Agenda and minutes

Development Management Committee
Thursday 6th February 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Sharon Keenlyside 

Items
No. Item

95.

SUBSTITUTIONS

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

Minutes:

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

 

Councillor J.Cragg for Councillor S.Boulton

Councillor C.Juggins for Councillor P.Hebden

Councillor H.Bower for Councillor S.Kasumu

Councillor D.Richardson for Councillor S.Wrenn

96.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors S.Boulton, P.Hebden, S.Kasumu and S.Wrenn.

97.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 January 2020 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 9 January 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

98.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS

To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on the Agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor M.Larkins declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 6 on the Agenda by virtue of being a Member of the Crematorium Procurement Board. Councillor M.Larkins confirmed that he would not take part in the debate or vote for this item.

99.

THE LAWN CEMETERY, SOUTHWAY, HATFIELD, AL10 8HS - 6/2019/1208/MAJ - ERECTION OF A NEW CREMATORIUM AND MACHINERY STORE, TO INCLUDE NEW CAR PARKING PROVISION AND LANDSCAPING FOLLOWING DEMOLITION OF EXISTING CHAPEL, MACHINERY STORE, LODGE HOUSE AND CENTRAL COLONNADE pdf icon PDF 842 KB

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

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the erection of a new crematorium and machinery store to include new car parking provision and landscaping following demolition of existing chapel, machinery store, lodge house and central colonnade.

 

Planning permission was granted on 3 May 2017 (ref: 6/2016/2623/MAJ) for the erection of a new chapel, machinery store and crematory, to include new car parking provision and enhanced landscaping following demolition of existing chapel, machinery store, lodge house and central colonnade.  The lawfulness of this permission was challenged by judicial review and subsequently quashed by The High Court, ruling that the local authority did not properly consider capacity at a nearby facility.  Sir Wyn Williams, who sat as a High Court judge, said the spare capacity at Crematoria Management’s site near Broxbourne should have been considered and that failing to do so was a material error, and one where he was unable to say the decision would have been the same had it not occurred.  In giving judgment, Sir Wyn Williams dismissed a challenge on whether an Environmental Impact Assessment had been needed but upheld one about Welwyn Hatfield’s ability to demonstrate that there was a need for the development given the cemetery’s Green Belt location.

 

The site was located to the south of Hatfield and comprised an area of land measuring approximately 4.24 hectares in area (10.4 acres).  The site lay within the Green Belt and on the edge of open countryside.  To the south and east of the site there were fields.  A park and ride facility was located to the west and there was residential development to the north.  Lawn Cemetery was opened in 1984 and provided services for burials and memorialisation.  Both burial and cremation plots were available at the cemetery.  The site also had a mausoleum for above ground internment.  Over half of the cemetery site had been utilised for burials to date, with capacity for more burials in the future. 

 

This application was presented to the Development Management Committee because it had been advertised as a departure from the development plan and because Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council was the applicant.

 

Hatfield Town Council – submitted with the following comment:

 

“Members welcome this application. They wish to see checks on air quality.”

 

North Mymms Parish Council – submitted the following comment:

 

“North Mymms Parish Council support the improvement of the proposed facilities to meet local needs and comment that it must comply with Green Belt policies.”

 

The Legal Advisor, Trowers & Hamlins LLP, addressed the Committee saying that the previous application on the site was granted planning permission in 2017 and a legal challenge was issued against it and had been successful. The Court had found the Council’s decision legally unsound. The challenge was based on two grounds. The first consideration was whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening was required. On that ground, the High Court found that Planning Officers had not acted unlawfully as the site was not in an urban area so  ...  view the full minutes text for item 99.

100.

MINSTER HOUSE, MINSTER CLOSE, HATFIELD, AL10 9JN - 6/2019/2086/MAJ - ERECTION OF 90 RESIDENTIAL UNITS FOR OVER 55'S WITH ASSOCIATED COMMUNAL AREAS, AMENITY SPACE, CAR PARKING AND ALTERATIONS TO EXISTING ACCESS FOLLOWING DEMOLITION OF EXISTING BUILDINGS pdf icon PDF 609 KB

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

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the erection of 90 residential units for over 55’s with associated communal areas, amenity space, car parking and alterations to existing access following demolition of existing buildings.

