Agenda item

Kingsway Local Centre, Thatcham Avenue, Quedgeley, Gloucester - 18/00852/FUL

Application for determination: -


Erection of a new building to provide 22 self contained units of supported living accommodation and associated works, including car and cycle parking and landscaping.


A Committee Site visit for the item took place on the 22nd July 2021 to allow for full consideration of the site.


The Principal Planning Officer presented the report detailing an application for the erection of a new building to provide 22 self-contained units of supported living accommodation and associated works, including car and cycle parking and landscaping.  The presentation included the duties on the council in respect of the Equality Act 2010 and also as regards safeguarding under the Children Act 2004, as well as fears in respect of safety as a material consideration.



Councillor Cook, a Ward Member for Kingsway (and leader of the City Council), addressed the committee in opposition to the application.


He objected to the application on the following grounds:


-        It was the correct development but was in an unsuitable location;

-        The site would be located in a noisy area, which was unbefitting for the residents who would occupy the accommodation;

-        The site visit revealed how noisy the area was;

-        Only a small amount of outside space would be provided;

-        The outdoor space was only protected by a 1.8-metre fence. This would not protect the privacy of potential residents;

-        The noise would have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of the residents; 

-        The size of the building was larger than other buildings in the locality and did not fit within the local area.



A local resident addressed the Committee in opposition to the application.


The local resident objected to the application on the following grounds:


-        Proximity to a nearby school and school routes;

-        There was a high volume of pupils commuting in the area and the disruption could be harmful to the supported living residents;

-        A bus stop had moved since the Traffic Survey Assessment had been undertaken and there was now a bus stop in a location close to the proposed build which would negatively impact the residents and children getting off at the bus stop;

-        There was not enough parking in the area;

-        Traffic concerns;

-        There were numerous shops and premises located nearby that would be affected negatively by the development;

-        The development had not been what had been planned for the area;

-        The development would add to parking issues in the area; 

-        There were more suitable locations in Kingsway for the site;

-        There would be an increase in anti-social behaviour in the area;



A Development Director for Kitto GroupPLC addressed the Committee in favour of the application, on behalf of the applicant.


The Development Director stated that the application should be granted on the following grounds:


-        Whilst the site was initially designated for retail use. It had been left for a considerable amount of time;

-        Over 70% of the placements of supported living accommodation such as the one proposed were currently placed in deprived areas and were insufficient. Therefore, the accommodation would help to combat this disparity;

-        The accommodation provided would be affordable;

-        Gloucestershire County Council and County Care Commissioners were looking to provide accommodation for 108 people with mental health difficulties across the county;

-        Funding had been obtained in principle for the development;

-        It would provide high-quality accommodation for more than 20 individuals;

-        Parking concerns had been addressed;

-        There would be staff on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week;

-        If the land remained undeveloped, the site may become derelict, thus encouraging anti-social behaviour;

-        Concerns raised by Kingsway Primary School had been addressed. They had agreed that a representative of the school would be included on the panel that chooses the care provider.



The Principal Planning Officer responded to members’ questions regarding the type of accommodation that would be being provided, concerns around safeguarding, the width of the doors of the proposed build, the loss of land designated for retail purposes, whether the development was wheelchair accessible,  the delivery times for the local shops, whether the car parking survey had been updated, concerns around the Noise Impact Assessment and whether 24-hour care would be required for residents of the proposed build as follows: 


-        The Human Rights Act (1998) was a consideration for every report published by the Council.

-        Each individual who moved into the proposed build would have a robust risk management plan and a person-centred recovery and support plan. Any individual who had restrictions relating to schools, would not be housed at the proposed build.

-        The Housing Strategy Manager was happy with the arrangements of the building.

-        The Noise Impact Assessment was conducted between 9am on Friday to 15:30pm on Saturday in April.

-        The application before the Committee was submitted as a full application and not a reserved matter. Therefore, it was not bound by the principles or restrictions of the outline permission.

-        Interest in the site for retail development had not been forthcoming.

-        The proposed build met design standards. The bathrooms and kitchens were wheelchair accessible.

-        The applicant had been asked whether they wished to provide an updated parking survey, with the one submitted dating from 2017, but had not done so.

-        Many shops were serviced from the rear, thus mitigating some of the noise impact of deliveries. There was also a condition that restricted delivery times.

-        There would be staff on site 24 hours, seven days a weeks, but it was not known whether the residents could be said to be “high risk” or not.

-        The communal lounges marked on the plans were “staff/communal areas”.


The Highway Development Management Team Leader responded to members’ questions concerning the impact the relocated bus stop would have on the property as follows:


-        Buses would only stop at the new bus stop location momentarily before moving on. Therefore, whilst it may offer obstruction when buses were there, this would only be for a very brief period.



Members’ Debate


The Vice-Chair stated that his main concern with the application was the noise in the area. He noted that the Noise Impact Assessment had been conducted in April 2021, where there were still numerous restrictions owing to the Coronavirus Pandemic. He stated that, therefore, he believed that the Impact Assessment did not consider how busy the area would be during regular peak times. He said that he was considering proposing deferral until a new Noise Impact Assessment and an updated Traffic Survey had been conducted.


Councillor Conder stated that she had apprehensions that there was not enough green space proposed for residents. She stated that she believed the proposal was an excellent idea, but was in the wrong location, as it was a noisy and busy area, which would have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of residents.


The Chair stated that he was conflicted about the application. He said that he had concerns about the potential loss of retail units in the heart of Kingsway. He stated that he did not have an issue with the development itself. He stated that he had concerns that noise would come into the garden of the property, which would have a negative impact for residents. He stated that he believed it might be in the wrong location because of the noise in the area but that he did not subscribe to the concerns about its proximity to a school.


Councillor Melvin stated that she believed that the type of accommodation proposed was needed but believed that the proposal was in an inappropriate location. She stated that she did not think that the communal space offered was adequately large enough for 22 people. Councillor Melvin also raised concerns about the amount of roof space. She said that she would be voting against the Officer’s recommendation.


Councillor Toleman stated that he was in favour of the concept, which is needed, and was concerned whether anyone would ever say such developments were in the right place.


Councillor Ackroyd stated that she agreed with concerns raised by other members. She stated that she did not believe that enough open space had been provided for the residents. She raised concerns that the fencing would enclose residents, which would be unbeneficial for them. She said that she believed that an alternative location should be considered.


Councillor D. Brown stated that he still had concerns about noise in the area. He said that he would like to see more information about the noise in the area during peak times and an updated traffic survey. He stated that he was less concerned about the loss of retail space, as the land had been advertised for a long time.


The Vice-Chair noted that many houses had been built nearby since the land had been advertised. Therefore, the demand to use the land for retail purposes would have increased. He said that he believed that the City needed accommodation such as the one proposed. He stated that, he believed that the roof of the building was in character with the area, so he had no concerns in that regard. He stated that he believed that the Traffic Survey was now out of date, and an updated one may demonstrate that there would not be adequate parking. He stated that he believed that the application should be deferred, pending an updated Noise Impact Assessment and Traffic Survey. Otherwise, he would be voting against the Officer’s recommendation.


Councillor Melvin stated that currently, there was a huge demand from retailers to develop in the City and believed that there would be demand from retailers to use the land in the future.


Councillor Lewis moved, and Councillor D.Brown seconded a motion to defer the application for an updated Noise Impact Assessment and a Traffic Survey to be provided by the applicant, to allow for full consideration of noise levels in the area and the impact on traffic and parking the development would have.



RESOLVED that: - the application is deferred until an updated Noise Impact Assessment and Traffic Survey had been provided.


Immediately after the vote was taken Councillors Melvin and Finnegan stated that they wished to have their individual votes recorded in the minutes.  Councillors Melvin and Finnegan voted against deferral. 


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