Report of the Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance).
Report of the Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) detailing the change of use of ground floor from Sui-Generis to Residential (C3) to include the creation of 2no 1-bedroom and 3no 2-bedroom flats with external alterations including new fenestrations, associated cycle and bin store, car parking and landscaping.
The application site was situated to the western side of Salisbury Square, Old Hatfield and comprised a 3-storey building with associated car parking on a 0.16ha plot, within the Old Hatfield Conservation Area.
The building was currently in use as a ‘Jobcentre Plus’ on the ground floor with offices above. The principle of residential development had recently been established on the first and second floors of the building through prior approval (Ref: 6/2017/1176/PN11). The permission had not been implemented.
The application had been presented to the Development Management Committee because Hatfield Town Council had objected.
“Members were not aware that the Job Centre in Hatfield was targeted for closure. They do not see in the application details of where it will be relocated. They wish to raise concerns regarding parking, loss of more commercial space in Old Hatfield to residential units and lack of any amenity area for the new residential units.”
Vikki Davies (Agent) spoke in favour of the application, emphasising key points in the report. She reinforced the Planning Officer’s decision that the development would contribute to meeting housing needs and would reuse previously developed land, being consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPFF).
Ken McGuiness spoke against the application on behalf of The Old Hatfield Resident’s Association, raising various concerns including the detrimental impact on the vitality and viability of Old Hatfield, and noise from the main road, railway and Great Northern public house.They also made reference to the trend towards smaller units which would be out of line with the Council’s indicative mix of housing set out in SP7.
In addition, Mr McGuiness emphasised that the association had not been consulted and it was not clear whether Gascoyne Cecil Estates (GCE) had been consulted either. They were concerned that the development could impact on an integral part of GCE’s major project to re-vitalise Salisbury Square, with new car parking impeding on the proposed direct access across Salisbury Square to the Station.
Hatfield Town Councillor James Broach spoke against the application, raising concerns about the loss of vital services, such as the Job Centre, and the resulting impact on the economic needs of the area. In addition, he also raised concerns about the noise of the main road and railway.
Following a discussion, it was moved by Councillor F.Thompson and seconded by Councillor N.Pace that the Officer’s recommendation be approved and planning permission granted. Being put to the vote this was lost (5 voting for and 6 against).
It was then moved by Councillor P.Zukowskyj and seconded by Councillor P.Shah and
(7 voting for, 4 against)
That planning permission for application 36 Salisbury Square, Hatfield, AL9 5AF 6/2017/1902 notwithstanding the Officer’s recommendation for approval the planning application be refused for the following reason:
“By reason of the resulting loss of commercial floorspace, the proposal would have an unacceptable adverse impact on the vitality and viability of Old Hatfield neighbourhood centre and would therefore fail to accord with the requirements of paragraph 23 of the National Planning Policy Framework”.