Use of land for the sale, storage and distribution of used motor vehicles involving demolition of existing workshop, erection of a single storey building for office use, W.C block and a freestanding canopy together with side fencing, hardstanding for car parking and sliding gate, wall and pillars up to 2.4 metres in height at front.
The Committee considered a report on the above application to allow the land to be used for the sale, storage and distribution of used motor vehicles involving demolition of existing workshop, erection of a single storey building for office use, W.C block and a freestanding canopy together with side fencing, hardstanding for car parking and sliding gate, wall and pillars up to 2.4 metres in height at front.
Clare Nunns, an objector, and Councillor Alan Salter, a ward Councillor, addressed the meeting under Standing Order 31, and the agent, Roberto Rodriguez, replied.
Councillors and Officers established that previous planning permission was for light industrial work, but the history of use is unclear dating back to 1970.
The principal issues raised by Clare Nunns were:-
· A business involving vehicles is likely to bring in more traffic to the area. There are cul-de-sacs that only open onto Mill Lane, and Mill Lane is a narrow road that already experiences congestion.
· There is limited parking in the area, and this business would generate more parking problems.
· She was not convinced that staff and customers would be parking on-site.
The principal issues
raised by Councillor Salter were:-
· There were 55 objections, when the threshold to go to committee is 10. 43 objections were from residents of Mill Lane, and 12 from the adjoining cul-de-sacs.
· He felt that paragraph 2.4 in the report was misleading as although the immediate neighbouring property was commercial, a lot of Mill Lane had been converted into residential properties.
· The previous planning permission was granted a long time ago and a lot has changed since, vehicle usage has increased and the area is no longer industrial.
· Virtually none of the site had pavement, which would cause difficulties for pedestrians.
The principal issues
raised by Roberto Rodriguez were:-
· He clarified that the parking bays on the front of the premises would be for staff and pre-booked appointment holders only.
· This model was successful at another site in Chessington where there were approximately up to 4 viewings and 1 or 2 cars sold per week.
· There would be no passing trade.
· Maintenance and repairs would be carried out at a service garage in Clapham.
· That there would only be staff on the site for appointments so there would be no passing trade.
Members considered that if the land was theoretically used for another purpose, such as housing or light industrial use, it would be likely to generate more traffic than the application at hand. Councillor Graham Whitham noted that although there had been a lot of objections, it is the content of the objections that are significant.
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 Richard Clifton, Samantha Bourne, Kevin Burke, Margaret Court, Vincent Galligan, Jason Reynolds and Graham Whitham
Against (2) Councillors Patrick McManus and Hamish Pollock
RESOLVED: That planning permission be granted for application No. C2015/72953/FUL, subject to the conditions, reasons and informatives set out in the Appendix to these Minutes.