Application for determination:
Proposed change of use of site from a health clinic/office to 25no. apartments involving conversion of the existing main building - No. 18 Denmark Road - and the provision of a new three-storey detached building to the rear, including associated landscaping, access and parking, following demolition of an existing single storey outbuilding (revised proposal following previously approved applications No.s 22/00565/FUL and 20/00300/FUL). (Amended plans)
Councillor Conder declared a prejudicial interest in the item and withdrew from the discussion and voting on the item.
The Principal Planning Officer presented the report detailing an application for a proposed change of use of site from a health clinic/office to 25no. apartments involving conversion of the existing main building - No. 18 Denmark Road - and the provision of a new three-storey detached building to the rear, including associated landscaping, access and parking, following demolition of an existing single storey outbuilding (revised proposal following previously approved applications (22/00565/FUL and 20/00300/FUL).
A local resident addressed the Committee in opposition to the application.
She stated that the application should be rejected or amended on the following grounds:
- She lived around the corner from the site. She had opposed the application since 2020. Her concerns had not been addressed in this period.
- Her garden would be significantly overlooked by the proposed three-storey building, this would lead to a loss of privacy.
- She was pleased that the site would be used for residential purposes. However, there would be three large windows facing into her garden. This would mean that she could not sit in her own garden and would lose privacy.
- She did not object to the principle of residential development. However, the complete loss of privacy that the windows overlooking her garden would cause would lead to her move property.
- Construction had already got underway and she was aware that she could not prevent this. However, she wanted her concerns to be heard.
- The original light report from the previous application in 2020 (20/00300/FUL) was inaccurate. When she raised this, her concerns were ignored.
- She had asked for there to be a review of the window situation, which was also ignored.
The Principal Planning Officer responded to Members’ questions regarding concerns raised about overlooking, clarification about the placement of buildings, whether construction had got underway, what changes the Committee could make to the application, what the fallback position of the applicant was in the event that application did not receive consent, concerns surrounding the design of the building and Civic Trust’s comments relating to this, and further detail regarding the S106 agreement and what would happen after residents from Clapham Court were re-located as follows:
- A 3-Storey building would be moved closer to the nearby villa.
- She was not aware if the proposed obscured glazing was proposed in the 2020 application.
- Work had commenced on site. However, the Committee could only determine the application in front of them.
- The buildings were entirely flat roofed.
- The agent has also agreed to enter into a S106 agreement which would restrict the use of the 1 bed 1 person homes to be used as – on 1st let, decants from Clapham Court in the first instance. Where this is not possible, they should be used on 1st let for ‘short term accommodation’ use such as the homeless pathway or delayed discharge’ Then all 2nd let should again be ‘short term accommodation use such as the homeless pathway or delayed discharge’
- The fallback position from the applicant would be to build twenty apartments.
- The most recent application on site did not propose 100% affordable housing, nor a decant from Clapham Court. The S106 proposal was entirely different to the previously approved plans.
- Regarding the Civic Trust. Whilst they had objected, the Conservation Officer had not. Therefore, the design was considered to be acceptable.
The Locum Planning Lawyer responded to Members’ questions regarding details of the S106 agreement and concerns raised about what changes could be made by the Committee as follows:
- The application before the Committee was for the principle of the change of use. Issues such as the colour of the bricks and other matters were not a part of the scope of the application. Nor was the fact that works had commenced on site.
- Regarding priority being given to those re-locating from Clapham Court, the S106 agreement would include the finer details of how that would work. If the applicant was required to make changes in the future, owing to a lack of prospective residents, they would have to make a fresh application to vary the planning permission.
The Highways Officer responded to Members’ questions concerning parking as follows:
- Regarding concerns raised about parking, the Highways Authority had to bear in mind that twenty apartments had already been approved, so the consideration was whether the additional five apartments would cause significant harm. There was a concern about who would have a parking space, so they have requested that a condition be installed stipulating that a certain number of permits be granted to residents so that they were aware about whether they had a permit or not.
Councillor Sawyer expressed disappointment that the original scheme in 2020 had received consent. She said that she was not pleased with the flat roof design and that the area used to be a nice one to walk in.
The Vice-Chair stated that he was disappointed with the application. He stated that he believed that further questions should be asked in relation to why the public speaker had not been informed and properly consulted regarding her privacy concerns. He said that he believed that this issue should be investigated and that the Planning Development Manager should follow this concern up. He believed that twenty-five dwellings represented overdevelopment of the site. However, he noted that a similar apparition had been approved on the site. He added that, if this application was rejected, then the benefits ascertained in the S106 agreement would be lost. He said that he would support the Officer recommendation. He said that he wanted the S106 to be viewed by himself and the Chair before the application was approved, so that they could have some input if this was required.
The Chair stated that he broadly agreed with the Vice-Chair. He said that the mix of properties was more satisfying than the previous application. He said that the gains from the S106 agreement meant that he would vote in support of the Officer recommendation.
The Chair moved, and the Vice-Chair seconded the Officer’s recommendation to grant the application, subject to the conditions outlined in the report as amended in the additional late material and for delegated powers to be granted for the Chair and Vice-Chair to inspect the S106 agreement before it was signed off.
RESOLVED - that subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement, with approval from the Chair and Vice-Chair before completion, permission be granted, subject to the conditions outlined in the Officer report, as amended in the additional late material.