The planning application was for the erection of a two storey, 50 bed care home on land to the rear of Thorpe Wood House, Thorpe Wood, to include landscaped gardens, parking and an electricity substation.
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.
Paul Ingle, agent, addressed the Committee in support of the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· The applicants supported the officers report and recommendations included within;
· When the initial vole survey had been undertaken, no water was present in the ditch. It was believed that now was a more appropriate time to take a vole survey, which would be carried out shortly should permission be granted;
· Triple glazing and acoustic vents would be utilised in the rooms closest to the roads; and
· Deference had been paid to the arboricultural advice received, and a natural bund was to be left around the trees subject to Tree Preservation Orders.
The Committee discussed the application and noted that no objections had been raised from local residents or Ward Councillors. The land had been unused for 20 years, and the Committee considered that the proposal would provide benefit in the form of employment and a much needed facility.
In response to questions, the Principal Engineer (Highways) advised that concerns raised regarding vehicle overrun were in relation to private roads and private waste collection, therefore were a private matter for the applicant. Head of Development and Construction advised that if third parties were to park on the site without permission, the applicants could take action against them.
A motion was proposed and seconded to agree that permission be granted, as per officer recommendation, subject to the conditions set out in the report. The motion was carried unanimously.
RESOLVED: (unanimous) that planning permission is GRANTED subject to the conditions set out in the report.
Reasons for the decision
- The applicant had demonstrated that despite various planning approvals and extensive marketing of the development the land has remained vacant, development was therefore considered acceptable in accordance with Section 22 of the National Planning Policy Framework which stipulates that planning policies should avoid the long term protection of employment use where there was no reasonable prospect of a site being used for that purpose.
- The loss of employment land was not considered detrimental to the likely long term supply of available employment land. Employment land was currently under review and new sites would be put forward as part of the development plan making process.
- The design and layout of the building was considered acceptable and would not result in a detrimental impact on the character of the area or neighbour amenity.
- The car parking provision was considered acceptable and a detailed travel plan and cycle parking would be secured by condition. The development would not therefore result in any adverse impact on highway safety.
- An updated Tree Report would be provided by condition. It was therefore considered that suitable tree protection measures and working practices will be followed throughout the construction phase hence the development will not result in an unacceptable impact on the landscape features of the site.
- Suitable ecological enhancements and protection measures would be secured by condition hence the development would not result in an unacceptable impact on the biodiversity of the site.
The development was therefore in accordance with Sections 1 (paragraph 22), Section 7, Section 10 and Section 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework, Policies CS14, CS16, CS21, CS22 of the Peterborough Core Strategy and Policies PP01, PP02, PP03, PP04, PP12, PP13, PP16 of the Peterborough Planning Policies DPD.