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					To: Law & Administration                 From: Head of Development
                                                Control
Application Number: CC/COL/75/07         Case Officer:
                                         Ext: 51585
Site: St Helena School, Sheepen Road, Colchester, Essex

Description: Reconstruction of the existing car park and markings to regulate
spaces. Provision of lighting, speed and access control and replacement of fencing.
Provision of cycle storage compound and new pedestrian and cycle access footpath
from Sheepen Road.

Secretary of State Referral? No               Date: 31st July 2007


Consultations:
COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL – No response received
ENGLISH HERITAGE – Scheduled monument consent for works has been granted
subject to a condition requiring archaeological monitoring.
HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT (Environment and Commerce) – Recommended a
condition in accordance with PPG16 Archaeology and Planning.
HIGHWAYS AND TRANSPORTATION – Objected to the increase in parking
numbers. Amended plans were subsequently submitted to remove the additional
parking spaces.
LANDSCAPE AND ECOLOGY – Raised concerns about parts of the proposed
development. Amended plans were submitted to address some of the concerns.
LOCAL MEMBER (ABBEY) – No response received
LOCAL MEMBER (DRURY) – No response received

Appraisal:

      St Helena School is located on Sheepen Road in the west of Colchester. No
       residential properties overlook the school however the Colchester Institute of
       higher education fronts the school. There is green open space to the north
       of the site.
      The proposal is for the reconstruction of the existing car park and markings
       to regulate spaces. Provision of lighting, speed and access control and
       replacement of fencing. Provision of cycle storage compound and new
       pedestrian cycle access footpath from Sheepen Road as part of the Safer
       Journeys to School initiative. Work has commenced on the reconstruction of
       the car park.

   Need
    The reconstruction of the car park is needed as the existing car park surface
     is worn and broken. The current lighting is insufficient and needs updating
     for pupil safety and security of an evening. Currently pupils access the
     school via the car park main entrance. The provision of a new access path is
     designed to keep pupils away from the car park which would allow a safer
     arrangement for pupils to access the Schools main buildings.
Reconstruction of the Car Park
 It is proposed that the car park reconstruction would be located to the front
  of the main school building. The car park is an established feature of the
  schools frontage and as such the reconstruction of the proposed car park
  would not have a detrimental impact on the street scene as the use of the
  school frontage has been established for car parking.
 Highways and Transportation objected to the additional parking numbers
  proposed at the school. The School’s existing parking number exceeds the
  maximum parking standard for schools as set out in the Essex Planning
  Officers Association Vehicle Parking Standards and as such Highways
  would object to any additional parking on the School site. Amended plans
  were submitted with the removal of the additional car parking numbers, with
  the exception of 2 additional disabled parking spaces to ensure that the
  school is DDA compliant.

Historic Context
 The proposal falls within the setting of a Scheduled Ancient Monument as
   such policy UEA7 (Development Affecting Scheduled Ancient Monuments)
   of the Colchester Borough Council Local Plan applies. English Heritage has
   granted Scheduled Ancient monument consent. In granting consent a
   condition for Archaeological Monitoring has been approved. A Written
   Scheme of Investigation (WSI) has been submitted to and approved by the
   County Planning Authority Archaeological team in order to safeguard the
   archaeological interests of the site (see informative).

 Lighting
 The proposed 6 metre high lighting columns would be located in strategic
   positions around the car park to allow greater security in the car park area.
   There would be no loss of amenity to neighbouring properties. Policy P2
   (Light Pollution) in the Colchester Borough Council Local Plan (2004)
   specifies a number of criteria against which the proposal should be
   considered. The lighting would be a cone design directing light downwards
   to minimise light pollution, also the surrounding urban area is made up of
   educational establishments which have similar lighting schemes. Therefore
   it is considered that the proposal complies with Local Plan policy.

New Access Path/Cycle Parking
 It is proposed that the new access path would be located along the eastern
  boundary of the school. The proposed gate and fencing would match the
  existing fencing along the schools frontage. The cycle shed would be black
  in colour and located to the north of the car parking area. The location of
  the cycle shed would allow it to be viewed from the School building allowing
  additional security and surveillance.
 Landscape and Ecology suggested that the proposed pedestrian/cycle path
  would undermine the existing landscape character of the area by the
  removal of trees along the eastern boundary. Amended plans were
  submitted with the pedestrian/cycle path being diverted along a gap in the
  trees. The amendments would allow the landscape character to be
  maintained and screen the proposed path from the surrounding area. The
  original plan also showed the cycle shed being blue in colour it was
       considered that this would have a significant affect on the existing street
       scene, as such the plans were amended to show the cycle shed as black.
      Within the Essex & Southend-on-Sea Replacement Structure Plan (2001)
       policy CS5 (Sustainable Transport) highlights the need for the promotion of
       sustainable transport in particularly cycling and walking. The proposal would
       provide a secure pedestrian/cycle pathway with lighting so that pupils and
       staff can cycle and walk to work and access the School grounds in a safe
       environment promoting Secure by Design principles. Also policy T6 (Walking
       and Cycling) specifies a number of criteria against which this application
       should be considered. The proposal would provide additional secure cycle
       parking, and with the parking being reconstructed and not extended, users
       of the School would be encouraged to cycle and walk.
      The application site has no specific land use designation within the
       Colchester Borough Council Local Plan (Adopted) March 2004.
       Nevertheless policy TC2 (Cycle Parking Requirements) specifies a number
       of criteria against which this application should be considered. The proposal
       provides a secured environment for pedestrians and cyclists to access the
       school grounds, and would provide secure parking facilities for cycles, and
       the cycle bay would be appropriate to the area it serves. In this respect the
       proposal is considered to comply with Local Plan Policies.


Recommendation:

That pursuant to Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations
1992, planning permission be granted subject to the following conditions:

  1. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out entirely in accordance
     with the details submitted by way of the application dated 4th June 2007 together
     with drawing numbers A4010 (18.05.07), A4015 (18.05.07), A4018 Rev A
     (18.05.07), A4019 (18.05.07), A4021 Rev B (18.05.07), A4022 Rev A (18.05.07)
     and A4023 Rev A (18.05.07).
Reasons:
1. For the avoidance of doubt as to the precise details of the development hereby
   permitted.
Reasons for approval:

Subject to the imposition of the attached conditions, the proposal is considered
acceptable having been assessed in the light of all material considerations, including
weighting against the following policies of the development plan:

Policies CS5 (Sustainable Transport), T6 (Walking and Cycling) and HC6
(Archaeological Assessment) of the Adopted Essex and Southend on Sea
Replacement Structure Plan (2001)

Policies UEA7 (Development Affecting Scheduled Ancient Monuments), P2 (Light
Pollution) and T2 (Cycle Parking Requirements) of the Adopted Colchester Borough
Council Local Plan (2004)
And there are no other policies or other material considerations which are overriding
or warrant the withholding of permission.

Informative
    During the construction period all development works must be carried out in
      accordance with the agreed Written Scheme of Investigation produced by
      Colchester Archaeological trust for archaeological monitoring during the
      development.

By virtue of the powers delegated to me I hereby accept and approve the above
recommendations


for Head of Development Control               Date 31 July 2007

				
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