Agenda and draft minutes

Development Management Committee
Thursday 9th September 2021 7.30 pm

Venue: The Theatre (Screen 3) Campus West AL8 6BX

Contact: Alison Marston 

Media

Items
No. Item

26.

SUBSTITUTIONS

To note any substitution of Committee Members made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following substitution of a Committee Members had been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules:

 

Councillor L. Chestermann for Councillor P. Shah

Councillor G. Ganney for Councillor N. Pace

Councillor L. M. Holloway for Councillor J. Weston

Councillor R. Lass for Councillor S.Tunstall

27.

APOLOGIES

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence was received from Councillors Pace, Shah, Tunstall and Weston.

28.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 12th August 2021 (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of meeting held on 12 August 2021 were approved as a correct record and noted by the Chair.

29.

BIOPARK BROADWATER ROAD WELWYN GARDEN CITY AL7 3AX - 6/2020/3420/MAJ - DEMOLITION OF EXISTING BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTION OF 289 RESIDENTIAL UNITS (USE CLASS C3) AND COMMUNITY HUB (USE CLASS E/F.2), WITH PUBLIC REALM AND OPEN SPACE, LANDSCAPING, ACCESS, ASSOCIATED CAR AND CYCLE PARKING, REFUSE AND RECYCLING STORAGE AND SUPPORTING INFRASTRUCTURE pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the planning permission to demolish the former BioPark buildings and erect 6 apartment blocks (Blocks A&B, C&D, E and F) and 8 townhouses ranging from 2 storeys to 9 storeys. This would consist of 289 residential units and 112.4 square meters of community use. 10% of the units would meet wheelchair user standards. The site is approximately 1.24 hectares in size and located to the south east of Welwyn Garden City town centre and train station. The irregular shaped parcel of land comprised a Research and Development (B1b use) complex comprising of laboratory and associated office space.

 

There was only one vehicular entrance to the site which was via the existing access road (BioPark Drive). The proposal includes improvements to BioPark Drive, including a 4.8m carriageway and 3.1m wide footpath/cycleway. There would be a 197 parking spaces for the residential properties (168 standard and 29 disabled) and 22 visitor spaces.  The community hub would have 6 associated parking spaces (5 standard and 1 disabled).  Over 20% of spaces would have electric vehicle charging provisions and there would be 1 car club bay with active electric vehicle charging.

 

Outdoor amenity space would be provided in a number of different locations across the site. This included a community lawn area, orchard hideaway, outdoor dining area with edible planting, amphitheatre feature with dual attenuation drainage basin use; three doorstep play spaces, communal roof terraces, formal play areas and green and brown roofs. In total 3,023sqm of public open space was proposed. Each residential unit would also have access to public amenity space.

 

This application was presented to the Development Management Committee because the application was called-in by the former Councillor Malcolm Cowan in January 2021. Whilst it is noted that Malcolm Cowan was no longer a councillor, the current Ward Councillor had confirmed this call-in. Furthermore, the application is referred to the committee given the strategic importance of the development proposal.

 

Mr M. Westcott spoke in favour of the application. It was noted that the proposals had gone through three rounds of pre-application cycles as well as a public engagement exercise.  This had resulted in a well-considered planning proposal in response to the urban context and brown field site circumstances. The proposal would also make a significant contribution to the council’s proposed housing target. No objections to planning permission being granted had been raised by any of the experts employed to review the proposal.

 

Mr M Norman and Mr C Wilson spoke against the application. It was noted that the proposal included buildings which be more than the 5 storeys height suggested in the 2008 Broadwater Road West Supplementary Planning Document as being generally suitable for the area. Concerns were expressed on the density of the proposal, absence of private gardens, the ratio of parking spaces to the number of dwellings, impact on views from protected areas and sustainability measures. Ms J Watson spoke in support of the application.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.