The application was being reported to the Planning Committee for determination because theapplication was for a major development (more than 1000 sq metres of new commercial / industrial floorspace). As such, the application fell outside the Scheme of Delegationto Officers.
Officers presented the report and in doing so, drew Members’ attention to the presentation slides on pages 13-28 of the Site Plans and Presentation Pack.
The application was for reserved matters approval (appearance, landscaping, layout and scale) for the construction of 72 dwellings and associated works and infrastructure, pursuant to the hybrid planning permissions 19/00976/HYB and 19/00977/HYB (Cross boundary application with Bromsgrove DC 22/00255/REM).
Officers informed Members that this application was a cross boundary application with Bromsgrove District Council and that the phase 4 application went before Bromsgrove District Council’s Planning Committee on 15th August 2022, and was approved as per the Officers recommendation. Officers further detailed that the original application for 960 dwellings had been approved by Redditch Planning Committee on 27th January 2021 subject to the signing of a section 106 agreement. The section 106 agreement was signed on 1st November 2021.
Officers drew Members’ attention to the Approved Framework Plan as detailed on page 15 of the Site Plans and Presentations Pack. Officers highlighted to Members the boundary between Redditch Borough Council and Bromsgrove District Council and also phases 1, 2 and 3 of the development.
During the presentation Officers highlighted the following to Members:
Officers detailed to Members how there was a substantial green infrastructure with the project and Officers also considered that the scale was acceptable and appropriate to the area.
In conclusion, having had regard to the development plan and to all other material considerations, Officers recommended that the reserved matters application be granted.
Members then asked questions of the Officers.
Members asked Officers if there was provision for additional off-road parking, Officers responded that there was not, however,Worcestershire County Council, Highways had assessed the parking and had deemed it to be adequate when considering the size of the dwellings.
Members enquired about public transport links with the project, Officers detailed that as part of the prior approval there was a £350k package to improve bus stops/links in and around the wider estate.
Members further enquired about the following points which were not covered in detail as they fell outside of the reserved matters considered:
Councillor Hartnett requested a typographical error to be noted on page 29 of the Public Reports Pack, wherein it referred to the administrative boundary of Bromsgrove, and should have read administrative boundary of Redditch, Officers acknowledged the error and confirmed that it was a typographical error.
Councillor Fry requested a typographical error to be noted on page 39 of the Public Reports Pack wherein during the Officers recommendation the report used the terminology “approved” rather than “granted”, Officers acknowledged the error.
Members expressed a view that affordable housing needed to be distributed more evenly throughout the development rather than clustered together. Officers explained to Members that in terms of the affordable units, housing associations requested that properties were together for the ease of the unit’s management, if units were spread evenly throughout the site, it could cause difficulties for a housing association to agree to take over their management.
Members then considered the reserved matter application which Officers recommended be granted.
Members commented that they understood that the purpose of the Planning Committee in this instance was to consider a reserved matters application; but expressed a view that Members would like the opportunity in the future to discuss other aspects of the development.
Members further commented that with regard to the reserved matters for consideration which were layout, scale, appearance and landscaping they felt that there were no grounds to object to the application.
All Members were in agreement with the Officer’s recommendation.
The Reserved Matters of Layout, Scale, Appearance andLandscaping be granted subject to the Conditions outlined on pages 39 and 40 of the Public Reports Pack.