20/0587 1, 2, 3 & 9 Watkin Road, Wembley, HA9 0NL
Demolition of existing buildings and erection of 1x part-20, part-17 storey building and 1x 14 storey building together containing 174 residential units; commercial floor space (B1a and B1c use class) on ground, first and second floors; car and cycle parking, refuse storage, amenity space and associated landscaping.
To grant planning permission subject to referral to the Mayor of London (stage 2 referral) and the prior completion of a legal agreement to secure the planning obligations set out within the Committee reports.
That the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to negotiate the legal agreement indicated above and 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, if by the “expiry date” of this application (subject to any amendments/extensions to the expiry date agreed by both parties) the legal agreement has not been completed, the Head of Planning is granted delegated authority to refuse planning permission.
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.
Mr Toby Huntingford (Principal Planning Officer) introduced the report, setting out the key issues and answered Members’ questions. He referenced the supplementary report and clarified the statutory consultation period, additional representations, officers’ responses to them and drew members’ attention to an additional condition on the use of a diesel generator for the development to ensure an acceptable air quality impact. Mr Huntingford explained that the statutory consultation period had been met and ended on 1st September but that due to a technical error, the site notice had specified that comments may be made until 10th September. Officers considered that it would be appropriate for the Committee to proceed with the consideration of the application and that the decision be made on the basis that should any representations be received on 10 September which in the view of the Head of Planning and Development had not been addressed in the committee report or at the meeting and which would fundamentally affect the resolution reached by the committee and could reasonably have led to a different decision having been reached by the committee, the application would be re-presented to a later planning committee meeting for further consideration.
Members sought legal advice on proceeding with the application on the basis outlined by the Principal Planning Officer. Ms Saira Tambo (Legal adviser to the Committee) advised that in her view, the Council had complied with all legal statutory requirements on consultation and that it was perfect for the Committee to proceed with consideration of the application as amplified by the officer.
Mr Quentin Parry (in remote attendance) objected to the application raising concerns about the calculation of the site plot and the consultation process alleging that majority of the consultation letters were either sent to student accommodation with transient population or to unoccupied new developments. Mr Parry requested deferral of the application until the Council received all comments.
Mr David Freedman (in remote attendance) objected on grounds of inadequate consultation, daylight and sunlight report.
Mr Dominic Tombs (agent, in remote attendance) submitted the following points for the Committee to note;
· The scheme would help Brent to deliver on the aspirations of the wider Site Allocation and provide 174 much-needed tenure blind homes including 35% affordable housing with 50% of the affordable homes being family sized;
· All the new homes meet or exceed modern space standards with high proportion of dual aspect homes with every home having access to both private and communal amenity spaces;
· The scheme would be car-free, provide secure cycle storage for all homes and 10% of homes would be wheelchair compliant.
· The scheme would deliver net uplift in employment floorspace and the introduction of new affordable workspace
· The scheme would deliver public realm improvements through the provision of a landscaped pedestrian route towards the station and also allow for the future access to Wealdstone Brook as a recreation space in line with the Council’s long-term aspirations for the area.
Prior to Members’ discussion, Councillor Maurice moved that the application be deferred until after the consultation period had ended. Officers advised against that due to the considerable amount of consultation already carried out and in view of the legal advice received at the meeting.
In the ensuing discussion, Members raised queries in respect of the amount of affordable housing, daylight and sunlight impact and flood risk. Officers responded that the scheme was policy compliant and that the amount of affordable housing was determined by a robust independent viability assessment. The daylight and sunlight analysis carried out by the applicant was in line with BRE guidance and that the benefits of the scheme would outweigh the limited impact which was considered commensurate and acceptable. Members heard that Environment Agency had considered acceptable the adequate flood risk mitigation measures including raised ground floor, drainage and attenuation.
With no further issues raised and having established that all members had followed the discussions, the Chair thanked all speakers for their contributions and asked members to vote on the recommendation. Members voted by a majority decision to approve the application subject to the amendment and the additional condition set out within the supplementary report
Granted consent, as recommended, subject to the Section 106 Heads of Terms, an additional condition relating to the use of diesel generators and referral to the Mayor of London for his Stage 2 decision and on the basis that the application be presented to a later Planning Committee meeting for further consideration should further representations received on 10 September which, in the view of the Head of Planning and Development, have not been addressed in the Committee report or at the Committee meeting and which would fundamentally affect the resolution reached by the Committee and could reasonably have led to a different decision having been reached by the Committee.
(Voting on the amended recommendation was: For 5, Against 1).