Agenda item

Broomwood Hall School, 3 Garrads Road (St Leonards) 19/02496/FUL

Officers’ recommendations:

 

1.    Resolve to grant conditional planning permission.

 

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, addendums and/or PAC minutes.

 

Minutes:

Case No. 19/02496/FUL (agenda item three, page 13 of the agenda pack, page one of the first 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 7 February 2020 and the day of the meeting. Members were advised of the key material planning issues for consideration and noted that the property was a detached 1920’s Arts and Crafts style building set in spacious grounds, with an existing extension along the side and games court with fencing, and was currently a Class D1 preparatory school located in a residential area. The previous application had been dismissed by the Inspector mainly due to the length and mass of the proposed extension and the impact on residential amenity to the adjoining property at 1 Garrads Road. The application had not requested changes to land use, and therefore no land use issues were raised. Site visit images were presented, which displayed the current site with the gazebo that was proposed to be demolished, the boundary to neighbouring properties, trees proposed to be removed and the location of the proposed extension. The noise pollution officer’s assessment concluded that no unacceptable impacts from noise, vibration nor odour from the proposed plant located at ground floor level facing the boundary with 1 Garrads Road would occur. Conditions 14 through to 17 of the proposal would mitigate any noise impacts that should arise, with the wording to condition 16 being updated in the second addendum to restrict the use of the extract systems. The proposal was not considered to harm highway conditions of on-street parking or prejudice conditions for the free flow of traffic and highway safety.

 

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

·         The application remained unsympathetic and bulky and neighbouring amenity did not seem to have been considered.

·         Residents would be expected to deal with the mechanical plant noise and the noise report only considered neighbours’ houses and not gardens.

·         There was no restriction on the school’s hours of use, and the switch to the secondary school would increase demand.

·         The school had openly breached conditions in the past and concern was expressed that the proposed conditions would also be breached.

·         The side extension would unbalance the symmetry of the building, which was proposed to be twice the size of the other side.

·         The PAC report stated that the extensions were subordinate, despite the footprint and area exceeding the original house.

·         The basement extension conflicted with emerging policy Q27D as it would be visible to all neighbours.

·         The report misdirected readers in its advice on the weight to be afforded to emerging Local Plan policies in decision making.

·         Members did not have adequate information to make a robust and safe decision.

·         There was no cumulative assessment inclusive of the Streatham and Clapham School expansion and the report mentioned it was pending, whereas it had now been completed.

·         The poor frequency of the 315 bus route was not mentioned in the addendum, which was different to capacity. Due to the frequency, it forced individuals to use cars.

·         Objectors requested that a more sensitive extension be presented.

 

The applicant’s representative and agent then provided the following information in support of the application:

·         The school had been situated in the locality since 1998 and had contributed to the general improvement of the neighbourhood over the years through the improvements to the site and condition of the buildings. The applicant hoped that a secondary school would be more integrated into the community through charitable work and community projects.

·         The application would provide needed facilities for the existing school including a basement level hall and no increase in pupil numbers was proposed.

·         Since the dismissal by the Planning Inspectorate, pre-application discussions had taken place with Lambeth officers.

·         The two main issues raised by the Inspector were; the cedar cladding materials and the loss of outlook and sense of enclosure. Both of which had been resolved.

·         The proposed conditions would ensure that details such as material samples could be reviewed and agreed by officers prior to building commencing.

·         Noise impact assessment of plant equipment was considered acceptable by officers.

·         There were no objections to the proposal from conservation and design, transport, environmental health officers nor TfL.

 

Councillor Jonathan Bartley then spoke as Ward Councillor for St Leonard’s Ward, stating the following:

·         He objected to the application. He noted there were over 30 residential objections along with his.

·         The scheme would have adverse heritage impacts, unbalance the building and impact on neighbouring amenity.

·         He believed it to be inappropriate to have a secondary school at the site after the recent expansion of the Streatham and Clapham School.

·         Concerns were raised regarding air pollution because vehicle use would not drop as there were 30 cycle spaces proposed for 160 students.

 

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

·         The Draft Streatham Park Garrads Road Conservation Area Statement had gone through public consultation and had not been formally adopted.

·         The 2016 refusal was a delegated decision by officers and was not put forward to the Planning Applications Committee. Officers believed that the scale, bulk appearance and massing were not considered to harm the locally listed building.

