Agenda item

Land At Clarence Avenue Poynders Road Atkins Road King's Avenue New Park Road And Streatham Place Including Clapham Park Estate Adjacent Land And Agnes Riley Gardens (Thornton, Clapham Common, Brixton Hill, Streatham Hill)) 17/03733/FUL

Recommendations:

1.    Resolve to approve the application, subject to conditions, completion of a Section 106 agreement and any direction as may be received following further referral to the Mayor of London.

 

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

·         Finalise the recommended conditions as set out in this report including such refinements, amendments, additions and/or deletions as the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Development considers reasonably necessary; 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, including adding to, amending and/or deleting the obligations detailed in the heads of terms as the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Development considers reasonably necessary.

 

3.    That if the Section 106 Agreement is not signed within 6 months of this committee the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Development be given delegated powers to consider refusing the application in the absence of the legal agreement.

 

4.    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 requirements of the Planning Inspector.

Minutes:

Case No. 17/03733/FUL (agenda item 2, page 1 of the agenda pack, page 1 of the addendum and page 1 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 2nd March, Tuesday 13th March and the day of the meeting. Members were advised of the key material planning issues for consideration which included the proposed land use and principles, the affordable housing provision, an environmental assessment, sustainable transport measures, parking, tree retention, housing standards, design and conservation. Members were also briefed on the phased history of the scheme and shown images of the site location and development plan. Officers then explained the planning obligations and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) contributions before recommending that the application be approved subject to the conditions in the report. The Chair said that several site visits and technical briefings had taken place in relation to this application. Members then viewed a scale model of the proposed development.

 

Following the officer’s presentation, three local residents addressed the committee and raised the following concerns:

·         The development was having a detrimental impact on the lives of long-term residents, some of who would be forced to move away from the area.

·         The applicant, Metropolitan, had distributed erroneous information about the proposals and had misled the local community.

·         No viable housing options had been presented to existing residents. A Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) valuation, based on highly conservative assumptions, prevented existing residents from obtaining comparable properties in the area.

·         Metropolitan had produced an inaccurate record of the public consultation meetings that failed to capture the concerns of residents. They could not be trusted to complete such a development.

·         Residents of Poynders Gardens Estate objected to the loss of the shops at Poynders Parade. These local shops had been the heart of the community and provided essential services for many elderly and vulnerable residents, including the Post Office and café before they had closed. The proposed retail units at Kings Avenue were too far for some people to walk to.

·         The Post Office had provided Paypoint facilities, which many residents relied on to pay for gas and electricity. The loss of this facility at Poynders Parade was a significant inconvenience.

·         The new buildings on Clapham Park had already increased the numbers of people using Agnes Riley Gardens. Residents were pleased there would be improvements to the park but wanted them to happen as soon as possible.

·         The proposed planning application did not reflect the designs that had initially been consulted on and gained the support of local residents.

·         The height and density of the development was excessive and would impact on neighbouring residential amenity.

·         100 new documents had been added to the planning portal on 6th March and residents had not had enough time to assess the changes.

·         No new health centres were proposed and an expanded Clapham Park Group Practice would not be enough to cope with the increased demand.

·         Local transport links were at breaking point and could not cope with additional stress caused by population growth. The No.45 bus route has not been considered. Other transport issues remained.

·         It was unclear who would be responsible for delivering and monitoring the condition of trees on the site.

·         The development would produce undue levels of air, noise and light pollution.

 

The applicant, architect and a local resident then provided the following information in support of the application:

·         Consultation on the Clapham Park masterplan had begun in 2015 and progressed on the basis that a full detailed application would be brought forward for approval. This was unlike any preceding masterplan and was designed to be built as presented to the Committee.

·         The Greater London Authority (GLA) had stated its full support for the scheme, in particular the architectural approach.

·         The proposals would deliver more affordable housing, larger rooms and improved amenity space for residents. There would also be a large uplift in rented and intermediate housing units. Over 35% of homes on the completed estate would be three bedrooms or larger.

·         A new cycle route was planned along Kings Avenue.

·         The scheme adhered to the density ranges prescribed in the London Plan.

·         Significant funding for public infrastructure would be secured through CIL and S106 contributions.

·         Residents would benefit from training and jobs.

·         The consultation process had been extensive and the scheme would deliver a modern, sustainable public realm for Clapham Park residents. There was an emphasis on greenery and landscaping in the design phase and open spaces would be prevalent throughout the completed development.

·         Most of the trees lost would be Category C or U and there would be a net gain of over 500 trees, many of which would be semi-mature.

·         Phase 1 of the development had greatly improved residents’ quality of life. There was more private and public amenity space, all of which was of high quality, and communities had gelled in their new neighbourhoods. Individuals and families were also benefiting from a range of new community services.

 

The ward councillors for Thornton (Councillors Ed Davie, Lib Peck and Diana Morris) then spoke in general support for the application, highlighting some reservations. They stated that:

·         Thornton ward councillors had submitted a lengthy set of observations for consideration by the committee. Broadly they supported the scheme which would deliver new and improved homes for many Lambeth residents. However they also had a number of reservations about the scheme.

·         The masterplan should deliver not just a housing development, but a neighbourhood intimately connected with its surroundings.

·         The existing space for health facilities should be maintained in the new development until a further review categorically concluded that it was not required.

·         Ward Members welcomed the comprehensive package of employment measures but requested that a good proportion of the opportunities be made available to the residents of the estate. Monitoring report should be made publically available.

·         The discharge of Condition 38 (relating to waste arrangements) should be accompanied by a study of the efficacy of the current underground facilities and their contribution to the recycling rate.

·         Concern remained over the location of shops and services on the estate, in particular the shifting of the Local Centre from Poynders Parade to Kings Avenue. Despite retail study predictions, a continued presence of commercial units on Poynders Parade was desirable. These units would help to connect Clapham Park Estate with the wider neighbourhood. This was a high order local planning decision.

·         Some ground floor units at the Clarence Avenue end of the scheme should be converted to commercial units.

·         Metropolitan should also use best endeavours to ensure that pharmacy and Paypoint facilities were provided on the redeveloped estate.  

·         In relation to environmental impact, there should be full notification to residents of disruptive activities and provision of responsive communication channels.  The related conditions should be widened to include vulnerable residents who would need to be warned of noisy phases in the development process. Furthermore, construction plans for each phase should be returned to committee for deliberation following consultation.

·         A management plan was required to prevent buses from idling.

·         Financial contributions were essential to the proposals around Agnes Riley Gardens. Members welcomed the uprated S106 contribution to the park and said that the variation was necessary for the masterplan to be acceptable. 

·         That the Committee ensure that access to a range of play did not involve crossing busy roads. Condition 48 could be strengthened to this effect.

·         On amenity impact, minor amendments should be considered to Sites A. The height of Site E should also be reduced.

·         Scrutton Close residents had raised concerns about the overbearing impact of Site CO5.

·         On transport, it was unclear why improvements to the No.45 bus route had not also been considered. Also, permeable pedestrian walkways should be maintained throughout the development at all times.

·         Concerns were raised over vehicular access being granted between Kings Avenue and Tilsen Gardens.

·         Replacement trees needed to be mature as was consistent with the Council’s arboricultural practice.

·         The development should include provision for retirement living.

 

The ward councillor for Clapham Common, Councillor Tim Briggs, then raised the following concerns with the scheme:

·         It was unfortunate only three objectors had been allowed to address the Committee.

·         The proposals included no parking plan and each unit should be entitled to one parking place each with an electric charging point.

·         The development was too dense and oppressive, with too many properties.

 

Officers then provided the following information in response to a range of questions from Members. On occasion, the applicant and accompanying technical experts provided additional points of clarification. Members were advised that:

·         On land use and principles, whilst no formalised health centre was included in the plans, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was engaged in a two-phased refurbishment of the existing health centre. The Chief Finance Officer for Lambeth CCG explained the nature of the refurbishment and confirmed that the enhanced provision could accommodate the increased demand from population growth up to and beyond 2034. The changing demographics of the area had also been taken into account.

·         In relation to the proposed loss of shops at Poynders Parade, a detailed retail study had been undertaken and concluded there would be insufficient purchasing power in the Clarence Avenue area to make small-scale commercial units viable. The logical location for the new Local Centre was on Kings Avenue.

·         Businesses on Poynders Parade had struggled to survive in recent years. The option of providing commercial units had been explored but would be difficult to deliver. Kings Avenue was the most accessible part of the estate and more residents would benefit from a new Local Centre. The proposals were in accordance with the Local Plan.

·         Alternative Post Office and Paypoint facilities were available in the local area. Provision of services previously available at Poynders Parade could feature in the new Local Centre, but this was not a planning issue. Metropolitan had been in discussions with a local supermarket about the possibility of providing Paypoint facilities. They had also offered a commercial unit to be used as a pharmacy but no potential occupants had been forthcoming.

·         A condition was in place to ensure 40% of non-residential units would be A1 use class (including pharmacies). Professional services would be restricted to one unit, currently earmarked for Metropolitan.

·         Officers explained the difference between existing affordable residential units at existing rents levels and new affordable provision at London Affordable Rents. The quality of the offer was noted.

·         Thames Water had been consulted and were satisfied with the service capacity on the estate.

·         The Energy Strategy, to be secured by condition, would ensure a significant reduction in carbon emissions. The Energy Centre would provide power for the whole development.

·         A Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) would be approved by condition and an ongoing review mechanism could be built-in should Members recommend it.

·         Transport for London (TfL) had been consulted on the scheme and responded that the No.355 bus route would require additional capacity following completion. They did not think the No.45 bus route but required further capacity. Officers were unable to view the TfL assessment.

·         The scheme was compliant with the London Plan requirement for electric car charging points. It would be possible to retrofit further charging points in future if necessary.

·         The proposals for Kings Avenue had been altered significantly to include a cycling route which linked up with the wider network. There were long-term ambitions to link this cycle route to Quietway 7. Lots of work had also been undertaken to improve the quality and access to cycle parking.

