See report by Stephen Hissett, Planning Officer (agenda item 8) and the Addendum Report
With the permission of the Chair, Nadja Stone spoke again in support of the application as the Council’s Housing Development and Partnership Manager. She advised that there was a desperate need for housing and that the site was suitable for the development. The proposal would go towards meeting the need for large family houses.
Councillor Hughes asked who currently had access to the site. Ms Stone advised that it was a garage site. Both planning officers and architects had looked at access to the site to ensure that there would be no impact on existing properties.
Councillor Wilson advised that there were three garage entrances off of the access road and that access and egress to the site was across the gates at the entrance to the school. He felt that the access was in a dangerous position and asked if officers had looked at it properly.
Councillor O’Reilly noted that in the report, there was a target to produce 4750 homes and she asked how that would be funded. Ms Stone advised that 4750 was the target quoted in the London Plan and not the Council’s Pledges. She went on to explain that there was a £2.1m new homes bonus, which was ring-fenced for affordable homes and that the Council may look to selling off properties to provide funding. Councillor Cadbury added that there were some instances, depending on the source of funding, where planning permission was needed before funding could be accessed.
With the permission of the Chair, Mr Mould, Chair of TW14 Resident’s Association, spoke in objection to the proposals. He advised that he had asked for bollards to prevent parking at the entrance to Chichester Way. He referred to other Council owned sites, such as the site at Apex Roundabout recently put before the Committee and asked why that land was not being used for housing.
He advised that some of the garages were derelict, but some were let out and parents used that area to park when dropping off their children at the school. He felt that the Council should have maintained the garages and noted that the land would only be used to provide two houses.
He described parking in Chichester Way as ‘horrendous’ and felt that the new houses would potentially mean an additional four cars, which he felt would park in the road at the front rather than on the site if it meant residents having to walk across the rear gardens. He also had concerns that builder’s lorries would block the entrance and have difficulty getting into Denham Road, which was very narrow.
Mr Mould advised that there were 60 residents affected by the proposals. The Council had consulted residents about parking around the school, but had taken no action. A transport assessment had been carried out, but it had taken at the quietest time of the day rather than peak times. He described the situation at school drop off times as ‘utter chaos’. He noted that 13 consultation letters had been sent out and four replies received and asked why only 13 residents had been consulted.
Mr Mould felt that, if the application was approved, there would be huge disruption to traffic and that parking provision in the area was already full. He felt that pictures provided by the officers were five years out of date and misrepresented the facts.
In response to questions, Mr Mould confirmed that he has spoken to the Head of the adjacent Sparrow Farm School about the problems and that, although residents had asked for a CPZ, they had been told that it was not necessary.
Councillor Wilson advised that he lived within 60 yards of the site and that Mr Mould’s comments had been a true representation of the situation; the entrance to the site was within inches of the school gates, the garages were being used by residents, there was chaos at school drop off times and vehicles blocked the road. The school had complained about parking difficulties and spoken to Councillor Wilson as well as Mr Mould. He felt that the hazard to parents and children would be exacerbated by the proposals.
Cathy Gallagher highlighted the main points in the report. She advised that there were 22 garages and only 3 were rented, therefore usage was considered to be low. With regard to the school, there were double yellow lines on junctions to prevent parking, which may not be being adhered to. She advised that the Committee needed to balance parking problems in the area with the need for low rental accommodation.
Councillor Wilson questioned statements made about the light and felt that the new proposals would block out light to houses in Denham Road and on the corner with Chichester Road. Cathy Gallagher demonstrated on the plan where the shadowing would take place, which she did not feel would be unacceptable or have a significant impact. It was noted that Councillor Wilson still disagreed with officer’s conclusions about the impact on light.
Councillor Jabbal questioned why the traffic survey had been taken at 11 am and 2 pm. Mr Woods advised that it had been carried out by the applicant and not traffic officers and acknowledged that it showed daytime parking levels on the estate and not evening parking levels. The Chair advised that he accepted that the survey showed traffic flows at two separate times and went on to ask how parking problems could be addressed if the option of a CPZ was not taken forward.
Mr Woods advised that residents should make representations to their ward Councillors if they wished to have a CPZ, which could then be processed through the area committee. A CPZ was normally installed in areas with high levels of daytime parking, for example, near shops or a station and did not normally benefit a residential area because there were no outside people needing to be displaced. Parking issues around the school could be helped by trying to encourage a school travel plan.
Councillor Bruce commented that parking problems were a big issue for many schools and agreed that a travel plan could significantly minimise those problems. He had carried out teaching practice at the school in the past and advised that the parking problems were no better and no worse than for other schools. He appreciated that there would be a new housing development, but felt that it was necessary to balance the need for housing against exacerbating parking problems.
Councillor Cadbury added that policies were strongly in favour of providing opportunities for family and affordable housing and felt that this was not possible to do so if the Committee opposed every application. She felt it could be opposed if it was unsuitable or inappropriate, but the proposal had been carefully thought through. Councillor Cadbury advised that, if it was a choice between cars and housing, she would always put housing first, which was in accordance with the Council’s policy.
Councillor Dhillon agreed and commented that there was pressure on all schools over parking problems.
Councillor Wilson felt that the proposal did not fit into the street scene and was out of character with existing properties in the road.
Councillor O’Reilly advised that she agreed with much of what Councillor Cadbury had said about the need for housing, but had concerns that it was inefficient to build one or two houses on different sites.
Members voted on the officer’s recommendation for approval, as follows:
For - Councillors Bains, Barwood, Bruce, Cadbury, Curran, Dhillon, Grewal, Hughes and Sangha
Against - Councillors Fisher, Jabbal, O’Reilly and Wilson
Abstain - None
That planning permission for planning application 00346/ADJ10/P1 for the demolition of existing garage blocks and erection of 2 no. dwellings with associated parking at the garage block adjacent to 10 Denham Road, Feltham be approved, subject to the conditions set out in the Report and the Addendum Report.