Greenwich Council

Agenda item

Charlton Park, Charlton Park Road, Charlton, SE7 (17/1288/F)

The Board is requested to grant reserved matters approval for access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale pursuant to Condition 2 of Outline Planning Permission (ref: 16/0058/O) granted by the Planning Board on 14th September 2016 fora proposed new skate park within Charlton Park adjacent to the existing 2012 Olympic Facility.


Granted reserved matters approvalas outlined below:

·       For access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale pursuant to Condition 2 of Outline Planning Permission (ref: 16/0058/O) granted by the Planning Board on 14th September 2016 fora proposed new skate park within Charlton Park adjacent to the existing 2012 Olympic Facility.



The Chair reminded the Board and attendees that this Item was to consider reserved matters only; not the principle of the application which had already been dealt with.


The Chair advised the Board Members that he had received a complaint from a member, of who had submitted representations on this item, that the email notification of this meeting was not prominent and that they understood that it had always been the practice of the Council to issue written notifications.  The Chair advised the Members that he had spoken to officers who had confirmed that the current procedure was to send email notification, where an email address was held and letter where only a postal address was supplied. 


The Planning Board accepted an address from Ms Leeke, member of the public who had also raised concern regarding notification of the meeting in that, whilst she had emailed comments on the applications to Planning officers she had not received any form of notification of the meeting and it was by chance she had become aware of it. 


The Planning Board accepted an address from Mr Tidy, who advised that he had made the complaint as he had completely missed the email communication, having checked numerous ways that the notification could have been submitted to him.  He felt that it had not been made sufficiently obvious that the email notification was from the Royal Borough or relating to a planning matter.  He continued that in the several years he had made comment on planning applications and despite submitting those comments by email, he had always received written notification of the meetings. 


The Area Planning Manager (East) confirmed to the Board Members that Miss Leeke’s representation had been received and her comments were taken into account within the report.  Further, whilst she had not been notified of the meeting she was in attendance at the meeting and therefore, was able to make representations to the Planning Board Members.  He assured the Planning Board that Planning Officers had checked their records and no other comments or objections had been received were the person has not been notified of the meeting. 


The Area Planning Manager (East) advised the Board Members that an email had been sent to Mr Tidy and whilst the name of the sender would have been the Committee Officer, the email title was clearly indicated as relating to this Planning Board meeting and was considered sufficient notification of this meeting. 


The Planning Board accepted a further address from Mr Tidy who commented that given the relatively low number public attendees, in relation to this item, this was an indication of a failure of the Council to communicate with the community and public and that it was not possible for Member to know the number of people who had not received notification of the meeting.  He felt that it would be sensible to postpone consideration of this item and ensure all parties were notified of the next meeting.  He advised the Board that he was aware of the Councils procedure’s and was awaiting a formal response from the Authority, to his initial complaint, which, if he did not feel was satisfactory he would take to the Government Ombudsman.


Planning Officers responded to a Board Members question that this was a reserve matter application and the number of objections received had dramatically reduced since the outline application.  That 14 individuals had submitted comment or were consulted and were be notified of the meeting, of which 13 had been advised to Committee Services, who confirmed that the notifications were issued.  Further, although Miss Leeke was not notified she was in attendance and able to take part in the process.


The Chair asked the Planning Board Members if they wished to adjourn consideration of this item.  The Board Members indicated that they wished to proceed with consideration of the application.


The Senior Principal Planner presented the report with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation advising that this was for reserved matters as outline planning permission had been granted.  That, in relation to this reserved matters application, 163 letters were sent to individual occupants within the vicinity of the application as well as display of the statutory notice.


In response to questions from the Board Members the Senior Principal Planner advised that no screening was proposed as the facility would be below ground level and visual screening was not required.  Screening to reduce noise levels was not considered as required due to the distance from properties, existing foliage and no request of noise mitigation had arisen in relation to the existing gym. Further, the Metropolitan Police have advised against screening on security grounds.


The Senior Principal Planner advised that landscaping was not proposed in order to retain the open aspect of the park.  That the skate bowl would be constructed in accordance with ROSPA guidance and accreditation would be awarded by inspection after construction; it was not possible to get accreditation prior to construction.  There was no guidance on the distance the skate bowl should be from the outdoor gym but the location of the gym had been taken into account and the skate bowl would not be abutting directly onto the Gym.


The Senior Principal Planner reported that the advice had been received not to colour the concrete the skate bowl was to be constructed of as, if graffiti would occur it would do so regardless of the concrete colour.  Further, there was no known problem with graffiti in the area and daily inspections would take place with any graffiti being removed in 3 days, unless it was offensive in which case it would be removed in 1 day.


The Planning Board accepted and address from the Chairman of the Friends of Charlton Park speaking in objection.  He advised that It was felt the skate bowl should not be built until the ROSPA certification was obtained and assurance was sought that CCTV would be installed.  There was concern the facility would be built and park users would be left with a giant concrete structure that was not marshalled or managed.  There appeared to be no opening or closing time for the facility and there were concerns at clashes between skateboarders skating on the paths and other park users.  Concerns had been raised that the facility would attract the ‘wrong type’ of person to the area and change the character of the park, if it was not properly managed and questioned how enforcement of no alcohol policy in the park be managed to ensure that broken glass would not be an issue for dog walkers and children using the park as litter picking was once-a-day at midday and not at all on Sunday.  It was felt that a noise impact survey should be carried out and he sought assurance that the communities concerns about security and safety would be acknowledged.


The Board sought clarification, from the Chairman of the Friends of Charlton Park, as to who or what was meant by the ‘wrong type’ of people, to which he replied that the Park had had a past reputation as a dangerous area and, whilst this was no longer the case situations could quickly change.  The park users and residents were not police and there were concerns that the isolated location would attract people, other than skateboarders.


The Planning Board accepted addresses from three members of the public who spoke in objection to the application, two indicated that that they did not have objections to skateboarding in principle.  Concerns was raised at how close the skatepark would wrap around the existing outdoor gym which would attract two different user groups and it was felt that many people who used the gym or walk their dogs in the park would be deterred from using the area due to large groups of, mainly, young people.  Whilst there was a degree of re-assurance at that the Met Police had been consulted assurance was sought that the skate park would be constructed to ensure it was ‘secure by design’.  Further, whilst the park was open between dusk and dawn there was no security or means of stopping people getting into the park and congregating in the area.   There was concern at the lack of screening to alleviate the increase in and constant noise from skateboarders doing tricks from effecting the residents in the nearby terrace of housing and it was felt that a noise assessment impact should be carried out.  That the skate bowl should be fully below ground level to remove the visual impact. It was felt that the skatepark was in the wrong location; there was not adequate space for it and not all the public concerns were being mitigated.


The Planning Board accepted an address from Councillor Garry Parker Ward Councillors.  He advised the Board that he did not recall receiving notification of the meeting.  He continued that he had concerns at the construction of the facility being carried out during the summer period, when the park is most used and the implications of Health & Safety and disruption to park users.  He asked if construction could commence after the schools’ summer holiday period and if ROSPA certification could be gained before construction commence.  He noted that a similar skate bowl in Danson Park had a designated supervisor on site who could ensure swift action in the case of any accidents as well as appropriate use of the facility.


The Planning Board accepted addresses from two members of the public speaking in favour of the application.  They advised that it was unlikely that people would skate on the pathways through Charlton Park, as they were constructed of gravel.  In terms of noise it was noted that football was played in the park of Sundays, which generated a lot of noise from the crowd and there was a well-used road between the park and the nearest houses which were 65 meters away from the proposed location, which was greater than then the nationally recommended 45 meters.  There was concern as to what was meant by ‘wrong type’ of people and there were many residents in favour of the proposal   It was noted that the outline agreement and design had been obtained and it would be inappropriate to delay the matter further particularly as frost and cold could adversely affect the poured concrete construction. 


The Planning Board called upon the Parks Strategy and Development Manager to provide information on the outdoor gym surface.  He advised that the gym area was a combination of concrete and rubber matting.  Further, that the area between the gym and skate bowl was grassed.


The Planning Board accepted an address from the Applicants agent who advised that ‘secure by design’ did not apply to open spaces, which was confirmed by the Senior Principal Planner.


The Applicants agent continued that whilst the concern at construction during the summer period was understood he assured Members that a suitable management plan was in place and if the concrete was poured in the autumn any frost could cause issues with the tempering of the concrete and long term stability issues.  He responded to Members that the ROSPA certificate could only be obtained post installation.


Before moving to determining the application, the Chair proposed that, if the application were agreed construction be delayed until September, this was seconded by Councillor Brighty.


In discussing the proposal Members felt that the park was large enough to accommodate the lack of use of a small area for construction, without adversely effecting park users and maintaining Health and Safety for all.  That the greatest impact would be on the users of the outdoor gym, which was used all year round.  That a delay could have consequences for the efficient construction of the facility and was not necessary.


The proposal to condition that construction work commence in September was put to the vote with 2 Members in favour and 6 Members against; the proposal was lost.


Members noted the speakers concerns over security and safety of the location and asked if there was a proposal for CCTV, to which the Senior Principal Planner responded that CCTV surveillance did not form part of the application before them but the proposal could be referred to the appropriate Council Department.


In determining the application Members were satisfied that appropriate Health & Safety certification and construction management plans would be put in place.


The matter was put to the vote with 7 Members in favour of the application; 1 against and 0 abstaining.


Resolved -


That reserved matters approval be granted as outlined below:

·       For access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale pursuant to Condition 2 of Outline Planning Permission (ref: 16/0058/O) granted by the Planning Board on 14th September 2016 fora proposed new skate park within Charlton Park adjacent to the existing 2012 Olympic Facility.


Supporting documents: