Agenda item


Application for determination:


Erection of 43 dwellings, comprising 13 houses and 30 flats, together with associated parking and landscaping


The Senior Planning Officer presented the report detailing an application for the erection of 43 dwellings, comprising 13 houses and 30 flats, together with associated parking and landscaping.


The Noise Consultant for Tetra Tech addressed the Committee in support of the application.


He argued that it should be granted for the following reasons:


- Numerous noise surveys had been undertaken during both daytime and nighttime, and all had retuned assessments which were under statutory noise limits and within the criteria of Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS).

- WRS had been consulted and had not raised any objections to the proposal or the submitted noise survey.

- Avon Metals Ltd had objected to the application due to the ‘Agent of Change’ principle of the NPPF but, a freedom of information request had confirmed that no complaints regarding noise had been made (from nearby residential properties) regarding previous noise generating operations at Avon Metals.

- Avon Metals had sought a mitigation payment, however an independent assessment had confirmed that this was not required.

- It was likely that Bristol Road traffic would be the main source of noise in the area.


The Senior Planning Officer responded to Members’ questions concerning the distance between the proposed development and the Avon Metals site, the purpose of the storage warehouse, the opening and closing times of Avon Metals Ltd and the storage warehouse, details of the s106 agreement, whether there were any concerns about contamination, refuse arrangements, landscaping, proposals for open space improvements and whether viability assessments were subject to any auditing or scrutiny as follows:


- In relation to the distance between the proposed development and Avon Metals, the Senior Planning Officer confirmed that the site boundary ran approximately 180 metres to the South of the existing Avon Metals site. He noted that there was a large storage unit located between the development site and Avon Metals and it was his assessment that this could largely block noise from the development site. He further noted that the main source of noise in the area was the traffic along Bristol Road, and that an assessment had been undertaken by Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS). The Noise Consultant confirmed that they were satisfied that the levels met the necessary criteria and no noise complaints had been made by occupiers of existing dwellings located the same distance from the Avon Metals site.

- The storage warehouse was used for commercial purposes relating to the hire of cars and other vehicles (B8 storage and distribution use).

- The operating times of both Avon Metals and the adjacent storage warehouse would have been assessed as part of the noise survey. It was anticipated that operating times would likely be broadly in line with office hours.

- With regard to the s106 agreement, it was confirmed that approval would be subject to a provision of a £27k contribution for affordable housing. The Senior Planning Officer explained that a greater contribution had originally been requested, however the applicant had submitted a viability assessment which had been reviewed by an independent consultant, confirming that contributions towards open space and libraries would have made the development unviable. It was explained that as affordable housing was the primary concern of the local authority, that would take priority over any other contribution considerations.

- The wider site had been subject to remediation works and the independent consultant had not raised any objections or complaints about possible contamination. It was explained that this would be an issue which would be highlighted in the risk assessment that is to be secured under a planning condition and, if contamination was found, further remediation of the application site would be required.

- A refuse traffic plan had been submitted and it had been demonstrated on this plan that a refuse vehicle could enter the site and turn around successfully. The blocks of flats and dwellings all have accessible bin storage areas.

- There was a clause in the conditions relating to tree planting, and the finer details relating to this would be outlined in the discharge of the condition.

 - The contributions towards open space, sport and recreational facilities would not be sought for viability reasons. The Senior Planning Officer explained that a viability assessment had concluded that in order for the scheme to be viable, there would only be £27k available for affordable housing and contributions. Since the council’s priority was affordable housing provision, the other contributions had been dropped. - In relation to viability assessments, it was confirmed that these assessments were not accepted at face value and were reviewed by an independent assessor. The Senior Planning Officer noted that there had been some back and forth between the consultants on the s106 contributions with the outcome of the review being that £27k was the amount available if the scheme was to be viable.



The Planning Development Manager responded to a question from a Member as to whether a site visit ought to have been undertaken as follows:


- If the Committee felt a site visit was essential, they had the option to request a site visit prior to the committee meeting.


Members’ Debate


Councillor J. Brown stated that she was unable to support the application. She was concerned that a contribution of £27k was not enough to deliver the affordable housing required by the evolving Gloucester City Plan. She also felt the proposed development was too close in proximity to the commercial premises.


Councillor Bhaimia raised concerns that there might be implications on residents’ health.


Councillor Tracey noted that it was a large site and expressed the view that the area was ideal for a development of this kind, noting that there were small houses being built adjacent to the proposed development site Councillor Hyman commented that £27k did not seem like a lot of money, however when all conditions were taken into consideration, he saw no planning reasons why the application should be refused.


The Chair moved and Councillor Tracey seconded the officer’s recommendation:


RESOLVED that: - Planning permission is granted subject to the conditions outlined in the report.

Supporting documents: