OFFICERS REPORT SUPPORTS PROPOSALS
An officers report to tomorrow night’s planning committee makes a variety of responses to objections to the proposal, including the following: (numbers relate to numbered paragraphs in the report – Ed.)
The application relates to three sites: Site A – main site on corner of Harold Road and Beulah Hill; site B to Ravensdale Gardens and site C to an area between Ravensdale Gardens and Highfield Hill and adjoining Highfield Close.
1.1 This application is being reported to planning committee because the Norwood Society made representations in accordance with the committee consideration criteria and requested planning committee consideration and objections above the threshold in the committee consideration criteria have been received
Site A is situated to the south of 2 Harold Road adjacent to its junction with Beulah Hill. The site currently comprises 14 garages to the side of existing dwellings in Ravensdale Gardens and the southern part forms part of a strip of open land which fronts onto Beulah Hill. An electricity substation is situated to the northern part of the site. A wide linear grass verge with mature trees runs parallel between the southern boundary of the site and the northern edge of Beulah Hill.
Three-storey residential properties are located to the east, north and west of the site.
3.11 Site B is a linear strip situated between Ravensdale Gardens public highway and a public footpath serving 23-73 (odd) Ravensdale Gardens. The site contains four single storey linear blocks of garages (37 of garages in total) together with areas of hardstanding which are used for car parking. The remaining part of the site is landscaped with a number of trees and low level shrub planting. The site is surrounded by three-storey properties to the north, west and south and residential gardens are situated to the east.
3.13 Site C, whilst shown on the proposal plans, forms part of a separate application (LBC Ref 16/06375/FUL
4.2 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 proposed four/five/six storey building would form a contemporary landmark building on the corner of Harold Road and Beulah Hill. The development on Site B will respect existing building patterns and heights and would be in keeping with the visual amenities of the area.
4.5 The layout of development ensures that the proposal would not have a detrimental impact on the amenity of the neighbouring residents;
4.7 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.
5.3 FLOODING / DRAINAGE Lead Local Flood Authority (Statutory Consultee) Objection to the initially proposed drainage strategy. The strategy has been subsequently amended to address the LLFA concerns. In relation to the amended scheme, the LLFA (Lead Local Flood Authority) do not object and are satisfied that a SuDs (sustainable drainage system) scheme can be provided on the site through the imposition of planning conditions.
8.7 PLAY AREAS….Although there would be a reduction in the overall provision of green open space, the proposals would provide an enhanced amenity area creating children’s play facilities of higher quality which would be a more useable space for existing and future residents.
8.27 Site A is located in a prominent position on the corner of Beulah Hill and Harold Road. The proposed building would have an ’L’ shape form, comprising four storey adjacent to the existing development on Ravensdale Gardens, stepping up to six storeys at the corner of the plot closest to Beulah Hill. Whilst the scheme originally stepped up to seven storeys on the corner, the top floor has subsequently been deleted.
8.28 The proposed development on Plot A would be significantly taller than other buildings in the immediate surrounding area and would create a prominent and visually dominant feature within the existing townscape. Officers support this approach. The building would be located adjacent to a main thoroughfare which, overall, is well varied in terms of building type, scale and massing. Whilst prominent, the proposed building would create an interesting focal feature within the townscape, contributing to and not harming visual appearance.
8.30 GARAGES: The existing garages on Site B are low key and their presence neither harms nor positively contributes to existing character. There is no objection to their removal.
8.32 HERITAGE – Grade II listed Tivoli Lodge and the neighbouring locally listed 37 Beulah Hill are located to the southern side of Beulah Hill. Harold Road Conservation Area is located to the north-west of the site which derives much of its special interest from the intact state of its 19th Century villas and other residential properties. Officers are satisfied that the submitted information indicates that the harm caused to the setting of the surrounding heritage assets is limited. The proposed buildings, specifically the six storey block, are well separated from the historic buildings and conservation area. The reduction of the original proposal by one storey is a positive in this regard. As such, there is no objection to the proposal on heritage grounds.
8.33 …..Overall, the proposal would cause no harm to the character or appearance of the area.
8.36 OVERLOOKING: Dwellings on Ellery Road are located to the north west of the site (on the opposite side of Harold Road). The proposed building would be located approximately 15m from the side boundary of 1 Ellery Road. Whilst the development would allow views over the rear gardens of these properties, the gap between buildings and separation by a public highway would prevent this impact from being overly harmful. The rear gardens are already overlooked by the existing adjacent dwellings. There would be no direct views into the rear windows of these dwellings.
8.37 The building would be located over 45m from the dwellings to the southern side of Beulah Hill and would therefore have no a harmful impact on these properties.
8.44 8.44 A Daylight and Sunlight assessment has been undertaken using BRE guidance which tests for compliance against the British Standard Code of Practice. The report concludes that of the 325 of the existing windows which were tested for Vertical Sky Component (VSC), all but 14 will meet the criteria as set out in the BRE (Building Research Establishment) guidelines. It is noted that all 14 of these windows are located on the gable end wall of the various residential dwellings and are either secondary in nature or serve non-habitable rooms. Of the 176 windows tested for sunlight, all fully comply with the BRE criteria.
8.53 HIGHWAY SAFETY The number of trips expected to be generated by mode by the proposed scheme has been calculated using a combination of trip databases TRICS (Trip Rate Information Computer System) and TRAVL (Trip Rate Assessment Valid for London) together with 2011 Census information. The trip generation analysis has indicated that the proposed scheme would generate a low level of vehicular traffic in the peak periods: 11 car trips in the AM peak and 10 in the PM peak.
This would equate to a one vehicle every five to six minutes during the peak hours. Vehicle movements would be less frequent outside of peak hours. This level of trip generation is expected to be able to be accommodated within the existing highway network.
8.54 Vehicular access would be provided directly from Harold Road to the proposed parking area adjacent to Site A. Emergency vehicles would be able to gain direct access to the residential units directly from Harold Road and the community bin store is also located to be accessed directly from the highway.
PARKING 8.63 The overnight parking stress survey indicates that overall parking stress within 200m walking distance of the site was found to be low, with 194 unrestricted parking spaces available during the survey period (28 per cent stress), the majority consisting of on-carriageway parking. Whilst it is noted that on-street availability within Ravensdale Gardens is very limited, there is ample spare capacity on surrounding roads including Eversley Road and Highfield Hill and to a lesser extent on Harold Road. This was confirmed by a night-time site visit by planning and highway officers.
TREES 8.68 The arboricultural report identifies that the land adjacent to the south of 2 Harold Road contains 19 individual trees and three groups of trees. The land adjacent to Ravensdale Gardens contains 41 individual trees and one group of trees. To facilitate the proposals a total of 27 trees, totalling 34 individual tree stems would be removed. This includes 4 Category B trees/tree groups (trees of moderate quality – three individual trees and one group of five trees) and 23 Category C trees/tree groups (trees of low quality, 22 individual trees and one group of four trees). 8.69 Overall, the council’s tree officer has no objection to the proposals. With regard to Site A, the only tree of significance to be compromised by the proposed development is Yew T40. Whilst this is a mature prominent tree, there appears to be sufficient space for new tree planting to mitigate the loss of the yew. With regard to Site B, taken as a whole, the quality of the trees on this site is limited.
8.63 PARKING The overnight parking stress survey indicates that overall parking stress within 200m walking distance of the site was found to be low, with 194 unrestricted parking spaces available during the survey period (28pc stress), the majority consisting of oncarriageway parking.
Whilst it is noted that on-street availability within Ravensdale Gardens is very limited, there is ample spare capacity on surrounding roads including Eversley Road and Highfield Hill and to a lesser extent on Harold Road. This was confirmed by a night-time site visit by planning and highway officers.
8.64 From the parking analysis undertaken it is concluded that the combination of spare unrestricted parking capacity and new parking proposals would be sufficient to accommodate the parking demand expected to be generated by this site.
8.65 A reduction in the proportionate availability of car parking spaces associated with the current proposals is considered acceptable. BOLD Providing downward pressure on the availability of car parking space is a key approach to reducing reliance on the private within London.
To support a reduced level of car parking at the development, a Travel Plan Statement has been prepared for the site and following concerns raised by local residents, this has been updated to include the provision of a car club space.
The benefits of a Travel Plan focus on promotion of alternatives to the private car, thereby reducing the congestion and increased opportunities for active healthy travel, such as walking and cycling. The inclusion of a car-club space would also benefit existing residents as well.
RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL 8.80 It is recommended that planning permission should be granted. 8.81 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 some 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.
8.82 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.