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Agenda item

1 Cherry Lane, York, YO24 1QH [20/00507/FULM]

Erection of 60no. retirement apartments with care, communal facilities, parking, landscaping and associated amenity space following demolition of existing 3no. bungalows [Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward].

Minutes:

Members considered an application for the erection of 60no. retirement apartments with care, communal facilities, parking, landscaping and associated amenity space following demolition of

existing 3no. bungalows. The Development Manager gave a presentation on the application.

 

In response to questions from members, officers noted that:

·        There would be pedestrian access to the site in two places and that the applicant had agreed, subject to approval of the application, to contribute to the upgrade of the existing pedestrian crossing on Tadcaster Road.

·        There was disagreement between the applicant and City of York Council planning officers on the use class of the development proposed in the application. The applicant contended that the proposed development would comprise a residential institution under Use Class C2 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) (“the Order”) rather than housing with care Use Class C3(b) of the Order. Officers explained that they had classified the proposed development as Use Class C3(b) due to the housing being in individual units with a potentially minimal amount of care on offer. Officers further explained that theCity of York Council requires affordable housing provision for developments classified as C3. The applicant had agreed that should the Committee chose to approve the application as a Use Class C3(b) development, they would make off-site affordable housing contributions according to Council policy.

 

[Cllr Barker joined the meeting at 4:45pm]

 

·        In response to concerns that the proposed development would have insufficient parking, officers outlined the parking strategy created by the applicant, which justified the proposed parking provision by noting the similar number of spaces in comparable facilities and that the proposed development is aimed at people in their mid-70s, who are more likely to be in couples with a single car. The applicant had agreed to contribute to a Traffic Regulation Order to manage parking on Cherry Lane.

·        The applicant proposed 4 disabled access parking spaces for the development based on their experience of need in other similar facilities they own and manage.

·        Waiting and parking restrictions, including potentially resident’s parking permits were to be discussed under the creation of a Traffic Regulation Order.

·        Highways colleagues had not considered there to be any highways safety or congestion issues related to the proposed development and Cherry Lane, and that vehicle tracking had demonstrated that the Council’s largest refuse vehicle had been able to access the car park.

·        Extra flood risk management conditions could be added to the application by members.

·        The York Racecourse’s objections were included in the report at paragraph 4.1 which detailed concerns around townscape issues, the impact of the proposed development on the conservation area and worries of disruption to stabled horses.

·        An external meaningful outdoor amenity site for the proposed development existed in the nearby Knavesmire park.

·        All of the flats in the proposed development, except those on the corners of the building, were single-aspect. However, the living areas in the flats, such as bedrooms and kitchens had windows, with only bathrooms being completely internal.

 

Public Participation

Alex Jones, of Adlington Retirement Living spoke as the agent of the applicant in support of the application. Mr Jones spoke of a pressing need for accommodation for the elderly in York, stating that approving the application would improve living standards for older York residents. He stated that he believed the reason for officers’ recommendation to refuse the application were based on subjective opinions on design and heritage harm. He also noted that 65% of respondents to the pre-application consultation believed the architectural design of the proposed development to be of high quality. He commented that there was an expected shortfall of c.600 units of extra care housing by 2030, which was expected to be particularly acute in the south of the city, where the proposed development was located. He also noted what he deemed to be the general benefits of the proposed development, namely combating the housing crisis, the part use of brown-field land in the proposed development, a reduced financial burden to adult social care and NHS budgets by c.£270,000 per year, highway improvements, economic benefits due to construction and site management jobs being created, the energy efficiency of the proposed development, with 10 electric vehicle charging points and the social benefits of the development which was designed to combat loneliness.

 

Following questions from members, Mr Jones commented that:

·        The cycle store would also be used to store electric mobility scooters, so would be fitted with charging points that could also be used for e-bikes.

·        Leaflets with details about the proposed development were distributed to approximately 900 neighbouring residents and businesses, as well as to St. Edward the Confessor Church and Dringhouses Library. A public exhibition was also held on 19February 2021 in the adjacent Holiday Inn.

·        There was difficulty in assigning a proportion of the apartments as affordable due to the service/wellbeing charge for providing ongoing care. Mr Jones explained that usually similar proposed developments are classified as Use Class C2, rather than C3b, and so are ordinarily exempt from affordable housing contributions. Since this development was being classified as Use Class C3b, the applicant had determined it would be best to contribute to off-site affordable housing.

·        Each apartment in the proposed development had a balcony or patio space which residents can use to create small gardens. While outdoor space was more limited than the applicants would prefer, they believed this was offset by nearby amenities such as the Knavesmire.

·        He felt that any development in a conservation area would affect its setting, but he did not believe that the proposed development was detrimental, and that its benefits significantly outweighed any potential harm.

·        The design of the proposed development had been altered several times during the course of discussions with planning officers, however Mr Jones considered the building to be in keeping with the historic pattern of development in the conservation area with regards to its proximity to the road.

·        Situating the development further back from the road and bringing the car park closer to the front was considered by the applicant, but due to drainage and engineering issues, having the building close to the road was considered the best solution.

 

Following debate, it was moved by Cllr Warters, and seconded by Cllr Fenton to refuse the application based on officers’ recommendations. Members agreed to include reference to the potential impact of the proposed development on the York Racecourse stables. A vote was taken and there were 13 members in favour and 1 against.

 

The motion carried and it was therefore:

 

Resolved:

i.                 That the application is refused.

 

Reason:

i.                 The proposal by virtue of its height, scale and massing in a prominent street corner location would harm the visual amenity of the streetscene, the form and character of the adjoining section of Tadcaster Road and the setting of the Tadcaster Road Conservation Area and harm the setting of Dringhouses Library, 52 and 54 Tadcaster Road all Grade II Listed Buildings. This would be contrary to Policy D1, Policy D4 and Policy D5 of the Publication Draft City of York Local Plan 2018, contrary to Section 66 of the 1990 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act and paragraphs 199 and 202 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

ii.            The proposal may cause potential disruption to the safe working environment of the York Racecourse stables, with concerns around dangers to the horses during construction and beyond from increased noise and activity.

 

[Break between 17:35 and 17:45]

 

Supporting documents:

 

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