20/00554/FULM - 54 Clarendon Road, Watford, WD17 1DU
Decision Maker: Development Management Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Refurbishment and extension of existing office
building to include upgrade to facades and redesign of roof
structure to accommodate new office (Class B1a) floorspace; and the
construction of a new five storey building to the rear comprising a
ground floor undercroft car park and four levels of office
floorspace (Class B1a), amenity space at podium and fourth floor
level and associated cycle parking, landscaping, signage and roof
The Principal Planning Officer (AC) presented his report to the committee.
The Chair then invited local resident, Mrs Aldridge to address the committee.
Mrs Aldridge explained that her house was next to the proposed development and she expressed concern about the height of the proposed building and the subsequent loss of privacy and light, with clear views into her house. She asked for reassurance that the new building would actually have obscured glass to the specified 1.8 metres as although this was supposed to have been the case for the existing building, it was not the case.
She expressed concern that the annex at the bottom of her garden would be especially vulnerable to being overlooked, as would her garden.
She pointed out that the existing trees were supposed to be no more than 15 metres tall, but were more like 30 metres tall and reduced the amount of light into her garden.
She added that she was also concerned about the potential for noise disturbance. Mrs Aldridge concluded by seeking clarification about the exact dimensions of the proposed new development.
The Chair invited the Principal Planning Officer to address the points Mrs Aldridge had raised. The Principal Planning officer clarified the dimensions of the buildings and explained that there was a condition for obscured glass up to 1.8 metres on the rear elevation. He added that the southern wing had the same condition.
A sunlight assessment had been carried out and due to the orientation of the buildings, there would be no loss of sunlight. He added that as part of the discussions between the developers and planners, the northern wing had been reduced in size and moved back to behind the flank wall of 16E St John’s Road.
The Chair then asked Ms Ailish Collins, the senior planner on behalf of Canada Life, to address the committee.
Ms Collins gave a very brief history of the site and that it had been very effectively managed by Canada Life for a number of years. The existing building was underused and so this application had been submitted to bring the building up to date and increase usage. The original application from 2019 had been amended in consultation with Watford Borough Council to minimise any effects on the residents of St John’s Road. The new scheme provided new and improved office accommodation for over 400 people and an efficient and sustainable building with an associated positive effect on Watford.
The Chair thanked Ms Ailish and commented that he welcomed the fact that the existing building was being largely retained. The developer had gone to great lengths to reduce the impact on neighbours. It was an attractive design and he could see no reason to refuse.
The Chair then invited comments from the committee.
Councillor Bell stated that whilst he agreed that the design was attractive, he asked if the developer could meet with Mrs Aldridge to provide her with some reassurance. The Chair endorsed this suggestion and added that matters such as the height of the trees needed to be resolved.
Councillor Pattinson suggested that the developer needed to work to regain the trust of local residents.
There followed a discussion about landscaping and the trees and their extent and location around the perimeter.
The Chair then proposed a vote to approve the application in accordance with the officer’s recommendation and the amended conditions in the update sheet.
In accordance with Standing Committee Procedure Rules, paragraph 4.2, Councillor Jeffree requested that it be recorded in the minutes how members cast their votes.
Those members voting for the motion:
Councillors Bell, Collett, Jeffree, Johnson, Mills, Pattinson, Sharpe, Smith and Watkin.
Those members voting against the motion:
The motion was declared to be CARRIED unanimously.
That planning permission be granted, subject to the conditions below.
1. Three Years
The development to which this permission relates shall be begun within a period of three years commencing on the date of this permission.
2. Approved Drawings and Documents
The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved drawings and documents:
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - ZZ - DR - A - 0001 Existing Site Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - B1 - DR - A - 0010 Existing Basement Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - GF - DR - A - 0011 Existing Ground Floor Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - 01 - DR - A - 0012 Existing First Floor Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - 02 - DR - A - 0013 Existing Second Floor Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - 03 - DR - A - 0014 Existing third Floor Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - 04 - DR - A - 0015 Existing Forth Floor Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - 05 - DR - A - 0016 Existing Roof Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - ZZ - DR - A - 0020 Existing Elevations 1 of 2
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - ZZ - DR - A - 0021 Existing Elevations 2 of 2
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - ZZ - DR - A - 1000 Location Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - ZZ - DR - A – 1001 – P6 Proposed Site Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - B1 - DR - A – 1100 – P2 Proposed Basement Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - GF - DR - A - 1101 – P6 Proposed Ground Floor Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - 01 - DR - A – 1102 – P3 Proposed First Floor Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - 02 - DR - A – 1103 – P3 Proposed Second Floor Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - 03 - DR - A - 1104 – P3 Proposed Third Floor Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - 04 - DR - A - 1105 – P4 Proposed Forth Floor Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - 05 - DR - A - 1106 – P3 Proposed Roof Plan
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - ZZ - DR - A – 1200 – P5 Proposed Elevations 1 of 2
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - ZZ - DR - A – 1201 – P5 Proposed Elevations 2 of 2
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - ZZ - DR - A – 1202 – P2 Courtyard Elevations
- 118010 - WGI - ZZ - ZZ - DR - A – 1300 – P2 Proposed Sections
- Arboricultural Impact Assessment Report by Argenta. Dated: April 2020
- BREEAM Pre Assessment by Verte Sustainability. Dated: May 2020
- Sustainably Assessment by Verte Sustainability. Dated: April 2020
- Transport Statement ref: 5808/001/001C by Robert West. Dated March 2020
- Fire Strategy Technical Note by MLM Group. Dated: 31 March 2020
- Building Services Energy Report by GDM. Dated: 07.05.2020
- Stage 2 Daylight Sunlight Report ref: SA / P2019-0775 / DS02B. Rev: B. Dated: 14 May 2020
- Overlooking Strategy by Watkins Grey. Dated: July 2020
The external brickwork of the development shall match the colour, texture and style of the existing brickwork.
4. Hard Landscaping
No occupation of the extended building shall commence until a detailed hard landscaping scheme for the site, including site boundary treatments, paving, trellises and seating, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, and the works have been carried out in accordance with the approved details. The detailed scheme shall be based upon drawing reference: 118010-WGI-ZZ-ZZ-DR-A-1001-P6.
5. Soft Landscaping
No occupation of the extended building shall commence until a detailed soft landscaping scheme for the site and a landscape management and maintenance plan, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The detailed scheme shall be based upon drawing reference: 118010-WGI-ZZ-ZZ-DR-A-1001-P6. The approved soft landscaping scheme shall be carried out not later than the first available planting and seeding season after completion of development. Any trees or plants whether new or existing which within a period of five years die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species, or in accordance with details approved by the Local Planning Authority.
6. Construction Management Plan
No development shall commence until a Construction Management Plan has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
Thereafter the construction of the development shall only be carried out in accordance with the approved Plan. The Construction Management Plan shall include details of:
a. Construction vehicle numbers, type, routing;
b. Access arrangements to the site;
c. Traffic management requirements
d. Construction and storage compounds (including areas designated for car parking, loading / unloading and turning areas);
e. Siting and details of wheel washing facilities;
f. Cleaning of site entrances, site tracks and the adjacent public highway;
g. Timing of construction activities (including delivery times and removal of waste) and to avoid school pick up/drop off times;
h. Provision of sufficient on-site parking prior to commencement of construction activities;
i. Post construction restoration/reinstatement of the working areas and temporary access to the public highway;
j. where works cannot be contained wholly within the site a plan should be submitted showing the site layout on the highway including extent of hoarding, pedestrian routes and remaining road width for vehicle movements.
7. Flood Risk
No development works shall commence until the details of a surface water drainage scheme for the site have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
No piling shall take place until a piling method statement (detailing the depth and type of piling to be undertaken and the methodology by which such piling will be carried out, including measures to prevent and minimise the potential for damage to subsurface sewerage infrastructure, and the programme for the works) has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Any piling must be undertaken in accordance with the terms of the approved piling method statement.”
9. Plant Equipment
No plant or equipment that generates sound shall be installed to the development until full details and specifications of the equipment have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The details shall include an assessment of the plant/equipment carried out by a suitably qualified and competent acoustic consultant to consider the potential impact on existing and future residents adjacent to the site. The details shall also include a specification of what design criteria need to be included to the specification of the plant and its mounting on the buildings, to minimise any potential disturbance. The assessment shall include any other appropriate noise mitigation measures. All plant and equipment shall be installed as approved and no plant or equipment shall be brought into operation until any approved mitigation measures have been installed.
10. Overlooking Strategy
No occupation of the extended building shall commence until the frosted glazing, balustrades and podium screening have been installed in accordance with the Overlooking Strategy, drafted by Watkins Grey, Dated July 2020. Once installed these features should be retained in perpetuity.
11. Obscure Glazing
Any replacement windows in the east facing elevation of the southern wing of the building, as shown in drawing number 118010-WGI-ZZ-ZZ-DR-A-1201-P5 shall be obscure glazed to the same height above finished floor level as the windows which they replace.
1. IN907 – Positive and proactive statement
2. IN910 – Building Regulations
3. IN911 – Party Wall Act
4. IN912 – Hours of Construction
5. IN913 – Community Infrastructure Levy Liability
Report author: Andrew Clarke
Publication date: 08/09/2020
Date of decision: 02/09/2020
Decided at meeting: 02/09/2020 - Development Management Committee