Agenda item

20190155 - Land at 270-340 Valley Drive, Gravesend - Demolition of four, two-storey existing flat blocks consisting of 36 bedsits, as well as associated outbuildings, enclosures and garage structure; redevelopment of the site to provide two, two and three storey blocks with ancillary structures, associated car parking, landscaping and new access from Valley Drive. The blocks will contain a total of 48 affordable units including 32 x 1 bedroom rented flats for over 55's, as well as 16 general needs flats - report herewith

Decision:

Resolved that application 20190155 be DELEGATED to the Assistant Direct (Planning) and/or the Planning Manager (Development Planning) to GRANT planning permission subject to:

1.    Securing the appropriate financial contributions in regard to requests from Kent County Council (KCC), Dartford & Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group and Strategic Access and Mitigation Measures Strategy (SAMMS) tariff prior to the commencement of the development. With regard to KCC contributions this is subject KCC providing up to date financial contribution figures on primary education, secondary education and libraries by 5th June 2019. If no figures are provided the Unilateral Undertaking will proceed without KCC contributions.

2.    The imposition of appropriate planning conditions as set out in the supplementary report with an additional pre-occupation condition requiring details of the management plan for the management of communal areas.

Minutes:

The Board considered an application reference 20190155 which sought to demolish four 2-storey existing blocks of flats consisting of 36 bedsits, as well as associated outbuildings, enclosures and garage structure, redevelopment of the site to provide two, two and three storey blocks with ancillary structures, associated car parking, landscaping and new access from Valley Drive. The blocks would contain a total of 48 affordable units including 32 x 1 bedroom rented flats for over 55’s, as well as 16 general needs flats.

The Principal Planner (Major Sites) advised that the site was on the west side of Valley Drive and had been constructed in the 1960’s. The proposed scheme makes efficient use of the land and provides an acceptable layout which the current scheme fails to achieve. Three mature trees would be lost in order to make the most effective use of the site. However, additional planting was proposed to mitigate the loss and would be conditioned. The proposed development has no adverse impact on neighbouring properties and no objections to this application had been received.  It was noted that Kent County Council had not provided financial development contributions and the officer recommended a time limit for payment be imposed after which the County Council should be omitted from the legal agreement.

The application was before the Committee because it was a major development proposal and the Local Planning Authority was the applicant.

The following points were made during discussion on this application:

·         Following a question on the ratio of the number of parking spaces (42) to the number of flats (48) the officer replied that the site was constrained and had been designed to achieve the most efficient layout and parking had been balanced against the need for amenity space.  32 of the flats would be for the over 55’s and previous experience had proved that this older age group were less likely to own a car. There was also a bus stop nearby. There were also bicycle and scooter stores and other storage.

·         It was noted that the bedsits on the current site were very cramped and not suitable for the needs of modern living. The new development meets space standards and supplied storage. The ground floor flats had been designed for wheelchair access and the flats above could therefore include a study which could be used as an additional bedroom.

·         The lift in the proposed development would be of a good size to accommodate wheelchair users.

·         The Board noted that there would be two distinct sites which would be separated by 1.8 metre fencing which would be conditioned.

·         Following a question about the maintenance of the soft landscaping, Members were advised that there would be a planning condition for a management plan for the maintenance of the building and the landscaping etc. It was also intended that raised planting beds be included in the scheme to encourage resident involvement.

·         The Principal Planner (Major Sites) agreed to consult the Chair and Vice-Chair with regard to the soft landscaping and the type of semi-mature trees.

Resolved that application 20190155 be DELEGATED to the Assistant Direct (Planning) and/or the Planning Manager (Development Planning) to GRANT planning permission subject to:

1.      Securing the appropriate financial contributions in regard to requests from Kent County Council (KCC), Dartford & Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group and Strategic Access and Mitigation Measures Strategy (SAMMS) tariff prior to the commencement of the development. With regard to KCC contributions this is subject KCC providing up to date financial contribution figures on primary education, secondary education and libraries by 5th June 2019. If no figures are provided the Unilateral Undertaking will proceed without KCC contributions.

2.      The imposition of appropriate planning conditions as set out in the supplementary report with an additional pre-occupation condition requiring details of the management plan for the management of communal areas.

 

Note:  (a)        Mrs Sharon Donald (Agent)(a supporter) addressed the Board.
(b)        Mr Neill Campbell (Architect)(a supporter) addressed the Board.
(c)        Cllr Steve Thompson spoke with the leave of the Chair.

Supporting documents: