Agenda item

14/00536/OUT - Former Site Of Peterborough District Hospital, Thorpe Road, Peterborough


The planning application was for the demolition of existing buildings at the former site of the Peterborough District Hospital. The application included remediation and earthworks, removal of trees and redevelopment to provide residential development of up to 350 residential units of up to four storeys with a total gross external area of up to 33,820 square metres, including retention and residential use of The Gables and 60-62 Thorpe Road, means of access, formal and information open space, a new Community Primary School including the retention and use of part of the Memorial Wind building, associated landscaping, footpaths, secondary access roads and drainage works, with access from Thorpe Road, Midland Road and Alderman’s Drive


The key issues to be considered were:

·         The Principle of Development, including demolition and location of the school site;

·         Traffic Impacts;

·         Design and Layout including impact upon Heritage Assets;

·         Landscape Impacts and Open Space Provision;

·         Ecological Implications;

·         Drainage;

·         Contamination;

·         Archaeology;

·         Section 106 Legal Agreement;

·         Air Quality and Construction Management.


It was officer’s recommendation that planning permission be granted subject to the signing of a legal agreement and conditions.


The Principal Development Management Officer provided an overview of the application and raised the following key points:

·         The Committee had before it an outline application only, with further more detailed applications to be submitted at a future date (reserved matters).

·         The Gables, 60 – 62 Thorpe Road and the administrative core of the Memorial Wing building would be retained, as they were important to the heritage of the site. The remaining buildings were to be demolished.

·         The inclusion of a school on the site would help meet local need and would need to be delivered at the earliest point.

·         It was considered the highways impact of the proposal would not be greater than that of the previous hospital use. With regard to the objections received in respect of St John’s Close the access proposals are acceptable and the applicant cannot be required to rectify existing highways issues, only those which the application created.

·         Traffic lights and crossings were included at various points within the application.

·         There were no objections based on landscaping or drainage at this outline application stage.

·         The update report detailed that prior approval had been granted for the demolition of the Memorial Wing building, excluding the administrative core, and that the S106 highway contribution was £393,000.


Mr Kevin Moriarty, Agent, addressed the Committee in support of the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:

·         A public consultation had been undertaken regarding the proposals in January.

·         350 mixed homes were to be provided alongside a school, which was believed to be of great importance.

·         The proposal would not generate any more traffic than previous use. The applicant had worked with the Council to try and improve the current highway situation.

·         The demolition of 600,000 square feet of buildings would improve the look and feel of the site.

·         Heritage integration was an important part of the proposal.

·         The provision of 600 new school places would be the first area of development within the proposals.

·         Traffic flows had been considered alongside the volume of traffic the development would produce.

·         The method of demolition used on the site would be included within a method statement and environmental action plan, which would require approval from the Council.

·         The applicant aimed to get the road to the walk in centre adopted and work was being carried out with Health Watch to maintain pedestrian access to the centre.


The Committee were happy to see the proposals in front of them and were pleased that the number of dwellings proposed was at the lower end of the scale (as identified in the Hospital SPD which was a material planning consideration). Concerns were raised regarding the school placement next to the Thorpe Road junction and this would need to be considered in the detailed application, as well as the impact on the existing road network.


A motion was proposed and seconded to agree that permission be granted, as per officer recommendation. The motion was carried unanimously.


RESOLVED: (unanimous) that planning permission is GRANTED subject to the signing of a LEGAL AGREEMENT and the conditions set out in the reports.


Reasons for the decision


Subject to the imposition of the attached conditions, the proposal was acceptable having been assessed in the light of all material considerations, including weighing against relevant policies of the development plan and specifically:


The application site was the Hospital Opportunity Area and policy CC13 of the adopted Peterborough Local Plan (First Replacement) promoted the complete redevelopment of this area. The proposed land uses were broadly in accordance with the adopted SPD albeit that it reflected the current market conditions and the requirement of the Council for additional school places. The proposal would therefore facilitate the redevelopment of this area and help to meet housing demand. As such the scheme was considered to comply with polices CS1 and CS8 of the adopted Core Strategy, policy CC13 of the adopted Peterborough Local Plan (First Replacement), policy CC4 of the City Centre DPD (Submission Version) and the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework.


It was not considered that the proposal would have any adverse impact upon highway safety. The new access points were acceptable and contributions toward off site highway improvements were being secured. The site was also a sustainable location close to the city centre. The proposal therefore accorded with policy PP12 of the adopted Planning Policies DPD.


The application allowed for the retention and conversation of the Gables a Listed Building, the conversation of 60-62 Thorpe Road a building of local importance and the retention of the administrative core of the Memorial Wing. The application therefore sought to bring these heritage assets back into active use which will help preserve them in the longer term. It was also considered that the proposed demolition of the hospital block would improve the setting of Sessions House. The proposal was therefore considered to comply with section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework, section 66 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act, policy CS17 of the adopted Core Strategy and policy PP17 of the adopted Planning Policies DPD.


In principle it was considered that the site could be developed without any unacceptable adverse impact upon neighbour amenity and that it could afford the new occupiers a satisfactory level of amenity. The proposal therefore accorded with policies PP3 and PP4 of the adopted Planning Policies DPD.


Subject to conditions the site could be adequately drained and mitigation measures secured to deal with ground contamination. The development therefore accorded with policy CS22 of the adopted Core Strategy DPD and the NPPF.


The application sought to retain the key protected trees within the site and there would not be any significant ecological impacts. The proposal therefore accorded with policy PP16 of the adopted Planning Policies DPD.


The proposal would deliver a new school site which would be key to meeting the need for additional school places in the west place planning area. In addition, S106 funding would be secured for off site highway works, along with contributions toward community and leisure and the environment. The proposal therefore accorded with policy CS13 of the adopted Core Strategy.


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