Retention of the single storey barn, demolition of other existing buildings, and mixed use redevelopment comprise erection of a 3-storey building to the rear, a 2.5 storey building fronting the High Street and a single storey extension to the barn to provide no.13 x residential units (Class C3) and no.2 x Commercial, Business and Service (Use Class E) units, ancillary floorspace, car parking, cycle parking, landscaping, refuse and recycling storage and associated works.
The committee considered planning application P22/V1425/FUL for the retention of the single storey barn, demolition of other existing buildings, and mixed use redevelopment comprise erection of a 3-storey building to the rear, a 2.5 storey building fronting the High Street and a single storey extension to the barn to provide no. 13 x residential units (Class C3) and no. 2 x Commercial, Business and Service (Use Class E) units, ancillary floorspace, car parking, cycle parking, landscaping, refuse and recycling storage and associated works on land at 2A, 2, 6 and 6A High Street, Steventon, Abingdon, OX13 6RS.
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 introduced the report and highlighted that the site was located in the centre of Steventon adjacent to the existing Co-Op. The current use of the site was commercial but the planning officer highlighted that the four buildings on the site were currently vacant. The planning officer noted there were two shop units at the front of the site adjacent to the High Street, at the north of the site there was an existing non-designated heritage barn and a workshop and to the southwest corner of the site there were two 3-storey buildings in commercial use. The planning officer identified that the site incorporated an access from the north of the site from The Causeway and an access from the east of the site from High Street. The planning officer stated it was important to note that the site benefited from a previous consent which was extant. He went on to highlight that the extant permission included changes to the car parking arrangements on High Street, retention of one of the buildings on the front of the site but, most importantly for the application before committee, seven new apartments in two buildings to the rear of the site. The planning officer pointed out these new buildings, granted permission under P21/V0140/FUL, were essentially the same as the new buildings applied for under the application before the committee.
The planning officer informed the committee that the proposal comprised 13 dwellings specifically 12 apartments and one, one bed dwelling within the non-designated heritage barn. The officer went on to confirm that there would be five one-bedroom apartments in the High Street frontage and seven apartments in the new buildings to the rear as granted under the extant permission. In addition two commercial units were proposed. The planning officer advised that there was an error in the officer’s report which stated that the development would provide 17 parking spaces. 16 spaces were to be provided, 13 for the apartments and three for the commercial units. The officer went on to confirm the application had been assessed on this basis and that the correct site plan had been considered. In addition to this there were 38 cycles spaces being proposed and four Sheffield stands on the frontage for use by the commercial units.
The planning officer advised that a question had been raised around the flood risk of the site. He noted that whilst the site was in flood zones one, two and three the applicant had submitted a Flood Risk Assessment which identified a flood risk evacuation route allowing residents to escape in the event of an emergency. The planning officer confirmed should planning permission be granted that it would be conditioned to require more detail of the flood risk evacuation route plan.
Councillor Dr Chris Wilding spoke on behalf of Steventon Parish Council, objecting to the application.
Vanessa Clipstone from Laister Planning Limited, the agent representing the applicant, spoke in support of the application.
Councillor Sally Povolotsky, a local ward councillor, spoke objecting to the application.
The committee enquired as to the planning officer’s opinion on the car parking provision and understanding of applicable Oxfordshire County Council parking standards. The planning officer confirmed that during the life of the application the Oxfordshire County Council parking standards had changed. The standard stated a maximum number of spaces, not a minimum standard. The relevant standards were up to one space per one bedroom and up to two spaces per bedroom. Applying this standard would give up to 18 car parking spaces for the apartments. The planning officer went on to confirm that the number required for buildings in use Class E was variable but that the requirement would be for three to five spaces. The planning officer was therefore of the opinion that the scheme before the committee was in accordance with Oxfordshire County Council parking standards. The committee went on to enquire whether there was a difference between the standards applied to towns and villages. The planning officer confirmed fewer spaces are required for developments in towns and that the application before committee had been assessed against the rural and villages’ standard.
The committee agreed that the site required redevelopment. It reflected that the granting of the extant permission had been an on-balance decision and it felt that the current application was overdevelopment on this small site. The committee had concerns about the requirement for a turntable to make the development work practically and the issues this would come with, such as maintenance. The committee noted that Steventon was overcrowded from a vehicular perspective and there was no parking capacity elsewhere in the village. It felt that the Oxfordshire County Council standards only worked where capacity exists elsewhere.
A motion, moved and seconded, to refuse the application was carried on being put to the vote.
RESOLVED: to refuse planning application P22/V1425/FUL, for the following reason(s):
1. That having regard to the extant permission this current proposal is an overdevelopment of the site, incorporating an overbearing quantum, form and layout of development which is cramped and contrived and unsuitably designed (demonstrated by the inclusion of two turntables for vehicles for example). The overdevelopment would be harmful to the overall character and legibility and appearance of the site and surrounding area, contrary to Vale of White Horse LPP1 policies Core Policy 37 (Design and Local Distinctiveness) and Core Policy 38 (Design Strategies for Major Development Sites).
2. That the access to the proposed development would be highly restricted with improper access and parking arrangements for all vehicles placing undue pressure on the surrounding road network. The access for all vehicles will be highly constrained, it lacks sufficient suitable parking (including residential, commercial and visitor parking) leading to an unsuitable over reliance on the nearby streets for vehicle parking for the new development. This would be harmful to the character and legibility and appearance of the site and surrounding area, have a discouraging and detrimental impact on active modes of travel and would lead to a detrimental impact on highway safety. This is contrary to Vale of White Horse LPP1 policies Core Policy 33 (Promoting Sustainable Transport and Accessibility), Core Policy 35 (Promoting Public Transport, Cycling and Walking) and Vale of White Horse LPP2 Development Policy 16 (Access).
3. In the absence of a signed Section 106 agreement the proposal fails to secure the necessary infrastructure required to mitigate the impact of the proposed development. The infrastructure required the proposal fails to secure includes adequate affordable housing provision at 20%, suitable provision of street naming and numbering, adequate waste management, waste collection and recycling, highways agreements and highways mitigation, contrary to Vale of White Horse LPP1 policies Core Policy 4 (Meeting our Housing Needs) and Core Policy 7 (Providing Supporting Infrastructure and Services) and the National Planning Policy Framework.