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					OFFICER:                    Andy Cato (01935) 462015
APPL.NO:                    07/01454/FUL
APPLICATION TYPE:           Full Application
PARISH:                     Brympton
WARD:                       BRYMPTON
DESCRIPTION:                Demolition of existing buildings and the erection of
                            6 buildings to form 42 no units comprising B1
                            Offices, B1/2/8 Light Industrial and B8 Trade
                            Counter (GR 352861/117249)
LOCATION:                   Former Yoplait Dairy Crest Site Copse Road
                            Brympton Yeovil Somerset BA22 8RN
APPLICANT:                  Lymington Property Developments Ltd
AGENT:                      Neil Cook Stanley Bragg Partnership Ltd
                            Abbeygate One 8 Whitewell Road Colchester Essex
                            CO2 7DF
DATE ACCEPTED:              23 March 2007

Reason for Referral to Committee

This application has been brought to Committee as it is a major development of 42
units.

Site Description and Proposal




The site is located on the northern side of Copse Road and on the northwestern side
of the junction between Copse Road and Western Avenue. The site occupies an
elevated position extending to some 2.25 hectares in extent. Currently on site is a
single large building, of approximately 5,380 square metres. The building/ site has


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been unused since mid 2005 when the previous occupants, Dairy Crest/Yoplait,
vacated. Prior to this the site formed part of the Houndstone military camp and
contained barrack accommodation and a water tower. Planning permission was first
gained to develop the site for a factory and offices in 1988. A tall radio base station/
telephone mast also stands on the site - this is in the form of a lattice tower. The
existing building and the lattice tower occupy the southern half of the site (the highest
section of land). A large concrete hardstanding extends to the rear of the building and
tower. The remainder of the site (about a third) extending towards the north boundary
towards Thorne Lane comprises unmanaged scrub/grassland. The site is, effectively,
bounded on all sides by roads, The Yeovil Town Football ground lies to the south of
the site and an extensive, modern housing estate lies to the sites east (accessed via
Storton Way). The Access to the site itself is via a short spur road off Copse Road
(Barracks Close). This spur road also gives access to the adjoining commercial unit
(Bonsoir). There are a number of mature trees, shrubs and bushes around the sites
perimeter. A dense and continuous hedgerow extends the length of the sites east
boundary with Western Avenue. A hedgerow also extents in a continuous line on the
sites north boundary with Thorne Lane and west boundary with the neighbouring
commercial unit. This is more sparse/gappy.

This planning application seeks a full planning permission for the demolition of the
existing building (not the lattice tower) and for the erection of 6 new buildings to
comprise B1, B2 & B8 units. In more detail:
The proposed six buildings are to be subdivided to form 42 individual units. The
application proposes a mix of B1, B2, B8 and what the agent refers to as B8 Trade
Counter Units. In terms of floor areas, the B1 office proposal = 4,910 sq. m (25%) the
B2 Industrial = 2,703sq. m (45%) and the B8 Warehousing = 3,670sq.m (30%). The
larger units are to be sited centrally and along the sites north and west areas.
Building heights vary from 6.2, 6.9, 7.3 and 8.3 high to ridge. Some will have a
stepped ridgeline to account for the change in site levels. All units save the "B8
Trade Counter Units" will have a mezzanine floor area.
External finishing materials consist of metal cladding of contrasting colours.
A number of existing trees and hedging are to be retained, including the dense
hedgerow extending along the length of Western Avenue.
Access to the site will remain off Barracks Close.

In support of the application, the Agent has supplied:
1.     An appraisal of ecological interests and constraints. This document identifies
       a low-level badger activity on the site (no setts) and a relatively undisturbed
       wildlife interest in the grassland area and within the hedges. It recommends
       the provision of bat boxes, the retention of hedges, where possible and the
       strengthening of the hedge on the sites northern boundary.
2.     An Environmental Assessment. This identifies no specific site contamination
       issues.
3.     A Flood Risk Assessment. Whilst the site is unlikely to be affected by flooding
       the report identifies a need to properly deal with the surface water run off
       which will result from this proposal.
4.     An Arboricultural Report. This confirms the presence of 37 trees the majority
       being young; aged about 30 years and 3 hedge groups on the site. Although
       some trees (5) are of poor condition and should be felled and two others
       replaced, the remainder could be retained and integrated into the proposed
       development. The hedges require general tidying and enhancement works.
5.     A Transport Assessment. This investigates the existing traffic flows in the
       vicinity of the site, compares the proposed traffic levels resulting from this
       development with a resumption of the existing factory premises and identifies
       other committed development proposals in the area. The report also


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         highlights a possible intention of the County Council to carry out
         improvements to the Copse Road/Western Avenue junction by the provision
         of a roundabout.

