Recommendation: Conditional approval subject to legal agreement
Proposal: Full application for the demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment of the site to form 5 industrial units for uses within Use Classes B1 (b and c), B2 and B8 with ancillary B1a; and erection of a building to be used as a builders’ merchant (Sui Generis) for the display, sale, storage of building, timber and plumbing supplies, plant and tool hire including outside display and storage racks, with associated access, car parking and landscaping. (Part retrospective)
Applicant: L & C Investments Limited
The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 42 to 72.
The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:
· Various additional tree protection Conditions;
· Amendment to Condition 7;
· Amendment to Condition 5;
· Additional Condition relating to construction hours;
· Additional information on parking provision;
· Various amendments and corrections to the report.
Laura Wilkinson, agent, spoke in support of the application. Laura stated that the previous building was not suitable for office use and the proposed structures were similar in design to surrounding buildings. Laura added that there was suitable access and parking provision on-site with 53 parking spaces available. Laura stated that the offices would not be B1, and B1a offices would be ancillary to the B8 units on-site. Laura added that there had been no objections from trees and landscape officers nor environmental health officers. Laura added that additional planting would take place on-site, and the applicant was in agreement with all conditions and the S106 agreement. Laura stated that there had been no objections received from the Town Council or residents.
Carl Doran stated that some residents had been concerned that this site might become housing, and it was good that this site would now be retained as an employment space. Carl queried how the builders’ merchant was not classed as a retail unit, and queried the retrospective demolition planning permission request. Graham Vaughan, Case Officer, stated that the builders’ merchant was not classed as an A1 or A2 unit as although there was an element of retail it was not a high enough proportion of its use to warrant an A1 or A2 classification. Simon Weeks proposed that an informative be added, strongly advising the applicant to ensure that all future planning applications were not retrospective. This proposal was seconded and added to the list of informatives set out in the officer recommendation.
Car Doran commented that although Hawkhurst House was not a listed building, it did have some history and parts of the building would have been worth saving and documenting.
Malcolm Richards queried how large delivery vehicles would turn on the site. Judy Kelly, Highways Development Manager, stated that there was a wide enough area located between the parking bays to allow adequate manoeuvre of large vehicles.
Gary Cowan queried whether there was a standard delivery hours Condition, and whether any piling would occur on-site. Simon Weeks stated that a standard hours Condition was present. Graham Vaughan added that a construction management condition was also included. The agent confirmed that no piling would take place on-site.
RESOLVED That application number 192826 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 48 to 52, various additional tree protection conditions as set out in the Members’ Update, amendment to conditions 5 and 7 as set out in the Members’ Update, additional condition relating to construction hours as set out in the Members’ Update and additional informative as resolved by the Committee.