Agenda, decisions and minutes
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Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Craske and Mulheran. Councillors Milner and Singh attended as their substitutes. There was also an apology from Councillor Jassal.
The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on Wednesday 1 February 2023 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.
No declarations of interest were made.
Planning applications for determination by the Committee
Resolved that application 20221293 be delegated to Service Manager (Planning) to grant Permission in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of Planning Committee subject to the applicant agreeing pre-commencement conditions and finalisation of planning conditions.
The Committee considered application 20221293 - Cascades Leisure Centre, Thong Lane, Gravesend. The application was for the demolition of the existing Cascades Leisure Centre and public house and redevelopment of the site to provide a new leisure centre with community pool, leisure water, cafe, trim trail, soft play, 'clip n climb' facility, a six court sports hall, fitness suite, spin studio, 2 no. fitness studios, 2 no. squash courts, a new tennis/netball court, improvements to the existing play area, landscaping across the site and associated car parking.
The Planning Officer outlined key points from the report:
· The proposed site would include 257 car parking spaces of which 15 were accessible spaces and approximately 25 spaces would have electric charging capabilities. Members were also informed that there would also be the facility of an overflow car park to provide additional parking on competition days.
· The proposed new leisure centre would be constructed on the existing visitor car park as this was considered to be the best position for the new centre having the least impact on biodiversity. The location would also mean that the existing playground and kick about area would remain, but with a new trim trail surrounding it.
· Members were informed that the proposed build site was on previously developed land and prior to being a leisure centre, the site had served as an airfield. The proposal was deemed to be in line with the NPPF Green Belt policy set out in Section 13.
· Members attention was drawn to photographs showing the exterior of the proposed new leisure centre. The Committee were informed that the architect had used a pallet of green, copper, brown and grey coloured aluminium, to replicate the natural colours of the leafy locality of the site, with the riveted metal depicting cladding of aircraft dating back to the period of RAF Gravesend.
· The Committee were informed that some trees would be lost to make way for the development, however a tree replacement plan would ensure replacement native trees of varying species would be replanted on site to increase biodiversity.
· Members were advised that a key consideration for the new centre was to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions omitted from the site. The Planning Officer advised that the applicant had produced a proposal that had been designed to Passivhaus Standards, to achieve a high energy performance certificate. This approach was in line with the Council’s adopted Climate Change Strategy Development Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
· The Planning Officer noted that there was a clear public benefit associated with the proposal, enabling people to live healthier lifestyles and promote participation in sports.
· The proposed development was deemed to be a sustainable form of development that accorded with national and local planning policy.
The Chair asked for clarification regarding public engagement in notification of the planning application and any feedback received. The Planning Officer confirmed that the application had been advertised with 6 site notices surrounding and within the site. Individual letters had also ... view the full minutes text for item 54a
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: -