The consultation procedure undertaken was outlined in the report together with background information in respect of the site.
It was noted that further consultee responses had been received from Natural England; Highways and Transportation; and Preston Brook Parish Council. The additional recommended conditions resulting from these were presented in the AB Update List, together with details of four additional representations received.
Officers advised that since the publication of the report and update list Appleton Parish Council had raised concerns regarding additional traffic generation in areas of Stockton Heath, Appleton, Stretton, Hatton and Walton. However, Warrington Borough Council’s Highways Engineer had advised that they had no objection to the proposed development.
The Committee was addressed by Mr William Tavernor, who objected to the proposals on behalf of local residents from Preston Brook, at Bankside and Quay Place. He informed the Committee that residents felt under represented due to the fact that only one objector was permitted to speak to the Committee. He argued that:
· The proposal was in fact two developments put together as one – Daresbury Business Park and a housing development;
· The take up on the existing business development on Daresbury Park is low so why build more offices;
· The housing proposals are on a greenbelt site;
· There would be an adverse impact on wildlife and habitats;
· This was one of a few remaining areas of natural beauty in Halton – a brownfield site would be more suitable for this development so these sites should be looked at;
· There was no guarantee of jobs for local people as workers on construction sites typically come from outside the Borough; and
· Extra housing would add pressure on amenities and traffic in Runcorn, for example, Runcorn Shopping City was over used whilst across the bridge in Widnes, Tesco Extra was under used.
Mr Jamie Lynch, a representative from the Client’s planning agent then addressed the Committee. He advised that due to the reduction in demand for office development in recent times it was necessary to look at a new approach so an employment study was undertaken, which advised that a mixed-use development would be more appropriate for the site. He added that the proposals were supported by the emerging Delivery and Allocations Local Plan (DALP), which now identified the site for employment and residential development.
He added that:
· That the development would include 350 much needed new homes, including 25% affordable;
· It would generate new jobs during construction and long term employment opportunities once completed;
· The local centre would support the new community;
· There were no objections from statutory consultees;
· All representations were dealt with in the reports;
· There would be Section 106 contributions towards enhancing public transport and public rights of way; and
· He confirmed that there was no intention to close Red Brow Lane.
Clarity was provided to Members over questions relating to the reference to World War II features in the report and the retention of access to Red Brow Lane, which was also a key route for pedestrians and cyclists. It was commented that as the site was now allocated for employment and residential uses (mixed uses), this proposal was acceptable and complied with planning policies. The Committee agreed that the application be approved, subject to the conditions listed below.
RESOLVED: That the application be approved subject to:
a) The entering into a Legal or other agreement relating to a financial contribution in lieu of on-site open space provision; financial contribution towards the improvement of public rights of way including railway crossing; and financial contribution towards sustainable transport improvements.
b) Conditions relating to the following:
1. Standard outline conditions for the submission of reserved matters applications (BE1);
2. Condition setting out the parameters of the permission including number of dwellings, permitted uses and floor space (BE1);
3. Condition for a phasing plan (BE1);
4. Plans condition listing relevant drawings i.e. site location / red edge, access details (BE1 and TP17);
5. Submission and agreement of a submission of a construction environmental management plan which will include, dust mitigation wheel cleansing details, hours of construction and deliveries (BE1);
6. Submission of ground investigation report, mitigation measures and validation (PR14 and CS23);
7. Submission of existing and agreement of proposed site levels ( BE1);
8. Submission and agreement of external facing materials (BE1 and BE2);
9. Condition(s) for the submission and agreement of boundary treatments, landscaping, management and maintenance (BE1 and BE22);
10. Condition(s) for tree report and protection measures (GE27);
11. Conditions(s) for breeding birds protection and bird nesting boxes scheme (GE21 and CS20);
12. Condition(s) securing the protection and mitigation measures for bats (GE21 and CS20);
13. Condition(s) for badger and hedgehog reasonable avoidance measures (GE21 and CS20);
14. Method statement for the irradiation of invasive species (GE21 and CS20);
15. Submission of a biodiversity action plan (GE21 and CS20);
16. Electric Vehicle Charging Points Scheme (CS19);
17. Condition(s) for parking, access and servicing provision (BE1, TP6, TP7, TP12, TP15 and TP17);
18. Submission of noise report (PR2);
19. Drainage strategy based on the SUDS hierarchy, including its implementation, maintenance, management, and verification of the scheme (PR16 and CS23);
20. Foul and surface water on a separate system (PR16 and CS23);
21. Waste Audit (WM8);
22. Submission and implementation of a scheme for archaeological work (CS20);
23. Provision of affordable housing (CS13);
24. Submission and approval of landscape and ecology management plan (LEMP) (GE21 and CS20);
25. Condition to protect and enhance the Red Brow Cutting SSSI (GE21 and CS20); and
26. Submission of details, agreement and implementation of the provision for bus infrastructure (TP1).
c) That if the S106 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.