 

The application site was located in South Hatfield on the east side of Bishops Rise, in close proximity to High View Neighbour Centre which lay approximately 200m to the south of the site.  Hatfield Town Centre was approximately 1.5km to the north. 

 

The site had an area of approximately 0.7 hectares and was currently occupied by 30 self-contained flats and 11 bungalows set around a central courtyard.  Vehicle access was gained from the north via Minster Close, which ran along the rear boundary of the site, leading to a communal car park and limited allocated parking which served the existing bungalows.  The existing flats were provided within a two storey ‘L’ shaped building fronting Bishops Rise.  The site was currently owned and run by the council, and provided retirement housing for the over 65’s, as well as one warden’s flat.  The level of care provided was comprised of district nurses and resident carers.

 

Immediately adjoining the site to the north was a triangle of woodland which was within the Council’s ownership.  To the east of the site were the rear gardens of residential properties along Heron Way; to the south were the rear gardens of residential properties along Lark Rise and Bishops Rise.  Opposite the site to the west along Bishops Rise was the University of Hatfield College Lane Campus.

 

This application was presented to the Development Management Committee because the application was a major development and the Borough Council was the applicant and had an interest in the land which was the subject of the application. 

 

Hatfield Town Council had raised an objection to the proposed development for the reasons set out below:

 

“The Committee objected to this this planning application due to parking issues and questioned sustainability? Will there be solar panels and electric vehicle charging points? Also they wished to request the building work did not run along the South Hatfield development”.

 

There was a late representation circulated from a neighbour at 52 Herons Way. The resident had queried the provision of a footpath serving the rear access of Herons Way, potential overlooking and planting measures.

 

Officers said that to address the issues, a footpath had been included in the scheme and would run along the back of the rear gardens of Herons Way. Trees were to be retained along the east boundary and planting was proposed and would be secured by a landscaping condition. In terms of privacy, the proposed development would be located 25 metres from the rear garden boundary of these properties and approximately 43 metre from these properties rear wall. While there was the potential for overlooking, it was considered an acceptable distance and the planting would assist with the screening of the development.

 

There was also a late representation concerning the financial contribution requested  ...  view the full minutes text for item 100.

101.

22 THE COMMON, HATFIELD, AL10 0ND - 6/2019/2478/MAJ - ERECTION OF 4 STOREY CAR PARK COMPRISING 420 PARKING SPACES, MOTORCYCLE AND CYCLE PARKING, STORAGE AND ANCILLARY SPACE AND ASSOCIATED LANDSCAPING AND PUBLIC REALM WORKS TO ROBIN HOOD LANE pdf icon PDF 496 KB

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

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the erection of 4 storey car park comprising 420 parking spaces, motorcycle and cycle parking, storage and ancillary space and associated landscaping and public realm works to Robin Hood Lane.

 

The application site was located to the south of The Common and was currently used as a surface car park which had 148 car parking spaces. The site was bound to the north by The Common, and to the east, south and west by Robin Hood Lane which provided access to the rear of properties within the town centre.

 

The application sought permission for the erection of a four storey, 420 space multi storey car park (MSCP). Of the 420 spaces, 51 were proposed to be reduced size spaces, 18 disabled spaces and 10 parent and child spaces. Space was also proposed within the application site for the parking of 12 motorcycles. Access to the MSCP would be from Robin Hood Lane, via The Common. Public realm improvements were also proposed to Robin Hood Lane.

 

This application was presented to the Development Management Committee because the application was a major development and the Borough Council had an interest in the land which was the subject of the application.

 

Mr A.Shapland spoke for the application saying that Hatfield required an ambitious and appropriate strategy to protect and promote vitality and growth of the town centre. White Lion Square was delivered last year and this was the next chapter. The heart of this strategy was a reduction in the surface area of car parking which account for a total of one third of the area of the town centre. It did not look to reduce the number of car parking spaces. The multi storey car park was identified as being the most appropriate solution for the regeneration of Hatfield Town Centre. It would release several sites for development

 

Ms J.Newlan MBE, Pro Vice Chancellor Business and International Development, University of Hertfordshire, spoke as a supporter saying that the Hatfield Renewal Partnership was set up to in 2015 to work towards the improvement of various aspects of Hatfield. The Partnership undertook extensive consultation and engagement with local businesses, shoppers, residents and the education sector. The Hatfield Renewal Framework was published in 2016. The questionnaires returned during the events identified improvements to the town centre to be the most critical and defining element of change needed for Hatfield. The Partnerships work identified the opportunity for a new multi storey car park to efficiently consolidate town centre parking in to one central car park and would allow some existing car parks which took up significant space in the town centre to be made available for new commercial floor space, additional homes and aid the vitality of town centre businesses. The existence and continued work of the Partnership was an important element in securing funding for two key town centre projects from the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

 

Councillor M.Eames-Petersen, Hatfield Town Council, spoke against  ...  view the full minutes text for item 101.

102.

41-43 TOWN CENTRE, HATFIELD, AL10 0JJ - 6/2019/1665/MAJ - PART RETENTION OF GROUND FLOOR AND BASEMENT LEVEL RETAIL AND RETAIL STORAGE (A1 USE) WITH THE FIRST FLOOR CONVERTED AND EXTENDED FROM RETAIL STORAGE (A1 USE) FOR FOUR STOREYS OF 47NO STUDENT FLATS (C2 USE) AND ASSOCIATED GROUND FLOOR CYCLE AND REFUSE STORAGE pdf icon PDF 578 KB

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

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the part retention of ground floor and basement level retail and retail storage (A1 use) with the first floor converted and extended from retail storage (A1 use) for four storeys of 47 no student flats (C2 use) and associated ground floor cycle and refuse storage.

 

The application site is located within the centre of Hatfield between the pedestrianised street known as Town Centre and the private road known as Dog Kennel Lane.

 

The subject building is located to the western end of the Town Centre.  It is two-storeys in height with a flat roof and features three existing shop fronts at ground floor level and a large lean-to canopy extending out from the building.  Above the canopy, the front elevation is windowless and finished in patterned facing brick.  Servicing access is to the rear of the building via Dog Kennel Lane.

 

Adjoining the application site to the west is a building of similar scale in retail use and beyond this is a large ASDA supermarket. To the immediate east is a three storey building with flats at first floor level and within the mansard roof.  A four storey building with a flat roof faces the application site and this host retail units at ground floor with flats above.

 

This application is presented to the Development Management Committee because Hatfield Town Council have submitted a Major Objection.

 

Hatfield Town Council have raised a major objection to the proposed development for the reasons set out below:

 

“As previously objected by Hatfield Town Council. Over development of site and concerns regarding car parking. In agreement with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council previous reasons for refused application.”

 

Mr. N.Husband, Agent, spoke for the application saying that the character of the town centre has changed rapidly and the buildings built in the 1970’s are largely redundant and there are three floors that are largely empty. The upper floors are completely empty. Approval has been gained for residential use. There is a demonstrable lack of student accommodation identified through reports and local agencies. There are 176000 students’ full-time students and the flats are located relatively close to the campus and students would be within walking and cycling distance. The applicant had worked closely with planning officers to find a sensible and workable solution.

 

Councillor M.Eames-Petersen, Hatfield Town Council, spoke against the application saying that Hatfield Town Council have registered a strong objection mainly because it is very similar to the application of 2018 and the building is incongruous to the buildings around it as it is taller. It would look into the windows of the buildings opposite and block out the daylight of existing residential buildings. There are concerns over the lack of car parking. The University of Hertfordshire have vacancies in their own halls of residence and this accommodation is not very close to the University.

 

Following discussion, it was proposed and seconded by Councillors S.Elam and D.Richardson and

 

RESOLVED:

(7 in favour,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 102.

103.

APPEAL DECISIONS pdf icon PDF 83 KB

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

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) detailing recent appeal decisions for the period 18 December 2019 to 16 January 2020.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That appeal decisions during the period 18 December 2019 to 16 December 2020 be noted.

104.

PLANNING UPDATE - FUTURE PLANNING APPLICATIONS pdf icon PDF 157 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) providing the Committee with a summary of planning applications that might be presented over the next one or two months.  Members noted that if the call-in or application was withdrawn, the item would not be presented to the Committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That future planning applications which might be considered by the Committee be noted.

105.

DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE REPORT OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2019 pdf icon PDF 368 KB

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

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) relating to the performance of the Development Management Service over the three month period October to December 2019.

 

Members should note that, whilst this quarter is traditionally considered to be quarter three of the financial year, the planning department software considers this to be quarter four, as with the calendar year. Therefore Members will see that some of the graphs reflect both of these approaches.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Development Management Performance Report, October – December 2019 be noted.