Agenda item - BH2021/00799 - Coombe Lea, Grand Avenue, Hove - Full Planning
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BH2021/00799 - Coombe Lea, Grand Avenue, Hove - Full Planning
1. The Principal Planning Officer introduced the application and gave a presentation by reference to enhanced visuals. Reference was also made to the comments and objections received from CAG. Also to further letters of objection which had been received and to one additional letter of support.
2. Ms Mitchell spoke in objection to the proposed scheme and on behalf of the residents of Coombe Lea who had registered their objections to the proposals. There had been inadequate consultations with occupants or freeholders of the block and the necessary impact assessments and architectural surveys had not accompanied the application. The freehold company for the block had not asked for nor given its permission for the equipment to be installed. It would have a detrimental impact on the host building and on the neighbouring conservation area.
3. A Statement was read out on behalf of Councillor Moonan who was objecting in her capacity as a Local Ward Councillor. Councillor Moonan stated that she concurred with the concerns of local objectors and was in agreement that insufficient consultation had been undertaken and that in view of their dimensions and proposed location the proposed masts would have a severely detrimental impact for residents and in terms of their impact on the neighbouring street scene.
4. Councillor Wilkinson also spoke in his capacity as a Local Ward Councillor setting out his objections to the proposals. He echoed the concerns of his Ward colleague, Councillor Moonan and those of local residents and those living in of Coombe Lea. The consultation process had been derisory and he did not see how the applicants considered it acceptable to place structures on a building over which they did not have ownership in direct opposition to the wishes of residents. To place such large tall structures on the roof of this building would have a significant detrimental impact as they would be visible over a wide area not just in the neighbouring conservation where there would be the greatest degree of harm.
5. Mr Flaherty spoke on behalf of the applicants in support of their application. He explained that the purpose of proposals was to improve network coverage and to improve network capacity for local businesses and residents. The principle of providing these network improvements was established and supported by Central Government. The current pandemic had created an unprecedented increase in demand in consequence of changes to the ways in which individuals worked with increased home working for example. The proposal would deliver benefits for all.
Questions of the Applicant
6. Councillor Yates sought clarification from the applicant regarding whether and which alternative locations had been sought and why this location had been chosen. Also, how this would fit into the existing network.
7. Councillor Miller also sought further clarification in respect of the 21 potential locations which were purported to have been considered and asked whether any of those were located in the conservation area. He considered that whether or not the scheme was acceptable depended on whether the benefits were outweighed by the damage to the local heritage asset.
Questions of Officers
8. Councillor Theobald sought confirmation of the height of the masts proposed masts and whether there would be safe access in order to erect them. It was explained that the masts would be 6m in height and that the existing access arrangements to the roof would be used.
9. Councillor Shanks queried whether the applicants could actually proceed in the absence of the consent of residents.
10. Councillor Miller stated that he did not consider that a sufficiently compelling case had been made to outweigh any potential harm particularly the impact in the immediate area.
11. Councillor Theobald stated that she considered that the masts would be very tall particularly when viewed from Grand Avenue. There had been a large number of objections and it was clear that residents did not want these structures on their building.
12. Councillors Childs, Williams and Yates were in agreement that placing masts in this location would change the character and appearance of the conservation area irreparably. Councillor Yates was in agreement that the impact of this proposal would be far greater than in the immediate vicinity.
13. Councillor Fishleigh considered that a more appropriate location needed to be found which did not have such a detrimental impact and flew in the face of the wishes of residents.
14. A vote was taken and the 9 Members who were present voted unanimously that the application be refused. The officer recommendation was not therefore upheld and an alternative recommendation was then sought. It was proposed by Councillor Miller and seconded by Councillor Yates that planning permission be refused on the grounds that the proposed development particularly the additional masts antennae by virtue of their form, scale and siting would result in significant harm to the visual amenity of the local area and the setting of the listed buildings to a degree that would outweigh the public benefits of the development. As such, the proposed development is contrary to policies QD23, QD24, HE3 an HE6 of the Brighton and Hove Local Plan and CP12 and CP15, of the City Plan Part One and Emerging policies DM25, DM26 and DM29 of the City Plan Part Two.
15. A further vote was taken on the grounds for refusal put forward by the proposer and seconder. Planning permission was refused unanimously by the 9 Members present.
133.8 RESOLVED – That planning permission be REFUSED on the grounds that the proposed that the proposed development particularly the additional masts antennae by virtue of their form, scale and siting would result in significant harm to the visual amenity of the local area and the setting of the listed buildings to a degree that would outweigh the public benefits of the development. As such, the proposed development is contrary to policies QD23, QD24, HE3 an HE6 of the Brighton and Hove Local Plan and CP12 and CP15, of the City Plan Part One and Emerging policies DM25, DM26 and DM29 of the City Plan Part Two. The final wording of the Decision Notice to be agreed by the Planning Manager in consultation with the proposer and seconder.
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