Minutes – Planning and Conservation Committee – 15 December 2022
The agenda and papers for this meeting are available here: Planning and Conservation Committee – 15 December 2022 – agenda and papers
The minutes of this meeting are presented below.
You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Planning and Conservation Committee – 15 December 2022
PLANNING AND CONSERVATION COMMITTEE
Date: 15 December 2022
Time: 2.00pm – 3.59pm
Location: The Council Chamber – The Council House • North Street • CHICHESTER • West Sussex • PO19 1LQ
PRESENT: Councillor Quail (Chairman), Councillor Gershater, Councillor Corfield, Councillor Gaskin
EX-OFFICIO: Councillors Apel and Scicluna
ALSO IN ATTENDANCE: Deputy Town Clerk (for agenda items 5 onwards), Planning Adviser, Alan Lewis (Associate Director, PJA Traffic Consultants), Tom Heyes and Kirsty Huxtable from Richard Meynell Ltd Architects (for application CC/22/02521/FUL), residents Barbara Howden Richards and Alan Bradbury (for application CC/22/02684/REM), resident Kathy Sykes (for application CC/22/02807/REM), West Sussex County Councillor Simon Oakley, three members of the public.
102. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
RESOLVED to accept and approve apologies and reasons for absence from the meeting from the Mayor (Councillor Joy), Deputy Mayor (Councillor Plowman) and Councillor Sharp.
103. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE IN MATTERS ON THE AGENDA FOR THIS MEETING
Councillor Quail declared an interest as the Chairman of the Westgate Residents Association.
104. MINUTES OF THE PLANNING AND CONSERVATION COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 10 NOVEMBER 2022
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 10 November 2022, having been circulated; be approved and signed as a correct record.
105. APPLICATIONS FOR PLANNING PERMISSION
Case Officer: Sascha Haigh
3 York Road Chichester PO19 7TJ
Demolition of existing single storey side and rear extensions, demolition of detached outbuilding, new side and rear extensions, various alterations, and subdivision to form 2 no. two-bedroom cottages. Removal of part of front boundary wall and formation of off-street parking. Formation of new vehicular crossover and installation of new drop kerb.
No objection subject to a condition requiring approval of materials and finishes to ensure the development would preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area.
Case Officer: Martin Mew
St Pancras Church _ 1-2 St Pancras St Pancras Chichester West Sussex
Replacement single storey rear extension. Two storey rear extension to 1-2 St Pancras with 2 bedroom residential apartment at second floor level and change of use of existing ground and first floor retail / office unit to class E: commercial, business and service and F1(f). Facade and access alterations to front elevation of 1-2 St Pancras. Installation of photovoltaic array.
No objection subject to the comments of the Conservation Officer. It is recommended that a suitable condition is applied controlling the use of the rooftop garden in order to protect the amenity of the surrounding residents.
Case Officer: Joanne Prichard
Havenstoke Park, Blomfield Drive Graylingwell Park Chichester
An application for approval of all reserved matters pursuant to conditions 1 and 8 of the identified Graylingwell outline masterplan approval concerning, access, scale, layout, landscaping and all other development detail relating to the construction of car parking area for temporary event parking on land within Havenstoke Park, Graylingwell Park.
- This is a reserved matters application for a car park, the principle of which was established at outline stage. However, under this application, it remains to determine the acceptability of the proposed Access, Scale, Landscaping, Layout and Appearance to which the City Council objects.
- The site is within the conservation area and is on Havenstoke Park itself. Significant physical development is proposed across an extensive area of parkland, which would be grass-creted over. This would cause significant harm to the character and appearance of the area as well as permanently removing its function as public open space.
- The proposal would run contrary to environmental and climate emergency principles by encouraging unnecessary car use and the domination of vehicular infrastructure within a local quiet green space.
- The applicant describes the 2018 revised masterplan as having included an “updated approach to the provision of CCDT assets to ensure the trust could benefit from a viable, long-term business plan”. Under this revision, the proposed car park as well as other assets were transferred to the CCDT. The applicant describes the proposed car park as “to be used on an adhoc basis by the CCDT to support events and use of nearby CCDT community assets, such as the Havenstoke Park sports pitches, the community use of the Pavilion, the 3 Chapel and any occasional external events that may take place on Chapel green”. The proposed car park, which would necessitate a very significant land take from the existing, well used public open space, would be engineered using grass-crete, visually separated from the remaining park with a permanent engineered earth bund, and would be served by removable bollards, controlled by the CCDT. The car park would therefore not be open for general, daily use by the community, would be excessive in size and would be over-engineered for its stated occasional purpose, with disproportionate impacts on the local community and their enjoyment of this important local park, as well as on local ecological interests.
- A car park for ad-hoc event use as described would only require a gated access into the park and a “change of use” permission for a set area of grass. This would allow the local community unfettered use of their important local green open space for the majority of the year, whilst enabling occasional event parking on a casual basis when necessary, with the physical development, engineering and destruction of ecological interests vastly reduced and much more proportionate to the proposed use.
Case Officer: Joanne Prichard
Phase 8, Chapel Green, Blomfield Drive, Graylingwell Park, Chichester
Approval of reserved matters concerning phase 8 Chapel Green regarding development detail for 36 no. new homes, parking, estate roads, landscaping and all other matters pursuant to outline planning permission CC/14/01018/OUT.
No objection, however concern is raised regarding the proposed changes (from the approved Masterplan) to the parking provision for Block A. These result in a number of vehicles reversing directly into the road, close to a junction, which may present a road safety issue.
106. WHITEHOUSE FARM SOUTHERN ACCESS ROUTE
Alan Lewis, Associate Director – PJA Traffic Consultants, gave Members a presentation summarising the report Members had requested of PJA, a draft of which was circulated with the agenda, which addressed the proposal for the Southern Access Route (SAR) and the associated traffic data that had been included with the developer’s planning application.
Mr Lewis expressed that, in his professional opinion, parts of the submitted background evidence were unsound due to the age of the data and lack of detailed scrutiny, and that this made it difficult to base forecasts on this evidence.
He highlighted that traffic patterns and behaviours over the past couple of years had been significantly affected by the pandemic and associated lockdowns and expressed the opinion that using 2014 data, as had been the case with the planning application; was unreliable and that the analysis needed to be redone with new traffic surveys.
Members were informed that any changes to the A27 could also have very significant impacts on the traffic flows, including around the SAR and its connecting roads. Specific improvements to the A27 are yet to be detailed and secured, and various iterations of possible future improvements have been considered over recent years. The lack of certainty about the A27 improvements, their timing and the specific detail of what will eventually be implemented, mean that it is very difficult to accurately model future traffic flows without a huge margin of uncertainty over the results. This uncertainty is further added to by such assumptions as a predicted percentage reduction in traffic flow on the basis of employment opportunities on site and increased take up of walking, cycling and public transport.
Mr Lewis referred to traffic studies that had taken place along Westgate and advised Members that these indicated that the capacity of the road, as it is currently laid out with physical traffic calming measures and a mix of motor traffic and on-road cycle lanes, therefore further measures, such as physical reconfiguration of the road or other modalities of traffic calming or restrictions along Westgate, should be considered.
Based on his comments and concerns raised by City Councillors, Mr Lewis suggested that it was not realistic to put forward the proposed design for the SAR without revisiting the underlying data and reviewing the resultant traffic flows from the White House Farm/West of Chichester development.
Mr Lewis advised Councillors that he thought the City Council response should be that the proposals as presented with the application were a long way short of where they should be and should be reviewed and resubmitted.
Members discussed the report in depth.
Councillor Gershater expressed concerns about the modelling data that had been submitted with the developer’s application and asked what should be done about it going forward, including the stress testing of any new data that was put forward. In response, Mr Lewis outlined the process and the kind of surveys that they used in undertaking their statistical analyses and the associated difficulties.
He also commented on the difficulties being experienced with modelling and policies intended to tackle the climate change crisis and encouraging reduced use of motor vehicles. He advised Members that the developer’s application should have included analysis of successful implementation of low-traffic policies but that analysis of outcomes in the event that the low-traffic outcome was not achieved should also have been outlined.
In response to a question from Councillor Corfield about likely impacts on other parts of the road network, Mr Lewis restated his earlier points that the uncertainties around changes to the A27 and impacts of other policies made such modelling very difficult.
The Chairman expressed the opinion that the City Council now had sufficient information from the PJA Traffic Consultants report to submit a letter with supporting evidence to Chichester District Council in respect of the planning application for the SAR and the City Council’s concerns about the application and its underlying data.
In response to a question from West Sussex County Councillor Simon Oakley, Mr Lewis advised Members that severity testing had not been undertaken with regards to the National Planning Policy Framework but that steps should be taken within that framework to maximise the provision of walking and cycling infrastructure to minimise any impacts from potential increases in traffic.
After a short further discussion, it was AGREED that the Planning Adviser, on behalf of the City Council, would share the PJA Traffic Consultants report with Chichester District Council, including a covering letter highlighting the City Council’s concerns about the original planning application as well as asking that the specific issues mentioned be reviewed and the developer be asked to undertake further work on the application based on the submitted objections.
The Chairman thanked Mr Lewis for his report and presentation.
107. WHITEHOUSE FARM UPDATE
Members agreed that the discussion that had taken place under the previous agenda item had covered the subject of updates on White House Farm.
108. LOCAL PLAN UPDATE
In the absence of the Deputy Mayor, the Committee noted his report that had been circulated with the agenda.
109. CITY CENTRE TASKFORCE UPDATE
Councillor Apel advised Members that the District Council had confirmed the creation of the City Centre Taskforce and that it would be active from January to March 2023.
The Deputy Town Clerk advised the Committee that the initial walk around was being arranged and that the group would consist of the Deputy Mayor, a Chichester District Council Member and the City Council’s Acting Property Manager.
In the absence of the Deputy Mayor, it was agreed that a more substantive update should be deferred to the next meeting.
110. TRAFFIC ISSUES IN THE PALLANTS UPDATE
Councillor Scicluna advised Members that the Pallants Residents Association had had a long meeting with a West Sussex County Council Highways Officer, which had included a walk around the streets where areas of concern were highlighted; and the submission of a dossier of evidence of the problems being experienced.
Members were further advised that the Pallants Residents Association had met with a consultant with experience of areas with similar issues and that it was hoped that progress from both meetings would be made soon.
111. RESIDENTS AGAINST VEHICLE EXCESSIVE NOISE (RAVEN) UPDATE
No update had been received.
112. 20MPH DEFAULT SPEED LIMIT FOR CHICHESTER (SUPPLMENTARY AGENDA)
Councillor Corfield introduced her report and reminded Members that both the City Council and Chichester District Council had passed motions asking West Sussex County Council to implement a city wide 20MPH default speed limit.
Members were also reminded that evidence had shown that implementing a 20MPH speed limit in selected areas had little effect while a wide area default limit had a greater impact on driver behaviour with more positive outcomes.
Councillor Corfield summarised what had happened since, including a public consultation, and noted that following a recent meeting of the County Council’s Communities, Highways and Environment Scrutiny Committee; changes had been made to the Highways policy that would make it easier for community groups to request changes to speed limits in their areas.
She expressed the opinion that the policy changes appeared more geared to rural areas rather than urban areas and did not appear to include consideration of the request for a wide area default 20MPH speed limit for Chichester.
Councillor Corfield advised Members that she was currently awaiting ratification of the policy by the appropriate County Council Cabinet Member so that she would then be able to identify the process by which the wide area speed limit request could be made.
Members were informed that, while this had been progressing, a new study had been released comparing Belfast (piecemeal approach to speed limit changes) and Edinburgh (wide area default) and that the Edinburgh approach had been assessed as being three times more effective.
Councillor Gershater suggested that, as part of the formulation of the new City Council Business Plan, a “strategic intent” could be included covering a wider objective of weaning the population off motor car dependency and that the 20MPH wide area default speed limit could form an important part of this.
Councillor Corfield supported this suggestion and further suggested that the “strategic intent” should be more joined up and include more pedestrian friendly objectives for the city.
She also reminded Members that it had been suggested that Officers from West Sussex County Highways be invited to speak to the Committee about the processes and policies that a wide area speed limit change would involve.
The Planning Adviser agreed to contact West Sussex County Council Highways to ask their Officers for clarification regarding the process of applying for a wide-area speed limit restriction.
113. ITEMS TO BE INCLUDED ON THE NEXT AGENDA
- Traffic issues in the Pallants
- Whitehouse Farm update
- Neighbourhood Plan update
- Local Plan update
- City Centre Taskforce update20MPH default speed limit for Chichester
114. DATE OF NEXT ORDINARY MEETING
Date of next ordinary meeting: 2 February 2023
The meeting closed at 4.04pm