Agenda, decisions and draft minutes
Venue: Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent
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Apologies for absence
No apologies for absence were received.
The minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on Wednesday, 27 October 2021 were agreed and 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 Rice declared an Other Interest in relation to application Item 5b – 20211213 – Tranklyn, Wrangling Lane, Luddesdown, Gravesend as he was one of the Ward Councillors. Cllr Rice removed himself from the Planning Committee and spoke only as a Ward Councillor. Cllr Rice did not participate in any discussions and did not vote on this item.
Cllr Rice declared an Other Significant Interest in Item 5D – 20210453 Former Cinema Site, 11 King Street, Gravesend Kent as he is a Director of Rosherville Limited, a Local Authority Trading Company (LATCo). The LATCo is bringing forward The Charter development. As he considered that the interest may reasonably be regarded as affecting the financial position of Rosherville Limited, Cllr Rice withdrew from the meeting for the duration of the item.
Planning applications for determination by the Committee
Resolved that application 20211047 be REFUSED Planning Permission as per the Officer recommendation set out in the main Agenda:
1. The proposed development would fail to comply with the Guidance to HMO Amenity Standards in respect of the living conditions for future occupants of the proposed HMO, with regard to inadequate provision of acceptable kitchen/living/dining and bedroom spaces, and the failure to demonstrate appropriate provision for hand wash basins, bathroom ventilation, and refuse storage. The proposal would therefore fail to provide a high standard of amenity for future users, which would conflict with the requirements of the Guidance to HMO Amenity Standards 2006, saved Policy H5 of the Gravesham Local Plan First Review 1994, Policy CS19 of the Gravesham Local Plan Core Strategy 2014, and paragraph 130 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.
2. The proposal fails to secure a contribution towards strategic mitigation measures within the Thames Estuary and Marshes SPA/Ramsar Sites to resolve disturbance issues to wintering birds, and in the absence of this contribution or any evidence to inform an appropriate assessment, the development fails to comply with the requirements of the Habitat Regulations and paragraphs 174 and 180 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2021 and Policy CS12 of the Gravesham Local Plan Core Strategy 2014.
The Committee considered 20211047 in relation to 25 The Avenue, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0NA. Theapplication wasfor the retrospective application for change of use from a dwelling house to an 11no. bedroom house of multiple occupation (HMO).
The internal alterations to the ground floor create 4 bedrooms, a kitchen/sitting area and two WC/shower rooms. The first floor contains 4 bedrooms, a bathroom and a WC/shower room, and the second floor has 3 further bedrooms. There are no external alterations.
The Senior Planner introduced application 20211047 to the Committee and highlighted key points from the report.
· The site lies close to the town centre in a mixed residential area, and in the Pelham Road / The Avenue Conservation Area. The property is one of a group of large semi-detached houses of identical design. The area is mainly residential but includes a mix of residential uses, including supported accommodation (No. 2) and bedsits (Nos 4 and 17) and other HMO’s (Nos 5 and 15).
· Due to the size of the property (over 3 bedrooms), its suitable location and existing mixed residential use of the area, an HMO use is considered appropriate for this site, and complies with the requirements of saved Policy H5 of the 1994 Local Plan and Policy C14 of the 2014 Core Strategy.
· There are no proposed external alterations, which will retain front and rear gardens as existing. The proposal is therefore considered to preserve the character and appearance of the application site its and the surrounding Conservation Area.
· The site had permission earlier this year for a single storey rear extension, which will now be used to provide bedrooms. There are 4 bedrooms on the ground floor, two of which are accessed through the shared kitchen/sitting space, which is the only shared space provided for the whole house and its 11 residents. There are also two separate WC/shower rooms on this floor.
· There are a further four bedrooms on the first floor, together with a separate bathroom and shower room.
· There are three further bedrooms in the roof space of the house. It is not clear how many occupants there will be per bedroom as no room layouts had been provided. If any of the bedrooms are intended to be double rooms, there could be between 11 and 22 occupants at the property. However, the application had been assessed on face value and in relation to 11 persons.
· The main concern with the proposal relate to the impact on the amenity of the any future occupiers of the HMO. The Council has a Guidance to Amenity Standards document that is intended to assist in the provision of accommodation in HMOs that contributes to a safe and healthy environment for occupants and visitors. The guidance includes minimum bedroom sizes, which much be met to comply with the requirements on HMO licences.
· The amenity standards set out that a bedroom occupied by a person over 10 years old should be a minimum of 6.51 square metres. Room 10 scales ... view the full minutes text for item 36a
Resolved that the application be APPROVED Planning Permission, as the harm by reason of inappropriateness and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by other considerations (which include consideration of the applicants health, availability of suitable accommodation in the area, and possibility of extending/improving/ redeveloping the applicant’s existing home), which when taken together amount to the very special circumstances necessary to justify the development, subject to conditions which include permitted development rights being removed.
Cllr Rice moved from his seat on the Planning Committee to the Ward Councillor’s seat and only spoke as a Ward Councillor for the duration of this item.
