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  • Agenda item

    Planning Application No. 20/00123/OUT - Bugle Nurseries, Upper Halliford Road, Shepperton, TW17 8SN

    Ward

    Halliford and Sunbury West

     

    Proposal

    Outline application with all matters reserved other than ‘access’ for the retention of existing dwelling and demolition of all other existing buildings and structures, and the redevelopment of the site for up to 31 dwellings along with the provision of public open space and other associated words for landscaping, parking areas, pedestrian, cycle and vehicular routes.

     

    Officer Recommendation

    This application is recommended for refusal.

     

    Minutes:

    Description:

    Outline application with all matters reserved other than 'access' for the retention of existing dwelling and demolition of all other existing buildings and structures and the redevelopment of the site for up to 31 dwellings along with the provision of public open space and other associated works for landscaping, parking areas, pedestrian, cycle and vehicular routes.

     

    Additional Information:

    The Senior Planning Officer advised the Committee that:

     

    The applicant had provided the Council with 17 Cards with no names or addresses, in support of the application.  All the responders had ticked the box in support of the application and 14 had written additional comments but there were no new issues to report.

     

    The updates below were reported previously when the application was heard at Committee in September 2020 and were still relevant to note:-

     

    In the report in reference to the planning history for application reference 19/01022/OUT needs to be updated to refer to an appeal having been lodged and we are awaiting a start letter’.

     

    Paragraph 7.1 to be amended to read as follows:

     

    In 2017, the applicant made a formal request to the Council’s Strategic Planning section for the entire Bugle Nurseries site to be allocated for housing in the proposed new Local Plan (in response to the Council’s “Call for Sites” exercise). The applicant submitted two separate plans to illustrate the development potential of the site. The first plan showed a scheme similar to the 2018 refused application (18/00591/OUT) with the new housing and care home located towards the eastern side of the site. The second plan showed a larger scheme covering the whole of the Bugle Nurseries site comprising 116 dwellings and a care home. The area is classified as ‘strongly performing’ in the Council’s Borough-wide Green Belt Assessment 2017 Stage 1 and therefore the site was considered unsuitable for development. As such the site has been was classified within the Council’s updated 2018 Strategic Land Available Assessment (SLAA) as ‘not developable’ (see Need for Housing below). It is relevant to note that the site has also been considered unsuitable for development in the Green Belt Assessment Stage 2 published in December 2018. The Assessment states that the Sub-Area 396 (which covers the site) plays a fundamental role with respect to the wider Green Belt Local Area, and its release would harm the performance and integrity of the wider strategic Green Belt.

     

    Paragraph 7.5 to be amended to refer to the latest Housing Delivery Test Action Plan approved September 2020 and the amended figure of 60%.

     

    In addition, a letter received in response to the planning committee report from Montagu Evans noting the following:-

     

    1 Sustainabilty

    -The site is sustainable as it is urban in character and is well related to established urban area, infrastructure and public transport.

    - The previously developed part of the site should be prioritised for release ahead of any undeveloped Green Belt land.

    -The site is clearly defined in 2 parts with the east as previously developed commercial site and the west undeveloped and forms part of wider area of strongly performing Green Belt. This is as set out in the background analysis of the site in the Stage 2 Green Belt Review and also the Local Plan Preferred Options Rejected Site Analysis

    -The proposal relates to the redevelopment of the already urbanised eastern area and improvement to open Green Belt to the west.

     

    2. Impact on openness of Green Belt

    -the report incorrectly assesses the impact on the openness of the Green Belt purely by comparison to the existing buildings on the site, which is an unduly narrow assessment and does not accord with case law or the National Planning Policy Guidance.

    -all aspects of the existing site which currently detract from the openness of the Green Belt must be considered, including existing buildings and their curtilages, boundary treatment and substantial areas of purpose built hardstanding with associated lighting and other paraphernalia, site topography, established trees and landscaping

     

    3. Permissible Degree of Impact

    The applicant considers that because the proposal would provide affordable housing that the relevant consideration is whether the scheme has a substantial impact on openness of the Green Belt, rather than the previous scheme which was assessed as ‘no greater impact’, and is therefore a lower threshold

     

    4. Reasonable conclusion

    - The current scheme is substantially smaller than the previous scheme, against the visual and spatial impact that the existing industrial activities have on the openness of the Green Belt, when taken as a whole Therefore this is a lower threshold (noted above) and together these factors means that the Committee is entitled to come to a view that the development is appropriate in the Green Belt.

     

    5. Tilted balance

    This can be applied when development is considered to be appropriate or when Very Special Circumstances outweigh any harm to openness. Committee is entitled to conclude that the presumption in favour of granting planning permission applies on the basis that the harm would not be substantial and there are Very Special Circumstances which support the proposal in any event.

     

    6. Very Special Circumstances (VSC)

    VSC are material considerations in weighing up the merit of the proposal against the degree of any perceived harm to the Green Belt. Committee should be aware that it would only need one material consideration of sufficient weight to support the application. The weight for providing housing and affordable housing is sufficient in its own right to outweigh any concerns regarding the impact on the Green Belt. Officers give weight to the removal of the industrial operations which give rise to noise and disturbance which adds to the VSC in favour of the development.

    - Highlight that case law has clarified that circumstances do not have to be uncommon or special and there are no restrictions on what might be regarded as such a consideration.

    -Contrary to this, Officers give no weight to remediation of contaminated land and public support for the application on the basis that they are not unique.

     

    Public Speaking:

    In accordance with the Council’s procedure for speaking at meetings, Mr. Good spoke for the proposed development raising the following key points:

     

    ·         The comparison of Green Belt impact in the officer’s presentation was misleading and did not reflect the existing site condition compared to the proposed development

    ·         Is a low density residential development more or less harmful than the current industrial estate to the Green Belt?

    ·         Removal of industrial activity would be a substantial benefit

    ·         Provision of public open space would be substantial benefit

    ·         Permanent removal of the waste transfer station and provision of open space would be an improvement and a substantial benefit

    ·         Regeneration benefits would be substantial rather than limited in economic, social and physical terms, providing jobs, new homes and environmental remediation

     

    A motion to approve the planning application was proposed and seconded as follows:

     

    This Planning Committee resolves to approve the application on the grounds that the committee considers very special circumstances exist to clearly outweigh the substantial harm to the Green Belt, the application will need to be referred to the Secretary of State as a Departure from the Local Plan in accordance with The Town and Country Planning (Consultation) (England) Direction 2009. If the Secretary of State decides not to call the application in to determine himself, the application should be subject to the following conditions:

     

    (A)         To GRANT outline planning permission for 31 homes to be built as per the Application, subject to the applicant first entering into an appropriate legal agreement in respect of the following:

     

    1.         To provide at least 15 affordable housing units on-site built in accordance with current Home England Standards, the details of which shall be agreed with the Council’s Planning Development Manager.

               The split of the type of affordable housing shall be at least 10 for affordable rent and at least 5 dwellings for shared ownership. The rent levels for the affordable rent should not exceed 80% of the market rent, and in any event the relevant Local Housing Allowance rate in use at the time of handover to a Registered Provider. The shared ownership units shall be delivered accordance with the relevant Help to Buy scheme in use at the time of handover to a Registered Provider. The mandatory minimum share for initial purchases should not exceed 25%.

               Prior to implementation the Registered Provider shall enter into a Nominations Agreement in respect of the affordable housing (in order that the social housing meets local needs).

               Build and complete the affordable units and hand over to the Registered Provider for occupation before no more than 50% of the open market units are sold or substantially completed, whichever is the sooner.

     

    2.         To secure public access and maintenance of the public open space in perpetuity, details to be agreed with the Local Planning Authority. The applicant will be required to remove any contaminated material from the open space area and carry out necessary remediation works in accordance with a scheme to be agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority prior to any works taking place in respect of the residential development.

     

    In the event that the Section 106 Agreement is not completed

    In the event that the Section 106 agreement is not completed to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority and/or the applicant does not agree an extension of time for the determination of the planning application, delegate to the Planning Development Manager in consultation with the Chairman of the Planning Committee the following: REFUSE the planning application for the following reasons:

     

    1.         The development represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt for which no very special circumstances have been demonstrated. It will result in the site having a more urban character, will diminish the openness of the Green Belt and conflict with the purposes of including land within it. In particular, it would not comply with the Green Belt purposes: to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas, and to prevent neighbouring towns merging together. It is therefore contrary to Saved Policy GB1 of the Spelthorne Borough Local Plan 2001 and Section 13 (Protecting Green Belt Land) of the Government's National Planning Policy Framework 2019.

     

    2. The development fails to provide a satisfactory provision of affordable housing to meet the Borough’s housing needs, contrary to Policy HO3 of the Core Strategy and Policies DPD 2009.

     

     

    8.2 (B) In the event that the Section 106 agreement is completed to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority; GRANT subject to the following conditions:-

     

    1.         That in the case of those matters in respect of which details have not been given in the application and which concern the: -

    (a)       the Appearance, Landscaping, Layout and Scale; hereinafter called "the reserved matters", and which are hereby reserved for subsequent approval by the Local Planning Authority, application for such approval shall be made to the Local Planning Authority before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.

               

    (b)       The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of two years from the date of approval of the last of the reserved matters to be approved.

     

    Reason:- This condition is required by Section 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1990 as amended by Section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

     

    2.         Before any work on the development hereby permitted is first commenced detailed drawings be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority to show: -

    (i) Appearance

    (ii) Landscaping

    (iii) Layout

    (iv) Scale

     

    Reason:-

     

    (a) This is an outline application permitted in accordance with the provision of Article 5(1) of the Town and County Planning (Development Management Procedure) Order, 2015.

     

    (b) To ensure the proposed development does not prejudice the appearance of the locality.

     

    3.         The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans and drawings

     

    F0001 Rev. P1; F0100 Rev. P1; F0300 Rev. P1; F0500 Rev. P1; F1001 Rev. P1; D0100 Rev. P1; D0103 Rev. P1; D0120 Rev. P1; D0300 Rev. P1; D0500 Rev. P1; D1002 Rev. P1; D1100 Rev. P1; C0100 Rev. P1 received 03 February 2020.

     

    Reason:- For the avoidance of doubt and in the interest of proper planning

     

    4.         No development shall take place until:-

     

    (a)       A comprehensive desk-top study, carried out to identify and evaluate all potential sources and impacts of land and/or groundwater contamination relevant to the site, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

    (b)       Where any such potential sources and impacts have been identified, a site investigation has been carried out to fully characterise the nature and extent of any land and/or groundwater contamination and its implications. The site investigation shall not be commenced until the extent and methodology of the site investigation have been agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.

     

    (c)       A written method statement for the remediation of land and/or groundwater contamination affecting the site shall be agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority prior to the commencement of remediation. The method statement shall include an implementation timetable and monitoring proposals, and a remediation verification methodology.

     

    The site shall be remediated in accordance with the approved method statement, with no deviation from the statement without the express written agreement of the Local Planning Authority.

     

    Reason:-

    To protect the amenities of future residents and the environment from the effects of potentially harmful substances.

     

    NOTE

    The requirements of the above Condition must be carried out in accordance with current best practice. The applicant is therefore advised to contact Spelthorne's Pollution Control team on 01784 446251 for further advice and information before any work commences. An information sheet entitled "Land Affected By Contamination: Guidance to Help Developers Meet Planning Requirements" proving guidance can also be downloaded from Spelthorne's website at www.spelthorne.gov.uk.

     

    In accordance with policies SP6 and EN15 of the Spelthorne Borough Core Strategy and Policies Development Plan Document 2009.

     

    5.         Prior to the first use or occupation of the development, and on

    completion of the agreed contamination remediation works, a validation report that demonstrates the effectiveness of the remediation carried out shall be submitted to and agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

     

    Reason:- To protect the amenities of future residents and the environment from the effects of potentially harmful substances.

     

    6.         No development shall commence until a report has been submitted to and agreed by the Local Planning Authority which includes details and drawings demonstrating how 10% of the energy requirements generated by the development as a whole will be achieved utilising renewable energy methods and showing in detail the estimated sizing of each of the contributing technologies to the overall percentage. The detailed report shall identify how renewable energy, passive energy and efficiency measures will be generated and utilised for each of the proposed buildings to meet collectively the requirement for the scheme. The agreed measures shall be implemented with the construction of each building and thereafter retained and maintained to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority unless otherwise agreed in writing.

     

    Reason:- To ensure that the development is sustainable and complies with Policy SP7 and CC1 of the Spelthorne Development Plan Core Strategy and Policies DPD.

     

    7.         Before the first occupation of any part of the development, a landscape management plan including long-term design objectives, management responsibilities and maintenance schedules for all landscaped areas shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The landscape management plan shall be carried out as approved.

     

    Reason:- To minimise the loss of visual amenity occasioned by the development and to enhance the proposed development.

     

    8.         The development hereby approved shall not be commenced unless and until the proposed vehicular access to Upper Halliford Road has been provided with visibility zones in accordance with Drawing Number MBSK200108-04 P1 and thereafter the visibility zones shall be kept permanently clear of any obstruction measured from 0.6m above the road surface.

     

    Reason:- The condition above is required in order that the development should not prejudice highway safety, nor cause inconvenience to other highway users.

     

    9.         During and after the construction of the development hereby approved, there shall be no means of vehicular access from the site to Upper Halliford Road over the existing access at the northern boundary of the site.

     

    Reason:- The condition above is required in order that the development should not prejudice highway safety, nor cause inconvenience to other highway users.

     

    10.       The development hereby approved shall not be first occupied unless and until space has been laid out within the site in accordance with the approved plans for vehicles to be parked and for vehicles to turn so that they may enter and leave the site in forward gear. Thereafter the parking and turning areas shall be retained and maintained for their designated purposes.

     

    Reason:- The condition above is required in order that the development should not prejudice highway safety, nor cause inconvenience to other highway users.

     

    11.       No development shall commence until a Construction Transport Management Plan, to include details of:

    (a) parking for vehicles of site personnel, operatives and visitors

    (b) loading and unloading of plant and materials

    (c) storage of plant and materials

    (d) programme of works (including measures for traffic management)

    (e) provision of boundary hoarding behind any visibility zones

    (f) measures to prevent the deposit of materials on the highway

    (g) on-site turning for construction vehicles

    has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Only the approved details shall be implemented during

    the construction of the development.

     

    Reason:- The condition above is required in order that the development should not prejudice highway safety, nor cause inconvenience to other highway users.

     

    12.       The development hereby approved shall not be first occupied unless and until a pedestrian crossing facility to improve the safety of pedestrians crossing Upper Halliford Road has been provided in accordance with a scheme to be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

     

    Reason:- The condition above is required in order that the development should not prejudice highway safety, nor cause inconvenience to other highway users.

     

    13.       The development hereby approved shall not be occupied unless and until at least 25 of the proposed parking spaces have been provided with a fast charge socket (current minimum requirements - 7 kw Mode 3 with Type 2 connector - 230v AC 32 Amp single phase dedicated supply) for the charging of electric vehicles in accordance with a scheme to be submitted and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and thereafter retained and maintained to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority.

     

    Reason:- The above condition is required in recognition of Section 4 (Promoting Sustainable Transport) of the NPPF

     

    14.      The development hereby permitted shall not commence until details of the design of a surface water drainage scheme have been submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority. The design must satisfy the SuDS Hierarchy and be compliant with the national Non-Statutory Technical Standards for SuDS, NPPF and Ministerial Statement on SuDS. The required drainage details shall include:

     

    a)         The results of infiltration testing completed in accordance with BRE Digest: 365 in the location of proposed soakaways and confirmation of groundwater levels.

     

    b)        Evidence that the proposed final solution will effectively manage the 1 in 30 & 1 in 100 (+40% allowance for climate change) storm events and 10% allowance for urban creep, during all stages of the development.

     

    c)         Detailed drainage design drawings and calculations to include: a finalised drainage layout detailing the location of drainage elements, pipe diameters, levels, and long and cross sections of each element including details of any flow restrictions and maintenance/risk reducing features (silt traps, inspection chambers etc.).

     

    d)        A plan showing exceedance flows (i.e. during rainfall greater than design events or during blockage) and how property on and off site will be protected.

     

    e)         Details of drainage management responsibilities and maintenance regimes for the drainage system.

     

    f)          Details of how the drainage system will be protected during construction and how runoff (including any pollutants) from the development site will be managed before the drainage system is operational.

     

    Reason: To ensure the design meets the national Non-Statutory Technical Standards for SuDS and the final drainage design does not increase flood risk on or off site.

     

    15.      Prior to the first occupation of the development, a verification report carried out by a qualified drainage engineer must be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. This must demonstrate that the drainage system has been constructed as per the agreed scheme (or detail any minor variations), provide the details of any management company and state the national grid reference of any key drainage elements (surface water attenuation devices/areas, flow restriction devices and outfalls).

     

    Reason:- To ensure the Drainage System is constructed to the National Non-Statutory Technical Standards for SuDS.

     

    16.      The precautionary measures to safeguard bats during demolition shall be carried out strictly in accordance with the recommended safeguarding measures in the Aspect Ecology Technical Briefing Note June 2020.

     

    Reason:- In the interest of safeguarding bats on the site.

     

    17.       Prior to the construction of the buildings, a biodiversity enhancement scheme to be implemented on the site shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The biodiversity enhancement measures shall be implemented in accordance with the approved scheme and thereafter maintained.

     

    Reason:- To encourage wildlife on the site.

     

    18.       Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order 2015 (or any order revoking and re-enacting that Order), no extensions or other form of enlargement to the residential development hereby permitted, nor erection of porches, outbuildings, hardstandings, storage tanks, gates, fences, walls or other means of enclosure, shall take place without the prior planning permission of the Local Planning Authority.

               

    Reason:- To safeguard the amenity of neighbouring properties and in the interest of safeguarding the openness of the Green Belt.

     

    19.      No properties shall be occupied until confirmation has been provided that either:- 1. Capacity exists off site to serve the development, or 2. A housing and infrastructure phasing plan has been agreed with Thames Water. Where a housing and infrastructure phasing plan is agreed, no occupation shall take place other than in accordance with the agreed housing and infrastructure phasing plan, or 3. All wastewater network upgrades required to accommodate the additional flows from the development have been completed.

     

    Reason:- Network reinforcement works may be required to accommodate the proposed development. Any reinforcement works identified will be necessary in order to avoid sewage flooding and/or potential pollution incidents. The developer can request information to support the discharge of this condition by visiting the Thames Water website at thameswater.co.uk/preplanning.

     

    20.      The residential dwellings and their gardens hereby approved shall be confined entirely to within the Development Zone shown on approved Parameter Plan D1002 Rev. P1.

     

    Reason:- In the interest of safeguarding the openness of the Green Belt.

     

    21.      The public open space hereby approved shall be made permanently available and accessible to members of the public 364 days per calendar year from 08:00 to 20:00 hours, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority:

     

    Reason:- To ensure that the public open space is made permanently available to the public.

     

    We have considered that this application is inappropriate development, but consideration of the benefits and the harms to the Green Belt mean that this amounts to very special circumstances.

     

    We draw particular attention of the Material Considerations and Harm identified in clauses 3.3 and 7.4 of the report.

     

    We contend the following weighting should be attributed to these arguments

     

    Benefits put forward by the applicant.

    Housing delivery – Significant weight

    Removal of bad neighbours – Significant weight

    Remediation of the contaminated land – Moderate weight

    Regeneration of the site – Moderate weight

    Provision of public open space – Limited weight

    Local community view – Significant weight

    The proposal does not conflict with the purposes of the Green Belt – Moderate weight

     

    Harm identified in the Officer Report

     

    Inappropriate Development – Moderate weight

    Loss of Openness – Limited weight

    Harm to the visual amenities of the Green Belt – Moderate weight

    Conflict with 2 of the 5 purposes of the Green Belt in the NPPF – No weight

     

    Having considered the weightings above, we consider planning permission should be granted.

     

    Debate:

    During the debate the following key issues were raised:

     

    ·         Query over procedural matters on voting by the members of the Planning Committee

    ·         Query on the decision of the Planning Committee on 16/09/20, the application was approved.  Officer note: the vote to refuse was not carried and the application was deferred to give committee members appropriate time to draft a suitable motion in support of the application.

    ·         The Planning Committee agreed to defer the planning application on 16/09/20

    ·         Development will benefit local residents

    ·         Enforcement action has not been taken previously (officer note: enforcement action had been taken where possible)

    ·         Re-use of buildings complies with NPPF

    ·         Will not have a materially greater impact than existing

    ·         Inappropriate development within the Green Belt

    ·         Development is not contrary to the five purposes of the Green Belt

    ·         Proposal is morally wrong

    ·         Significant weight should be given to the Green Belt advice in the NPPF

    ·         If approved will have a significant impact on the emerging local plan by weakening the Green Belt on a strategic level

    ·         There are no very special circumstances to justify building housing on the Green Belt

    ·         Waste transfer site is just a bund with earth and rubble, not industrial waste

    ·         The owner could clear the site without developing

    ·         The site is with a commercial area

    ·         The railway line will prevent urban sprawl

    ·         Development has been approved previously on the Shepperton Studios site which is within the Green Belt

    ·         Affordable housing is being proposed which is needed

    ·         The site should be used to benefit our communities

    ·         Site is an eyesore

    ·         Neighbour support – no weighting has been given to objectors’ views

     

    A recorded vote was requested by Councillor Smith-Ainsley. The voting was as follows:

     

    For (7)

    N. Gething, M. Gibson, T. Harman, N. Islam, J. McIlroy, R. Noble, R.W. Sider BEM,

    Against (8)

    C. Bateson, S. Dunn, H. Harvey, V. Siva, R.A. Smith-Ainsley, B. Spoor, J. Vinson, T. Lagden

    Abstain (0)

     

     

    The vote to approve the application in accordance with the above motion was not carried.

     

    A motion to refuse the planning application as set out in the officer’s report was proposed by Councillor Smith-Ainsley and seconded by Councillor H. Harvey and agreed by the Committee.

     

    Decision:

    The application was refused for the following reason:

     

    The development represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt for which no very special circumstances have been demonstrated. It will result in the site having a more urban character, will diminish the openness of the Green Belt and conflict with the purposes of including land within it. In particular, it would not comply with the Green Belt purposes: to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas, and to prevent neighbouring towns merging together. It is therefore contrary to Saved Policy GB1 of the Spelthorne Borough Local Plan 2001 and Section 13 (Protecting Green Belt Land) of the Government's National Planning Policy Framework 2019.

     

    Councillors J. McIlroy and V. Siva left the meeting at this point. 

    Supporting documents: