14/01631/FUL - Herlington House, Benyon Grove, Orton Malborne, Peterborough
- Meeting of Planning and Environmental Protection Committee, Tuesday 18th November, 2014 1.30 pm (Item 5.)
- View the background to item 5.
Councillor Casey retired from the Committee.
The planning application was for construction of an office building and associated external works at Herlington House, Benyon Grove. The application also included alterations to windows and doors at Herlington House and associated external works (relating to the change of use to flats).
The main considerations were:
· Principal of development
· Site History
· Access and Parking
· Impact on nearby residents
· Bin Store
· Section 106
It was officer’s recommendation that planning permission be granted, subject to the conditions set out in the report.
The Head of Development and Construction provided an overview of the application and raised the following key points:
· The existing building had planning permission for the change of use to residential flats. The current application sought permission for the physical changes in relation to this use.
· Also included in the application was a proposal for a single storey office building within the existing car park, which included a pathway to the existing building.
· The access to the car park would be narrowed, however would remain wide enough for two vehicles to park. The access was six metres on either side.
· A bin store was proposed to service the office and flats.
· High levels of representation had been received in objection to the application. These were namely in relation to the proposed access, which was shared with the church.
· No objection had been received from Highways and the access width, storage and design of the proposal was considered satisfactory.
· A letter had been received from the church advising that they would be contacting the application regarding their access rights.
Councillor North declared a non-pecuniary interest in the item, as he was acquainted with parishioners of the church next to the application site. He had not expressed an opinion on this application and did not consider himself to be pre-determined.
Councillor Casey, Ward Councillor, addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· The principal of development was not objected to.
· The proposal would improve the visual amenity of the area and was expected to aid in reducing the level of crime experience in the locality.
· Many of the objections raised were non-material planning considerations.
· The Councillor previous had concerns regarding the appropriateness of the proposals siting, however these had been addressed within the officer’s report.
· It was considered that the development would have an unacceptable impact on the amenity of the neighbours, i.e. the church.
· It was perceived that larger vehicles would no longer be able to access the church, including coaches. It was asked whether Highways officers could confirm if coaches and collection vehicles could access the church and, if not, if the bus stop lay-by could be used for coaches.
· The access for the coach needed to be addressed, whether this be access through the car park or a nearby drop off area.
· There were regular coach trips from the church, which departed from the entrance.
Councillor Okonkowski, Ward Councillor, addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· The car park in question should be used by everybody and it was wrong for the Council to sell the facility.
· The church’s access would be affected. Any vehicle could use the car park at the moment, the proposal would restrict this use.
· The part of the proposal relating the flats within the existing building was acceptable.
· The number of spaces provided in the car park was insufficient.
· The applicant sent a letter to the church stating that they would restrict the use of the car park.
· The open nature of the building could attract problems, more than already experienced. There was current issues on the site with BMX’s. The CCTV units did not prevent this.
· Development should not take place on the car park.
· The bin store had been placed in an inappropriate position.
· The local priest was not happy with the access and thought the officer should be the same width as the current curb.
· The church did have disabled individuals dropped off by coach at the entrance of the church. This was a regular occurrence.
Bill Wilcock, local resident, addressed the Committee in objection to the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· Mr Wilcock described recent problems encountered in the vicinity with vandalism.
· Mr Wilcock had been president of a charity associated with the church.
· 52 seat capacity coaches were used to collect disabled people from the church.
· Benyon Grove was a narrow, winding cul-de-sac.
· The car park was very small and meant that there was competition for spaces. The number of spaces should not be reduced further.
· The additional housing proposed by the development was welcomed.
· The applicant had sent a letter stating that church users would not be able to use the car park.
· The footpath from the bus stop lay-by through to the church was not appropriate for disabled individuals.
Neil Armstrong, Applicant, addressed the Committee in support of the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· Mr Armstrong was the Director of Quest Site Services, which was not in any financial difficulty. The site in question had been purchased several years ago for US partners. However, this partnership was no longer in existence and the building was too large.
· The application in front of the Committee was for the material changes to the building for residential use, including defined walkways.
· The company was small and a new building on the existing site was considered to be the best way forward.
· The money saved from using the car park was put towards improving the security of the site.
· The car park provided three more spaces than necessary.
· Meetings had been carried out with the church and the police, and requests such as the relocation of the bin store had been acted on.
· The design of the development was sympathetic to the existing buildings.
· Access was considered during the design stage and it was noted that the entrance to the Herlington Centre was narrower with more bends than the proposed access of the car park.
· There was no proposed change to the access rights of the church. Models had been undertaken with a coach and no problems had been encountered.
· A maximum of approximately 3 spaces would be used by employees, as the majority cycled to work.
· There were very few deliveries associated with the company. This would usually be through courier, no large delivery vehicles.
The Head of Development and Construction advised that neither the occupation or not of the current buildings, or previous ownership of the land were relevant to the Committee’s decision. There had been no objection from the Police Architectural Liaison Officer regarding anti-social behaviour. From discussion with the church it was noted that the current coach access to the car park was tight. It needed to be established whether a coach could effectively use the car park currently and if it could, whether the proposal would affect this use.
The Principal Engineer (Highway Control) advised that the required width of a state road was 5.5 metres. As such, the manoeuvring space of the proposal was considered acceptable. The bin store was located near to the public highway to allow for easier access. Coach access was not considered when new churches were developed and it was believed that the existing coach access was a struggle.
The Committee discussed the application. Several Committee Members noted that the design and location of the proposed office building was incongruous. Concern was expressed regarding the access to the site. The Committee were reluctant to make a decision on the application with first examining tracking information for coaches on the site. It was further considered that more information was required regarding the use of the bus stop lay-by and disabled access.
The Planning and Highways Lawyer advised that if the Committee were minded to defer the application, it would need to clearly outline the reasons for deferral as it would be considered to accept all other matters within the application. It was also explained that all impact would need to be examined in relation to the existing situation.
A motion was proposed and seconded to defer the application to further investigate accessibility for hearses and fire engines, and whether access for disabled individuals was possible on coach via existing arrangement or from the bus stop lay-by. The motion was carried, six voting in favour, one voting against and one abstaining from voting.
RESOLVED: (six voted in favour, one voted against, one abstained from voting) that the application be DEFERRED to further investigate accessibility for hearses and fire engines, and whether access for disabled individuals was possible on coach via existing arrangement or from the bus stop lay-by.
Reasons for the decision
For officers to investigate accessibility for hearses and fire engines, and whether access for disabled individuals was possible on coach via existing arrangement or from the bus stop lay-by.
- 5.2 - Location Plan 1401631 Herlington House, Benyon Grove, Orton Malborne, item 5. PDF 6 MB
- 5.2 - 1401631 Herlington House, Benyon Grove, Orton Malborne, item 5. PDF 135 KB