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Agenda item

Agenda item

22/00251/APP - Phases 4 and 6, Land at Perrybrook, North Brockworth

PROPOSAL: Approval of reserved matters (appearance, landscape, layout and scale) for Phases 4 and 6 comprising development of new homes, landscaping, open space and associated works pursuant to outline permission 12/01256/OUT.




56.2          This was an approval of reserved matters application (appearance, landscape, layout, scale) for Phases 4 and 6 comprising development of new homes, landscaping, open space and associated works pursuant to outline permission 12/01256/OUT.  The Planning Committee had visited the application site on Friday 13 February 2023.  The application had been deferred by the Planning Committee at its meeting on 21 February 2023 for concerns to be addressed in respect of construction traffic, design issues relating to neighbouring residential amenity to the east, the landscape buffer to the eastern boundary, the local play area/attenuation pond, the bridge over/redirection of the Public Right of Way, the Oak tree being removed for a parking space, the lack of connectivity to services/surrounding areas and the arrangements for cycling.

56.3          The Development Management Team Leader (East) drew attention to Page No. 35 of the Committee report in relation to construction traffic and explained that the report was correct in stating that this matter had been considered during the determination of the original outline permission resulting in the imposition of Condition 27 which required no development to take place until a construction environmental management plan was approved; however, he should also have included reference to Condition 14 of the outline permission which required a construction management statement to be provided.  He advised that the conditions were relevant to the whole site, rather than a phased approach, and confirmed they had been satisfied and discharged.  Since the last meeting, the applicant had redesigned the site layout to address the concerns raised by Members which included the gable of a building on Maple Drive which the applicant had now moved further to the west to provide a wider landscape buffer away from the boundary.  With regard to the south-east of the site, concerns had been raised in relation to the impact of a gable end backing onto a dwelling and the Development Management Team Leader (East) explained that was based on the plan originally submitted with the application which had subsequently changed following negotiations with the developer to ensure a back to back relationship with neighbouring dwellings, as could be seen from the plan displayed today.  In terms of the footpath redirection, the Development Management Team Leader (East) explained that the spine road had been agreed at outline stage and it was inevitable that it would need to cross the footpath which would run directly under the new bridge.  The applicant had advised that significant work would be required to raise the bridge to achieve head height clearance, therefore, the proposal was to redirect the footpath.

56.4           The Chair invited a local resident speaking in objection to the proposal to address the Committee.  The local resident explained he had not been aware of the proposed revisions prior to today so his speech had been written on the basis of the plans on the Council’s website and, as of yesterday, no new documents had been posted in relation to this scheme.  He wished to seek assurance that work would not commence to the southern phase of the development until the new roundabout on Valiant Way had been completed in order to ensure the minimum amount of disruption from construction traffic.  Regarding plot numbers 353-368, it appeared the house had now been moved back approximately one metre which did not seem to address residents’ concerns regarding the shadows that would be cast in the gardens in Maple Drive and the loss of light and amenity.  He also wished to object to the fact that the so-called reinforced landscape edge between the new development and the existing houses in Ermin Park and Maple Drive was now so narrow it was completely ineffective, in places consisting only of a path and a minute patch of soil scarcely wide enough to plant anything in – he felt the landscape edge was still too narrow even with the revisions resulting in more of a path than an area for planting.  In particular, he objected to the vary narrow planting beds at the back of his neighbour’s house and behind 34 Westfield Road which was so narrow it would be impossible to maintain or prevent from filling up with brambles, nettles and unwanted nuisance trees.

56.5           The Chair invited the applicant’s representative to address the Committee.  The applicant’s representative explained that the proposal built on the consented outline for permission for the site which formed part of the wider mixed use development of up to 1,500 homes granted in 2016.  They had been working on the design of the development and preparation of an application for the past two years and, over this period, the scheme had been reworked multiple times to incorporate comments from the Council, consultees and professional bodies.  The development had been designed, and would be delivered, in line with the consented outline permission, including construction traffic management.  It was considered the application met all key requirements, as highlighted by the Officer recommendation for approval and the lack of objections from all professional consultees.  Following the previous Committee meeting, they had looked to address the concerns raised and provide clarity on some outstanding questions.  Confirmation had been provided that the construction traffic management would run in line with the consented outline permission and access would initially be provided to Phase 4 through the existing Linden development site.  Access into Phase 6 land would be provided via a new four arm roundabout on Valiant Way – this roundabout was approved at the outline planning stage and technical approval was expected in the next three months with works targeted to commence in September/October 2023 and completion in March/April 2024 at which point construction traffic would access via that entrance.  Concerns had been raised by the residents of a property on Ermin Road specifically regarding a gable wall close to the boundary and the applicant’s representative confirmed the development had been redesigned to take this into account so there was no longer a gable wall facing the property and there was now a distance of approximately 22 metres between their property and the closest new dwelling.  Questions had also been raised around plot 355 and the landscape buffer and the applicant’s representative confirmed this area had been redesigned to provide an enhanced landscape buffer which was set out in the latest plans and showed a 19.5 metre separation between the property and the nearest existing house; site wide landscaping would be managed and maintained by a management company.  Additionally, the applicant’s representative confirmed that the existing footpaths would remain, albeit the layout of one would be very slightly altered.  County Highways had confirmed it was content the site provided appropriate cycling infrastructure and links to the wider sustainable travel network.  Tree removal was in accordance with the consented outline permission which allowed for the removal of trees; however, T11, an English Oak in good condition, would be retained.  T8 and T10, being dead and a category C respectively, would be removed.  The applicant’s representative hoped Members could see the hard work that had been put in collectively by the Council, professional bodies and residents over a considerable period of time and would feel able to permit the application in accordance with the Officer recommendation.

56.6           The Chair invited a local Ward Member to address the Committee.  The local Ward Member indicated that he did not object to the development itself but to its negative impacts.  In terms of the nature corridor, the outline planning permission prescribed that the footpath should go under the road uninterrupted and re-routing would impact on the much loved and well used nature corridor which was important to local residents.  He felt that other options, such as a subway, should be explored.  In terms of active travel options, the outline planning permission prescribed that routes be provided through the site which did not seem to be the case.  He believed that the construction method statement agreed at the outline stage had been contradicted in terms of the route being taken by construction traffic to access the site and the conditions around deliveries and loading/unloading in a designated area within the site boundary. 

56.7           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 sat on another Committee for a different authority where concerns had been raised regarding houses being built directly on a footpath and he asked for confirmation that no houses were to be constructed along the existing footpath in this instance.  In response, the Development Management Team Leader (East) clarified that that the footpath to the north ran across the road within the site and there were no dwellings in or around the footpath.  A footpath diversion order would be required and any obstructions would be considered as part of those details.  Another Member asked, as he had at the last meeting, for the capacity of the culvert given the water flow from the escarpment would travel to parts of his Ward which already experienced issues with flooding.  He also asked for confirmation that the bridge would comply with the Equalities Act 2010 in terms of disabled access.  In response, the Development Management Team Leader (East) advised that he did not have any information regarding disability compliance or water flows; however, with regard to the latter, the Lead Local Flood Authority and the Environment Agency had been consulted on the proposals and had raised no objection.  The Member understood that the roundabout would be in place by 2024 and, based on that timescale, he asked what the trajectory would be in terms of delivery of houses.  The Development Management Team Leader (East) advised that an application for the roundabout had been submitted and Officers were working on the technical details with County Highways.  In terms of Phase 7, there were two current applications which should be determined over the next couple of months with a view to work commencing in September and completion in Spring 2024.  More conditions needed to be discharged in terms of the outline planning permission but work on Phase 4 would start later in the year before moving onto Phase 6.  He clarified that the roundabout would predominately be used by construction traffic in Phase 4 but would also come into play in Phase 6.

56.8           A Member drew attention to Page No. 38 of the Committee report which stated that the footpath would run directly under the proposed new bridge and he had been pleased to note that the applicant had recognised that it would need to achieve head height clearance; however, the Committee report went on to say that the bridge would need to have a large span, at a higher level than the road and would require a central support in order to achieve this, therefore it was unlikely to be supported by the Environment Agency.  He asked if this was assumed knowledge or if a proposal for a raised bridge had been priced and engineering details produced and put forward to the relevant authorities.  He would like to see a plan for a raised bridge as he would prefer short term disruption from construction traffic if it meant the footpath could be retained in its current position.  In terms of cycling routes and access, he noted that cycle sheds would be provided for houses without garages but he had been unable to find any information about cycle lanes connecting to other developments so questioned whether residents were expected to travel everywhere by car.  The original plan put forward showed connectivity to the existing village but he could not see that on the new plans and asked if it would still be provided and whether it would be big enough for cyclists.  In terms of construction traffic, he sought clarification as to the route for accessing Phase 4 of the site.  In response, the Development Management Team Leader (East) advised that he did not have any information regarding costings for the bridge as that had not been submitted; the proposal put forward had been assessed and redirection of the footpath was considered acceptable.  In terms of cycling, County Highways had confirmed the roads were compliant with the Gloucestershire Manual for Streets and, as the Member had correctly pointed out, there would be additional cycling storage provision for dwellings without garages.  With regard to connectivity, there were connecting routes running through the site with a new bridge into the site in Phase 7 and the Development Management Team Leader (East) pointed out the connecting routes on the plan displayed.  He confirmed that construction traffic would access via Court Road and into Phase 5 across into the northern phase until the roundabout had been constructed.  Another Member pointed out that the construction management statement was for the whole site and this made no reference to construction traffic using Court Road.  Construction traffic travelling through the village had already been opposed by the County Council which had objected on safety grounds and she asked why that seemed to have been disregarded by Planning Officers.  The Development Management Team Leader (East) clarified that Condition 14 of the outline planning permission required a site wide construction management statement – construction traffic details were not required to be submitted as part of the statement.  The Member disagreed and indicated that she believed there was an agreement to access via Valiant Way, Delta Way and Mill Lane but not Court Road and she did not see why construction vehicles should be allowed to travel through Brockworth.  The Development Management Team Leader (East) reiterated there was no requirement for a construction management statement to be submitted for each phase of the development. The construction management statement mentioned by the Member in terms of Phases 2 and 5 was submitted by Taylor Wimpey but had not been requested by the local authority and was specific to the parcel of land it was developing.  Whilst the consultee comments had not been uploaded onto the Council’s website, following discussions that had taken place prior to the meeting, he was able to confirm this had been agreed by County Highways.  With regard to the Public Right of Way, the Member went on to question whether it was acceptable to plan a bridge obstructing a footpath without consulting residents.  The Development Management Team Leader (East) advised that redirection of the footpath had to be considered by the County Council and members of the public would have an opportunity to object at that point; if it was not acceptable, the applicant would have to come back with a redesign of the bridge.  In response to a query about why the redirection order had not yet been obtained, the Legal Adviser explained that it was likely to follow after the Committee had determined the planning application and, as one in connection with a planning application, would probably come to this Council rather than the County Council.  In terms of the construction management statement, she confirmed this had been dealt with at the outline stage, and discharges already made in respect of that, and the Council would be at risk of costs at appeal should the application be refused on the basis of matters which had already been dealt with as part of the outline application, or the discharge of conditions relating to the outline permission.  Members were required to determine the application before them in terms of the reserved matters of appearance, landscape, layout and scale only.

56.9           A Member drew attention to Page No. 52, Paragraph 8.41 of the Committee report, which set out that 425 of the affordable housing units would be ‘general affordable housing’ and 175 would be ‘extra care affordable housing’ and she asked for clarification as to the definitions of those affordable housing types. In response, the Development Management Team Leader (Northwest) explained that extra care houses were affordable homes with an element of additional care for residents where that need had been identified.  In terms of general affordable housing, this was usually a split of affordable rented accommodation and shared ownership type products.  Affordable housing was nuanced but she provided assurance that the Council’s Housing Enabling Officer worked with the County Council and other agencies to ensure the correct mix of affordable housing was achieved for each development.

56.10         A Member felt that he could not stop the application from being permitted but he would be voting against the motion as he did not feel access had been appropriately dealt with and, in his view, the applicant could have worked harder to ensure the roundabout was in place in order to negate construction vehicles having to travel through existing development causing problems for residents.  Furthermore, he was unhappy about the bridge and the lack of clarity as to whether it would be disability compliant so he asked for Officers to provide a response by email following the meeting along with the information he had requested regarding culverting and water flows.

56.11         Returning to the debate regarding the construction management statement, a Member asked for clarification as to why construction traffic was able to use Court Road if the construction management statement specifically referenced Mill Lane, Delta Way and Valiant Way.  In response, the Development Management Team Leader (East) reiterated that the construction management statement had been submitted to satisfy Condition 14 of the outline planning permission which did not require construction traffic routing - there was no requirement for the developer to advise the Council which route construction vehicles would be taking into the site.  More in-depth construction management statements had been submitted for Phases 2 and 5 which talked about the routes construction vehicles would take when they accessed and egressed those sites but the Council did not have any power to control whether vehicles were going into the site from residential areas.  Another Member raised concern as to why the County Highways objection did not seem to have been taken into account and so continued to be of the opinion that the construction management statement stated that construction traffic needed to access the site via Mille Lane, Valiant Way and Delta Way.  In terms of connectivity, three accesses were shown on the masterplan – one on Maple Road, one off Maple Drive, one near Prince Albert Court and one at the back of Burford Court - which were no longer in the plans and she asked what had happened to them.   The Development Management Team Leader (East) advised that the details had been indicatively included at the outline stage and there had been changes to the internal layout of the site over the passage of time.  Officers had considered the application as it stood today and determined it was acceptable.  The Member asked if it was possible to see a copy of the construction management statement which referenced Court Road and the Development Management Team Leader (East) indicated that Members could be provided with the information on the system for the construction management statement and the agreement with County Highways specific to Phases 2 and 5.  The Legal Adviser reiterated that issues which had been dealt with at the outline stage/discharged in respect of the construction management statement could not be used as reasons to refuse the reserved matters application as they could not be defended on appeal.

56.12         Upon being put to the vote, it was

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

Supporting documents: