Agenda item - BH2019/03387, 126 Church Road, Hove - Full Planning
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BH2019/03387, 126 Church Road, Hove - Full Planning
RECOMMENDATION – GRANT
Ward Affected: Central Hove
Change of use from retail (A1) to café/restaurant (A3) incorporating new shopfront, installation of canopy, ventilation ducting and associated works (Part retrospective.
(1) It was noted that an in-depth presentation had been provided by officers in advance of the meeting and was included on the council website detailing the scheme by reference to site plans, elevational drawings and photographs which also showed the proposed scheme in the context of neighbouring development. The main considerations in determining the application related to the principle of development, the design and appearance of the external alterations and the impact of the proposal on neighbouring amenity, sustainable transport was also a material consideration.
(2) The current application followed the refusal of BH2018/00552, which sought permission for a change of use of the site from A1 to A3/A4 and the incorporation of no. 126 into the existing A3/A4 use at no. 128 Church Road. BH2018/00552 also proposed the relocation of the access to the upper floor residential use from the front to the rear of the building. An appeal had been lodged and dismissed due to the Inspector finding that the proposal would harm the amenity of nearby residents and the character and appearance of the area (reasons for refusal 2 and 3). The Inspector did not uphold the first reason for refusal, finding that the loss of the A1 unit would not conflict with Policy SR5. Since that time the site had made use of the available temporary permitted development rights in Part 4, Class D of the GPDO and the premises was currently in A3 use. It was considered that the previous grounds for refusal had been addressed and as the Planning Inspector had taken the view that the change from A1 to A3 did not conflict with Policy SR5 approval was recommended.
(3) Councillor Moonan spoke in her capacity as a Local Ward Councillor setting out her objections to the scheme and in support of neighbouring objectors. Councillor Moonan stated that there had been a significant shift from retail to restaurant use classes with a resultant loss of amenity to residents. Most premises were now cafes, bars or restaurants The which had led to an increase in the night-time economy with noise and associated nuisance and pressure on local parking and traffic. This use would add to that and in addition the existing extractor fan was not considered fit for purpose, the proposed lighting was also considered to be un-necessarily dominant.
Questions of Officers
(4) Councillor Shanks, noted that a number of complaints appeared to have been received in relation to the premises take-away operation and referring to proposed condition 8 and sought clarification that should take-away use of the restaurant operate as cycle/motorcycle/vehicle or similar delivery service, rather than a carry out service that enforcement action could be taken. It was confirmed that if breaches of conditions were notified they would be investigated and appropriate action taken either by the enforcement team or the highways enforcement team.
(5) Councillor Henry referred to the fact that complaints had been made regarding noise and odour emanating from the premises. He was aware that this had been cited as an issue by residents in the vicinity and had actually visited this premises. There appeared to be a flume, rather than an extractor fan protruding from the side of the building resulting in noise and fumes being released onto a busy junction. Councillor Henry asked if it would be possible for a condition to be added to any permission granted to seek to control noise and odour emissions. The Planning Manager referred to proposed Condition 5 which was a standard condition stating that it would be possible to add a condition relating to odour control if members wished to do so.
(6) Councillor Theobald referred to the previous refusal and to the fact that at that time amongst other reasons it had been considered that the proposed use would result in a break in the existing retail frontage, asking why/how that situation had changed and why the proposed scheme was now recommended for grant. It was explained that the Inspector’s Decision that the proposed change of use from A1 to A3 did not conflict with local plan policy was a material consideration. As the other grounds for refusal had been overcome approval was now recommended.
(7) Councillor Janio asked for details of chronology of use of the site and confirmation regarding whether it was currently in A3 use and whether complaints had been received in respect of that current use. It was explained that the premises was currently in A3 use and that permanent change of use to that use was being sought. An on-going enforcement case was pending dependant on the outcome of this application.
Debate and Decision Making Process
(8) Councillor Littman stated that he considered the decision of the Planning inspectorate was very unfortunate. Three premises in a row were now cafes/restaurants and with a number of others nearby the retail/ mixed use of the area had changed and it was no longer a shopping street. Whilst unhappy with the Inspector’s decision in view of it he did not consider that planning permission could be refused.
(9) Councillor Theobald agreed that loss of the retail use along this frontage was regrettable stating that she hoped that a traditional shop-front appearance would at least be retained.
(10) The Chair, Councillor Hill, considered that the Inspector’s decision drove a coach and horses through the Committees’ desire to retain a retail frontage and was regrettable.
(11) A vote was taken in respect of Councillor Henry’s proposal, seconded by Councillor Janio, that it be delegated to officers to add a condition to ensure that an extractor fan/flume was fitted which was of an appropriate quality to control odour and noise, it was agreed on a vote of 8 with 1 abstention. A further vote was then taken on the substantive recommendations and planning permission was granted on a vote of 6 with 3 abstentions.
17.7 RESOLVED – That the Committee has taken into consideration and agrees with the reasons for the recommendation set out in the report and resolves to grant planning permission subject to the Conditions and Informatives set out in the report. It be delegated to Officers to add a condition to seek to ensure control of odour/noise from the extractor fan/ flume located to the rear of the premises.
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