Agenda item

15/01209/FUL - ArcHaus, Peterborough Road, Wansford, Peterborough


The planning application was for the change of use of Ground Floor, ArcHaus, Peterborough Road, Wansford from B1(a) to a mixed use of B1(a) (Office) and Sui Generis (Motorcycle showroom) and construction of a new workshop (B2) adjacent to the existing building.


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 highlighted a number of key issues within the report.


Councillor Pearson, Parish Councillor, addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:

·         Wansford Parish Council raised concerns in relation to the noise that would result from the proposed motorbike workshop.

·         It was suggested that the workshop would create additional noise with the running of engines running and concern was raised that vehicles would be taken for test runs on the village roads.

·         The access onto the A1 was poor and considered dangerous.

·         It was thought the proposal was inappropriate for a village setting and would result in an industrialisation of the area.

·         The Parish Council were in favour of the rejuvenation of the building, however believed that a motorcycle showroom would be inappropriate, and specifically the noise resulting from the proposed workshop.


William McCormack, Harris McCormack Architects, addressed the Committee in support of the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:

·         Mr McCormack explained that his firm had relocated to the site and would not wish to introduce a nuisance use to the area.

·         The applicants were committed to the restoration of the building and wished to keep the use in line with the history of the site.

·         The proposals would be limited via condition to the Ducati dealership.

·         No objections had been received from the Highways Authority, the Police or any of the neighbouring residents.

·         It was highlighted that, within its previous use as a restaurant, there would have been no restriction on whether motorcyclists could visit the site.

·         It was not believed that the sound of the A1 would be made any worse by the provision of a motorcycle showroom and workshop.

·         The Ducati franchise had a set of specifications that this particular showroom would have to adhere to. This included no more than two bikes being worked on at any one time.

·         It was expected that the showroom and workshop would be open during normal business hours, and the showroom would be open for the weekend.

·         Ducati was a premier brand with a target demographic of 28 to 45 year old professionals.


The Committee discussed the application and were pleased to see a heritage asset proposed for regeneration. Taking into consideration the specific brand proposed, the proximity to the A1 and the limited number of motorcycles to be serviced, the proposals were thought to be generally acceptable.


In light of the Parish Council’s concerns, the Committee discussed the inclusion of a condition limiting the hours in which motorcycles could be services. It was believed that this would be sufficient to address the concerns raised. 


A motion was proposed and seconded to agree that permission be granted, as per officer recommendation, with the addition of a condition restricting the workshop servicing hours to  0900 – 1800, Monday to Friday, 0900 – 1300, Saturday, and not at all on Sundays or Bank Holidays. This motion was carried unanimously.


RESOLVED: (unanimous) that planning permission is GRANTED subject to the conditions set out in the report with the addition of:


·         A planning condition that restricted the hours for the work, repairs and servicing of motorcycles to 0900 – 1800, Monday to Friday and 0900 – 1300, Saturday, with none permitted on Sundays or Bank Holidays.


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 site had an existing commercial character located on the edge of the village and the use of the ground floor of the building by a motorcycle dealership would not be uncharacteristic for the site and would support the rural economy and create jobs;

·         The occupation of the building wold bring the Locally Listed building back into beneficial use and ensure its longevity as well as providing a positive contribution to the local area and the scale and design of the workshop were acceptable;

·         There was adequate parking within the site and the access and egress would be improved hence there would be no impact on the highway;

·         The use of the ground floor of the building by a motorcycle dealership would not unduly impact upon the amenity of neighbouring occupiers; and

·         With the noise mitigation measures applied to the workshop the intended use would not result in a significant rise in noise levels.


Hence the proposal accorded with policies PP2, PP3, PP12, PP13 and PP 17 of the Adopted Peterborough Planning Policies DPD, polices CS14, CS16 and CS17 of the Adopted Peterborough Core Strategy DPD and section 3 and 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework.


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