Agenda item - BH2020/01742 - The Meeting House, Park Close, Brighton - Full Planning

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Agenda item

BH2020/01742 - The Meeting House, Park Close, Brighton - Full Planning


(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 aerial views which showed the scheme in the context of neighbouring development.


(2)        It was noted that the main considerations in determining the application related to the principle of the development of the site and the impact of the proposed dwellings on the character and appearance of the street and the surrounding area, and on the setting of the adjacent South Downs National Park. The standard of accommodation, sustainability and impact on neighbouring amenity, transport, trees, ecology and biodiversity were also material considerations. Given the prevailing character of the streetscene it was considered that the scale and design of the proposed development would not appear out of context or character with the site and its surroundings nor would the proposed building have an unacceptably overbearing impact on its neighbours. It had been carefully designed to take account of overlooking and privacy issues. Subject to the proposed conditions it was considered that the development was appropriate in terms of design, scale and impact on amenity, highways, trees and biodiversity, the adjacent National Park and nature reserve, and would provide new dwellings of a good size and standard. Approval was therefore recommended, subject to the completion of a s106 planning legal agreement, and to the conditions within the report.


(3)        Councillor Theobald asked for clarification of the proposed building heights, and whether officers were satisfied that the previous reasons for refusal had been overcome. It was explained that the proposed scheme would be no higher than the existing building. This scheme was significantly different from that which had been refused previously and was considered acceptable. In answer to further questions by Councillor Theobald it was also confirmed that there were no concerns in relation to traffic generation or access/egress to/from the site.


(4)        Councillor Fishleigh asked about the process used in activating the review mechanism of viability in relation to affordable housing. It was explained that the applicant’s Viability Assessment had been reviewed, confirming that affordable housing provision was not viable, and that a review mechanism would be secured requiring re-appraisal close to completion to confirm whether there was any change to this conclusion.


(5)        Following the presentation and with Members having had the opportunity to ask questions the Chair reminded the Committee that it had a duty to determine applications, but Members must be satisfied that they had sufficient information in order to do without the need for a site visit. They agreed that they had and it was noted that additional information and visuals had been provided in order to assist with the decision making process.


            Debate and Decision Making Process


(6)        Councillor Theobald stated that she considered the “big” block proposed was out of keeping with the neighbouring street scene which was lower rise and characterised by bungalows. This was the wrong place for such development, driven by developers seeking to maximise their profits.


(7)        Councillor Fishleigh concurred with that view, considering that layout, density and visual appearance of the scheme was unacceptable. Also, that there were highways issues.


(8)        Councillor Miller considered that the proposed scheme represented good use of the site.


(9)        Councillor Childs considered that it was regrettable that yet again, there was a lack of affordable housing units, considering that the council had a civic duty to address this going forward. The scheme would however provide housing units of an acceptable standard and on that basis he could support it. Councillor Henry considered that on balance the scheme was acceptable.


(10)      A vote was taken and the 9 Members of the Committee present voted on a vote of 7 to 2 that Minded to Grant planning permission be given.


92.1      RESOLVED – That the Committee has taken into consideration and agrees with the reasons for the recommendation set out in the report and resolves to be MINDED TO GRANT planning permission subject to a106 agreement on the Heads of Terms set out in the Late List and to the Conditions and Informatives set out in the report. SAVE

THAT should the s106 Planning Obligation not be completed on or before the 7thApril 2021 the Head of Planning is authorised to refuse planning permission for the reasons set out in paragraph 9.3 of the report:


            Note: Having declared a prejudicial interest in the above application Councillor Osborne left the meeting and took no part in the debate and decision making process.

Supporting documents:


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