Agenda item

2023/0791 Avens Court, 1 Broomcroft Drive


[NOTE 1: The Planning Officer advised the committee of an error in paragraph 50 of the report which stated ‘It is considered appropriate to allow for on-site visitor parking provision’ when in fact it should refer to visitor parking provision on-street.]


[NOTE 2: In accordance with the procedure for public speaking at Planning Committee, Andrew Grimshaw attended the meeting and spoke in objection to the application and Elaine Kimber spoke in support.]


The Committee considered an application for the change of use from care home (Use Class C2) to residential (Use Class C3) comprising 13 flats and alterations to fenestration, with car parking, cycle parking and bin store.


Councillor P Graves, Ward Councillor, spoke on the application and stated that he had carefully studied all the representations that had been received and the concerns. Councillor P Graves was keen to comment that all residents were keen that the building be brought back into use, but were worried by the volume of traffic/parking it would create and the insufficient parking proposed on site. Councillor P Graves commented that the road the development was located on was narrow and not suitable for on street parking. The Councillor noted that the lack of parking provision was contrary to the Pyford Neighbourhood Plan Policy BE2.


Some Members of the Committee were concerned about lack of parking and also that some bedrooms in the proposed plans of this development did not meet the minimum standards. The Planning Officer commented that paragraph 36 acknowledged the shortfall in bedroom sizes. That said, Woking did not have a development plan in place to insist this development complied with National Space standards. The Planning Officer commented that applications such as this were a balancing act between these standards and professional judgement.


Councillor C Martin proposed, and it was duly seconded by Cllr T Spenser that the application be refused on the grounds of lack of parking contrary to policy BE2 of the Pyrford Neighbourhood Plan and the shortfall on the bedroom size in relation to national standards.


Planning Officers advised the Committee that Woking had not yet adopted the described national space standards and therefore this point would be difficult to argue at Appeal. It was also noted that these rooms were in the original part of the house, and as a locally listed building it may be difficult to change the size of them to any extent. Some Members were keen that the building internal layout be designed differently in order to meet the standards and in turn mean less vehicles.


The Planning Officer also cautioned that the application did meet the minimum parking standards of thr Parking SPD, so this reason may also be difficult to defend on Appeal.


The Chairman commented that the planning Committee should have discretion to require more parking than the minimum standard as this was a remote site and the options for alternative parking nearby, or public transport were limited. The Planning Officer commented that they thought remote sites would have been taken into account when the minimum parking standard was approved.


Some Members thought that minimum standards should be just that ‘a minimum’ and that developers should be trying to ensure these thresholds were exceeded.


Members felt that the application was in contrary to the Pyrford Neighbourhood Plan (2017) Policy BE2, which states that development proposals must demonstrate that they will not result in on-road parking to the detriment of highway safety or adverse impact on the character of the area.


A Member commented that the proposal stated that there would be a concierge on site and queried whether consideration had been given to their parking provision. It was noted that it had not and the 12 space parking provision on site was soley for the use of residents.


Following advise from Planning Officers the Cllr C Martin agreed to alter his motion and the grounds on which he proposed to refuse the application.


Councillor C Martin proposed and it was duly seconded by Cllr T Spenser that the application be refused on the grounds of lack of parking contrary to policy BE2 of the Pyrford Neighbourhood Plan and SPA lack of S106 funding.


Kuldip Channa, Solicitor provided a reminder of the earlier legal advice relating to the risk of a potential costs award against the Council (under item 6a) and therefore the need to have robust planning reasons for refusal should the Application go to Appeal.


In accordance with the Standing Order set out in the Constitution, the Chairman deemed that a division should be taken on the motion to refuse the application.  The votes for and against refusal of the application were recorded as follows.


In favour:                           Cllrs T Aziz, S Oades, C Martin and T Spenser.

                                 TOTAL:  4

Against:                             None.

                                 TOTAL:  0

Present but not voting:      Cllr L Morales (Chairman)

                                 TOTAL:  1

The application was therefore REFUSED.




That the application be REFUSED.


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