1

APPLICATION NO: 12/P/1053/F

CASE OFFICER   Sally Evans

APPLICANT: Beachlands Developments Ltd

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY:

Approve with conditions

PARISH/WARD: Weston-super-Mare West

WARD COUNCILLOR(S): Cllr Canniford, Crockford-Hawley and Cllr Payne

TARGET DATE: 18/09/2012

APPLICATION: Sub division of existing properties to form 19no self-contained flats comprising 13no 2 bed and 6no 1 bed units. Erection of 6no additional new dwellings to rear comprising 3no 2 bed and 3no 3 bed dwellings

SITE ADDRESS: 85 - 91 Bristol Road Lower, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 2TS

 

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

 

 


2.      12/P/1053/F  Sub division of existing properties to form 19no self-contained flats comprising 13no 2 bed and 6no 1 bed units. Erection of 6no additional new dwellings to rear comprising 3no 2 bed and 3no 3 bed dwellings at 85 - 91 Bristol Road Lower, Weston-super-Mare

 

rEFERRED DELEGATED ITEM BY COUNCILLOR CROCKFORD-HAWLEY

 

The Site

 

This site fronts the north of Bristol Road Lower and is close to the junctions with Wood Land and Manor Road. It contains two large twin two-storey Victorian villas which have previously been used as four separate properties. The most recent use of the whole site was as a residential care home. The villas are high quality and typical of the area to the west of the site. They are constructed of local grey limestone with Bathstone detailing and windows, with projecting front bays and hipped roofs which have been altered in the past. They form the eastern extent of the large Victorian/Edwardian local stone villas along the northern side of Bristol Road Lower. The Boulevard/ Montpellier Conservation Area is approx 380m to the west. The buildings are not listed nor within a Conservation Area. At the east is a 1970’s low density two storey housing development. Ashcombe Park is directly opposite the site with a large equipped play area and other recreation facilities.

 

The site is enclosed by existing residential development. There are some mature trees and shrubs at the rear gardens although many have been removed recently. The site is part of Weston hillside and is close to the boundary with Weston Woods. It slopes to the south, is elevated and is visually prominent in the local street scene. The site has three existing accesses to Bristol Road Lower but only the central one is in use.

 

The Application

 

It is proposed to convert the two existing villas into a total of 19 flats and construct 6 new houses at the rear.The proposed schedule of accommodation is:

 

89 – 91 Villa: 10 units in total.  6 x 2 beds and 4 x 1 beds, over 3 floors.

85 – 87 Villa: 9 units in total. 7 x 2 beds and 2 x 1 bed unit. 

Rear: 3 x 3 bed houses and 3 x 2 bed houses.

 

Currently in private ownership, Somer Housing Group is intending to acquire the site for a 100% affordable housing development which would then be managed by Redland Housing. It will be a mixture of rented and shared ownership. However this application cannot require this to be for 100% affordable housing and the development could be for a private owner. The S106 will therefore be worded to allow for this and to ensure that the policy requirements for community contributions and affordable housing will be required.

 

Sustainable construction. The new houses will be constructed to meet Code 3 for sustainable homes and will have roof mounted photovoltaic panels to provide towards the on site renewable energy target of 15% of the development’s future needs. Provision for the flats is being clarified. The new houses will be constructed to code level 3 for sustainable homes. The 6 new houses will meet the Homes and Communities Agency’s Design and Quality standards.

 

Transportation and parking. Each of the new build 3 bed houses has two parking spaces within or adjacent to its curtilage. The two bed houses each have one space. The flats currently have 14 spaces proposed for 19 units. The applicants have been requested to increase the parking provision and details of revised plans will be reported to committee. Cycle parking provision has been requested and a condition added to ensure it is satisfactory. 

 

House types and external materials

The six new houses are arranged in two terraces of three. They are good quality design with brick plinths, stone window headers and cills and render or reconstituted stone external finishes. The stone villas will be retained but the roofs will be rebuilt to provide accommodation for 2 flats in each villa. The new houses will have a garden shed and access to external rotary line cloths driers. Bin stores are provided for the rear new houses and at the front of the site for the flats. This may be revised by the parking layout amendments. 

 

Boundary treatment and landscaping. The majority of the existing trees are proposed to be removed and new planting is proposed at the site boundaries. The front stone boundary wall is to be retained and the gate piers repaired, and a strip of shrub planting added behind the wall. At the rear the existing stone boundary will be retained and raised to 1.8m high at the western side subject to agreement with neighbours. At the north the existing stone boundary all will be retained and repaired as necessary and at the west the existing stone wall will be retained and a 2m high timber screen fence added. 

 

Biodiversity.

Since the application was submitted an ecological survey has been completed. It identified the need for a more detailed bat survey. The applicants have been requested to submit this asap.

 

Relevant Planning History

 

Year

Reference

Proposal

Decision

2007

07/P/0265/F

Erection of 14 apartments following demolition of existing buildings.

Approve.

2007

07/P/3180/F

Conversion of two existing properties to 10 flats

Withdrawn.

2007

07/P/3179/F

Construction of 5 new dwellings at the rear of existing buildings.

Withdrawn.

2006

06/P/1376/F

Erection of 34 flats following demolition of existing buildings.

Refuse, appeal dismissed.

1986

1225/86

Change of use to nursing home (no 87)

Approve

1985

2228/85

Conversion of dwelling to nursing home (no 85)

Approve.

1984

1169/84

Conversion from 3 flats to a nursing home (no 89).

Approve.

1979

3868/79

Change of use to nursing home (no 91)

Approve

 

Policy Framework

 

The main relevant policies are as follows:

 

Development Plan

 

North Somerset Core Strategy (adopted April 2012)

 

CS1:      Addressing climate change and carbon reduction

CS2:      Delivering sustainable design and construction

CS4:      Nature Conservation

CS5:      Landscape and the historic environment

CS9:      Green infrastructure

CS10:    Transportation and movement

CS11:    Parking

CS12:    Achieving high quality design and place making

CS13:    Scale of new housing

CS14:    Distribution of new housing

CS15:    Mixed and balanced communities

CS16:    Affordable housing

CS20:    Supporting a successful economy

CS15:    Children, young people and higher education

CS27:    Sport, recreation and community facilities

CS34:    Infrastructure delivery and development contributions

 

North Somerset Replacement Local Plan (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 relevant policies:

 

Policy GDP/3             Good design and sustainable construction

Policy ECH/11           Protected species and their habitats

Policy T/6                 Parking provision

Policy T/10                 Safety, traffic and the provision of infrastructure

Policy T/11               Travel Plans

Policy CF/1               Provision of cultural and community facilities

 

Joint Replacement Structure Plan (saved policies). (Adopted September 2002)

 

Policy 1: Sustainable development.

Policy 7: Weston-super-Mare.

 

Regional Planning Guidance for the South West (RPG10) (Issued Sept 2001)

 

Policy SS10: Weston-super-Mare.

 

Other material policy guidance

 

Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) and Development Plan Documents (DPD)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

1.         Building a strong competitive economy.

4.         Promoting sustainable transport.

6.         Delivering a wide choice of high quality homes,

7.         Requiring good design.

8.         Promoting healthy communities.

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

11.       Conserving the natural environment.

 

Consultations

 

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

 

Third Parties:   47 letters of objection have been received. The principal planning points made are as follows:

 

  • The development particularly in the rear gardens is out if character with the neighbourhood and contrary to policy and the proposed density is excessive.
  • Loss of light, views and privacy of existing neighbours including a loss of light by more than 65% in some cases.
  • Unacceptable noise and disturbance to neighbours from increased use of the site.
  • The rear garden development is out of scale with the neighbourhood in terms of height and overall size of buildings.
  • Overshadowing of existing gardens.
  • Noise, pollution and disturbance from the construction process.
  • Increased traffic and insufficient on site parking provision will lead to an increase in on street parking, resulting in additional traffic hazards in Bristol Road Lower. Particularly from the nearby junction with Manor Road.
  • Bristol Road Lower is used as a short cut to the M5 resulting in traffic hazards and accidents.
  • There are an excessive number of affordable units in one location which is contrary to policy.
  • The local neighbourhood area is unsuited for affordable housing.

 

One letter of support has been received. The principal planning points are:

 

  • The application will result in the reuse of the existing buildings.

 

Weston-super-Mare Town Council: “No objection.”

 

Other comments received:

 

Weston-super-Mare Civic Society: Welcomes the proposal to retain the stone buildings which are fine traditional buildings of nineteenth century origin which should lie in a Conservation Area. It appears that the sash windows are to be retained which should be confirmed because it is of major importance if the visual quality of the existing buildings is not to be compromised. We welcome the principle of the proposal to use the new buildings ‘materials and design that accord with the local vernacular, though this implies the use of natural local stone as well as design features. We are aware of concerns about the adequacy of on site parking which stem from a perception that more building and a greater density of occupation is proposed in the rear of the site, than can be justified.

 

Wessex  Water: No objections.


Principal Planning Issues

 

The principal planning issues in this case are (1) policy and principle of development, (2) transportation and parking, (3) design and appearance,

(4) neighbouring residents, (5) biodiversity and landscaping, (6) environmental impacts and drainage, (7) community infrastructure provision and (8) crime and disorder.

 

Issue 1: Policy and principle of development

 

The site is previously developed land within the settlement boundary for Weston super Mare and the principle of redevelopment for residential use accords with adopted planning policy. Core Strategy policy CS14 requires that Weston is the focus of new residential development which will be mainly in the two new Villages. However the current rate of delivery of the villages and other sites is too low to provide the Council’s minimum target for affordable housing delivery of 150 dwellings per annum as set out in policy CS16. Policy CS15 requires that the Council seeks to ensure the creation of mixed and balanced communities including within existing areas. They should have good access to services, be safe and inclusive and deliver a range of house types. This site delivers a development which, whether it eventually built as open market housing with 30% affordable or 100% affordable, would help fulfil the Council’s delivery target whilst complying with the policy requirements. There is little affordable housing in this area of Weston and the delivery of a relatively small site would be beneficial in creating a more mixed community. The development will include photovoltaic roof panels on both the new houses and the flats which will contribute towards the required 15% energy generation on site. The site is adjacent to a bus route and benefits from good access to Ashcombe Park. It is therefore considered to be acceptable in principle.

 

Issue 2: Transportation and parking

 

The Council’s parking standards are set out in policy T/6 of the adopted North Somerset Replacement local plan. However they are in the process of being updated through the Core Strategy and an SPD which is currently in production but have not yet been fully adopted. In this case the new standards would require 44 spaces off street parking spaces to serve the development which are unlikely to be able to be accommodated on site in an acceptable way. Under the adopted Replacement Local Plan standards a minimum of 28 spaces off street parking spaces are required (including some disabled spaces.) The applicant has been asked to provide a revised layout plan which accommodates this and the committee will be updated on this issue.  The site is adjacent to a bus route and cycle stands and storage will be provided to encourage sustainable travel.


Issue 3: Design and appearance

 

A major benefit from this application is that the twin Victorian villas will be retained and usefully reused. The site has been vacant for a large number of years and is at risk from vandalism. It is not within a Conservation Area. The proposals are for a good quality conversion, with the main existing door and window openings and external features being retained. Proposed alterations to the roofs retain the existing detailing above the bay windows and are in keeping with the existing character. The roof lights do not project above the flat surface of the roof which will help preserve the buildings’ character. The density is high at about 70 units per ha and exceeds that on most of the nearby areas. However the development does not have the appearance of a high density development because it is a conversion of the two existing villas and the new houses at the rear will not be prominent in the street scene. Previously there was a large unattractive two storey extension to the rear of no’s 89 – 91, and other out buildings which have recently been removed. The 6 houses are replacing some previous buildings on site and although the built footprint has been increased it is considered acceptable. The site was previously in a commercial use as a residential case home so the redevelopment of the rear garden is not contrary to policy which seeks to protect residential gardens. The agent has confirmed that they will replace the gate piers where they are missing from the front accesses and revise the landscaping scheme to retain some existing trees.  The new houses to the rear are a good quality design and are in character with the surrounding area. There are no objections to the proposed design and appearance of the development.  

 

Issue 4: Neighbouring residents concerns

 

Concerns with protecting the privacy of neighbouring properties has been taken into account in the design. Boundary walls and fences will be raised to a minimum of 1.8m at the western side (if the neighbours agree to this) and 2m at the east. Neighbours at the north are elevated above the site and there is a stone retaining wall which will be repaired. The distance between existing and proposed windows at all sides of the site is a minimum of 21 m which conforms to standards included in the Council’s draft ‘Residential Design Guide guidance, July 2012’. The neighbours at the north have a large balcony but due to the sloping site nature it will look out over the roof of the nearest new dwelling (plot 22) which has no upper floor windows at the facing elevation and a condition is proposed to remove permitted development allowances to insert new windows. The sloping nature of the site also prevents an unacceptable loss of sunlight to properties to the north particularly as it is at a lower level. Properties to the east and west are sufficiently distant not to suffer from unacceptable overshadowing or loss of light from the new build. It is considered unlikely that there will be an excessive amount of noise and disturbance from the development. Although there is considerable neighbour opposition to the development it is not considered that this is sufficient to refuse the application.

 

Issue 5:  Biodiversity, landscaping and the Natural Environment and rural communities (NERC) Act 2006.

 

Since the application was submitted the applicants have provided an Ecological Survey to update previously submitted ones for the site. This found little evidence of ecologically protected species apart from the possibility of slow worms and bats. Conditions will be required to cover the eventuality of slow worms being found. A further specialist bat survey has been requested and should be provided shortly. The committee will be updated on this.

 

Issue 6: Environmental Impacts and drainage

 

The site is in flood zone one and no flood risk assessment is required as the site is very unlikely to be at risk from flooding. A condition is proposed to ensure that surface water drainage is satisfactory.

 

Issue 7: Community Infrastructure provision

 

Somer Housing has an option to purchase the site but do not yet own it. Therefore it is possible that an alternative developer may acquire it and develop it for mainly open market housing. The S106 agreement will address this by requiring a minimum of 30% affordable housing on site provision and full S106 community contributions from any open market units. Community contributions from affordable units in Weston-super-Mare are only required for additional open space/recreational facilities and any site specific requirements. This is on the basis that the occupiers are normally existing residents in town from local housing lists and therefore already use facilities such as schools and libraries. The developer has submitted a viability assessment demonstrating that large scale contributions will make the development unviable. The community contributions are being clarified and the committee will be updated.

 

Issue 8: The Crime and Disorder Act 1998

 

The Crime and Disorder Act places a duty on Local Authorities to have regard to crime and disorder issues in exercising their functions. The proposed development will remove two disused buildings from potential vandalism and misuse by trespassers and will lessen the potential for crime in this area. The site will be actively managed by the housing association and will provide a point of contact for any issues or concerns arising from the residents.


Conclusion and summary of reasons for Approval

 

The principle of development accords with adopted Local Plan policies and particularly CS 15 and 16 of the adopted North Somerset Core Strategy. It will provide much needed good quality affordable or mixed open market/affordable housing and will enable the retention and reuse of two good quality Victorian villas that have been empty for a long period. The development will not result in unacceptable impacts on the living conditions of neighbours. Provided the revised parking layout is acceptable there will not be objections on the grounds of highway safety, and the committee will be updated on this. The application is therefore recommended for approval subject to an acceptable S106 agreement, revisions to the plans and conditions.  

 

RECOMMENDATION: APPROVE subject to:

 

i)                    an acceptable revised layout plan providing suitable on site parking, tree retention where possible and landscaping;

ii)                  the satisfactory outcome of a bat survey;

 

and the completion of a S106 agreement requiring:

 

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

b)                 the provision of an acceptable level of S106 contributions from a mixed open market and affordable housing scheme.

c)                  Any other requirements arising from the revised plans and details.

 

and subject to the following CONDITIONS and any others as required as a result of the amended plans and details:

 

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.

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 windows or doors shall be inserted in the north side elevation of plot 22 .

 

 

Reason: The Local Planning Authority wish to retain control over the matters to protect the privacy of neighbouring residents in accordance with policy CS12 of the North Somerset Core Strategy and GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

3.

No development shall be commenced until samples panels of the materials to be used in the construction of the external surfaces of the buildings to which they relate have been constructed on site and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.  These details may be submitted for the whole, or part of a phase.

 

 

Reason: To protect the character and appearance of the building and in accordance with policy CS12 of the North Somerset Core Strategy and policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

 

4.

The approved provisions for the storage of refuse shall be provided before the occupation of each dwelling that they serve hereby permitted and thereafter shall be made permanently available for use for the storage of refuse only.

 

 

Reason: In the interests of the local environment and in accordance with policy CS3 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

 

5.

The development hereby permitted shall not be occupied until measures to generate 15% (or a lower figure if agreed with the local planning authority) of the energy required by the use of the development 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 building 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.

 

6.

All new residential units hereby approved shall be constructed to a minimum of Code Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority 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 in accordance with Policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan, to support the key objectives of 'Planning and Climate Change - Supplement to Planning Policy Statement 1 December 2007'.

 

7.

No development shall commence until full details of a landscaping scheme including full details of the size, species and spacing of plants and trees 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 and policy CS 30 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

 

8.

All works comprised in the approved details of landscaping should be carried out during the months of October to March inclusive following occupation of the building or completion of the development, whichever is the sooner.

 

 

Reason: To ensure as far as possible that the landscaping scheme is fully effective and in accordance with Policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan and policy CS 30 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

 

9.

Trees, hedges and plants in any development phase shown in the landscaping scheme to be retained or planted, which during the development works or during a period of ten years following implementation of the landscaping scheme in that development parcel, which are removed without prior written approval from the Local Planning Authority or which die, become seriously diseased or damaged, shall be replaced in the first available planting season with other such species and size as are to be agreed with the Local Planning Authority.

 

 

Reason: To ensure as far as possible that the landscaping scheme is fully effective and in accordance with Policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan and policy CS 30 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

 

10.

The erection of protective fencing around trees and hedges to be retained and trees growing in the adjacent properties shall be undertaken in accordance with plans and details to first be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, before any equipment, machinery or materials are brought on to the site for the purposes of the development, and shall be maintained until all equipment, machinery and surplus materials have been removed from the site. Nothing shall be stored or placed in any area fenced in accordance with this condition and the ground levels within those areas shall not be altered, nor shall any excavation be made, without the written consent of the local planning authority.  The Local Planning Authority is to be advised prior to development commencing of the fact that the tree protection measures as required are in place and available for inspection which shall then remain on site until the development in the vicinity is completed.

 

 

Reason: To ensure that no excavation, tipping, burning, storing of materials or any other activity takes place within this protective zone and in accordance with Policies GDP/3 and ECH/10 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan and the adopted supplementary planning document Biodiversity and Trees and policy CS 30 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

 

11.

The development hereby approved shall not begin until drainage works have been carried out in accordance with details that have first been submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority.

 

 

Reason: To ensure that the development is served by a satisfactory system of surface water drainage and in accordance with policy CS/3 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

 

12.

Each dwelling hereby approved shall not be occupied until the parking area serving it has been constructed and the parking spaces marked out in accordance with the approved plans and these parking spaces shall thereafter be permanently retained and shall not be used except for the parking of vehicles in connection with the development hereby approved.

 

 

Reason: To ensure that the development is served by a suitable parking area in order to preserve highway safety and 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.

 

13.

Prior to the occupation of any dwellings the boundary walls, gate piers and fences shall be raised, constructed and repaired in accordance with the approved plans and details unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. 

 

 

Reason: To protect the privacy and living conditions of neighbouring residents in accordance with policy CS12 of the North Somerset Core Strategy and GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

 

14.

No walls or gate piers shall be constructed until sample panels or details of the stonework demonstrating the colour, texture, face bond, and pointing have been erected on site or submitted to the Local Planning Authority and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  The development shall be completed in accordance with the approved details and the approved panels shall remain on site until the development is completed.

 

 

Reason: To ensure the appearance of the work will be satisfactory in the interests to the appearance of the area and in accordance with policy CS12 of the North Somerset Core Strategy and policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

 

15.

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

 

 

Reason: In order to preserve the living conditions of nearby residents in accordance with policy CS3 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

 

16.

Notwithstanding the approved plans no development shall commence on any part or phase of the development until full details of proposed cycle parking provision that shall accord with adopted local plan standards has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The cycle parking facilities shall be fully implemented in accordance with the approved scheme prior to the occupation of the development that they are intended to serve and shall be retained thereafter unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.

 

 

Reason: To ensure that the development is served by a cycle parking area built to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority and in accordance with Policy T/6 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan and policy CS1 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

 

17.

The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans and documents:         List to follow.

 

 

Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interest of proper planning and to ensure a high quality development and protection of interests of acknowledged importance in accordance with policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan and policy CS30 of the North Somerset Core Strategy.

 

 

SOUTH AREA COMMITTEE

 

UPDATE SHEET

 

20 SEPTEMBER 2012

 

 

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.