Issue - meetings
20/00788/FUL - Land adjacent 1 Park Terrace, Watford, WD25 9PL
The Chair introduced the item to the committee and invited the Principal Planning Officer (HH) to present her report.
The Chair thanked the Principal Planning Officer for her report and invited Mr Simon Warner (Warner Planning) to address the committee.
Mr Warner described the proposed development as three high quality, four bedroom houses, with gardens and parking, which reflected the streetscene. This development was designed to provide much needed family homes, a welcome change from the recent developments of smaller apartments in Watford.
The scheme was sustainable, being sited close to amenities such as shops, schools and parks. Features such as low energy lighting and high levels of insulation augment its sustainability credentials.
The design incorporated car parking to required standards and also incorporated cycle stores.
A noise assessment had been carried out and there were no issues with ecology, drainage etc. He added that the ecology was enhanced on the site.
The Chair thanked Mr Warner for his contribution and invited Councillor Kareen Hastrick, one of the Ward Councillors for Meriden, to address the committee.
Councillor Hastrick stated that she lived in Kytes Drive, very close to the site. She commented that much had been made of the vehicular access to the proposed site, but this access was based on using a private, un-adopted service road from Kytes Drive. This service road was used by residents for various access purposes, which would be limited by construction traffic using it. Residents use the road for going to shops and schools. Additionally it was required for wheelchair access. Sharing the use with heavy construction vehicles was dangerous.
Councillor Hastrick criticised the timing of the noise assessment, as it had been conducted during the first Covid-19 lockdown, when traffic volumes were substantially lower than normal.
She concluded by reading a letter from a resident of Park Terrace, citing health problems.
The Chair thanked Councillor Hastrick and invited comments from the officers on the key points raised by Councillor Hastrick.
The Principal Planning Officer replied that Highways had reviewed the access and parking arrangements, and were satisfied, subject to certain conditions. A transport statement accompanied the application and it indicated low numbers of vehicle trips (11 per day).
She added that HCC had advised that the service road was serviceable and maintained by them, although there was one narrow section, although there was a footpath. There was also a pre-commencement condition to submit a construction plan and vehicle movements would be staggered.
The Principal Planning Officer then addressed the issue of the timing of the noise assessment during lockdown (over three days in mid-June). The report recognised that traffic flows were lower than normal and took that into account.
The Chair then invited comments from the committee.
Councillor Johnson stated that whilst he could not see a reason to refuse the application, he took exception to the cynical and disingenuous assertion by the applicant that they were improving the ecology of the area. In fact they were merely replacing what they had decimated. ... view the full minutes text for item 38