Agenda item

Application for Consideration - 22/01537/FULL St Andrews Medical Centre, St Andrews Court, Pinewood Gardens, Southborough.


Planning Report and Presentation – The Head of Planning Services submitted a report in respect of application PLA6422 St Andrews Medical Centre, St Andrews Court, Pinewood Gardens, Southborough and this was summarised at the meeting by Mr Richard Hazelgrove Principal Planning Officer and illustrated by means of a visual presentation.


Updates and additional representation – Since publication of the agenda the Officer updated:


·        Two further neighbour representations have been received. These raise similar issues to previous objections regarding safety along the shared footpath/roadway, loss of privacy, design and layout.


·        The topographical survey, block plan and site location plan have been slightly amended to exclude a small section of the shared roadway/footpath in the top north eastern corner which may belong to Southborough Town Council. These plans were published on the TWBC website on Friday afternoon. They do not result in a material change to the scheme.


As a result of the above condition 2 was proposed to be updated (to incorporate the amended plans); plus condition 18 was proposed to be amended to refer to the updated block plan, plus exclude reference to the retention of the litter bin (as it now falls outside the application site).


Registered Speakers – There were 3 speakers that registered in accordance with the Council’s Constitution (Planning Committee Procedure Rules)



·        Mr Matthew Taylor, a local resident.



·        Mr Dan Harding, HAPA Architects.


Parish/Town Councillor Representative:

·        Councillor Alain Lewis, Southborough and High Brooms


Matters of clarification by Officers and Committee Members’ questions to Officers included:

                 i.          It was confirmed that a condition required the windows to be obscure glazed and restricted in it’s opening, and this was a common mitigation measure to reduce overlooking.

                ii.          Enforcement worked on a reactive basis and it was advised that if the obscure glazing was removed by the residents, it was a breach of conditions and the enforcement team would investigate.

               iii.          Paragraph 10.88 in the report advised that if the windows were not obscure glazed that the application would be unacceptable and Officers would recommended refusal.

              iv.          The view from the secondary bedrooms would not be good due to the obscure glazed.

                v.          Paragraph 10.71 in the report addressed the parking spaces and it was considered that this met the parking requirements of the residents and a shortfall of one space was not considered a valid reason for refusal.

              vi.          There were no issues raised by Kent County Council Highways.

             vii.          The density of the housing mix was outlined on the bottom of page 28 of the agenda, there wasn’t a strict housing density figure that was applied as this was an unreliable figure.

            viii.          It was advised that the national space standards are not standards that had been adopted by the council therefore the size of the rooms and parking spaces were a matter of judgement.

              ix.          It was recognised that empty properties attract anti-social behaviour, it was expected that the owners of the property would keep the property secure.

                x.          The access road will continue to give access to the Scout hut and to the playing fields beyond, this was a civil matter between the prospective parties.

              xi.          Officers explained a breach of condition notice and the consequences of that not being complied with.

             xii.          Members acknowledged that the secondary bedrooms were likely to be rooms that children or teenagers would dwell in.

            xiii.          The applicants were approached during the application process and it was suggested that 5 dwellings on the site might be a better fit, however they chose to remain with 6.

           xiv.          The density standards were the minimum standards that should be looked at.

             xv.          The block plan showed 6 houses, each with 2 car parking spaces and reasonable sized gardens, this was bigger compared to other properties in the area therefore Officers considered this to be a reasonable development.

           xvi.          Members were reminded that the Council did not yet have a five year land supply in those situations and NPPF directed authorities to permit houses that made up sustainable development.

          xvii.          Members acknowledged comments from the Town Council.

        xviii.          Members had to make a decision on the application in front of them.

           xix.          The decision was based on the distance between the proposed houses and the buildings at the back, not in comparison to the length of neighbouring gardens.

             xx.          Officers considered that the shared access road was acceptable to be used on a more intensive basis.


Committee Member debate and Officer clarification included:

                 i.          Members spoke about their concerns about overdevelopment, the size of the rooms and parking spaces being too small and compromises made.

                ii.          Sympathies were given to neighbouring residents.

               iii.          The virtues of the site were clear, sustainable and brownfield site and suitable for development, however this was not considered by some to be the right development.

              iv.          The psychological harm of overlooking was highlighted.

                v.          An alternative motion to approve the application was moved but not seconded.

              vi.          The size of the site was a concern.

             vii.          The Kent Fire Service report related to turning points was highlighted.

            viii.          The recommendation was proposed by Councillor Bailey but was not seconded

              ix.          A refusal was suggested on the grounds of overdevelopment and overlooking and this was discussed in detail.


Decision/voting – On the basis that members were satisfied that all relevant planning considerations had been covered within the report a motion was proposed by Councillor Bland, seconded by Councillor Dawlings and a vote was taken to refuse the application against the officer recommendation.


RESOLVED – That application PLA64/22 be refused.

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