Agenda item

APPLICATION NO.B2017/77476/FUL - 24-34 Sutton Court Road, Sutton, SM1 4SY

Erection of a residential development comprising of 165 flats in a part 10, 11, 20 and 21 storey building comprising ten studio, seventy seven 1- bedroomed, sixty eight 2- bedroomed and ten 3- bedroomed 'build to rent' residential units with 11 car parking spaces at lower ground level, new vehicle access from Sutton Court Road and internal cycle stores for 274 bicycles, refuse and recycling facilities, plant accommodation and associated hard and soft landscaping.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the above application for the erection of a residential development comprising of 165 flats in a part 10, 11, 20 and 21 storey building comprising ten studios, seventy seven 1- bedroomed, sixty eight 2- bedroomed and ten 3- bedroomed 'build to rent' residential units with 11 car parking spaces at lower ground level, new vehicle access from Sutton Court Road and internal cycle stores, refuse and recycling facilities, plant accommodation and associated hard and soft landscaping.

 

The officer presented the main points from the report.

 

Members enquired about the lack of parking spaces and the lack of affordable housing allocation within the scheme.

 

Head of Planning, Andy Webber informed the Committee that fees are nationally subscribed and the Council does not have a say in what the fees calculations are and the pre-application fees are published and available on the website. In terms of what the developer has paid the Council for advice and processing of application this is more than offset by CIL (community infrastructure levy) payments which is mandatory tax on development. The Council will receive funds of just over £2m in CIL contributions which will be used for improvements to infrastructure decided upon need and according to the impact of the development.

 

Don Ayiam, the Highways Officer informed the Committee that the deciding criteria is whether the development qualifies as a “car-free” development and within the Council’s own policies. It is an area with a PR rating of 6A, which is next to the best, and is within walking distance to Sutton station and as such qualifies as a “car-free” development. Council’s policy states that such a development is still subject to a Section 106 supplement, which then precludes the residents of the development from applying for on-street parking within the CPZ. The developer would then have to submit a travel plan to manage the needs of their future residents.

 

Members enquired about residents parking in the CPZ and enforcement in those areas for those taking properties in the development.

 

Don Ayiam, the Highways Officer informed the Committee that the Section 106 supplement is registered with Land Registry and any searches made would flag up the parking restrictions in the development relating to no on-street parking permits being issued. The Parking Strategy of the Council also extends the controlled parking zone periods till late in the day.

 

Members enquired about the threshold for the Mayor of London for affordable housing units and the benefit to the Sutton residents.

 

Head of Planning, Andy Webber informed the Committee that the draft London plan is proposing that private schemes provided 35% affordable housing, and 50% for all other schemes in the London plan, but the London plan is in draft consultation.

 

Planning Officers explained that the scheme is a build to rent scheme, different from a market scheme and is a new product to the market, first time in Sutton and if the Committee were to grant and go with officers recommendation then the GLA will need sight of this decision and then it will be up to the Mayor of London to whether it is acceptable based upon the new London plan.

 

The principal issues raised by the Applicant, Niall Malone and the Agent, Ben Wrighton were: -

 

  • Proposed “build to rent” scheme, new and innovative concept.
  • It is a new concept to provide affordable and high quality accommodation to hard-working people for professionally managed rented accommodation.
  • Watkin Jones is investing in this concept.
  • Experienced team of highly professional and contracts workers ready to start this scheme if agreed.
  • Present high quality regeneration scheme, highly accessible and highly sustainable and it strongly supports planning policy.
  • Responding to property market signals in the “build to rent” scheme.
  • It is policy compliant.
  • Increases the number of units being delivered, does not compromise the size of homes or standard.
  • Extensive discussions have been had with officers the GLA and substantive changes have taken place.
  • 100% London living rent mix, 12 units distributed across the scheme with 1, 2 and 3 bedroom options and would be tenure blind.
  • Generous levels of cycling parking has been provided.
  • No significant impact on residential amenity.
  • Section 106 discussions with officers and the GLA are to be concluded.

 

Members enquired about the CPZ, “piling” times, lorries going in and out of the building site and the number of units allocated for affordable housing.

 

The Agent, Ben Wrighton informed the Committee that there will be on-site management schemes to inform residents, it will also be written into tenancy agreements. There is a construction management plan in place and according to Conditions 16 and 17, it would not be uncommon to have those conditions in place before approval. Discussions have been ongoing with officers and the GLA to negotiate the affordable housing units, but it is now at a stage where it will be recommended to the Mayor.

 

Officers informed the Committee that Condition 27 will apply in terms of the methodology and linked to Condition 16 and 17 and there is also a construction management plan in place.

 

Members also asked about the considerable amount of rent that would be generated and why consideration was not given to having 3 or 4 levels of basement car parking to alleviate the problems of overspill into other areas. As well as about the London living rent and how much it is and who determines it.

 

The Agent, Ben Wrighton informed the Committee that from a planning point of view, the public transport level was 6A and the scheme was recommended to be a car free scheme in policy terms and basement parking would be expensive and would harm the viability of the scheme. The London living rent is no more than £812 per month for 1 bed, £903 per month for 2 beds and £993 per month for 3 beds as set out in the addendum report.

 

At debate Members noted that the scheme was a less than satisfactory deal for the Borough with a very poor affordable component and lack of parking space. There were concerns about the transition to tall buildings and the levels of affordable rent and the number of units. Members also commented that Sutton residents will pay local taxes and will get something out of it and that residents can take a share of the scheme as there is no difference between this scheme and the existing scheme, as it is less bulky and narrower with improved communal areas with longer term tenancies. It was also noted that TfL would not accept any more parking in the area.

 

Head of Planning, Andy Webber informed the Committee that the current development plan identifies this zone as being suitable for very tall buildings (11 storeys +) and is the only such zone in Sutton. As part of the consultation on the Draft Local Plan for the borough its future development over 15 years, residents preference was to intensify town and district centres so as to protect suburban areas, along with green and open spaces and open land. Policy permits and encourages very taller buildings in this location. In terms of transition, the former UCB house converted to residential from offices under a prior approval process and the same developer obtained planning permission for the extant permission on this site. The differences between the two schemes was not considered to be significant, and the transition from east to west, towards the town centre is perfectly acceptable.  London living rent, the Mayor hands this down and the council have to be in general conformity with the Mayor’s plan.

 

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

To Grant         (7) - Councillors Bourne, Burke, Court, Gallican, Pollock,

                              Reynolds and Siddiq

 

Against          (3) - Councillors McManus, Shields and Whitham


Abstained      (0) - Councillors      

 

Resolved: That planning permission be granted for Application No. B2017/77476/FUL subject to: -

 

1.    Referral to the Greater London Authority (GLA).

 

2.    Completion of a Section 106 agreement.

 

3.    The conditions, reasons and informatives as set out in the Planning Schedule for this application.

Supporting documents: