229-245 CARSHALTON ROAD, CARSHALTON - APPLICATION NO. C2010/63256/FUL
- Meeting of Development Control Committee, Wednesday, 13th October, 2010 7.30 pm (Item 749.)
- View the background to item 749.
Report of the Executive Head of Planning and Transportation (ENCLOSURE).
The Committee considered a report on the above application for demolition of all of the existing buildings and the erection of a part three, part four storey building comprising 395m2 of commercial floor space (within Use Classes A1, A2, B1 and D1) at ground floor level; and two one-bedroom, 36 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom self-contained flats at ground, first, second and third floor levels; together with a total of 29 undercroft and surface car parking spaces.
Officers reported, subsequent to the preparation of their report, the receipt of comments from Transport for London and the Senior Highways Engineer; a further 41 letters of objection reiterating grounds similar to those already referred to in their report and one letter of support; and correspondence from the applicant regarding acceptable materials and rebutting comments made in letters of objection. Amendments to recommended conditions were submitted. It was also reported that the scheme represented more than 20% of Sutton’s affordable housing target for 2011 and that funding for it would be lost if permission were refused.
In response to questions officers explained: that if a housing scheme was designed for disabled people it was expected to include a considerable number of parking spaces designed for disabled drivers – approximately five spaces in this case; that the design was very similar to that of the previous application granted on appeal; that parking for the proposed 65 place nursery would be available in the layby in Carshalton Road (2) and within the application site (7), the details of which would be subject to a recommended condition; that if those places were full there would be on-street parking available, and some parents would live within walking distance; that the details of the refuse arrangements were reserved by a recommended condition; that the combined number of parking spaces within and outside the application site was believed to be adequate, assuming not all parents would drive; that the proposed nursery would be open for longer hours than nearby schools so the local parking requirement would be staggered; and that if permission were refused and the Council lost on appeal the costs could be between £25,000 and £30,000.
It was noted that the application granted on appeal included provision for a larger nursery than now proposed.
Mrs Janice Funnell, an objector, and Councillors Jill Whitehead and Alan Salter, ward councillors, addressed the meeting under Standing Order 33, and Mr Roger Tullett replied for the applicant.
The principal issues raised by Mrs Funnell were:-
- If parking in the layby was not available parents would have to drive round the block because Shorts Road was one-way
- Comments about the cost of an appeal if permission was refused amounted to blackmail
- There were objections to the proposed development because of its bulk and poor design, which was better suited to an inner city site
- Nobody objected to the development of the site in principle
- The proposed development would produce an unacceptable and cramped design and accommodation
- The proposal would be an over development of the site
- The proposed development showed no consideration or respect for future residents
- The proposed design would be out of keeping and unsympathetic, and have considerable impact on the local community
- The proposed design would overwhelm adjoining small two storey houses
- Objectors supported the principle of affordable housing
In response to questions Mrs Funnell said that parking in the area was appalling; that she frequently could not park in Alma Road in the evening; and that the proposed development would lead to overlooking into the playground of St Philomena’s School.
The principal issues raised by Councillor Whitehead were:-
- There were very few changes compared with the previously refused scheme
- The reasons for rejecting the previous scheme were still valid
- The modern design would be out of keeping with the area
- The height and bulk of the proposed development would be too great
- The proposed development would overlook properties in adjoining roads, and in particular St Philomena’s School and St Mary’s Junior School
- There would be only a small reduction in the number of flats compared with the refused scheme
- 50 parking spaces would be needed for residents of the proposed development
- Shorts Road was one-way and narrow and access roads would be congested by traffic
The principal issue raised by Councillor Salter was that the school population had grown and the existing schools in the area were too small.
The principal issues raised by Mr Tullett were:-
- Permission for the previous application had been granted on appeal
- The applicant had tried to mirror the design and appearance of the previous scheme
- The proposed scheme would meet the Council’s design standards and interior room sizes
- The proposed scheme would meet Lifetime Homes standards and Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, neither of which would be achieved in the previous scheme
- The residential units would provide 100% affordable housing
- The proposed scheme would meet the funding standards for affordable housing
- The applicant would encourage the use of sustainable transport and constrain car ownership
- A survey had suggested that there would be 40% car ownership in the residential element of the scheme
- The applicant did not wish to provide excess parking spaces and so encourage car use
In response to questions Mr Tullett confirmed: that there was approved funding for the proposed scheme; that a smaller development would always be more comfortable but market conditions meant that the applicant had to secure the maximum potential of the site so that any scheme would be viable; that whilst there could be more parking provision and larger residential units the applicant had to respond to commercial considerations; that the applicant was prepared to consider a car share scheme and encourage parents to use non-car methods of transport; that there was no intention to increase the height of the proposed scheme; and that whilst one of the two access points to the residents’ amenity area would be along a narrow path it would be well lit.
Members noted the proximity of the proposed parking spaces to the children’s play area, and that the distance between the rows of parking spaces was too small to allow parents entering the parking area, and finding it full, to turn their cars around and exit in one manoeuvre, thus increasing the likelihood of congestion. They also noted that the applicant could choose to build the previous scheme granted on appeal, but believed that neither scheme would be in keeping with the character of the area. They believed that the scheme now proposed would not provide sufficient parking and did not take sufficient account of the density of traffic in the area at certain times of the day.
Members were mindful of the possible costs if permission were refused but granted on appeal. There was a motion to defer consideration to enable the applicant to consider members’ concerns, but it was suggested that instead the Committee should make a decision on the application.
A poll vote on the officers’ recommendation to grant permission was held in accordance with Standing Order 33.4, when there voted:
To grant (0)
Against (8) Councillors Mary Burstow, Adrian Davey, Bruce Glithero, Lester Holloway, John Leach, Janet Lowne, Tony Shields and Graham Whitham.
Resolved: That planning permission for application No. C2010/63256/FUL be refused for the reasons set out in the Appendix to these Minutes.
Councillor Adrian Davey declared a personal interest in the above application because his brother lived in Alma Road, Carshalton.