Application 21/00987/FUL - Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Charles Hastings Way
The Corporate Director - Planning and Governance recommends that the Planning Committee grant planning permission subject to the conditions set out in section 9 of the report.
The Committee considered an application for the construction of a single storey extension (971sqm) to the north east elevation of the Aconbury East building to provide a new Urgent ad Emergency Care Facility at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Charles Hastings Way.
Reason Why Being Considered by Planning Committee
The application has been referred to Planning Committee in accordance with the adopted Scheme of Delegation having been referred by the Corporate Director – Planning and Governance.
The application is an identical scheme to application 21/00319/FUL approved under delegated powers on 13th September 2021, which is the subject of an application for Judicial Review to quash the same on the grounds that the decision was not properly taken.
This identical application has been submitted by the applicant to run in parallel with the Judicial Review process to allow the proposal to be brought before the Council’s Planning Committee for consideration in accordance with the scheme of delegation.
It is noted that works have commenced on site.
The report set out the background to the proposal, the site and surrounding are, the proposal itself, relevant policies, planning history and representations and consultations where applicable.
The Committee’s attention was drawn to the late papers which related to comments from local residents. Although the residents were not against the expansion of the hospital facilities, noise was considered to be the main issue, particularly with different rooftop plant systems being installed.
The information was presented as set out by the Corporate Director – Planning and Governance, in conjunction with a powerpoint presentation for the item.
There had been no one registered to speak on the application.
Key Points of Debate
· Councillor Roberts, although not speaking on behalf of the residents, was very sympathetic with their issues and concerns over potential noise from plant equipment, he also identified the planning history for the site, some of which had caused issued for the residents.
· The Chair introduced Richard Williams, Principal Officer (Planning and Technical Pollution Control) from Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) to the Committee. The Chair asked him in terms of the resident’s concerns, who had submitted their comments to the committee, based on the current rate rather than the measured noise level, what the impact would be to the installation of equipment on this site.
· Richard Williams in response provided background to this and the previous application. He informed the Committee that WRS had completed their own independent noise assessment and investigation in November 2020. This generated their own set of background measurements and the data was used to evaluate the current emissions from the new plant equipment installation. He confirmed that the advice given on the current and previous application is effectively the same.
· He went on to say that the calculations were taken against background noise levels carried out in four separate locations between 10pm and 2am. The primary concern was the night time noise, as day time noise is drowned out by traffic noise. When assessing the equipment in operation, at full tilt, it will be below the background noise level and to some extent inaudible to residents. A post completion condition has been applied so what is predicted will be delivered, if not it will be investigated.
· In response to a question from Members, the Senior Planning Officer confirmed, that as there were no plans submitted for a specific access for ambulances, this would remain as it is. Members were referred to Figure 2 at paragraph 3.3 of the report which provided details of the ground floor plan.
· In referring to the installation of equipment on the roof it was asked if anti-glare paint could be applied and conditioned. This was agreed. The Senior Planning Officer also confirmed that screening would be provided to the rooftop equipment.
· With regard to a post completion noise assessment this was confirmed in condition 6. This would ensure that noise levels did not exceed the maximum rating as set out by WRS.
· It was asked if any provision had been made to deter gulls from using the new roof area, if not could this be conditioned. The Senior Planning Officer confirmed that details of gull protection measures could be requested.
A proposal to approve the application had been made and this was seconded. There being no further points made the Chair asked the Legal Team Manager to request the voting of each Member of the Committee who were eligible to vote. Following the recording of the votes the proposal was agreed as follows, subject to the additional conditions related to the use of anti-glare paint to external equipment and rooftop, plus gull protection measures in the roof design.
For – 9
Against - 0
Abstentions – 0
RESOLVED: That the Committee grant planning permission, subject to the conditions set out in section 9 of the report and to additional conditions related to the use of anti-glare paint to external equipment and rooftop, plus gull protection measures in the roof design.