Planning Working Group - 20/503325/FULL Land east of Crown Quay Lane, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3ST
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 June 2021 (Minute Nos. to follow).
To consider application SW/20/503325/FULL Land East of Crown Quay Lane, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3ST
Updated published 24.06.21
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 June 2021 (Minute Nos. 70 – 71) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
The Major Projects Officer introduced the application. He referred to the tabled update for this item which included details of a lighting assessment submitted by the applicant and response from the Environmental Protection Team; and comments from Natural England. The Major Protects Officer reported that delegated authority was sought to approve the application subject to an amendment to condition (1) to ‘…must be begun not later than the expiration of five years’ not three as stated. Also, an amendment to condition (4) requiring full details of the acoustic fence, a Section 106 Agreement to deal with the matters set-out on paragraph 8.41 of the report to Planning Committee on 27 May 2021 and conditions as set-out in that report and the tabled update. Delegated authority was also sought to amend condition wording and Section 106 heads of terms as might reasonably be required.
The Chairman moved the officer recommendation to approve the application and this was seconded by the Vice-Chairman.
In response to a question from a Ward Member about light pollution, the Senior Scientific Officer explained that they had considered the applicant’s lighting assessment and as the degree of illuminance was below the relevant standard, they had concluded that there would be no significant impact from the floodlighting to residents of the dwellings.
A Ward Member raised concern about the impact of noise to residents of the dwellings from neighbouring sites and said that the proposed vegetation would not work as a sound barrier. The Major Projects Officer outlined the proposed noise mitigation measures. He added that the proposed vegetation was to improve visual amenity and biodiversity, rather than act as an aural barrier.
In response to further questions from a Ward Member, the Major Projects Officer advised that the developer was providing 10% of the total units as affordable housing in accordance with Policy DM8 of the Local Plan. Bus stop provision had not been considered as part of the development and was not included within the requirements of the heads of terms. The report was supported by a flood risk assessment as set-out on page 102 of the May 2021 committee report.
Members raised points which included:
· Concerned about the impact of noise from lorries accessing the adjoining concrete works on residents of the proposed dwellings;
· the proposed pedestrian crossings in Eurolink Way would not be safe particularly given the queues of traffic trying to access the scrap metal works;
· concerned about flood risk from the creek and did not consider that the flood mitigation measures would provide enough protection;
· inadequate sightlines for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) along Crown Quay Lane;
· how would the proposed traffic light improvements work to improve traffic flow?;
· the traffic splays at Crown Quay Lane needed to be widened;
· could not see the logic for two pedestrian crossings; and
· would like assurances that the applicant would provide a greater mix of affordable housing unit types.
In response to highway concerns, the Kent County Council (KCC) Highways and Transportation officer advised that Crown Quay Lane development traffic growth had been factored into modelling of the A2 traffic signals and that the proposed Crown Quay Lane improvements would be wide enough to allow HGV movement. The two pedestrian crossings proposed on Eurolink Way had been agreed as mitigation measures for the Redrow Homes development, so were separate to the current application. The changes to the traffic slight system in Crown Quay Lane would improve current queuing and increase capacity. There were no plans for widening of traffic lanes in Crown Quay Lane, but that might be something that could be picked up later if needed to mitigate further development proposals.
A Member stated that it would be difficult to justify refusing the application due to lighting or noise implications. He considered that the improvements to the traffic lights (at the Crown Quay Lane – St Michael’s Road junction) were needed now rather than in three years’ time.
Councillor Ben J Martin proposed the following addendum: That officers agree with the applicant an alternative mix of affordable unit types, with the mix being proportionate to the mix of the open market dwellings. This was seconded by Councillor Elliot Jayes. On being put to the vote the addendum was agreed.
Councillor James Hall moved the following motion: That the application be deferred as he did not consider that his questions had been answered properly. This was seconded by Councillor Tony Winckless.
At this point the Chairman requested a three-minute break for officers to consider the request for a deferral.
On being put to the vote the motion to defer the application was lost.
The Planning Lawyer (Mid-Kent) reminded Members that the site was allocated for housing in the Council’s Local Plan and that material planning reasons needed to be provided if Members were minded to refuse the application. She stated that the applicants were only required to provide mitigation measures to reduce any potential impacts from their own development.
Resolved: That application 20/503325/FULL be delegated to officers to approve subject to amending condition (1) to ‘…must be begun not later than the expiration of five years’ not three as stated in the report. Amendment to condition (4) to add reference to the requirement for full details of the acoustic fence, a Section 106 Agreement to deal with the matters set-out on paragraph 8.41 of the report to Planning Committee on 27 May 2021 and conditions as set-out in that report and the tabled update. Officers to agree with the applicant a greater mix of affordable unit types/sizes that was proportionate with the mix of the open market dwellings, and to amend condition wording and Section 106 heads of terms as might reasonably be required.