NEIGHBOUR LETTERS SENT- by p0mk8

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									NEIGHBOUR LETTERS SENT:-

The Occupier 15, 22, 24 & 26A Forge Road; 2 Forge Lane; 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 & 11
Goepel Court; 48, 56, 56A, 58, 77, 79, 81 North Road.

REPLIES RECEIVED:-

144 objections received on the following grounds;

Character and appearance
   • Impact on the character of the neighbourhood and North Road
   • Proposal would be too close to the footway
   • Proposal would ruin the skyline and views from North Road
   • Proposal would be too large and out of character with the road/lanes and
      woodland setting.
   • Too many flat developments already.
   • Too many properties in the area already.
   • Object to external appearance and design.
   • Objection to the materials.
   • No details re lighting.
   • Existing dwellings on site have character and are well used.
   • Balance of properties needed in the community.
   • Lack of open space.
   • Inappropriate in terms of location, scale, height, massing, density and
      character.
   • Flat roof out of character.
   • Too big and too close to the road.
   • Layout would not support a reasonable width of screening vegetation.
   • A smaller scale development should be submitted.

Highways and access
   • Too little provision for car parking.
   • No visitor parking shown or secure motorbike parking.
   • Some airport users leave cars for weeks in the surrounding street.
   • Will result in overflow car parking on street
   • Parking restrictions will be required which will exacerbate on street parking
     problems.
   • North Road is already reduced to single lane traffic and bikes are forced to
     use the pavement.
   • Road is already obstructed and the pavement.
   • More congestion when the children come out of school.
   • Parking is a serious problem in North Road.
   • Area already suffers from congestion.
   • No detail on the type or areas covered by the proposed parking restrictions.
   • Mini roundabout would be needed.
   • Cars already speed in the area.
   • Highway safety, traffic and parking concerns.
   • Large parking footprint, possibly concrete.

Loss of light and overshadowing

   •   Objection in respect of the impact on light and overshadowing.
Other matters

   •   The proposal would destroy the community.
   •   Drain local resources/amenities
   •   Too much social housing
   •   Impact on slow worms and bats
   •   Loss of privacy to Goepel Court
   •   Concern regarding noise from the flats and proposed access.

THE APPLICATION SITE:-

This application relates to Nos. 56A, 58 and 60 North Road located at the junction of
Forge Road and North Road in Three Bridges. The site contains 3 detached
bungalows fronting North Road with 30-40m rear gardens. The properties have
splayed frontages set back on average some 10m from the boundary, although this is
staggered.

The surrounding area is characterised by its residential mix of house types. These
include; detached bungalows; terraced, semi-detached and detached two-storey
houses; three-storey townhouses with the third-storey within a mansard roof; a three-
storey flatted development opposite the Forge Road frontage known as Goepel
Court; and a two storey development to the south east, Brownjohn Court.

THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT:-


The proposal to be considered is the demolition of 3 dwellings and erection of a
residential development of 24 flats and 5 dwellings. The units would be arranged
around North Road and Forge Road, with 3 terrace dwellings in the rear. Parking
and access would also be located to the rear of the site and accessed off Forge
Road. Along North Road, two dwellings would be located alongside the chalet
bungalow to the south side. These dwellings would have a maximum height of 6m.
The development would then step up to 9m in height to the 3 storey apartments,
which would then wrap around the corner of North Road/ Forge Road. The proposal
would be set back some 3.6m from the road frontage at its closest point. 27 Parking
spaces would be provided to the rear of the site, with two parking spaces fronting
onto North Road from the dwellings proposed. The accommodation mix would
comprise 14 x 1 bed apartments, 10 x 2 bed apartments, 4 x 2 bed houses and 1 x 3
bed house.

PLANNING HISTORY:-

CR/2005/0254/OUT – Demolition of existing houses and erection of 16x1 bed, 4 x
2bed, 1 x 3 bed apartments, 2 x 3 bed semis, 3 x 2 bed terrace with associated
access. – Permitted subject to conditions, and restriction to 2 ½ storeys in height. 26
Units granted in total. The proposal was to be set back from the road by some 8m.
34 Parking spaces were provided in the layout.

A previous application on 56/60 North Road, made under planning reference
CR/2004/0040/FUL for the “Demolition of the existing properties and erection of 23x
two bed flats and 9x one bed flats with associated access and parking”, was refused
by the Development Control Council. The reasons for refusal related to; the
dominance of the main apartment block in the streetscene; the proposal’s impact on
the amenities of the adjoining occupiers by means of loss of sunlight, privacy,
outlook, noise and disturbance; the inadequate amount of outdoor amenity space;
and the lack of provision for affordable housing.

PLANNING POLICY:-

The site lies within the built-up area, where infilling and redevelopment are
acceptable in principle. The site is currently occupied by 3 dwellings and therefore
constitutes previously developed land.

In respect of the Core Strategy policies, the following policies are relevant; H3 seeks
to ensure proposals for residential development will be located within sustainable
locations, as part of an existing neighbourhood and which can be served by existing
infrastructure, Policy H4, seeks to secure densities which maximise the efficient use
of land is also relevant, as is policy H5 which seeks to secure affordable housing of
40% on sites of 15 dwellings or more, with a mix of tenure to be provided within the
affordable housing requirement. Policy H6 seeks to ensure a relevant mix of
dwelling type and size. Policy EN4 ensures landscape proposals should be integral
to development proposals. Policy EN5 makes it clear that all new development
should be based on a thorough understanding of the context of the site and the
surrounding area and be of a high quality. In respect of car parking, policy T3 is
relevant which seeks to ensure that new development takes into account the
Council’s agreed maximum parking standards and the need to maximise the
potential for public transport use. Policy ICS2 of the Crawley Borough Local
Development Framework is also relevant and seeks to ensure that development
contributions meet the justifiable needs created by new development, including open
space.

The development is subject to the requirements of the following saved Crawley
Borough Local Plan 2000 Policies, GD1 on design and impact, GD2 regarding
townscape and character of the area and GD3 operational requirements including
parking. Policies GD5 and GD6 are relevant and seek to ensure developments
retain trees whilst affording them sufficient room to thrive, SPG 6 – Trees is also
considered to be relevant. Policies H20, H22, SPG3 and SPG4 require development
of a good size and standard of dwelling with adequate outdoor space for future
occupiers.

National planning guidance PPS3 ‘Housing’ seeks to secure a high standard of
house design incorporating a mix of dwelling types and sizes whilst making the most
efficient use of urban land. PPS1 and PPG13 are also relevant as are the Council’s
supplementary planning guidance, (SPG17) Higher Density Housing and SPD
Planning Obligations and S106 Agreements.

PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS:-

The main issues to be considered in determining this application relate to:
   • Layout and Density of the development,
   • Impact on street scene/character of the area,
   • Impact on neighbour amenity,
   • Adequacy of parking provision/impact on highway,
   • Adequacy of housing mix in meeting local housing need,
   • Acceptability of dwellings for proposed residential use, and
   • Impact on existing trees/landscaping

Layout and Density
The density of the proposed development would equate to 98 dwellings per hectare,
which would exceed the 30 dwellings a hectare minimum, recommended in PPS3.
The site is smaller than that considered under CR/2005/0254/OUT but the current
application now proposes 3 additional dwellings above that already approved on the
site. Revised PPS3 – (Nov 06) does not include upper density limits and states that
30 dwellings per hectare net should be used as a national indicative minimum to
guide policy development and decision-making, until local density policies are in
place. Whilst PPS1 and PPS 3 seek to make efficient use of urban land, it should
not be at the expense of the street scene and the surrounding environment. Most of
the dwellings to the south of the site are set back a clear 10m from the boundary with
North Road. The development proposed would be set back 3.6m at its closest point
(which does actually utilise some of the highway verge to achieve this 3.6m set
back), the previous outline application was granted with a set back of 8m to enable a
setting to the building, reducing the impact on the street scene and enabling the
proper establishment of landscaping to the front of the development. Given the scale
and appearance of the proposal on this prominent corner plot, it is considered that
the proposal would be overly dominant and detrimental to the open residential
character of this part of North Road. The layout would fail to provide an adequate
setting to the building, and adequate space for the growth and maturity of any
planting to reduce the impact of the proposal on North Road and Forge Road,
contrary to policies GD1, GD2, GD5 and GD6 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan
2000 and contrary to policies EN4 and EN5 of the Crawley Borough LDF.

As will be discussed in further detail below, the layout would fail to provide any visitor
car parking, there would be limited refuse storage, limited outdoor open space and
the separation distances between the proposed terrace houses and the proposed
dwellings on North Road would be less than the 21m recommended in SPG 4. It is
considered that the layout is indicative of a cramped form of development, excessive
to the scale of the site and number of dwellings proposed. The proposal would fail to
accord with policy H4 of the Crawley Borough LDF Core Strategy, which seeks to
secure densities of development which maximise use of land to the extent that is
compatible with the need to secure a mix of housing and maintain the character of
the different parts of the town. The proposal would be detrimental to this part of
Three Bridges.

Impact on the street scene and character of the area

In respect of the impact on the character and appearance of the street scene and the
surrounding area, the ‘mansard’ roof would be steep and whilst it would keep the
height down, whilst achieving 3 storeys, the roof would give the appearance of a
large expanse of flat roof. The proposal would give the appearance of a 3 storey
block, not two storey. The mansard roof would affect the perception of the height
and scale of the building by creating a visually heavy second floor rather than a
sense of space in a roof. The proposal would not be in keeping with the site and the
surrounding area. It is considered that the block form would lack sympathy to the
character of the surrounding area, which the previously permitted scheme had
demonstrated.

The Urban Design officer has been consulted and comments that the proposed
buildings would sit well forward of the established building lines of adjacent
development and the building itself would be of a much greater size and scale than
that found in the vicinity. The reference to how close existing development lies at is
closest point to the back edge of the footway is not a useful gauge of impact on the
street scene and fails to acknowledge that the buildings stagger back from the road
currently. The proposal would take a significantly larger building forward of the
stagger and forward of the building lines and would fail to leave sufficient spacing on
the corner of the junction.

The Urban Design officer further comments that the corner of the building would not
positively address the junction. The fact that previous development has failed to do
so does not override the need to address this and highlights the importance of a
positive response. Furthermore, the junction between the front façades and the three
storey rear facades would be awkward, in attempting to prevent the wrapping round
of the mansard roof.

The design, bulk, scale and siting of the proposed buildings are not considered to be
in keeping with the character and appearance of the site and the surrounding area, to
the detriment of the street scene. The proposal would therefore be contrary to
policies EN5 of the Crawley Borough LDF Core Strategy, GD1 and GD2 of the
adopted Crawley Borough Local Plan 2000 and Planning Policy Guidance 1,
Planning Policy Statement 3 - Housing and Supplementary Planning Guidance 17 -
Higher Density Housing.

Impact on neighbouring amenity

In respect of impact on neighbouring amenity, the proposal would not result in an
unacceptable loss of light to adjoining occupiers due to the orientation of the
proposed buildings to surrounding neighbouring occupiers.

The proposed buildings are adjacent to Forge Road to the north and North Road to
the east and the separation distances would not result in an unacceptable loss of
privacy to the east. The new dwellings would overlook a public area. Whilst there is
only 20.4m between the east elevation of the proposed apartments and the dwellings
to the east on Forge Road, the separation is just under the 21m required, the
proposed buildings would face side on and the area between is public road and
therefore the relationship is considered acceptable, on balance. To the north a
separation of 21.2m can be achieved. Again, the buildings would be separated by a
road. However, at 3 storeys, the normal separation distance would be 30m and due
to the design and proximity of the proposed building to the boundary, there could be
perceived overlooking in comparison to the scheme approved under
CR/2005/0254/OUT. Under the previously approved scheme, the building was set
back further into the site and would have hipped dormer windows at third floor and
not a full 3 storey height. Whilst it is not considered that this would be a reason for
refusal in its own right, it is considered that the lack of separation and perceived
overlooking is indicative of the cramped form of development and layout.

The separation distances between the new houses to the south of the site and
number 56 North Road are only achieved because some of the garden space of 56
has been sold. However, as the land has been sold by the occupier, it is not
considered that this relationship is grounds for refusal in its own right. However, the
separation distances between the newly proposed houses to the south side and the
new dwellings attached to the apartment block would only achieve 19m. The
separation would not be sufficient or accord SPG4 guidance and would result in a
detrimental impact on the amenities of the new dwellings and is considered to be
contrary to policy GD1 of the Crawley Borough Local Plan 2000.

To the west, the proposed apartment block would have bathroom and kitchen
windows on this elevation. Again, 30m separation would not be achieved, but 28m.
However the dwellings to the west are 2 storey. There may be a perception of being
overlooked, however the windows could be conditioned to be obscure glazed with no
further windows. This relationship is considered acceptable. Within the site, the rear
of the apartment block is separated from the proposed dwellings to the south of the
site by 21.2m which is considered to be acceptable. On the south side, one window
is proposed at ground floor to a WC which would face 56 North Road, this window
could be conditioned to be obscure glazed.

In respect of the proposed lighting, no details have been submitted, however, such
details could be secured by condition and it is not considered that the proposal would
be detrimental to neighbouring amenity in respect of light spill.

The separation distances between the proposal and neighbouring dwellings is
considered to be indicative of a cramped form of development and the distance
between the proposed houses and the rear of the southern block of the apartments is
considered to be unacceptable and detrimental to the amenity of future occupiers of
the site.

Adequacy of the parking provision/highway matters

Highways have been consulted and comment that the stopping up of the existing
accesses and provision of one single access to Forge Road does not differ
significantly in principle, except the removal of the direct vehicular access onto North
Road, consequently there are no safety or capacity grounds to resist the application.
The visibility splays proposed would meet the guidelines within Manual For Streets.

In respect of the car parking provision, 29 new parking spaces are proposed for the
dwellings. Under WSCC parking standards, a maximum of 65 parking spaces would
be allowed. The provision of 29 spaces is considered to be within the maximum
allowance. Highways have confirmed that it is not anticipated that this parking
provision would result in any highway safety issues. 49 cycle spaces are proposed
which amounts to 2 per dwelling, WSCC request a condition to be placed on any
approval to secure the details through condition. The site is sustainably located with
several high frequency bus routes within close walking distance. Three Bridges
station is approximately 600m south. The location of the site should promote and
encourage the use of sustainable transport in accordance with Structure and Local
Plan policy.

The site falls within the Three Bridges parking zone, as set out in Crawley Borough
Council’s Planning Obligations and S106 Agreements SPD. The parking standards
are maximum standards, not minimum, and at the standards set out in the SPD,
between 32.8 – 38 parking spaces would be required. 29 parking spaces are
proposed, with no visitor parking, a ratio of 1:1. Parking restrictions are proposed to
provide adequate visibility and at the time of the site visit, the on-street parking is
already well utilised. The 29 spaces for 29 units would be less than the 34 spaces
granted for 26 units under CR/2005/0254/OUT. The level of parking provision on the
site is considered unacceptable in this location, notwithstanding the sites position
within the Three Bridges area.

Whilst WSCC have accepted the ratio of 1:1, the proposal would fail to accord with
the Crawley Borough Council adopted policy, no visitor parking would be provided.
Where ratios of 1:1 have been previously accepted, they have been on 100%
affordable housing and where there has been an element of visitor/on-street parking
or in town centre locations. The proposal is considered contrary to SPD guidance
and policy T3 of the Crawley Borough LDF Core Strategy.
In respect of the impact on highway safety and car parking, WSCC Highways raise
no objection to the scheme, however whilst the parking provision allows for 1 space
per unit, no provision is made for visitor parking. The parking provision on the site is
considered to be inadequate and indicative of a cramped layout.

Adequacy of the housing mix to meet local need

The scheme makes provision for 1 and 2 bed apartments and 2 and 3 bed houses.
The scheme provides a mix of dwelling type and size and would make a contribution
towards the one and two bedroom dwellings which are needed in the Borough, as
identified in the Council’s Housing Supply and Demand Study.

The applicants have indicated that 38% (11) of the dwellings would be affordable.
Policy H5 of the Crawley Borough LDF Core Strategy seeks 40% and therefore 11.6
(or 12 units) should be affordable. It is considered reasonable to request the
additional affordable unit in order to achieve the 40% target.

Subject to the provision of 40% affordable housing, the proposal is considered to
accord with local plan policy in the respect of housing mix and meeting local need.

Acceptability of the dwellings for the proposed use

The dwellings proposed largely meet the internal space standards set out SPG 3.
Whilst a few of the units would be just under the space standards, such as unit 17
which would be 71.41 sqm not 72 sq.m for a 4 bedspace unit, most of the units
exceed the recommended floor areas. In this respect, on balance, the internal space
standards are considered acceptable, however, this is another indication that the
overall development/layout is cramped.

In respect of external space standards for the proposed terrace dwellings, all five of
the gardens would fail to achieve the external space standards set out in SPG 4, 3
being between 1.16 sqm-3.32 sqm short of usable rear garden space to units 28 and
29 which would be 34.12 sqm and 10.83 sq. m short of external space respectively.
Furthermore , the depth of the gardens would be below the 10.5m deep gardens
recommended in SPG 4.

To the rear, a small courtyard along with car parking which the applicants consider,
can be “shared surface” suitable for older children to play on, would not make full
provision in terms of open space. The “shared” car parking/open space would not be
an acceptable approach. No provision has been made for an open space
contribution which would amount to 39.2 persons occupancy rate x £514 = £20, 149.
The applicants have stated that as the scheme is for 29 dwellings only, it is not
proposed that Open Space, sport and recreation facilities be provided on the site.
However, the Supplementary Planning Document seeks contributions for all sites of
10 or more dwellings and should be applied on this site.

The separation distances between the proposed houses and the southern block of
apartments would be too short and is likely to result in overlooking of the future
occupiers and would be unacceptable in this respect.

The proposal would fail to provide adequate external space and depth of garden for
the proposed terrace houses and would fail to make a contribution to open space as
set out in Supplementary Planning Document Planning Obligations and S106
Agreements. The proposal is likely to result in overlooking internally within the site
and there would be limited refuse storage – to be located some distance from a
number of the proposed dwellings. The proposal would fail to provide an adequate
level of accommodation to adopted standards.

Impact on trees and landscaping

No comments have been received from the Arboricultural Officer, however, on the
site visit undertaken, there did not appear to be any significant trees on the site
worthy of protection. It is not considered that there would be any direct implications
for the existing trees on the site as a result of the development.

In respect of landscaping, insufficient space has been left to the front of the site to
enable planting and growth of any future landscaping scheme. The proposal would
not therefore be in accordance with policies GD5 and GD6 of the Crawley Borough
Local Plan 2000.

Other matters,

West Sussex County Council have advised that the following contributions would be
sought. Whilst the applicant has been advised of the contributions, a S106 has not
been negotiated as the scheme is considered to be contrary to planning policy in
other respects.

 Summary of Contributions
       S106 type                       Monies Due
        Education - Primary                          £3,432
     Education - Secondary                           £3,694
       Education - 6th Form                            £865
                  Libraries                          £1,575
                     Waste          No contribution required
             Fire & Rescue                           £1,739
           No. of Hydrants             No hydrants required
                        TAD                         £23,920

          Total Contribution                      £35,226

One letter of objection raises the potential impact on bats and slow worms. A habitat
survey was undertaken and the desk study did not identify any records of notable
species within the development site. 21 species with statutory protection were
identified within the local area. A field visit was undertaken. The report concludes
that there are no habitats on the site that are valuable at a national, regional or
county scale. There has been some evidence that the survey area provides suitable
habitat for reptiles and rooting bats and a fox den was recorded. Recommendations
are made in the report for in respect of flora and fauna.

CONCLUSIONS:-

The bulk, scale, siting and design of the proposal is not considered to be in keeping
with the site and the surrounding area. The proposal does not make provision for
sufficient car parking, with no allowance for visitors, limited refuse storage, outdoor
open space, reduced separation distances between the site and neighbouring
buildings and within the site and a lack of setting the building back are indicative of a
cramped form of development of an excessive scale for the site. The lack of setting
the building back would fail to provide a setting to the building and would result in a
lack of space for landscaping to mature. The proposal is considered to be contrary to
local plan policy and supplementary planning guidance, Structure Plan policy and
National Guidance. Refusal is therefore recommended.

								
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