This was a full planning application for 24 entry-level affordable homes as well as associated access and egress, drainage, and landscaping. Since the report was published, the applicant has agreed a lease with an operator for the Lion Inn public house. Works were underway on the pub and it was to reopen in April 2023. However, the application was to be decided on its own merits. The officer recommendation was to approve the application.
Councillor S Burrell, Ward Member, spoke against the application on the grounds that it was contrary to local planning policy.
Councillor A Wilson, parish councillor, opposed the application citing local character and local need for such housing.
Mr M Nolan, a representative from the affordable housing provider, Green Square Accord, spoke in favour of the application stressing its delivery of new affordable housing.
The Principal Planning Officer stated that this was a proposal for 24 two and three bed homes, Six of these homes were to be offered for shared ownership and 18 for affordable rent secured in perpetuity through a s106 agreement. The application complied with the NPPFs paragraph 72 on entry-level housing exception sites and this outweighed Local and Neighbourhood planning policy on housing.
The proposals had been subject to amendments and had been redesigned to be more in keeping with local character, the new design satisfied local design requirements in the Local and Neighbourhood plans.
Despite there being a negative impact on the Grade II listed Priory building, there was no harm to the conservation area and the less than substantial harm needed to be weighed against the public benefits of the scheme.
Access to the site would be from Chetwynd Road, this required changes to the access of the existing car park at the Lion Inn. Works to the car park would be secured by an s106 agreement. The proposals were accompanied by an offsite highway scheme. There were no objections from the Highways Authority.
Drainage on the site had been subject to borehole monitoring for attenuation tank feasibility. Sufficient data had been gathered to approve the attenuation tank, subject to conditions
A number of Members expressed concerns about road safety and the safety of pedestrians on and off site.
Some Members also questioned the demand for affordable housing in the area.
The issue of how disability-friendly the new homes would be was also raised.
On being put to the vote, it was, by majority:
RESOLVED – that delegated authority be granted to the Development Management Service Delivery Manager to grant full planning permission subject to Condition(s), Informative(s) and the Applicant entering into a Section 106 Agreement in respect of Education Contributions, Off-site improvements to playing fields and open space, the delivery of off-site highway works and Section 106 Monitoring Contributions.