·         The proposed trees to be removed in the appeal scheme were T14, T15 and T16 and new trees would be planted in their place. The tree officer had not raised any objections to the proposed landscaping and had proposed conditions to ensure different species that could grow larger in the long term. The exact quantity, size, species, position and proposed time of planting would be confirmed with the submission of the soft landscaping and tree planting details.

·         The property was one of the largest on Garrads Road with a substantial amount of soft landscaping.  The glazed element of the stair core linking the locally listed building to the single storey extension block would allow glimpses through to the garden. It was noted that it was not a residential garden, but that the additional extension would not harm the overall conservation area.

·         The symmetrical form was considered in terms of form and how it was expressed externally which included the repeated window patterns, the mansard in the centre, the canted bay and an entrance with columns. The asymmetry was on the elevation features.

·         The material for the bronze PPC metal system for the link building and windows and doors for the extension did not have to replicate the existing.

·         Noise levels were designed to be below background noise level and would be unlikely to be heard from the neighbouring gardens. The equipment would only be in use during school hours.

·         TfL had not identified any issues on the capacity of public transport services, specifically on bus route 315.

·         The travel plan incorporated the children’s travel to and from the school and not any additional events or weekend activities.

·         The events in the school would only be for pupils attending the school, and not external pupils that were from associated schools.

·         There were no current restrictions on operating hours for the existing site, and therefore officers did not believe it to be necessary to impose a restriction to this effect on the proposed development.

·         The kitchen and dining room were proposed for the basement level.

·         A green screen had not been discussed as part of an air pollution mitigation measure but could be secured as part of the soft landscaping measures.

·         There were currently no hall facilities in the school for all pupils to congregate at the same time.

·         There was a condition proposed to ensure that the brickwork and slate of the roof would be sympathetic to the existing building.

·         Lambeth Local Plan’s policy S3 would not apply to a private school.

·         The Controlled Parking Zone Consultation stage 1 process had taken place last year, and the information was being reviewed.

 

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

·         The scheme would read as a subordinate addition and was not contrary to policy Q14.

·         The proposed development would reduce the sense of massing and enclosure in comparison to the previously refused scheme.

·         The change of use class was not a material planning consideration.

·         Some Members expressed a preference for the provision of more cycle spaces to encourage healthier lifestyles but agreed that the proposal complied with London Plan requirements.

·         Concerns were raised about the impact on public transport but TfL’s advice in that respect was noted.

·         There needed to be further investigation into soft landscaping in regards to the quality of replacement tree planting and an investigation into the possibility of a green screen for air pollution.

·         The potential for evening events in the hall was a relevant consideration. 

·         Condition 20 concerning the school travel plan should encourage parents who would be visiting the school to use forms of transport other than cars.

·         Concerns were raised that the kitchen and dining room was subterranean, as it would require an extraction fan and condenser.

·         The location of the extension would be visually impoverished by the removal of the mature trees and would have felt more reassured if there had been a plan included in the report.

·         Some Members questioned whether the scheme was symmetrical and noted that the length of the scheme still remained the same, albeit staggered.

 

Officers advised that policy S3 was specific to State funded schools. The Inspector had considered as set out in paragraph 39 the earlier appeal decision that the provision of private school places could amount to a public benefit because of the potential freeing up of public places at other schools.

 

It was MOVED by Councillor Kind, SECONDED by Councillor Simpson, and

RESOLVED, six votes for, one vote against.

 

1.    To GRANT planning permission subject to the conditions as outlined in the officer’s report and published addenda and the following:

                      i.        An additional informative to accompany Condition 8 to request that the provision of advanced sized stock or semi-mature trees, which were sympathetic to the context, were included within the landscaping scheme where possible. The applicant should also explore the use of a green screen to the Garrads Road frontage to mitigate air pollution.

                     ii.        A new condition to secure the submission of an Operational Management Plan (OMP). This should be accompanied by an informative to advise that the OMP included a restriction on weekend and evening activities within the multi-purpose hall to a maximum of six activities per year and that should the condition be proposed to be altered, that Ward Councillors be informed of such an application.

                    iii.        To amend Condition 20 (travel plan) to include details of how the school would encourage parents to travel to the school using other forms of transport other than cars for evening activities.

 

2.    To delegate authority to the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Development to finalise the recommended conditions as set out in the report, addendums and/or PAC minutes.

 

Supporting documents: