Agenda item

Former Civil Service Sports Ground, Estcourt Road - 18/00306/FUL

Application for determination:-


Erection of 100 dwellings with new site entrance to the south from Denmark road and site entrance to the north from Estcourt Road, together with details of associated infrastructure, public open space and landscaping at the former Civil Service Sports Ground, Estcourt Road.



Councillor Taylor declared a personal interest in this application as he was employed by the Crypt School which could benefit from the Section 106 contributions. He left the meeting prior to the consideration of this application and the Vice-Chair took the Chair for the remainder of the meeting.


The Principal Planning Officer presented the report which detailed an application for the erection of 100 dwellings with new site entrance to the south from Denmark Road and site entrance to the north from Estcourt Road, together with details of associated infrastructure, public open space and landscaping at the former Civil Service Sports Ground, Estcourt Road.


She referred to the late material which contained a representation in objection to the application from Councillor Hilton, additional consultation responses, the views of the Badger Trust (Gloucestershire) and details of an amended layout Plan (revision L) together with a revised Officer recommendation.


Councillor Hilton, a ward Member for Kingsholm and Wotton, addressed the Committee in objection to the application. 


He had submitted his objections in writing and they had been circulated to the Committee Members and were contained within the late material.

His concerns included:-

·         Total loss of the existing playing fields.

·         S106 contributions were likely to be spent in other areas of the City with no benefit to Kingsholm.


·         Total loss of green space.


·         Too many houses, five times the number suggested in the draft City plan.


·         No one or two bedroom open market properties.


·         The presence of badgers on site had been confirmed by the Badger Trust (Gloucestershire).


·         Concerns relating to access.


·         No new community infrastructure proposed for Kingsholm.


·         Does not comply with Joint Core Strategy Policies INF 3, 4 & 6.


John Price, Secretary of the Kingsholm and Wotton Neighbourhood Partnership addressed the Committee in opposition to the application.


He stated that the partnership was in broad agreement with Councillor Hilton and expressed the following concerns:-

·         No evidence of community engagement as required by JCS policy INF 4.


·         Last contact between the developer and the Partnership had been in 2014.


·         No discussions regarding replacement facilities.


·         Increase in housing was illogical.


·         Have the concerns of the Committee concerning the previously refused application for 89 dwellings been addressed.


Adrian Welsh, a local resident addressed the Committee in opposition to the application.


His concerns included traffic and he pointed out that there would be 52 coach movements per day requiring two 90°turns. With over 1,000 children and teachers there would be over 2,000 pedestrian movements per day. The site was also a hub for school transport and the coaches would have to reverse without a banksman.


Jason Tait addressed the Committee in support of the application.


He stated that the developers had addressed the concerns raised by the Committee at the last meeting where the application for 89 dwellings had been refused.

He noted that the Civil Service Sportsground had been a members-only facility.

He stated that this revised application had been the subject of detailed discussions with Council Officers and complied with the draft City Plan. The contribution of £2 million for offsite sports facilities would benefit the whole City.

He noted that other issues had been addressed.

The presence of badgers on the site had been identified by the applicants and the necessary licence obtained.

A Member noted that the 100 additional homes would be served by one surgery which was already overloaded. She also expressed concerns regarding road safety. She was advised that the Highway Authority had been unable to send a representative to attend the Committee meeting but they had considered the application with care including the use of the service road by buses and had considered the application to be acceptable in highway terms

Another member noted that the drainage easement had not been shown on the plans for the previous ap[plication. He was advised that work on drainage proposals was evolving and the proposed pumping station was part of the attenuation scheme.

A Member was advised that the Assessment of the impact on the Cotswold Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation, which was required for all new  significant residential applications, was not expected to identify any insurmountable problems.

Another Member believed that the developer deserved credit for having overcome all the problems identified in the previous application. She believed that the height of grass on the photographs displayed did not indicate a high level of usage of the fields and she noted that the facilities at Plock Court were only 0.6 mile distant.


A Member noted that the previous sports facilities had been private but he believed that the application did nothing to address the deficit in public open space in Kingsholm and Wotton ward. He believed that the proposal was overdevelopment and he expressed concern at the loss of a ‘green lung’.


Another Member noted that membership of the sports club had been open to all so the facilities were available to the community.


The Vice-Chair invited the Officer to comment.


The Principal Planning Officer stated that the contributions presented opportunities to improve facilities at a number of locations including Blackbridge Hub, Plock Court, Deansway Meadow, Siebert Street, Armscroft Park and Gloucester Park.


A Member asked if there were any appropriate reasons to refuse the application which would be supported by an Inspector at appeal. He was advised that the proposed development complied with policies and the developer had overcome the reasons for the refusal of the previous application.


The Technical Planning Manager advised that traffic issues had not been considered as a reason for refusal of the previous application and he would be concerned if it was introduced as a reason for refusal at this stage.


He noted that there was good provision of sports facilities at Plock Court and any planning Inspector would look beyond the boundaries of the ward and take account of that provision.


He further noted that the housing provision now met Officers’ requirements and together with the economic benefits of the proposal had resulted in the very clear recommendation before the Committee.


A Member noted that ‘green lungs’ in the area were provided by Plock Court, Siebert Street and Denmark Road School.  She noted that the surgery could make an application for additional partners but she did not consider that capacity of the surgery was a planning consideration. She noted that there was a desperate need for more houses, both general market and affordable homes, in the City.


The Vice-Chair noted that the application had to be determined in accordance with regulations. He did not consider the capacity of the surgery to be a planning issue and the Highway Authority had found the application to be acceptable in highway terms.

The Vice-Chair moved and Councillor Lugg seconded that the application be determined in accordance with the revised officer recommendation contained within the late material.


RESOLVED that subject to the resolution of the outstanding matters in relation to the Appropriate Assessment and impacts upon the Special Area of Conservation  and the satisfactory completion of a Section 106 Agreement, the Technical Planning Manager be authorised to grant planning permission subject to the conditions in the report, the conditions recommended by the Highway Authority (reflecting the amended layout revision L) and any further conditions as may be considered necessary and as recommended by further consultee responses. 





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