Demolition of existing building and erection of a four storey building comprising seven 2-bedroomed self-contained flats and one retail unit at ground floor, together with amenity space, cycle parking, refuse storage and seven car parking spaces.
The Committee considered a report on the above application for the demolition of the existing building and erection of a four storey building comprising seven 2-bedroomed self-contained flats and one retail unit at ground floor, together with amenity space, cycle parking, refuse storage and seven car parking spaces.
This application had been deferred from the previous meeting of the Committee in order for further information to be supplied on the three trees to be removed, as detailed in paragraph 5.48 of the report.
Richard Johnson, an objector, addressed the meeting under Standing Order 31, and the applicant’s agent, Andrew Macdougall replied.
The principal issues raised by Mr Johnson were:-
· Local residents felt that the building had historical value within the area, which was evident in some of the large number of objections that the application had received.
· There was already a large amount of flats and conversions in the area, the building to be better used returning to its original purpose of holding a GP surgery.
· It would be impractical to demolish a building that is in such close proximity to other buildings.
· Sutton’s Local Plan 2031 had given the building a “positive” status whereas the neighbouring Sainsburys had been considered “negative”, this application was more in-keeping with the style of the Sainsburys next door.
The principal issues raised by Andrew Macdougall were:-
· The building was tired and past its economic usefulness as it was. There was no prospect for future occupation and its only advantage was the attractive frontage.
· The conditions on the application dictated that the Council would have the final say on material choice and landscaping of the building.
· The applicant and owner had no interest in developing the building to hold a GP Surgery, and it was not fit for NHS standards.
· All of the trees that the application proposed to remove had been graded C (low quality and value) or U (should be removed) and the Sycamore tree was hollow.
· New trees proposed in the application would complement the character of the area and would be approved by the Council’s Tree Officer.
Councillors noted that Historic England had considered the building on both counts of character and value and had seen no justification for listing the building. A discussion followed about the setting for new trees in the car park and the removal of the trees that stood there, as well as the aesthetic and design of the building proposed in the application. The Committee considered that conditions on the application would protect new trees planted, and debated the advantages and disadvantages of the design.
Councillor Tony Shields raised a motion to reject the officer’s recommendation based on the design’s density and failure to complement or enhance the area. The motion was seconded by Councillor Patrick McManus. A vote was held on the motion, when there voted:
For (4) Councillors Tony Shields, Patrick McManus, Hamish Pollock and Graham Whitham
Against (5) Councillors Richard Clifton, Samantha Bourne, Vincent Galligan, Margaret Court and Mary Burstow
Following this, a poll vote on the officers’ recommendation to grant permission was held in accordance with Standing Order 31.4, when there voted:
To grant (5) Councillors Richard Clifton, Samantha Bourne, Vincent Galligan, Margaret Court and Mary Burstow
Against (4) Councillors Tony Shields, Patrick McManus, Hamish Pollock and Graham Whitham
RESOLVED: That planning permission be granted for application No. A2015/73366/FUL, subject to the conditions, reasons and informatives set out in the Appendix to these Minutes