3/19/0118/OUT – Recommended for Approval
The Head of Planning and Building Control recommended that in respect of application 3/19/0118/OUT, planning permission be granted subject to a legal agreement and subject to the conditions detailed in the report now submitted.
The report was also seeking delegated Authority for the Head and Planning and Building Control to finalise the detail of the Legal Agreement and conditions.
The Senior Planning Project Officer (Quality Places), on behalf of the Head of Planning and Building Control, summarised the application and detailed the site area and the location of the spine road. She drew Members’ attention to the illustrative layout and the design strategy.
The Senior Planning Project Officer said the central egress would be for buses only and the signal controlled junction involving Gresley Way would ensure that the lights would stay green if there was no demand on any other arm of the junction. Buses would automatically trigger the lights to show a green aspect as part of a scoot system. She drew Members’ attention to the late representations summary and amendments from Officers.
Mr Sypula addressed the Committee in objection to the application. Mr Snowling spoke for the application. Councillor S Brown addressed the Committee on behalf of Aston Parish Council.
Councillor Ruffles referred to the planning history and the relationship between this site and the Aston 004 bridleway or green corridor. He commented on the character of the bridleway and the wider pattern of cycle ways in Stevenage.
Councillor Huggins questioned whether enough consultation had been conducted. He referred to consultation carried out by Officers with Stevenage Borough Council in respect of master planning meetings.
Councillor D Andrews expressed concern regarding Lanterns Lane and remarked on the fact that bus passes were only being offered for three months. He said that there ought to have been a longer period.
Councillor R Buckmaster said that she was concerned as to whether there would enough secondary school places for residents. Councillor Jones sought clarification in respect of NHS requested Section 106 contributions and in particular the contribution towards acute care costs.
The Senior Planning Project Officer detailed the relevant planning history and set out the planning context of the proposed development. She said that a condition in the report covered the protection of routes to the site during construction. The consultation regarding options and impacts with Stevenage Borough Council was summarised for the Committee. A noise impact assessment had also been undertaken. She said that over 500 Stevenage residents were consulted by East Herts Council planning.
Mr Sowerby, on behalf of Hertfordshire Highways, commented on the levels of engagement with Aston Parish Council and Protect Astons Community Existence (PACE). He said that Lanterns Lane, a single track road used as a rat run if the A602 was congested, was not one a motorist would wish to use on a regular basis.
The Senior Planning Project Officer said that the master planning process had been a forum for frank and open discussion. She emphasised that the master planning sessions were not the end of the engagement process as this would continue through the construction phases.
The Service Manager (Development Management) said that the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had been approached by Officers on many occasions regarding specific projects for Section 106 monies. He advised that the large sum for acute care costs could not be included in the Section 106 legal agreement as this sum did not meet the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) regulations. Several Councillors expressed concern regarding the use of Lanterns Lane by motorists as a result of the proposed development.
The Senior Planning Project Officer said that Officers were seeking delegated authority to amend the Section 106 heads of terms and the wording of the conditions. Councillor Huggins expressed concern regarding a traffic light controlled crossing and said the spine road should be opened to traffic as soon as possible as part of this development. Councillor Crystall said that monitoring should be carried out on other potential rat run routes in addition to that carried out for Whiteways.
The Senior Planning Project Officer said that the biodiversity impact assessment calculator did not cover all of the aspects of the proposed development. Members were advised that any works to crossing points over Gresley Way could only be an improvement. She commented on pedestrian and cycle routes and sustainable transport, the spine road and the location of bus stops, which would be known when the spine road was completed.
Mr Sowerby said that signage improvements could be covered by Hertfordshire County Council locality budgets. Members were advised that the signalled junction onto the A602 Gresley Way would be a major and positive improvement in terms of highways capacity.
Mr Sowerby and the Senior Planning Project Officer made a number of further comments in respect of traffic and highways matters. Mr Sowerby said that the developer could not reasonably be asked to mitigate existing congestion in locations such as Walkern High Street. Members were reminded by the Senior Planning Project Officer about the aspiration of achieving modal shift.
Councillor Andrews said the broadband provision should be on the basis of fibre to the premises. The Senior Planning Project Officer made a number of summary comments regarding broadband, water attenuation and drainage, access for pedestrians and cycling safety and broadband provision.
Councillor Jones proposed and Councillor Kemp seconded, a motion that in respect of application 3/19/0118/OUT, the Committee support the recommendation for approval, subject to a legal agreement and subject to the conditions detailed in the report now submitted and authority be delegated to the Head and Planning and Building Control to finalise the heads of terms of the legal agreement and the wording of the conditions.
After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, this motion was declared CARRIED. The Committee supported the recommendation of the Head of Planning and Building Control as now submitted.
RESOLVED – that (A) in respect of application 3/19/0118/OUT, the Committee support the recommendation for approval, subject to a legal agreement and subject to the conditions detailed in the report now submitted; and
(B) authority be delegated to the Head and Planning and Building Control to finalise the heads of terms of the legal agreement and the wording of the conditions.