Greenwich Council

Agenda item

Buildings 10, 11 and Royal Carriage Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, SE18 (Ref: 16/2807/F)

Members to consider planning application for change of use and alteration of two Grade II Listed Buildings to provide mixed use development comprising 146 residential units with refuse/recycling and cycle parking, 2150 sqm commercial use and a public square with vehicle access and drop off, and landscaping. (2nd Reconsultation - revised proposals for servicing and the public square).

Decision:

Resolved –

 

That Full Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent be granted for change of use and alteration of two Grade II Listed Buildings to provide mixed use development comprising 146 residential units with refuse/recycling and cycle parking, 2150 sqm commercial use and a public square with vehicle access and drop off, and landscaping.

 

Subject to:

 

(i)           Referral of the application to the Mayor of London as required under the terms of The Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008;

(ii)         The satisfactory completion of a Section 106 (S106) Legal Agreement; and

(iii)       Conditions set out in Appendix 2 of the main report

 

And

 

·                     Amendments in the Addendum Report tabled at the meeting.

Minutes:

The Planning Manager (Major Developments) gave an illustrative presentation to the report, recommending to the Board to approve the proposal therein.  It was stated that the applicant required Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent to change the use of, and make alterations to two Grade II Listed Buildings.

 

The Board noted the report.  It was recognised that the proposal was related to an application for the construction of a mix-use development that would comprise of 146 residential units, and associated amenities.

 

In considering the proposal, the Board received guidance from the Planning Manager that the application was a resubmission following a deferral at its meeting on 22 November 2016, in order for the applicant to clarify areas for servicing activities, and accessing and manoeuvring of vehicles on the proposed site.  It was suggested that the report should therefore be considered in conjunction with the addendum to it circulated at the meeting, and documentation in the published Supplementary Agenda.

 

The meeting was addressed by sixteen residents who spoke individually against the proposal.  The objectors advised the Board to reject the recommendation in the report because the proposal was contrary to the relevant planning policies and guidelines, and that concerns expressed by residents during the consultations were not adequately addressed in the report.  It was also the view of the objectors that the officer’s presentation at the meeting was misleading because it failed to highlight the extent of the impact of the proposed development.  The objectors advised the Board that residents believed that the proposal would divert from the specifications of approved masterplan for the Royal Arsenal to create an overdevelopment in the environment.  It was stated that the dominance would lead to an unacceptable overshadowing onto existing properties, particularly when set against East Carriage House, West Carriage House, and Bentham House.  Therefore, residents were concerned about potential financial losses by a fall in property prices in the area, and adverse impact on their health and living conditions due to loss of daylight, sunlight, and privacy.

 

The Board was further advised by the objectors the Traffic Plan in its current state would be inadequate, because it would lead to an increase in air pollution in the environment.  It was the view of the objectors that proposal for managing vehicle movements during construction work, and upon delivery of the scheme would create chaos at exists and entrances on the surrounding roads.  The Board was advised that the arrangements for managing the operations after the implementation of the proposed Crossrail station were also insufficient.

 

Councillor John Fahy addressed the meeting on behalf of his constituents, echoing statements made by the objectors who spoke earlier on at the meeting, and advising that the proposed development would not respect the quality and setting of the historic Royal Arsenal.  Councillor Fahy stated that residents were not against the regeneration of the local area, but that what had been proposed would create an over-development, with adverse impact on their health and living conditions.  Therefore, the Board should reject the officer’s recommendation in the report.  Councillor Fahy was also of the view that the Council should be mindful not to set an unacceptable precedent by accepting the proposed £1,000,000 (one million pounds) contribution from the applicant in place of affordable housing provision on-site.

 

The agent for the applicant also addressed the meeting, suggesting to the Board to agree the officer’s recommendation.  The agent stated that the viability assessment was independent, and that the applicant had complied with the relevant planning policies and guidelines in light of financial and environmental constraints.

 

In response to questions raised, the Planning Manager advised the Board that the recommendation to approve the proposal was made because the Council took the view that the benefits outweighed the drawbacks in planning terms.  It was stated that three consultations were conducted, including press notices.  Letters and emails were sent to residents, local groups, and statutory organisations.  The outcome from third consultation exercise resulted in a decision to revise the design and layout of the public realms, and issue details relating to the proposed commercial units, and arrangements for refuse, and vehicle drop off areas.  It was confirmed that the Council’s Highway officers would continue to work with the applicant to ensure adequate traffic management arrangements during and after construction of the proposed development.

 

The Board also noted clarification from the Planning Manager that the proposed distances between the host building and existing dwellings was considered to be appropriate in the urban setting.  It was stated that a sunlight and daylight assessment was submitted with the application, and the Council commissioned a consultant to complete a peer review of the issues.  The Board was advised that based on the technical analysis, the Council took the view that the majority of neighbouring properties would fully accord with the Building Research Guidelines (BRE) requirement for assessing daylight and sunlight.

 

The Planning Manager continued with his response, advising the Board that although the independent viability assessment submitted by the applicant was considered adequate, safeguards would ensure a review mechanism to reassess the financial situation prior to implementation.  Furthermore, financial losses associated with the refurbishment of Building 11 would be recouped through the delivery of the residential element of the Building 10 to provide a financial return across the scheme.  It was also clarified that the proposed £1,000,000 (one million pounds) contribution by the applicant was considered appropriate because the Council’s Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) provided that where on-site affordable housing could not be achieved, off-site provision should be considered.

 

In considering submissions made at the meeting, the majority of Members were of the view that the applicant had complied with relevant planning policies and guidelines.  In particular, the offer for affordable housing was in compliance with the Council’s SPD, and the financial viability assessment should be welcomed.  Furthermore, the losses associated with the refurbishment of Building 11 would be recouped by delivery of the residential element of the Building 10 to provide a financial return across the scheme.

 

Other Members echoed concerns about overshadowing, advising that they were convinced that the proposal would create an overdevelopment.  Therefore, it was unlikely that the proposed development would provide a positive contribution in the urban setting of Woolwich.

 

The Board voted with a result of 2 abstentions, 3 against, and 9 in favour of the proposal.  It was

 

Resolved –

 

That Full Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent be granted for change of use and alteration of two Grade II Listed Buildings to provide mixed use development comprising 146 residential units with refuse/recycling and cycle parking, 2150 sqm commercial use and a public square with vehicle access and drop off, and landscaping.

 

Subject to:

 

(i)           Referral of the application to the Mayor of London as required under the terms of The Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008;

(ii)         The satisfactory completion of a Section 106 (S106) Legal Agreement; and

(iii)       Conditions set out in Appendix 2 of the main report

 

And

 

·                    Amendments in the Addendum Report tabled at the meeting.

Supporting documents: