Meeting Details

Planning Committee
23 May 2018 - 19:00 to 22:00

Documents

Agenda

Standard Items
1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Councillor David Millican.

2 Urgent Matters

There were none.

3 Declarations of Interest

 

Councillor Summers declared that he was a Governor at Belvue School (application 01).

 

Councillor Joanna Dabrowska stated that she had been involved in meetings with the Ark Byron Primary Academy, which was based on Gunnersbury Lane close to the site proposed by Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College (application 02).

4 Matters to be Considered in Private

 

There were none.

5 Minutes
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 18 April 2018.

The Committee considered the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 18 April 2018.

 

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 April 2018 be agreed and be signed by the Chair as a correct record of the meeting.

Application 01 in respect of Belvue School, Rodwell Road, Northolt, UB5 6AG (Northolt Mandeville Ward)

 

Proposal: Construction of a part-single and part two-storey side and rear extension for school use (Use Class D1) with ancillary caretaker accommodation and ramp and step access, following the demolition of nine single-storey ancillary structures; installation of associated hardstanding, green house, cycle and refuse storage, pump house and sprinkler tank and associated enclosures (Regulation 3 – Council’s own Development)

 

Alan Corcoran (Planning Officer) introduced the application and referred members to the additional information provided in the briefing note. It was noted that the site as designated as Green Belt and was located within an Archaeological Interest Area.  The Committee was recommended to approve the application.

 

The Chair then invited Committee Members to comment and ask questions.

 

Councillor Ray Wall sought reassurances around the Green Belt designation. Would the Mayor’s Office have the power to overturn the decision taken at the Committee based on this?

 

It was advised that, whilst the Green Belt did have the highest level of policy protection – the development proposed would actually result in a 15% reduction in building footprint from the existing property and only a very minor net increase in floor area of 30sq. m. which was less than a 1% increase. This had already been flagged with the Mayor’s Office, who had raised no objections.

 

Councillor Dabrowska commented that their needed to be more clarity around how much weight the need for SEN school places carried in the decision to allow development on the Green Belt.

 

Councillor Summers stated that in knowing the site well, he was aware of how the development would have effectively no impact on the Green Belt. He felt a site visits would have easily dispelled any such concerns.

 

Councillor Ball agreed that an increase of 30sq. m. was negligible in relation to the benefits brought by the development.

 

The Chair then moved the discussion to a close and asked that the committee to proceed to vote on the application.

 

RESOLVED:

Recommendation agreed to GRANT deemed consent subject to conditions in the agenda report and internal transfer.

Application 02 in respect of Ealing Hammersmith and West London College, Gunnersbury Lane, Acton, W3 8UX (East Acton ward)

 

Proposal: Construction of part single, part two and part three-storey secondary school (Use Class D1) and associated alterations to Gunnersbury Lane footpath to accommodate one disabled car parking bay, installation of cycle and refuse storage; single-storey substation; single-storey temporary school kitchen and temporary boiler.

 

Alan Corcoran (Planning Officer) introduced the application and referred members to the additional information provided in the briefing note.  The Committee was recommended to approve the application.

 

Jonathan Darby, a local resident, spoke in objection to elements of the application. He stated that overall, he and his neighbours were broadly supportive of the proposed development and that there was an understanding of the fact that the development would meet a community need, the need for housing was unquestionable and the proposed development appeared to be sympathetic in a way that would improve and regenerate that part of Acton.

 

However, there were concerns around the terms of the proposed community use agreement. The current terms proposed would allow the school to be available for community use between 7am and 10pm, seven days a week. Whilst the outdoor play areas would not be under consideration until phase two of the planning application, there was a concern that the hours agreed for phase one would set a precedent.

 

Therefore Mr Darby and his neighbours sought assurances that the hours would only apply to indoor usage and that any outdoor usage would not be allowed to run until such a late hour – feeling that the best approach would be to restrict the usage of outdoor facilities to the normal working day from 8am until 6pm, five days a week.

 

A broader point was also raised pertaining to the level of development currenty seen in South and Central Acton. There was a concern that these would put an undue amount of pressure upon the existing local infrastructure and that there was a keeness to understand how this would be strenghened for new and existing residents alike.

 

Jeff Field (JLL) acting on behlaf of the applicant, then responded to the objector’s concerns. He advised that the development was taking place in two phases to allow for the quicer delivery of the school, which it was hoped would be ready for use in 2019.

 

Planning condition 18 referred to the hours of use for the community in the school only and only related to phase one. Anything external to the building such as MUGAs (Multi-Use Games Areas) would be covered exclusively in phase two. He advised that when phase two was brought before the Committee, they may wish to apply such conditions, but they would not be relevant at this stage.

 

The Chair then invited the Committee’s comments on the application.

 

Councillor Joanna Dabrowska stated that overall she broadly supported the application. She queried however whether there would be any floodlights used in the winter that could disturb neighbours. Officers confirmed that this would be addressed in phase two.

 

Councillor Ray Wall felt it was appropriate that schools act as community hubs and that they should be used to the full possible extent, as long as there were no significant noise impacts. He agreed that the impact of lighting arrangements would have to be taken account on in phase two.

 

Councillor Ball felt that it was a good application and thay clear care had been taken around overlooking. As phase one was only indoors, the hours of community use should not be reduced.

 

The Chair asked that officers provide further clarity around the distinctions between phases one and two.

 

Steve Barton (Strategic Planning Manager) stated that the application provided a unique scheme and its approach of blending schools with residential use units was hoped to be an examplar for future projects – however the nature of the project was obviously challenging. The principle of school development had already been accepted but it was advised that no decisions taken in phase one would “tie the hands” of the committee when phase two was eventually brought before them. Regarding the hours of community use, Phase one included only indoor facilities so that excessive noise was unlikely to be a major concern.

 

Councillor Ray Wall asked for clarification around the post-construction energy monitoring and how this would be paid for.

 

It was advised that this referenced  the monitoring of carbon emissions to ensure compliance. A meter would be installed that would send the information back to the Council. A financial contribution of £3,610 would be made by the developer to fund the installation of the meter.

 

Councillor Summers stated that he agred with the comments about the need for the development to act as a community hub. He stated that when phase two was brought before the committee, a site visit would be welcome.

 

The Chair then asked that the committee to proceed to vote on the application.

 

RESOLVED:
Recommendation agreed to GRANT planning permission subject to the completion of legal agreement, Section 278 agreement and conditions in the agenda report and briefing note.

Application 03 in respect of The Perfume Factory, 140 Wales Farm Road, Acton, W3 6UG (East Acton Ward)

 

Proposal: Demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment of site to provide 3 No. residential buildings between 12 and 25 storeys in height to provide 380 residential units (comprising 66 No. studios, 190 No. 1 bed, 104 No. 2 bed and 20 No. 3 bed flats) and 1,403 sq.m of flexible A1/A2/A3/A4/A5/B1/D1/D2 floor space; the provision of public open space, roof top amenity space, landscaping, car and cycle parking, and refuse storage (Full Planning Application accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment: Resubmission).

  

Paul Ricketts (Principal Planner) introduced the report, advising that in February 2018, the Committee had refused planning permission for a scheme that was substantially the same as the re-submission, although for 390 dwelling units. The refusal was issued based on the sub-standard sizes of 20 studio units. The applicant had submitted an appeal against this decision. The current application sought to rectify the refusal reason by re-designing the scheme to reduce numbers to 380 overall and for those 20 studio units to be changed into 10 x 2 bed dwellings to ensure that all dwellings met the adopted floor space standards.

 

It was advised that the briefing note contained three further third party written representations, including the GLA and HS2. The GLA had assessed the applicant’s viability appraisal and the Council’s independent viability report and confirmed that the current affordable housing offer was the current maximum offer that the scheme could deliver. This confirmation on the maximum offer had been welcomed and the applicant had agreed to include a late stage review with the Council to help ensure that any economic growth within the area could be accommodated within the scheme at a later stage.

 

Jeremy Parker, a local resident, spoke in objection to the application. He stated that North Acton was currently home to 3,000 people. The developments currently going through approval would see the population rise to around 12,000, an entirely new ward’s worth of people. These would all be contained within 10 hectares next to the A40. This would result in a density greater than Hong Kong or Shanghai. The density proposed for the application was considered to be nearly double that of the maximum density for sustainable living allowed in Central London and three times that of other urban areas. It was felt that the application would be “ripping up the London Plan”.

 

At 25 storeys, the development would be seen from miles around and would be a particular eyesore for residents living in two storey houses on Wales Farm Road. It also fell within land that may be required for construction of HS2, possibly resulting in a compulsory purchase order. This could cost the taxpayer millions in compulsory purchase fees. There was also concern about the significant impact upon the local infrastructure such as schools and local rail stations. The section 106 monies of £2.4 million being arranged for mitigation of the lack of infrastructure were considered to be “paltry” and there was concern that the monies could be “siphoned off” for projects elsewhere in the borough.

 

Barry Coltrini of Essential Living spoke in response on behalf of the applicant. He stated that the decision being taken by the Committee was very important and would allow for the unlocking of a key brownfield site that would make a positive contribution towards the regeneration of North Acton. The scheme formed part of a comprehensive approach with Imperial College who were now on site. Both schemes had been carefully designed to complement each other and the facilities were interdependent in order to operate efficiently.  However, the buildings proposed by this application were some six storeys lower than those in the already approved Imperial College scheme.

 

The reason for the previous refusal had been listened to and the 20 micro apartments had been removed from the application. All of the apartments were now 100% compliant with GLA space standards. It was also stated that the developments would bring benefits to North Acton, such as high quality design, an exceptional public realm, and much needed private and affordable residential accommodation.

 

The proposal offered 124 high quality affordable homes and fully met the GLA guidelines for Build to Rent homes all secured in perpetuity and affordable for evermore. 30% would be fixed at the GLA’s London Living Rent at around 50% of the Market Rent locally. The remaining units were to be discounted making them affordable for couples with salaries up to the region of 25k.

 

The commitment of the developer to North Acton was highlighted. As long term operators of the accommodation they had a vested interest to ensure that the standard of the homes and the environments in which they were based were exemplary.

 

Steve Barton made reference to concerns around the density matrix and said this must not be read mechanistically. Indeed, the draft revised NPPF emphasised the need to make the best use of land. Any decisions should take into account making use of greater density and that in fact applications that failed to make the best use of available land should be refused.

 

The Chair then invited Committee Members to comment and ask questions.

 

Councillor Munir Ahmed sought clarity around the appeal taking place against the Committee’s refusal of the application in February 2018. Would the appeal based on the February application still be proceeding even if the application in its current format was now granted?

 

It was advised that any appeals related to a previous application could not be considered in the context of what sat before the Committee now.

 

Councillor Joanna Dabrowska sought clarity around the references to discounted market rates as they appeared unclear to the Committee.

 

Following an extended discussion around the market rate and the London living rate. Councillor Ray Wall suggested that as affordability terms and references often resulted in confusion amongst Committee Members, there needed to be further training on this made available to members to iron out future issues.

 

In regards to the application, Councillor Ray Wall stated that he was pleased to see that the applicant had listened to the committee and addressed its concerns. Now that the living spaces contained within were of an appropriate size he felt that the application was now fine. He noted that he was pleased that the Committee were able to have an impact in changing the development for the better.

 

Councillor Summers noted that he had always been in support of the application, and had voted to grant the application at the February 2018 meeting. He still remained very much in favour of the scheme, and that rather than being a “25 story eyesore” he felt that the development fit well within the North Acton landscape. He stated that any developments towards step-free access at North Acton Underground Station would be welcome.

 

Councillor Donnelly felt that the size of the Transport for London contribution could make a significant logistical difference around North Acton Underground Station. Were officers able to provide further insight into that? He also reflected on the points raised by the objector concerning the possibility of a HS2 related compulsory purchase order. Where did the Council legally stand on this?

 

Officers advised that the land in question had not been identified for possible HS2 use, only a small strip off land close to the development and so this could not be considered material grounds for refusal. Unfortunately no conditions could be applied to the development insisting that monies were directly ring fenced for step free access at North Acton Station.

 

The Chair then moved the discussion to a close and asked that the committee to proceed to vote on the application.

 

RESOLVED:
Recommendation agreed to GRANT planning permission subject to the completion of legal agreement, Stage referral to the Mayor of London and conditions in the agenda report and briefing note.
7 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on 20 June 2018.

It was noted that the next meeting would take place on Wednesday 20 June 2018 at 7.00pm.

Paul Najsarek, Chief Executive, 15 May 2018

Supplementary Agenda

Standard Items
MEMBERSHIP: Councillor Shital Manro (Chair), Councillor Munir Ahmed, Councillor Praveen Anand, Councillor Jon Ball, Councillor Paul Conlan, Councillor Joanna Dabrowska, Councillor Steve Donnelly, Councillor Tariq Mahmood, Councillor David Millican, Councillor Aysha Raza, Councillor Chris Summers, Councillor Lauren Wall and Councillor Ray Wall

Declarations of Interests

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