Agenda item

APPLICATION NO. B2014/69110/FUL - SEEARS PARK GARDENS AND NURSERY, ST. DUNSTANS HILL, CHEAM

Phased development of the restoration and development of a community park involving a single storey side and rear extension with decking and alterations and refurbishment to Quarry Cottage to provide a café on ground floor and a 2 - bedroomed self-contained flat at first floor, accessed by a new external staircase; erection of a single storey multifunction pavilion and separate W.C. and development of a play garden involving elevated ramps with pods with performance area, together with up to twenty one vehicle parking spaces, motor and cycle parking and new access road.

To Follow

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the above application for the phased development of the restoration and development of a community park involving a single storey side and rear extension with decking and alterations and refurbishment to Quarry Cottage  to provide a café on ground floor and a 2 - bedroomed self contained flat at first floor, accessed by a new external staircase; erection of a single storey multifunction pavilion and separate W.C. and development of a play garden involving elevated ramps with pods with performance area, together with up to twenty one vehicle parking spaces, motor and cycle parking and new access road.

 

In response to Member questions it was explained that:

·         Licensing was not a planning consideration

·         The applicant confirmed that no alcohol licence was being, or would be sought for the café.

·         Transport for London (TFL) had been in discussions with the Council and the Applicant and TFL were happy with the revised scheme.

·         In the first tranche, concerns had been raised about road safety to which the Applicant had to provide a road safety audit.  All this was back and forth to TFL which had caused the delay to this application.

 

Lizzie Hall, an objector, Paul Cawthorne, a supporter, and Councillor Simon Wales, a ward councillor, addressed the meeting under Standing Order 31 and the applicant Kevin Driver and the applicant’s agent Niall Blair replied.

 

The principal issues raised by Lizzie Hall were:-

·         Road safety and a 5mph speed limit was requested

·         Concern about land outside of the boundary line being taken over

·         Residents would not able to use their gardens due to traffic

·         Residents liked the quiet park as it was.

 

Members requested and received clarification on a couple of points made by Lizzie Hall.

 

The principal supporting statements by Paul Cawthorne were:-

·         The project provided acceptable community work

·         There had been no problems with access or accidents over many years the project had been running.

·         The building would be used for community use rather than being demolished.

·         The road from St Dunstan’s should have a speed limit.

·         21 parking spaces were already there and no more were being proposed.

·         There would not be an alcohol licence.

·         It was a great scheme for students with learning disabilities and volunteers were coming forward already.

 

In response to a Member question Paul Cawthorne explained that the horticultural centre was provided by a community enterprise and van were used to transport students to the centre.

 

The principal issues raised by Councillor Simon Wales were:-

·         Safety of access into the site

·         Concerns about the days and times of opening and closing at weekends and bank holidays.

·         A licence for alcohol could be granted by the Licensing Committee.

·         Preserving trees

·         Speed limit

 

In response to a Member question Councillor Wales explained that opinion was divided among residents regarding the application and any conditions.  The users experience would be advanced but there need to be a balance. Residents were not against the activity of the centre and thought residents would be happy if access and operating times were improved.

 

The principal supporting statements by Niall Blair and Kevin Driver were:-

·         The building was dilapidated

·         The café needed to be made as accessible as possible

·         The parkside furniture would be stored in the evenings.

·         There would be phasing to provide a café on the ground floor with a two bedroomed flat above with the provision of a lift and glazed views to the original cottage.

·         Community days had been held for residents to come and voice their concerns.

·         This was a revised application and a licence for alcohol would not be sought.

·         A safety audit had been done, the hedging would remain and parking was by reservation.

·         The site had been used for people with learning disabilities since the year 2000 and there had been no accidents or resident complaints of speeding. Vans used hazard lights when driving through the park drivers were reminded to adhere to the speed limit.

 

In response the Members questions it was reported that:

·         There was no intention to sell alcohol

·         All parking was reserved parking for drop-offs and those that had mobility issues.

·         There would be a disabled toilet inside the café and another outside in the park

·         The teaching room was separated from the café to the east of the building

·         If the community wish to host an event after 6.30pm then that would be considered but the applicant had no plans for that at the moment.

 

Councillor Whitham stated that this access situation reminded him of Nonsuch Park where there were considerable activities and it worked and was therefore reassured at how this access would perform regarding accidents.  He and several other Members agreed that traffic measures should be looked at and thought the Local Committee should look at that.

 

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 Richard Clifton, Samantha Bourne, Kevin Burke, 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. B2014/69110/FUL, subject to the conditions, reasons and informatives set out in the Appendix to these Minutes.

 

Supporting documents: