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 for absence was received from Cllr Samir Jassal and Cllr Wardle attended as his substitute. An apology was also received from Cllr Williams.
The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on Wednesday 26 July 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.
A voluntary declaration of interest was received from Cllr Lee Croxton in relation to application 20221187 - The Maltings. He notified the Committee that he lived in close proximity to The Maltings and that although not a member of the church, he was aware of their work within the community. Cllr Lee Croxton informed Members that he had an open mind in regard to the application, however other than acting as Chair, he would not pass comment or vote in respect of the application.
The Committee considered the report relating to officer delegation in respect of taxi and private hire licence revocations. The purpose of the report was to update the Planning Committee on matters delegated to it, within the Council’s Constitution and seek a temporary amendment to officer delegations, to support effective regulation of Hackney Carriage and private hire driver, vehicles and operators.
The Regulatory Service Manager informed the Committee that traditionally under the Council’s current constitution, the decision to revoke a licence must be made through the Planning Committee. He advised that there had recently been an incident where urgent action was required and the most appropriate course of action was to immediately revoke a licence, due to the severity of the case. However, this was not possible due to need to present the case to Planning Committee. It was fortunate that in this particular situation an alternative option was established, with the driver in question surrendering his licence.
The Regulatory Service Manager informed the Committee he was seeking Member approval for a temporary 12 month delegated authority to be given to the Director (Communities and Inclusive Growth), to revoke licences until the Gravesham constitution was updated.
The Committee agreed the temporary amendment.
Planning applications for determination by the Committee
RESOLVED that the Head of Planning is given delegated authority in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair, to grant Permission subject to finalisation of planning conditions and the completion of a Section 106 agreement. In the event of the Section 106 agreement not being completed, the planning application will be reported back to Planning Committee for redetermination.
The Committee considered application 20221187 - The Maltings, Lower Higham Road Gravesend Kent. The application was for the change of use of the Maltings, Lower Higham Road, Gravesend, DA12 2LY from offices (formerly class B1), showroom (formerly class A1) and workshop (formerly class B1) to a mixed use of education (class F1a) and a place of religious worship (class F1f).
The Team Leader informed Members that the site was currently occupied by the City Praise Centre and the application was seeking permanent permission to use the site for mixed use purposes. The Committee were informed that the application only related to The Maltings area and not the Church itself.
Members were informed that temporary planning permission was first granted in 2017 for a 4 year period. The reason for the temporary permission was to assess the impact of the proposed use on the wider community, particularly in relation to the parking provision. The permission was renewed again in 2021 for a 2 year period as the impacts had not been able to be assessed due to Covid impacts, and now the applicant sought permanent permission.
It was noted that as part of the original permissions, the applicant had secured an additional 77 car parking spaces from the neighbouring North Kent College. This arrangement was based on a 5 year rolling contract which was dated January 2018. A revised agreement or proof that they agreement was still in place had not been provided. Members were informed however that the applicant had provided evidence of an agreement with Westcourt School to use their 100 car parking spaces as an overflow car park provision.
On the basis of satisfactory parking provision, the Team Leader advised that the application for continued and permanent use of the site for worship and education was acceptable in principle. She went on to say that a Section 106 agreement would ensure that a total of 128 parking spaces were provided both on and off site as well as the parking being monitored. This agreement would also include a Travel Plan which would ensure sustainable access, plus facilitate and promote the use of sustainable modes of transport to a target audience. The Team Leader explained that although the temporary permission had stood since 2017 with minimal impact in relation to parking in the surrounding area, this had been due to the parking arrangement with the College. A renewed parking agreement with the college has not been provided alongside the application and therefore to prevent any detrimental impact on the surrounding area, it was imperative to secure sufficient parking through a Section 106 agreement.
The Team Leader concluded that subject to planning conditions and parking provision being secured via a Section 106 agreement, the proposal was compliant with national and local planning policies.
Members were invited to ask questions for clarification:
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.