Issue - meetings
20/00510/FULM - Brightwell Court, Brightwell Road, Watford, WD18 0HP
- Appendix 1 for 20/00510/FULM - Brightwell Court, Brightwell Road, Watford, WD18 0HP, item 26 PDF 2 MB
The Principal Planning Officer (AC), summarised his report to the meeting.
The Chair noted that there were no speakers against the application and invited Mr Ransford Stewart, the agent for the applicant, to address the committee.
Mr Stewart gave a brief history of the site and Watford Community Housing Trust’s (WCHT) involvement with it. He explained that the current quality of accommodation was not up to standard. He assured the committee that the new homes would be owned and managed by WCHT, with the new homes being offered to those who desperately needed them.
Consultation had been carried out via the web and also a postcard drop. There had been revisions to the application, following the consultation. One of the particular concerns was access to the rear of nearby properties. This was assured, with licences being offered free of charge to residents.
The design was of a high quality and although there were four storeys, the design stepped down towards the existing properties. The high quality brick design had been amended following consultation with the urban design manager.
Mr Ransford briefly addressed the issue of parking and stated that there were fewer flats, so it was possible that parking may even reduce.
The Chair thanked Mr Ransford and commented that he also liked the transition in scale of the buildings and the brickwork banding. He added that he felt the changes in Hagden Lane, reinforced the building line on the road.
However, the Chair criticised the illogical break-up of the blocks, with different bricks. In particular, he voiced his dislike of the grey bricks as he felt they were not sympathetic with the nearby buildings.
The Chair then invited comment from the committee.
Councillor Bell stated that he had considerable reservations about the four storeys and certain aspects of the design. He expressed concern about the additional height impinging on the sunlight to surrounding properties. He agreed with the Chair that the grey brick was a poor design feature and asked if this could be changed.
He added that in his opinion the fourth storey would alter the building line. Also four parking spaces was insufficient and there should be at least eight. The Chair invited the Principal Planning Officer to comment on the issues that had been raised.
The Principal Planning Officer stated that he would speak to the architect regarding the use of a lighter tone of bricks. The Interim Head of Planning and Building Control agreed with this course of action.
Other councillors voiced their dislike of the “gloomy” grey brick.
There followed a discussion about continued access to the side and rear of nearby premises. The Principal Planning Officer replied that all access arrangements with WCHT would continue.
Councillor Johnson observed this development was entirely social rented units and exactly what the committee had been asking for and exactly what was desperately needed by many people in the town.
Councillor Sharpe commented that although the building was taller, there sometimes had to be compromises to ... view the full minutes text for item 26