·         Officers had worked with the applicants to plan the pedestrian experience throughout the estate. A pedestrian environment review had been completed and additional funding for infrastructure would be secured through S106. Officers were satisfied with the wide pedestrian crossing and general accessibility of the neighbourhood.

 

There was a brief adjournment from 21:04 to 21:09.

 

·         Cladding for the buildings had been specifically chosen to create distinct character zones.

·         Most of the semi-mature trees would be planted in the public open spaces, with 300 such trees across six sites. This would have a considerable visual impact. A tree protection plan would need to be submitted for each of the sites; as required by condition and the proposed species were suitable for the location.

·         There would be no charge to use any of the public amenity space.

·         The existing waste and recycling provision on the estate was isolated and subject to fly-tipping. Details of waste and recycling storage for the proposed scheme would need to be submitted to officers and was secured by condition.

·         In order to secure a contribution towards Agnes Riley Gardens under Section 106, an application for a separate Deed of Variation had been made to bring the contribution forward into Phase 1 of the development. This would potentially bring the contributions forward quicker.

·         The level of formal and informal play space was proportionate to the overall strategy. If desired, an informative could be added to Condition 48 requesting that the applicants minimise the need to cross busy roads in order to access the play facilities.

·         The scheme was compliant with the Employment and Skills Supplementary Planning Document recently implemented by the Council. The focus was likely to be on creating end-use employment for local people.

 

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

·         Members generally welcomed the proposals but had concerns about the environmental impact of the construction process given the scale of the development. A review mechanism should be built into the CEMP to ensure full and proper public consultation throughout the phased development. This issue could be referred back to the Committee if necessary.

·         The masterplan would improve residents’ standard of living and the focus on landscaping was commended. It was a significant improvement on previous designs, with a consistent neighbourhood feel and good permeability for pedestrians and cyclists.

·         There was a collective hesitancy over the centralisation of the Local Centre and associated loss of commercial units at Poynders Parade. Members felt this could have a detrimental impact on the physical relationship between the estate and surrounding neighbourhoods. Ideally, some flexibility would be included in the scheme to add localised commercial units in future. In response, officers noted the retail study conducted and advised Members that they could only consider the scheme as presented.

·         There was some concern about the provision of local healthcare facilities given the inevitable population growth on the estate. In response, officers noted that the representative from Lambeth CCG did not share these concerns; having stated that the enhanced provision could accommodate the increased demand. They also said there were D1 units in the scheme which could accommodate further healthcare provision should it be required. 

·         The population growth would undoubtedly affect local bus and train routes, including Brixton and Streatham Hill stations. Unfortunately it was not within the Committee’s gift to analyse TfL’s capacity assessment.

·         An informative should be added to Condition 48 requesting that the applicants minimise the need to cross busy roads in order to access the play facilities.

·         Thames Water should be required to carry out an impact assessment to ensure service capacity in the locality.

·         The scheme would benefit from more than the proposed number of electric charging points. 

 

At 22:00 the Committee elected to proceed with the meeting for a maximum of a further 45 minutes in order to conclude the remaining matters of business.

 

·         Whilst prioritising end-use jobs, efforts should be made by the applicant to provide jobs and training for local people throughout the course of the development process.

·         The applicant should use best endeavours to provide Paypoint, Post Office and pharmacy services within the non-residential units on the estate.

·         Efforts should be made to discourage buses from idling at bus stops on the estate.

 

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

 

RESOLVED, unanimously

 

1. To approve the application, subject to a Section 106 agreement and the conditions as outlined in the officer’s report and published addenda. Also subject to any direction as may be received following further referral to the Mayor of London and the following:

      i.        An amendment to Condition 35 (Internal residential water use) requiring liaison with Thames Water in carrying out an assessment of the water supply to the estate

     ii.        An amendment to Condition 11 (Construction Environmental Management Plan) to ensure the CEMP includes provision for full and timely notification of disruptive activities to residents and neighbours of the development. There should also be a requirement for a single responsive point of contact.

    iii.        An additional informative to be added to the CEMP requesting that the applicant give due regard to other construction works being undertaken in the local vicinity.

   iv.        The Section 106 agreement to include a requirement for the applicant/owner to set up a Neighbourhood Communication Group, including ward councillors, enabling local residents to correspond directly with the applicants on issues relating to the construction process.

    v.        An amendment to Condition 48 (Child Play Space Strategy and Details) requesting that the applicant minimise the crossing of busy roads to access play space.

   vi.        Monitoring Boards should communicate any recorded progress on skills, training and employment directly to residents.

  vii.        An additional informative encouraging the applicant to use best endeavours to provide Paypoint, Post Office and pharmacy services on the estate.

 

2. Agree to delegate authority to the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and

Development to:

·         Finalise the recommended conditions as set out in this report including such refinements, amendments, additions and/or deletions as the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Development considers reasonably necessary; 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, including adding to, amending and/or deleting the obligations detailed in the heads of terms as the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Development considers reasonably necessary.

 

3. That if the Section 106 Agreement is not signed within 6 months of this committee the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Development be given delegated powers to consider refusing the application in the absence of the legal agreement.

Supporting documents: