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									2012/695      CLARE HOUSE BARLEY GROVE SMITHS WOOD

Application No:       2012/695/S

Ward/Area:            SMITHS WOOD

Location:             CLARE HOUSE BARLEY GROVE SMITHS WOOD

Date Registered:      02/05/2012

Applicant:            SOLIHULL COMMUNITY HOUSING

Proposal:             ADDITIONAL EXTERNAL FLUE TO CLARE HOUSE (
                      AMENDMENT TO PLANNING APPROVAL 2011 /1958 )


Documents Online:
http://www.solihull.gov.uk/planning/dc/ViewAppDetail.asp?Y=2012&R=695

PROPOSAL

The application seeks consent for an additional flue to the external elevation
of Clare House from the biomass boiler.

Members may recall that planning permission was granted in February 2012
for new external cladding to the facades of Clare and Pembroke House. The
proposal comprised the installation of external wall insulation and rainscreen
cladding on both blocks, thus improving the thermal efficiency and
appearance of these tower blocks.

The proposal includes the installation of a new biomass boiler within a
building located on the northern elevation of Claire House. The building
measures 19 metres by 4.5 metres with an overall height of between 3.45 and
3.7 metres in height. The biomass boiler requires the delivery of pellets once
every two weeks by a vehicle of similar dimensions to a large refuse vehicle.

Linked to the biomass building was a single new external flue, which would be
sited on the northern elevation of Clare House. The flue will extend for 14
storeys and project 3 metres above the existing roof level of the tower block.
Following a review of the technical detail, an additional flue is required to be
sited parallel with the new flue granted planning permission. The additional
flue will again extend for 14 storeys and project 3 metres above the existing
roof level of the tower block

The biomass heating system will provide for heating and hot water to the flats
within the blocks.

The details also included the external works to the blocks, which include the
replacement of the existing 1.8 metre high timber fence with new 1.5 metre
high metal bow top fence.
CONSULTATION RESPONSES

Environmental Protection                : No objection subject to conditions.

Smiths Wood Parish Council              : Views awaited.

Neighbours Notified                     : 18/05/12


REPRESENTATIONS

None received.

POLICY

RPG11 – Regional Planning Guidance for the West Midlands (2004)

QE3 Creating a High Quality Environment for All

Solihull UDP (2006)

ENV2 Urban Design
ENV15 Air Pollution
ENV18 Noise
ENV22 Energy Conservation
T1 An Integrated and Sustainable Transport Strategy

Draft Solihull Local Plan

Work has reached an advanced stage on preparing a development plan that
will replace the existing adopted UDP. This plan will provide the long-term
spatial vision for how the borough’s towns, villages and countryside will
develop and change over the Plan period to 2028. The plan sets out to deliver
a strategy for promoting, distributing and delivering sustainable economic
growth whilst conserving and improving the character and quality of the
environment.

The draft Local Plan has been released for a six-week public consultation
period of representation, which expires on 5th March 2012. The feedback from
this consultation will inform the adoption process of the Local Plan. A decision
to submit the Plan will be taken late Spring 2012 with a view to an
independent Examination in Public taking place later in 2012 and eventual
adoption Spring 2013. The Plan is considered to be a material consideration,
carrying an element of weight having been through consultation processes.

Policy P8 Managing Demand for Travel and Reducing Congestion
Policy P9 – Climate Change
Policy P14 - Amenity
Policy P15 - Securing Design Quality
Policy P18 – Health and Well Being

Government Guidance

National Planning Policy Framework

SPDs

North Solihull Strategic Framework

PLANNING HISTORY

2011/1958/s (23 Feb 12) [full plans approval] New external cladding to Clare
and Pembroke House, erection of building to encompass a biomass boiler
with external flue and replacement fencing.

SITE DESCRIPTION

Pembroke House and Clare House are located at the eastern end of Barley
Grove, adjacent to the new ‘High Street’ known as Burtons Way. Pembroke
and Clare House are 14 storey tower blocks with a roof level.

No vehicular access from Burtons Way is provided to these tower blocks but
pedestrian access is provided for. Barley Grove terminates at a turning head
between the two buildings with car parking provision provided between and
adjacent to the tower blocks for residents.

MAIN ISSUES

      Impact on the character and appearance of the area;
      Impact on amenities of neighbours; and
      Noise and Air Quality.

APPRAISAL

Impact on the character and appearance of the area

Policy ENV2 of the Solihull UDP advises that in considering proposals for
development, the Council will promote good quality building and urban design.
Development will be permitted only if it: -

       (i) Respects the harmony and relationships between buildings, the
       urban environment and the landscape;
       (ii) Enhances the quality and attractiveness of the Borough;
       (iii) Contributes to a sense of local identity and regional diversity;
       (iv) Protects and enhances the character and local distinctiveness of
       the Borough’s urban areas;
       (v) Protects and enhances the amenity of existing occupiers;
       (vi) Optimises the use of the site, makes efficient and prudent use of
       resources, and supports local facilities and transport networks;
       (vii) Allows for ease of movement by pedestrians and cyclists and gives
       priority to the needs of pedestrians; and
       (viii) Minimises the potential for crime and anti-social behaviour.

Policy P15 Securing Design Quality expects all proposals to achieve good
quality, inclusive and sustainable design. Whilst, Policy P9 Climate Change
advises that the Council will take full account of national and local targets for
greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the generation of energy form
renewable and low carbon sources when considering the location and design
of development.

The biomass boiler house as part of the extant planning permission is sited on
the northern side of Claire House. The additional flue would be located
parallel with the flue that forms part of that permission and will link to the
biomass boiler. In terms of the visual impact, I am content that the additional
flue would not appear conspicuous within the streetscene by reason of its
siting and design compared with that, which already has consent. The finish to
the external flue needs to be sensitively selected to complement the external
improvements to the tower blocks. Such matters can be secured through the
imposition of conditions.

Therefore, I consider that the additional flue will not appear conspicuous
within the streetscene. Therefore, I consider that the proposal would accord
with Policy ENV2 of the Solihull UDP.

Impact on amenities of neighbours

Policy ENV2 of the Solihull UDP seeks to protect and enhance the amenities
of occupiers, which is further re-iterated in Policy P14 Amenity with the
Solihull Draft Local Plan.

The additional external flue would be sited on the northern side of Claire
House adjacent to the car parking area to numbers 35 – 57 (odds) and 59 –
81 (odds) Burton Park Road. Claire House and the apartment buildings on
Burton Park Road are separated by 1.8 metre high timber fence. Having
regard to the separation distance of 21.5 metres to the side gable of number
59-81 and 35 metres form the rear elevation of number 35-57, I am content
that the additional external flue will not appear overbearing or cause any harm
to the amenities of these neighbours. Further the flue, subject to materials,
used will not appear so conspicuous to also harm their amenities.

In terms of the existing residents on the ground floor of Claire House, the flats
have a side facing kitchen window. The additional flue would be sited in front
of a ground floor kitchen window and will restrict the amount of light this
window receives. However, the loss of light needs to be balanced against the
thermal improvements and benefits that these enhancement works would
have to the occupiers of this tower block. In my opinion, the benefits outlined
outweigh the harm in terms of loss of light to this kitchen window of this
ground floor flat.

I am therefore, content that the proposal accords with policy ENV2 of the
Solihull UDP.

Noise and Air Quality

Policy ENV18 Noise of the Solihull UDP advises that in considering proposals
for development, the Council will seek to minimise the adverse impact of
noise. Development likely to create significant noise will be permitted only if it
is located away from noise sensitive uses, such as housing, hospitals and
schools, or it incorporates measures to ensure adequate protection against
noise. Noise sensitive development will be permitted only if it is located away
from existing sources of significant noise, or in the event that there are no
suitable alternative locations, the development incorporates measures to
reduce noise intrusion to an acceptable level.

Whist, Policy ENV15 Air pollution advises that in considering proposals for
development, that the Council will have regard to appropriate air quality
objectives. Development that would contribute to air pollution, either directly
through emissions, or indirectly through emissions from traffic generated will
be permitted only if it would not hinder or significantly harm the achievement
of national air quality objectives or any relevant Air Quality Management Plan,
and it incorporates appropriate attenuation, mitigation or compensatory
measures.

Your Environmental Protection Officer has held discussions with the applicant.
He advises that given the height of the flue 3 metres above the 14-storey
tower block any air pollution through emissions is significantly displaced and
reduced ensuring that the proposal does not harm air quality objectives in the
area. Further, any noise associated with the biomass boiler and transfer
through the flue can be controlled through the imposition of a condition
requiring the building and flue to be appropriately noise attenuated to ensure
that any associated noise is mitigated against.

I am therefore, content that the proposal would accord with Policy ENV15 and
ENV18 of the Solihull UDP subject to the imposition of a condition to
attenuate the biomass boiler house and flue.

CONCLUSION

Subject to the imposition of conditions additional flue will not appear
conspicuous within the streetscene. Therefore, I consider that the proposal
would accord with Policy ENV2 of the Solihull UDP.

Furthermore, whilst the additional external flue sited adjacent to the kitchen
windows to the ground floor flat at Claire House would restrict the amount of
light to this windows. The loss of light needs to be balanced against the
thermal improvements and benefits that these enhancement works would
have to the occupiers of this tower block as a whole. In my opinion, the
benefits outlined outweigh the harm in terms of loss of light to the kitchen
window of this ground floor flat. I am therefore, content that the proposal
accords with policy ENV2 of the Solihull UDP.

I am content that the proposal would accord with Policy ENV15 and ENV18 of
the Solihull UDP subject to the imposition of a condition to attenuate the
biomass boiler house and flue.

RECOMMENDATION

For the reasons outlined above I recommend approval subject to conditions.

(1) The development hereby permitted shall not be carried out except in
complete accordance with the details shown on the submitted plans,
numbers: 001; 002 Rev A; 00059/003; 00059/004; 00059/005; 00059/006;
00059/007; 00059/008; 00059/009; 00059/010; 00059/011; 00059/012;
00059/013.

To ensure compliance with the approved plans and details to safeguard
amenity and the quality of the environment in accordance with Policy ENV2 of
the Solihull Unitary Development Plan 2006.

(2) The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of
three years from the date of this permission.

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory
Purchase Act 2004.

(3) No building works shall be commenced until samples of all materials to be
used in the external elevations and flue have been submitted to and approved
in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Development shall be carried out in
accordance with the approved details.

To safeguard the visual amenities of the area in accordance with Policy ENV2
of the Solihull Unitary Development Plan 2006.

(4) Before the development hereby approved commences a noise
assessment including attenuation measures for the external flue shall be
submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
Thereafter the attenuation measures identified shall be implement in
accordance with the approved details.

To safeguard the amenities of neighbours from any noise and vibration in
accordance with Policies ENV2 and ENV18 of the Solihull UDP.

The decision to grant planning permission has been taken having regard to
the policies and proposals in the Solihull Unitary Development Plan 2006 set
out below, together with all other relevant material considerations, including
Supplementary Planning Guidance, and the particular circumstances and
reasons summarised below.

RPG11 – Regional Planning Guidance for the West Midlands (2004) QE3
Creating a High Quality Environment for All Solihull UDP (2006) ENV2 Urban
Design ENV15 Air Pollution ENV18 Noise ENV22 Energy Conservation T1 An
Integrated and Sustainable Transport Strategy Draft Solihull Local Plan Policy
P8 Managing Demand for Travel and Reducing Congestion Policy P9 –
Climate Change Policy P14 - Amenity Policy P15 - Securing Design Quality
Policy P18 – Health and Well Being Government Guidance PPS1 Delivering
Sustainable Development PPG24 Planning and Noise PPS23 Planning and
Pollution Control SPDs North Solihull Strategic Framework

In reaching this decision the Council is mindful of the particular circumstances
and reasons set out below, namely:

Subject to the imposition of conditions additional flue will not appear
conspicuous within the streetscene. Therefore, I consider that the proposal
would accord with Policy ENV2 of the Solihull UDP.

Further, whilst the additional external flue sited adjacent to the kitchen
windows to the ground floor flat at Claire House would restrict the amount of
light to this windows. The loss of light needs to be balanced against the
thermal improvements and benefits that these enhancement works would
have to the occupiers of this tower block as a whole. In my opinion, the
benefits outlined outweigh the harm in terms of loss of light to the kitchen
window of this ground floor flat. I am therefore, content that the proposal
accords with policy ENV2 of the Solihull UDP.

I am content that the proposal would accord with Policy ENV15 and ENV18 of
the Solihull UDP subject to the imposition of a condition to attenuate the
biomass boiler house and flue.

								
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