Agenda item

21/00447/OUT - The Alexandra Hospital, Woodrow Drive, Redditch, Worcestershire, B98 7UB


This application was being reported to the Planning Committee asthe application required a Section 106 Agreement. As such theapplication fell outside the scheme of delegation to Officers.

Officers presented the report and in doing so, drew Membersattention to the presentation slides on pages 5 to 12 of the Site Plans and Presentations Pack.

The application was for The Alexandra Hospital, Woodrow Drive,Redditch, B98 7UB and sought outline planning permission for theremoval of the existing carpark and apartment buildings to makeway for a new residential development of up to 92 homes, with allmatters reserved except for access.


Officers informed Members that the application went before the Planning Committee on 19th April 2023, whereby Members decided to defer the application pending additional information on:

  1. If there was a legal covenant attached to the site which related to its land use.
  2. Additional information on the traffic survey carried out.


In response to the above, Officers had included two further Appendices, as detailed on pages 37 to 49 of the Public Reports pack.


Officers clarified to Members that the application before them wasto decide on the principle of the development and that all plans, with the exception of those showing the proposed access, wereindicative.


Officers further highlighted the location of the proposed development and the site’s current designation in the Local Plan.


The land was being released due to an NHS initiative to review vacant land for development, it was also highlighted that the NHS were joint applicants.


Officers drew Members attention to the proposed access plans as detailed on page 11 of the Site Plans and Presentations Pack, highlighting the widening of the footpaths along both sides.


At the Invitation of the Chair, Councillor Emma Marshall, Ward Member for Greenlands Ward addressed the Committee in Objection to the application. Mr Andeep Gill, agent for the applicant, addressed the Committee in support of the application.


There were no direct questions to Officers so Members proceeded to Debate the application.


Members questioned the timing of the 2021 Traffic survey in that it was undertaken 4 days prior to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions being lifted. Karen Hanchett of Worcester County Council Highways, clarified to Members that the assessment for the application was based on the 2015 and not the 2021 survey. Officers further detailed that the results of the 2015 survey were scaled up to 2026 using the governments Tempro software, this provided an accurate indication of future traffic levels which could be assessed with the development. The process of scaling up surveys using Tempro was standard practice and was used by many Local Authorities and considered all current/approved/completed developments in the area which could impact traffic levels.


Members proposed that due to the expanding nature of the Borough and aging population, that allowing land around the hospital to be sold off would have a detrimental impact on the wider community and therefore, would be a material consideration against approving the development.


Members further commented on the transport links to local Hospitals and commented that the Alexandra Hospital lacked key facilities such as a Paediatric department and Maternity Ward and would need the land to expand should these departments be reopened to service the community.


Officers advised Members that the land use and impact to the wider community would fall under hospital operational matters, it was up to the hospital to decide the facilities and land that that they required, therefore, the aforementioned reasons would not form material planning considerations.


Members raised concerns regarding the increase in traffic generated by the development and were of the opinion that the impact would be greater than the data indicated and therefore Members suggested a current traffic survey should be undertaken.


Having debated the Recommendation on pages 28 to 35 of the Public Reports pack, a detailed discussion took place where some Members opted to vote against the Officers Recommendation.


Following further in-depth debate, the Committees Legal Advisor provided the Committee with procedural advice regarding the options available to Members for determining the application.


  • Members could vote to approve the application; this could be the same or a variation.
  • An Alternative Recommendation could be put forward to refuse the application, this would need to be proposed and seconded.
  • An Alternative Recommendation could be raised for deferral. However, as there had already been a deferral, Members needed to be very clear as to their reasons for a second deferral and what further information was required.  Otherwise, there was a risk it may go to appeal on the grounds of none-determination.
  • Members could fail to reach a decision at which point the matter may go to a non-determination appeal and substantial costs could be awarded against the Council. Officers strongly advised against this option.


Officers further reiterated that Members needed to be very clear as to their reasons for their decision should they be minded to vote against the Officer’s recommendation. Decisions should be based on the facts and information as presented and Material Planning Considerations.  Otherwise, the Committee could have their decision overturned on appeal and costs may be awarded against the Council.


Members then sought further clarity on deferring the application to conduct a new traffic survey. Highways responded that in their opinion the information supplied was sufficient and followed best practice in regard to using Tempro software on an older traffic survey. Officers further expressed the opinion that should Members defer the application to gain additional information, they were unsure whether anything further could be added in addition to the full highways report already provided, as detailed on pages 39 to 48 of the Public Reports pack.


With the agreement of the Chair the meeting stood adjourned from 20:13 hours to 20:18 hours for Members to read the full highways report.


Having reconvened, Members decided to take a second vote on the Officer Recommendation, and on being put to a vote it was




having had 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)    A section 106 agreement.

b)    Conditions as outlined on pages 28 to 35 of the Public Reports pack.


Supporting documents: