AREA COMMITTEE

 

Item 5.2 – 12/P/1053/F – 85-91 Bristol Road Lower, Weston-super-Mare

 

Amended plans.

 

Revised layout plan (rev E) now submitted. The revisions are:

 

i)                    Increased numbers of on site parking spaces from 23 to 28;

ii)                  The small garden area at the eastern side of the front garden is removed;

iii)                The 2m high timber fence at the eastern rear boundary will extend along the whole of the rear boundary ending level with the front elevation of the villa;

iv)                Front wall gate piers will be rebuilt where missing.

 

Neighbours have been notified of the revised plan and have 14 days to comment which lapses 3rd October. A revised committee resolution is proposed to take this into account.

 

Transportation comments.

 

Following the revised plan there are no objections from the Transport Officer on grounds of parking provision or highways safety provided the conditions set out in the report are applied.

 

Additional information

 

The agent has confirmed that the villas will have photovoltaic panels in their roofs to contribute towards sustainable energy generation. Additionally an existing tree will be retained at the western site boundary. 

 

Biodiversity.

 

Bat surveys have been carried out which have found some evidence of bats roosting at the site. A mitigation report is being prepared which may include the provision of bat accommodation in parts of the villas roof-spaces, which the applicant has agreed to. There may be a need for further surveys, and on current evidence the three tests under the Habitat Regulations (protected species) 2010 (as amended) and a licence from Natural England will be required. Further information is to be provided. The recommendation is amended to accommodate this.

 

Additional neighbour representations.

 

Three additional letters from neighbours have been received. The object to the development on the following additional grounds:

 

1)     Disagree with the committee reports conclusions and consider that neighbour objections have not been taken into account;

2)     Reiterate that the proposed density is not appropriate for this site , the NSC Core strategy proposed a net density of 40 dwellings per hectare ;

3)     The NSC policy is that affordable housing should be integrated in small groups of a maximum of 6 or 12 units in one location depending on tenure;

4)     There is no evidence that the Council’s target of 150 affordable houses per year is not being met;

5)     Comments have not been obtained from the Police Architectural liaison officer;

6)     Impacts from noise and disturbance particularly from bin stores in close proximity to neighbours;

7)     The development proposes the loss of a residential garden which contrary to Core Strategy policies;

8)     The advertising boards outside the flats indicate that luxury apartments are proposed which is misleading;

9)  The Town Council’s comments were made before they have had the opportunity to see the neighbours comments which results in them not representing the residents views.

 

Officer response to points as numbered above.

 

2)     The density suggested in policy CS14 is a target net density across the whole district and is not a rigid rule to be applied to all sites. The policy states that densities may be higher at accessible locations and also encourages the reuse of previously developed land. The site fulfils both of these characteristics. The development will also ensure that the two villas will be retained and restored to a good standard retaining the character of the existing neighbourhood;

3)     The Council frequently delivers schemes that are larger than clusters of 6 – 12 affordable units and the Affordable Housing SPD is out of date in relation to this. It is superseded by Core Strategy policy CS16 which states that there is no upper limit to the potential affordable housing provision and that a target of 30% on site is a starting point.

4)     The Council’s target is for a minimum of 150 affordable units per year but last year only 42 units were delivered; and in the previous year it was 110 units. So far this year only 38 units have been delivered. The net need for affordable housing using evidence in the strategic housing market assessment is 904.

5)     The Police Architectural liaison adviser no longer comments on planning applications but it is understood that the applicants have been in discussion with the police. There is an obligation on the Planning Authority to consider such matters on all applications and it has been taken into account.

6)     Potential impacts to residents are taken into account irrespective of the tenure and would be no different if the development was an open market scheme. As an affordable development with an active manager it is more likely that should any problem arise it can be addressed quickly. It is not considered that any unacceptable impacts will result. 

7)     The most recent use of the site was as a commercially operated care home. It was not classified as a residential use therefore this policy is not applicable.

8)     Although the intention is that the development will be for affordable housing this cannot be required under adopted policies and there remains a possibility that the site may be developed for open market housing with an element of affordable. Site advertising boards are the responsibility of the developer and do not require consent therefore the Council has no control over them. It is understood that they have now been changed to remove this.

9)     The Town Council is a consultee and has the right to comment on applications, and to decide whether or not it takes into account neighbour views.

 

Revised recommendation:  APPROVE subject to:

 

i)                    the submission of an additional bat survey and mitigation report; the completion of the three tests under the Habitat Regulations (if required)  and any additional conditions required as a result of this and

ii)                  should additional letters be received as a result of the notifications following the submission of the revised layout plan, these be delegated for discussion by officers with the committee chairman, vice chairman and ward members to decide if the application should be returned to committee or if any additional conditions are required;

iii)                 the completion of a S106 agreement requiring:

 

1.      the provision of an acceptable level of S106 contributions from a 100% affordable housing scheme, subject to site viability;

2.      The provision of an acceptable level of S106 contributions from a mixed open market and affordable housing scheme.

3.      Any other requirements arising from the revised plans and details.

 

Additionally - the List of Approved Plans and Details in condition 17 to be delegated to Officers to tale into account the bat survey and mitigation information.