02/P/1234/F PROPOSAL AND LOCATION AS IT APPEARS ON MVM IN BOLD FONT SIZE 12

APPLICATION NO: 12/P/0906/F

CASE OFFICER  David Tate

APPLICANT: Bellway Homes Ltd

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY:

Approve

PARISH/WARD: Weston-super-Mare East

WARD COUNCILLOR(S): Cllr Mrs Gibbons, Cllr Mrs Payne and Cllr Tucker

TARGET DATE: 22/08/2012

APPLICATION: Erection of 65no. dwellings with associated garage/car parking and associated accesses, landscaping and engineering works following demolition of existing buildings.

SITE ADDRESS: Former Quadron Services Depot, Land to north of Mendip Road, Weston-super-Mare

 

LOCATION PLAN: The following plan shows the general location of the site only and is for illustrative purposes. The circle identifies the location of the site and is not a representation of the site boundaries. The site boundaries and other details submitted with the application can be viewed on the council’s website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk. This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office c. Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. North Somerset Council, LA09063L,2001

 

 


1.         12/P/0906/F  Erection of 65no. dwellings with associated garage/car parking and associated accesses, landscaping and engineering works following demolition of existing buildings AT Former Quadron Services Depot, Land to north of Mendip Road, Weston-super-Mare

 

MAJOR application ON COUNCIL LAND

 

The Site

 

The application site is a vacant highway depot, owned by the Council, and is located in a predominately residential area and accessed from Mendip Road and Locking Road. The adjoining Children's Centre (part of Ashcombe Primary School) has its own entrance from Earlham Grove and is not directly affected by this proposal. There are a number of large conifer trees on the northwest boundary adjoining gardens in Osborne Road.

 

The site is surrounding by houses although there are existing stables and commercial garage to the south located on Sandford Road. To the east there are playing fields that form part of Ashcombe Primary School located behind and site and the rear of houses in Mendip Road.

 

The vacant buildings on the site are of poor construction, and have no architectural merit. Many of the buildings have been used for storage, vehicle maintenance and offices and now derelict and are not worthy of retention. There are substantial areas of open storage areas laid out in concrete and tarmac.

 

The Application

 

This is a full application that involves the clearance of the site and the erection of 65 dwellings with associated garage/car parking and associated accesses, landscaping, public open space and engineering works following demolition of existing derelict buildings.

 

The application is accompanied with the following documents:

 

1.      Detailed Plans

2.      Design and Access Statement

3.      Transport Statement

4.      Flood Risk Assessment

5.      Flood Sequential Assessment Statement

6.      Planning Statement

7.      Ecological Assessment

8.      Heritage Desk-based Assessment

9.      Energy and Sustainability Statement

10. Affordable Housing Statement

11. Drainage Report

12. Site Investigations Report

13. Draft Travel Plan

14. Environmental Noise Assessment

15.  Viability Assessment Report

 

Relevant Planning History

 

There is no relevant planning history of the site that warrants consideration.

The site was previously operated (since the 1970’s) as a transport depot which included a waste transfer station. Parts of the site were used for offices, servicing and repairing vehicles and included fuelling facilities with underground tanks, some of which have been decommissioned.

 

Policy Framework

 

The site is within the settlement boundary of Weston-super-Mare and in near to the town centre.    

 

The main relevant policies are as follows:

 

Development Plan

 

North Somerset Core Strategy (CS) (adopted April 2012)

 

Policy CS1                 Climate change and carbon reduction

Policy CS2                 Delivering sustainable design and construction

Policy CS9                 Green infrastructure

Policy CS10              Transportation and movement

Policy SC11              Parking

Policy CS34              Developer contributions

 

North Somerset Replacement Local Plan (NSRLP)(saved policies) (adopted March 2007)

 

Three NSRLP policies were not saved in March 2010. The Core Strategy supersedes some but not all of the remainder.  It does not supersede the following policies:

 

Policy GDP/2             Environmental and Public Protection

Policy GDP/3             Good design and sustainable construction

Policy ECH/10           Impact upon biodiversity

Policy T/6                   Parking standards

Policy T/10                 Highways

 

Other material policy guidance

 

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (issued March 2012)

 

The NPPF contains relevant guidance and the following sections and paragraphs are of particular relevance.

Section 4                    Promoting sustainable transport

Section 7                    Requiring good design

Section 10                 Meeting the challenge of climate change, flooding and coastal change

 

Emerging Policy

 

Executive Members Decision ref no 11/12 DE 32 – updating parking standards and space requirements.

 

Draft Regional Spatial Strategy This has not been adopted and statements from the Secretary of State indicate the forthcoming Localism Bill will seek to abolish the draft Regional Spatial Strategies.  The draft RSS remains, for the moment, a material consideration but it is of limited weight.

 

Consultations

 

Copies of representations received can be viewed on the council's website.  This report contains summaries only.

 

Third Parties:  12 letters of objection have been received.

The planning points are as follows:

  • Increase of speed and volume of traffic on Mendip Road. Road calming needed.
  • Construction traffic and noise.
  • Wider road and larger garages needed.
  • Concern about bats within the existing buildings.
  • Scale of development.
  • Overlooking.
  • Concern about boundary treatment.
  • Objection to opening-up Osborne Avenue which is quiet cul-de-sac.
  • Objection to more cars, cycles and pedestrians onto Osborne Avenue.
  • Concern that development would impact on existing businesses.

 

Weston-super-Mare Town Council: "OBJECTION. Weston-super-Mare Town Council consider that the application represents over-development of the site and are concerned that there is insufficient parking provision which will exacerbate on-street parking in the adjacent roads impacting on emergency vehicles and existing infrastructure. A further concern expressed by local residents is the additional and potentially unwanted increase in foot fail that the cycle path could bring to the residential area."

 

Environment Agency:  The initial objection from the Environment Agency has been withdrawn having regard to the updated Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) from the applicant dated July 2012. No objection subject to conditions.

 

Wessex Water: No objections.

 

Planning Issues

 

The planning issues in this case include: (1) loss of an employment site,

(2) principle of development for housing (3) layout, design and appearance of the dwellings together with sustainable construction, (4) impact of the development on local residents and businesses (5) transport, access and highway safety, (6) landscaping and ecology, (7) flood risk and contamination, and (8) planning obligations.

 

Issue 1: The loss of an employment site

 

The application site, although vacant, is an existing, established employment site that requires compliance with the Local Plan Policy E/5. This policy normally precludes the change of use of employment sites unless proposals result in the removal of incompatible development, or the resultant environmental benefits or other material considerations outweighs the loss of employment land. 

 

Proposals may, therefore be permitted for other uses where it can be clearly demonstrated that:

 

i)       the proposal would not prejudice or reduce the range or quality of land and premises available for business use development within existing employment areas or expressly identified in the Local Plan to meet economic development or local business employment needs; or

 

iv)     the site is no longer capable of offering accommodation for business use development, or that the proposals would lead to the removal of incompatible development, resulting in greater potential benefits to the community in terms of environmental benefits, significant improvements in the amenities of existing neighbourhood residents or contribute to a more sustainable pattern of development that would outweigh the loss of employment capacity in the locality.         

 

In taking into account the Policy E/5 of the Local Plan, it is also recognised that Policy CS20 of the Core Strategy carries significant weight and is more up to date than the Local Plan. Policy CS20 states that the focus of employment in Weston will be primarily through town centre and gateway regeneration and new development at Weston villages. The supporting text states that there remains a considerable supply of land and sites available to meet business needs along side existing regeneration initiatives. However additional sites are required to be allocated as part of the Weston villages along side the allocation of mixed use sites at Weston town centre.

 

The application site is not one of the identified sites in the Local Plan and the previous occupants have relocated to a new site within Weston Super Mare.

 

In addition, there are a large number of sites listed in the Local Plan which can provide sufficient employment floorspace and which are more suitable to be development for employment uses. Since the proposal would not prejudice or reduce the range or quality of land and premises available for business use development, the proposal does not conflict with Policy E/5 of the Local Plan.

 

There is no requirement in the Local Plan for the owner or any prospective purchaser to market the site, although there are guidelines that encourage applicant’s to test the market and demonstrate the site is unsuitable for employment use. In addition, the Local Planning Authority has also had regard to the length of time the site has been vacant.

 

In this regard the history and location of the site illustrates the difficulties of this process where little regard was had for improving the condition of the site and maintenance of the buildings, which, if the industrial use was reintroduced would result in unacceptable environmental and traffic issues. This is a factor that impacts on whether, on balance, this site is suitable or even capable of continuing to accommodate employment uses. It is recognised that the site falls well below modern space and construction standards and this has been taken into consideration in trying to secure environmental improvements in the living conditions of existing neighbours.

 

The condition of the existing buildings will act as a serious constraint to continued development of the site for employment purposes. Many of the buildings on site are of poor construction and do not meet modern standards.  The overall site constraints include: -

 

·              Asbestos is likely to be present in buildings throughout the site.

·              The site is heavily contaminated.

·              There is limited scope for subdivision and servicing to buildings.

·              Relatively low buildings that will limit storage capabilities.

·              Proximity of residential development on four boundaries presents a conflict of uses.

·              Poor site circulation and parking for commercial vehicle traffic.

 

Members will be aware that in 2005 there was a proposal for a mixed use development on the site that was to include the headquarters for Quadron Services Limited, as well as possible community health and residential development. This scheme never came to fruition.

 

Given the factors above it is accepted that the site is no longer economically capable of offering accommodation for business use development. The current authorised use has for many years given rise to high levels of activity throughout the working day, often with hgvs and including noisy activities such as vehicle maintenance and external storage. The proposal for housing would in contrast lead to the removal of incompatible development, resulting in greater potential benefits to the community in terms of improvements in the living conditions for adjoining residents.

 

In conclusion, therefore, the redevelopment of the site is compliant with Policy E/5 of the Local Plan and would lead to a benefit to the surrounding community as it would remove a conflicting use. The surrounding area is predominantly residential and also includes a children’s centre and school. Redevelopment of the site for residential would bring significant improvements to the amenity of neighbouring residents and would contribute to a more compatible pattern of development.

 

Nevertheless, having regard to the history of the site and Policy CS20, a S106 contribution will be sought to support the Council’s Ready4work employment scheme.

 

Issue 2: The principle of development for housing

 

Although the application site was previously used as a highway works depot and offices, its use for housing appropriate bearing in mind the site is within the recognised settlement boundary of the town and close proximity to local shops, other facilities and services. The site is also in an established residential area, and the living conditions and character of the area are likely to be enhanced by the development of the site for housing. It is interesting to note that very few if any local residents objected to the principle of a change to residential use. To ensure the efficient use of land and take advantage of its proximity to public transport and existing community facilities, the density of the development is compatible with the surrounding area and the type of housing needed in Weston-super-Mare. The proposal seeks to provide 65 units on the site, which has an area of 1.80 hectare. The proposal thus provides a density of 36 dwellings per hectare that represents a relatively low density within an urban location particularly where the proposal incorporates access, parking and public open space.

 

Both National and the Local Plan policies seek to make efficient use of land and buildings within built-up areas and the proposal support this aim. Government guidance has also encouraged local authorities to seriously consider the building of new homes on land previously used or reserved for employment development. The guidance adds that Local Planning Authorities should consider favourably planning applications for housing or mixed-use developments for industrial or commercial land that is no longer needed for such use. This aim is to promote use of redundant industrial or commercial sites for housing.

