20/00399/OUT Land To The Rear Of Ye Corner
Decision Maker: Development Management Committee
Decision status: Refused
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Outline application for redevelopment of site
Approved under application 18/00350/FULM with amended layout
following revised boundary constraints to create 20 residential
units and associated works.
The Development Management Team Leader summarised the report of the Principal Planning Offer (AR) to the meeting, including the relevant planning history of the site.
There being no speakers for or against the application, the Vice Chair passed the matter to the committee for their comments.
The committee universally expressed their disappointment at the poor quality of the offering and heavily criticised the developer on poor design and lack of affordable housing, especially given the need in Watford.
There was also criticism of the developer’s lack of engagement and communication with the council officers and that the developer had not attended the meeting to explain the application. Comment was also made that this application just delayed the delivery of the consented scheme, which would provide much needed housing.
The Vice Chair then proposed a vote to reject the application in accordance with the officer’s recommendation.
In accordance with Standing Committee Procedure Rules, paragraph 4.2, Councillor Stephen Johnson requested that it be recorded in the minutes how members cast their votes.
Those members voting for the motion:
Councillors Bell, Collett, Johnson, Mills, Pattinson, Sharpe, Smith and Watkin.
Those members voting against the motion:
Those members absent when the vote was taken:
The motion was declared to be CARRIED by eight votes to none, with no abstentions.
That planning permission be refused due to the reasons listed below:
1. The proposal is not considered to be of high design quality. By reason of its height, scale and massing the proposed development would adversely affect the character of the neighbouring residential area and setting of non-designated heritage assets. The building lacks appropriate fenestration, articulation and detailing. Within the site, the building would create an oppressive and hostile environment for future occupiers with poor access arrangements to dwellings and poor natural surveillance and activity. As such the development would be of poor design, harmful to the character and appearance of the surrounding area and is not in accordance with paragraphs 122, 127 and 130 of the NPPF and Policies UD1 and UD2 of the Watford Local Plan Core Strategy 2006-31.
2. The proposed development makes no provision for affordable housing. The application has failed to provide an accurate or up to date justification for the lack of affordable housing provision on the basis of viability and no s106 agreement has been completed to secure a viability review upon completion of the development. Consequently, the proposal is not in accordance with Policy HS3 of the Watford Local Plan Core Strategy 2006-31 and is contrary to paragraphs 62 and 64 of the NPPF in relation to affordable housing provision.
3. By virtue of the position, height, bulk, layout and fenestration of the building, the development would unacceptably harm the amenities of the neighbouring occupiers, contrary to guidance of the Residential Design Guide 2016 and Policies SS1 and UD1 of the Watford Local Plan Part 1 Core Strategy 2006-31.
4. The development would fail to create high quality dwellings for future occupiers. A noise assessment (in accordance with relevant British standards) has not been submitted to detail potential mitigation measures meaning that future occupiers of the development would experience noise disturbance and poor air quality. A Sunlight and daylight assessment (carried out in accordance with BRE publication entitled ‘Site Layout Planning for Daylight and Sunlight; A guide to good practice’) has not been submitted in relation to this development and by virtue of the ground level changes within the site and the layout, height and orientation of the development, some windows and dwellings will experience poor light and outlook.. The development layout would also fail to allow for sufficient amenity space for the dwellings as included in section 7.3.23 of the Residential Design Guide. As such, the development would fail to provide satisfactory residential accommodation for future occupiers, it does not therefore constitute a high quality or sustainable development and is contrary to guidance of the Residential Design Guide 2016 and Policies SS1 and UD1 of the Watford Local Plan Part 1 Core Strategy 2006-31.
5. The application has been accompanied by a sustainable drainage systems report, however, the proposals for this relate to the previous scheme and do not relate to the revised scheme which includes a revised application site boundary and a revised footprint of building. Consequently, the application fails to demonstrate that the development would not increase flood risk elsewhere, reduce flood risk overall and give priority to the use of sustainable drainage methods. For this reason, the application fails to comply with Policies SD1 and SD2 of the Watford Local Plan Core Strategy 2006-31, paragraphs 99 and 103 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the advice contained within the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG).
Report author: Paul Baxter
Publication date: 06/08/2020
Date of decision: 02/07/2020
Decided at meeting: 02/07/2020 - Development Management Committee