To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding a pre-application for the erection of a 59 unit extra care housing facility (C3) including associated community facilities, parking, access, landscaping and infrastructure.
The report of the Chief Planning Officer informed Members of a pre-application presentation for a 59 unit extra care housing facility including associated community facilities, parking, access, landscaping and infrastructure at Windlesford Green, Holmsley Lane, Woodlesford.
Members attended the site prior to the meeting and photographs and plans of the site were displayed and referred to throughout the presentation.
The applicant’s representatives addressed the Panel. The following was highlighted:
· The proposals would contribute to the Extra Care Housing needs for the City.
· The site had been identified as suitable for Extra Care Housing.
· The applicant had worked closely with planning officers to consider various solutions to maximise provision and safeguard the existing environment for adjacent properties.
· The plans had been closely scrutinised by planning and highways officers.
· Access arrangements were explained.
· Landscaping plans – trees would be retained where possible.
· There would be 59 one and two bedroom dwellings.
· Separation distances between other residential properties would meet or exceed guidelines.
· There was sufficient car parking within the site for staff and visitors.
· Benefits included the provision of affordable housing; an energy efficient development; the development of a sustainable and accessible site; economic benefits with employment opportunities.
· There would be a public consultation event on 27 November 2019.
· It was proposed to submit a planning application in January 2020.
In response to Members comments and questions, the following was discussed:
· There would be 12existing trees removed. Three were of category B standard with the rest all considered to be of poor quality.
· It was of benefit to remove the trees marked for removal. The 12 removed would be replaced with 42 trees of a native species and that would be of high-quality, which would also help to prevent pests and disease by ensuring increased diversity in the tree provision.
· There would be holistic environmental gains from the development of the site. It would prevent the development taking place on a greenfield site and the building would also be energy efficient. The development was in a sustainable and accessible location. Ecological surveys had been carried out.
· The site was accessible by public transport and there were nearby bus stops. A Travel Plan would come forward with the application to ensure ongoing sustainability.
· Car parking was based on the demographic use of the site and comprised a bespoke design to take account of residents, visitors and staff needs. There would be disabled parking and 4 no. electric vehicle charging points, which was the appropriate number to ensure policy compliance.
· Environmental gains would be outlined in further detail when the application was submitted.
· New trees to be planted would be of nursery standard and be 4 to 4.5 metres high at the time of planting. The applicant could plant at whatever height required, but also wants to ensure replacement trees have a suitable ‘standing’ once planted.
· Concern regarding the massing of the building and its relationship with adjacent residential properties, particularly in terms of the proposed building materials and finishes to be used to ensure these were appropriately in keeping
· Concern that the car parking would not be sufficient. There had been problems at other similar developments, particularly with units that are for 2-person occupation where there is greater likelihood of at least 1 occupant retaining a private car, alongside staff and carers requiring parking on a regular basis.
· Concern with tree planting on the boundaries and that tree growth could go beyond the boundaries, potentially causing interference with neighbouring properties and residential amenity.
· A suggestion that green walls could be used on boundaries and within the site.
· Concern regarding the design of the building – a more unique, modern, and high-quality design would be welcomed.
· A traditional methodology and approach had been taken to the development of the proposed building. Members indicated they would like to see more detail in the design of the building and the creation of something unique and carefully considered rather than ‘dull’.
· In response to questions outlined in the report, the following was discussed:
o Members considered the use of the site proposed to be acceptable.
o With regard to the scale, massing and design it was not felt to be detailed enough at this stage and there were concerns regarding the massing. It was felt that the design needed to be more refined and given greater consideration overall.
o There were still concerns regarding the parking provision at the site. There had not been any concern regarding servicing arrangements and drop off/pick-up arrangements.
o Members considered the tree loss proposed and landscaping plans to be broadly acceptable.
o Further considerations for the applicant included sustainable transport links, car parking arrangements, provision of electric vehicle charging points, management of trees, provision of good-quality landscaping, and evidence to support environmental benefits of the scheme – including to demonstration how it is proposed that the required 10% biodiversity net gain will be achieved.
RESOLVED – That the report and discussion be noted.