The Development Management Officer (DMO) introduced a report on an application from Be First for the demolition of existing buildings and structures ranging from 3 to 8 storeys, to provide 64 residential units (Use Class C3), flexible non-residential floorspace (Use Class F1) (644sqm), associated means of access, ancillary plant, servicing, car parking, landscape and associated works at 1-18 Jervis Court, Church Elm Lane and 1-4 Rectory Road, Dagenham. Following the publication of the agenda an addendum report was presented providing further clarification on a number of points in the proposed Heads of Terms and a revision to Condition 21 – Cycle parking implementation.
In addition to internal and internal consultations, a total of 737 letters were sent to neighbouring properties together with the requisite site and press notices. In total 25 letters of objection were received along with representations from the three Village ward councillors. The officer comments on the responses to the consultation were contained in the planning assessment detailed in the report.
All three Village ward councillors were present at the meeting, two of whom made representations, echoing the general views of those residents opposed to the development which included:
· Scale and massing
· Affordability of the units
· Crime and anti-social behaviour in the area,
· Loss of sunlight and daylight to adjacent properties in Church Elm Lane,
· Loss of ecology
· Lack of parking and cumulative impacts,
· Lack and quality of surrounding play area, and
· Issues around decanting existing residents
Members challenged some of the assumptions made by ward councillors in relation to this development, specifically concerning the issue of affordability.
Responding to the objections, officers addressed each of the principle points raised providing a summary of evidence and supportive documentation including various assessments and surveys that had been undertaken to address issues of daylight and sunlight, ecology, flooding and affordability. In relation to transport the proposed reconfiguration of parking detailed in the report including securing restrictions preventing future residents from obtaining parking permits for any controlled parking zones would mitigate for any loss of on street parking within the area. The 11 on-site parking bays included 2 blue badge holder bays and 9 residents bays, the latter of which would be prioritised for family size homes. Finally, in relation to crime and anti-social behaviour it was noted that whilst the Metropolitan Police had raised no objections a condition had been proposed to achieve a Secure by Design Silver rating.
Officers had concluded that the redevelopment of the site for new and improved community space within Class F1 and residential use was acceptable in principle and would contribute to the Borough’s housing stock through the provision of 64 good quality units compliant with relevant standards. The proposal would comprise 100% affordable units which was considered to meet an identified need in the Borough.
The scale, siting and design of the development was considered appropriate to the site’s context and would result in a high-quality finish, whilst respecting the amenity of neighbouring occupiers. The proposed landscaping strategy would positively contribute to the appearance and public realm of the area and enhance the arboricultural, biodiversity and environmental value of the site.
The development had a sustainable approach to transport whilst ensuring an acceptable impact on local highways and infrastructure. The proposal was also considered acceptable in terms of sustainability and air quality, with a financial contribution secured to mitigate any shortfall in carbon reduction.
The Committee resolved to:
(i) Agree the reasons for approval as set out in the report and the addendum;
(ii) Delegate authority to the Director of Inclusive Growth(or other authorised Officer), in consultation with the Director of Law and Governance, to grant planning permission subject to the completion of a Unilateral Undertaking under S106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) based on the Heads of Terms identified at Appendix 7 of the report and the conditions listed at Appendix 6; and
(iii) That, if by 19 April 2021 the Unilateral Undertaking had not been completed, the Director of Inclusive Growth (or other authorised Officer), in consultation with the Director of Law and Governance, be granted delegated authority to refuse planning permission or extend this timeframe, or refer this application back to the Planning Committee for determination.