Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions
Contact: Metin Halil 020 8379 4091 Email: email@example.com
i) Purpose of the meeting.
ii) Introduction of Applicant’s representatives and Officers of the Council.
1. Councillor Chamberlain as Chair welcomed all attendees and introduced the Panel Members.
2. The purpose of the meeting was to receive a briefing on the proposals, 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 the reactions and comments. These views, and all the written representations made, would be taken into account when the application was determined by the Planning Committee.
3. This was not a decision-making meeting. A decision on the application would be made by the full Planning Committee in June 2015.
Andy Higham, (Enfield Council Head of Development Management) introduced officers present and highlighted the following points:
1. This Planning Panel meeting was an important part of the consultation process. Notes were being taken and would be appended to the report to the Planning Committee.
2. This was an outline planning application, seeking to establish the principles of the uses and development of the site. Matters of detailed design and layout were not for consideration at this stage. The application proposed the construction of 7 Multi Use Games Area’s (MUGA’s) all enclosed by 5m high fences and being floodlit. The application also proposed a part single, part 2 storey detached sports pavilion together with parking and access. The proposal had now been amended, following a meeting, with the licensing facility now omitted from the proposals.
3. The Planning Committee could consider material planning issues. The key issues included:
· Use of the playing fields and loss of open space.
· The visual impact of the development.
· The impact of the development on the amenities on neighbouring and nearby residential properties, noise, disturbance and illumination. The hours of opening could also be a factor.
· Parking access and the effects of highway safety on surrounding roads.
· The accuracy of noise mitigation measures proposed.
· The effect of security on neighbouring residential properties.
· The effects of surface water drainage and aswell as the effects of tress and ecology.
4. This was not an exhaustive list but highlighted the scope of issues that could be taken into account. What could not be considered, as part of this application, was the effect on the value of properties, which is often raised. When assessing this application, there is also a need to be mindful of guidance of the National Planning Policy which applicates presumption in favour of allowing developments which are consistent with adopted policy. The Council has a Local Plan which contains a number of policies, which are key, when assessing proposals. This would form the basis of planning’s assessment.
5. The consultation period would be extended. If residents had further comments or required further clarification, then these should be sent to the Council by Friday 24 April, to be included in the report to Planning Committee.
PRESENTATION BY THE APPLICANT / AGENT
Tony Scott (Applicant – Power league) introduced representatives of the applicant present and set out the proposals as follows:
1. Tony Scott would talk about the background to the application and then move onto things that had changed from the original proposal in terms of the public meeting that had been held, at the school, a few weeks ago. The proposal had been changed and moved around so as to help the proposal with some technical solutions.
2. The School had been looking at their sports facilities and how they could improve their facilities in conjunction with the Council. The Council undertook an exercise in terms of what could be done and achieved within the space available. The Council undertook a tender process where it was envisaged that operators would come up with proposals and schemes that would potentially be suitable for the school, the local community and for the operator’s themselves’, in terms of a viable commercial business.
3. The site had already gone through a Section 77 process, whereby the Secretary of State’s office scrutinise the Section 77. It is designed to protect playing field land and anything that transpires is reviewed under this process. It was approved, at that level, in terms of the proposals sport, leisure and its current use as a playing field.
4. Power League (PL) had been successful in the tender process. The key factors being the sports hall itself, which the school had a great need for given the state of their sports facilities.
5. Power Leagues operated facilities on another 11 sites around the country. The nearest facility to the present site was Compton School in Barnet. Further facilities could be found in Milton Keynes and Mill Hill, which also operate on school sites. The schools’ themselves have full exclusive access to the facilities, during the day and on evenings and weekends the facilities are operated by Power Leagues on a pay and play basis. There would also be a free community use scheme with the donation of pitch time. Power Leagues had a proven track record in terms of engagement with communities, with numerous references available as regards this.
6. The original application was agreed with the school and submitted at the end of 2014. Officers then requested further information on some of the key issues. A public meeting was held, at the school, in February 2015, where many of the residents present had attended. The key areas of concern that arose were:
· Acoustic levels
· Anti-Social behaviour
· Licensing aspect of the original application
The Council then undertook some door to door consultation with local residents so as to encourage people to a public meeting. Transpiring from the school public meeting, PL had internal discussions regarding all points raised and how they could change/amend things to try and help the development by addressing all concerns raised.
7. A key issue raised by residents was that the original application had a licensing aspect which has been reviewed and have ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
QUESTIONS BY PANEL MEMBERS
NOTED the following questions and observations from Members of the Panel.
1. Q. With regards to the noise barriers and measurements taken, what is the normal line (graph figures) compared with i.e. a music concert, people within the school playground? Can a practical reference point be provided to show what 75DB for example, equates to i.e. boiling kettle, car alarm?
A. A noise measurement of 140DB for example would need to be put into context because there is often no measurement about how far away you are. Noise dissipates with distance. An example from the noise surveys that were carried out, for Lathkill Close, showed that the existing sort of ambient average levels here are dictated mostly by road traffic and railway noise and noise levels were in the region of 55-60DB. This was referred to as the blue line on the sound map graph. So for residents, these are the levels they are experiencing presently from general ambient noise in their gardens. This was the best context to set it to.
2. Q. Would the 55-60DB ambient noise level also include noise from the school when the playing field is being used?
A. No, they are evening levels, because we are looking at the impact in the evening time, when commercial use comes into play. At the bottom of the sound plan graph there were times that the survey was taken, which were between 17:00pm – 22:00pm at those residencies. The noise levels ranged between 55-60DB in the evening and this was the existing general road traffic noise level.
Noise from the facility was in the high 40DB less than the ambient noise level and not as loud as road traffic levels. That didn’t mean that it won’t be audible, but it was at a lower level to what was already being experienced. Yes, it is a different character of noise, except that had already been taken account of in the assessment and the guideline codes that are applied. The predicted levels were quite significantly below what the existing noise climate already is.
3. Q. As a private, profit driven company, what have you in mind now to input into school area which you are using? How is the school going to profit from all this development?
A. The facility itself is exclusive to the school during school hours. This includes state of the art external pitches, sports hall and associated facilities. So the school benefits from the facilities themselves and being able to use and adapt those in their curriculum for sports activities.
Much of the school playing areas include grassed playing fields which are not available for much of the year. So for much of the year pupils are contained in quite a small area in relation to play times. Having an all-weather pitch there suddenly means, pupils can use play areas all year round and is a huge benefit to the school.
4. Q. How is the development going to impact on nearby residents? What level ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
QUESTIONS BY WARD COUNCILLORS
NOTED the following question’s from Councillor’s Bernie Lappage and Alev Cazimoglu, Jubilee Ward Councillor’s.
1. Q. The Councillors were concerned about the recollection around the consultation with the public. The ward councillors were sure that they had asked for the public meeting at the school and also for this planning panel meeting, as it was important that people had the opportunity. Based on that kind of perception of a relationship with residents, how would PL see their relationship moving forward with the residents? How would that pan out i.e. noise monitoring? What will happen if the things PL have stated do not happen or if the noise levels are different to what PL have reported?
A. In terms of noise, if that was the case, PL would have further noise measurements as regards to that. The measurements are taken at the physical sites PL operate, so the noise values that are expected to be produced are very accurate.
In terms of community engagement, PL has a proven track record with community engagement. If a resident has concerns, there is a full time professional management team on site that operates the facility and would engage with residents and their concerns.
2. The Ward Councillors had actually met with the Chief Executive, because they had concerns about the development and on that basis officers then went round and spoke to residents at their homes for their views. From that point of view, the councillors could not see relationship evidence.
3. Q. Referring to the alcohol license that was removed from the application, can PL provide a commitment and cast iron guarantee that they would not be looking to re-apply for the license at a later date? Can planning put in place a condition where PL could be prevented from applying for an alcohol license in future?
A. The application has to assessed, on its merits as it stands. Conditions can be instructed around use, but there is no guarantee that something can’t be applied for in future. Licensing was a separate process of planning and conditions can’t be imposed that would overlap with other legislation. The planning committee cannot grant a license. A licensing application can be made and a premises can be granted even if planning permission has not been granted and vice versa.
4. Q. What is PL commitment and guarantee that they won’t come back in 6 months/year and apply for a license? Have they included that in their business model proposals?
A. In terms of the business model itself, the answer is yes. In terms of a future license application, Tony Scott could not answer as this would be a board decision. But, in terms of the business model itself and it being a viable commercial entity, they had crunched the numbers and the development would work without an alcohol license.
5. Q. The 22:30pm closure time has now become 23:00pm for people to leave the site. This was not made clear at the beginning of the ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
OPEN SESSION - QUESTIONS AND VIEWS FROM THE FLOOR
NOTED the following questions and observations from attendees, grouped under subject headings:
Q. With reference to the sound map graph, PL had provided reasons regarding the highest existing noise at present and that the noise coming from the A10 was pre-dominantly traffic. This traffic going by was represented by the peaks on the graph line. However, it’s not a constant noise, what residents were facing was 70DB at present. PL had said that they could reduce this by putting a 2m high barrier/partition. The noise from the playing pitches will be constant and always at that peak/level.
Can you confirm that the 2m high barrier is a solid barrier and not a 1m kit board with the rest being mesh?
A. Yes, it is a kit board with another metre above that which is solid timber with no gap. It is a continuous 2m high barrier.
Q. So therefore the noise level would still be at 60DB? To reduce it to 60DB, there will be a constant 60DB all the way below the recommendation of 54DB?
A. No, there were 2 elements to the noise:
· The red peaked line at the top of the graph are discreet individual peaks, that was not the continuous noise, this was a series of peaks from activity on the pitches from i.e. balls, whistles, etc. and other pitch activity.
· The blue line underneath that was more akin to the continuous level of noise, so that the road & train-line noise is there occasionally. So the level there is 49DB on that.
So, the blue dotted line is the continuous level of noise and the red line represents the discreet peaks of noise within that noise environment.
Q. At present, residents enjoy peace and quiet in their gardens. Once the facility has been developed, they will have no respite from noise being generated from users, regarding the facility operating all weekend from 09:00am till 22:30pm at night. There will be no peace at all and would be affecting their health and the way they live.
How can PL explain to the residents that the facility will not have an impact on them and that the noise will be controlled?
A. That’s a decision for the Council to make, but the assessment is there. Sharp Redmour (noise consultants) assess the noise from a technical point of view, which is their job. It’s modelled, assessed and compared to the guide line values. The subjective elements are within the assessment aswell.
Q. When the acoustic barriers are installed and the trees, the noise from the facility will still be above an unacceptable level?
A. No, that will not be the case. The acceptable levels are based upon the blue line (sound map noise graph). The guide line values of the blue line is 55DB and guideline values of the red line is 60DB. So the noise level will be at or below these guideline values. There isn’t one for daytime values.
Q. The highest level on ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
CLOSE OF MEETING
NOTED the closing points, including:
1. The Chair thanked everyone for attending and contributing to the meeting. He felt it had been constructive and respectful and would be of great assistance in evaluating the application.
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 by May/June 2015.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 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: 14/04965/FUL).
5. The consultation period had been extended as advised and would now end on Friday 24 April 2015.
6. The Panel suggested that a site visit would be useful, including another facility in London, so as to compare sites. This would have to be agreed by the Chair of Planning Committee.