The Committee considered 20211213 in relation to Tranklyn Wrangling Lane Luddesdown Gravesend. Theapplication wasfor the erection of replacement dwelling and associated works.
The Service Manager (Planning) introduced application 20211213 to the Committee and highlighted key points from the report.
· The proposal before Members is for the erection of a replacement dwelling.
· The application site is a detached bungalow located within the Green Belt and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The previous application, refused in June 2021, was identical to this application.
· The proposal before Members is for the replacement dwelling to be built further east within the site
· The site falls away towards the east and the applicant is seeking to utilise the change in topography to build a larger building, with a similar ridge height to the existing dwelling.
· The applicant’s landscape work identifies that the site is well screened by existing trees, the applicant’s landscape work sets out there would be minimal to no landscape effects, with some beneficial effects, however as set out in the report, this is disputed.
· The applicant’s main reason for submitting the application has been to seek the Council’s views on the NPPF’s requirements as set out in Para 149. and whether or not the development is considered to be materially larger.
· The term ‘materially larger’ is not defined in the NPPF, but as set out in the report has been considered by Courts, Court judgements set out that factors such as footprint, floor space, volume and massing should be considered, with floor space being an important factor.
· The proposed replacement dwelling would be 87% larger than the original dwelling.
· Further analysis showed that there is a significant increase in size and bulk, which has resulted in materially larger footprint and massing of the dwelling.
· Paragraph 147 of the NPPF stated that inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green and should not be approved except in very special circumstances, taking into account Paragraph 148 of the NPPF, no such case had been put forward during the application.
In response to Members questions on the clarification of the application, the Service Manager (Planning) explained that:
· The Service Manager (Planning) explained that the Planning Officer could not confirm what would be acceptable regarding paragraph 149 which states the replacement of a building is an exception to green belt policy, subject to the new building being in the same use and not materially larger than the one it replaces.
· Pre-planning advice was not sought for this application following the previously refused application.
· The Chair asked that although this property was in a Green Belt area, there had been no objections from Kent Downs AONB Management Unit, no neighbour objections, no issues with highways and it seemed the issue was principally the size of the replacement dwelling in comparison with the current dwelling. ... view the full minutes text for item 36b
Resolved that the application be DEFERRED Planning Permission, for the following reasons:
1) The amended plans received prior to the meeting to be assessed for further negotiations to take place.
2) Consultations to be undertaken.
3) The Applicant to provide supporting revised documentation
4) To produce a revised financial viability statement on the impact of the revised scheme including delivery of affordable housing.
Once this has all be completed, this will then be brought back to the Committee to be determined.
Cllr Tony Rice left the meeting for the duration of this item.
The Committee considered 20210453 in relation to Former Cinema, 11 King Street, Gravesend Kent. Theapplication wasfor the repair, restoration, extension and repurposing of 11-12 King Street to provide a residents' workhub at ground floor level and 6 flats above along with the construction of a new building to the rear standing between part 6 and part 9 storeys to contain 47 flats together with car and cycle parking, refuse and recycling storage and private and communal amenity spaces.
The Chair reminded the Committee that at the previous meeting there had been a good debate about this application and that it had been deferred for a site inspection and the Senior Planning Officer would summarise the main points of the application.
The application had been considered at the 27 October Planning Committee where Members resolved that the application be deferred for one cycle for a site inspection, which took place on 13 November.
The Supplementary Report in the pack set out the discussions held at that inspection.
There had been no new information accepted by officers on this application since the October meeting and therefore no changes to the original report.
As set out in the main and supplementary report, the proposed development would provide a net increase of 53 dwellings, develop a vacant and underused site, be a sustainable form of development in terms of location and construction methods, be acceptable in relation to parking and highway safety, refuse, flood risk and drainage and contaminated land (subject to conditions).
However, notwithstanding the proposed development would be unacceptable in design and heritage terms, the amenity of occupiers and neighbouring properties and would not protect the Thames Estuary and Marshes Ramsar site and Special Protection Area.
In response to Members questions on the clarification of the application, the Senior Planning Officer explained that:
· On 17 November, following the site inspection, Planning did receive a pack of revised information from the Agent but due to the scale of changes being proposed there would need to be a full review. Not all the necessary supporting documentation was attached. A consultation of neighbouring properties and full assessment by officers would need to be undertaken. As this was not possible before the date of this Committee, it was suggested to the Applicant/Agent that the application be withdrawn and a new application submitted. The Applicant/Agent did not want to withdraw the current application and wished to proceed to this Committee.
· The Team Leader (Development Management) explained that the additional information was not requested by the Planning Officer, it was submitted by the Agent following the site inspection. Due to the lack of time, the additional information could not be reviewed fully by the date of this Committee.
· The Chair reminded members that Officers would need time to consider the implications of the revised amendments.
The Committee heard the views of a public speaker in favour of the application.Following theaddress ... view the full minutes text for item 36c
This Planning Application was withdrawn.
This Planning Application was withdrawn.
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 (Environment) under delegated powers had been published on the Council’s website.