Full application for the provision of 29 residential units with associated landscaping, parking, the creation of a new entrance and an area of public open space
LOCAL MEMBER: Councillor Peter Garlick
Full application to erect 29 residential units together with landscaping, car parking, create a new access and open public area.
Attention was drawn to the late observations form that had been received
(a) The Planning Manager elaborated on the background of the application, and reminded the members that the application had been deferred in the committee meeting on 29.4.19 in order to receive more information / amended plans that would satisfy the Committee's concerns.
It was explained that the site was located within the development boundary of the village of Bontnewydd and was designated as a site for the construction of new housing in the Gwynedd and Anglesey Joint Local Development Plan (LDP). For information, permission had previously been given for the construction of 26 houses on the site, and it was considered that a material commencement of this consent had been made and this meant that it remained 'extant' and that a legal right existed to erect 26 new houses on the site. It was now a full application for 29 new houses.
The Planning Manager reported that all details of the application had been included in the report, but specific reference was made to responses to concerns that had been raised by the members during the previous Committee, as well as concerns that had been raised by the owner of the nearby house. Attention was also drawn to the late observations received. One of these concerns was the layout of plots 14, 15 and 16 with a request for the applicant to consider suitable amendments to this part of the site in order to minimise the detrimental impact on the amenities of the adjacent property (Tywyn), mainly due to overlooking. In response to these concerns, amended plans were received for the three proposed properties, and it was reported that the applicant had stated that he had discussed the amendments with the property owner. It was noted that the amended plans demonstrated the distances and the boundaries between the houses and the building of Tywyn and the line of sight stemming from the rear windows of plots 14, 15 and 16 toward Tywyn. The changes to the design of the houses on these plots that would reduce the number of openings on the first floor of the houses were highlighted and explained in order to overcome concerns. It was considered that these amendments would make the development more acceptable and that they addressed the neighbour and the Committee's concerns in terms of the impact on the amenities of the adjacent property.
It was noted that the planning officers had re-consulted with the neighbour regarding the amendments, and reference was made to his observations in the late observations form. It was highlighted that the neighbour was unsatisfied with the amendments, and was still expressing concerns with regard to overlooking. The officers were of the opinion that there were no reasonable grounds that could be considered to justify any further concerns about the unacceptable impact on the amenities of the adjacent property as a result of the amended design and setting of plots 14, 15 and 16 could be considered.
In response to local flooding concerns and the potential impact of the development on the neighbourhood, bearing in mind that the area had suffered from the effects of flooding in the past, thorough consideration was given to this element in order to assess any potential impact in full. It was noted that no part of the application site was within the flooding zone and therefore there was no requirement for a formal Flood Impact Assessment for the site itself in this case. Nevertheless, local residents had highlighted concerns regarding the impact of any additional water flowing in the area as it would ultimately lead into the Beuno river. It was added that it would be necessary to ensure, via information and specific control measures, that the development would not affect local residents in terms of site drainage issues. Following discussions with the Principal Engineer of the Council's Drainage Unit, it was reported that storage space and a sufficient system to dispose of surface water would be constructed. It was confirmed that the development would not increase the risk of flooding downstream as long as it is constructed and maintained in full accordance with the agreed details.
In response to concerns raised by the Committee about the number of houses on the site, along with the mixture and density, further discussions were held with the Joint Planning Policy Unit and the Strategic Housing Unit. A response was received, confirming the existing need for affordable units in addition to the density and mixture of the development.
In response to a concern about the open space, it was reported that a meeting had been held between the developer and the Community Council to discuss potential options for the site. It was noted that the developer had since offered to install less obtrusive equipment on the site and would arrange for the site to be maintained through a management agreement. The Community Council supported the proposal and this was confirmed through a formal letter.
In addition, a plan was received showing the current an proposed location of the gas pipe for the site and it was confirmed that work would have to be carried out to change and relocate the pipe because of its current poor condition. It was reiterated that it was intended for the clawdd surrounding the site to be protected, and that this could be done through a condition. Attention was also drawn to the observations of the Language Unit.
Having considered all the relevant planning matters including the local and national policies and guidance, as well as the observations received, including objections, it was believed that the proposal is acceptable.
(b) The local member (not a member of this Planning Committee) noted the following main points:
· That he did not have any objection to having new houses in Bontnewydd
· That the applicant had introduced positive improvements
· Local residents needed peace of mind regarding surface water and a flood prevention plan
· Speaking on behalf of the neighbour, although amended plans noted the relocation of plots 14, 15 and 16 in an attempt to overcome privacy concerns, the neighbour did not consider this to be sufficient. He suggested that, if the gas pipe were relocated, the houses could move forward a further 2m approximately, and this would address the neighbour's concern.
(c) In response to the local member’s observations, the Planning Manager noted that Welsh Water and other relevant bodies were satisfied with the solution of the surface water. In the context of the gas pipe, although the pipe needed to be upgraded, this would not offer much flexibility for the relocation of the houses if it was moved. It was reiterated that the concerns had been addressed and that there were no longer any reasonable grounds for objecting to the application in terms of overlooking.
(ch) It was proposed and seconded to approve the application.
(d) During the ensuing discussion, the following main observations were noted by members:
· A good example that discussions did lead to improvements
· Glad that the Community Council had discussed the play area and had reached a consensus
(dd) In response to an observation regarding swapping houses 13 and 18 with regard to their sizes in order to yield a little more space to minimise overlooking concerns, it was noted that parking spaces and the turning space needed to be considered, and that house number 13 was not really much smaller than house 18.
RESOLVED to approve subject to relevant conditions.
2. Comply with relevant plans and all the reports
3. Materials / slate
4. Landscaping and the site's boundaries
7. Biodiversity and management of environmental impacts
9. Building Control Plan
10. Removal of general development rights for the affordable houses.
11. Removal of general development rights from plots 14, 15, 16, 17 (including the installation of additional windows and roof lights)
12. Agree on opaque glass for a bedroom window at the rear of plot 14 and agree on opening method
13. Welsh name for the housing estate
14. Details and timetable for installing the equipment in the open space.
15. Agree arrangements to secure affordable housing.
16. Working hours on the site