Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance).
Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the erection of a 6 x storey building comprising of 80 x flats and associated works to include undercroft car parking, cycling parking, plant and refuse storage.
The site (0.43 hectares in size) was located to the south of Queensway and the north of Link Drive and was currently used as a surface car park which had 114 spaces (long stay). The car park was operated by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. Vehicular access to the site was from Link Drive and there was pedestrian access to the site from the town centre (via both a pedestrian crossing and underpass further to the north-east).
The application was presented to the Committee because the application was a major development and the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council was the applicant.
Anthony Shapland., Agent, spoke for the application saying that this development was intrinsically linked with the development of White Lion Square, the multi-storey car park and One Town Centre. This application for 80 new homes consisted of a single L shaped building. The ground floor provided car-parking, cycle storage and bin stores. All living accommodation was above ground floor. The design had emerged through collaboration with key stakeholders, including Historic England and the Hatfield Renewal Partnership. The proposals were also influenced by extensive public engagement and significant historical and architectural research. The development would result in 25% Affordable Housing, improvements to the highways network and the linking of the cycle routes through the town centre. Construction of this development would not take place until the building of the new multi-storey car-park had been completed to ensure the maximum number of car parking spaces would always be available in the town centre.
Councillor Margaret Eames-Petersen, Hatfield Town Council provided a statement to be read out. Hatfield Town Council raised the following concerns; there was no diagram given in the agenda which showed the exact location of the flats, loss of parking, flood risk, preservation of the Millennium Memorial tree and safety concerns regarding the skateboard park glass barrier. Concerns were also raised about the lack of infra-structure and the urgent need for another doctor’s surgery.
Following discussion, it was proposed and seconded by Councillors S.Wrenn and R.Lass and
(11 in favour and 2 against)
That planning permission be APPROVED subject to the completion of a S106 planning agreement and with suggested conditions including amendments to condition 6; to read:-
Prior to any above ground development, details relating to a scheme to protect the proposed development from noise due to traffic, the skate park and commercial/industrial businesses the applicant shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, and thereafter shall be implemented prior to the first occupation of any part of the development.
For traffic noise the scheme shall ensure that indoor ambient noise levels in living rooms and bedrooms meet the standards within BS8233:2014. For commercial/industrial noise and skate park noise the scheme shall ensure the indoor ambient noise levels in living rooms and bedrooms are 5dB below the standards within BS 8233:2014 and LAmax levels are not to exceed 45dB internally with windows closed.
If opening windows raises the noise levels above those listed above, then mechanical ventilation will need to be installed, with ventilation rates required to meet those found within The Noise Insulation Regulations 1975. Alternative methods and rates can be considered, however, evidence that overheating will not occur will need to be provided in the form of a SAP assessment conducted with windows closed, no reliance on closed curtains/blinds and the ventilation rate for the system being substituted for those within Appendix P. Outdoor amenity areas will need to meet the 55dB WHO Community Noise Guideline Level.