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Agenda item

22/00364/APP - Land at Twigworth, Gloucester

PROPOSAL: Reserved matters approval (access, appearance, layout, scale and landscaping) for 340 dwellings, public open space and infrastructure comprising phase 3 of outline planning permission 15/01149/OUT on Land at Twigworth. The outline planning application was an environment impact assessment application and an environmental statement was submitted to the planning authority at that time

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION: Delegated Approval.

Minutes:

14.2          This was a reserved matters application (access, appearance, layout, scale and landscaping) for 340 dwellings, public open space and infrastructure comprising phase 3 of outline planning permission 15/01149/OUT on Land at Twigworth.

14.3          The Planning Officer advised that, further to the preparation of the Committee report, the Environment Agency, County Highways and the Council’s Landscape Adviser had confirmed they had no objection to the application and the Officer recommendation had therefore been changed to approve, subject to the revised conditions set out in the Additional Representations Sheet, attached at Appendix 1.  Members were advised that this was a reserved matters application seeking approval for access, appearance, layout, scale and landscaping for 340 dwellings – 205 open market and 135 affordable – public open space and infrastructure pursuant to the outline application for up to 725 dwellings on the wider site.  The current reserved matters application represented the whole of the phase 3 residential area of the approved outline scheme as defined in the approved phasing plan.  Phases to the west were in the process of being built out.  The principle of residential development at this site had been established through the grant of outline planning permission and its subsequent allocation for housing in the Joint Core Strategy as part of the wider Innsworth and Twigworth Strategic Allocation (Policy A1).  The key principles guiding reserved matters applications had also been approved by the planning authority including a Site Wide Masterplan Document and a site wide attenuation and drainage strategy.  The current application sought approval of reserved matters pursuant to the outline planning permission and the approval of the guiding design principles and the issues to be considered in this application were access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale and compliance with the approved documents including the Site Wide Masterplan Document.  As set out in the Committee Report, Officers had carefully considered the application and felt that the reserved matters were acceptable, in accordance with the Site Wide Masterplan Document aspirations and of an appropriate design.  County Highways had confirmed the access, internal road layout and car parking provision was acceptable and in accordance with the Site Wide Masterplan Document.  Officers had also confirmed that the mix and clustering of affordable housing was in accordance with the requirements of the Section 106 Agreement attached to the outline panning permission, was tenure blind and high quality.  In terms of flood risk and drainage, a detailed surface water and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) strategy had also been approved by the Council.  The Lead Local Flood Authority had been consulted in respect of the current scheme and had advised that the drainage strategy was suitable and the Environment Agency had confirmed that all finished floor levels accorded with the approved drainage strategy.  As such, the proposed drainage arrangements were considered acceptable.  Taking all of this into consideration, Officers were of the view that the proposed development would be high quality and appropriate in terms of access, layout, scale, appearance and landscaping and in accordance with the Site Wide Masterplan Document, therefore, it was recommended for approval.

14.4          The Chair invited the applicant’s agent to address the Committee.  The applicant’s agent indicated that Members would be aware that Land at Twigworth was allocated for development by Policy A1 of the Joint Core Strategy and was subject to outline planning permission for 725 homes.  To date, the Council had approved reserved matters applications for the first two phases of residential development, the local centre and the area of strategic public open space which included the playing pitches and changing rooms.  As the Planning Officer had explained, the reserved matters application before the Committee sought approval for the detailed design of the third and final phase of residential development.  As noted in the Committee report, the proposals for phase 3 accorded with the parameters established by the outline planning permission and the Site Wide Masterplan Document set out the design principles for the development as a whole, one of the key parameters of the scheme being the area within which built development was permitted, the entirety of which was outside the flood plain.  The proposals as recommended for approval were the result of close working between the applicant and Officers that had seen them evolve significantly through both the pre-application and post-submission stages.  The changes made included the addition of balconies to the apartments, increases to the width of the natural green corridors and the provision of six natural play features.  The key elements of the phase 3 proposals were the delivery of 340 homes, of which 135 would be affordable; provision of play space in the form of the Locally Equipped Area of Play (LEAP) in one of the two garden squares as well as the six natural play elements already mentioned; delivery of a biodiversity net gain in excess of 10%; and parking provision of a minimum of two parking spaces per dwelling for all properties with two bedrooms or more.

14.5          The Chair indicated that the Officer recommendation was to approve the application and he sought a motion from the floor.  It was proposed and seconded that the application be approved in accordance with the Officer recommendation.  A Member indicated that he had been able to clarify a number of matters with the Lead Local Flood Authority so he did not need to not raise them here.  In terms of sewerage, whilst he understood that Severn Trent Water was the responsible authority, he felt there was a need to put pressure on that body to resolve the issues.  In this case, sewage was not flowing directly into the existing system so it should not cause more problems; however, he was sure there would be more problems down the line and he would like to explore with Officers how that could be addressed.  In terms of the green corridor, he expressed concern there was no connectivity to other developments around it and, whilst this was not directly related to the application being considered today, as this was the final phase of this development, it was the last opportunity to raise this.  He felt that parents and children needed peace of mind that they could travel from the development to the potential new school in Innsworth without having to use cars.  In response, the Planning Officer advised that, in terms of the current reserved matters application site itself, there were linkages to the north of the site and Brook Lane and a Public Right of Way ran through the middle – the Public Right of Way was outside of the applicant’s ownership but linkages could be secured through the hedgerow with the consent of the various landowners and there was an opportunity for future connections off to the right.  The sitewide green infrastructure had been agreed as part of the Site Wide Masterplan Document and the reserved matters application tried to ensure connectivity into the wider green infrastructure at Down Hatherley Park and there was a cycleway running between this development and the one in Innsworth.

14.6          A Member indicated that, at the previous Planning Committee meeting, she had raised concern about the lack of secondary school provision in the area and, if this application was approved, there would be another 340 dwellings in the same location which exacerbated the need for a secondary school in this particular area.  The Planning and Enforcement Team Leader (South) felt it should be borne in mind that this application was for approval of reserved matters and all infrastructure requirements had been agreed at the outline stage.  Another Member queried who would be responsible for maintaining the SuDS ponds and the representative from the Lead Local Flood Authority indicated that responsibility was addressed by condition but this was currently up for debate; it was likely to be a management company but a change in legislation meant that it could be adopted by a water and sewage company which was why it was a matter for condition.  A Member pointed out there had been huge problems with the Longford Clock Tower where five separate agencies were responsible for maintenance and the roads and pavements had not been adopted by the County Council.  As such, he would like to see a condition included to require the maintenance company to provide a schedule of work setting out how frequently maintenance would be carried out.  The Planning Officer reiterated that this was a reserved matters application which was limited to access, appearance, layout, scale and landscaping – drainage was an outline consideration which was addressed by condition 21 of the outline planning permission and had been discharged.  He could not recall the detail of the management strategy but he would be happy to provide this outside of the meeting as that was also an outline consideration and could not be included as a condition on the reserved matters approval.  The Member indicated that he was aware of the status of the application but he felt it was very important to understand who was responsible for doing what and that needed to be firmed up in some way.  He asked that future outline applications included a condition requiring submission of a maintenance schedule in order to provide some accountability when things were not done, as was the case at the Clock Tower.

14.7          Upon being put to the vote, it was

RESOLVED           That the application be APPROVED in accordance with the Officer recommendation.

Supporting documents: