Full application for 42 dwellings, following the design parameters set within application: 17/00542/OUT. Residential development on previously approved employment area.
It was noted that the Update Report included a change of wording to the recommendation and that the words “S106 planning obligation” were replaced by the words “suitable legal mechanism”. The wording of clause a) 4 had also been amended to provide for the possibility of a play area being sited within the application site.
In presenting the application officers outlined the planning history of the site including the previous applications (2016/118/OUT and 2017/00542/OUT) under which Members had given approval for B1 employment use on the application site. Officers referred Members to the Marketing Report submitted by the Applicant which had concluded that in the context of the Borough as a whole the loss of the 55 hectares of B1 use would not cause a significant shortage of land for employment use. The report also detailed the efforts made by the Applicant to market the site for employment purposes which had been carried out for a period of over 2 years and had not produced an appropriate end user. Economic Development officers and Planning Policy officers had reviewed the report in detail and concurred with the conclusion that the loss of employment land would not be significant for the Borough at this time, and that the land was not suitable for employment purposes in light of the marketing exercise. This being the case, officers were satisfied that the tests in Policy 24 (Development within Primarily Employment Areas) had been met and this represented a material consideration that weighed in favour of the development when considering planning balance and the contents of Policy 47 of the Borough of Redditch Local Plan No 4 (BORLP4). It was on this basis that officers were recommending the scheme for approval.
The scheme would deliver a mixed housing development of 29 market units and 13 affordable units, ranging from detached 4 bedroom properties to flats.
Councillor Neil Edden from Studley Parish Council and Ms Sian Griffiths, agent for the Applicant addressed the Committee under the Council’s Public Speaking Rules.
In response to questions from Members officers confirmed that:-
· As the site had already been cleared there were no protected species in situ, but that a scheme to enhance biodiversity would be secured through a condition and this was normal practice in line with the relevant planning policies.
· With regard to trip generation and any potential increase of traffic movements through the junction with Nine Days Lane, the current scheme had been assessed as likely to produce less trips through residential use than would have been produced under employment use and this therefore was regarded as a betterment compared to the fall-back position.
· The detail of the Traffic Regulation Orders and associated enhancements to the road network would be part of a package of measuresworked up by Worcestershire County Council as the Highways Authority and supported by appropriate section 278/38 agreements between the Highway Authority and the Applicant.
· With regard to open space, play and recreation, the application site would benefit from enhancement already in place as part of the residential scheme on the adjoining land which would include a play area and large area of open space on the southern boundary.
· With regard to connectivity, there would be a link to bus routes on Woodrow Drive via the path/cycleway on the Eastern boundary of the site.
· The scheme had been designed to provide an appropriate level of designated parking for each unit.
· The developer had chosen to take on the responsibility of maintaining the road network which would not be adopted.
· Appropriate contributions towards education would be secured by the education authority (Worcestershire County Council) via a section 106 agreement (or other legal mechanism).
That having regard to the development plan and to all other material considerations, authority be delegated to the head of Planning and Regeneration to grant planning permission subject to:-
a) The satisfactory completion of a suitable legal mechanism ensuring that:
1. Highways matters as agreed with the County Highways Authority including:-S278 and S38 agreements for improvements to the local highway network.
2. A contribution for highways improvements off site to the local and highway networks as agreed in a raft of measures identifies by the highways Authority. This will also include selected Traffic Regulation Orders
3. A contribution towards County education facilities in relation to the private market housing proposed
4. An off-site contribution towards playing pitches, play areas and open space in the area due to the increased demand/requirement from future residents in compliance with the SPG. An off-site contribution towards a play area in the area (or the satisfactory provision of such an area within the application site) due to the increased demand/requirement from future residents in compliance with the SPG.
5. The proposal would also require that 30% of the dwellings be provided as Affordable units for social housing in line with SPD policy and their retention for this purpose in perpetuity. In this instance 13 affordable units retained as such in perpetuity (insofar as Right to Buy or Acquire legislation permits)
6. A contribution towards the provision of wheelie bins for each dwelling on the Development.
7. Town centre strategy contributions.
And the conditions and informatives as set out on pages 21 to 28 of the main agenda.