The consultation procedure undertaken was outlined in the report together with background information in respect of the site.
The Committee was advised that since the publication of the agenda four representations had been received from Elected Members of the Heath and Mersey Wards, these were circulated to Members today via email. Further representations had been received. One from a member of the public raising issues with regard to access. One from the supporters of Runcorn Town Football Club, in support of the application as they were now aware that the football club were going to enter into a binding agreement for lease subject to planning. One from a member of the public stating that safety issues with the Energy from Waste facility should prevent the proposed development from being granted. The representation alleged that the boiler panels were made of substandard material which are a risk to people in the area. One from Viridor who operate the Energy from Waste facility who reiterated the content of Paragraph 8 of the National Planning Policy for Waste and whilst disappointed by the recommendation, they requested that sufficient mitigation measures are secured by condition.
Also, further observations had now been received from the Council’s Ecological Adviser in relation to the Habitats Regulations Assessment and also bats and breeding birds. Officers advised that the adoption of the Assessment following consultation with Natural England and the resolution of issues relating to bats and breeding birds would ensure the proposal was acceptable from an ecology perspective.
The Committee was addressed by Mr Matt Smith, from Gleeson Homes. He stated that they provided entry level housing aimed at first time buyers, thus providing customers at the beginning / lower end of the housing ladder a chance to own their own homes. He announced that the starting price of a new two bedroom family house would be approximately £115,000 and explained how this would be affordable through the new Help to Buy Scheme and Gleeson’s newly introduced Key Worker Priority Programme. He also confirmed that Gleeson did not sell to landlords or sub-letters, ensuring that the homes would go to people who actually needed them. He ended by commenting that this £11.8m investment would go some way to contributing to the local economy and was a predominantly first time buyer led low cost home ownership scheme and hoped it would be supported by the Committee.
In response to Members queries it was noted that the scheme would consist of freehold sales only. In response to concerns regarding access to the development being via one road, Members were advised that as the access road met the requirements as per the relevant design standard and it was considered to be acceptable, there were no objections from the Highways Officer to the access strategy. With regards to queries regarding car ownership, Members were advised that the trip generation methodology was used to establish the number of vehicle movements in the peak hours associated with the development and therefore impact on the Highway network. Car parking spaces were assessed in line with relevant policy and all dwellings benefit from 200% parking provision (two spaces per dwelling).
Members were reminded to give significant weight to the advice of the HSE and their public safety concerns, giving it the most careful consideration. HSE considered its role to be discharged when it is satisfied that the Local Planning Authority had given its advice the most careful consideration and it is acting in full understanding of that advice and the consequences that could follow.
After considering the application, hearing representations made by speakers and updates from Officers, the Committee agreed that the application be delegated for approval as stated below subject to a satisfactory outcome from a), b), c) and d) and then subject to the following conditions:
RESOLVED: That delegated powers be given to the Operational Director – Policy, Planning and Transportation, in consultation with the Chair or Vice Chair of the Development Control Committee, to make the decision once the following have occurred:
a) a Habitats Regulations Assessment has been adopted by the Council as the competent authority to show how the Council had engaged with the requirements of the Habitats Directive and the attachment of any additional conditions necessary;
b) the satisfactory resolution of issues relating to bats and breeding birds and the attachment of any additional conditions necessary;
c) the satisfactory completion of a Section 106 Agreement to secure the following and also to remove the Sport England holding objection:
· £525,330 payment to mitigate for the loss of playing fields;
· £45,151.86 payment in lieu of on-site open space provision; and
· £3,000 payment to fund local future road safety or traffic management schemes; and
d) the application not being called in by the Secretary of State following referral to the Health and Safety Executive.
And then subject to the following conditions:
1. Time limit – full permission;
2. Approved plans;
3. Construction Phase Management Plan (phasing of overall development) (BE1);
4. Proposed site levels (BE1);
5. External facing materials (BE1 and BE2);
6. Landscaping and boundary treatment scheme – residential development (BE1 and BE22);
7. Landscaping and boundary treatments scheme – Runcorn Town FC (BE1 and BE22);
8. Landscaping and boundary treatments scheme – Bowling Club (BE1 and BE22);
9. Tree protection measures (GE27);
10. Breeding birds protection (GE21 and CS20);
11. Bird nesting boxes scheme (no demolition of Pavilions building until scheme is implemented) (GE21 and CS20);
12. Bat mitigation measures (GE21 and CS20);
13. Ecological supervision of the felling of T95 (GE21 and CS20);
14. Public open space implementation and management plan (H3);
15. Hours of construction (BE1);
16. Electric vehicle charging point scheme – residential development (CS19);
17. Electric vehicle charging point scheme – Runcorn Town FC (CS19);
18. Electric vehicle charging point scheme – Bowling Club (CS19);
19. Off-site highway works (BE1, TP6, TP7, TP12, TP15 and TP17);
20. Access road from Picow Farm Road serving Runcorn Town FC and the emergency link to the residential development (BE1);
21. Parking and servicing provision – residential development (BE1, TP6, TP7, TP12, TP15 and TP17);
22. Parking and servicing provision – Runcorn Town FC (BE1, TP6, TP7, TP12, TP15 and TP17);
23. Parking and servicing provision – Bowling Club (BE1, TP6, TP7, TP12, TP15 and TP17);
24. Implementation of noise mitigation measures (PR2);
25. Ground contamination (PR14 and Policy CS23);
26. Drainage strategy (PR16 and CS23);
27. Foul and surface water on a separate system (PR16 and CS23);
28. Building recording and analysis for the Pavilions Building (BE5); and
29. Waste audit (WM8).