Agenda item

- 19/00235/FUL - Proposed development of 243 dwelling houses, including access, open space and associated infrastructure on land north of Railway and west of Tanhouse Lane, Widnes


The consultation procedure undertaken was outlined in the report together with background information in respect of the site.


Officers’ advised the Committee that reports were originally prepared for the November and January Development Control Committee meetings in relation to this application, but this matter was not considered due to receipt of a late, detailed objection.


It was reported that a review of the proposal had been undertaken by the applicant in light of late objections received and officer advice.  As a result, amendments had been made to the layout/apartment design to further mitigate the impact on future residents from noise and an updated noise assessment had now been provided.   Amendments had also been made and clarification provided with respect to the proposed drainage proposals, so the report presented to the Committee today had been updated to reflect the current position.


The Committee was advised that a further representation had been received from ICoNiChem since these amendments had been made.  The Council’s Environmental Health Officer (EHO) then advised the Committee of the nature of the objection from ICoNiChem; that being the potential for them to become a statutory noise nuisance.  However the EHO advised that they did not object to the proposal as they were satisfied that the applicant had complied with the initial issues raised, through the reconfiguration of the layout of the apartments as described in the report.


The Committee was addressed by Mr McGrath, who spoke on behalf of the applicant.  He explained that the site already had outline planning permission for a residential development and they were proposing to build 214 properties with open spaces.  He noted the noise objections made by ICoNiChem, but stated that they had redesigned the apartment layouts so that noise from their site would be minimised for residents.  He argued that the site was heavily contaminated and derelict and the proposal was comprehensive and would add affordable homes in excess of the requirement.  They would  provide a mixture of provision for different types of residents, which would be of great social value.   He urged the Committee to approve the application so work could commence as soon as possible.


Mr Croft, ICoNiChem’s Operational Director, then addressed the Committee.  He stated that this Company had operated for the past 40 years on this site and employed 64 people.  He argued that the close proximity of residential housing to them was a threat to the business as the Company operated 24 hours a day 7 days a week and noise was emitted continuously from the site.  He also stated that the applicant had made no attempt to solve the issue as despite the reconfiguration of the rooms and better quality glazing, flaws still remained, such as the fact that the windows facing the site could not be opened and the glazing would not be effective enough to block out the noise.  He advised that despite the mitigation measures put in place there was still a serious risk of noise nuisance for future residents which would result in complaints being made to ICoNiChem.  He stated that ICoNiChem had submitted a total of 3 objections to the scheme and neighbouring business had also objected.  He stated that businesses should be protected from residential  complaints and not have restrictions placed upon them.


In response to the concerns over noise nuisance complaints, the Council’s EHO stated that the main concern had been the potential for noise nuisance at night, when people were sleeping.  However since the work done by the applicant to mitigate this, it was considered that an objection to the scheme could not be sustained by the EHO.


The Committee discussed at length the application after hearing the speakers and officers responses.  The following additional information was noted:


·         If the application was approved the applicant and objectors could be encouraged to continue dialogue for the benefit of both;

·         In line with the NPPF, the mitigation taken by the applicant had been suitable for the site; and

·         Although the site was presently isolated, the developer and Council had agreed to widen/build path and cycle ways, introduce new crossing points and crossing points to improve access to local facilities and bus routes.

The Committee moved to a vote and agreed to approve the application subject to the conditions listed below.


RESOLVED:  that the application be approved subject to the following:


a)    a legal or other appropriate agreement relating to securing open space contributions and contributions for bird hide provision and hedgerow improvement; and


b)    conditions relating to the following:


1.    Standard 3 year timescale for commencement of development;

2.    Specifying approved and amended plans;

3.    Grampian style condition relating to off-site highway works to appropriate access into and out of the site (TP17);

4.    Condition requiring submission and agreement of a Construction Environmental Management Plan (BE1);

5.    Materials condition(s), requiring submission and agreement of building external finishing materials (BE2 and CS9);

6.    Condition requiring submission and agreement of landscaping scheme (BE1, GE30 and CS9);

7.    Condition requiring detailed treatment of the area to the north east boundary of the site adjacent to the Greenway (BE1, GE30 and CS9);

8.    Condition requiring implementation of details for boundary treatments (BE22, GE30 and CS9);

9.    Condition requiring vehicle access, parking and servicing for apartments to be constructed prior to occupation of properties / commencement of use (BE1 and CS9);

10. Conditions relating to surface water / highway drainage (BE1, PR5 and CS9);

11. Condition requiring enhanced glazing (PR2 and CS9);

12. Condition requiring submission and agreement of cycle parking details (TP6 and CS9);

13. Condition requiring submission and agreement of bin storage details for apartments (BE2 and CS9);

14. Condition requiring continuing remediation and verification plan on the basis of the submitted documentation (PR14 and CS9);

15. Submission and agreement of Site Waste Management Plan (WM8);

16. Submission and agreement of site and finished floor levels (BE1, BE2 and CS9);

17. Condition requiring the affordable housing provision as a minimum standard of 25% of development (50% social and affordable rent and 50% intermediate housing tenures) (CS13);

18. Submission and agreement of scheme of biodiversity features including bat and bird boxes;

19. Construction and delivery hours to be adhered to throughout the course of the development (BE1);

20. Securing HIA mitigation measures (CS22);

21. Requiring submission and agreement of electric vehicle parking and charging points(s) details (NPPF); and

22. Conditions relating to / requiring submission and agreement – implementation of details foul surface water / highway drainage scheme including attenuation (BE1/PR5).


c)    That if the Section 106 Agreement or alternative arrangement was not executed within a reasonable period of time, authority be delegated to the Operational Director – Policy, Planning and Transportation, in consultation with the Chair or Vice Chair of the Committee to refuse the application.