Contact: Committee Administration Tel. Nos. 01905 722005 722006 or 722085Items No. Item
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive any declarations of interest,
Application P09F0078: Installation of Roller shutter blinds to shopfront at Ambleside Drive
Councillor M.J. Layland - Councillor Layland was an infrequent customer of the premises in question.
Councillor Williams - Councillor Williams had provided procedural advice to the Applicant. Councillor Williams had neither formed nor expressed any views on the application prior to the meeting. The premises were owned by Worcester Community Housing (WCH) but they were not the applicants. Councillor Williams as a Council appointed Member of the Board of WCH elected to speak and vote on the application.
The following declaration of personal and prejudicial interest was made:-
Application P09N0101: Consultation under Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992 for the demolition of an existing conservatory and construction of new nurture room at Fairfield Primary School, Carnforth Drive
Councillor Mrs. Askin - Councillor Mrs. Askin was a member of the County Council Planning Committee who would determine the application. Councillor Mrs. Askin left the room during consideration of this item.
MINUTES PDF 82 KB
of the meeting held on 2nd April 2009 to be approved and signed.
With reference to Minute 48 and in particular the reference to previous minute 43 on shop grilles and security shutters, Councillor Layland commented that understandably no policy report had been prepared for this Committee due to current staff resource issues.
With reference to Minute 52, Worcester Library and History Centre: Development Forum, The Head of Urban Environment had reported that the event was successful. However, due to the short notice which had been given of the Forum, some groups were unable to be represented, in particular the disability groups. All such groups had been invited to submit views. The Head of Urban Environment considered that it had been a useful exercise for Members, enabling questions to be raised and answered without Members having any preconceived views on the scheme. The Committee asked if the views and points raised had been taken on board by the Project Team. The Committee was pleased to note that further meetings with the Project Team had been held at which some of the issues had been taken into account and further meetings were planned.
The static exhibition was currently being staged at the existing Library and would return to the Guildhall when the application, which had now been submitted, was presented for determination.
The notes of the meeting were with the Head of Urban Environment for his comments. Once finalised these would be published and it was anticipated that they would be presented to the next meeting of the Committee.
The Chairman informed the Committee that, subject to agreement by Council of the meetings schedule, the next meetings of the Committee would be on 14th May and 18th June 2009.
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 2nd April 2009 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
CONSERVATION AREAS ADVISORY COMMITTEE PDF 76 KB
Minutes of the meeting held on 18th March 2009 to be received.
The Head of Urban Environment recommends that planning permission is refused for the reasons set out in the report.
The application was for the installation of external roller blinds/shutters. The applicant was seeking the additional security measures as a result of the shop unit being the target of criminal acts at least three times in the last six months. The latest incident where the window was broken had resulted in the shop front being covered with temporary boarding as the applicant's insurance company now required additional measures to be put in place prior to funds being released for new glazing.
The site was within a Neighbourhood Shopping Centre consisting of six purpose build ground floor commercial units with residential units above. A large parking bay was located at the front of the parade of shops. Four of the units were in retail use, one for a hot food takeaway outlet and one as a turf accountants.
The shop had a CCTV system installed and a security alarm. The shopfront was recessed from the front elevation with a large display window and double entry doors. Adjoining shop units had incorporated a variety of security measures including removable external grilles and external roller shutters.
The roller shutter proposed to be installed consisted of one motorised perforated powder coated shutter covering the display window and one manual shutter in front of the double door entrance. The external shutters would be housed in casing positioned beneath the overhang of the shop front to minimise the visual impact of the system.
The West Mercia Crime Risk Manager had raised concerns regarding the proposals, advising they should be internally fitted and capable of being retracted during opening hours. His opinion was that external shutters undermined the quality of life and community cohesion in an area and did not generate a safe and welcoming environment.
The City Council had adopted Supplementary Planning Guidance 6 to provide guidance and advice on shop fronts and security considerations. Within this guide a variety of security improvements were suggested. External shutters would be considered only as a last resort and as an exception rather than the rule. More appropriate measures were considered to be:-
- Strengthening of the principle entrance door and improvement to locks and securing measures, toughened, laminated or armour plated glass
- Contact sensitive alarm strips
- Additional glazing bars within the window frontage
- External CCTV and surveillance
- Internal lattice grilles of the open mesh type
- Removable external grilles with unobtrusive fixings.
The Head of Urban Environment commented that whilst the shutters would be open during trading hours, it was during the evening when closed that the visual intrusion would occur which he considered would have a detrimental impact on the experience of using the shopping centre affecting the evening or night time vitality of the area.
Negotiations had been undertaken with the applicant to introduce an acceptable scheme to provide the necessary security. The Applicant wished to pursue the style of shutter installation as applied for.
The Head of Urban Environment recommended that as the proposal was contrary to adopted policy, the application should be refused.
The Committee noted that there were various styles of shutters installed on shop fronts throughout the area, including the Police Station. The neighbouring convenience store at the end of the parade of shops had installed solid shutters.
The Planning Section were investigating as to whether any of these premises had authorisation to install the shutters and this would be reported to the Committee at a later stage. It could be that the shutters had been in situ for a considerable length of time and now did not require planning approval.
The Committee noted that the West Mercia Constabulary Beat Manager and the Community Safety Co-ordinator had supported the application. The view of the Committee was that it was preferable to have shutters up on a thriving business as opposed to having a business that was closed down.
The Committee wished to see a more appropriate design of shutter which was acceptable to planning officers. If the installation of external roller shutters was approved, it would be necessary for the design standard to be good, as, although there was no concept of precedent, other retailers would wish to install similar shutters as security measures.
It was proposed and seconded that the application for the installation of external grilles or shutters be approved subject to appropriate conditions and to an appropriate style of grille or shutter, which would have less impact on the street scene, being agreed with the applicant. A further proposal was made that the matter be deferred to enable negotiations for an alternative acceptable system to be put forward, this not being seconded it was
RESOLVED: That the Committee is minded to grant planning permission in respect of application P09F0078, subject to appropriate conditions, delegating to the Head of Urban Environment formulation of conditions to be attached to the approval including conditions to ensure an appropriate style of security grille or shutter was installed which would have less visual impact on the street scene.
The Head of Urban Environment recommends that planning permission is granted subject to the conditions set out in the plans list.
The application was for the continued use of the premises for a period of three years as an assembly and leisure use, children's play area/gymnasium facility. The site was within a Safeguarded Existing Employment Area consisting of a first floor and part of the ground floor of a two storey building.
The Economic Development Officer had commented that there was no objection to the temporary use of this employment site for its current use. The Planning Policy section commented that although the proposal raised an objection on policy grounds, due to the planning history of the site and the current market conditions for commercial property, refusal would be difficult to justify, agreeing however, that any permission should be for a limited period.
RESOLVED: That the Committee unanimously grant planning permission in respect of application P09H0079, subject to the conditions set out in the plans list.
APPLICATION P09N0101: CONSULTATION UNDER REGULATION 3 OF THE TOWN AND COUNTRY GENERAL REGULATIONS 1992 FOR THE DEMOLITION OF EXISTING CONSERVATORY AND CONSTRUCTION OF NEW NURTURE ROOM AT FAIRFIELD PRIMARY SCHOOL, CARNFORTH DRIVE PDF 40 KB
The Head of Urban Environment recommends that the Committee recommend that he respond to the consultation making no planning objection, subject to the conditions set out in the plans list.
The consultation was in respect of a proposal to demolish an existing conservatory and to erect a new more solid structure. The existing structure consisted of a light weight framework supporting a glazing system, the proposed structure would create a far more solid appearance utilising similar materials to the main body of the school, with a zinc roof with domed rooflights and powder coated joinery.
It had been identified that the existing school required a small group teaching space which resembled the home environment. The existing structure did not satisfy these needs and due to its south facing orientation it became warm quickly creating an unsuitable learning environment.
RESOLVED: That the Committee recommend that the Head of Urban Environment respond to the consultation making no planning objection, subject to the conditions set out in the plans list.
APPEAL DECISION: FORMER KAYS SITE, BRANSFORD ROAD
The Planning Inspector's decision had been received regarding the appeal against the refusal of the application for the use of the former Kays site on Bransford Road for residential development. The site was an identified employment site in the Local Plan and the City Council had wished it to remain available for employment use.
The Inspector had allowed the appeal.
The Committee regretted that the Inspector had not supported the City Council. There was concern as to how the authority would now meet its requirements to identify sufficient employment land. The loss of this site could lead to more green field sites having to be identified for employment use. The purchase of the Grove Farm site by the University added to this situation and it was considered essential that this site was maintained in Class B1 use.
It was necessary to ensure a sustainable future for the City, to provide employment for the local people and to provide additional employment for those occupiers of the anticipated additional residential development required in the Regional Spatial Strategy.
The Committee noted that the impact on the employment sites available to the West Side was significant.
The Structure Plan required the City to identify at least 75 hectares of land within its boundaries for employment use. This did not take any account of any potential additional requirements which could come from future Plans or regional Strategies.
The Committee felt it was important to investigate whether there was any potential to challenge the decision. The Barrister who had acted for the City Council could be asked to advise on whether there were areas of the decision making process which could be challenged. This was particularly of interest where the decision appeared to be directly contrary to adopted City Council and County/Regional Policies.
The Inspector appeared to have indicated that the provision of affordable housing had been given significant weight in coming to his conclusion, but it appeared that he had indicated that the Applicant, if desired, could come back and request that the percentage to be provided for affordable units could be reduced, which was going against the recently agreed policy setting the level at 40% of all units to be affordable units.
The Committee also noted that the Applicants had indicated that there was no intention to provide the rail halt which had been advocated for the site. This issue would be referred to the County Integrated Transportation Forum so that the question of provision of a rail halt to the west side could be considered.
The Committee requested that a short briefing note be presented to the next meeting setting out the impact of the decision and any conclusions from the City Council's Barrister in respect of a challenge, which could only be by way of a Judicial Review.
The contradictions which had been noted over the past short period of time between decisions on appeals by various Inspectors were noted. The Committee was pleased to note that the Planning Inspectorate had now confirmed that it was satisfied that the City Council had identified the requisite five year supply of land for residential development, which was an issue in a recent planning appeal decision.