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Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

20/59/Plan

Apologies

Minutes:

No apologies were received.

20/60/Plan

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Name

Item

Interest

Councillor Baigent

All

Personal: Member of Extinction Rebellion and the Cambridge Cycling Campaign.

Councillor Porrer

20/62/Plan

Personal: Knew someone who lived in the F2 building under consideration.

 

Personal: Attended a Camcycle webinar a few days before committee.

Councillor Thornburrow

20/66/Plan

Personal and Prejudicial: Would speak as a Ward Councillor.

 

Did not take part in the discussion or decision making for this item.

 

20/61/Plan

Minutes

Minutes:

No minutes of previous meetings were presented to committee for consideration.

20/62/Plan

18/1678/FUL - Station Area Development pdf icon PDF 779 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received an application for full planning permission.

 

The application sought approval for the proposed erection of two new buildings comprising:

  i.  5,351sqm (GEA) of Class B1(a)/ Class B1(b) floorspace including ancillary accommodation/ facilities with associated plant;

  ii.  162 cycle parking spaces, and 8 off-gauge cycle spaces for Block F2 and an Aparthotel (Class C1) comprising 125 suites, terrace;

  iii.  ancillary accommodation and facilities with multi-storey car park for Network Rail (total GEA 12,153sqm) comprising 206 car parking spaces and 34 cycle parking spaces for Block B2 with associated plant;

  iv.  hard and soft landscaping;

  v.  permanent access from Devonshire Road to the Cambridge Station Car Park, utilising the existing pedestrian and cycle access, restricted to emergency access to the railway only.

 

The Principal Planner updated his report by referring to the pre-Committee amendments to recommendation on the amendment sheet.

 

The Committee received representations in objection to the application from the following:

·  The Chair of South Petersfield Residents Association.

·  Cambridge Cycling Campaign.

 

The representations covered the following issues:

  i.  The design is not sufficiently safe and attractive for a busy cycling and walking route.

  ii.  The B2 building footprint is bigger than in the outline application.

  iii.  Queried where taxis would over rank when not in the car park.

  iv.  More cycle parking was required.

  v.  The Chisholm Trail would be one of the most heavily used cycling routes in the city.

  vi.  Refuse lorries would have to reverse along the northern access route, so a segregated cycle route was needed on this.

 vii.  Asked for the application to be refused for the following reasons:

a.  The footprint of building F2 would block the cycle route.

b.  The mass of building B2 and its proximity to Devonshire Road was damaging to the character of the Conservation Area.

viii.  The Applicant and Network Rail should review the proposed design as it changed since the initial application.

  ix.  Expressed concern:

a.  That the Chisholm Trail was not being protected as per Local Plan Policy 80.

b.  About safety:

  i.  Shared space by cycles and vehicles.

  ii.  Sharp corners.

  iii.  Poor visibility.

  x.  The Applicant tentatively agreed to review the design of the northern access, but no progress appears to have been made about the southern part of the site.

  xi.  Department for Transport Cycle infrastructure Design (LTN 1/20) principles were not being met eg roundabout design.

 

Mr Derbyshire (Applicant’s Agent) addressed the Committee in support of the application.

 

Councillor Robertson (Ward Councillor) addressed the Committee about the application:

i.  Had written to the Applicant when the application was submitted to ask why several elements of the Local Plan Policies were being ignored in their designs. Some points were then added eg electric charging points in the car park.

ii.  Water supply for the city was a concern. New buildings should harvest rain through grey water recycling facilities (to respond to climate change). The buildings in the application did not appear to do so.

iii.  The F2 office block would overshadow neighbouring residences and create a sense of enclosure.

iv.  The F2 building footprint was now bigger than in outline plans.

v.  The proximity of F2 and B2 buildings would create a ‘canyon effect’.

vi.  Changes to the road layout did not address safety concerns for cyclists and walkers.

vii.  There was too much conflict between cyclists and pedestrians in the station square.

viii.  A segregated cycle route was needed between F2 and B2 buildings and behind the square so people could access the station.

ix.  The station area already had lots of office space, no more was needed. Housing should be provided instead. Particularly as COVID-19 has shown people can/prefer to work from home.

x.  It was preferable to make some of the office space housing now, rather than trying to [retrospectively] convert it later when the housing may not meet space standards.

xi.  The B2 hotel and car park had a larger footprint than allowed in the outline permission. It would loom over nearby residences to a greater extent than expected when outline permission was given.

xii.  Requested the application be refused for the following reasons:

a.  It failed to respond to climate change as per Local Plan Policy 28.

b.  F2 would impact on local residences.

c.  Office space should not be retrospectively be converted into housing space.

d.  The gap was too narrow between the office blocks.

e.  The B2 hotel would extend too close to the cycle route and dominate local housing.

 

The Committee:

 

Only those members who attended the meeting on 17 June took part in the discussion/vote on this item. Councillors Smart (Chair), Baigent (Vice Chair), Green, McQueen, Porrer, Thornburrow and Tunnacliffe.

 

Councillor Page-Croft did not take part in the discussion or decision making for this item.

 

Resolved (by 5 votes to 2) to reject the Officer recommendation to approve the application.

 

Members proposed draft ‘minded to’ reasons for refusal which were re-worded by Officers into a format for the minutes. Members resolved (by 5 votes to 0 with 2 abstentions) to accept both reasons for ‘minded to’ refusal and the wording therein.

 

Resolved (by 5 votes to 2) to refuse the application contrary to the Officer recommendation for the following reasons:

  i.  The proposed development fails to provide high quality cycling infrastructure commensurate with Cambridge as the leading cycling city in the UK and fails to demonstrate it is compatible with the objectives of and safeguards the safety and prioritisation of pedestrians and cycling in the area including the Chisholm Trail. This is because the movement, safety and promotion of cycling as an active transport mode for all users both travelling through the site and for those accessing the Cambridge Railway Station / Cycle Point and utilising the strategic cycle network in the CB1 area, is not prioritised through the provision of a physically segregated and protected cycle route. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies 25, 56, 57, 59 and 80 of the Cambridge Local Plan (2018), the NPPF (Feb 2019) paragraphs 104 and 109 and Local Transport Note 1/20, Cycle Infrastructure Design (DfT).

  ii.  By virtue of the scale, massing and footprint of building B2 in close proximity to Carter Bridge and in regard of views from Devonshire Road, the proposed building would appear visually cramped, overly prominent and detract from the character and appearance of the existing area and setting of the adjacent Mill Road Conservation Area. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies 55, 56, 57 and 61 of the Cambridge Local Plan (2018) and NPPF (Feb 2019) paragraphs 124 and 196.


20/63/Plan

18/0887/FUL - 75 Newmarket Road pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received an application for full planning permission.

 

The application sought approval for a proposed mixed use development, comprising part demolition of the existing building, with the retention of the front and side elevations and erection of 7 studio units and 2 x 2 bedroom units and Commercial/Restaurant/Public House (A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 and B1 in the alternative) flexible use, with associated works.

 

Mr Burton (Applicant’s Agent) addressed the Committee in support of the application.

 

Councillor Porrer proposed amendments to the Officer’s recommendation:

  i.  The green roof should be maintained in perpetuity.

  ii.  There should be a manager’s flat above the pub if it is converted into a mixed-use property.

 

The amendments were carried unanimously.

 

The Committee:

 

Resolved (by 7 votes to 0 with 1 abstention) to grant the application for planning permission in accordance with the Officer recommendation, for the reasons set out in the Officer’s report, subject to:

  i.  the planning conditions set out in the Officer’s report;

  ii.  delegated authority to officers, in consultation with the Chair and Spokes, to draft and include the following additional condition:

a.  The green roof should be maintained in perpetuity.

  iii.  an informative included on the planning permission in respect of:

a.  There should be a manager’s flat above the pub if it is converted into a mixed-use property.

 

Councillor Green sought clarification that this was a minor application. If not, the item would return to committee for reconsideration. The Planning Officer said he understood the application to be minor, but would check this.

 

Post meeting note: The threshold for a major development is any application that involves mineral extraction, waste development, the provision of 10+ dwellings / a site area over 0.5 Hectares or a floorspace of over 1,000sqm / an area of 1 hectare. Anything smaller than this would be considered as minor development.

 

This application is for 9 units and the GIA is 705m2. Therefore, the scheme is defined as a minor planning application.

20/64/Plan

19/1770/FUL - 32 St Andrews Street pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received an application for change of use of the former Cambridge Building Society branch (A2/B1) to an (A4) public house use with ancillary staff accommodation and associated development including the insertion of new openings and the relocation of the entrance.

 

The Senior Planning Officer updated his report by referring to amended details for paragraph 0.7. The amended text is in bold 

 

0.7 Policy 50 of the Cambridge Local Plan 2018 states that homes created through change of use from non-residential uses should seek to meet space standards where practicable to do. It is acknowledged that the overall size of the two units do not meet the internal residential space standards requirements. However, given that the proposed converted accommodation will be ancillary to the A4 use of the development it is not considered necessary to apply the same amount of weight to Policy 50 of the Cambridge Local Plan 2018 in this instance. The sizes of the two bedrooms in the proposed managers flat have floor areas of 9.8m2 and 12m2 which both exceed the minimum space standard requirements for a single bedroom and a double bedroom. Within the unit for the staff accommodation the two bedrooms also exceed the minimum space standard requirements for single bedrooms, staff bedroom 1 measures 10.9m2 and staff bedroom 2 measures 9m2. Therefore, on balance given that the policy does not state that it is essential for conversions to meet space standards and the residential uses will be ancillary to the A4 use with bedroom sizes that meet the space standard requirements, overall the quality of the living environment is considered to be acceptable in respect of internal space.

 

Staff accommodation 

Bedroom 

Number of occupants 

Proposed internal space (m²) 

Policy Size requirement (m²) 

Difference in size 

10.9 

7.5 

+3.4 

9 

7.5 

+1.5 

 

 

Mr Durrant (Applicant’s Agent) addressed the Committee in support of the application.

 

The Committee:

 

Unanimously resolvedto grant the application for change of use in accordance with the Officer recommendation, for the reasons set out in the Officer’s report, and subject to the conditions recommended by the Officer including the amendment to condition 50 set out above.

20/65/Plan

20/02876/FUL - 78 Grantchester Meadows pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received an application for full planning permission.

 

The application sought approval for a ground floor rear extension and loft extension, complete with dormers, creation of new dwelling and all associated works.

 

Mr Murray John (Applicant) addressed the Committee in support of the application.

 

Councillor Porrer proposed amendments to the Officer’s recommendation:

  i.  An additional informative: There should be a net gain in biodiversity from the development.

  ii.  An additional condition to secure M4(2) compliance.

 

This amendments were carried unanimously.

 

Councillor Thornburrow proposed an amendment to the Officer’s recommendation that a hedgehog friendly fencing informative be included in the landscape condition.

 

This amendment was carried unanimously.

 

The Committee:

 

Unanimously resolved to grant the application for planning permission in accordance with the Officer recommendation, for the reasons set out in the Officer’s report, subject to:

  i.  the planning conditions set out in the Officer’s report;

  ii.  An additional condition to secure M4(2) compliance.

  iii.  An amended condition to secure ‘hedgehog boundary access features’.

  iv.  An informative be included on the planning permission in respect of:

a.  There should be a net gain in biodiversity from the development.

20/66/Plan

20/01033/FUL - 12 Gilmour Road pdf icon PDF 119 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received an application for full planning permission.

 

The application sought approval for a ground floor extension and access gate alterations within the building curtilage and projection of first floor sitting room window onto the existing terrace.

 

The Committee received a representation in objection to the application from an Accordia resident. The written statement was read to Members by the Committee Manager.

 

The representation covered the following issues:

  i.  Spoke on behalf of a number of residents of Accordia who objected to the proposal.

  ii.  Believed objections recorded earlier in 2020 remained valid. The Committee had already refused an application containing the elements of this proposal and residents asked the committee to refuse this one.

  iii.  Did not intend to repeat the representation made at the committee meeting of Sept 10th but wished to comment on the Inspectors report of Dec 2019 and the recently published Design Guide for Accordia.

  iv.  Were of the view that the Planning Officer’s recommendation and Conservation Officer’s opinion appeared to be heavily influenced by their interpretation of the Inspectors report that dismissed the appeal. Objectors believed that the Officer's recommendation needed thorough examination.

  v.  Queried whether the proposal would detract from the architectural uniformity of the dwellings in the terraces was a good test. The Inspector focused on 'visibility' whereas an assessment should also take account of the main architectural characteristics of the dwelling and the terrace blocks.

  vi.  The proposal at ground floor is to put a glazed box within the part covered space, topped by a "geometrical” shaped lantern or rooflight. The sections give a sense of how the full height glazing would be at the back of the railings and gates fronting the garden. The proposed rear elevation does not give an indication of this relationship and the conversion of a courtyard area to indoor living space. The original courtyard transparency would not continue (contrary to what is said in the design and access statement). The gate/railings would be a partial screen at the front of the new windows and one can speculate on what subsequent action will take place.

 vii.  Even with the retention of the 'gates' there would be two picture windows, disrupting the appearance and architectural composition at ground floor level from the communal garden.

viii.  Estimated there were 37 homes on the site built in the same style. An essential feature was the internal open spaces and the continuity of design that is created.

  ix.  Highlighted the Inspector did not exercise his discretion to grant planning permission for the ground and first floor elements through a split decision.

  x.  The Design Guide for Accordia’s primary purpose was to assist owners as they consider changes to their properties. The working group fully recognise that owners may wish to adapt or renovate their properties over time and the Guide sets out on in a clear manner the considerations that need to be taken into account before embarking on change or replacement of key features that are integral to the homogeneity of the Accordia development.

  xi.  Objectors believed that Accordia is, and should in the long term remain, a model not just of architectural good practice, but also of residents’ commitment to their surroundings and to building a community.

 xii.  The Guide is a manifestation of the intent along with the work undertaken to support the Article 4 Direction and Conservation area status.

xiii.  Objectors urged you to reject the proposal as it contravenes Planning Policies 56(b and f), 58(g) , 82(b) and the Cycle Parking Guide SPD.

 

Ms Richardson (Applicant’s Agent) addressed the Committee in support of the application.

 

Councillor Thornburrow (Ward Councillor – City Council) addressed the Committee about the application:

i.  The Committee should consider the impact of the application on:

a.  The building and setting.

b.  Current and future occupiers.

ii.  The building was of national importance as Accordia was the first site to receive a national design award.

iii.  Previous iterations of the application were stopped before Article 4 came into effect.

iv.  The effect of harm/public benefit of the proposed work should be considered. There may be some harm from the work to the cohesion of the character of the area/terrace.

v.  There was space for car parking but not bikes or other paraphernalia, so a car would likely be parked on the street. Cycle storage standards were not met. There was not enough bike and bin storage space.

vi.  The poor design meant the application would not be considered acceptable if it came forward as a new (independent) scheme.

vii.  The application would impact on access from the living area into communal areas.

viii.  Referenced the 2018 Local Plan. The application:

a.  Did not respond to context.

b.  Did not meet Policies 55, 58 or 61.

 

The Committee:

 

Resolved (by 7 votes to 0)to grant the application for planning permission in accordance with the Officer recommendation, for the reasons set out in the Officer’s report, and subject to the conditions recommended by the Officer.

 

Councillor Thornburrow did not take part in the discussion or decision making for this item.