Agenda, decisions and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1AU. View directions
Contact: Committee Section Email: email@example.com
Apologies for absence
An apology of absence was received from Cllr Bob Lane and Cllr Frank Wardle attended as his substitute.
The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on Wednesday 27 July 2022 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 Sullivan declared an interest in application 20220226 - Former Northfleet Cement Works, The Shore, Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent as she was Gravesham Borough Council’s (GBC) representative on Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s (EDC) Planning Committee.
Cllr Craske also declared an interest in in application 20220226 - Former Northfleet Cement Works, The Shore, Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent as he was Cllr Sullivan’s substitute on EDC’s Planning Committee.
Planning applications for determination by the Committee
Resolved that application 20220226 be DELEGATED to the Service Manager (Planning) in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair to grant temporary planning permission subject to conditions and informatives.
The Committee considered planning application 20220226 in relation to Former Northfleet Cement Works, The Shore, Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent. The application was for temporary access and associated landscaping and parking for the sales suite at Northfleet Embankment West site.
The Senior Planner informed the Committee that the application site was located on the eastern side of College Road, near to the junction with Warwick Place, within the urban area of Northfleet where the character of the street scene was predominantly residential. To the north of the site stood a row of two storey dwellings, two pair of semi-detached dwellings and one detached dwelling in the middle. Parking for these properties was a mix of on and off road. Directly opposite to the west was a high brick boundary wall with residential properties behind. To the south was Warwick Place and further residential properties of mixed tenure. Due to the location of the proposed development within the Borough’s urban area, the principle of development would be acceptable providing it accorded with the local and national policies as set out in the report.
The site for the proposed access and parking area is within the Gravesham Borough Council boundary, whereas the wider Northfleet Embankment East development, known as Harbour Village falls within the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) boundary.
The Senior Planner informed Members that the developer for Harbour Village proposed to utilise a number of units within the Harbour Village development as show homes for prospective purchasers. The proposed access and parking to which this application pertained, would provide access to these to show homes. The proposed temporary permission would be for 3 years with the site being restored to its former condition on expiry. Members were advised that a proposed restoration plan had been submitted with the application. The plan included the removal of all the hardstanding and parking areas located within the application site and replaced with amenity grass and ornamental hedging, shrubs and borders. There would also be additional tree planting to the west of the site in replacement of the access.
The Senior Planner advised that the Council was currently unable to demonstrate a five-year housing supply and whilst the proposed development was not going to deliver any dwellings itself, it was required to assist in the delivery of 532 homes within Gravesham. Therefore, on that basis, the Officer’s recommendation was that temporary permission be granted.
Members were invited to ask questions for clarification.
The Committee asked who would be responsible for maintaining the restored site after the permission had lapsed. The Service Manager (Planning) confirmed that it would be the responsibility of Bellway Homes to upkeep and maintain.
The Committee heard the views of the registered speakers in favour of the application who also answered questions from Members.
The Committee also heard the views of Cllr Lauren Sullivan, Ward Councillor for Northfleet North.
The Committee expressed concerns regarding:
· The ecological impact the proposed temporary access could cause and whether the site had been cleared prior to the ecological ... view the full minutes text for item 24.
Resolved that application 20220813 be REFUSED planning permission as per the grounds set out in the report.
The Committee considered planning application 20220813 in relation to the Prince Albert, 26 Wrotham Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 0PW. This application was for the continued use as a Public House and Restaurant with the creation of an ancillary Shisha area. As part of the application, permission was sought to retain the timber structures within the beer garden, with minor amendments, for use as outdoor restaurant seating and for smoking shisha.
The Planning Officer advised that the site was adjacent to the Town Centre Opportunity Area as designated by Gravesham’s Local Plan Core Strategy (LPCS) (2014) and was within the Upper Windmill Street Conservation Area.
The Committee was informed that a timber structure was erected on site, and this was subsequently brought to the attention and investigated by GBC Planning Enforcement in June 2021. The structure was said to be temporary by the owner but required planning permission. However no application was submitted. The structure was later extended and converted into a shisha bar (February 2022), with advertisements erected within the Conservation Area. GBC Environmental Protection was notified of the development and in its own investigation found that the structure was substantially enclosed, and was non-compliant as either a smoking shelter or a Shisha bar, contrary to the Health Act 2006.
The Planning Officer advised that there were two main issues with the proposal; the poor quality of design and material used in a Conservation Area and the impact of the proposal on the neighbouring amenity, with noise, fumes and potential anti-social behaviour. On that basis, the Officer’s recommendation was for refusal.
Members were invited to ask questions for clarification with the following points being raised:
· Members referred to the layout of the structure. The plan showed two areas one for the outside restaurant and one for the smoking area and asked whether they were separate. The Planning Officer confirmed that the two areas were separate
· Members queried why this application was not a retrospective planning application and why it was being presented to the Committee due to other departments having outstanding enforcement issues with the establishment. The Service Manager (Planning) advised that planning legislation allowed for applicants to submit planning applications for development where no Enforcement Notice has been issued and that the application would need to be determined inline with the Development Plan and material considerations.
The Committee heard the views of Cllr Baljit Hayre, Ward Councillor for Pelham.
The Committee expressed concern regarding the impact the proposal would have on the Conservation Area and neighbouring amenity, with noise, fumes and potential anti-social behaviour.
