Iain Williams Planning Officer, presented the report on the above application for redevelopment of the former sludge beds to provide four industrial units providing 20,746 sqm of industrial floorspace (Use Class B1c/B2/B8) and ancillary offices together with 186 car parking spaces, 12 disability spaces and 23 HGV spaces, new access and landscaping. Restoration of former sludge bed to the north of Mile Road to create a new ecology area.
Members questions focused on the number of car parking spaces and if public transport could be improved. The discussion covered concerns regarding if traffic and congestion in the locality would be impacted by this application and if electric vehicles could be used on site
The officer responded accordingly and commented that the parking provision was in accordance with the policy.
Members raised concerns regarding air quality and the cumulative impact of additional HGV traffic from this and other developments. The officer responded that TFL had been consulted and have assessed the trip generation and raised no objection.
Members also queried how the BioDiversity enhancements offered within the application would be enforced and officers confirmed that they would be secured by legal agreement if Members were minded to grant the application.
Councillor Nick Mattey, a ward councillor, addressed the meeting under Standing Order 31, and the applicant replied.
The principal issues raised by Councillor Nick Mattey were:-
Members sought clarification on other developments that Councillor Mattey referred to in particular changes to ability for HGV to use main routes, also changes that Croydon Council may also implementing by building new homes near Valley park which would also mean that HGV traffic will be increased.
Officers confirmed that both Croydon and Merton Councils had been approached and asked for comments but that no response had been received.
The Agent Catherine Williams,from Savills acting for Prologis joined by Laura Bazley, WSP, Simon Taber Ecology Solutions , Oliver Bycroft, and David Mellor from Prologis, and Lucy Aspden from Savills addressed the committee.
The key points raised were:
Members asked about any mitigating actions that could be put in place regarding the increase in traffic and heavy vehicles and the current PTAL rating. The agent responded that they had gifted a section of land to be used to widen the carriage way and create a separate footway and cycleway. The land is being provided to help ensure that people can safely walk or cycle from the tram station to the site.
Members also queried energy usage in the park, and if the units would be unheated. The Agent confirmed the warehouse space is unheated as it is very well insulated, and therefore power demand is low.
In debate, members focused on their concerns regarding traffic and congestion and the need for additional public transport, and also that they would want the commercial development to be successful and to generate new jobs.