To consider application UTT/19/1437/FUL.
The Senior Planning Officer said that the proposal was for the demolition of existing buildings and the erection of 29 Retirement Living (Category ll Sheltered Housing) apartments for the elderly with associated communal facilities, car parking and landscaping.
The development would consist of 11 x 1 bedroom and 18 x 2 bedroom apartments, a communal lounge, laundry room, guest suite and manager’s office. 23 parking spaces would be provided together with a communal green space to the rear of the building. There would also be storage and charging points provided for electric mobility scooters. Access would be via the High Street, utilising the existing access and this would lead into an internal access road.
The Senior Planning Officer said that it would be conditioned that no persons under 60 years of age should occupy any of the apartments, except the partner of a qualifying resident who is over 55 years of age, guests or wardens.
The application was recommended for approval with conditions and S106 Legal Obligation.
Members discussed the provision of affordable housing. The applicant had stated that on site provision of affordable housing within the same block was not possible due to the functional and managerial issues surrounding retirement/ sheltered developments.
The Council had said that it was willing to accept a commuted sum in lieu of provision of on site affordable housing. This sum had initially be calculated at a negative figure of £23,800; an independent assessment of the viability statement concluded that a figure of £852,727 could be contributed towards affordable housing delivered elsewhere in the district; however, the applicant had submitted further information that had resulted in a revised calculation of £404,240. West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group had also stated that a developer contribution of £8,850 was required as there was likely to be an impact on the services of two GP practices. Members expressed concerns about the levels of both the revised calculation of £404,240 and the NHS contribution, whilst recognising that they could not influence the NHS calculation.
The Development Manager provided members with background information as to how the independent assessment had been undertaken.
Concerns were expressed that only 23 parking spaces were being provided as this figure was lower than the parking standard figures of 29 parking spaces and 7 visitor spaces. It was recognised that there were charging points provided for mobility scooters but that there was a need for charging points to be also provided for cars and consideration was given to this being conditioned.
Members raised the issue of the 150 year old party wall; this was thought to possibly be a heritage wall that needed to be preserved.
The Development Manager said that this could be conditioned through additional wording in respect of actions to be undertaken prior to demolition.
There was some further discussion about energy and archaeological issues.
Councillor Bagnall proposed refusal of the application until the affordable housing and car parking issues had been resolved.
Councillor Light seconded this motion.
The motion was lost.
Councillor Merifield proposed approval of the application with conditions and S106 Legal Obligation and additional conditions in respect of the minimum age of occupants, provision of electric vehicle charging points and party wall retention.
Councillor Reeve seconded the motion.
RESOLVED to approve the application with conditions and S106 Legal Obligation and additional conditions detailed below:
No persons under 60 years of age shall occupy any of the apartments hereby permitted except any partner of such a qualifying resident who is over 55 years of age, guests or wardens.
REASON: to minimise the need for on- site parking in the interest of highway safety and to reduce the demand in respect of on site amenity space in accordance with ULP policies GEN2 and GEN8.
Prior to occupation, 10% of all parking spaces shall be provided with electric vehicle charging points. All other parking spaces points shall be fully wired and connected, ready to use and retained thereafter.
REASON: to encourage/support cleaner vehicle usage in accordance with policy ENV13 of the Uttlesford Local Plan (adopted 2005)
No development shall take place, until details of the retention of the party wall are submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning .Authority.
REASON: In the interest of protecting the character and setting of the Conservation Area in accordance with policy ENV1 of the Uttlesford Local Plan (adopted 2005).
R Butler spoke on the application.