Erection of 9 new dwellings
Officers presented the report and took Members through the plans and images in the Site Plans and Presentations Pack. The application was for full planning permission to construct 9 dwellings on land situated between the A4023 Coventry Highway and the B4497 Paper Mill Drive. The site included a dense band of trees to the south on the boundary with the Coventry Highway. It was noted that the site was close to Arrow Valley Country Park and a footway and subway leading into the park was located on the eastern boundary of the site.
The site had previously received planning permission for a commercial use that had not been implemented, and under the Local Plan had no specific use designation.
The current application included the construction of a new access road from the development onto Paper Mill Drive, and officers illustrated the location of the new access by reference to the photographs of the site and the detailed site layout plan. It was noted that the construction of the houses would be oriented facing onto the Coventry Highway with back gardens facing onto Paper Mill Drive; the gardens would not encroach onto the existing green highway verge which would be retained as a 4 metre wide green strip.
A 4 metre high acoustic fence was proposed on the boundary with the Coventry Highway to mitigate against traffic noise. No objections had been received from statutory consultees including County Highways, WRS and the Council’s Tree Officer. A number of detailed conditions were proposed to deal with issues including noise mitigation, risk of flooding and landscape and habitat management.
The site was considered to be in a sustainable location close to bus routes and safe cycling and walking, the design was acceptable, and officers were recommending approval.
At the invitation of the Chair Councillor Mike Rouse, ward Councillor for Church Hill Ward, addressed the Committee under the Council’s Public Speaking Rules.
Officers responded to questions from Members and in doing so commented as follows:-
· That the design of the 4 metre high acoustic fence on the Coventry Highway side of the development would be finalised in consultation with WRS.
· The boundary treatment on the Paper Mill Drive side of the site would include additional planting of native species as well as retaining existing planting. This had been designed to soften the appearance of the 2 metre fence and retain the character of the area.
· Under proposed Condition 7 the developer would need to submit a detailed site drainage strategy for approval by North Worcestershire Water Management before proceeding any further than building the foundations.
The officer from County Highways confirmed that with regard to the potential for overspill parking onto the street, the level of parking provision of the individual dwellings met the required policy, and that there was sufficient space adjacent to dwellings 1 and 9 for vehicles to turn.
In debating the application Members referred to a number of issues including the design and appearance, the absence of objections from statutory consultees, the use of an acoustic fence, the location of the site close to amenities, the desire to retain the green road verges on Paper Mill Drive and issues around pollution from the vehicles and road noise given the siting of the development between a dual carriage way and a busy road.
Councillor Grubb moved the recommendation set out on page 15 of the agenda that planning permission be granted. The recommendation was seconded by Councillor Baker-Price.
Councillor Monaco moved an alternate recommendation “that the application be refused on the grounds of the unsuitable location and environmental issues arising from noise and pollution”. The alternate recommendation was seconded by Councillor Ashley. Councillor Monaco expressed her concerns around the unsuitability of the location for a residential use and the consequent negative impact on the future occupants of the dwellings.
On being put to the vote the alternate recommendation was defeated.
In summing up in relation to the first recommendation, Councillor Grubb re-iterated that in his view the development was acceptable and compliant with policy.
having regard to the development plan and to all other material
considerations, planning permission be GRANTED subject to the conditions and informatives set out on pages 15 to 19 of the agenda.