Recommendation: Conditional Approval, subject to Legal Agreement.
Proposal: Redevelopment of the site to provide 38 dwellings including affordable housing, hard and soft landscaping, open space, parking provision and associated works.
Applicant: Bellway Homes Thames Valley Limited
The Committee considered a report about this application set out on Agenda pages 111 to 157.
The Committee was advised that the Members’ Update, and Appendix 1 included details of:
· Deletion of conditions 20 and 21;
· Recommended additional highway condition;
· Recommended additional informatives
· Additional comments and responses about flood risk assessments/modelling from the Swallowfield Flood Resilience Group; the Councils’ Drainage consultants, WSP; the Environment Agency; Bellway Homes, Swallowfield Parish Council; and Thames Water;
· Clarification on the affordable housing contributions;
John Anderson, representing Swallowfield Parish Council, spoke raising concerns about the application.
Lee Atkins, from the Swallowfield Flood Resilience Group spoke objecting to the application, specifically on flood risk grounds.
James McConnell and Ryan Saul representing the applicant spoke in support of the application.
Stuart Munro, Local Ward Member, spoke supporting local concerns about the application.
It was noted that Members had undertaken a site visit on 5 December 2014 to assess the impact on the character of the area.
In response to questions, it was confirmed that the proposed provision of formal dedicated visitor/unallocated parking was sufficient, as the principal road way is wide enough to accommodate some on-street parking, and many of the private houses could accommodate 3 cars on their driveways.
Concerns were raised about the number of dwellings proposed on the site which had been allocated for housing development for up to 25 dwellings, but 38 were proposed. Officers indicated that although the site had been identified as a ‘Limited Development Location’, where sites should generally not exceed 25 dwellings, no specific maximum number of dwellings had been given for this site. It is the Officers’ opinion that the development of this brown field site with additional dwellings will not cause significant harm. The Borough Design Guide standards will be met and the development is acceptable in character terms.
The majority of the local objections were in relation to drainage and flooding issues. Copies of recent correspondence and responses from WSP, the Council’s Drainage consultants, had been circulated. Despite the significant representations in respect of flood risk from the resident’s group, supported by a technical expert, it was reported that WSP Officers had been party to meetings and further information, and had been able to run a greater number of in depth model runs to test drainage solutions. WSP is satisfied that no objection on drainage and flood risk grounds can be raised. Officers indicated that as the advice received from Thames Water was that any issues that potentially could arise as a result of the development would be dealt with, and can be controlled by conditions, there was nothing to substantiate refusal on drainage grounds.
RESOLVED: That application F/2014/0940 be approved subject to:
1) the completion of a Legal Agreement, as set out on Agenda pages 144 and 145 by 5 April 2015;
2) the conditions as set out on Agenda pages 113 to 122, with conditions 20 and 21 deleted and additional highways conditions and informative and. set out in the Members’ Update