Resolved that the application be REFUSED for the following reasons:
1. The proposed change of use of the beer garden into a shisha area will materially
impact the amenity of adjoining neighbours by virtue of unacceptable levels of noise
and disturbance as well as fugitive odours. The unsubstantial structure will shelter
users in all weather conditions enabling year-round use, but cannot achieve adequate sound proofing or smoke and odour control to mitigate noise nuisance and ... view the full minutes text for item 25.
Resolved that application 20220659 be APPROVED subject to conditions and informatives as set out in the report.
The Committee considered planning application 20220659 in relation to St Peter And St Paul’s Church, East Milton Road, Gravesend. The application was for repairs to the flint faced boundary wall along East Milton Road, new section of retaining wall and installation of 1220mm high railings.
The Senior Planner informed the Committee that the proposal would provide much needed repair works to an already collapsed section of the flint boundary wall along East Milton Road and prevent further collapse.. The section of wall would be rebuilt as a retaining wall and would be faced with re-used flints and if any shortfall, flints to match the existing ones would be sourced and used. It was therefore considered that the rebuilt wall would be a solid and sympathetic alteration which would reinstate the wall and protect its future.
The proposed railings which would provide protection to users of the churchyard given the differences in land levels between the church and pavement and would be a sympathetic addition to the wall. Overall, it was considered that the proposal would protect the setting of this grade II* listed building and would not cause any harm. Due to the proposed excavation of a section of the churchyard behind the section of wall to be rebuilt, in order to construct the retaining wall and its reinstatement, no development will take place until an archaeological watching brief has been undertaken and approved by the Local Planning Authority which will be secure by condition. On that basis, the Officer’s recommendation was for permission.
The Committee was invited to ask questions for clarification.
Members agreed that the repair work was much needed, to restore the heritage of the wall and for the safety of passers-by.
Resolved that the application be PERMITTED subject to the following conditions and informatives:
1. The development hereby approved shall be begun not later than 3 years following the date of this decision.
Reason: In pursuance of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as
amended by Section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.
2. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following schedule of approved plans:
· Application form;
· Drawing no. 5256/GA/200 Rev. B – Existing Site & Block Plan;
· Drawing no. 5256/GA/201 Rev. B – Existing Plan of boundary wall
· Drawing no. 5256/GA/202 Rev. A – Existing Long Elevations;
· Drawing no. 5256/GA/203 – Existing Section for Front of Retaining Wall
· Drawing no. 5256/GA/210 – Proposed Block Plan;
· Drawing no. 5256/GA/211 Rev. C – Proposed plan and elevation of the retaining
· Drawing no. 5256/GA/212 Rev. B – Proposed plan and elevation of the retaining
· Drawing no. 5256/GA/213 Rev. C – Proposed Section for Front of retaining wall
· Drawing no. 5256/GA/214 Rev. A – Proposed Long and Short Elevations;
· Drawing Issue Sheet;
· Statement of Significance; and
· Design & Access Statement.
Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.
1. No development shall take place until the ... view the full minutes text for item 26.
Resolved that application 20220432 be APPROVED subject to conditions, informatives and the completion of a section 106 legal agreement as set out in the report.
The Committee considered planning application 20220432 relating to Former Police Station, 133 Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1DB. The application was for demolition of existing structures on site and the erection of 75 Retirement Living apartments for older people (comprising 48 no. 1-bed and 27 no. 2-beds) including communal facilities, access, car parking and landscaping. The development would be contained within a 5 storey (including roof space) ‘T’ shaped building. The proposal included parking for 24 cars with vehicle access located where the original police station access was in Woodville Place.
The Principal Planner informed the Committee that the former police station which closed in 2008 was demolished in 2016 and since 2008 there had been other applications for mixed development accepted for the site, but they had never progressed. Members were advised that the proposed development would bring forth much needed housing and go some way to meeting the critical need both nationally and locally for older persons housing as identified in the Homes for Later Living Report, September 2019. The provision of retirement housing had the benefit of releasing under occupied family homes back into the housing market.
The design and layout provide a good standard and
quality of accommodation on the site and a high-quality environment
for future residents of the scheme in accordance with national and
local planning policy. The site was situated within the
The access to the development would be via the existing access off Woodville Place and that adequate visibility would be available/achievable from this access.
The Principal Planner advised Members that although the proposed plans had been well received, one concern raised was the ‘island location’ of the site, being surrounded by roads but pointed out that that the retirement flats would be occupied by the active elderly with the average age of 78.
On that basis, the Officer’s recommendation was for permission.
The Committee was invited to ask questions for clarification with the following points being raised:
· Members were advised that there had been a good working relationship with both the agent and applicant during the application process. There had also been engagement with the public from the applicant/agent with a public exhibition.
· This development offered no scope to offer affordable housing, however a section 106 agreement would be completed as a requirement of the permission, which would secure financial contributions towards affordable housing and leisure provision.
· The proposed build would meet the needs of wheelchair users and have access for all.
· Existing trees around the site would remain as they were protected due to being in a Conservation Area.
The Committee heard the views ... view the full minutes text for item 27.
Planning applications determined under delegated powers by the Director (Environment)
A copy of the schedule has been placed in the democracy web library and also in the Reception, Civic Centre: -
A schedule showing applications determined by the Director (Environment) under delegated powers had been published on the Council’s website.