Agenda item

Empire House, Empire Way, Wembley, HA9 0EW (Ref. 19/1973)

Decision:

DECISION: Granted planning permission as recommended and a further condition in relation to sound insulation between the office floors and the proposed residential floors.

Minutes:

PROPOSAL: Erection of two additional storeys to create 9 residential flats (1 x 1-bed, 6 x 2-bed, 2 x 3-bed) including roof garden, conversion of parking undercroft for refuse, bicycle storage and 1 disabled car parking bay and external refurbishment of the existing building (revised description).

 

RECOMMENDATION: To grant planning permission subject to conditions.

 

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.

 

Ms Victoria McDonagh (Development Management Team Leader) introduced the report and answered Members’ questions.  Having set out the description of the site and the proposal, she informed Members that the since the publication of the Committee report, the total number of objectors had dropped to 7 and under the constitution, the application could have been decided under delegated authority by the Head of Planning.  She referenced the supplementary report and drew Members’ attention to an additional condition recommended by Environmental Health in relation to sound insulation between the office and residential floors.

 

Ms Ashley Whyte in objection, stated that the proposal would result in result in unprecedented density, overshadowing, loss of privacy to the neighbouring residents and out of character with the suburban context of the area. Cumulatively, the scheme would contravene the objectives of the Wembley Action Plan (WAP).  She referred to an illegal structure on the site and problems with right of way to the to the shared servicing areas and rear of the site and other properties using this access.  Mr Kevin Leahy, speaking in a similar vein, added that issues regarding right of way and the resulting obstruction to delivery vehicles to the site would be made worse by the proposed development.  

 

Mr Tom Horne (agent) stated that the proposed development had been revised and carefully designed to minimise impact and deliver 9 quality homes in an accessible site.  He disagreed with the objectors’ allegation that the scheme would result in overlooking and loss of privacy.

 

In responding to issues raised, Ms McDonagh informed Members that the proposed extension at third and fourth floor levels would maintain a distance of over 18m to the rear habitable room windows in 120 to 126 Wembley Park Drive.  She continued that the separation distance of the roof terrace to the third and fourth floor flats that face out onto Wembley Park Drive would maintain a distance in part of 8.5m and whilst this was marginally short of the 9m separation distance set out in SPD1 by 0.5m, such a marginal shortfall was not considered sufficient to compromise the ability of the adjoining site to come forward for redevelopment.  It was considered that the proposal had addressed the previous reason for refusal, and thus would maintain adequate levels of privacy for existing residents.  Ms McDonagh clarified that issues relating to the service road and the illegal structure were outside the remit of the Committee.  She added that the location of the bin store was considered acceptable by the Highways Team.

 

In welcoming the report, Members agreed the additional condition recommended by the Environmental Health on insulation as set out in the supplementary report.

 

DECISION: Granted planning permission as recommended and a further condition in relation to sound insulation between the office floors and the proposed residential floors.

(Voting was recorded as follows: For 6; Against 0; Abstention 1).

Supporting documents: