Agenda and minutes
Venue: Town Hall
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Conduct of the meeting
Prior to the start of the meeting agenda, the Chair explained the procedure for the meeting. The Chair also ensured that all participants were introduced.
The committee will take items in the following order:
1. All items where people wish to speak and have registered with Democratic Services.
2. Any remaining items the committee agrees can be determined without further debate.
3. Those applications which the committee wishes to discuss in detail.
Apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Councillor Watkin, Councillor Williams was attending as his substitute.
Disclosure of interests
There were no disclosures of interest.
The minutes of the meeting held on 18 May 2021 to be submitted and signed.
The minutes from the meeting on 18 May 2021 were approved and signed.
The Development Management Manager delivered his report.
The Chair then invited Mr Manish Kumar to address the committee. Mr Kumar explained that he was a resident of flat 14 Junction Court and that his elderly parents also lived at flat 14 with direct access to the large communal roof terrace amenity area. He went on to detail anti-social behaviour, including noise and the smell of cannabis in the hallways, parking issues and problems with accumulation of rubbish due to inadequate bin storage for the fourteen flats that were there currently. He asserted that the agents, Lettings Plus did not have an effective plan to deal with the problems.
Mr Kumar also explained that he was concerned that his elderly parents would lose their direct access to the roof terrace as this would be located three floors higher.
Mr Kumar also pointed out that there was only one lift which would be insufficient for the increase in the building capacity. He concluded that he was speaking on behalf of numerous residents.
The Chair commented that anti-social behaviour and other similar issues raised by Mr Kumar were outside the scope of planning and asked the Development Management Manager to give advice on where Mr Kumar might obtain assistance to address these problems.
The Development Management Manager explained that whilst he felt sure members would have sympathy for the problems being experienced by Mr Kumar, these were matters over which planning had no control and should be directed to the management company or the freeholders.
The Chair then invited Mr Ian Coward of Collins and Coward to address the committee.
Mr Coward opened by pointing out that he had worked with Council officers on this scheme, which explained why it was before the committee with a recommendation to approve. He highlighted the benefits of the scheme with nine new homes in a sustainable location, which also promoted the car free ethos, with additional cycle spaces and amenity space, both private and communal.
He submitted that the development would add to the vitality of the town centre and the absence of any extension on the southern end of the building, together with the rear windows being placed to the side to preserve the amenity for those existing residents in a sensitive scheme.
Mr Coward also assured the committee that the scheme would be carefully implemented and that the developer wanted to develop in a sensitive way and to a high standard.
Mr Coward also assured the committee that there would be a single point of contact for anyone with concerns as the building works proceeded.
The Chair thanked Mr Coward and invited Councillor Aga Dychton to address the committee.
Councillor Dychton opened her address by pointing out that the character of Watford was something that we all treasured. She asserted that the development was bland and because of its scale, inappropriate for the town, and would cause harm in the context of its location.
Councillor Dychton expressed her surprise that the developer was looking ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
The Development Management Manager delivered his report.
The Chair drew the committee’s attention to the written submission in support of the application that had been submitted on behalf of the applicant by their agent, Avison Young.
Being no speakers on this matter, he invited the committee to debate the application.
There followed a brief debate where reassurance was given that disabled parking, together with cycle spaces and bin storage would remain. It was noted that the increase to eight storeys was not on the High Street frontage where it would impinge on the listed buildings.
In response to a question regarding the affordable housing and review mechanism, the Development Management Manager explained that it was not possible at this stage to give an estimate on the likely yields as it was dependent on future construction costs and sales values. There followed a short discussion on the problems with viability reports and affordable housing contributions.
The Chair moved the officer’s recommendation that pursuant to a planning obligation under s.106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 having been completed to secure the following Heads of Terms, conditional planning permission be granted subject to the conditions listed below:
Section 106 Heads of Terms
i) To secure a contribution of £50,000 in lieu of on-site affordable housing.
ii) To secure a review mechanism of the viability of the development to be undertaken upon completion of the development when actual build costs and sales values of the flats are known. This shall allow an increase to the financial contribution towards affordable housing provision should the viability of the development be shown to have improved.
iii) To secure a financial payment to the Council of £2,000 towards the variation of the Borough of Watford (Watford Central Area and West Watford Area)(Controlled Parking Zones)(Consolidation) Order 2010 to exclude the site from the controlled parking zone, thereby preventing residents’ parking permits being issued to this site.
1. The development to which this permission relates shall be begun within a period of three years commencing on the date of this permission.
2. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved drawings:
489-CDA-ZZ-00-DR-A-00-0100_Rev R2 - Proposed Site Plan
489-CDA-ZZ-00-DR-A-05-0100_Rev R3 – Proposed Ground Floor Plan
489-CDA-ZZ-01-DR-A-05-0101_Rev R2 – Proposed First Floor Plan
489-CDA-ZZ-02-DR-A-05-0102_Rev R2 – Proposed Second Floor Plan
489-CDA-ZZ-03-DR-A-05-0103_Rev R2 – Proposed Third Floor Plan
489-CDA-ZZ-04-DR-A-05-0104_Rev R2 – Proposed Fourth Floor Plan
489-CDA-ZZ-05-DR-A-05-0105_Rev R2 – Proposed Fifth Floor Plan
489-CDA-ZZ-06-DR-A-05-0106_Rev R2 – Proposed Sixth Floor Plan
489-CDA-ZZ-07-DR-A-05-0107_Rev R2 – Proposed Roof Plan
489-CDA-ZZ-08-DR-A-05-0108_Rev R1 – Proposed Roof Plan
489-CDA-ZZ-XX-DR-A-05-0200-S73_Rev R2 – Proposed Rear Elevation
489-CDA-ZZ-XX-DR-A-05-0201-S73_Rev R2 – Proposed North West Elevation
489-CDA-ZZ-XX-DR-A-05-0202-S73_Rev R2 – Proposed South East Elevation
489-CDA-ZZ-XX-DR-A-05-0203-S73_Rev R2 – Proposed Front Elevation
489-CDA-ZZ-XX-DR-A-05-0800-S73_Rev R2 – Proposed Visualisation
489-CDA-ZZ-XX-DR-A-05-0801-S73_Rev R2 – Proposed Visualisation
489-CDA-ZZ-XX-DR-A-05-0802-S73_Rev R2 – Proposed Visualisation
489-CDA-ZZ-XX-DR-A-05-0804-S73_Rev R2 – Proposed Visualisation
489-CDA-ZZ-XX-DR-A-05-0805-S73_Rev R2 – Proposed Visualisation
489-CDA-ZZ-XX-DR-A-05-0807-S73_Rev R2 – Proposed Visualisation
3. The development shall be constructed in accordance with the following external materials and design details, ... view the full minutes text for item 5.