Agenda item

23/00822/F - Land at Partridge Mead, Banstead

Demolition of existing buildings and erection of 4 residential dwellings with associated parking and landscaping. As amended on 12/06/2023, 02/08/2023 and on 15/08/2023.

Minutes:

The Committee considered an application for the demolition of existing buildings and erection of 4 residential dwellings with associated parking and landscaping. As amended on 12/06/2023, 02/08/2023 and on 15/08/2023.

 

Alex Lyne, a local resident, spoke in objection to the application, stating that he was a resident of Parkwood Road, and these houses would tower over his property. There had been many months where residents had expressed their concerns and been looking for answers on important related factors. There was concern regarding safety, application inaccuracies, community impacts as well as ensuring a healthy and balanced community. Although there were a number of conditions there were still a number of concerns outlined as follows:

 

·         The access road to this site was not suitable. This was a side alley, not suitable for four houses worth of traffic, whether vehicular or foot. No pathways were required or street lighting for circa 12 children as suggested in the proposal of 5 person households.

·         This same access road, once refuse was considered, measured only 2.7m in width at its narrowest point due to trees owned by the neighbouring property.

 

This raised serious safety concerns with regards to emergency vehicles and did not consider foot traffic and concern was raised regarding the safety of children walking to school.

 

·         Regarding the refuse, the solution did not consider the government guidelines, which stated that “Where the location for storage is publicly accessible or open, an enclosure should be considered.” Placing the refuse in an enclosure, as recommended, then further reduced this width access to circa 2.6M.

 

The furthest bin to the furthest house was not 35m, but 47m. This did not align with Council or Government guidelines. The traffic report was taken outside of vital school hours. Asbestos sits on every single garage roof has not been considered. No studies, tests, removal RAMS or prevention of nearby exposure have been submitted. Within the speaker’s objection he proposed that the area could be turned into allotments which would satisfy the community and promote eco living in the area. Privacy was also an important factor, and this proposal would take this away. There was an understanding of the need for affordable housing however this was an inappropriate site.

 

Charlotte Reason, a local resident, spoke in objection to the application stating that the site was unsuitable for the proposals due to potential road safety hazards and lack of fire services access. Concern was raised regarding the safety of residents, particularly children. There were asbestos related concerns associated with this site. This posed a significant health risk to anyone residing or working nearby. Local residents had not seen the plans as to how this would be dealt with. False drawings and misrepresented plans raised doubts about the project's transparency and integrity. The plans presented did not accurately reflect the site and approving inaccurate plans could lead to significant problems in the future. There was an ongoing legal challenge regarding boundaries and solicitors had suggested that the plans before the Committee for approval were unlawful. Concern was raised regarding access during construction as residents needed to be able to access their properties. It was also felt that the “no infilling rule” was being overlooked. Local residents empathised with councils trying to fulfil a government quota to build affordable housing. However, the issues around overlooking, safety issues, legal issues and general suitability raised significant concerns here.

 

Stephen Clements, Assistant Development Director for Raven Housing Trust, spoke in support of the application, stating that Raven was a Housing Association based within Borough, that currently owned about 6500 affordable homes, which they were looking to grow in borough by approximately 50-80 homes per year, aligning themselves to the Councils’ task of delivering 100 new affordable homes each year. Raven were being proactive in investing in the delivery of more affordable rented accommodation. This was the second of a number of applications within the Borough that would see the transformation of sites that have come to the end of their useful life. The proposal was in keeping with that of Downland Close, which was approved by the Committee the previous month, providing four three bed properties. The Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document set this type and tenure as the second highest target, which reflected the demand for these properties and the ongoing housing need. They exceed national space standards and followed principles of inclusivity. They would achieve net zero carbon (in use) utilising Air Source Heat Pumps and PV panels, which would reduce energy bills for occupiers. The homes were 50% faster to build than traditional construction, which meant that disruption to surrounding residents would be significantly reduced and, these four houses could be occupied by Summer 2024 if permission was granted at this meeting.

 

Following a vote, it was AGREED that this application be DEFERRED to the next meeting to allow for a site visit, where the access road could also be measured.

Supporting documents: