GP and dental practices in the area were currently accepting new patients. NHS representatives advised that it would be fair to say that all practices in the area were accepting patients, except the Ordnance Road practice which was currently unable to take new patients and the list had been closed temporarily. This had been a difficult practice and was not a pleasant place to work. The new facility and letting the contract to a new provider would assist. It was acknowledged that NHS patients struggled to go onto a list and that lists for dentists fluctuated, which was why this new contract would be NHS only. Ray James advised that local people were presenting at Accident and Emergency with issues which would normally be dealt with in primary care services, which suggested they had not been able to access those services. Residents had spoken in large numbers of the problems they had experienced in front of the Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Panel. Access to dental services locally was not at the level local people wanted.

 

3.   A resident commented that the new building would be much more highly serviced, with its lifts and technology, and that it would be more expensive to run and maintain. Additionally, the noise impact assessment stated that sound levels from the development would reach 29 decibels and he believed this had been calculated on a flawed basis on an unspecified condenser and did not include the SLT pump which would be likely to be noisy and to have an impact on neighbouring residents. A CHP plant system would also lead to noise and pollution concerns.

 

      Tony Burley advised that the building had been designed to current high standards and would provide the environmental comforts which older buildings could not provide, and there would be costs associated with that. Modern conditions were now expected especially in GP surgeries, and older facilities were now considered unacceptable by the public at large. The existing library cost a lot in upkeep. The new building would offer three times as much functionality from the site for the same area. All the assessment documents, including acoustics, were in the public domain and would be assessed during the planning process. If further detail was required, that would be queried as part of the planning process and engineering colleagues would provide the necessary response. Councillor Hurer also asked that the issue of carbon dioxide emissions and carbon credits be addressed in the application.

 

4.   A resident praised the care his family had received from the Ordnance Road practice in years gone by, but the facilities were now poor and outdated, and he had experienced a 16-day wait for an appointment. The time had come to take action and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

CLOSE OF MEETING

Minutes:

NOTED the closing points, including:

 

1.   The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and contributing to the meeting.

 

2.   Notes taken at this meeting would be appended to the Planning Officers’ report to be considered by the Planning Committee when the application was presented for decision.

 

3.   There was a deputation procedure whereby involved parties could request to address the Planning Committee meeting (details on the Council website or via the Planning Committee Secretary 020 8379 4093 / 4091 jane.creer@enfield.gov.uk or metin.halil@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 P12-02232PLA).