Agenda and minutes
Contact: Ian Smith Email: email@example.com
Conduct of the meeting
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
There were no apologies for absence.
Disclosure of interests
There were no disclosures of interest.
The minutes of the meeting held on 6 January 2021 to be agreed and will be signed and the next non-virtual meeting.
The minutes for the meeting on 6 January 2021 were approved, and would be signed at the next non-virtual meeting.
The Chair introduced the item to the committee and invited the Principal Planning Officer (AC) to present his report
The Principal Planning Officer presented the application as set out in his report.
The Chair thanked the Principal Planning Officer for his report and noted that the variation application was broadly the same as the already approved plans. He then invited Mr Ben Spencer of GS8 to address the committee.
Mr Spencer explained that a replacement for the old print works had been sought since 2017, to provide a building that local residents could be proud of and to provide a location for the Random Café. He asserted that this would be the most sustainable development in Watford, to date. Due to the effects of the pandemic, it had proved difficult to obtain the necessary finance as lenders had deemed the initial proposal as unviable.
This variation reflected the assessment that this location was better suited to one bedroom apartments rather than larger ones, with more bedrooms, as this suited the core demographic of first time buyers and young professionals.
He went on to explain the processes behind the viability study, how the £243,000 was reached and the decision to retain the consented massing. He commented how this would replace a run-down and dilapidated building and provide a community space with active ground floor, larger frontages and pavement spaces, plus first time buyer housing. Mr Spencer added that there would also be a contribution to the CPZ consultation on behalf of local residents.
Mr Spencer concluded by commending the application variation to the committee.
The Chair thanked Mr Spencer and invited comments from the committee.
There followed a discussion on concerns such as:
· The lack of provision of affordable housing.
· The reduction of £47,000 in the affordable housing contribution.
· The lack of family homes within the development.
· The small size of the units.
· The risk, despite being in a controlled parking zone, of this development bringing in a number of additional residents’ cars.
Various comments were made to address these concerns:
· The independent viability study had arrived at the contribution figure.
· It was felt better to remove the additional floor and keep to the original envelope, as this would be preferred by local residents.
· It was felt that this location was better suited to smaller units and the difficulties of younger people getting on to the property ladder, meant that one bed flats were often all they could afford.
· All the units met the nationally described space standards.
· There were considerable difficulties with possessing a car inside a CPZ without entitlement to a permit, which would strongly discourage car ownership.
The Chair put the motion to the committee 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, planning permission be granted subject to the conditions listed in Section 8 of the officer’s report
In accordance with Standing Committee Procedure Rules, paragraph 4.2, Councillor ... view the full minutes text for item 52.
The Chair introduced the item to the committee and invited the Principal Planning Officer (HH) to present her report. It was noted that there was an update to the officer’s report, attached to these minutes as Appendix 1. The update covered matters pertaining to surface water drainage.
The Principal Planning Officer explained her report to the committee.
The Chair thanked the Principal Planning Officer for her report and invited Mr Mike Mills of Firstplan Ltd. to address the committee.
Mr Mills pointed out that Watford Business Park was designated as a strategic employment location. The proposed development would replace outdated, poorly configured and inefficient buildings, which were 50 years old and no longer met the requirements of modern operators.
The proposed development was driven by Watford Borough Council and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, to attract new enterprises to the area. This gateway development comprised modern, sustainable and efficient buildings with built in flexibility to accommodate a variety of operators.
The development should double the employment opportunities available at the current site, with a potential for 180 jobs.
Mr Mills pointed out that the proposal was in accordance with local and national planning policies and would offer a high quality location, which would both attract and retain jobs within the area. He concluded by commending the application to the committee.
The Chair thanked Mr Mills and invited comments from the committee.
There was a short discussion about provision for the Watford Bike Scheme and a bus stop, to further promote sustainable travel. The committee were delighted to hear that both matters were planned for.
The committee was overwhelmingly in support of this proposal, which garnered much praise for its commitment to sustainability, active transport and excellent design and access.
The Chair then proposed a vote that full planning permission be granted, subject to conditions and informatives (as set out in the committee report) and taking into account the terms contained within the update sheet, attached as an appendix to these minutes and available on the council’s website.
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 below listed conditions and informatives and taking into account the terms contained within the update sheet, attached as an appendix to these minutes.
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:
0383-SEW-00-ZZ-DR-A-000050 – Existing Site/Demolition Plan
0383-SEW-G1-ZZ-DR-A-001310_Rev 01 – Proposed Elevations Building GW01
0383-SEW-G2-ZZ-DR-A-001311_Rev 01 – Proposed Elevations Building GW02
0383-SEW-G3-ZZ-DR-A-001312_Rev 01 – Proposed Elevations Building GW03
0383-SEW-G4-ZZ-DR-A-001313_Rev 01 – Proposed Elevations Building GW04 ... view the full minutes text for item 53.