Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Panel - Carterhatch Depot, Planning Panel - Monday, 3rd June, 2013 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Metin Halil 020 8379 4091 Email: metin.halil@enfield.gov.uk / 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 Cranfield as Chairman welcomed all attendees to the meeting, and the Panel Members, the applicant’s representatives and Council Officers introduced themselves.

 

2.   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.

 

3.   This was not a decision-making meeting. A decision on the application would be made by the full Planning Committee at a future date.

2.

OFFICERS' SUMMARY OF THE PLANNING ISSUES pdf icon PDF 236 KB

1.1  The Site

 

1.1.1        The application site comprises of a works depot operated by the London Borough of Enfield. Existing structures on the site consist of two large industrial-type sheds, petrol pumps for Council’s fleet of vehicles, and extensive parking areas for employees on site and for some fleet vehicles.

 

1.1.2        Whilst within the site (around the two buildings), ground levels are fairly consistent, there is a significant drop in ground level from the existing entrance at Melling drive of approximately 2.7m.

 

1.1.3        The only existing access point into the site is off Melling Drive. Melling Drive is a publicly adopted highway, with approximately 15m of the entrance drive also being publicly adopted. There is also a public right of way in the north-west corner of the site linking Melling Drive to Magpie Close.

 

1.1.4        The site is surrounded by residential developments, consisting of three to four-storey blocks of flats to the north and west, and two and three storey flats / dwelling houses to the south and east. There is a significant drop in ground levels of approximately 2.7m from the Melling Drive access, across to the eastern side of the site.

 

1.1.5        Melling Drive, off Carterhatch Lane to the south, is located along the western boundary and provides the only point of vehicular access. Two roads (Abercrombie Drive and Bressey Avenue) end in cul-de-sacs against the sites southern boundary. Similarly, Magpie Close to the north provides a spur that ends against the northern boundary. A pedestrian footway traverses the north-west corner of the site providing a link between Melling Drive and Magpie Close. The Great Cambridge Road (A10) is located approximately 350m east of the junction of Melling Drive / Carterhatch Lane.

 

1.1.6        A site location plan is attached.

 

2        Background

 

2.1  The Council is currently engaged with a programme to relocate key frontline services and operations from separate depot sites across the borough to one, purpose-built Council depot at Morson Road. The new purpose built depot site will accommodate all of the existing employees and operations from the Carterhatch Lane depot. The Council s programme identifies that the transfer of all services will be completed in June 2013 and following this the Melling Drive site will be considered by the Council as surplus to use.

 

3        Proposal

 

3.1  The proposed scheme will be for the redevelopment of the site to provide 150 affordable units compromising a mix of 63no. affordable rent units (43no. 4-bed dwellings / maisonettes, 13no. 2-bed flats, 7no. 1-bed flats) and 87no. shared ownership units (21no. 3-bed dwellings / maisonettes, 20no. 2-bed dwellings / maisonettes, 30no. 2-bed flats, 16no.1-bed flats), 146no. parking spaces.

 

3.2  The development will incorporate the following key elements:

 

·         Complete redevelopment of the site to provide a total of 150 residential units.

 

·         A mixture of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses.

 

·         Vehicular access to be retained from Melling Drive and the provision of vehicular connections from the south into the site through Abercrombie Drive  ...  view the full agenda text for item 2.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

NOTED

 

1.   Andy Higham, Head of Development Management, gave a brief introduction to the application.

 

2.   This Planning Panel meeting formed part of the consultation process. Notes were being taken and points raised would inform the ongoing discussions with the developers and would form part of the report to the Planning Committee.

 

3.   It was intended to present the application to Planning Committee for determination at its meeting scheduled for Tuesday 23 July 2013.

 

4.   If residents had further comments, these should be sent to the Council by Friday 14 June to be included in the report to Planning Committee.

 

5.   The application was for 150 residential units, all affordable housing, 44% of them 3-bed and over, with 146 parking spaces. Access would be by Melling Drive and two new access points via Bressey Avenue and Abercrombie Drive.

