AUCKLAND RISE: OFFICERS REPORT TO TOMORROW NIGHT’S PLANNING MEETING
Among comments made in a report to tomorrow night’s meeting (6.30 pm, Croydon town hall) are the following:
The Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan identifies the estate as not detracting from the conservation area.
The estate which this site forms a part of has had very little development since it was originally laid out, and that which has occurred has been minor residential extensions and alterations which are not directly relevant to this proposal.
3 The proposed development would contribute positively to borough-wide housing targets and alongside other sites coming forward (as part of an overall tranche-wide delivery of housing across the borough) will contribute positively to the delivery of affordable housing across the various affordable housing tenures;
4.4 The layout of development ensures that the proposal would not have a detrimental impact on the amenity of the neighbouring residents; 4.5 The development would provide an acceptable standard of living for future residents of the development in terms of internal accommodation and external amenity space;
4.6 A robust Transport Assessment has been submitted which demonstrates that the development would not have a detrimental impact on highway safety and that parking demand can be accommodated on the surrounding road network and through the provision of parking spaces. A S.106 Agreement would secure a green travel plan and car club spaces;
4.7 Some mature trees of value would be lost. A robust planting strategy and provision for the planting of over 80 trees is however proposed which is considered to ameliorate this loss
7 RELEVANT PLANNING POLICIES AND GUIDANCE 7.1 In determining any planning application, the council is required to have regard to the provisions of its Development Plan so far as is material to the application and to any other material considerations and the determination shall be made in accordance with the plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The Council’s adopted Development Plan consists of the Consolidated London Plan 2015, the Croydon Local Plan: Strategic Policies 2013 (CLP1), the Croydon Replacement Unitary Development Plan 2006 Saved Policies 2013 (UDP) and the South London Waste Plan 2012. 7.2 Government Guidance is contained in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), issued in March 2012. The NPPF sets out a presumption in favour of sustainable development, requiring that development which accords with an up-to-date local plan should be approved without delay. The NPPF identifies a number of key issues for the delivery of sustainable development, those most relevant to this case are: Section 4: Promoting sustainable transport· Section 6: Delivering a wide choice of quality homes;· Section 7: Requiring good design;· Section 8: Promoting healthy communities;· Section 10: Meeting the challenge of climate change and flood risk;· Section 11: Conserving and enhancing the natural environment;· Section 12: Conserving and enhancing the historic environment.·
OPEN SPACES: The amenity value of the open spaces is relatively low, with them being located between blocks and being provided as grassed areas, generally on a significant slope. With regards to criterion e) whilst the plots are open land, they are not spaces which have a formal play, recreation or exercise value. There are a significant number of larger and more valuable open spaces near to the site, including 5 areas of designated Local Open Land within 500m of the site. In terms of criterion h), there is scope for some of the spaces to be used informally for play or recreation. However, there is an existing play area catering for children under 8 within the estate which would be replaced and upgraded.
Whilst these small landscaped parcels of land are valued by local residents, it is not considered that they meet the criteria to be treated as Local Open Land. As such the principle of development is supported.
8.13 The applicant has so far submitted 28 planning applications across the Borough, seeking to deliver an ambitious and progressive housebuilding programme (including the delivery of significant levels of affordable housing) across the Portfolio and has indicated that it intends to deliver these schemes across a series of tranches. The applicant has confirmed their intention to adopt a donor site arrangement across the Portfolio to deliver affordable housing, with the sole purpose to maximise the amount of affordable housing that can be delivered across each tranche. This approach can be supported if it secures the delivery of more affordable housing than the normal policy approach.
8.36 The blocks overall would result in a reduction of open space in the estate. As set out above, the impact of blocks both individually and cumulatively would be acceptable in terms of the character, townscape and heritage assets. It would lead to some change in the character of the area, with fewer spaces between buildings. This would however have an acceptable impact on the character and in some instances would improve it, resulting in a better sense of enclosure and marking of routes around the entrances. Towards the centre of the estate, large areas of space would remain and landscaping improvements and replacement tree planting would ensure that the areas which are retained would be of greater amenity value to residents. Therefore, whilst the character of the area would change to an extent, this change would be acceptable.
Block A: 8.38 The block would be 21m from the flats to the south, separated by an access and parking and some existing trees would be retained in front of that block. Given the separation distance and the front to front relationship this is not considered to significantly affect privacy or outlook. Some impact on light would occur although as the existing block is north facing it would be minimal.
Block D: Some mutual degree of overlooking would occur at a distance of at least 11m, balcony to balcony but as this would be at an angle of at least 45degrees and as the existing balconies are very visible from communal areas the impact is considered to be acceptable.
Block E 8.42 Side facing windows exist in each of the blocks adjacent to the proposal but these serve secondary rooms or circulation space, so the impact on light and outlook to those units is considered acceptable. The point block opposite would be 17m away and at an angle and retains sufficient daylight and sunlight against BRE standards. Some impact would occur on the view from those properties, but this is not protected in planning terms, the level of outlook would be acceptable given the separation distance and land levels.
DAYLIGHT / SUNLIGHT 8.46 The Daylight/Sunlight Report states that in terms of daylight, only one proposed room would not meet the criteria set out in the BRE guidance, so the development would have very good access to daylight. 24 of the main habitable non-bedrooms would fail sunlight criteria but when taken with the high levels of daylighting and availability of other rooms with good access to sunlight this is acceptable.
PARKING: 8.54 Parking stress surveys have also been undertaken, which the applicant argues demonstrates that an average of 225 vehicle unrestricted vehicle parking spaces are available within 200m of the development at peak times. The proposal also includes the provision of 65 spaces. The applicant therefore argue that the proposal would result in the generation of demand for 89 spaces (42 new vehicles + 47 spaces lost). With 65 spaces proposed and an average of 225 spaces available on street, they consider that impact on parking would be negligible.
BATS: 8.64 An Ecological Assessment has been submitted with the application. It has identified one of the buildings to be demolished as housing a day-roost for a common bat species, which would require a license from Natural England to remove. An impact assessment has been carried out against Natural England standing advice and the impact of this loss is “medium”. As such, replacement artificial habitats are considered to be appropriate and 12 bat roosts are proposed. A condition is recommended to require details of this and other replacement habitat and coordination with a detailed lighting strategy. As part of the landscaping strategy, biodiverse planting would be included to provide habitat improvements, including green roofs, meadow grassland planting, bird and bat nesting features, invertebrate hotels, brashpiles and “hogitats” (hedgehog homes).
5.6 North Croydon Conservation Area Advisory Panel (NCCAAP) made the following objection: The site is in a historic area of architectural and historic interest· The dwelling mix is unacceptable· Insufficient affordable housing provision· The massing is unacceptable and impacts on views and outlook· The roof pitches and overall design are at odds with the character of the area· Loss of trees is unacceptable· The playspace would not be usable·
6.5 Cllr O’Connell made representations (objecting) which are summarised as follows: The character of the area would be significantly changed· The mass is inappropriate, especially when taken cumulatively with other· developments in the area Mature trees and amenity space would be lost· Increase in traffic in already congested area· Increased pressure on parking·
8.71 It is recommended that planning permission should be granted. 8.72 The scheme maximises the housing potential of the site (including the delivery of a high level of family housing and off-site affordable housing) without harming the visual amenities of the area, the setting of heritage assets or the residential amenities of the surrounding properties. Whilst the loss of landscaped spaces and mature trees is acknowledged, the scheme provides a new children’s play space and retains wide green verges which would be enhanced by replacement trees and soft landscaping. 8.73 Whilst residents’ concerns about parking and highway safety are noted, officers are satisfied that a robust Transport Assessment has been provided which demonstrates that there is adequate available on-street parking in the surrounding area and mitigation measures, including a new car-club space can be secured by condition. 8.74 All other relevant policies and considerations, including equalities, have been taken into account.