This application was for the erection of 55no. dwellings with associated amenity space and car parking with the formation of new roundabout to the existing cross roads on the former Dairy Crest Ltd (phase 3), Crudgington, Telford, Shropshire.
This application was before Planning Committee as it required a S106 Agreement.
Councillor G Cook left the meeting.
The Planning Officer informed Members that this application was for full planning permission on an agricultural field which fell between the former Dairy Crest site and the A442 and proposed to facilitate a four arm roundabout to replace the existing Crudgington crossroads. This was a much sought after improvement to the highway by the local community, due to it being an accident hotspot.
Councillor S Bentley, Ward Councillor, spoke in favour of the application and the importance of public engagement on this application and the opportunity for him to explain, on balance, why he was in favour of the recommendation despite it being contrary to policy. The strategic junction had and continued to have minor shunts, accidents with injury, road closures and fatalities. This was exacerbated by the increase in traffic and the size of the vehicles, agricultural vehicles and speed of traffic. It would have been preferable if funding for the installation of the roundabout could have been obtained in other ways with affordable housing being set aside for families with local connection. There was a demonstrated need for safety improvements for all users of this junction including cyclists and pedestrians which would be complimented by the pedestrian crossing which had now been installed and was operational. It was hoped that this would also help reduce the speed of vehicles. He requested that a central refuge be installed on the pedestrian crossing and that if adjustments to the S106 were sought that the junction improvements were not compromised in any way.
Mr A Sheldon, Applicant’s Agent, spoke in favour of the application and acknowledged that under normal circumstances this application would not have gained the support of the Officers but due to the exceptional circumstances and the significant public benefit of the construction of the roundabout and the approval of the Parish Council it was considered, on balance, acceptable. A viability assessment had been undertaken and it was not possible to provide both affordable housing on site as well as the education contribution of £450k due to the cost of providing the roundabout. The contribution would provide additional classroom spaces and the Primary School were in support of the application. The development would be of high quality design with a mix of housing types and sizes. He asked that Members approve the application which would bring about a resolution to the long standing dangerous junction arrangements.
The Planning Officer informed Members that this application brought a significant community gain. There had been no objections from statutory consultees. Extensive negotiations had taken place and the application was supported by the Parish Council. There was an over provision of five parking spaces and all properties would have EV charging points which has been confirmed by the Applicant and would be conditioned. The design had been amended during the course of the application, particularly to the A442 streetscene in respect of house types and the landscaping. The viability had been independently assessed with the cost of the roundabout and the re-location of utilities being around £2m. The viability assessment concluded that some contributions could be provided and it was considered by Officers that more appropriate to provide education contributions on this scheme due to the capacity of the local primary school and secondary education. The scheme would therefore not provide any affordable housing although two additional pieces of outdoor gym equipment would be installed on the play space from the earlier phases and this had been agreed with the Healthy Spaces Officer. Whilst the scheme was contrary to policy, the significant benefits which had been sought by the local community and the Parish Council for many years on balance it was the Officer’s view that the application should be supported.
During the debate some Members felt that the roundabout was a long overdue, was supported by the Ward and Parish Councillors and it was whole heartedly supported due to safety concerns and EV charging points were welcomed. Some concerns were raised in relation to flooding and the representations from neighbours and the capacity of the local schools. Other Members raised concerns regarding the lack of solar panels. Concerns were also raised in relation to the application being used to fund the cost of the roundabout instead of the highway authority and this had an impact on the local affordable housing need. It was asked that the emergency exit and access to the A442 be conditioned as set out in the report.
The Planning Officer confirmed that the contribution towards education had been assessed on the standard formula for the primary school new class base together with a 5% buffer for future growth of the local community.
Upon being put to the vote it was, by a majority:
RESOLVED – that delegated authority be granted to the Service Delivery Manager to grant full planning permission (with the authority to finalise any matter including conditions, legal agreement terms, or any later variations) subject to:
a) the applicants entering into a S106 agreement to incorporate:
i) Financial contribution of £286,711.00 towards primary school
expansion at Crudgington Primary School;
ii) Financial contribution of £131,452.00 towards secondary school
expansions in the North Telford Planning Area;
iii) Financial contribution of £46,854.00 towards secondary school
iv) Installation of two pieces of outdoor gym equipment at the
existing ‘Former Dairy crest’ LEAP, and;
v) S106 Monitoring Fee of £9,300.34.
b) the conditions within the report (with authority to finalise conditions
and reasons for approval to be delegated to Development
Management Service Delivery Manager).