 

6.   The key planning considerations were: height, scale, layout, effect on residential amenity, parking provision, traffic impacts, and effect on trees.

3.

PRESENTATION BY THE APPLICANT / AGENT

Minutes:

NOTED

 

1.   Paul Pearce, Notting Hill Housing (NHH) gave a brief introduction that NHH was one of the largest London housing associations, and a charity. NHH owned and managed large numbers of homes, including in Enfield, some of which were adjacent to Carterhatch Depot. This development was a great opportunity to fulfil their purpose and to provide much needed affordable housing in the borough.

 

2.   Paul Maddock, the architect, gave a presentation on the proposals:

a.   The planning application had now been submitted, and the drawings were available online and in hard copy.

b.   The site was off Melling Drive, between Carterhatch Lane and Hoe Lane.

c.   There had been a number of surveys to help them understand the site, and they had been looking at what was good in the area and what problems could be made better as part of the proposals.

d.   A consultation event had been held in March at QEII Stadium. This had been very helpful and feedback had been incorporated in the design.

e.   At the moment there were two very large depot sheds and other buildings and hard standing parking areas.

f.    There were a few level changes in the site, especially on the Melling Drive side.

g.   They had spoken to people with local knowledge. The main concern raised had been crime and safety, especially at night, and use of the public footpath.

h.   They were looking to design a development that was attractive, safe and sustainable. NHH had a long term vested interest in maintaining a good neighbourhood which worked well in the local area.

i.    It would be made easier to walk children to school; and play and open space provision would be improved.

j.    There would be 150 new sustainable homes – mixture of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bed properties including houses, maisonettes and apartments. 15 would be designed so they could be adapted for wheelchair users. The development would be to the latest London Authority design standards and would comply with lifetime homes, and would be built with good sound and thermal insulation. High quality materials would be used.

k.   Buildings would range in height from 2 and 3 storey to some 4-storey development.

l.    The housing would be 100% affordable: 42% for rent and 50% intermediate tenure.

m.  The site would be greened, with tree planting, private gardens, balconies, and a central landscape green. They were looking to enhance wildlife and ecology. The green space would have play areas for different age groups.

n.   The local Police had been very supportive and had advised on some key design aspects.

o.   15 of the parking bays would be designed for disabled access.

p.   There would be very generous levels of bike storage, and there would be electric car charging points.

q.   A new junction was proposed coming off Melling Drive and connecting with Bressey Avenue and Abercrombie Drive.

r.    The main road at the bottom would be 2-way. The  ...  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.   With reference to developers taking advantage of views of the New River, Councillor Cranfield queried who would get those views. It was advised that the repositioned entrance way would allow visual connection between the site and the New River. The new junction would sit opposite a gap between buildings. So anyone walking on the street would now get that view (and a small number of flats).

 

2.   In response to queries about the 1-way road system, it was confirmed that some residents would have to follow it around to reach their homes. The developers took advice on the street design and had ensured that Council refuse vehicles could negotiate the site without creating conflict and in the safest way. The traffic calming was also a key feature for families who would live there.

 

3.   It was confirmed there would be over 150 bike storage spaces, plus extra bicycle parking for visitors centrally. The larger buildings would have integrated bike stores which were secure and weathertight and designed in accordance with Police advice. The houses would all have their own bike store next to their front door.

 

4.   In response to queries about managing the changes in levels on the site, the developers advised they had worked closely with engineers and there would be some cut and fill work to even out the level change. Two buildings would have a split level at ground floor to take up some of the level change. The road would be given a more gradual gradient.

 

5.   Councillor Prescott remarked on the traffic levels on Carterhatch Lane and asked about impact assessments. The developers advised that a transport consultant had carried out an impact assessment which concluded that there would not be any adverse impact on the junction to Carterhatch Lane. The Council’s Traffic and Transportation representative confirmed that the conclusion from comparison with the operating depot site with trip generation from the units was that the number of movements would be less. It was acknowledged that the time of trips would be different, and that there were traffic issues on Carterhatch Lane, but it had been weighed up whether the new development would exacerbate the existing situation. The proposed development would generate fewer trips in the morning peak, but more in the evening peak.

 

6.   In response to Councillor Prescott’s queries regarding local schools’ capacity to cope with an influx of more residents, the Council’s Schools Organisation and Development Officer acknowledged that the development would create additional pressure on local schools. He advised that Worcesters Primary School was expanding permanently from this September, and that a new free school, Kingfisher Hall, would also be operating off Hertford Road from September, which would help reduce pressure on places across the wider area. However, the Council were mindful that pupil numbers were continuing to rise; Cabinet was due to receive a report on 19th June regarding the next phase  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

QUESTIONS BY WARD COUNCILLORS

Minutes:

NOTED the following questions and observations from Councillor Tom Waterhouse, Chase Ward Councillor.

 

1.   In response to a query regarding any provisions made for wheelie bins for residents’ refuse, it was confirmed that officers raised the issue during the initial pre-application meeting with the developers. At the front of each of the houses would be an integrated area which was walled off to screen it from view and had ample space for three wheelie bins. This storage area would not compromise the driveway parking. For the flatted buildings there would be a secure room on the ground floor with large bins for refuse and recycling, and space for access by wheelchair users. There would be a tap, drain and lockable door.

 

2.   He could not accept that that would be no impact on traffic. This was a high density housing area, with the busy Toby carvery pub, ambulance station, box junction and bus routes, as well as the QEII Stadium and the gym. It was the worst place in the borough to cross the A10. Traffic congestion would be made even worse by school expansions and more housing. He would have expected the applicant or the Council to say what would be done to improve traffic flows in the area, as the way the traffic backed up was already unacceptable. This was disappointing and made it difficult to support the planning application.

6.

OPEN SESSION - QUESTIONS AND VIEWS FROM THE FLOOR

Minutes:

NOTED the following questions and observations from attendees:

 

1.   A number of residents of Bressey Avenue were in attendance and made the following points:

a.  Their homes were bought around 17 years ago in a cul-de-sac, which was expected to remain as such. The residents should have some say in the opening up of this road, as that is not what they wanted.

b.  They questioned any evidence that it had always been intended that the road would be opened up.

c.  Residents would like to carry on living in a peaceful situation.

d.  Residents had lived for a long time with noise and dust from the depot site, but had recently enjoyed two peaceful years without stress. When this work began the residents would suffer again. They also feared the construction works and vibrations would cause damage to their homes.

e.  They had successfully sued the Council in respect of noise and dust issues from Melling Drive, but that legal dispute was not totally completed.

f.  In the cul-de-sac there was a strong community. Neighbours were friendly, swapped food, held street parties, etc. Their children played in the street together and in one another’s homes. This small community would be destroyed by these proposals.

 

It was advised that any legal matters to be concluded were separate to the Planning process.

 

2.   Traffic assessments should be carried out in winter, and during school term times, when there were more cars on the road.

 

      It was confirmed that traffic levels were measured over two weeks in April after pupils returned to school.

 

3.   In response to a resident’s query, it was advised the distance between the end house and the new development would be approximately 3 – 4 metres, but that would be a blank gable with no windows.

 

4.   Concerns that parking would overspill from the development and people would park in Bressey Avenue and Abercrombie Drive. Driving out via Linwood Crescent in the morning was a nightmare, and that would be the main route the new residents would also take as it was the shortest, rather than driving via Melling Drive. This should be taken into consideration.

 

5.   Safety of children was a concern. If Abercrombie Drive and Bressey Avenue were connected through to the development, children would not be able to play outside their homes safely as at present. One of the local children was blind, but could safely play out with her friends currently, but would not be able to do so if this development was permitted.

 

6.   Traffic congestion was already bad, and would only be exacerbated by this development. Worcesters School was only 5 minutes’ walk away, but for parents who had to drive was a 25 minute journey and involved negotiating a roundabout which drivers rarely kept clear.

 

7.   Many families in Abercrombie Drive and Bressey Avenue had two cars; this was normal and it would also be expected there would be families with more than one car on this development  ...  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. It was intended to present this application to Planning Committee on Tuesday 23 July 2013.

 

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: P13-00767SOR).