Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Barking
Contact: John Dawe, Senior Governance Officer
Declaration of Members' Interests
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Members are asked to declare any interest they may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
The minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2023 were confirmed as correct.
The Principal Development Management Officer (PDMO), Be First Development Management Team, introduced a report and presentation on an application from Lagmar (Barking) Ltd seeking a Section 96a Non-Material amendment to planning permission 16/01325/OUT, dated 19 April 2017 to amend Condition 3 to extend the timescales for the submission of all remaining reserved matters (with the exception of the primary school site).
Although the application was not subject to any statutory consultation process a total of seven objections were received, including two received late as set out in a supplementary report presented at the meeting.
The material considerations relating to each of the objections were addressed both in the published report and the presentation of the PDMO, and which included Counsel opinion as to whether the proposed application constituted a non-material amendment, the details of which were set out as an exempted document in Appendix 4 to the published report. This concluded that the approach to amend condition 3 with respect to the submission date of Reserved Matters could be considered under the s96a process.
Three representations were made at the meeting objecting to the application principally for the following reasons:
· that the extension of the timeframe for the submission of the reserved matters on the previously approved planning consent fell beyond the remit of the s96a application,
· the outcome of the recent CPO Inquiry which demonstrated that the scheme was not financially viable,
· the ongoing financial and mental wellbeing impact on local traders should the application be approved,
· the lack of any communication from the applicant with landowners about their future intentions in the light of the outcome of the CPO Public Inquiry,
· the loss of local businesses in Barking Town Centre,
· the lack of progress from the developer to address the reserved matters since the original application was approved in 2017,
· the adverse social, environmental and public health impact on the town centre, and
· matters of heritage conservation including the loss of a 200 year-old oak tree.
The Committee raised a number of points in response to the officer presentation and issues raised by objectors and were particularly concerned at the lack of ongoing dialogue between the applicant and local landowners/businesses concerning their redevelopment proposals.
Peter Cornworth supported by Don Messenger, representing the applicant (Lagmar Barking Ltd) then sought to address the comments of objectors. He stated that the CPO decision showed that there was a need for a new phasing plan to deliver a viable redevelopment scheme at Vicarage Fields. He did acknowledge that there had been a lack of communication with local businesses but that it was important to work up new proposals upon which to enter into meaningful discussions with relevant parties.
Those plans had been delayed in part due to the need to reflect new building regulations requirements. He concluded his response that he had no desire to delay progress with these matters beyond the timescales set out in this s96a application, and certainly did not want to have to go through another CPO ... view the full minutes text for item 27.
The Principal Development Management Officer (PDMO), Be First Development Management Team, introduced a report and presentation on an application from Chadwell Oak LLP for the demolition of the existing buildings on the site of the former White Horse Public House, 118 High Road, Romford RM6 6NU, and the construction of a residential led mix-use scheme comprising of new residential homes (C3 Use Class) together with a Public House (Sui-Generis), public realm enhancements including hard and soft landscaping and associated access, servicing, cycle parking, refuse and recycling stores. They also referenced a supplementary report which included clarification/corrections to the independently produced Economic Viability Assessment report as well as an update on an additional representation.
In addition to internal and external consultations, a total of 487 notification letters were sent to neighbouring properties together with the requisite statutory and press notices, to which six representations of objection were received, the material planning considerations of which were in the main addressed in the planning assessment set out in the report, as well as additional comments from the PDMO addressing questions about the impact of the proposals on existing local health care facilities and the demolition of the existing buildings. It was noted that issues like the impact on property values was not a material planning consideration.
In response to the officer presentation, the Committee acknowledged the extent of consultations carried out by the applicant on their proposals including the ongoing involvement of the ward councillors, and the amendments and changes made to date as a consequence, not least the reprovision of the public house as an integral part of the development.
Several questions were asked by Members which the PDMO addressed including the provision, size, design and location of the new public house and the early/later stage viability reviews in respect of securing additional affordable units, and in that context the projected ratio split between market and London affordable rents.
Reference was made to the formula used to determine the amount of play space contribution from the developer. The PDMO confirmed that this had been miscalculated, and would be reassessed and amended accordingly, should the application be approved.
Two representations were made at the meeting objecting to the application principally for the following reasons:
· Whilst recognising the need for more affordable housing in the Borough, the building of purpose built high-rise blocks was not appropriate in this location,
· The re-provision of a public house on the site was welcomed, however the size and siting of it was considered as unlikely to be commercially viable,
· Additional pressures on local health services,
· Insufficient notice of public consultations, and not being able to join a public meeting at the Chadwell Health Community Centre due to it being overcrowded. It was clarified that the attendance issues were partly due to problems with an on-line booking system,
· The height and scale of the residential buildings. It was acknowledged that following representations the applicant had reduced the height of the residential block at the rear of the development to ... view the full minutes text for item 28.
The Principal Development Management Officer (PDMO), Be First Development Management Team, introduced a report and presentation on an application from Ash Group Ltd for the demolition of the existing buildings and structures (Use Class B8 and Sui Generis) on the site of 17-19 Thames Road, Barking to provide a mixed use development comprising 2360sqm of industrial floorspace (falling within flexible Use Classes E(g), B2, and/or B8 ), together with 249 residential units (Use Class C3) in a range of unit sizes within buildings of up to 14 floors; the provision of an area of new north-south public realm within the site and the facilitation of future pedestrian access across the Ripple; provision of car and cycle parking and revised access points, including access from and to adjoining sites; and the widening of the public realm to Thames Road.
The Planning Officer also referenced a supplementary report which included clarification/corrections to the published report and amendments to a number of both the proposed conditions and the planning obligations set out in the s106 Heads of Terms in Appendix 5 of the published report.
In addition to internal and external consultations, a total of 226 notification letters were sent to neighbouring properties, in respect of which one representation of objection was received, the material planning considerations of which were addressed in the planning assessment set out in the report.
Following the officer presentation Members asked a series of questions focussing on the reasons for an officer recommendation of approval, given the higher density of the scheme, its viability, the lower percentage of affordable units being achieved, with a marked reduction in the number of three bed units as well as a lack of play space and poor public transport links to the site.
The PDMO explained that due to new fire regulations the applicant had to design in a second staircase in the blocks which had led to changes to the floor plans and residential mix and a reduction in overall numbers. Furthermore, as Thames Road had been identified as an area for change officers would be working closely with TfL on the basis that as new schemes came forward and more funding was secured, new services would be introduced, and local connections improved for local and new residents to access existing transport hubs such as Barking Riverside.
Other questions that arose concerned the continued lack of health facilities to support emerging developments in the area, a lack of play space for older children, responsibility for landscaping either side of the local canal, short and long stay parking provision, and clarification as to the number of wheelchair accessible units compared to the number of allocated blue badge car parking spaces.
The PDMO confirmed that £62k had been secured on the development towards new health facilities, and that the formula used to determine the amount of play space had like the previous application been miscalculated and would be reassessed, and assuming the application was approved, would be used to support play facilities for ... view the full minutes text for item 29.