Agenda item

20190503 - Amenity Space, St Patrick's Gardens, Gravesend DA12 4AN

Decision:

Resolved that application 20190503 be DELEGATED to the Assistant Director (Planning) and/or the Interim Planning Manager (Development Management) to grant Planning Permission, subject to:

(a)    Securing appropriate contributions in regard to requests from Kent County Council; and

(b)    The imposition of appropriate planning conditions as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report.

Minutes:

Cllr John Burden remained in the Council Chamber but took no part in the discussions or voting on this application.

The Board considered application reference 20190503 which proposed the erection of a block of flats with ancillary spaces, associated car parking, landscaping and improvements to existing children’s playground in the amenity green space at St Patrick’s Gardens, Gravesend DA12 4AN. The flat block would contain a total of 23 affordable units including 7 one bedroom rented flats and 16 two bedroom rented flats. The Principal Planner (Major Sites) advised that the building was 4 storeys in height which was considered to be in keeping with the character and appearance of the area. In addition, the loss of amenity greenspace which served the existing development known as St Patrick’s Gardens had been balanced with the proposed improvements to the remaining amenity greenspace (landscaping, redevelopment of the children’s play area and the planting of semi mature trees) and this was considered to offset the loss of part of the amenity greenspace including the loss of the mature trees.

The application had been referred for consideration by the Regulatory Board (Planning) as it was a major development proposal for 100% affordable housing and the Local Planning Authority was the applicant.

Members were advised that no objections to the proposal had been received from consultees. Four letters of objection had been received from neighbouring properties which have been carefully considered and none of the concerns raised in the objection letters raise any further issues which have not been already been considered during the planning application.

The following points were made during discussion on this application:

·         A question was raised on the definition of low quality open space in the 2016 Open Space Assessment in that open spaces considered attractive for development might be in danger of always being considered to be low quality.

·         The application was not considered to have any adverse impact on neighbouring properties as the proposal was a significant distance from them.

·         Concern was expressed that semi mature trees would not be as efficient as mature trees in absorbing carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Members were informed that 6 mature trees would be lost and a higher number of semi mature trees would be planted in replacement.

·         Following a question about the height of the building, it was confirmed that the 4 storey proposal was an efficient use of the site and was in keeping with the surrounding area.

·         The Board was advised that a “winter garden” was an enclosed balcony which provided ventilation when the windows were closed, but could be opened fully or partially using a slide and fold system on the top half of the balcony. This would enable residents to use their private amenity space in the winter as well as summer.

·         Concern was raised regarding the proximity of the play area to the road and the car park. It was confirmed that no supervision was to be provided. However, the play area would be fenced, have seating for parents and childminders and would have leading to and from the car park. Officers intended to consult with existing residents as to their requirements for this area. For example, it might be built using natural materials and an outdoor gym incorporated.

·         A landscape architect had been involved in the project since its inception.

·         It was noted that the demand for affordable housing in the Borough was very high and there were currently 2,500 to 3,000 people on the waiting list the majority of which required a 2 bedroom unit.

·         The Board was informed that it was proposed that the previously unused space in the corner of the site be used for car parking and a new waste collection area.

·         With regard to energy efficiency measures, the fabric of the building was considered to be very energy efficient and the units would be very economical to run.  The installation of ducting for car charging points was also proposed. 

Resolved that application 20190503 be DELEGATED to the Assistant Director (Planning) and/or the Interim Planning Manager (Development Management) to grant Planning Permission, subject to:

 

(a)    Securing appropriate contributions in regard to requests

       from Kent County Council; and

(b)    The imposition of appropriate planning conditions as

       detailed in Appendix 1 of the report.

Note:   (a)        Ms Sharon Donald (applicant)(a supporter) addressed the Board.
            (b)        Ms Anna Kadziolka (Architect)(a supporter) addressed the Board.

Supporting documents: