Agenda item


Application to determine whether prior approval of the Local Planning Authority is required to the method of demolition of various buildings at Sutton Hospital.


The Committee considered a report on the above application to determine whether prior approval of the Local Planning Authority is required to the method of demolition of various buildings at Sutton Hospital.


The application had been de-delegated by Councillor Jane Pascoe.


Alan Trickey, an objector, and Councillor Jane Pascoe, a ward councillor, addressed the meeting under Standing Order 31, and Terry Murphy, the applicant, replied.


The principal issues raised by Alan Trickey were:-

·         The notice for prior approval was posted on a post inside the hospital grounds and so not in public view.

·         Letters were only sent to three residents whereas they should have been sent to all those within the vicinity of the site.

·         Survey in August found bat roosts on the site and the proposal would cause significant harm without proper mitigation.

·         It had been suggested that bat roosts were places in trees on the other side of the site which would not be sufficient.

·         Tree protection methods had not been put in place and trees would likely be damaged.

·         Boarding on the site had been extended around other historic building which had raised concerns that these are to be demolished also.


The Chair noted that Conditions 7 and 8 required the applicant to be granted a licence from Natural England as bats were affected by this application. The Head of Planning stated the Biodiversity Officer had agreed the mitigation factors and that professional advice had been sought. The Planning Officer confirmed that the site notice was compliant with regulations. It was confirmed that there is a dual regulating system where the Council has to be satisfied with the proposed mitigation measures in relation to protected species, and the applicant then has to obtain a licence from Natural England before they can commence development.


The principal issues raised by Councillor Pascoe were:-

·         Were there any penalties for the illegal removal of bats.

·         Assurances were required regarding the recording of decibel levels and there was discrepancy in the papers submitted.

·         A definitive answer on the extended hoardings was necessary.

·         Assurances were required that notifications of any future developments on the Sutton Hospital site would be sent to ward councillors and residents.

·         Thanked officers and the NHS Trust for the constructive meetings and amendments made.


In response to Member questions Councillor Pascoe stated she was concerned regarding the methodology of the demolition. Councillor Pascoe stated it was important that enforcement action was taken, if necessary, and noted that if there were issues regarding a section of the site then further issues would arise regarding the rest of the site. It was suggested that decibel meters were provided to neighbouring properties so levels could be monitored.


The Head of Planning confirmed that noise issues would need to be report to Environmental Health which had a 24/7 phone number. Furthermore Epsom & St Helier NHS Trust could provide a phone number also for residents to call if there were any problems.


The principal issues raised by Terry Murphy were:-

·         A meeting had been held on site with ward councillors and planning officers and concerns had been taken on board.

·         The buildings due for demolition were not fit for healthcare.

·         Majority of healthcare services had been moved from the site to Epsom and St Helier hospitals.

·         Hoarding had been placed around blocks A, B and C due to extreme vandalism being experience, including fire. There was no intention to demolish these building at present and an additional application would be required.

·         A Phase 1 Habitat Survey and Bat Survey had been completed and had found three bats on site.

·         Recommendations from a further survey were being reviewed and put into action by an Ecology Officer who was working with Natural England.

·         The licence from Natural England can only be applied for after permission for demolition had been granted.

·         Arbocultural conditions and recommendations would be complied with.


In response to Member questions Mr Murphy confirmed there would be a dedicated Project Manager who will liaise regularly with the contractors who were part of the Considerate Contractors scheme. Furthermore the contractors would place meters on the edge of the site to monitor decibel levels. Mr Murphy stated that a 24/7 phone number would be available for residents to call and someone would respond.


Members noted that in the past not all contractors had complied with conditions, however assurances had been provided. It was noted that consultation had taken place with ward councillors and concerns taken on board. The concerns raised would be valid no matter the future use of the site and that demolition would be required for any future usage.


A poll vote on the officers’ recommendation to grant permission was held in accordance with Standing Order 31.4, when there voted:


To grant (8)        Councillors Samantha Bourne, Mary Burstow, Richard Clifton, Margaret Court, Vincent Galligan, Hamish Pollock, Jason Reynolds, and Graham Whitham


Against (2)         Councillors Patrick McManus and Tony Shields


Resolved: That planning permission be granted for application No. B2015/71927/DEM, subject to the conditions, reasons and informatives set out in the Appendix to these Minutes.


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