This application was being reported to the Planning Committee for determination because the application was for major development and as such the application fell outside the scheme of delegation to Officers.
Officers presented the report and in doing so, drew Members’ attention to the presentation slides on pages 5 to 15 of the Site Plans and Presentations Pack.
The application was for the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch. It sought the variation of Condition 2 of the previously approved application (21/00444/FUL) to reconfigure the layout of the car parks.
Officers detailed to Members the differences between the previously approved and proposed applications in terms of parking provision and orientation, which included the removal of the helipad.
Members’ attention was drawn to the proposed changes to Quinneys Lane, which included some footpath alterations, as detailed on page 14 of the Public Reports Pack.
Officers clarified the following points during questions from Members:
Members then considered the application.
Intense discussion ensued regarding the application, in particular concerns with the removal of the helipad. The following points and comments were made by some Members:
To be noted, Councillor Clayton having suggested a deferral and the reasons why, was informed by Officers that his reasons for deferral were not valid.
Councillor Hartnett requested that it be noted that the loss of the helipad provision on site was not a material planning consideration and therefore, gave no basis to refuse the application.
Councillor Marshall requested that it be noted that the Planning Committee strongly disagreed with the removal the helipad.
Officers reassured the Committee in response to the comments raised, that the decision to remove the helipad was a an operational matter for the NHS Trust and was not a material planning consideration. Officers further advised that it would be inappropriate to defer or refuse an application on that basis, such an action could incur costs against Redditch Borough Council by the Planning Inspectorate should the decision be appealed.
Officers acknowledged Members strong feelings regarding the loss of the helipad and agreed to convey this feeling to the NHS Trust for information. Officers agreed to share any information they receive with Planning Committee Members.
On being put to a vote it was:
having had regard to the development plan and to all other material considerations, planning permission be granted subject to the Conditions, as detailed on pages 21 to 24 of the Public Reports Pack and the revised conditions as per the Update Report.