Agenda item - BH2020/00550 - Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, Pelham Street, Brighton - Reserved Matters

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Agenda item

BH2020/00550 - Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, Pelham Street, Brighton - Reserved Matters



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


(2)        It was explained that this application was for approval in respect of the remaining outstanding reserved matters in respect of outline permission BH2020/00326 relating to 135 new residential units at Site B which related to appearance, internal layout and landscaping. Following receipt of consultation comments amendments had been submitted including improved vehicular access which would enable the communal amenity space to be increased, biodiversity improvements including a biosolar roof, enhanced drainage strategy, changes to cladding colour, the introduction of brick panels and the inclusion of inset balconies within the improved Block A as a southern bookend. The principle of the development had already been approved within the outline permission including external layout, access and scale. The provision of 135 residential units was in accordance with the outline consent and the proposals would provide a significant contribution to housing supply and a good mix of housing. It was considered that they had been sensitively designed to protect amenity levels of existing residents, there would be balconies and gardens for private amenity space, shared internal amenity space and public open space. Constraints of daylight and sunlight loss from tall neighbouring buildings had also been considered. Approval of the reserved matters was therefore recommended subject to the completion of a Deed of Variation to the existing s106 planning legal agreement, and to the conditions within the report.


(3)        Councillor Shanks enquired whether any affordable housing was to be provided. It was confirmed that none would be provided and that this had been approved as part of the outline permission. It was not therefore a consideration for thisapplication.. Councillor Shanks expressed concern that it appeared to have been driven by the profit margins required by the developer in developing their own site when balanced against those of the college, querying whether in this instance those thresholds had been higher than might otherwise be the case. It was explained that financial considerations had included an assessment of the redevelopment of the college site overall, with the housing development helping to fund the college redevelopment. The Legal Adviser to the Committee explained that as the issue of affordable housing had been considered and agreed at the outline stage it could not be revisited. The Committee could only determine the reserved matters referred to.


(4)        Councillor Childs expressed concern in respect of access/egress arrangements in the event of fire, seeking confirmation that they were sufficiently robust. It was explained that all fire safety requirements would need to be satisfied through building control regulations, but that was a separate regime and did not form part of the planning considerations. Councillor Childs also referred to the location of balconies within the development and configuration of the amenity space seeking confirmation regarding the materials to be used.


            Debate and Decision Making Process


(5)        Councillor Childs stated that he considered the scheme was architecturally vulgar and nasty, considering that it amounted to a neglect of civic duty. The site had been provided to the college in 1992, having been previously owned and paid for by the city. The city had been received nothing in return and the lack of affordable housing was outrageous in his view.


(6)        Councillor Miller stated that he considered the scheme to be acceptable, although he understood the concerns expressed. As the principle of the development and constraints had been considered and approved at the outline stage it would be inappropriate for the Committee to revisit them now. He also sought clarification of the balcony treatments proposed. He considered that the social and economic benefits and positive regeneration of the site far outweighed any impact.


(7)        Councillor Fishleigh noted that it was important for the Committee to consider the materials and treatments proposed in the context of the site overall. The basis on which the earlier decisions had been taken. It was re-iterated that the Committee had made their decision in respect of the application and it was only the reserved matters which it fell to the Committee to determine.


(8)        Councillor Theobald stated that she had preferred the original earlier scheme and her preference would also have been for more parking spaces to be provided, but overall she did consider the scheme to be a good one.


(9)        Councillor Janio stated that the developer had tried to address a number of requirements and constraints in respect of the site the overarching principles had been considered and agreed already. To withhold consent at this stage would be churlish.


(10)      Councillor Osborne stated that the he supported the officer recommendation and was in agreement that the developer had done all they could in terms of delivering a complex scheme. The measures proposed to limit emissions and to support sustainability were also welcomed.


(11)      A vote was taken and on a vote of 8 with 1 to 1 abstention minded to grant planning permission was given in respect of this reserved matters application. It was agreed that balcony treatments would be agreed by the Planning Manager in consultation with the Chair, Opposition Spokesperson and Group Spokessperson.


92.3      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 the Reserved Matters subject to Conditions and Informatives also set out in the report and a Deed of Variation to the existing s106 Agreement dated 27 March 2019 as set out in the report SAVE THAT should the  Deed of Variation not be completed on or before 5 May 2021 the Head of Planning is authorised to refuse planning permission for the reasons set out in Section 10.2fof the report.

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