Due to the complexity and size of the plans relating to this application, the plans are not included in the printed version of this agenda but are available to view on the Council’s website at https://modgov.lbbd.gov.uk/Internet/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=176&MId=12226&Ver=4
The Principal Development Management Officer (PDMO), Be First, presented a report on an application by Mobin Properties Ltd seeking planning permission for a proposalto provide a 5 - 8 storey building comprising up to 59 residential units (Use Class C3) with retail units (Use Class E) at ground and part first floors, with associated landscaping and highway works at34-42 East Street, Barking.
By way of background, the PDMO stated that the application was a resubmission of two previously refused applications, which sought the residential-led redevelopment of the site, retaining retail on the ground floor. The first application (19/00770/FUL) sought permission for the development of a 6 - 9 storey building comprising 79 units and ground floor retail space and was refused for eight reasons. The second application (21/00159/FULL) sought permission for the development of a 5-9 storey building comprising 65 residential units, with ground floor retail units and was refused for three reasons, which, in summary, were:
i. Poor place-making, density and impact on the setting of the Grade II listed former Barking Magistrates Court;
ii. Loss of sunlight and daylight to neighbouring residential occupiers, in particular, at flats within the former Barking Magistrates Court and the Bath House buildings; and
iii. Insufficient information submitted to demonstrate that there would not be an unacceptable impact on highway safety in respect of the location of the blue badge car parking spaces.
Two letters of objections had been submitted against the current application, which related to concerns around congestion, local heritage, privacy, and the loss of light to neighbouring properties.
The remainder of the PDO’s presentation focussed on the improvements made to the proposal in relation to the above three reasons for refusal, as detailed in the report, which formed the basis of the officer recommendation to approve the application. The reasons for recommending approval are summarised as follows:
· The architecture of the proposal had advanced from the previously refused scheme in respect of the architectural strategy, particularly in relation to the northern corner adjacent to the former Magistrates Court. Officers welcomed the attention to detail that had been paid to introduce architectural interest through the proposed window arches as well as the window reveals that would contribute to somewhat enlivening an otherwise dead portion of frontage along East Street. The change in materiality from the previous scheme was also considered to be a welcome improvement, which was more in keeping with the surrounding area and reduced the dominance of the building. Officers considered that the progression from the previously refused schemes to the current proposal were such that the proposed development would accord with design policies;
· The reduction in height from 9 to 8 storeys was welcomed, as this assisted in reducing the impact of the development from a number of views, and the reduction from part of the East Street frontage from 6 storeys to 5 storeys also ensured that the development would not appear too dominant along East Street, especially when viewed from the western site. Whilst at 5-8 storeys high, the development was tall for a town centre/high street location, the site sat in an area as being identified in the emerging Local Plan as suitable for tall buildings. The regeneration benefits that would be achieved through the proposed development, and introduction of residential dwellings to the site was welcomed; and
· The proposed development was a highly sustainable, well-connected site, and the proposals sought to promote active travel. The previous reason for refusal pertaining to the location of the disabled parking bays had been suitably resolved through securing a financial contribution. Subject to the necessary conditions and obligations, it was considered that the development was acceptable in terms of transport and highways, in accordance with the provisions of the NPPF, the London Plan and the adopted development plan and emerging Local Plan.
In relation to the objections received against the application, Members commented that they did not feel the proposal would impact on local heritage negatively, nor that it would lead to overcrowding. Whilst the impact of the proposal on daylight and sunlight was still the weakest aspect of the application, the site’s allocation and context had to be taken into consideration, and Members considered that the benefits in bringing 59 new homes, including family housing and affordable housing to this site, outweighed the concerns with regards to daylight and sunlight impacts. Members also strongly welcomed the introduction of architectural interest through the proposed window arches that would contribute to enlivening a portion of the frontage along East Street.
The Planning Committee RESOLVED to agree:
1. The reasons for approval as set out in the report;
2. To delegate authority to the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham’s Director of Inclusive Growth, in consultation with the Head of Legal Services, to grant approval of reserved matters, subject to the completion of a deed of variation under s106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), based on the Heads of Terms identified at Appendix 6 of the report and the Conditions listed in Appendix 5 of the report; and
3. That if by 14 August 2022, the legal agreement has not been completed, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham’s Director of Inclusive Growth is delegated authority to refuse planning permission or extend this timeframe to grant approval.