The report was presented by the Major Applications Manager, during which he advised Members that should they be minded to approve the application there would need to be a Section 106 Agreement in place, which would be required to secure amongst other things a financial contribution towards education provision to mitigate the impact of the development.
Members queried as to whether the railway line was a clear boundary line and whether this could be defendable as the boundary to the east of the site, as there were concerns if this was not the case it could lead to further or additional development within the area.
It was enquired as to the mitigation in place against flooding on the development. The Major Applications Manager referred Members to the constraints map and highlighted that along the Northern and Northwestern edge of the site was the higher flooding risk zone because there was a water course. He advised that none of the dwellings or the roads of the development be located into that area and so the dwellings themselves would be safe and not at risk of flooding. A planning condition would be required to secure a detailed surface water drainage scheme if planning permission were to be granted.
It was then raised as to the access concerns to the site and it was asked of Officers if they felt the highway could cope with the increase in traffic. The Senior Highways Engineer commented that the level of traffic from the proposed site would be spread out throughout the day, with a model of traffic movements being taken from Princess Margaret Road. He acknowledged there was the possibility of small queues of traffic leaving or entering East Tilbury, however a yellow Keep Clear box would be used at the entrance to the site to ease this and modelling hadn't highlighted any problems or concerns.
During the debate, Councillor Piccolo commented when the application was first presented to the Committee he had a few concerns, however looking at the detail within the report more closely, he felt the development being located close to the Railway Station could assist with decreasing the traffic in the area. He continued by saying he felt there could be an influx in traffic around School collection and pickup times however felt the yellow box would assist in mitigating against long traffic queues. Councillor Piccolo stated he had concerns as to additional development leading from this application on the Greenbelt however felt there was a natural boundary with the Railway line.
Councillor Watson stated her views on the application hadn’t changed since the last Committee and as much as she liked the development, she still felt it was the wrong location. She continued by observing Officers comments that there were no flooding concerns, she still believed that more needed to be done to mitigate the possibility of flooding on the site.
Councillors Carter and Arnold both commented their view hadn’t changed since the last Committee and they welcomed the development.
The Chair of the Committee acknowledged that through the debate a number of Members were in support of the application being approved.
The Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection advised the Committee that the Constitution was clear that an alternative recommendation would need to be put forward, which met with council policies, as Members were not in agreement with the officer’s recommendation.
Councillor Kelly, Chair of the Committee then put forward the following reasons for approval whilst acknowledging that there was harm to the Green Belt. He stated that there was to be delivery of 100% affordable homes as part of the development and gave this significant weight, there was the upgrades to the existing rail station, which was given limited weight.
He continued by mentioning the development was responding to the five-year housing supply and gave it very significant weight, low carbon development a moderate weight and the accelerated build program to respond to immediate housing short full granted limited weight.
The Chair of the Committee then proposed a recommendation of approval, subject to referral to the Planning Casework Unit, planning conditions and a s106 legal agreement and was seconded by Councillor Piccolo.
For: (5) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Paul Arnold, Adam Carter, Terry Piccolo and James Thandi
Against: (1) Lee Watson