Agenda item

Application 19/00693/REM - Land at Sherriff Street Industrial Estate

That the Planning Committee is minded to approve the further variation of the Section 106 Agreement dated 13th December 2018 as previously amended by a Deed of Variation dated 6th July 2020, subject to:-

 

i)             the applicant and all persons having an interest in the land entering into a Deed of Variation of the S106 Agreement to the satisfaction of the Corporate Director – Planning and Governance in accordance with the details set out in the report; and

 

ii)           The applicant depositing a Bond from a reputable financial institution to the satisfaction of the Corporate Director -Planning and Governance for the payment of a sum of monies to Worcester City Council equivalent to the amount of the off-site affordable housing contribution as detailed in section 7.7 of the report.

Minutes:

Introduction

 

The Committee considered an application for a Deed of Variation under S106A (1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) at Land at Sherriff Street Industrial Estate.

 

Reason Why Being Considered by Planning Committee

 

The application had been referred to Planning Committee at the request of the Corporate Director - Planning and Governance in accordance with the Scheme of Delegation.

 

Report/Background/Late Papers

 

The report set out the background to the proposal, the site and surrounding area, the proposal itself, relevant policies, planning history and representations and consultations where applicable.

 

There were no late papers circulated.

 

Officer Presentation

 

The information was presented as set out by the Corporate Director – Planning and Governance, in conjunction with a powerpoint presentation for the item.

 

The Interim Head of Development Management informed Members of the Committee that the applicant has submitted a request to further vary the terms of the Section 106 Agreement to allow Phase 1 of the development to be completed without any affordable housing provision and for the whole provision to be delivered in Phase 2 instead.

 

Since the granting of the planning application the National Planning Policy Framework has been updated in July 2021, which has updated the definition of affordable housing which was set out in paragraph 7.3 of the Officers report.

 

In order to safeguard the Council’s position several options and clauses were suggested by Officers, as set out in paragraph 7.7 a)-d), in particular a bond to secure the payment to the City Council as set out in 7.7 d).

 

Officers recommended that subject to suitable safeguards that the amended Section 106 Agreement can be progressed.

 

Public Representations

 

There had been no one registered to speak on the application.

 

Key Points of Debate

 

·         The Chair asked if the applicant was agreeable to the options and clauses as set out in a)-d).  The Interim Head of Development Management confirmed they were and the Legal Team Manager stated that they were quite close to signing an agreement.

 

·         Members asked about the timeframe for Phases 1 and 2.   It was stated that Phase 1 would be as soon as possible as they have discharged conditions and commencement on site is imminent.  It could take 3/4 years, but Phase 2 can start in the meantime, they are close to finding a registered provider.  It was confirmed that there were no specific dates as yet.

 

·         Clarification was requested on the affordable housing element of the application and the negotiations that have taken place over time on the numbers to be provided, which had been reduced, together with the definition of affordable housing which had changed the provision.  The Interim Head of Development Management confirmed that the developer did want to provide affordable housing and it is part of the development but there had been a viability issue, that’s why the variation of the Section 106 Agreement had been accepted.  The definition of affordable housing and what is known as now is government guidance and would need to make an assessment if this changed.

 

·         Members agreed that the bond being requested was assurance that the affordable housing would be provided.  Officers also agreed that the bond was a very robust approach for which the developers have agreed to.

 

·         Although not for this application, reference was made to paragraph 3.6 of the report and the diversion of the footpath at the existing Ron Smith building.  It was asked that care be taken that this would not affect the scheduled monument and that it is protected when the footpath was diverted.  It was also requested that whilst this is a private footpath, it is widely used and it was asked that it be moved in a minimal and safe way.

 

·         The reduction of transportation contributions as set out in paragraph 1.4 of the Officers report was questioned.  The Interim Head of Development Management stated the Planning Committee at its meeting on 29th July 2021 agreed the deed of variation, this together with the current one will become one document and once negotiations agreed will not come back to the Committee again.

 

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:

 

For - 8

Against - 0

Abstentions – 3

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee is minded to approve the further variation of the Section 106 Agreement dated 13th December 2018 as previously amended by a Deed of Variation dated 6th July 2020, subject to:-

 

i)            the applicant and all persons having an interest in the land entering into a Deed of Variation of the S106 Agreement to the satisfaction of the Corporate Director – Planning and Governance in accordance with the details set out in the report; and

 

ii)          the applicant depositing a Bond from a reputable financial institution to the satisfaction of the Corporate Director -Planning and Governance for the payment of a sum of monies to Worcester City Council equivalent to the amount of the off-site affordable housing contribution as detailed in section 7.7 of the report.

 

Supporting documents: