To consider application UTT/20/3329/DFO.
The Senior Planning Officer presented a report on a reserved matters application, seeking approval of appearance, layout, scale, and landscaping, for 76 dwellings following the approval of outline planning permission UTT/19/0573/OP.
The application was recommended for approval with conditions.
Members discussed the proposal. Whilst there was agreement that the District would benefit from the affordable housing which the application offered, they raised concerns regarding the following:
· The amount of green space proposed was inadequate, given the size of the development, and the play areas were both small and poorly positioned on the edge of the site beside a busy road and the attenuation basin.
· The design of the scheme was unsatisfactory as the layout, scale and density were overbearing. Officers confirmed that the proposed layout had been submitted to the Essex Design Quality Review Panel and, whilst it was deemed an acceptable scheme, the developer had used the feedback given to enhance the design further. Members suggested that the design could be improved with a large, central green space.
· The plans indicated the retention of the 50mph zone on the B1383 through the development which raised concerns about pedestrian road safety.
· Further consideration needed to be given to the proposed woodland at the edge of the development. Members suggested that the saplings would die if there were not proper maintenance arrangements in place, and requested that the developer considered planting mature trees instead of whips. It was confirmed that the developer would be expected to work alongside the Parish Council and Woodland Trust in the long-term on the woodland’s upkeep.
· Great Chesterford has an inadequate sewage network and is already over capacity. As a result, sewage flooding in the Chesterfords is a common occurrence and there is not enough water pressure in the new developments. Whilst this developer is not at fault, the whole system will not be sustainable with further new development and members requested that a condition be included whereby the housing cannot be occupied until these issues are resolved. Officers explained that such a condition could not be imposed as it would constraint future development and that the utility companies had been informed of the additional 76 properties.
· Electricity substations are often noisy and cause disruption to residents. Members requested that the substation on the new development should to be constructed beyond existing standards so that it would not increase the level of noise beyond the current level of background sound.
· The Parish Council were dissatisfied with the cycle path in the S106 agreement as it was not routed to go to directly to Great Chesterford station. Officers clarified that members were not considering the cycle link as this will be developed on Highway land and so cannot be included in the scheme.
· The car parking provisions were in line with Essex Parking Standards, but did not comply with the Uttlesford Residential Parking Standards as there was no provision of a 3rd parking space for the 4-bedroom dwellings. Whilst officers were satisfied that the development provided sufficient off-street parking and the additional 30 visitor parking spaces could be used by the 4-bedroom dwellings, members indicated that this could mean that 23 of the 30 visitor spaces would potentially be permanently occupied to make up for the missing parking spaces. Furthermore, the parking provision would leave residents with the choice to park away from their house, or off-road.
Councillor Emmanuel proposed that the application be deferred to consider the issues raised around design. This was seconded by Councillor Le Count.
RESOLVED: To defer the application.
Speakers: Councillor N Gregory, C Day, Councillor D Hall (Great Chesterford Parish Council), Councillor F Wilkinson (Little Chesterford Parish Council) spoke against the application and C Houston (agent) spoke in favour.
The meeting adjourned between 11:30 to 11:35