DPD Minutes 2nd September 2015

Planning & Development Policy Committee

Minutes of the Myland Community Council Planning & Development Policy Committee Meeting held on Wednesday 2nd September 2015, 7.15 pm @ 101 Nayland Road, Mile End Road, Colchester, CO4 5EN

Present:        Cllr John Stewart (Chair)

Cllr Jean Dickinson

Cllr Pete Hewitt

Cllr John Sutcliffe

The Assistant Clerk

There were five members of the public present.

109-15/16     Apologies

Cllrs Dickson and Gray.

110-15/16     Declarations of Interest

There were none.

111-15/16     Have Your Say

The Chairman said that any members of the public who wished to speak on application 151591 could do so when it was dealt with under Item 119-15/16.

112-15/16     Chairman’s Announcements and Correspondence

The Chairman said that Cllr Graham had decided to step down from this Committee due to the pressure of his other commitments. The Chairman thanked Cllr Graham for his contribution to the Committee.

The Chairman read an email from James Ryan at CBC, received in response to the Chairman’s letter regarding the application for 89 Nayland Road, which gave CBC’s reasons for approving the application. Cllr Hewitt said that CBC had looked at the proposed development of 89 Nayland Road under two separate applications. He said that the decision might have been different if the development had been submitted as one application. He said the final paragraph which stated that the development would make a small but useful contribution to the Council’s housing numbers was telling in light of the development of 1600 homes progressing in close proximity to 89 Nayland Road.

The Chairman said MCC had received notice of the closure of Turner Road from the Hospital entrance to Stanford Road from 10th September 2015 for 3 nights.

113-15/16     Minutes of the meeting held on 19th August 2015 to be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman

The minutes of the meeting held on 19th August 2015 were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

Proposed:  Cllr Dickinson             Seconded:  Cllr Hewitt            (3 For; 1 Abstention)

114-15/16     Matters arising from the Minutes

Cllr Sutcliffe said he would like to comment on the discussion minuted under Item 100-15/16 regarding application 151494. He said he had been responsible for inviting the agent to the meeting to discuss the development of Ivy Cottage and to get an idea from the residents of Leech’s Lane of their feelings on the matter. He said he had felt the discussion had been very useful.

The Chairman said he also felt it had been an excellent opportunity for committee members and residents to discuss the application with the agent.

115-15/16     Monitoring

There was no report.

116-15/16     Pre-planning matters for review

There were none.

117-15/16     To consider and possibly resolve to respond to Colchester Borough Council’s consultation regarding its Statement of Licensing Policy (Closing date 31st October) – Cllr Stewart

It was resolved to respond to Colchester Borough Council’s consultation regarding its Statement of Licensing Policy (Closing date 31st October)

Proposed: Cllr Stewart                 Seconded:  Cllr Sutcliffe                      (Unanimous)

118-15/16     If above is resolved to consider and possibly resolve to whom to delegate the response –Cllr Stewart

It was resolved to delegate the response to Cllr Sutcliffe.

Proposed:  Cllr Stewart                Seconded:  Cllr Hewitt                        (Unanimous)

119-15/16     Planning, Licensing & Highways Applications/Appeals – To make recommendations, including requests for Section 106 money where applicable, on applications received

151591 – 248 Mill Road, Colchester CO4 5JE – Demolition of existing house, garage and outbuilding. Erection of four two-storey houses. (Resubmission of 150104) – Object

Comments under Item 111-15/16 – Have Your Say were taken at this point.

Mr Edmunds, the agent for the applicant, said he had seen the comments made by MCC on the previous application which he would attempt to answer. He said he thought keeping to the building line of the three pairs of semi-detached houses on Mill Road was unfounded. He said Highway matters have to be addressed or the application would be rejected. He said he had completed everything asked of him by Essex Highways, who he said now considered the plans acceptable. He said the properties themselves were virtually unchanged and that there had only been a slight movement backwards of the two properties facing on to Thomas Wakley Close to allow for the parking spaces. He said in his personal opinion this would meet normal requirements for a development of this size.

Cllr Stewart asked if the development would impact on-road parking.

Mr Edmunds said available on-road parking in Thomas Wakley Close would be reduced.

Mr Russell said he lived at no.1, Thomas Wakley Close. He said that the proposed properties would cut off a lot of light to his property. He said they would preclude light coming into the south side of his house. He said 50% of his roof was south-facing and ideal for solar panels. He said he would not be investing in panels if the properties cut sunlight to his property. He said there were very limited areas to park in Thomas Wakley Close because of the layout of the road. He said visitors use the area at the entrance to the Close, as do visitors to the properties on Mill Road opposite the entrance. He said entrances to the properties so close to a busy area of road would be inviting an accident. He said although the address of the application was Mill Road, the impact would be felt in Thomas Wakley Close. He said the two properties had no front gardens, unlike all the properties in Thomas Wakley Close.

Jayne Merrick said she lived at no.7 Thomas Wakley Close. She said she would like to query the height of the new properties. She said it appeared they would be higher than no.1 Thomas Wakley Close. She said this would go against the decision on the Rosewood development where it had been agreed new houses would not be higher than the existing residences. She said the plan included in the application did not show the full extent of Thomas Wakley Close. She said that that the development address was Mill Road, but that the impact would be felt in Thomas Wakley Close. She said there were double yellow lines in the Close because of problems with cars parking in the entrance. She said the frontage of the new properties was not in keeping with the rest of the Close, where all properties had one car parking space and a front garden. She said the entrance to the new properties was very close to the junction with Mill Road. She said the plans should show all of Thomas Wakley Close. She said the development would affect no. 4 and that this should be shown on the plan. She said that the building line in Mill Road was not consistent but that houses had at least been put in in blocks, so that there was a consistent line along each block.

The Chairman said that applicants were not legally obliged to show other propertieson plans.

Jayne Merrick said that might be the case but to show the full picture would be good practice.

Valerie Standage said that she would agree with all that Jayne Merrick had said. She said that parking was the biggest issue. She said that it would be dangerous if anyone drove in at speed.

Mrs White said she had been the first tenant in Thomas Wakley Close. She said the garage of 248 Mill Road was a double garage although originally it should have been single. She said this had had implications for Thomas Wakley Close. She said there was no parking in front of nos. 7 and 9 because the two drives met. She said the entrance shown on to Mill Road was 21.5m wide and that the entrance to the other two properties could be from Mill Road. She said there was a problem with people parking on the pavement in Thomas Wakley Close. She said that residents of 248 Mill Road had also used Thomas Wakley Close as a parking place. She said the new development was at the expense of the residents of the Close. She said she would endorse all the other residents had said. She said these problems had arisen because of the double garage. She said 248 Mill Road was a prominent feature of Mill Road. She said Mile End was gradually being destroyed. She said the house was in a prime position and should be saved as part of our heritage. She said it was very visible. She said all houses in Thomas Wakley Close had a front garden. She asked where visitors and delivery drivers would park. She said all was at the expense of Thomas Wakley residents. She said all development should be within the site itself and the Close should not be used for access. She said there had been many problems with 248 Mill Road and that this was the last straw.

Mr Edmunds said that as he did not live in the area he could not comment on all points raised but he would like to say the following. He said ECC had requested Thomas Wakley, a quiet cul-de-sac, was use for access to the properties rather than Mill Road, a busy through road. He said that the junction with Mill Road would be improved. He said the screen wall currently in place would be partially removed, improving the sight-line out of Thomas Wakley Close along Mill Road. He said that there was no particular architectural merit to the existing house and he had received no comment from CBC about this, so he was unable to agree with this point. He said that each house in the Close had two spaces as they all had a garage plus one parking space. He said there would always be objections to development but that there was a housing shortage and cheaper homes needed to be provided. He said the properties would have hip-ended roofs. He said he had tried to reduce the impact on neighbouring properties and that it was possible that light to Mr Russell’s property would not be affected.

Cllr Hewitt said that Mr Edmunds had a brief to maximise the site and that possibly fewer properties would be more acceptable. He said he believed that garages were no longer counted as a parking space as it was generally accepted that most people did not use their garage for this purpose. He said he understood the problems with the parking. He said that two blocks of 2 semi-detached houses might overpower no.1, Thomas Wakley Close. He said that the existing building was still part of the character of Mile End even if it had no architectural value. He said there was not sufficient demand in Colchester in terms of housing numbers to justify the constant over-development of small sites.

Cllr Dickinson said she shared Cllr Hewitt’s views. She said that an opportunity had been lost to use the prominence of the site for quality architecture. She said it would be useful to contact Essex Highways and find out whether anyone had been out to inspect the site.

MCC would object to this application on the following grounds:

  • Myland Community Council would object to this application on the following grounds:
  • In the previous application 150104, Essex CC objected to the development on the grounds of parking provision and road safety. Whilst parking provision for the new properties has now been allocated, the development will have the effect of reducing parking for cars in Thomas Wakley Close and in MCC’s view would continue to present a similar problem. We do not therefore believe ECC objections have been met.
  • Access to the two properties facing Thomas Wakley Close is very close to the junction with Mill Road. Construction of this access will result in loss of on-road parking within the Close. Current problems with parking and manoeuvring in the Close will be exacerbated. We believe access to any new homes replacing 248 Mill Road should be from Mill Road.
  • We feel the demolition of the existing house would be detrimental to the character of Mile End. MCC sees no reason why a sound house has to be taken down. The style of the property makes a significant contribution to the sense of place of the area, particularly as it stands in such a prominent position.
  • The effect of the demolition of the existing house on the street scene is not in accordance with the emerging Mile End and Braiswick Neighbourhood Plan.
  • The properties facing Mill Road do not follow the building line of the neighbouring properties.
  • MCC do not feel it is appropriate to use the Essex Design Guide for new buildings that will be built next to houses built in a 1970s architectural style.
  • We note that CBC mandated a maximum height for homes on Severalls Phase 1 (Rosewood) and this proposal would exceed that maximum height.
  • The character of Thomas Wakley Close, where all properties are detached and have one parking space and a front garden, however small, should be preserved. The proposed properties are semi-detached and have no front garden.
  • We feel the plans represent over-development of the site, and will result in loss of amenity to the neighbouring property including loss of light and privacy. The proposed roof line of the two properties facing Thomas Wakley Close is above the roofline of no. 1 Thomas Wakley Close and would therefore reduce the potential for proposed energy generation from solar panels on this property. No.1 also has three south-facing windows to which light would be blocked by the new properties.
  • We would also comment that although the address of the application is Mill Road, the impact of the development will be felt mainly in Thomas Wakley Close. To apply for planning permission as a Mill Road address is, we feel, somewhat disingenuous as three of the four homes proposed have their entrances and driveways within Thomas Wakley Close.

Proposed: Cllr Sutcliffe                       Seconded: Cllr Hewitt                         (Unanimous)

151682 – Header Premises Weston Homes Community Stadium, United Way, Colchester, CO4 5UP – Application for removal or variation of condition 27 of planning permission O/COL/01/1622 to allow greater flexibility in the serving hours permitted in the outline consent – Support with comment

MCC would suggest limiting delivery hours on a Sunday to between 10am and 4pm.

Proposed: Cllr Stewart                        Seconded: Cllr Dickinson                    (Unanimous)

107-15/16     To receive copies of Planning/Appeal Decisions

Copies of Planning/Appeal Decisions were received.

097-15/16     Date of next meeting –16th September 2015 7.15pm @ 101 Nayland Road

The meeting closed at 8:34pm