RECOMMENDATION: That in accordance with Regulation 4 of the Town and Country Regulations 1992, subject to the completion of an appropriate legal agreement to ensure that obligations within the existing s106 agreement are safeguarded and that the new obligations resulting from this permission are secured, planning permission be deemed to be Granted and the Head of Development Management / the Planning Decisions Manager be authorised to issue the planning permission subject to conditions.
WARD: Southgate Green
1. The introduction by Sharon Davidson, Planning Decisions Manager, clarifying the proposals.
2. The proposed development site forms part of the wider Montmorency Park Regeneration Scheme formerly known as the Ladderswood Estate. The site is located within a place shaping priority area and forms part of New Southgate Masterplan. The comprehensive redevelopment of the site is underway with phases 1, 2 and 3 having been completed, phase 4 now commencing and phases 5 and 6 due to commence in May 2023 and August 2023 respectively. Completion of the whole development is expected in January 2026.
3. This application seeks the change of use from employment floorspace - B1 b and B1 c of six units already consented units contained in blocks M N O P R and V to Use Class E which will provide flexible commercial floorspace.
4. Use Class E is a new use class that came into force on 1st September 2020 and brings together existing use classes A1 ( shops), A2 ( financial and professional services) A3 ( restaurants and cafes, B1 ( business) including both B1b and B1c, as well as parts of classes D1 (non-residential institutions) and D2 ( assembly and leisure).
5. The proposal will retain the same amount of floorspace (1486.04sqm) and is not altering the individual unit sizes. The loss of pure employment space is noted. However, given the flexibility of Use Class E, the proposed change of use would not preclude employment uses from occupying the six units. Furthermore, market testing has been undertaken in accordance with national and local policy and sufficient evidence has been provided to demonstrate that there is minimal demand for the units in their current use at the present time. The introduction of a more flexible range of uses, that continues to include employment floorspace is considered acceptable and in accordance with planning policy.
6. The proposed change of use to Class E which includes town centre uses has been assessed through a sequential test which is required by the development plan where town centre uses are provided outside of a designated town centre boundary. It has been evidenced that the proposal will not harm the viability and vitality of the surrounding town centre network.
7. The provision of flexible commercial floorspace in this location is therefore considered acceptable as is will provide a range of uses to the benefit of the local community and for which there is clear demand for as demonstrated by the market testing undertaken. The application is supported by officers.
8. Update – The report identifies that the development is CIL liable. Whilst the Ladderswood development as a whole is CIL liable. This application does not create any new floor space beyond that existing permission and therefore in itself is not.
9. Members debate and questions responded to by officers.
10. The unanimous support of the Committee for the Officers’ recommendation.
AGREEDThat in accordance with Regulation 4 of the Town and Country Regulations 1992, subject to the completion of an appropriate legal agreement to ensure that obligations within the existing s106 agreement are safeguarded and that the new obligations resulting from this permission are secured, planning permission be deemed to be Granted and the Head of Development Management / the Planning Decisions Manager be authorised to issue theplanning permission subject to conditions.