To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for the change of use of a former church and hall to form 9 flats, including external alterations and partial demolition of ancillary buildings and on-site parking.
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an application for the change of use of a former church and hall to form 9 flats, including external alterations and partial demolition of ancillary buildings and on-site parking.
There was a site visit prior to the meeting and site plans and photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
Further issues highlighted in relation to the application included the following:
· The site fell within a densely populated residential area.
· Relation of the site to nearby properties was highlighted.
· Parking and access arrangements were explained.
· Objections had included overlooking of existing properties and potential noise disturbance. Obscure glazing would be used where there was a possibility of overlooking.
· Initial plans had proposed fifteen flats. This had since been revised down to nine.
· There would some demolition work and also minor external alterations to the remaining building which included access areas and the inclusion of velux windows.
· A parking area was to be provided at the rear.
· There had been alterations to internal layouts to ensure no living areas would overlook existing properties.
· There had been a late objection with a request for a higher wall to the rear to protect privacy of existing residents.
· The application was recommended for approval.
A local resident addressed the Panel with concerns and objections to the application. These included the following:
· Main problem and concern was with multiple occupancy that the flats would create and disturbance due to the proximity to existing houses and gardens.
· Alterative entrances to the site were suggested to reduce noise disturbance.
· There would be additional problems with increased traffic and parking.
· Local Ward Councillors and The Local MP had been sympathetic to residents’ concerns.
· The access and exit if the parking area was potentially dangerous.
· It was felt that concerns of local residents had not been listened to.
· If the plans were to go ahead it was requested that there be conditions regarding construction times and prevention of light pollution.
The applicant’s representative addressed the Panel. Issues highlighted included the following:
· The proposals would bring a non-designated heritage asset back into use. There had been no other interest in the building other than for housing.
· It was not felt that noise made from resident’s access would be sufficient to cause disturbance to existing residents. There would not be as much sound disturbance as when the building was used as a church.
· Even though there had not been an objection from highways, extra land had been made available for more car parking. Visibility from the access point was sufficient.
· The applicant had been mindful of objections and had worked closely with planning officers to address resident’s concerns.
In response to comments and questions, the following was discussed:
· The corridor access was 5 metres from the nearest property, noise levels this would cause were considered to be acceptable.
· The possibility of using noise insulating materials on the access corridor.
· There would be a condition for boundary treatments.
· Height of the barrier wall.
RESOLVED - That the application be granted as per the officer recommendation and the conditions outlined in the report and further discussion regarding boundary treatments and height of the boundary wall.