To receive the report on Planning Application TWC/2022/0924.
This was an application in relation to 31, 33, 35, 39, 41 & 43 Market Street, Oakengates, Telford, Shropshire, TF2 6EL & 1 - 8 & 10 - 22 (evens) Limes Walk, Oakengates, Telford, Shropshire, TF2 6EP and the redevelopment of Oakengates Town Centre comprising of the demolition of units 31, 33 and 35 Market Street, and 1, 3, 5 and 7 Limes Walk, refurbishment of 14no. retail units, erection of 10no. first floor residential dwellings and an improved public realm area.
This application was before Committee as it was a major application for which the Council is the applicant and required financial contributions via a S106.
An update report was tabled at the meeting which addressed further consultation responses that had been submitted since the publication of the report, together with the receipt of an in-shop and online petition. Following this update a further three letters of representation had been received – one letter of objection and two letters in support of the application. The letters contained no further material considerations.
The Planning Officer informed Members that at 8.10.3 of the report the exact figure for the bus shelter had now been received and if members were minded to approve the application the resolution would need to be amended to include the figure of £10,528.80.
Mr N Booth, member of the public, spoke against the application. Although regeneration was needed he did not feel that the proposal was acceptable. He raised concerns regarding the retail shops on both sides of the open space, the gateway to The Wakes, negative impact on a viable shopping centre, sequential tests had not been undertaken and antisocial behaviour. He felt that the application would not enhance the existing footfall and would not fit the current character of the town and was on an old Roman road. Further concerns were that the apartments had no easy access for older or disabled residents, there was no dedicated parking and he questioned the potential space for market stalls and its viability and the lack of a public toilet. He asked that the application be reconsidered as part of the Telford Theatre remodelling.
During the debate some Members felt that the regeneration of the town centre on the whole was a good thing and welcomed the application which was a pleasant improvement, but raised concerns about anti-social behaviour and whether CCTV was in the area or could be installed. It was noted that there had been no comments from Oakengates Town Council. Other Members asked if there would be a time when the shops would experience a loss of trading during the works, would the traders have to pay more rent and had the businesses been offered alternative sites. Further concerns were raised in relation to parking and usually there were link parking spaces to the flats. Questions were raised as to whether some parking could be allocated to the residential units and if there was protection if car parking charges were introduced and whether there was a likelihood that electric charging points would be introduced on the car parks within Oakengates. Other Members raised further concerns regarding odour from the proposed food outlets, car parking standards, noise, litter and antisocial behaviour which would be detrimental to the town centre. It was felt by some Members that this application was a wasted opportunity with no innovation and raised further concerns regarding the consultation exercise, why had the Town Council failed to comment, lack of affordable housing, odour and noise nuisance, the flats had a lack of amenity space and were only suitable for able bodied residents. It was also asked if there were any asbestos concerns and if a survey had taken place and would there be a requirement for specialist removal if present.
The Planning Officer confirmed that in relation to CCTV this would be a decision for the applicant or the landowner and that it was outside the remit of planning to control public behaviour or the behaviour of individuals. She had not been made aware of the timescales for the development or have details of the rents as this fell outside of the planning remit and would not be a material consideration. In relation to alternative sites for the businesses, everyone who wished to stay has been given an opportunity. As there were no time restrictions on the car parks, coupled with the links to public transport in the area the car parking was considered acceptable. There were no car parking charges being introduced but as the flats would be owned by NuPlace conversations could be held in the future if necessary and it was not expected that this would be an issue.
In relation to electric charging points, whilst it was outside of the scope of the planning application, there was a wider Council programme to install electric vehicle charging points in this car park. Food related businesses would be required to submit plans for mechanical extraction or ventilation and would need separate planning approval. Parking standards had been given careful consideration and although there was an absence of designated parking, it was in a highly sustainable area served by public transport. The car park was owned by the Council and not restricted and in good proximity to the flats and on balance was considered appropriate. Late night noise and litter were a possibility, but these types of businesses were already located within the town centre and could already be happening. In relation to a lack of responses from Oakengates Town Council she was unable to comment.
The Environmental Health Specialist had put in place a series of conditions and measures to safeguard the amenity and ensure there was no impact to residents. A statutory public consultation had taken place as part of the planning process. An asbestos survey had been undertaken and if any was found it would be removed. There was no affordable housing to be delivered with this application as a registered provider would be unlikely to take on affordable units within a building owned by another company or with commercial premises underneath due to the maintenance and management issues - NuPlace were to deliver the flats in this area which would ensure the same management for both the business and residential units.
The Development Management Service Delivery Manager confirmed that there was no material weight that could be given to the application in respect of CCTV. This was a matter for the wider Council in terms of being proactive and around anti-social behaviour. In relation to comments not being received from consultees, she confirmed that all consultees had received a consultation and that if no comments were provided that was a choice that the consultee had made.
On being put to the vote it was, by a majority:
RESOLVED – that delegated authority be granted to the Development Management Service Delivery Manager to grant planning permission (with the authority to finalise any matter including Condition(s), legal agreement terms, or any later variations) subject to the following:
a) the applicant/landowners entering into a Section 106 Agreement with the Local Planning Authority subject to indexation from the date of committee), relating to:
i) Bus shelter improvements on Lion Street £10,528.80
ii) s.106 Monitoring Fee (2% of the total value of contributions, £500 minimum and capped at £15,000)
b) the conditions contained in the report and the update report.