         The report concludes, that the current proposal will not result in a significant
         change/intensification of traffic over the existing factory use which had
         operated here and that the predicted traffic levels resulting from this proposal
         would not have a detrimental impact on the local highway network. The report
         also states that a "proportional contribution to the proposed roundabout at the
         Western Avenue/Copse Road junction will be negotiated with SCC."
6.       A Travel Plan. This aims to provide a strategy to reduce the dependency on
         the use of private
         cars associated with the use/development of the site. In this connection the
         following measures, inter alia, are proposed:
         Footways to all carriageways within the site.
         Provision of disabled parking spaces.
         Combined cycle/footway bordering Western Avenue and Thorne Lane.
         Provision of a sheltered cycle store.
         Provision of motorcycle parking.
         A financial contribution towards the improvement of the nearest bus stop.
         Each occupier to receive up to date public transport information and to
         receive discounted public transport fares (subject to negotiations with
         transport operators).

More recently, and further to comments made following the consultation process, the
agent has provided the following additional comments:

With regard to the provision of a roundabout at the Copse Road/ Western Avenue
junction - This is shown for illustrative purposes only on the plans supplied. The
applicants are willing to make a modest contribution towards the construction cost of
the roundabout, on a pro rata basis to the other local developments benefiting from
the construction of the roundabout.
With regard to site levels -Borehole testing has revealed that the site has been raised
by some 0.8 m only (section of open land to the north). Proposed units are to be set
well back from the boundary behind screen planting and there should be no impact
on Thorne Lane. It would be impractical for units 1-4 to be lowered - there is already
a 5m fall across the site south to north.
The proposed B8 Trade Counter description refers to a B8 use.

History

860119-Erection of Cellular Radio Base Station - Approved April 1986.
881276- Development of factory and offices - Approved July 1988.
Applications approved throughout the 1990`s to add extensions to the factory/offices.

Policy

The site lies within the development limits for Yeovil, as designated by the South
Somerset Local Plan and lies well beyond the town centre and Yeovil's Conservation
Area. There are no Listed Buildings within the vicinity of the site or protected trees.

Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 repeats the duty
imposed under S54A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and requires that
decision must be made in accordance with relevant Development Plan Documents
unless material considerations indicate otherwise,


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Relevant Development Plan Documents
Regional Spatial Strategy: VIS 1, 2 (sustainable development), SS6 (Yeovil-
designated centre for growth), EN4 (Building quality), TRAN1 9reducing need to
travel)
Somerset and Exmoor National Park Joint Structure Plan: STR1 (sustainable
development), STR4 (reuse of previously developed land), 17, 18 (mixed
commercial/industrial uses), 39,42,43,44,45,48,49 & 50 (access/transport issues).
South Somerset Local Plan (Adopted April 2006): ST5 (general principles), ST6
(quality of development), ST8 (sustainable construction), ST9 (crime prevention),
ST10 (planning obligations), EP2 (noise), EP3 (lighting), EP6 (demolition), EU4
(water services), TPI (transport), TP2 (travel plans), TP3 (cycle parking), TP5 (public
transport), TP6 (parking provision) & ME3 (employment development).

In addition regard should be had to the provisions of PPS1 (Delivering Sustainable
Development), PPG4 (Industrial & Commercial Development and Small Firms) PPG
13 (Transport) & PPG24 (Planning & Noise).

Consultations

The application has been advertised and a site notice displayed (major
development). The consultation period expired on the 24th April.
In addition 16 neighbouring premises have been notified and invited to comment on
the application - the consultation period expired on the 18th April.
This has resulted in the receipt of one letter which refers to the made up ground
levels of the open grassland to the rear of the existing factory building and suggests
unless the ground levels are lowered/returned to original levels, the proposed
buildings will create visual disharmony and appear to dominate more than is
necessary. (see Agents above comments).

Brympton Parish Council: Reluctantly, recommend a refusal, advising that whilst the
Transport Report identifies the provision of a roundabout at the Copse Road/
Western Avenue junction, this is not proposed by this application. Without
clarification of this matter the PC cannot properly assess the impact of the
development. Should the application be approved the PC wish the following to be
noted:
Concerns of inadequate on site parking provision, to an intensification of traffic
resulting from this proposal and to a possible problem of on street parking. They
recommend that the developer be required to fund a Traffic Regulation Order for the
provision of double yellow lines "at appropriate locations".
Further to concern raised by the local resident (as mentioned above) the PC believes
the site levels should be reduced to "the original level of Thorne Lane".
A stronger justification is required for the removal of trees - these are unlikely to pose
a risk to public safety.

Yeovil Without (adjoining) Parish Council: Raise the following "concerns":
Increase in traffic of 40 units into narrow Copse Road. Already busy / traffic queuing
at peak times.
Consider a roundabout necessary at the Copse Road/ Western Avenue junction in
addition to the proposed changes to Thorne Lane as part of Key Site proposal.
Understand the proposed development opposite also exiting onto Barracks Close,
will add to congestion. On this last point, there are no recent or current planning
applications in respect of the adjoining premises (Bonsoir site).




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Natural England: Advise that, based on the information provided, they have no
comments to make on the application.

Wessex Water: No objections, commenting that the existing sewage treatment works
and pumping station has sufficient capacity to deal with the additional flows and that
the existing water supply is adequate.

County Highway Authority: Advise in letter dated 18/05: "Do not have any objections
to the principle of the redevelopment of this former Dairy Crest factory for industrial
purposes within the above use classes applied for. Industry is well established on
the site in respect of a single factory; however, the new uses have a substantially
different profile at the site in terms of traffic generation and this is where
improvements are required to the highway network, which will be as a natural
consequence of allowing the redevelopment of this site with individual units.

As you will be aware, the Western Corridor Study has identified the Copse Road /
Western Avenue junction as benefiting from a roundabout and a design was included
within this document and this principle has now been included within the planning
application submitted by the applicants agents. However, it is noted that the
applicants have shown the roundabout proposal on third party land and unless they
have control of this land they cannot include it within their application as such. In any
event, at this stage the roundabout is a necessity and a requirement of their
development proposals and their planning application and is justified wholly by that
proposal.

The traffic implications for this junction are identified within the applicants Transport
Assessment in terms of traffic generation and vehicular movements.

The County Council is still in the process of assessing all the evidence contained with
the TA and unfortunately, I am not yet in a position to formally respond on this
document. However, this should not be a deciding factor on the principle of the
development, but primarily concerned with the detail, albeit a major traffic
consideration. The County Council has arrived at a draft scheme, which can form the
basis of discussions which will by necessity be a requirement of any ongoing
negotiations to arrive at a satisfactory outcome for the development of his major site.

One of the important aspects of the redevelopment of this site will be the need for a
robust Travel Plan for the site in view of the traffic generation which will arise at peak
times and to this end alternative means of travel will be sought, including measures
to improve public transport access and pedestrian and cycling provision, the
identification for which will be an important consideration within the Transport
Assessment. The pedestrian and cycling improvements have been identified and
included within the draft proposals of the County Councils design for this junction.

When I have a definitive response to the TA, I shall be in a position to report back to
you again and this is likely to be in three weeks.

It could be argued that a recommendation could be given from me in terms of a
negative condition so that no development can commence on site until such time as
a roundabout has been constructed at the junction of Western Avenue with Copse
Road, together with standard conditions including a Travel Plan, but I do not think
that this would be helpful at this time as I consider that the applicants and yourselves
would benefit from detailed discussions and negotiations on the most appropriate
proposals for the access into the redevelopment site.



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My formal recommendation therefore is that you recommend to your committee that
they defer the planning application so that further negotiations can be held pending
the outcome of the Transport Assessment, together with the design and construction
of the roundabout at the applicants cost."

SSDC Planning Policy: No comments.
SSDC Ecologist: No comments.
SSDC: Landscape Architect: Raises no objections commenting that, in terms of
overall scale and massing he is satisfied that the proposal will not appear
incongruous in the wider landscape context. Planning conditions are recommended
to ensure proper and adequate screening takes place, to include supplementary
planting, fencing and possibly solid walling.
SSDC Conservation Architect: No comments.
SSDC Environmental Protection: No comments.
SSDC Arborist: No objections commenting that a good survey has been submitted
and that there appears to be little conflict between the proposals and the trees
around the site.
SSDC Rights of Way: No comments.
SSDC Economic Development:
Natural England: There are no records of protected species on the site.
Environment Agency: Object on the basis of insufficient information. The Agent has
subsequently provided the required further information to the EA (letter 09/05).

