Agenda item

41-45 Acre Lane (Brixton Hill) 17/03846/FUL

Recommendations:

 

1.    Resolve to grant conditional planning permission subject to the completion of an agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to secure the planning obligations listed in this report.

 

2.    Agree to delegate authority to the Director of Planning and Development to:

 

-       Finalise the recommended conditions as set out in this report; and

-       Negotiate, agree and finalise the planning obligations as set out in this report pursuant to Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

 

3.    In the event that the committee resolves to refuse planning permission and there is a subsequent appeal, delegated authority is given to officers, having regard to the heads of terms set out in the report, to negotiate and complete a document containing obligations pursuant to Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in order to meet the requirement of the Planning Inspector.

 

Minutes:

Case No. 17/03846/FUL (agenda item three, page 17 of the agenda pack, page one of the addendum and page one of the second addendum).

 

The Planning Officer gave a presentation which included a summary of the report and subsequent addenda that had been published on Friday 23 February 2018 and the day of the meeting. Members were advised of the key material planning issues for consideration which included the demolition of the existing building, the erection of an up to five storey mixed use office and residential building with associated cycle and refuse storage.  Members were shown images of the site location, the proposed site plan and proposed floorplans.  The current use of the site, a coffee shop, was not a lawful use and was being investigated by Enforcement.  A previous application on the site was refused by the PAC in April 2017 because of its inappropriate scale, massing and design.  This application differed from the previously refused scheme in the removal of retail space, a change in configuration of balconies and reduced massing.  Members viewed samples of materials.

 

Following the officer’s presentation, the objector raised the following concerns:

·         This was the third application on this site.  Following the refusal by the Committee in April 2017, the applicant had appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, which had upheld the Committee’s decision.

·         The issues of bulk and scale had not been addressed.  The application was only one storey lower than the previously refused application, and was still taller than surrounding buildings.

The architect then provided the following information in support of the application:

·         The applicant had worked closely with officers following the prior refusal to develop an acceptable application.

·         Surrounding houses were 3.5 storeys tall, and the application was five storeys at its highest.  The proposal fit well within the wider Brixton context.

·         There would be good quality residential accommodation of a range of tenures, including houses and wheelchair accessible units.

Officers then provided the following information in response to questions from Members:

·         No treatment was planned on the blank facing walls, but texture and variety would be provided with brick choice and zinc massing.

·         The curved design to the corner was a good design feature, and would add interest and prominence to the corner.  Officers had been provided with additional detail of the glass box element of the corner, and felt that it would be a positive addition to the design.

·         The detailing of the balustrades would be agreed through conditions, and privacy and transparency would be considered when agreeing detailing.

·         Of the five affordable units, three would be shared ownership and two would be for social rent.  21% of homes in the application would be affordable, which the viability assessment had calculated was the maximum amount of affordable housing that could be viably delivered.

·         The existing value was calculated from the last lawful use.

·         There would be lightwells in the offices in the basement.  Each office unit would have some space on the ground floor.

·         Weekend operating hours for the office space were considered appropriate given the site’s proximity to Brixton town centre. 

·         The glass box could be reduced in height and the applicant had indicated that he was amenable to this.

The Committee considered points raised by speakers and information provided by officers in conjunction with the report before making the following observations:

·         The changes from the previous application overcame the reasons for refusal, such as through the reduced massing and stepped down building line.

·         Intensification of residential use was increasingly common in the area.  There was a number of buildings of a similar height nearby.

·         The glass box element was too big and would be too imposing.  There was no clear planning rationale for it.

·         The provision of office space was welcome.  An active frontage should be provided.

·         The low level of affordable housing was disappointing.  However, a higher amount of affordable housing was not viable, and two 3-bedroom houses at social rent would be provided through the application.

·         Metal railings should be avoided when deciding on materials for the balustrades, with obscured glazing being the preferred option.

·         An informative should be added regarding the blank facades.

·         Obscured panels should be added to the bottom of the glazing of the ground floor office units to cover any clutter at floor level.

 

It was MOVED by Councillor Morris, SECONDED by Councillor Haselden, and

 

RESOLVED, unanimously

 

1.   To APPROVE planning permission subject to a Section 106 Agreement and the conditions as outlined in the officer’s report and published addenda and the following:

i.              An informative requesting good variation on final choice of bricks.

ii.             An informative requesting the breaking up of blank façades through the variation of the chosen bricks.       .

iii.            An informative requesting that obscured glazing be used for balustrades.

iv.           An additional condition to secure the reduction in height of the glass box element.

v.            An additional condition to secure obscuring on the lower part of the glass frontage on the ground floor of the office accommodation, to ensure that no clutter is visible.

vi.           An informative requesting that the windows of the office use be configured to ensure an active frontage.

vii.          The S106 agreement to be amended to explicitly refer to social rent.

 

2.   Agree to delegate authority to the Director of Planning and Development to:

·         Finalise the recommended conditions as set out in this report; and

·         Negotiate, agree and finalise the planning obligations as set out in this report pursuant to Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

 

Supporting documents: