Reserved Matters application for details of the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the proposed development following planning permission P18/V0069/O (amended plans received 1 October 2020 and 4 December 2020 to show amendments to design, housing mix and layout, and landscaping and as amended by plans received 1 March 2021) (residential development of 91 dwellings and associated access).
The committee considered application P19/V1728/RM for a reserved matters application for details of the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the proposed development following planning permission P18/V0069/O (amended plans received 1 October 2020 and 4 December 2020 to show amendments to design, housing mix and layout, and landscaping and as amended by plans received 1 March 2021) (Residential development of 91 dwellings Amey Works).
Consultations, representations, policy and guidance, and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report, which formed part of the agenda pack for the meeting.
The planning officer reported that at its meeting on 27 January 2021, the committee had resolved to defer consideration of the application to facilitate a site visit and to allow for further negotiations between the developer and council officers. A site visit, attended by members of the committee, took place on 24 May 2021.
The planning officer reported on the detailed reasons for the deferral. Firstly, members wished to see the site in context, hence the site visit. Secondly, further discussions were required in respect of providing a link from the site to Millennium Common. Thirdly, further work was required on public open space, play provision and garden sizes. Lastly, the committee requested an increased number of electric vehicle charging points.
The planning officer reported that discussions had taken place between the Millennium Common trustees and the developer, and every effort had been made to obtain agreement to this. The Trust could not agree to any additional access onto its land from the site, as this would compromise the biodiversity of the Common. Although the council would support the inclusion of a link to increase connectivity between Sutton Courtenay to the west, the development site and the neighbouring development to the east, there were no planning grounds to insist on a link to third party land.
The planning officer, with the assistance of a slide presentation, also reported that the provision for public open space had been increased to 16.4 percent, which was in line with the policy requirement of 15 percent of usable open space. The provision of a local area for play (LAP) and a local equipped area for play (LEAP) also met council policy requirements. In respect of garden sizes, the original proposals did not fully meet design guide space standards. The private amenity space had been increased to the point that only 9 plots out of 91 (9.9% of the development) were below the recommended size in the council’s design guide document. When taken as a whole, the amount of amenity space per dwelling is acceptable in the revised proposal. The planning officer offered to put the changes into context. In the adjoining site, 43 percent of gardens were below standard. Additionally, in a recent appeal decision on a site in the district, the inspector concluded that although 25 gardens were below the size standard, in conjunction with the full amount of public open space being provided, this would offset this ‘minor shortfall’. In the planning officer’s opinion, these were significant improvements in space provision on the site and it would be unreasonable for the council to require further changes.
Paragraph 110 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) required developments to be designed to enable the charging of plug-in vehicles. There was no local plan policy to provide guidance on how this would be done or requiring a certain percentage of housing to have access to charging points. The proposed number of electric vehicle (EV) points had now increased from 12 to 38, plus 2 ‘pay as you go’ points adjacent to the play area.
The planning officer, with the assistance of a slide presentation, also reported on the concerns of residents in respect of the management of the bunds and land transfer. The bund behind 1-7 Amey Close would remain as open space within the development. The bund backing on to numbers 5, 6 and 7 would become part of the private gardens of those properties. As the land backed directly onto the gardens of the new dwellings, it was agreed that it would not be practical for a management company to be involved in the maintenance of this land. In respect of the bund backing onto numbers 1, 3 and 4 Amey Close, this faced onto front gardens of the new dwellings and a new public footpath. If this were incorporated into the private gardens, a dividing fence would be required up to the footpath and this would create an imposing barrier in front of the new dwellings and thus would not be practical. This area would remain as public open space, and be accessible for public use and maintenance from within the development.
The planning officer concluded by stating that since the January 2021 committee, all concerns regarding the proposal had been reviewed by council officers and the developer, resulting in a development which would be highly accessible, with good connectivity, a good provision of private and public open space, and which encouraged the use of electric vehicles.
Mr. Norman Griffiths had been registered to speak to the committee but was not present. However, his statement had been sent to the committee by democratic services officer prior to the meeting.
Ms. Caroline Green, the agent, spoke in support of the application.
A statement by Mr. David Hignell, Chairman of the Millennium Common Management Committee, had been sent to committee by the democratic services officer prior to the meeting.
A statement by Mr. Ian Bush, a local resident, had been sent to committee by the democratic services officer prior to the meeting.
The committee concluded that the proposal represented a good use of a brownfield site. With the amended details relating to LAP and LEAP provision, public open space, garden sizes, the bund and electric vehicle charging points, the proposed development was most acceptable. The Trust’s position on declining the request for the link to Millennium Common in the interests of preserving biodiversity was wholly understandable.
A motion moved and seconded, to grant planning permission was carried on being put to the vote.
RESOLVED: to grant planning permission for application P19/V1728/RM, for the following reasons;
1. Approved plans
3. Estate roads and footpaths
4. Landscaping and S278 works
5. Car parking
6. Cycle parking
7. Visibility splays
9. Electronic vehicle charging
10. Maintenance and upkeep of the site
1. Planning Obligation
2. CIL- reserved matters approval
3. Superfast broadband - 30 plus dwellings
4. Advance payments code – private street works
5. Public highway works
6. S38 / Private streets agreement
7. Thames Water