Agenda item

Chesterfield House, 9 Park Lane, Wembley, HA9 7RH (Ref 15/4550)

Decision:

Granted planning permission as recommended in the Draft Decision Notice and additional conditions for landscaping, car club and a contribution towards residents’ costs arising from the introduction of controlled parking zone (CPZ).

Minutes:

PROPOSAL:

Proposed demolition of existing building and erection of 21 and 26 storey building comprising flexible retail/commercial (Use Classes A1-A4) and community uses (Use Class D1) at ground floor and basement level, 239 residential units (Use Class C3) on the upper floors and associated landscaping, public realm, ancillary servicing and plant, car and cycle parking and associated works.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

Grant planning permission, subject to the Stage 2 referral to the Mayor of London and subject to the completion of a satisfactory Section 106 or other legal agreement and to delegate authority to the Area Planning Manager or other duly authorised person to agree the exact terms thereof on advice from the Chief Legal Officer,subject to the conditions set out in the Draft Decision Notice and an additional condition 25 as set out in the supplementary report.

 

David Glover (Area Planning Manager) outlined the proposal and referenced the supplementary report.  He stated that the height and design were acceptable and whilst the amenity space fell short of the SPG17 guidance, a compensatory contribution was being sought to include improvements to the local King Edward VII Park.  He added that a sum of £83,000 was being sought for carbon reduction and a further contribution was also being requested by TfL.

 

He then clarified the issues raised at the site visit. David Glover explained the servicing arrangements and added that given the large amount of office and retail floor space on the existing site, the proposed development was anticipated to reduce the overall number of servicing vehicles visiting the site and thus ease capacity within the local areas. In terms of parking, he drew members’ attention to condition 3 which requiredthe parking spacesto be provided priorto occupation ofthe proposed developmentand thereafterused ancillaryto the development.  Members heard that there was a reasonable chance that year-roundCPZs would beextendedintothosestreets nearest to thesite. David Glover continued that the identified infrastructure needs including GP surgeries, expansion of local primary schools and the establishment of a new secondary school, was expected to be funded largelyfromthe Community Infrastructure Levy(CIL) contribution ofapproximately£5.4 million. He then drew members’ attention to additional representations in support of and in objection to the scheme and added a further condition 25 as set out in the supplementary report.

 

Denise Cheong Chair of King Edward VII Park spoke in objection on behalf of a number of local residents.  She expressed concerns about the height and density of the scheme which constituted an overdevelopment of the site, detrimental to the green space at King Edward Park, and would create dangerous conditions to the junction of Park Lane and High Road, Wembley. She also expressed concerns about the traffic congestion to which the proposal would give rise and added that the financial contribution being sought would not address the problems including pressure on the park.  In urging members for refusal, Denise Cheong added that the proposed development failed to comply with the Wembley Area Action Plan and the London Plan – which stated that a building on this site should be no higher than that at Wembley Central.

 

In response to the issues raised by the objector, David Glover advised that the site was appropriate to tall buildings and accorded with the Wembley Link SPD.  He continued that having regard to expert opinion (the CABE Design Review Panel), officers considered the proposal acceptable for the site

 

In accordance with the Planning Code of Practice, Councillor Stopp, ward member, stated that he had been approached by residents in support and in objection to the scheme, the developer and by local businesses. He started by applauding the developers for their consultation and the offer for an excellent community asset.  He however felt that the height was excessive, the orientation was not ideal and that the number of affordable housing units should have been higher than was being offered by the applicant.

 

Steve Sanham (applicant’s agent) stated that through extensive public consultation and engagement, the proposed scheme would provide a high quality retail and residential building in contrast with the existing outdated building.  In response to members’ questions, the applicant’s agent stated that they were in negotiation with the current owners about the site for car parking facilities.  He continued that although the density was higher than recommended guidance, the provision of public space coupled with proposed improvements to the local park would be compensatory elements and that he would continue to work towards enhancing carbon emission levels.  In response to the low levels of affordable housing despite the height of the buildings, he explained that the affordable housing agreed with the Council was based on viability assessments for the scheme and that the height and set back was appropriate for the site.  The applicant’s agent confirmed that he would consider a “Car Club” facility and a contribution towards possible introduction of Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) in the vicinity. The members of the committee recommended contributions for existing residents for at least 5 years based on the average rate, to avoid any prejudice to existing residents from new development.

 

In responding to transportation issues raised at the meeting, John Fletcher (Development Control, Transportation) advised that currently there were studies in the area to improve pedestrian and traffic safety and traffic flow in the area and in his view, the scheme would not give rise to transportation problems. David Glover clarified that the height of the proposed scheme was not contrary to policy and although it was not in keeping with the Wembley Area Action Plan (WAAP), it would not be detrimental to the open character of the High Road. He continued that minor shortfalls identified in the scheme would be addressed, highlighting improvement to the local park and endeavours to enhance the carbon emission levels.

 

Members were minded to approve the application as recommended but added additional conditions for landscaping, car club and a contribution towards residents’ costs arising from the introduction of controlled parking zone (CPZ).

 

DECISION:  Granted planning permission as recommended in the Draft Decision Notice and additional conditions for landscaping, car club and a contribution towards residents’ costs arising from the introduction of controlled parking zone (CPZ).  (For 4, Against 2, Abstention 2).

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