Demolition of existing buildings and erection of a new residential development comprising of a total of 132 flats in a nine storey and an eighteen storey connecting building comprising forty four 1- bedroomed, sixty nine 2- bedroomed and six 3- bedroomed self contained flats for general sale and seven 1- bedroomed and six 2- bedroomed affordable self contained flats together with 15 car parking at basement level accessed from existing car park under Leben Court together with residents gym and indoor children's play space, internal cycle stores, refuse and recycling facilities, plant accommodation and associated hard and soft landscaping.
The Committee considered a report on the above application for the demolition of existing buildings and erection of a new residential development comprising of a total of 132 flats in a nine storey and an eighteen storey connecting building comprising forty four 1- bedroomed, sixty nine 2- bedroomed and six 3- bedroomed self contained flats for general sale and seven 1- bedroomed and six 2- bedroomed affordable self contained flats together with 15 car parking at basement level accessed from existing car park under Leben Court together with residents gym and indoor children's play space, internal cycle stores, refuse and recycling facilities, plant accommodation and associated hard and soft landscaping.
In response to Member questions officers confirmed there were two entrances to the gym, and separate play spaces and entrances to the blocks of apartments for the affordable apartments. Members were concerned that separate entrance and play spaces would not create an integrated community.
Officers clarified that 15 parking spaces were being provided as the development was located in the most sustainable area of the borough and a condition on the planning permission would be to restrict residents from acquiring resident permits. It was stated that it would not be possible for future residents to abuse the resident parking system and they would be unable to acquire visitor permits. The allocation of parking spaces was above the London standards and it was considered unviable to build an underground car park for this development.
The Committee were informed that Sutton was required to provide an additional 363 dwellings per year, which was likely to increase. Due to the demand it would be necessary for high density developments to be built and it was felt that town centres were the most appropriate location for these developments, to ensure that the suburban character of Sutton did not come under pressure for higher density development.
The Head of Planning confirmed that an assessment on wind pressures had been conducted for this development in its own right as well as an assessment against the combined effect of the approved South Point development.
Concerns were raised by Members that the transition of the height of the buildings was not sympathetic as the proposal would be too tall next to Leben Court.
Simon Grainger, the agent, addressed the meeting under Standing Order 31.
The principal issues raised by Simon Grainger were:-
· The finishes and quality would be high throughout the development.
· The service charge for the private sale area could not be matched by affordable housing providers so it was necessary to separate the areas.
· There would thus be a separate entrance for the affordable housing section and this had been discussed with an officer at the Greater London Authority.
· The play space was calculated in the same way for both the private and affordable housing.
In response to Member questions Mr Grainger confirmed it would not be viable to create an underground car park on this development as the affordable housing proportion would need to be removed. Mr Grainger clarified that the affordable housing would be located on the first to third floors of the development.
Mr Grainger stated that the proposed development was located in an area of high level developments and that the design provided for a stepping down to taking into account the height of Leben Court. The design was objective and the applicant had tried to find an agreement with Planning officers and the Greater London Authority. It was noted that the scheme was the last development opportunity on the road so no new large developments would be proposed.
Members raised concerns that a large number of the apartments would be sold to foreign investors and would not be available to local residents. Mr Grainger stated it was not possible for planning to restrict the sale of properties, however it was likely that they would be available for general sale and recent developments by the developers had been available to local residents.
A poll vote on the officers’ recommendation to grant permission was held in accordance with Standing Order 31.4, when there voted:
To grant (7) Councillors Samantha Bourne, Mary Burstow, Richard Clifton, Margaret Court, Vincent Galligan, Hamish Pollock and Jason Reynolds
To refuse (3) Councillors Patrick McManus, Tony Shields and Graham Whitham
Resolved: That planning permission be granted for application No. B2015/72308/FUL, subject to
(a) the written conclusion of a ‘section 106’ agreement to be completed by 4 November 2015, or such longer period as may be agreed in writing by the Executive Head of Economic Development, Planning and Regeneration, after which time the decision to grant planning permission will be rescinded. Should a completed S106 legal agreement not be forthcoming by the date and time specified above the Planning Committee also agree to give delegated authority to officers, should they wish, to refuse permission on the basis that the proposal would fail to provide a series of infrastructure and environmental improvements; and
(b) referral to the Greater London Authority. The application is referable to the Greater London Authority under Category 1C of the Schedule of the Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008: “Development which comprises or includes the erection of a building more than 30 metres high and is outside the City of London.” If the Committee resolves to grant permission, the application is referred to The Greater London Authority which has 14 days to decide whether or not to review the planning permission (under article 5.(1) of the Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008); and
(c) the conditions, reasons and informatives set out in the Appendix to these Minutes.