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Agenda item

Plumbase, Waterloo House, Fawcett Street, York YO10 4AH [20/01521/FULM]

Erection of a 3 and 3.5 storey student accommodation block (providing 86 student rooms) following demolition of existing buildings [Fishergate Ward]



Members considered a major full application from KMRE Group (Church Fenton) Limited for the erection of three buildings to form 48 apartments with associated works and infrastructure following the demolition of existing building at Cherry Tree House 218 Fifth Avenue York YO31 0PN. It was highlighted that the item had previously been deferred.


The Head of Development Services gave a presentation on the application, which was followed by an update informing Members of the change of recommendation to approve the application subject to completion of S106 agreement. Members were updated on the contribution towards open space, loss of retail space and of a minor amendment to Condition 22. The additional information had been and the planning balance remained unchanged from the published report


Following the presentation and update, Members asked Officers a number of questions to which they responded that:

·        There was no national guidance on the size of communal space and this would vary from scheme to scheme.

·        Outdoor amenity space could be conditioned.

·        The change in amenity space was nominal.

·        There was no reduction in the number of rooms.

·        Student accommodation was included as contributing to housing need.

·        There was no specification for student accommodation in the draft Local Plan.

·        The developer could be asked to provide information on the collection and drop off of students. It was not anticipated that there was a need to change highways for this.

·        An additional condition could be added regarding designing out crime, as requested by the police.

·        The location of the cycle store was confirmed. There were 48 covered and secure cycle spaces.

·        An obscure opaque covering could be requested as part of condition 17.

·        The comparisons to the accommodation on Lawrence Street were explained.

·        A variation to loading and unloading 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday could be added.


Public Speakers

Gary Swarbrick, Agent for the Applicant, spoke in support of the application. He explained that the scheme was high quality purpose built student accommodation. He detailed the facilities in the apartments, which were all single occupancy, comparable with other similar developments in the city. He noted that there was no adopted policy regarding room sizes. He explained that there were robust management arrangements for students moving in and out and that there would be no deliveries around peak times and at school drop off times.


In response to questions from Members, Mr Swarbrick and colleagues (available to answer questions) explained that:

·        They would be happy for no deliveries before 9am to be conditioned.

·        They would look to undertake the demolition of the existing building during the school holidays and for large deliveries to be outside school hours.

·        Regarding concern about the lack of communal space, as the accommodation was close to the city centre and university, students could socialise elsewhere and it was felt that the communal space was acceptable.

·        They accepted the concerns of students being isolated and the effect of this on their mental health. They noted that there was no correlation between student mental health and the scheme.

·        The original scheme was for 100+ units, which had been reduced and it was felt that the scheme was acceptable. It was noted that there was an outdoor amenity space.

·        The changes made to the original scheme were outlined. They would consider losing one unit one the ground floor to create an amenity space.

·        The inclusion of a communal space on each floor would create problems with the viability of the scheme and the offer of one further amenity space was more than that of comparable schemes.

·        The outdoor amenity space was included s communal space on the landscape plan and there was an element of control due to the neighbours. A retractable awning would be considered.

·        There was two disabled spaces, which was felt adequate for a scheme of that size.

·        The cycle and parking provision was of a similar level to similar schemes and any further spaces would affect amenity space. The style of cycle parking was explained.

·        There had been no consultation with the universities regarding the accommodation. A study by the CBRE showed that there was a demand for that type of accommodation.

·        The intention for heating was photo voltaic or and ground source heat pump. The design included space for a ground source heat pump. Thermal modelling would be undertaken.


[The meeting adjourned from 17:45 to 17:55]


Members were given the opportunity to ask officers further questions. Officers were asked and clarified that:

·        The scheme was submitted to show the loss of one unit and provision of amenity space.

·        Student accommodation came under the NPPF definition of homes and counted towards the delivery of 1000 homes per year.


Cllr Crawshaw moved refusal of the application on the grounds that the scheme did not meet the NPPF requirements for the development to be safe, inclusive and promote health and wellbeing. This was seconded by Cllr Melly. Following debate

a named vote was taken with the following result:

·        Cllrs Barker, Crawshaw, Douglas, Looker, Melly, Rowley, Warters, Waudby, Widdowson and Fisher voted for the motion;

·        Cllrs Daubeney, Fenton, Hollyer and Pavlovic voted against the motion


The motion was carried and it was


Resolved: That the application be refused.


Reason:     The application fails to meet the tests in paragraph 3.24 of the NPPF due to the lack of usable amenity space.


[The meeting adjourned from 18:25 to 18:32]


Supporting documents:


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