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Agenda item

Cherry Tree House, 218 Fifth Avenue, York YO31 0PN [20-02034-FULM]

Erection of three buildings to form 48no. apartments with

associated works and infrastructure following the demolition of existing building [Heworth Ward]

 

Minutes:

Members considered a major full application from Cherry Tree Venture LLP 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.

 

The Head of Development Services gave a presentation on the applications and updated the Committee on a correction to paragraph 5.10 of the committee report noting that the site was wrongly identified and was not allocated in the Local Plan and the education allocation related to the adjoining presbytery and community centre. As a result the planning balance and recommendation remained unchanged from the published report.

 

Officers were asked and clarified that:

·        The education allocation was staying the same.

·        Access had been assessed by highways officers and it was acceptable to use the existing access points.

·        The depth of the aisle was sufficient for vehicles turning.

·        The landscaping to the rear of the site was being retained and the regarding planting trees on the verge, the verge was not within the line of the application site.

·        There was no affordable housing and an offsite contribution would be made.

·        The site had been granted vacant building credit and this was explained in the context of the NPPF and the application was policy compliant.

·        The location of the cycle and bin storage and electric vehicle charging were explained.

·        There was external amenity and good levels of light from the way the apartments were set out.

·        It was not reasonable to condition proof of first time buyers buying the apartments.

·        Housing officers were satisfied with the scheme and it was confirmed that there was a need for one two bedroom properties in the area.

·        The retained landscaping would fall under the existing landscaping condition.

·        There were not enough two bedroomed units for a S106 contribution to education.

 

Public Speakers

Killian Gallagher, the Agent for the Applicant, spoke in support of the application. He explained that Cherry Tree House has been sold by the NHS as it was surplus to requirements. No offers had been received to retain the building for its use. He explained the intended buyers of the apartments, that the design was energy efficient and measures in place for energy efficiency, cycle and car parking (including electric vehicle charging). In answer to questions from the Committee he and the Architect (in attendance to answer questions) confirmed that:

·        The Applicant in principle had no issue with putting in trees in the proviso that this could done technically. They would also be willing to make a contribution towards trees as part of the S106 agreement.

·        It was intended that the development would begin as soon as possible.

·        The scheme was in line with national policy and the development of brownfield sites. It was felt that £135,000 for an apartment in York within walking distance of the city centre was considered affordable.

·        Purchasers would own a share of the freehold and would make their own decisions on this.

·        The retention of properties with owner occupiers would be similar to that of the Aura developments. A condition on the number of days for invites of advance offers from first time buyers fell outside planning policy.

·        Regarding the increase in property prices, lower prices would mean a lower percentage increase in the prices of the apartments.

 

[At this point the Senior Solicitor advised Members that the application was not for an affordable housing scheme].

 

·        The entry point of £130-£140,000 was at a level accessible for first time buyers and the provision for affordable housing would be made by way of an offsite contribution.

·        An explanation of the purchase of the site was given.

·        The allocation of disabled parking spaces was noted.

·        There was no direct access to the cycle track adjacent to the site as this this was not possible due to the typography of the site.

 

Members then asked officers further questions to which officers clarified that:

·        There was no time limit in applying for vacant building credit.

·        The sports contribution would go to publicly available sports sites in the area.

 

During debate, officers advised the Committee that S106 agreements needed to meet statutory requirements. Cllr Warters moved approval subject to the inclusion of red bricks being used, seconded by Cllr Rowley. Following debate a named vote was taken with the following result:

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

 

The motion was unanimously carried and it was

 

Resolved: That the application be approved subject to the landscaping condition being amended to in perpetuity, and addition of an informative for red bricks to be incorporated into the building and for a S106 contribution for tree planting if so required following consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Committee.

 

Reason:

 

     i.        This site within a sustainable residential location has become available for redevelopment as it is no longer required by the NHS. The form of the building is such that its retention would not result in an optimal use of the site and so demolition and redevelopment is being supported.

 

    ii.        Para.11 of the NPPF sets out that decisions should apply a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Para.11d notes that where there are no relevant development plan policies, or the policies which are most important for determining the application are out-of-date (this includes applications for housing where a 5 year housing land supply cannot be demonstrated) then applications should be granted permission. The Council cannot currently demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply and the site is not within the Green Belt or impacts on a designated heritage asset and therefore the presumption in favour of sustainable development should apply.

 

  iii.        The scheme provides 48 new flats with good levels of amenity for future residents and without significantly harming to the amenity of neighbours. The existing building is of little architectural merit and will be replaced by a development which enhances the local area. Financial contributions towards affordable housing, amenity open space, play areas, sports facilities and upgrades to the local cycle network will also be secured via a legal agreement.

 

  iv.        The proposal is considered to meet draft Local Plan policy and policy contained within the NPPF and is therefore recommended for approval subject to conditions and the undertaking of a legal agreement.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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