Considerations

The site is located within Yeovil's designated development limits and constitutes
previously developed land. In this connection, whilst approximately half of the
application site is taken up by buildings (the Yoplait works) the whole of the site
comprises a single planning unit available for industrial use.
Accordingly, there is not a planning policy objection to the redevelopment of the site
for industrial purposes - uses under Class B1, B2 and B8 of the Use Classes Order.
The main planning considerations can be identified as the scale, layout/relationship
and the highway/access considerations.

The application proposes the erection of 6 buildings to be subdivided to form 42
individual units.
Two blocks will extend along Western Avenue. These are two storey with one block
for B1 (Offices, Research or Light Industrial), B2 (General Industrial) and B8
(Warehousing). The other block is for Light Industrial and Warehousing. These are
orientated with the main loading and unloading and vehicle accessing arrangements
facing into the site (not facing Western Avenue and the houses on the other side of
the road). The existing and well-established hedging on the road frontage is to be
retained .The applicant has therefore endeavoured to provide a design and layout
aimed to mitigate and limit the impact of the uses of the buildings upon the
householders opposite - Shrewsbury Road & Forde Park.
A single block extending on the Copse Road frontage is also two storey to be used
for Offices. These are also orientated so as to be accessed from the rear. Existing
planting on the road frontage is to be retained.
A single block extending along the other road frontage of Thorne Lane is to be used
for Warehousing purposes. Although this will not provide two floors the building will
stand at a similar height to the other proposed 2 storey buildings. Unlike the other
above units this is orientated to provide loading and unloading provision on the
elevation facing the road (Thorne Lane). In this instance a gable end wall is
presented towards the existing houses off Shrewsbury Park. Again existing
established planting on the road frontage is to be retained.


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The remaining two proposed buildings are 2 storey and used for B1, B2 and B8
purposes. These will stand behind the above units, which extend on the main road
frontages and be presented gable end onto Barracks Close (the access serving the
application site and the adjoining commercial premises known as "Bonsoir").
The site and the surrounding land is subject of a fall from south to north of some 4m.
The lower section of the application site to the north consists of open grassland,
which, as pointed out by a near neighbour has been made up and consequently
stands at a higher level than the road. The floor and ridge levels of the proposed
buildings are stepped down to take account of this change in ground levels.
External cladding of the buildings walls is to be finished in a dark blue/grey and the
roofs in a dark grey/black. Some elements, such as roller shutter doors are to be
finished in a bright yellow.
Access to the proposed new units is off Barracks Close - in effect a new means of
access is not proposed. The submitted plans detail the provision of a new
roundabout on the Copse Road/ Western Avenue junction. However the supporting
documents indicated that this would not be provided as part of this application; hence
the comments of the Parish Councils. The applicant has now confirmed that the
roundabout was original detailed for illustrative purposes to reflect a proposal by the
County Council as part of the Western Corridor Study and that they are willing to
make a modest contribution towards its construction costs. Whilst the County
Highway Authority (CHA) has raised no objections to the principle of the
redevelopment of the site as proposed they require further time to assess the
submitted Travel Plan. The matter of the roundabout is still to be resolved. In this
connection the CHA confirm that such a roundabout is justified wholly by this
proposal. Unfortunately the CHA views have only recently been received and the
applicants further views are still awaited - a verbal update will therefore be given to
Members.

Conclusions

The proposed site layout, the scale, height and density of development are
considered appropriate. It provides modern and high quality floor space utilises the
sites full potential and results in a well-conceived scheme, which should not
materially impact on the landscape setting or local residents amenity over and above
a situation that already exists. In this connection the layout allows for the retention
and strengthening of existing and well-established planting which already provides a
strong visual barrier from both the public highway and from the houses opposite. Also
the external materials, in particular the dark black roof finish will help soften and
lessen the impact on the wider landscape setting.
Unfortunately, at the time of preparing this report there is uncertainty surrounding the
access/highway issues; in particular the provision of the roundabout indicated but not
necessarily proposed as a part of this application. Further clarification is being sought
and in the circumstances a verbal report will be given to Members at the committee
meeting.

RECOMMENDATION

That a verbal report be given to update the current situation with regard to the
proposed access/highway arrangements.
___________________________________________________________________




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