Agenda item

Preston Library, Carlton Avenue East, Wembley, HA9 8PL (19/1305)

Decision:

Granted planning permission subject to conditions and informatives as recommended and an additional condition for Parking Permit restriction for event day permits, and residents permits should a CPZ be introduced in the area.

Minutes:

PROPOSAL: Redevelopment of Preston library including erection of a part 2 to part 4 storey building comprising a library on ground floor and 12 self-contained flats (6 x 1 bed, 2 x 2 bed and 4 x 3 bed), provision for private amenity space, parking, cycle and refuse storage, new access and associated landscaping.

 

RECOMMENDATION: That the Committee resolve to GRANT planning permission.

 

That the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to issue the planning permission and impose conditions and informatives to secure the matters set out within the Committee reports.

 

That the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to make changes to the wording of the Committee’s decision (such as to delete, vary or add conditions, informatives, planning obligations or reasons for the decision) prior to the decision being actioned, provided that the Head of Planning is satisfied that any such changes could not reasonably be regarded as deviating from the overall principle of the decision reached by the committee nor that such change(s) could reasonably have led to a different decision having been reached by the Committee.

 

That the Committee confirms that adequate provision has been made, by the imposition of conditions, for the preservation or planting of trees as required by Section 197 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

 

At the outset, Cllr Denselow (Chair), informed the meeting that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government had requested that the Council should not issue a final decision on the application until such time that it had been able to consider a request for call-in. Cllr Denselow advised the Committee that they were able to consider the application as normal, however if the Committee were minded to give delegated authority to The Head of Planning to determine this application, the Head of Planning would await further communication from the Secretary of State before doing so.

Mr Colin Leadbeatter (Principal Planning Officer) introduced the report and answered Members’ questions. He referenced the supplementary report which set out a summary of additional comments by South Kenton Park Residents Association and other residents and the officers’ responses to them.

 

Mr Michael Rushe Chair of South Kenton, Preston Park Residents’ Association) addressed the Committee and answered Members’ questions.  Mr Rushe alleged that the application was unlawful as it was a departure from local policies.  He added that the proposal was inappropriate and in addition to inadequate community facilities, would result in overlooking to neighbouring properties due to its height. Mr Rushe also alleged that the residents had not been engaged in discussions on alternatives to the scheme.

 

Ms Grace Brown (objector) stated that the proposal would be out of character with surrounding residential properties.  She alleged that the scheme had not been properly assessed against relevant planning policies, resulting in procedural inaccuracies and misleading statements. Ms Brown also raised concerns about the advice received from Highways on the application.

 

In accordance with the Planning Code of Practice, Councillor Maurice declared that he had been approached by both the objectors and the applicant.  Councillor Maurice objected to the application on the grounds that it would constitute an over-development of the site and would be out of character with the properties in the neighbourhood.  He added that as the area was not within the CPZ zone, the proposal would give rise to parking issues which would not be mitigated by the proposed construction management plan. He requested that should permission be granted, residents should not be entitled to Event Day Parking Permits and if CPZ was implemented, the residents should not be able to obtain visitors permits on Event Days.

 

In accordance with the Planning Code of Practice, Councillor Hirani Cabinet member for Public Health, Culture and Leisure declared that he had been approached by Preston Community Library.  Councillor Hirani spoke in support of the application which he added would mark a new chapter in the relationship between the Council and the local community.  He welcomed the application which he said had been revised in accordance with community feedback and the provision of 100% affordable housing.  Councillor Hirani added that Preston Library would be playing a part in the Brent Borough of Culture 2020 along with other libraries.

 

In accordance with the Planning Code of Practice, Councillor Kennelly declared that he had been approached by both the objectors and the applicant.  Councillor Kennelly welcomed the application in particular the library provision and affordable housing, he however reiterated residents’ concerns about its architecture, traffic implications and the environmental issues that would result during construction.  He concluded that subject to the above issues being addressed, he was in favour of the scheme.

 

In accordance with the Planning Code of Practice, Councillor Afzal declared that he had been approached by both the objectors and the applicant.  Councillor Afzal welcomed the 100% affordable housing but expressed concerns that the accommodation would be sub-standard and that the proposal would give rise exacerbated traffic and parking issues.

 

In accordance with the Planning Code of Practice, Councillor Thakar declared that she had been approached by both the objectors and the applicant.  Councillor Thakar echoed the views expressed by Councillor Afzal and in endorsing residents’ concerns about traffic and parking, added that she hoped both the Council and the residents would work in collaboration to address those issues.

 

Mr Phillip Bromberg (Chair, Preston Community Library) spoke in support of the application adding that the scheme would provide a new space for a permanent and sustainable library with a protected lease.  Members also heard that the library space would be at a peppercorn rent, making it a permanent and sustainable library for the future.  He added that the library had received a funding of £267,000 for fitting. In response to Members’ questions on consultation, Mr Bromberg stated that drop in sessions were widely advertised to everyone on the library’s mailing list, hosted public meetings and he also addressed meetings of the residents’ association.

 

In the ensuing debate, Members asked officers to provide clarity on the following issues; parking, consultation, over-development, design, overlooking, mobility, lawfulness of the application and status of the D1 use of the library.

 

The Highways officer responded that borough surveys undertaken confirmed that the car parking spaces provided would be adequate and that the potential existed for parking restrictions to be applied for the occupants, should a CPZ be introduced.  Members heard that adequate consultation had been carried out and that statutory consultees had raised no objections to the scheme.  Officers clarified that the design of the property, scale and rooms sizes met or exceeded GLA standards and Brent’s policies and that adequate amenity space provision would compensate for the marginal digression of the 45-degree rule. It was added that the proposal would not result in overlooking to surrounding properties. Furthermore, as the scheme would provide level access, the proposal would not give rise to mobility issues. Members’ attention was also drawn to condition 4 which reinforced the D1 library use of the ground floor for community events and activities.  The senior planning lawyer advised that in her view, the report thoroughly addressed all pertinent issues.

 

DECISION: Granted planning permission subject to conditions and informatives as recommended and an additional condition for Parking Permit restriction for event day permits and residents permits should a CPZ be introduced in the area.

(Voting for the recommendation was: For 6, Abstention 1, Against 1).

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