The report was presented by the Principal Planner.
Councillor Fletcher enquired as to the parking on the site and how officers came to the decision to allow three hours free parking. The Principal Planner explained it was felt three hours was a reasonable amount of time for shoppers to have the freedom to do what they needed to do, given the shops which were located on King Street and the High Street. Councillor Halden commented he felt that three hours was a reasonable amount of time given the range of shops on King Street such as hairdressers, restaurants etc. and that by only having three hours free parking and being close to the station would put a stop to commuters parking in the car park all day.
Councillor Fletcher sought clarification as to the impact of the view of the church, officers explained that further information and line of sight views had been provided by the applicant which demonstrated that the church was screened with foliage and therefore it was deemed the development would not impact on the view of the church.
Councillor Halden commented he was struggling with the health contribution, he continued to state within the report the contribution was to provide additional floor space and this would be utilised for the Corringham integrated hub, however to his knowledge planning permission and the total budget for floorspace was approved two years ago via Cabinet. The Principal Planner commented that the NHS reconsultation had confirmed the funding would be directly provided to the medical centre and benefit the medical centre and patients of the Corringham Surgery. During the discussion Councillor Halden commented he just wanted to be sure that what had been promised for residents could actually be delivered. The Principal Planning officer explained that a specific IRL reference for healthcare provisions in Stanford le Hope and Corringham had been set up to ensure that the contributions offered would be put towards local healthcare and as a result complied with policy.
During discussions Members sought assurances that the three hours free car parking would not be removed from the application and the section 106 agreement would confirm this. It was explained to Members that there would be no planning approval issued until the section 106 agreement was secured and completed and that free parking for the site was included in this. If the applicant wanted or needed to modify any parking this would differ from what Members have given a resolution to approve and any material changes to the free car parking would have to come back to committee.
The Chair commented that three years ago the committee rejected the application due to no parking which Members felt was important, having now returned to the committee with three hours free parking the Chair felt the applicant had listened to Members and didn’t feel the application was a bad idea, he actually liked the design of the flats.
Councillor Halden commended the work of officers in being able to secure the three hours free parking, was a lot more desirable than the original application. He continued by stating after listening to the debate and questions raised by Members he felt some Members were still concerned that the application could go through on appeal. The application put in front of Members for either approval or refusal could in actual fact just be a judgement call. He then referred to the speaker statement letter of Councillor Hebb from the last meeting who had spoken on behalf of residents of Stanford Le Hope. Councillor Halden continued by commenting the health contribution part of the section 106 agreement didn’t make sense to him.
Councillor Piccolo commented he understood and agreed with some of the concerns Members had raised, that being said as Ward Councillor he was pleased that 57 parking spaces had been secured for residents and shoppers in Stanford Le Hope and was minded to support the recommendation.
Following clarification of a typo left in the recommendation, under the section 106 and car parking, it was confirmed the words "pricing system fixed for a" should have been omitted from the report.
Councillor Fletcher stated he felt it was time to draw a line on questioning whether an application would be taken through the appeal process and instead judge on its merits of the development in question and therefore the benefits or harm to the area. He continued by stating it was clear there was harm from the Heritage point of view, it was also clear that the development would limit the amount of parking in the area however this should be looked at against the housing needs and contribution to housing in Stanford Le Hope.
The Chair of the committee proposed officers recommendation and this was seconded by the Vice Chair.
For (6) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Steve Liddiard (Vice-Chair), Mike Fletcher, Terry Piccolo, Georgette Polley and Lee Watson.
Against (1) Councillor James Halden
For (5) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Steve Liddiard (Vice-Chair), Terry Piccolo, Georgette Polley and Lee Watson.
Against (1) Councillor James Halden
Abstained (1) Councillor Mike Fletcher
Councillor Byrne did not participate in the application due to not being present at the September meeting when is applications first presented.