Greenwich Council

Agenda item

Connaught Estate Phases 2 & 3, Land to the south of Sandy Hill Road and west of Brookhill Road, Woolwich, SE18. (17/0897/R)

The Board is asked to consider the submission of Reserved Matters (Access, Appearance, Landscaping, Layout and Scale) pursuant to condition 2 of outline planning permission dated 02/04/2015 (Ref: 14/0086/O) for the redevelopment of the Connaught Estate, comprising of the construction of up to 684 residential units, of which 332 are subject to detailed application (Phase 1), with associated access, parking and private and public open space.

Decision:

Granted the reserved matters planning application as outlined below:

 

·        Submission of Reserved Matters (Layout and siting of the buildings, design of buildings including floor areas, height, massing and internal planning, external appearance, landscaping and open spaces and car parking), pursuant to condition 2 of Outline Planning Permission (Ref: 14/0086/O) dated 02.04.15 for 352 residential units within Blocks A1-A8 and B1-B9 (Phases 2 and 3).

 

Subject to:

(i)    The issuing of a new Planning Permission for the site known as former Connaught Estate pursuant to planning application Ref. 17/1516/V for a variation to Planning Permission ref. 14/0086/O dated 02/04/2015 pursuant to S73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990; and

(ii)   Conditions set out in Appendix 2, with Condition 1 amended as follows

 

“01. Approved Drawings

 

The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans:

 

7766/PL(00) 010, 011, 100, 101, 120 Rev A, 7766/PL(00) 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019, 020, 021, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 120, 201, 202, 302, 301, 303, 304, 305, L0V18884 10 C1, L0V18884-17 D1

 

Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.”


Minutes:

Additional correspondence regarding the item was circulated.

 

The Senior Principal Planning Officer (Major Developments) gave an illustrated introduction to the report. She explained that the additional correspondence which had been circulated had been received by Officers at an earlier date and was dealt with at paragraph 6.5 of the report. She drew the Board’s attention to the tenure distribution.

 

In response to questions from the Board the Senior Principal Planning Officer (Major Developments) stated that there was no provision for shared ownership properties to revert to social rent; in the event that the properties were not taken up then they could be marketed to a wider area. The S106 agreement dealt with the income bands for the shared ownership properties; developers were usually requested to equally target households within three different income bands. The unit mix was to be considered in relation to all three sites; as this site was close to the town centre and a busy road it was considered more acceptable to have less family size units on this site.  She confirmed that all units were required to meet Lifetime Homes standards. 10% would be wheelchair adapted from the start, with another 10% easily adaptable if needed. She stated that no S38 (Highways Act 1980) agreement had been signed with regard to adopting roads within the application site.

 

The Chair queried whether it was possible for the Board to stipulate a condition to consider the materials for the roads. The Assistant Director Planning and Building Control (Regeneration Enterprise and Skills) advised that while the Board could impose a condition if reasonable, they would have to say what materials and the Highways department could subsequently object; the Assistant Director advised the Board that it was best to leave the matter to a S38 (Highways Act 1980) agreement.

 

The Board was addressed by Ward Councillor David Gardner. Councillor Gardner welcomed the redevelopment.

 

Councillor Gardner questioned the level of affordable housing.  He noted that Royal Greenwich Local Plan Core Strategy policy H3 indicated that 35% affordable housing was a minimum and there was flexibility on the matter. He noted that the Mayor of London’s Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance 2017 in preparation for his new London Plan in 2019 set out 50%, across London. Councillor Gardner felt there was insufficient provision of affordable housing for the development, and requested that the viability statement be considered in detail.

 

Councillor Gardner questioned the car parking provision. He drew the Board’s attention to the high PTAL rating for the site and referred to Royal Greenwich Local Plan Core Strategy policies IM4 and IM(c) that developments with such a high level of public transport accessibility “should be car free”. He suggested a reduction in car parking spaces could then be used for more green space or larger units perhaps.

 

Councillor Gardner expressed disappointment that the roads were set out according to traditional street planning, which could lead to rat running, and queried why only tarmac was considered for use. He felt there should have been consideration of London Living Streets and of Healthy Streets for London. He suggested that consideration should have been given to cul de sacs and ‘shared space’ street planning.

 

In response to questions from the Board, Councillor Gardner replied that the Mayor of London’s proposed 50% affordable homes was not definitive but it was realistic. He highlighted that market conditions had changed and that therefore they should work with the developer to increase the amount of affordable housing. He agreed there should be mixed tenure across the development, and that its balance should reflect viability and housing demand. He commented that as this particular development considered on its own was 34.8% affordable, rather than 35%, it should have a viability statement.

 

The Board was addressed by the agent for the applicant. He indicated that the site itself was a factor for the tolerances for unit mix, as to whether it had more or less family units. He stated that the Mayor of London’s proposed 50% level of affordable housing did not apply to regeneration schemes. He stated that there was no viability assessment because of the overarching agreement concerning the redevelopments. He said there was flexibility within the scheme to reflect market changes. He explained that car parking had been reduced to reflect the high PTAL rating, and there would be electric charging points on site and cycling provision. There would be a slight loss of amenity because they were extending the path to link up with the future Brookhill Estate development. He explained that consideration had been given to the road layout, there had been discussions with the Highways department, and the scheme had been changed for access for refuse vehicles; Highway’s preference had been for tarmac, and the matter was controlled by condition.

 

In response to questions from the Board, the applicant’s agent replied that a judgement had to be made on the mix of units and on the provision of space against commercial viability. It was considered that the development was always going to be high density with low family numbers; there would be more family units on the Morris Walk development, which would also be more low rise.  He said that there had been a significant reduction in car parking for this development. They were providing electric charging points and provision for cycling, and they were looking at car clubs. He said that they had received a strong steer from Council Officers with regard to road surface, and the matter was conditioned. The regional design director added that the marketing strategy was stated in the Development Agreement.

 

In response to questions from the Board about the S106 agreement, the regional design director replied that there was a trigger in the S106 agreement which determined how many private units could be sold before the affordable units.  The S106 agreement explained how much money would be given to the local authority at each point in the development.  The Senior Principal Planning Officer (Major Developments) confirmed to the Board that there was no review mechanism for this development

 

In response to a question from the Board about rent level, the applicant’s agent said that rent levels would be subject to discussion with the Housing department. He added that the marketing strategy was stated in the Development Agreement. The Assistant Director said that details of the S106 clause relating to target rents would be circulated to Planning Board Members.

Action: DRES

 

It was requested that Planning Board Members be given a briefing on the sequence of the estate developments across the three sites to show how they related to each other.

Action: DRES

 

There was a discussion of the matter. It was emphasised that all Members were committed to the delivery of 35% affordable housing across the schemes. It noted that that the Mayor of London’s new Planning Guidance did not apply to the schemes. It was suggested that the issue of the roads could be considered at the Woolwich Estate Executive Board.

 

The Chair asked about conditioning the road surfacing. The Senior Principal Planning Officer (Major Developments) indicated that Condition 38 of the outline permission related to landscape details and that if Members wanted different materials it might be possible to work with Highways to try and find different materials.

 

The Chair proposed that the Board condition the road surfacing, and was seconded by Councillor Hisbani. Councillor Danny Thorpe queried the proposal as the Board had been advised by the Assistant Director that it was best to leave the matter to a S38 (Highways Act 1980) agreement.

 

The applicant’s agent stated the developer was happy to work with the local authority on the matter. There was the mechanism of a S38 (Highways Act 1980) agreement, and there was the agreed Condition 38.

 

Councillor Ambreen Hisbani said she was happy with that.

 

The Assistant Director Planning and Building Control (Regeneration Enterprise and Skills) said the commitment was there, there was the mechanism of a S38 (Highways Act 1980) agreement, Planning Officers would work together with Highways and the developer.

 

The Chair said not condition then but work together to get the optimum surface to achieve the ‘shared space’ aspiration.

 

The matter was put to the vote, and with six votes in favour and one abstention it was

 

Resolved –

 

That the reserved matters planning application be granted for the Submission of Reserved Matters (Layout and siting of the buildings, design of buildings including floor areas, height, massing and internal planning, external appearance, landscaping and open spaces and car parking), pursuant to condition 2 of Outline Planning Permission (Ref: 14/0086/O) dated 02.04.15 for 352 residential units within Blocks A1-A8 and B1-B9 (Phases 2 and 3).

 

Subject to:

(i)    The issuing of a new Planning Permission for the site known as former Connaught Estate pursuant to planning application Ref. 17/1516/V for a variation to Planning Permission ref. 14/0086/O dated 02/04/2015 pursuant to S73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990; and

(ii)   Conditions set out in Appendix 2, with Condition 1 amended as follows

 

“01. Approved Drawings

 

The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans:

 

7766/PL(00) 010, 011, 100, 101, 120 Rev A, 7766/PL(00) 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019, 020, 021, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 120, 201, 202, 302, 301, 303, 304, 305, L0V18884 10 C1, L0V18884-17 D1

 

Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.”

Supporting documents: