Agenda item

21/01753/FUL - 26 to 52 Whytecliffe Road South and Purley Station Car Park, CR8 2AW

Demolition of the existing three terraces of houses, redevelopment of these and the existing surface level car park. Erection of a part 6/part 8/part 9 storey building and separate part 4/part 5 storey building to provide 238 residential units with replacement station car park, together with ancillary community indoor space, disabled car parking, communal amenity space and improvements to the public realm on Whytecliffe Road South.

 

Ward: Purley and Woodcote

Recommendation: Grant permission

Minutes:

Demolition of the existing three terraces of houses, redevelopment of these and the existing surface level car park. Erection of a part 6/part 8/part 9 storey building and separate part 4/part 5 storey building to provide 238 residential units with replacement station car park, together with ancillary community indoor space, disabled car parking, communal amenity space and improvements to the public realm on Whytecliffe Road South.

 

Ward: Purley and Woodcote

 

The officer presented details of the planning application and in response to members’ questions explained that:

 

  • There was a query on why PRP advice around introducing greater sky gaps at upper levels was not incorporated. It was explained that the role of the Place Review Panel (PRP) was to recommend suggestions and improvements. The PRP had suggested that the applicant increase the gaps between the upper levels of the blocks. The relevant parts of the top floor level that the PRP suggested reducing could only be seen from particular viewpoints and at certain angles. The introduction of gaps between the upper levels of the blocks would reduce the number of units in the development, so consideration would have been taken to determine how noticeable the change would be, how much of an improvement would the increased gaps provide, balancing against potential other implications/considerations for example the number of affordable housing units etc.
  • There was a query on the existing number of three bed units on site. It was explained that the existing homes at 34-52 Whytecliffe Road South were likely to have originally have been three bedroom units, with two main bedrooms and a box room. Homes at 26 -32 Whytecliffe Road South were originally likely to have been two-bedroom properties, but some may have been extended to create a third bedroom
  • There was a query on whether there was sufficient capacity on rail network to cope with the additional demand. It was explained that part of Network Rail’s portfolio requirement is to increase housing supply on their land, and that this in part supports the operation of the network. The proposed development would see an additional 112 residents travelling to work by train in the morning peak. Purley station was considered a high capacity train station and Network Rail had not raised any issues around capacity and their ability to accommodate the extra individuals travelling via the station.
  • There was a query on how the community space would be used and whom by. It was explained that the community space would be available to be used for 20 hours, and charity groups would also have access to the community space.  Residents would have access to the space outside of these hours.

 

Marco Tomasi and Richard Quelch spoke in support of the application and Ward Member Councillor Samir Dwesar addressed the Committee with his view on the application. After the speakers had finished, the Committee began the deliberation, during which they raised the following points: 

  • The scheme had been in development for five years.
  • Members acknowledged that the applicant had sought to address the previous issues regarding the height of the development.
  • The proposed development was nine storeys high and breached the eight storey limit for developments in Purley, however developments of this height were not uncommon in the local area and Members were comfortable with the height of the proposed development.
  • The proposed development would provide a considerable net gain of housing units.
  • Members suggested that the developer should engage with a housing association, and the planning department should engage with the housing department in the Council to ensure that the scheme offered the right amount of affordable housing.
  • This scheme would help to comply the housing strategy as it would help to address the demand for housing in the area.
  • The scheme was considered partially sustainable due to its proximity to the train station and the inclusion of solar panels and other measures to ensure that the development was more energy efficient.
  • The courtyard would provide outdoor space for residents.
  • The access to the car park was deemed acceptable.
  • The proposed development would help to increase the population of Purely and would allow the town centre to expand.
  • The application had been presented to the PRP three times and had been subjected to two pre-applications before the application had been presented to the Committee.
  • There would not be any substantial harm to the views of the listed buildings, particularly to the train station.
  • Primarily the 238 new homes were needed in the borough.
  • The reduction of the number of spaces in the train station car park was not appreciated.
  • The fact that first homes for first time buyers had not been included in the affordable housing provision was disappointing.
  • The developers had taken on feedback from their consultation with residents and the design panel.
  • The design and the choice of materials of the building was sensitive to character of the local area and the decision for the top floor to be set back and in a contrasting colour worked well and did not draw attention to the block-like nature of the design.
  • The public realm had developed substantially since the proposal seen at pre-application stage; it was hoped that there would be a robust maintenance management company looking after the area.
  • The planting of new trees would improve the appearance of the local area.
  • The scheme was design led and not density led.
  • The low-quality trees would be replaced by several more trees.
  • The cycle hub, community space and the reinstatement of footpaths would all be an improvement to the area.
  • Network Rail had offered their support to the proposed development.

The substantive motion to GRANT the application based on the officer’s recommendation was proposed by Councillor Fraser. This was seconded by Councillor Srinivasan.

 

The motion to grant the application was taken to a vote and carried with ten Members voting in favour.

 

The Committee RESOLVED to GRANT the application for - 26 to 52 Whytecliffe Road South and Purley Station Car Park, CR8 2AW.

 

Supporting documents: