Agenda, decisions and minutes
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Apologies for absence
No apologies for absence were received.
The minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 25 November 2020 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
To declare any interest members may have in the items contained on this agenda. When declaring an interest a member must state what their interest is. Any declared interest will fall into one of the following categories:
A Disclosable Pecuniary Interest which has been or should have been declared to the Monitoring Officer, and in respect of which the member must leave the chamber for the whole of the item in question;
An Other Significant Interest under the Code of Conduct and in respect of which the member must leave the chamber for the whole of the item in question unless exercising the right of public speaking extended to the general public;
A voluntary announcement of another interest not falling into the above categories, made for reasons of transparency.
Cllr Steve Thompson made a voluntary announcement of an other interest in respect of agenda item 5b - Application reference 20200561 Former St John’s Ambulance, Brigade HQ, Armoury Drive, Gravesend as he owned a property and resided 300 metres from the site and he was also one of the Ward Councillors for this area.
Cllr Tony Rice declared a significant interest in agenda item 5a – Application reference 20200343 – Land at Market Square and Horn Yard Car Parks, New Swan Yard, Gravesend, as he was a member of the Rosherville Limited Board who had a pecuniary interest in this development. Cllr Rice left the meeting during discussion and voting on this item.
Cllr Jordan Meade made a voluntary announcement of an other interest in respect of agenda item 5b - Application reference 20200561 Former St John’s Ambulance, Brigade HQ, Armoury Drive, Gravesend as he had formerly been a St John’s Ambulance Cadet and had an enhanced knowledge of the site.
Cllr Jordan Meade also made a voluntary announcement of an other interest in respect of agenda item 5b - Application reference 20200561 Former St John’s Ambulance, Brigade HQ, Armoury Drive, Gravesend in that he lived within the Windmill Hill Conservation Area.
Planning applications for determination by the Board
20200343 - Land at Market Square and Horn Yard Car Parks New Swan Yard, Gravesend, Kent - Erection of 242 no. residential units for Build to Rent (C3 Use Class), within three blocks ranging from 3 to 10 storeys, together with multi-storey car park as well as access, pedestrian links, landscaping, highway and other associated works - report herewith PDF 1 MB
Resolved that application 20200343 be delegated to the Planning Manager (Development Management) in consultation with the Chair of the Planning Committee, for the issue of planning PERMISSION subject to planning conditions and informatives as set out in Appendix C of the report and the completion of the Section 106Legal Agreement.
(Cllr Tony Rice left the meeting.)
Further to a meeting of the Planning Committee held on 22 July 2020, the Committee considered an application reference 20200343 in relation to land at Market Square and Horn Yard car parks, Swan Yard, Gravesend for the erection of 242 residential units for Build to Rent (Cs Use Class) within three blocks ranging from 3 to 10 storeys together with a multi-storey car park as well as access, pedestrian links, landscaping, highway and other associated works.
The Principal Planner (Major Sites) advised that a revised planning application form had been submitted with changes relating only to the notice given/publicised to owners of the site. The information originally provided on previous application form had been incomplete, specifically as there were very small portions of the site which were ‘unregistered’ land, in that the ownership was unknown, and notice had to be made in the local press to attempt to make those potential owners of the unregistered land aware of the application. The officer explained the process followed and stated that this technical error did not affect in any way the validity of any conclusions regarding the merits of the development made of officers or members of the Planning Committee at 22 July 2020 Planning Committee. The officer confirmed that the scheme had not been altered and displayed a land registry plan which showed the unregistered areas of land in white.
The re-consultation process had resulted in 35 responses which had all been addressed in the main and the supplementary reports. One comment mentioned the additional shops and the officer confirmed that the scheme was 100% residential with no retail element. Another comment stated that the application was not policy compliant. However, the officer considered that no further material considerations warranted a change to the application
In conclusion, the officer stated that the application was policy compliant and confirmed that the decision agreed by the Committee on 22 July 2020 still stood.
The application had originally been referred for consideration as a major development proposal.
The Committee heard the views of the public speakers in support of and against the application who answered questions from Members.
The following points were made during discussion on this application:
· Following a “nonsensical design” comment, Members were advised that one of the speakers felt that while there was a need for additional housing in the Borough, this development was aimed at the overflow from London boroughs who would commute to their jobs in London. It would not be popular with Gravesham residents as families did not want to live in 2 bedroom flats in the town centre but would prefer more rural locations. It was considered that the economic landscape had changed this year and that this development did not provide for the people of Gravesham.
· A question was raised on the development not matching the town centre build density which had always been 3 to 4 storeys which some modern builds had followed. This was a super density scheme ... view the full minutes text for item 32a
20200561 - Former St Johns Ambulance, Brigade HQ, Armoury Drive, Gravesend - Demolition of vacant brick buildings and erection of 2 no. one bedroom bungalows and a two storey block containing 4 no. two bedroom flats with associated access from Albert Murray Close and Armoury Drive, car parking, landscaped amenity and ancillary enclosure PDF 261 KB
Resolved that application 20200561 be PERMITTED subject to conditions and informatives as set out in the report including:
1. A condition requiring the implementation of the Code of Construction Management Plan to control the hours of working and levels of noise and pollution. (Based on the wording for Clifton Slipways approval Code of Construction Management Plan Condition.)
2. A heritage interpretation condition in relation to the preservation and conservation of the water tower dated plaque to be agreed before the demolition of the water tower.
3. A condition requiring the re-use of the construction materials from the demolition of the water tower to be used in the construction of the boundary walls where appropriate
4. A condition in relation to the soft and hard landscaping.
The Committee considered an application reference 20200561 for the demolition of vacant brick buildings and the erection of 2 one bedroom bungalows with flexible living space on the first floor and a two storey block containing 4 two bedroom flats with associated access from Albert Murray Close (the block of flats) and Armoury Drive (the bungalows), car parking, landscaped amenity and ancillary enclosure at the former St John’s Ambulance Brigade HQ, Armoury Drive, Gravesend.
The Career Grade Planner showed a site location plan and described the location of the site in relation to the surrounding locality and the buildings currently on the site which included a former barracks building and a water tower. It was noted that the skylights in the bungalows pointed skywards to reduce the impact on neighbouring properties. The bungalows were also sited lower and therefore would not cause any detrimental effect regarding loss of light on neighbouring properties. A plan demonstrating the massing in the area and the location and effect of the proposals was shown as were photographs of the existing buildings on the site.
In conclusion the officer stated that the application was policy compliant and hence the recommendation as set out in the report.
The application had been referred to the Committee as Gravesham Borough Council was the applicant.
The Committee heard the views of public speakers in support of this application who answered questions from Members.
The following points were made during discussion on this application:
· Eighteen objections had been received which mainly related to the character and appearance of the proposal which abutted the Windmill Hill Conservation Area. The officers noted that the design was of a modern development which matched the design of residences to the north of the site. The Conservation Area to the south was separated from the site by a wall.
· Following a question on heritage concerns, Members were advised that Kent County Council (KCC) Archaeological Service had been consulted. KCC had then posed a specific question in relation to the water tower to Historic England who had advised that the water tower was not worth saving and could be demolished after being recorded for historical purposes. Members were shown a map of the location of the water tower on the site and it was noted that the Committee had little faith in opinion of KCC. It was suggested that the water tower be re-evaluated as to whether it was valuable or useful for Gravesham from a heritage point of view and Policy CS20 (paragraph 5.16.10) was quoted in relation to the protection of local heritage.
· Other Members of the Committee were content to accept to opinion of Historic England and for the water tower to be recorded and then demolished. It was also noted that the financial resources for conversion or preservation of the water tower were not available. In addition, some considered that the brownfield site should be used to alleviate the housing shortage in the Borough.
· Officers were advised that Historic England did not ... view the full minutes text for item 32b
Planning applications determined under delegated powers by the Director (Planning & Development)
A copy of the schedule has been placed in the democracy web library and also in the Reception, Civic Centre: - http://bit.ly/1Uwy6bJ.
A schedule showing applications determined by the Director (Planning & Development) under delegated powers had been published on the Council’s website.