 

In policy terms, Policy H/7 of the Local Plan states that housing within settlement boundaries will be permitted provided that the character, appearance and amenity of the surrounding area will not be adversely affected and there are no insurmountable highways or parking objections. These objectives have been achieved. Also, in accordance with Policy H/4 of the Local Plan, the site will also be required to deliver, as far as reasonable, 30% affordable housing.

 

Under the circumstances this residential scheme of 65 houses together with the delivery of public open space, pedestrian and cycle permeability through the site, is consistent with the Local Planning Authority’s sustainable objectives of supporting the delivery of new housing and is in line with housing policies set out in the Local Plan, Core Strategy and National Planning Policy Framework.

 

As part of the principle of development the LPA have also carried out a brief screening opinion as to whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is required for the redevelopment of the site. It is concluded that an EIA is not necessary.

 

Issue 3:  Layout, design and appearance of the dwellings together with sustainable construction

 

The layout of the new housing has been determined by the logical extension of Mendip Road into the site with limited access routes east and west into Earlham Grove and Osborne Avenue. The development provides short streets and spaces in close proximity along these routes designed to promote active frontages and a clear definition of public and private areas. In the centre of the site there is a landscaped and equipped area of public open space measuring approximately 800m2.  

 

61 dwellings are 2-storey and 4 are 2.5-storey and comprise of a mix of dwelling types in the form of flats, terraced, semi-detached and detached dwellings.

 

Layout, design, density and appearance of the proposed dwellings are acceptable and accord with Policy GDP/3 and Policy CS2 of the Council’s Core Strategy.

 

The Development Plan also seeks a high level of energy conservation and it is expected that all properties will have solar heating and/or photovoltaic cells installed. As a result, the development and its individual constituent housing elements have been designed to achieve the following environmental performance:

 

i)                    New homes will need to meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3.

ii)                  The planning application is accompanied by an environmental assessment report establishing the implementation and achievement of the above requirements.

iii)                50% Lifetime homes

iv)                It is proposed that the developer will supply occupiers with a "home fact sheet" detailing advice on the use and maintenance of the property so as to ensure the environmental performance is not compromised in the future.

v)                  Back gardens of sufficient size to accommodate waste and recycling storage.

vi)                Measures will be required to generate 15% of the energy required by the development through the use of micro renewable or low-carbon technologies.

 

These environmental improvement measures can be supported and will be controlled by condition.

 

Issue 4: Impact of the development on local residents and businesses

 

There is no objection to the principle of redevelopment for housing however, the main objection raised by local residents and the Town Council is the impact on the local road network in terms of increased traffic, speed of traffic, demands on-street parking and the opening-up of Osborne Avenue. These matters will be discussed in the Transport Issue: 5

 

The design, height, separation distances and appearance of the dwellings that adjoin Earlham Grove, Mendip Road, Sandford Road and Osborne Road and Osborne Avenue are compatible with the general predominance of two-storey housing that adjoins the site. At the centre of the site there are a number of 2.5 storey dwellings and all dwellings are regarded as compliant with policies regarding overlooking, overbearing and overshadowing effects having regard to siting and location. The form and scale of a number of the units (particularly units 29 & 56 to 61) have been revised to remove the overbearing and overshadowing effects on existing neighbours. There are no windows proposed in the gable walls of the new dwellings that adjoin existing houses and this status will be conditioned. All first floor windows that face existing dwellings are at sufficient distance to prevent serious overlooking.

 

One of the other concerns raised by local residents and the stable owner is the noise and disruption that will occur during the demolition and clearance of the site and construction process of the new dwellings. Although a large proportion of environmental impacts cause by construction are covered by alternative legislation beyond planning powers, it is essential, in the interests of amenity and the living conditions of local residents, that a construction management plan is submitted prior to commencement. As a minimum, the construction management plan should include, but not be limited to, the phasing of the proposed build, hours of operation, hourly quantum of construction traffic generated by the build during hours of operation (including heavy vehicles and staff vehicles) and construction phases, peak hour impact assessments on the local highway network including an assessment of the impact at the Mendip/Locking Road junction and a safety impact assessment and mitigation measures. An appropriate construction traffic management and mitigation strategy should be included within the construction management plan. This will be required by condition.

 

Two individual objections have been received from existing businesses in Sandford Road. The objections revolve around the adverse impact the new housing development will have on their businesses, particularly relating to noise impact.

 

The first business is a long-established car-repair business that is accommodated within a series of solid stone and block buildings with insulated roof and no openings into the application site. The business is limited to mechanical repairs and MOT’s. No bodywork or cellulose spraying is carried out. The original car repair garage operates without any planning restrictions, although planning permission was granted on 2001 for a workshop extension with controls. The extension was regarded as acceptable at the time so long as a condition was imposed requiring that the shutter doors be kept shut when work is being carried on. It is also recognised that the business must abide by the environmental laws which are applicable to commercial businesses. Since the car-repair garage currently adjoins existing residential dwellings in Sandford Road, the proposed rear gardens adjoining the garage is not dissimilar to the current relationship to residents on Sandford Road.

 

Nevertheless, noise from the car-repair garage, even with the garage doors closed has the potential to impact on the proposed residential development and the owner is concerned that complaints from the new residents might seriously impact on his ability to run his business. In order to assess this likely impact, a Noise Assessment has been carried out by an independent acoustic consultant and the report has concluded that noise levels emanating from the car garage are not significant.

 

In reporting this Noise Assessment the garage owner pointed out that sampling over two days is not representative of the potential noise levels from the garage and an examination of his diary indicated that those were particularly quiet days at the garage with two staff on holiday and heavy/noisy equipment was not used. 

 

Under the circumstances, a further Noise Assessment was carried out whilst heavy/noisy equipment was being used under test conditions and although the grinding, cutting and banging operations were audible on the development site they were assessed as being no more significant than experienced by existing properties in Sandford Road. In fact noise levels shown to be representative of levels in rear garden of No 33 Sandford Road are indicated to be significantly higher than on the proposed site. This is not surprising as the front of the garage facing Sandford Road has two sets of garage doors but there are no openings at the rear of garage adjoining the application site.

 

Overall therefore, noise levels from the garage impinging on the proposed site are audible but they are lower than those at existing dwellings in Sandford Road. More importantly, the noise levels from the garage are indicated to meet the 50dB(A) World Health Organization’s ‘desirable’ garden criterion, and 40dB(A) internal noise level (with windows open) during the day, though occasional operations may be audible for short periods.

 

The second business is a small horse livery business that is accommodated within a number of solid stone and block buildings with no openings into the application site.


 

The stable owner has suggested that:

 

1.      noise from domestic activity (people laughing and children playing) in the rear gardens of the proposed dwellings to the rear of the stables will have a detrimental effect on the stabled horses and therefore will impact on the viability of the business, and

2.      that horse noises and those attending them at night might disturb the new residents.

 

These views are supported by two vets, the NFU,  a local farrier and horse owners who suggest that the reactions by horses to sudden and unexpected noise and large machinery can be very unpredictable having regard to construction and the proximity of some of the houses.

 

Firstly, it is accepted that the Council sometimes receives complaints about noise from barking dogs and noisy poultry, but complaints from noisy stabled horses is extremelv rare. Secondly, the Council has no records of complaints about children’s enjoyment impacting on the health and welfare of stabled horses. In national terms the biggest noise impact on horses and livestock is low flying aircraft.

 

It must also be accepted, that the stables already have dwellings and a car-repair business in Sandford Road which adjoin the stables and stable yard.

The main doors of the car-repair garage open towards the stables and stable yard and the operational noise and vehicular movements associated with the garage are likely to be more intrusive and cause more of a nuisance to the horses than anything that could come from the rear gardens of the proposed dwellings. As far as your officers are aware, there is no indication that owner of the stables has ever expressed concern about the noise emanating from the car repair garage impacting on the horses. In addition the former industrial use of the application site would have historically generated its own noise and nuisance to the rear of the stables and this would likely to have been worse than the occasional noise that might be generated from domestic gardens.

 

The riding stables are licensed by NSC and conditions require that the horses are maintained in good health. In addition, there is a requirement to provide for the adequate storage and disposal of manure and soiled straw. There is no evidence that the new residents, located to the rear of the stables will be affected by smells from the stables and certainly residents in Sandford Road have not raised the issue about noise and smells form the horses.

 

It is of note that neither of the two business owners or NSC's Environmental Health and Trading Standards Officers has received complaints from existing residents in Sandford Road about noise or smells emanating from the car-repair garage or stables.

 

Nevertheless as a further attenuation measure, in addition to repairing the outer edge of the existing rear boundary wall of the garage and stables, the applicant has proposed to erect a new 1.8 metre high screen wall in front of the existing boundary wall.

 

It is concluded that noise levels emanating from the car garage are not significant and the occasional noise and from both stabled horses and children playing will also be insignificant to either group of users. Under these circumstances, it is concluded that the development would not seriously impact on the two businesses beyond current arrangements having regard to their history. The issue of construction noise and disturbance will be controlled by condition.

 

Overall, it is concluded that the redevelopment of the site would lead to a benefit to the surrounding community as it would remove a conflicting and non-conforming use. The surrounding area is predominantly residential and this proposal would bring significant improvements to the amenity of neighbouring residents and contribute to a more compatible pattern of development. The proposal is regarded as acceptable and in accordance with relevant policies in the Local Plan and Core Strategy.

 

Issue 5: Transport, access and highway safety

 

The National Planning Policy Framework 2012 (NPPF) states that all developments that generate significant amounts of traffic should be supported by a Transport Assessment. The submitted Transport Statement is sufficient to evaluate the traffic impact resulting from the scheme.

 

The application site has an historical and lawful use for a mix of industrial, office and distribution uses. This represents the ‘fall back’ use that could be resumed at any time.

 

The applicant has used the TRICS (2011) database to determine the likely trip generations of the proposed development and those associated with the previous use. The trip generation figures indicate that the development will generate 33 two way trips during the morning peak period and 34 two way trips during the evening peak period (0800-0900 and 1700-1800 respectively).

 

The applicant has demonstrated that if the site were to resume operations in accordance with the former use, the peak hour trip generation figures would be significantly higher, with up to 124 two-way trips during the morning peak period and up to 93 during the evening peak period.  In addition a much higher proportion of the traffic entering and exiting the site would comprise HGV traffic.

 

As members will be aware, the depot site has not been in use for some time and therefore the number of vehicles using the site has recently been low. Local residents have therefore become accustomed to the quiet conditions of the site and may be sensitive to any future use of the site which generates vehicle movements. Notwithstanding this, it is considered that if the housing scheme were not to proceed and the site resumes its former depot use, the travel characteristics are likely to be greater than that proposed by the applicant.

 

The submitted Transport Statement identifies that a proportion of the traffic generated by the proposed development will access the development via Osborne Avenue/Road (via the creation of a new access) and via Mendip Road. The split of vehicles using these accesses will be proportional to the number of dwellings served by each access with 86% of traffic generated by the development accessing via Mendip Road and 14% accessing the site via Osborne Avenue. This assumption of traffic distribution in proportion to the number of properties and the level of traffic generated is accepted.

 

During the evening peak period this would equate to 29 vehicles accessing the site via Mendip Avenue at a rate of approximately 1 vehicle every two minutes and 5 vehicles accessing the site via Osborne Avenue at a rate of approximately 1 vehicle every 12 minutes. This is significantly less than the level of traffic generated by the former use on Mendip Road.

 

Although an access does not currently exist at Osborne Avenue and the proposal would therefore represent intensification of the use of this link, it is considered that the proposal would generate only a modest increase in vehicular movement, possibly little more than 5%, when compared to current levels. Although the Town Council and some of the residents in Osborne Avenue have raised objection to the limited extension of the road, in view of the small proportional increase, it would be difficult to sustain an objection to the proposal on grounds of increased traffic and pedestrian movements. The new traffic through Osborne Avenue is unlikely to impact on on-street parking as the new houses have allocated spaces provided in accordance with the NSRLP required standards. The residents have nevertheless accepted that the new turning-head and proposed parking restrictions will improve current arrangement.

 

Under these circumstances, it is accepted that the traffic generation of the proposed development will be lower than the previous use and will not cause detriment to the local highway conditions.

 

Osborne Avenue will form a secondary vehicular access to site, serving a total of 9 new dwellings. The proposed access at Osborne Avenue has good forward visibility on to a low speed residential street. As a result of the concerns from the Town Council and some local residents, during the application process regarding problems of waste collection in Osborne Avenue and access by emergency vehicles, it has been agreed to provide parking restrictions on the corner of Osborne Road and Osborne Avenue in order to facilitate improved access particularly for waste HGV’s.

 

Mendip Road will form the primary vehicular access to the site and is a straight road with good forward visibility. Cars are frequently parked on both sides of the road by residents of the adjacent properties and at peak times there is very little, if any, remaining on-street parking capacity. In addition, the road is relatively long and would be extended in length by the proposed development. In view of the geometry and nature of Mendip Road, the development could facilitate inappropriate or unsafe driver behaviour, and therefore the applicant will be required to provide (at the entrance to the site) traffic calming measures so as to encourage vehicles to enter and exit the site in a safe and appropriate manner. This requirement will be achieved by condition.

 

There is currently no pedestrian access through the existing site. The application indicates that the development will provide 3 points of access for pedestrians and cyclists via the 2 vehicular access points on Mendip Road and Osborne Avenue, and a shared pedestrian and cycle path via Stepping Stone Walk.  Officers are satisfied that the proposal offers a good degree of pedestrian and cycle permeability through the site and integrates well with the existing network, although it is recommended that appropriate signs are provided for pedestrians and cyclists to assist navigation through the site and to indicate where a surface will be shared use. This will be controlled by condition.

 

The submitted plans indicate that the proposed shared use pedestrian and cycle path connecting to Stepping Stone Walk will be of sufficient width to allow access by emergency vehicles should this be required. Demountable bollards have been proposed at both access points to the shared use pedestrian and cycle path to prevent the use of the path by general traffic. This will be secured by condition.

 

The application states that the proposed development will provide 155 car parking/garage spaces. Parking standards set out in Policy T/6 of the NSRLP state that 2 bedroom dwellings should provide 1 car parking space plus 1 visitors space per 4 units, a 3 bedroom dwelling should provide 2 car parking spaces and a 4 bedroom dwelling should provide 3 car parking spaces. This equates to a requirement for 135 car parking/garage spaces for the proposed development. Emerging local residential car parking standards outline the minimum required car parking spaces for residential development and exceed the level outlined in the NSRLP. Compliance with the minimum parking standard would require the provision of 147 car parking spaces for the proposed development.  Furthermore, Policy CS11 of the adopted Core Strategy requires that a development provides adequate parking to meet the needs of the users.

 

For the six apartments proposed, the proposed cycle shed is acceptable so long as individual Sheffield type racks are provided within the cycle store. This will be secured by condition.

 

It is accepted that the level of car parking provision proposed conforms to existing and emerging residential car parking standards and the site is well served by bus routes that provide an alternative transport mode to the car.

 

 

 

 

Issue 6:  Landscaping, ecology and archaeology

 

The scheme follows previous pre-application discussion and a comprehensive landscape strategy has been provided. Landscaping has been an integral part the design and the proposed layout and planting strategy is intended to soften the visual impact of the new dwellings, maximise the green open space, incorporate and enhance the new pedestrian routes through the site, together with providing interest, variety and biodiversity. The submitted plans will, however, need to be developing into detailed planting schedule. This will be controlled by landscape conditions. Overall, the landscape strategy is regarded as acceptable.

 

In addition, a full detailed plan of the equipped play space needs to be prepared as part of the above schedule.  This will need to include a range of play equipment to include safety surfacing, a dog proof railing, maintenance, trees, landscaping and pedestrian access and seating.  The public open space should be enclosed to make it more usable, rather than just fencing the equipped section. 

 

Since this proposal includes the demolition of structures, there will be a need to protect, if necessary, all species of bats and their roosts as they are legally protected.

 

There will a requirement to provide bird and bat boxes around the site prior to the completion of the dwellings. This is to ensure that new development is designed to maximize benefits to biodiversity, incorporating, safeguarding and enhancing natural habitats and features and adding to them where possible, particularly networks of habitats. 

 

Issue 7: Flood Risk and Contamination

 

Although the site is situated in a Flood Zone 3 and is at risk from potential sea flooding, the objection from the Environment Agency has been withdrawn having regard to the updated Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) from the applicant dated July 2012. Environment Agency has, however asked for a number of conditions to be imposed.

 

The applicant has provided a Sequential Test that outlines that the majority of potential sites identified as falling within Flood Zone 3 and these alternative sites are also in areas in the settlement boundary that are at risk from flooding. 

 

In addition to the Sequential Test, the Flood Risk Assessment has provided an Exceptions Test in relation to the site that has demonstrated that:

 

  • The development provides wider sustainability benefits to the community that outweigh flood risk
  • The development is on previously developed land and
  • The development will be safe, without increasing flooding elsewhere.

 

The submitted site investigation report carried out by Integral Geotechnique provides a good understanding of the site and puts it into its environmental and historical context.  The report also identifies that a number of pollutants exist on the site which will require further investigation and remediation.  Additionally there are a number of underground fuel tanks located on the site which will need to be removed so as to ensure that there is no residual contamination.

 

Issue 8: Planning Obligations

 

It is necessary to evaluate the need for a planning obligation that is required to make the development acceptable. The principal objective of the S106 obligation is to deliver a sustainable form of development that is in accordance with the aims and objectives of the Local Plan and Core Strategy. Whilst Policy GDP/5 is one of the Local Plan policies that are superseded by the CS these objectives are also articulated through Policies CS20 and CS34 of the Core Strategy.  As the Council is responsible for providing the additional education infrastructure at a rate which matches the increase in demand from proposed housing development, the standard charges in relation to education will not normally be payable but will be on payment terms to be agreed on a site by site basis. 

 

Policy CS34 highlights the requirement to provide sustainable locations for development designed to meet employment, infrastructure or community needs and adds that development will only be permitted where adequate provision has been made for infrastructure necessary in planning terms for the development to proceed and, if necessary other services and facilities that arise directly from the development.

 

The following S106 contributions agreed with the applicant include:-

 

(1)               Affordable housing provision

(2)               Library Facilities contribution

(3)               Youth Provision contribution

(4)               On-site Public Open Space

(5)               Off-site Public Open Space contribution

(6)               Off-site Sports Provision

(7)               Employment contribution

(8)               Education contribution

(9)               Contribution for off-site highway works

 

Conclusion and summary of reasons for approval

 

Given the derelict condition and sensitive location of the site and the new focus for employment generation in the town, it is accepted that it is no longer capable of offering accommodation for employment and therefore, the redevelopment of the site is compliant with Policy E/5 of the Local Plan in that it would lead to a benefit to the surrounding community as it would remove a conflicting use. The proposal for housing would in contrast lead to the removal of incompatible development, resulting in greater potential benefits to the community. It is also concluded that having regard to the independent acoustic consultant’s report that noise levels emanating from the car garage are not significant, it is also concluded that the potential mutual noise effects of the development on stables and garage will not be significant. Also the occasional noise from both stabled horses and children playing will be insignificant.

 

Overall, the landscape and ecological strategy is regarded as acceptable and the submitted Flood Risk Assessment and Design and Access Statement have demonstrated that the wider sustainability and community benefits of the proposed housing development outweigh the concerns of flood risk.

 

The application site is in a residential area well served by public transport. Parking provision is above Local Plan standards and there are cycle and pedestrian routes that connect the development into the surrounding community. The findings of the Transport Assessment are considered to be reasonable.

 

It is concluded therefore that this residential scheme of 65 houses together with the deliver of public open space, pedestrian and cycle permeability through the site together with S106 planning obligations, is consistent with the Local Planning Authority’s sustainable objectives of supporting the delivery of new housing and is in line with policies set out in the Local Plan, Core Strategy and National Planning Policy Framework.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  subject to the completion of a S106 agreement securing (i) affordable housing and public open space on site, (ii) financial contributions towards education, employment, youth, sports provision, libraries, public open space and highway improvements, the application be APPROVED subject to the following conditions:

 

1.

The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiry of five years from the date of this permission.

 

Reason:  In accordance with the provisions of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

2.

No dwelling shall be occupied until the approved parking spaces and garages have been provided for, together with vehicular access thereto.  The internal footprint measurements for the garages shall be no less than 3.1 x 6.5 metres. The access and parking spaces shall be used for no other purpose.

 

Reason: In the interests of highway and pedestrian safety and in accordance with Policies T/10 and GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

3.

Details of the provision to be made for the covered parking of cycles for the flats shall be submitted to and agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority before development commences. The approved cycle parking provision shall, thereafter, shall be provided on site before the flats are occupied.

 

Reason: To encourage greater use of the cycle in accordance with policies CS10 and CS11 of the North Somerset Core Strategy and policies T/6 and T/10 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

4.

No work shall be commenced on any individual phase until all building and surface materials; details of pedestrian and cycle signs; details of de-mountable bollards; traffic calming materials and samples of materials and colour of renders for that phase have been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: To ensure the appearance of the work will be satisfactory in the interests to the visual appearance of the area and in accordance with section 7 and paragraph 17 of the National Planning Policy Framework, policy CS12 of the North Somerset Core Strategy and Policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

5.

The details of boundary treatment, as approved, shall be constructed prior to occupation of the development.

 

Reason: In the interests of visual and local amenity in accordance with section 7 and paragraph 17 of the National Planning Policy Framework, policy CS12 of the North Somerset Core Strategy and Policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

6.

All dwellings hereby approved shall be constructed to Code Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. A copy of the Post Construction Review Report undertaken by a licensed BREEAM assessor and a copy of the Final Code Certificate issued by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) for each dwelling shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority on completion of the development.

 

Reason: In the interests of promoting good design and sustainable construction and in accordance with paragraph 17 and section 10 of the National Planning Policy Framework and Policies CS1 and CS2 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

7.

The dwellings hereby approved shall not be occupied until measures to generate 15% (less if agreed with the local planning authority) of the energy required by the use of the development (measured in carbon) through the use of micro renewable or low-carbon technologies have been installed on site and are fully operational in accordance with details that have been first submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Thereafter, the approved technologies shall be permanently retained unless otherwise first agreed in writing by the local planning authority.

 

Reason: In order to secure a high level of energy saving by reducing carbon emissions generated by the use of the dwellings and in accordance with paragraph 17 and section 10 of the National Planning Policy Framework and policies CS1 and CS2 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

8.

The dwellings shall not be occupied until a Travel Plan, which seeks to reduce the number of vehicle trips to and from the site, has been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. Upon approval the residential use shall thereafter be in accordance with the proposals in the approved Travel Plan unless amendments to the Travel Plan are first submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. 

 

Reason: In order to reduce the number of vehicle trips to and from the site in compliance with sustainable Policies contained in National Planning Guidance and Policy T/10 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

9.

The first dwelling shall not be occupied until details of a landscaping scheme have been submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: To ensure that a satisfactory landscaping scheme is prepared and in accordance with Policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

10.

All works comprised in the approved details of landscaping should be carried out during the months of October to March inclusive following completion of the development.

 

Reason: To ensure that a satisfactory landscaping scheme is implemented in accordance with Policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

11.

Trees, hedges and plants shown in the landscaping scheme to be  planted which, during the development works or a period of ten years following full implementation of the landscaping scheme, are removed without prior written consent from the Local Planning Authority or die, become seriously diseased or are damaged, shall be replaced in the first available planting season with others of such species and size as the Authority may specify.

 

Reason: To ensure as far as possible that the landscaping scheme is fully effective in accordance with Policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

12.

Drainage details of the proposed foul water arrangements shall be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority prior to the commencement of works.

 

Reason: To ensure that the development is served by a satisfactory system of foul water drainage and in accordance paragraph 17 and sections 10 and 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework, the Technical Guidance to the National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012) and policy CS/3 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

13.

Finished floor levels for all dwellings must be set at 5.8m AOD or 300mm above existing local ground levels, whichever is the greater.

 

Reason: To reduce the risk of flooding and in accordance with paragraph 17 and section 10 of the National Planning Policy Framework, the Technical Guidance to the National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012) and policy CS/3 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

14.

No development shall take place until a surface water drainage scheme for the site, based on sustainable drainage principles and an assessment of the hydrological and hydrogeological context of the development, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  The drainage strategy should demonstrate the surface water run-off generated up to and including the 1 in 100 (30% climate change) critical storm will not exceed the run-off from the undeveloped site following the corresponding rainfall event. The scheme shall subsequently be implemented in accordance with the approved details before the development is completed. The scheme shall also include details of how the scheme shall be maintained and managed after completion.

 

Reason: To ensure that the development is served by a satisfactory system of surface water drainage and in accordance paragraph 17 and sections 10 and 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework, the Technical Guidance to the National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012) and policy CS/3 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

15.

Prior to the commencement of development, approved by this planning permission (or such other date or stage in development as may be agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority), a scheme to deal with the risks associated with contamination of the site shall each be submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall, thereafter, be implemented as approved.

 

Reason: To ensure the proposed development will not cause pollution of Controlled Waters in accordance with Policy CS3 of the North Somerset Council Core Strategy 2012.

16.

No dwelling shall be occupied until there has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority a scheme providing appropriate space and facilities for the storage and collection of waste. 

 

Reason: The Local Planning Authority wish to encourage sustainable waste collection initiatives in line with Government Policy and in accordance with Policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

17.

The development shall not be commenced until a Management Plan, which seeks to include, but not be limited to, the phasing of the proposed build, hours of operation of the construction site, hourly quantum of construction traffic generated by the build during hours of operation (including heavy vehicles and staff vehicles) and construction phases, peak hour impact assessments on Mendip Road has been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. The approved Management Plan shall thereafter be implemented in accordance with its recommendations to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: In order to reduce the overall impact of construction traffic on local residents to an acceptable level in compliance with Policy T/10 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

18.

No development shall take place, including any works of demolition, until a Construction Method Statement has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the local planning authority. The approved Statement shall be adhered to throughout the construction period.  The Statement shall provide for:

 

(i)         the parking of vehicles of site operatives and visitors

(ii)        loading and unloading of plant and materials

(iii)       storage of plant and materials used in constructing the development

(iv)       the erection and maintenance of security hoarding including decorative displays and facilities for public viewing, where appropriate

(v)        wheel washing facilities

(vi)       measures to control the emission of dust and dirt during construction

(vii)      a scheme for recycling/disposing of waste resulting from demolition and construction works

(viii)     measures to control noise from works on the site.

           

 

Reason: In order to preserve the living conditions of nearby residents as required by Policy CS3 of the North Somerset Core Strategy 2012.

19.

The dwellings shall not be occupied until plans have been submitted to and approved of the Local Planning Authority showing full details of bird and bat boxes to be provided on the site. The agreed details shall thereafter be provided prior to occupation of the first dwelling.

 

Reason: In the interests of ensuring that there is no net loss of biodiversity in the area in accordance with Policy CS4 of the North Somerset Council Core Strategy 2012.

20.

The dwellings (excluding apartments) shall be provided with a water storage butt and composter prior to occupation unless details of proposed exceptions have first been supplied to and approved by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: The Local Planning Authority wish to encourage sustainable water storage and recycling initiatives in line with Government Policy and in accordance with Policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.  

21.

No development shall take place until the applicant has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. This should consist of a photographic survey of the buildings currently on the site and results of the programme of geotechnical work (trial pits and boreholes) being deposited with the LPAs Historic Environment Record.

 

Reason: The site is within an area of significant archaeological importance, and the Council will wish to examine and record items of interest discovered in accordance with Policy ECH/6 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

22.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, or any Order amending or revoking and re-enacting that Order, no additional windows shall be inserted in the gable wall elevation of units: 21, 22, 23, 29, 30, 36, 51, 52 and 65.

 

Reason: To protect the living conditions of occupiers of adjoining properties and in accordance with Policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

23.

The dwellings hereby approved shall not be occupied until the play area shown on drawing number 1096/01C has been constructed in accordance with details that have first been submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority. Thereafter the play area shall be permanently retained and shall not be used for any purpose other than as a play area.

 

Reason: To ensure that an appropriate play area is provided and in accordance with Policy CF/1 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

24.

No development shall take place until a detailed site development project plan setting out key milestones in the development, including site preparation, plot commencements, installation of street lights, submission of drawings for approval in principle to structures and open spaces and play equipment, and land drainage consents, and relates them to proposed dates for adoptions of each element has been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall proceed in accordance with this timetable unless any variations have first been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: In the interests of highway and pedestrian safety and in accordance with Policies T/10 and GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

25.

The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans: 1096/01C, 80B, 09, 02/02A, 02/01A 03, 04A, 05B, 06B, 07/01, 07/02A, 08/B, 30/01, 30/02, 30/10A, 31/01, 02, 10A, 32/01, 02, 10A, 11A, 33/01A, 02,03A, 04A, 05, 06, 10C, 11C,11A, 12, 34/01, 02, 11B, 35/ 01, 02, 10A, 11A, 36/01, 02, 10A, 11A, 12A, 13A, 37/01, 02, 03, 10A, 38/01B, 02B, 10A, 11B, 39/01, 02, 10B, 40/01, 02, 03, 04, 10B, 11B, 41/01, 02, 10B, 42/01, 02, 10B, 50/02B, 04B, 05B, 06A, 07, 08, 09 and S38/100C.

 

Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interest of proper planning in accordance with policies contained in the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

 

 

UPDATE SHEET

 

Section 1

 

Item 5.1 – 12/P/0906/F - Land to the north of Mendip Road, Weston-super-Mare

Arising from the Committee Site Inspection yesterday, members’ concerns over the following were noted:

 

(1) Noise Assessment relating to the Mr. Harding’s garage

 

(2) Smells from the stables 

 

(3) Boundary Treatment

 

(4) Access to boundary walls

 

 

 

Noise Assessment relating to the Mr. Harding’s Garage

 

As Members will note from the Committee Report, the applicant has submitted a further noise assessment carried out on 21 September 2012.  Noise was measured at three locations, around the garage, with the most important location being to the rear of the garage on the development site.  Noise measurements were carried out when different pieces of machinery including an air chisel, air hacksaw, grinder and metal work, which are used by the garage were in use.

 

The garage working hours are normally 08:00 to 18:00, although there is no planning restriction on these hours. The noisier processes carried out within the garage workshop garage are variable in frequency, however, from the noise monitoring it was evident they still could cause disturbance when in use, particularly for residents in their gardens in properties adjacent to the garage.  Whilst it could be considered that the rear gardens of the properties adjacent to the garage are more likely to be used in the evenings and at weekends outside the garage operating hours, it is possible that the garage operations would have an impact on enjoyment of the gardens for the residents of the proposed development.

 

The noise levels from the garage are indicated to meet the 50dB(A) World Health Organization’s ‘desirable’ garden criterion, and 40dB(A) internal noise level (with windows open) during the day once the attenuating effect of the new dwellings and their windows are taken into account, and even though occasional operations may be audible at random intervals, in order to ensure the impact of noise from the garage is reduced to a minimum, an additional condition is proposed as set out below.

 

Notwithstanding the concerns expressed by and on behalf of the garage operator, there have never been any complaints logged about noise emanating from the garage.  With continuation of the owner’s responsible approach to work within the garage unit it is clear that it should be possible for the business to co-exist with new neighbours. Since there is no history of noise nuisance generated by his car-repair operations, there is no reason to suggest this business will be threatened with closure as a result of justifiable complaints as a result of the above development. If there were to be a future complaint about noise from the garage from the new residents on the application site, the conclusions of the noise report would act as a bench mark on investigations. Nevertheless officers’ proposal of an additional condition requiring the acoustic wall will provide further attenuation between the existing and proposed uses.

 

Smells from the stables 

 

As will have been noted from the Committee Site Inspection that commercial stables are kept very clean and tidy and the horses are maintained in good health. In addition, there is a licence requirement to provide for the adequate storage and disposal of manure and soiled straw. There is no significant evidence that new residents, located to the rear of the stables will be significantly affected by smells from the stables to an extent that would justify complaint. Certainly residents in Sandford Road have not raised the issue about noise and smells from the horses.

 

Boundary Treatment

 

Members will note that an additional condition has been proposed that covers the requirement to provide an acoustic boundary enclosure along the southern boundary of the site that will include details of:

·        Attenuation

·        Height

·        Length

·        Position and

·        Materials

 

It is recommended that height of the acoustic wall should be no less than the eaves height of the garage and single-storey stables and the length no less than the combined length of the garage and stables (i.e. 55 metres long). Officers consider that 3.0 metres is likely to be the minimum height, having taken measurements of the varied eaves heights of the buildings. Officers will, at the time of receipt of details, consult with the two neighbouring businesses and local members for their views before reaching a decision.

 

The purpose of the acoustic wall proposed is three fold:

 

  1. To act as an additional daytime buffer to absorb any workshop noise through the existing garage wall into the new residential gardens. There is no suggestion that intermittent noise from the garage will impact on the living conditions within the new dwellings. The garage does not operate weekends; evening or night working so there will be no effect on evening, or weekend domestic enjoyment or sleep patterns.
  2. To act as an additional night time buffer to absorb any equine noise that penetrates through the existing stable walls into the residential properties.
  3. To minimise the risk of any children’s balls or other objects hitting the existing stable wall and disturbing the horses.

 

Access to boundary walls

 

It is also recommended that the acoustic wall be erected at no less than 1 metre from the existing garage and stable walls in order to allow access for maintenance.

 

Amendments to Recommendation: That the following additional condition be added: 

 

No development shall be commenced until an acoustic wall within the southern boundary of the site, including details of its height, length, position, providing for sufficient space for maintenance of the proposed wall and existing walls to the properties in Sandford Road and materials have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  The approved boundary enclosure shall be erected before any of the dwellings on Plots 5-11 hereby approved are occupied, and the boundary shall be maintained in accordance with the approved specifications at all times thereafter, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: to ensure that there is an appropriate boundary treatment between this site and the adjoining land to the south, in the interests of the living conditions of residents of this development and to protect the interests of the adjoining existing businesses in Sandford Road and in accordance with Policy CS3 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.