Variation of conditions 2 and 8 to amend the parameters of development for the northern development parcel, and Phase 1 Ground Engineering works (and changes to conditions 12, 16, 18, 21, 29, 31, 32, 36 and 37 to allow hedgerow and tree removal prior to the coming into effect of the relevant condition, and conditions 28 and 29 to relate to updated flood risk assessment) in respect of hybrid planning permissions 17/01847/OUT (Stratford reference number), 17/00700/OUT (Redditch reference number), and 17/00701/OUT (Bromsgrove reference number) dated 11 June 2018.
Members were reminded that the original Hybrid Outline Planning Application had previously been approved in early 2018, following consideration of the application by Redditch Borough Council, Bromsgrove District Council and Stratford-on-Avon District Council.
Officers reported that the application for Variation of Conditions 2 and 8 related solely to the northern development parcel and did not impact on Redditch or Stratford. The developer was seeking changes to enable the construction of a larger single platform on one level. The changes were being pursued in order to meet the commercial requirements of a potential occupier, whose identity could not be revealed by the developer for commercial reasons. The changes proposed would involve making amendments to the development zones in the northern parcel although the quantum of floor space and ratios of use classes, including the requirement for 10% office space, would not change.
Members were referred to the Update Report which included consultation responses from the RBC Tree Officer and an update regarding the decision of the Bromsgrove District Council Planning Committee on 11th March 2019. It was noted that officers were recommending an additional condition to delay development, including earthworks, and tree/hedgerow removal until reserved matters had been approved in line with the decision taken by members of the Bromsgrove District Council Planning Committee.
The following speakers addressed the Committee under the public speaking rules:-
Mr Len Quartly - on behalf of Winyates Green Residents Association
Mr John Gittins - on behalf of Coughton Parish Council
Mrs Maureen Berry - on behalf of Mappleborough Green Parish Council
Mrs Claire Davies
Councillor Anthony Lovell - Ward Councillor for Winyates Ward
Mr Paul Rouse – on behalf of Stofford Developments (the applicant)
In response to questions from Members, Mr Rouse confirmed that under the variation application the brook on the western side of the site as opposed to the eastern side would be removed, and the watercourse would be re-directed with mitigation works including the planting of additional hedgerow. Further, that under the additional condition added by Bromsgrove District Council, any environmental works would not take place until reserved matters had been considered.
Members discussed the application in detail and in doing so referred to some of the concerns raised by the public speakers including the potential environmental impact, including the diversion of Blacksoils Brook, the potential for parking problems from staff who might park in nearby streets, and the routing of HGV vehicles. Members noted that the potentially the project could be moving away from the original intention of providing job opportunities for skilled workers in the Borough.
In response to questions from Members officers confirmed that:-
· Under the revised plans, the brook would be diverted through the open space area to the East of the site.
· That levels of light would be subject to control by the local planning authority under proposed condition 39.
· That parking for staff should be available on site but that if any problems occurred the responsible body would be the Highways Authority which had powers to control on street parking.
· Compliance with HGV routing could be achieved by a variety of methods and dialogue on this aspect would be continuing via the Redditch Gateway Steering Group.
Members noted that the potential commercial occupier had not yet committed to the site, and that this caused a conflict between the request of the developer to carry out environmental works which could not then be reversed, and the risk that the commercial occupier might decide not to proceed. Officers clarified that this concern was addressed through the additional condition proposed in the Update Report, and that this would act as a safeguard to prevent any works taking place before the Reserved Matters application had been approved.
Members noted the position but expressed the view that this aspect needed careful monitoring and suggested that the discharge of the conditions relating to the environmental aspects of the variation application should have Member oversight.
Having regard to the Development Plan and to all other material considerations, authority be delegated to the Head of Planning and Regeneration to GRANT permission following agreement of the final scope and detailed wording and numbering of conditions set out on pages 57 to 73 of the main agenda, and subject to:
a) The inclusion of an additional condition set out in draft form on page 2 of the Update Report, namely that notwithstanding the approval of phase 1 earthworks in full, no development, including earthworks, tree or hedgerow removal ( with the exception of the hedgerow removal consented under application 18/01546/HEDG) shall take place until reserved matters have been approved for all development within that phase; and
b) That the discharge of the conditions listed in the title of the application (conditions 12, 16, 18, 21, 29, 31, 32, 36 and 37) be brought back to Planning Committee for decision.
[In relation to this agenda item Councillor Bill Hartnett declared an Other Disclosable Interest in that he is acquainted with two of the speakers, namely Mr John Gittins and Councillor Anthony Lovell. Councillor Hartnett remained and considered and voted on this matter.]