Agenda and draft minutes

Development Management Committee
Thursday 25th June, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: This meeting was held virtually via Zoom

Contact: Peter Mannings  Tel: (01279) 502174 Email:  peter.mannings@eastherts.gov.uk

Link: The you tube live stream for this meeting can be viewed by clicking here

Media

Items
No. Item

57.

Apology

To receive apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor Page.  It was noted that Councillor Fernando was substituting for Councillor Page.

58.

Chairman's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed all attendees and those viewing online to the meeting.  He stated that The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 came into force on Saturday 4 April 2020 to enable councils to hold remote committee meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic period. This was to ensure local authorities could conduct business during this current public health emergency.  This meeting of the Development Management Committee was being held remotely under these regulations, via the Zoom application and was being recorded and live streamed on YouTube.

 

The Chairman invited each Member and Officer in attendance at the meeting to introduce themselves.

59.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any Members' declarations of interest.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made by Members in any item on the agenda.

60.

3/19/2614/FUL - Mixed use re-development comprising partial demolition of existing buildings and replacement with 3,419 square metres of commercial floorspace (Use Classes A1-A4, D1), an 86-bed hotel (Use Class C1), 98 residential apartments (use class C3), alterations to an existing car park, new bus station facilities and associated works and improvements at Bircherley Green Shopping Centre, Bircherley Green, Hertford, SG14 1BN pdf icon PDF 461 KB

Recommended for approval subject to a legal agreement and conditions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Planning and Building Control recommended that in respect of application 3/19/2614/FUL, planning permission be granted subject to a legal agreement and subject to the conditions detailed in the report now submitted and for the reasons also set out therein.  The report also sought delegated authority for the Head of Planning and Building Control to finalise the detail of the legal agreement and conditions.  

 

The Principal Planning Officer, on behalf of the Head of Planning and Building Control, introduced the report and gave a detailed presentation of the proposed development for which planning permission was being sought and the range of issues and considerations that were material to the determination of the application.

 

The Principal Planning Officer reported that:

 

-                          the proposal was for a mixed use redevelopment of the 1970s Bircherley Green shopping centre, the main modern retail area in Hertford town centre. The shopping centre closed in 2018 following the determination of planning application 3/17/0392/FUL, approved in January 2018 for a mixed-use redevelopment scheme. Partial demolition of the site commenced but the then owners sold the site in the latter part of 2019 citing that due to market conditions, the scheme had become unviable.  Chase New Homes purchased the site and sought to redevelop it for mixed use.

-                          the site was located within the Hertford Conservation Area and the Area of Archaeological Significance and was immediately adjacent to the River Lea, which in its canalised section formed the northern boundary of the site.  The proposals raised a range of issues relevant to an important development located in the town centre.  Given its location and a scheme having previously been approved, redevelopment of the site was acceptable in principle. The current development comprised retail space, parking, the bus station, public circulation areas including a river walkway and a public multi-storey car park providing 188 parking spaces, accessed via Bircherley Street.  As with the approved scheme, the proposal introduces new uses to the site, including residential development and a hotel use.

-                          Policy HOU3 sets out the Council’s Affordable Housing policy and seeks the provision of up to 40% of residential units as affordable.  Where a lower provision is proposed a financial viability assessment is required.  A viability report accompanied the application to justify the applicant’s position, which was that no affordable housing is proposed.  The Council engaged an independent viability consultant to scrutinise that submission, who had concluded that the scheme was not sufficiently viable to deliver an affordable housing contribution.

 

The Principal Planning Officer drew Members’ attention to the summary of additional representations received after completion of reports submitted to the Committee but by 5pm on the date of the meeting, which had been circulated to Committee Members.  This document included corrected wording for the summary for reason of decision on Page 91 of the agenda pack as follows:  “East Herts Council has considered the applicant's proposal in a positive and proactive manner with regard to the policies of the Development Plan and any  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.