To determine the application.
Alison Hoffman presented the report to members.
Members received a presentation, in accordance with the public participation procedure, from Chris Dwan, on behalf of the applicant.
Mr Dwan advised members that he is the new Planning Director for Larkfleet Homes and he is delighted to present the fourth and final phase of the Bassenhally Farm development. He made the point that Outline permission was granted in 2010 and, therefore, the principle of development has been established, with the layout and design in line with the other parts of the development and this proposal forming an integral part of the Whittlesey Green development.
Mr Dwan stated that as part of the proposal particular regard has been made to maintain access to the sports field, which will be utilised and improve the access of Drybread Road. He expressed the view that the general framework of development including drainage, and open space provision is in accordance with the approved outline scheme and original master plan, with extensive open space being provided on the site in line with the wider open space delivery overall.
Mr Dwan stated that Larkfleet have worked closely with officers throughout the application responding successfully to the comments received resulting in the scheme members have for consideration. He feels the responses from statutory consultees have been positive, with no objections made and with just a minor number of additional conditions proposed to clarify certain details of design matters.
Mr Dwan noted the comments of the Town Council regarding the internal road layout and their desire for the restriction to stop vehicles travelling through the site onto Drybread Road, but Larkfleet has been professionally advised that the approach is entirely appropriate from a technical delivery perspective and offers the most appropriate scheme from a permeability perspective, with this position being supported by the County Council who offer no objection. He further notes the comments of Whittlesey Athletic Football Club within the report with respect to their relocated gates and they would be willing to see how they can assist them.
Mr Dwan expressed the opinion that given the aforementioned considered approach that has been followed they would welcome support in approving the application to allow them to complete the Whittlesey Green development.
Members asked questions of Mr Dwan as follows:
· Councillor Booth asked, in relation to Whittlesey Town Council’s comments, did Larkfleet discuss the design put forward with them and are they willing to reconsider the layout? Mr Dwan stated that he has only been in post for a month and it was his predecessor that would have had the detailed discussion. Councillor Miscandlon stated, as Chairman of Planning at Whittlesey Town Council, Larkfleet did attend and gave them a presentation which resulted in the new access for the football ground and various other layouts, which in hindsight the agent presenting to them accepted did not work and they did redesign the top end of the site, but they did not concede to them about the restriction of traffic from A605 to stop Drybread Road becoming a “rat run”.
· Councillor Booth asked if Larkfleet would be willing to revisit and re-discuss? Mr Dwan responded that the site is looked at technically and what works best for future residents, with there being no highways concerns raised. He expressed the view that he would not like to see obstacles put in the way of residents to get through the estate if they live there and it is believed the road layout is the best design solution in this instance.
Members made comments, asked questions and received responses as follows:
· Councillor Booth stated that he was concerned that Whittlesey Town Council’s comments could not be incorporated, but hearing the explanation of the developer he is satisfied that it is a suitable development, there is no technical reasons to object to it.
Proposed by Councillor Booth, seconded by Councillor Mrs French and agreed that the application be APPROVED as per officer’s recommendation.
(Councillor Miscandlon registered, in accordance with Paragraph 14 of the Code of Conduct on Planning Matters, that he is Chairman of Whittlesey Town Council’s Planning Committee, and took no part in the discussions or voting thereon)