Issue - meetings

20220728 - Former Gurdwara, Clarence Place, Gravesend

Meeting: 26/10/2022 - Planning Committee (Item 32)

32 20220728 - Former Gurdwara, Clarence Place, Gravesend pdf icon PDF 3 MB


Resolved that application 20220728 be DELEGATED to the Service Manager (Planning) in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair, to grant permission subject to planning conditions and the completion of a section 106 legal agreement.



The Committee considered planning application 20220728 in relation to the former Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, Clarence Place, Gravesend, Kent.  The application was for the conversion of the existing building to accommodate 14 residential apartments with ancillary cycle and bin storage facilities.


The Planning Officer informed the Committee that the application site was centrally situated on the northern side of Clarence Place and opposite the Windmill Hill Gardens/Recreational Grounds, which contained a Grade II Listed War Memorial. The rear of the site faced onto William Street. 


The Planning Officer referred Members to sections 1.1 – 1.7 of the main report, which outlined the key points.  The Committee were informed that the building had been vacant for 12 years and was in a state of disrepair. 


The Planning Officer informed the Committee that the proposal was for a car free scheme, due to the footprint of the existing building, no onsite parking was possible.  As the site was within easy walking distance to the town centre and within 5 minutes’ walk to Windmill Street, (where public transport and local amenities could be found), this was considered a sustainable development.  Members were advised that residents had raised concern over the potential increased demand for on street parking in the vicinity but were assured that a traffic management plan had been proposed which would be subject to a planning condition.  Members were notified that the proposed scheme in relation to parking offered no conflict with Local or National Planning Policy.


It was mentioned that the former Gurdwara fell within the Windmill Hill Conservation Area and was identified as one of the principal landmarks within the Conservation Area.   It was noted that the site offered a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and although not a listed building, it was a non-designated heritage asset. The proposed conversion to the building would preserve and enhance the appearance.


The Planning Officer addressed the concerns of residents with regards to neighbouring properties being overlooked.  As the proposal was to convert the original building, it was highlighted that there were existing windows on the east and west flank elevation, but these would have obscured glazing which would be controlled by condition.


It was also noted that the proposal of 14 apartments would offer a modest contribution towards the Borough’s housing need.


The Committee heard the views of registered speakers in favour of the application

who clarified the following points:


·       There would be a detailed survey carried out of the building.  Concern was raised as to the material used on the exterior.  The agent advised that the suggestion of removing the current longstanding render could prove problematic.  He advised that from experience, stonework underneath render could absorb moisture from the render and therefore when removal was attempted could remove a layer of the stone.  The Committee was advised that if it was not possible to remove the render then other options would be investigated to ensure the appearance was in keeping, such as painting the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32