Recommendation: Conditional approval
Proposal: Application for approval of reserved matters pursuant to outline planning consent O/02014/2280 for the erection of 44 dwellings associated internal roads, parking and landscaping
Applicant: Millgate Homes (C/O Mr Richard Barter)
The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 11 to 42.
The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:
· Clarity that the actual site (Parcel AA) sat wholly within Barkham Parish;
· Altered condition 2 to include the final plans for decision;
· Response to Arborfield and Newland consultation;
· Clarification of the parking table following amended plans.
Simon Weeks queried whether the proposed development would be an improvement on the buildings currently situated at the site, whether Crest Nicholson were responsible for the overall affordable housing provision across the SDL, and whether other parcels within the SDL had a lower density. Alex Thwaites, Case Officer, stated that in his view the proposed dwellings would be a considerable improvement. Alex clarified that Crest Nicholson did indeed have the responsibility to meet the overall 20% onsite affordable housing contribution in addition to a 15% commuted sum across the SDL. Alex stated that other parcels of the SDL had a lower density than that proposed for Parcel AA.
A number of Members queried whether social cohesion had been taken into account across the SDL when considering where to place affordable housing. Connor Corrigan, Service Manager – Strategic Development Locations and Planning Delivery, stated that social landlords had assessed the SDL, both as a whole and as its component parcels, and had identified areas which would allow for the most effective management of properties. Connor added that the Arborfield SDL was a large site and the social landlords had identified a number of larger areas within larger parcels to place onsite affordable housing.
Stephen Conway queried whether, as per the Parish Councils comment, there was a risk people would park outside of the development on Princess Marina Drive. Judy Kelly, Highways Development Manager, stated that the proposed development met the Council’s parking standards. Judy added that that the developers had amended the plans to move 4 parking spaces away from the junction. Judy stated that Princess Marina Drive had double yellow lines which would make it unlikely that it would be used as an overflow.
Andrew Mickleburgh queried aspects of the electric vehicle charging provision at the proposed development. Simon Weeks clarified that there was no current local or national electric vehicle charging policy, however a national policy was currently being drawn up. Judy Kelly stated that part of the Council’s new highways design guide included guidance on electric vehicle charging, and the highways department were working with developers to help accommodate electric vehicle charging provision. Judy added that she would expect approximately 4 active and 21 passive charging points on a site of this size. Connor Corrigan stated that the biggest issue with electric vehicle charging provision was the lack of power station infrastructure, further guidance on which would be included within the national guidance that was in development.
Carl Doran queried why this parcel was not seen as a sustainable area for affordable housing, and why the ‘build to rent’ houses were not included within the total figures. Connor Corrigan stated that social landlords had assessed all parcels of the SDL and had concluded that it was easier to manage affordable housing within larger parcels. Connor added that private rental units were slightly different to an open market house and had a separate legal agreement associated.
Angus Ross sought confirmation that the TPO’d tree would not be compromised by the proposed development. Alex Thwaites confirmed that the tree would not be compromised by the proposed development, including its root protection.
Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey raised concerns with the parking provision at the proposed development, considering its location would likely account for 2 vehicles per dwelling plus visitor provision. Simon Weeks stated that the Council was in the process of updating its local plan, which would include new parking standards. Until the new local plan was published, the existing parking standards had to be applied to all current planning proposals. Judy Kelly confirmed that all flats would have 1 allocated space and the development met the current parking standards.
Malcolm Richards queried whether the proposed 4 storey building would have a lift, whether the site would have pavement in its entirety, and what alternative there was to enter and exit the site if there was an issue at the proposed single entry point. Alex Thwaites confirmed that there would be a lift within the proposed 4 storey building. Judy Kelly stated that highway construction details, secured under outline planning condition, were to be submitted, which could include some shared space. With regards to the entrance, Judy stated that there was no alternative entry point, and Highways would only ask developers for a second access point for a development consisting of 100 or more properties.
Chris Bowring queried whether affordable housing was spread out across the SDL. Alex Thwaites confirmed this to be the case, and added that only this parcel and one other (which was a small 12 unit parcel) had no on site affordable housing.
Carl Doran raised his concern with the lack of on-site affordable housing provision, and that in his opinion the Council were not getting full value from commuted sums.
RESOLVED That application 191753 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 12 to 15, and altered condition 2 as set out within the Members’ Update.