Agenda item - BH2019/02143, Former Garage Site Eastergate Road, Brighton - Full Planning

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Agenda item

BH2019/02143, Former Garage Site Eastergate Road, Brighton - Full Planning

Minutes:

1.          It was noted that this application had formed the subject of a site visit prior to the meeting.

 

2.          Wayne Nee (Principal Planning Officer) introduced the application and gave a detailed presentation by reference to site location plans, elevational drawings and photographs. It was noted that the main considerations in the determination of this application relate to the principle of the loss of the existing use, the principle of a proposed residential use, the impact on the character and appearance of the existing building and the wider street scene, its impact on future occupiers and neighbouring amenity, sustainability and transport issues.

 

Speakers

 

3.          James Deans spoke as a neighbour who objects to the application. It was noted that the speaker had worked in the United States with homeless people and had been homeless in the past. The need for accommodation was understood. Permanent accommodation would be better for the young people who are proposed to live on the site, not temporary. 30 under 25 year olds will not mix with the existing community. This application is not the best option for the site. Smaller groups would be better. These plans cram too many into too smaller space. It is felt that the community will blame any local issues, such as anti-social behaviour, on the young residents. 10/12 houses would have been a better use of the site. 

Questions for Speaker

4.          Councillor Nick Childs was informed that there were concerns about both concentration of numbers and amount of space per unit. The speaker did not consider the scheme to be cost effective. It was also noted that the young residents, some of whom may be traumatised will have no overnight support. A better start in life needs to be offered.

 

5.          Charles Walker (Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) Chief Executive) spoke in favour of the application. It was noted that YMCA has been a presence in Brighton since 1919 and this application was not about money. The YMCA are proud of the long shared history with Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC). It was noted that the site is difficult and would mean an investment of £3m. Working with young people has worked well in the city and this proposal has been designed with the young people in mind. The site will be staffed 7 days a week and at night. Priority will be given to local people. The proposals are be sustainable with a low impact on the environment.

 

Questions for Speaker

6.          Councillor Daniel Yates was informed that staff will be on site day and night. Mobile staff are also available.

 

7.          Councillor Joe Miller was informed that even though the units were small, they were bigger than those viewed in a successful scheme already running in Mitcham, South London.

 

8.          Councillor Carol Theobald was informed that the units were for single people not couples.

 

9.          Councillor Leo Littman was informed that the scheme would be open to both men and women.

 

10.      Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty was informed that the location was cost effective, outside the expensive city centre, with good transport links. The communal space, although not large, was the best that could be achieved.

 

11.      Councillor Bridget Fishleigh was informed that the proposals would be a benefit to young people across the city. The private sector rental market is expensive and not willing to take young people on benefits. The YMCA has expertise in this area across the country.

 

12.      Councillor Nick Childs was informed that the units were designed as single persons dwellings with own front door. It was noted that supported living arrangements often have less space. Young people consulted felt the proposed space was better than what they already had.

 

13.      Councillor Sue Shanks was informed that those in supported accommodation would be first to be offered a space. Some residents would be care leavers with the scheme acting as a move on option.

 

Officer Clarification

 

14.      It was noted that the report contained a future occupiers’ typo, and this has been clarified in late list. The proposals were not just for men.

 

Questions for Officers

 

15.      Councillor Joe Miller had visited the Mitcham site and was of an open mind regarding this application. It was noted that the accommodation was transitional and for 2 years only.

 

16.      Councillor Daniel Yates was informed that a support worker would use the communal room for meetings with residents during office hours. It was noted that office space had not been a material consideration of the application by the case officer. The proposal was for transitional housing with support and not for mixed use. Employment standards were not considered.

 

17.      Charles Walker also advised that the communal room would include an office space. Support officers could use this space during the day, along with night staff after office hours.

 

18.      Councillor Tracey Hill was informed that the communal room was 42 square metres and considered appropriate.

 

19.      Councillor Carol Theobald was informed that the scheme was 100% affordable housing and that the external cladding material will be agreed by condition. It was noted that the set-back top floor of the proposal would be the same height as the closest existing block of flats, which has higher ground levels than the application scheme.

 

20.      Councillor Leo Littman was informed that the development included front doors for each unit, unlike a house in multiple occupancy (HMO). It was noted that the communal space is additional to the space in each flat and would be used by residents and staff. 

 

Debate

 

21.      Councillor Carol Theobald felt a lift would have been good for residents, along with car spaces for staff. The development was considered a good use of the site and was supported.

 

22.      Councillor Joe Miller considered that the scheme would help to stop homelessness and should be supported.

 

23.      Councillor Sue Shanks felt the standard of accommodation was better than for students and private rented and supported the scheme.

 

24.      Councillor Daniel Yates considered the lack of amenities was a concern. The development would fully utilise the site and agreed the individual front doors were a good idea, as was the whole scheme. Councillor Yates felt that a management plan should be required by condition.

 

25.      Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty supported the application.

 

26.      Councillor Nick Childs supported the scheme and noted the dia state of the homelessness in the city and supported the scheme. Councillor Childs supported the idea of a lift to assist residents and parking for staff. It was felt that YMCA should consider Health & Safety standards for staff working at the site.

 

27.      Councillor Leo Littman expressed concerns relating to the use of the communal space and isolation issues for occupiers. Councillor Littman supported the scheme which he felt was much needed.

 

 

RESOLVED: The Committee has taken into consideration and agrees with the reasons for the recommendation set out in the report and resolves to be MINDED TO GRANT planning permission subject to a s106 agreement and the Conditions and Informatives as set out in the report, SAVE THAT should the s106 Planning Obligation not be completed on or before the 12 May 2020 the Head of Planning is hereby authorised to refuse planning permission for the reasons set out in section 11 of the report. The following were included in the planning permission:

 

Condition 13 - amend to read:

 

Notwithstanding the plans submitted, the development hereby permitted shall not be occupied until details of secure cycle parking facilities for the occupants of, and visitors to, the development have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The details shall include:

 

(a) How stores and other facilities will be accessed;

(b) The types of stands to be provided;

(c) How the stands and facilities will be laid out;

(d) Doors to stores and security arrangements

 

The approved facilities shall be fully implemented and made available for use prior to the first occupation of the development and shall thereafter be retained for use at all times.

 

Reason: To ensure that satisfactory facilities for the parking of cycles are provided and to encourage travel by means other than private motor vehicles and to comply with policy TR14 of the Brighton & Hove Local Plan and SPD14: Parking Standards.

 

Additional Condition 21:

 

The use of the development hereby approved shall be for transitional housing only and each resident shall only reside at the property for a maximum of 2 years.

 

Reason: To ensure the development is not occupied as permanent residential accommodation, to safeguard the amenities of the residents of the development and to comply with policy QD27 of the Brighton & Hove Local Plan.

 

Additional Condition 22:

 

Prior to the first occupation of the development hereby approved a management plan for the provision of on-site staffing, including a night manager, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The provisions of the management plan shall be implemented and retained thereafter.

 

Reason: To safeguard the amenities of occupiers of the adjoining properties and the residents of the property to comply with Policies SU10 and QD27 of the Brighton and Hove Local Plan.

Supporting documents:

 


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