1. That subject to the finalisation of a S106 to secure the matters covered in this report and to be appended to the decision notice, the Head of Development Management be authorised to GRANT planning permission subject to conditions.
2. That the Head of Development Management be granted delegated authority to agree the final wording of the conditions to cover the matters in the Recommendation section of this report.
The introduction by James Clarke, Principal Planning Officer, clarifying the proposals and updates following the publication of the agenda.
It was confirmed that additional conditions would be included to cover:
· Yellow lines/ TMO on Bush Hill (subject to legal agreement and s278)
· Cycle Storage (sitting/appearance)
· Ramp access to Block B
· Privacy screens to ground floor units
The statement of Councillor Andy Milne, Grange Ward Councillor, spoke against the officers’ recommendation.
The response of Michael Calder, the agent on behalf of the applicant.
Members, during the debate, raised concerns in relation to the feasibility, ease and likelihood that future residents would be able to increase the properties from two to three bedrooms; the loss of trees; the design and character of the proposed development, which some considered to be out of keeping with the character of the surrounding area and neighbouring properties; the lack of provision of a children’s playground facilities; the housing mix of the proposal compared to the housing needs of the Borough.
Officers responded as follows:
Principal Planning Officer:
1. It would be possible to convert the use of the study room to a third bedroom without a new planning application having to be made.
2. In total, there would be a net gain of four trees, 16 trees would be removed and replaced with 20 trees. This would be secured by condition.
3. The concerns regarding the design and character of the proposed development were recognised. Buildings of this design had been built in other parts of London. Although the previous, more traditional design had been viewed favourably, there were several reasons why it would not have worked, such as rooms adjacent to the top floor would only have roof lights, which were not the most practical for modern living.
4. With regards to the character and appearance of the building, whilst it was different, it was not considered to be harmful to the surrounding area. The development site was sufficiently divorced from the neighbouring properties to provide an opportunity for a contemporary design, which Officers did not consider to be unattractive.
5. Provision had not been made in the proposal for children’s’ playgrounds within the site. Should a number of families move into the properties and a real need was identified by the management company a suitable area would be developed. There was no other mechanism to install such a facility on the site. Officers had not seen the need make such a provision at the application stage.
6. It was acknowledged that compromises have had to be made in the consideration of the proposal’s height and massing of the development. This was not considered to be harmful in the wider sense and would bring benefits to the local community.
7. It was also acknowledged that Enfield’s Core Strategy (2010) and Strategic Housing Market Assessment Update (2015) were out of date and attracted less weight when compared to the London Plan.
8. A view had been taken of the housing mix contained in the proposed development and the housing needs of the Borough. Officers were of the view that the benefits outweigh any harm. The Section 106 agreement would benefit many people across the Borough.
9. No other comments had been received in addition to those from the Urban Design Team, which was internal to the Council. There was no other body to consult.
10. The taller building was not considered to be harmful to the wider community or neighbouring area.
11. There were no concerns which would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits having regard to the titled balance and the presumption in favour of approving sustainable residential development.
12. Each site was assessed on its own merits, with this particular proposal the more units which could be built would result in higher financial returns which would give a greater number of affordable housing.
13. Potentially, this would result in more family units for less money.
Urban Design Lead & Deputy Team Manager
1. The proposed application had to be considered in the context that the site had an established extant planning permission.
2. The development site was not in the conservation area.
3. The applicant had entered into early discussions with the Council and had originally proposed an unbroken development.
4. Pitched roofs, proposed in the earlier design, did not match the contemporary design.
Head of Development Management
1. Reiterated that, on balance, the benefits to be gained from the proposed development outweighed the scale and mass of the proposed development.
2. A planning assessment had been carried out and the proposed development was not considered to be harmful to the visual impact of the area.
On being put to the vote there were six votes for, four against and one abstention.
1. That subject to the finalisation of a S106 to secure the matters covered in this report and to be appended to the decision notice, the Head of Development Management be authorised to GRANT planning permission subject to conditions. (as reported and amended)
2. That the Head of Development Management be granted delegated authority to agree the final wording of the conditions to cover the matters in the recommendation section of the report.