Agenda item

Full Application - Erection of 6 No. Apartments with Associated Access and Parking at 1 Queen Street, Queensferry (053080)


            That planning permission be refused because of the objection from Natural Resources Wales (as reported in paragraphs 7.13, 7.14 and 7.15).   




The Committee considered the report of the Chief Officer (Planning and Environment) in respect of this application.  The usual consultations had been undertaken and the responses received detailed in the report.  Additional comments received since the preparation of the report were circulated at the meeting.


            The officer detailed the background to the report and explained that the application had been deferred at the 22 April 2015 meeting to request confirmation from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) as to why this proposal was considered differently to that of a nearby development (reference 051988).  The report addressed NRW’s response and paragraphs 7.13 and 7.14 detailed the different considerations for the two applications. 


            Mrs. S. Speechley spoke against the application.  She said that the site had previously been used as a garden and added that NRW had indicated that the application failed to comply with A1.14 of TAN15.  It had been suggested at the meeting on 22 April 2015 that NRW had been inconsistent in their determination of this proposal and application 051988.  Mrs. Speechley said that the plans failed to show the alleyway which measured 4.8 metres and narrowed to 3.6 metres, in which cars would turn into the site opposite the gate to her garden which she felt was dangerous.  Scaffolding which had been erected on her house currently obstructed half the alleyway and would therefore prevent any vehicles entering the proposed site whilst the scaffolding was in place if approval was granted.  Mrs. Speechley also felt that the proposal was dangerous and impractical for pedestrians as a footway would not be put in place from the site. 


            Mr. J. Paul, the agent for the applicant, spoke in support of the application.  He felt that the concerns raised had been addressed and he provided details of the proposed ridge height compared to properties on Chester Road and Queen Street.  He said that invasion of privacy would not be an issue and he raised concern about the suggested inconsistency by NRW which had been highlighted at the previous meeting.  He also spoke of the concerns raised about possible flood risk which he felt had been addressed.  He added that the proposal would allow for a quality designed solution which would help to address the lack of five year housing land supply.              


            Councillor Chris Bithell proposed the recommendation for approval which was duly seconded.  He spoke of the discussions that had been undertaken at the previous meeting and said that there were no planning reasons to refuse the application.  He commented on the objection raised by NRW when they had not objected to a site nearby and queried whether the inconsistency could be raised with NRW.  The Development Manager advised that if the application was approved, NRW could consider whether to ask for the application to be called-in and added that officers were comfortable with the recommendation. 


            Councillor Christine Jones raised concern at the inconsistency of NRW as both this site and the nearby site that they had not objected to were in the C1 flood zone.  She suggested that the site was greenfield rather than brownfield as it had been a garden which was the reason for the objection by NRW.  Councillor Richard Jones felt that NRW were being consistent in their opinion which he felt should be followed and the application should therefore be refused.  In referring to the comments of NRW in paragraphs 7.13 and 7.14, Councillor Derek Butler indicated that NRW had identified this site as being more vulnerable because it did not benefit from existing planning permission which the nearby site did.  He concurred that NRW had been inconsistent in their opinion and suggested that this issue should be raised with NRW. 


            In response, the Planning Strategy Manager said that the Council was the statutory authority and that advice as part of the consultation exercise had been provided by NRW.  He felt that there was no justification for NRW to give differing views on sites that were so close together.  He suggested that there was no greater risk on this site than on the nearby site and that appropriate conditions would be applied to mitigate any concerns. 


            On being put to the vote, the proposal to refuse the application was CARRIED.  Councillor Butler indicated that the reasons for refusal were based on the objection from NRW as detailed in paragraphs 7.13, 7.14 and 7.15 of the report.


            Councillor Richard Jones commented on the Section 106 obligation attached to an approval of the application and queried whether five or more contributions had been requested for public open space enhancements in lieu of on-site provision, based on the briefing note discussed earlier.  The Housing & Planning Solicitor advised that this was immaterial as the Committee had refused the application.                      




            That planning permission be refused because of the objection from Natural Resources Wales (as reported in paragraphs 7.13, 7.14 and 7.15).   



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