Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, Catford, SE6 4RU
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee held on 1 September 2022 be confirmed and signed as an accurate record.
The meeting noted that proposed developments under items 3 and 4 on the agenda were in direct response to both the needs of universities and students by providing a greater choice of accommodation types. Considering that, Councillor James-J Walsh disclosed a pecuniary interest in relation to the items as an employee of a university.
That it be agreed to GRANT a non-material amendment, subject to
1) Conditions set out in the report, requiring:
i. That the development shall be carried out strictly in accordance with approved application plans, drawings and documents submitted with the application, as accepted by the local Planning Authority; and
ii. That there be adequate provision for cycle parking, to comply with Policy T5 cycling, Table 10.2 of the London Plan (March 2021) and Policy 14 relating to sustainable movement and transport of the Core Strategy (2011).
2) Informatives set out in the report, requiring that the permission granted forms part of:
i. The original permission DC/20/117966 dated 05 November 202; and
ii. The subsequent s96a DC/21/124255 dated 11 January 2022;
iii. Noting that all other conditions attached to those permission (i.e. DC/20/117966 and DC/21/124255) are still applicable to the amended scheme.
3.1 The Committee noted the following regarding this Item:
· Councillor James-J Walsh disclosed a pecuniary interest, advising the that he works for a university.
· Councillor Will Cooper stated that he received correspondence from residents in his ward in relation to this item but had expressed no prior personal views about the proposals.
3.2 The Planning Officer gave an illustrative presentation of the application, recommending that the Committee should grant planning permission for a non-material amendment, subject to conditions and informatives outlined in the report. The Committee noted:
· The report and a correction that the gamer room would be located on first floor level alongside the shared amenity area, not at the basement floor level as stated under paragraph 48.
· Information regarding Lewisham’s Development Plan, the National Planning Policy guidance, the Local Policy, and planning and material considerations regarding the proposals.
· That the application had been submitted under Section 96a of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) for a non-material amendment to the approved scheme at 164-196 Trundley’s Road and 1-9 Sanford Street, London SE8 5JE.
· That the proposals were brought for a decision at the request of the Director of Planning because Members were interested in the amenity space of each cluster flat of the approved.
· That the proposals aimed to deliver accommodation to better respond to the needs of universities and students by providing a greater choice of accommodation types.
3.3 The Committee recognised that the listed amendments to the approved scheme would be “non-material” for the following reasons:
· Increase in the number of students’ rooms, taking the total from 393 to 402 rooms.
· Amalgamation of the smaller clusters to create 9-bed clusters in direct response to the preference of universities.
· Increase in the number of studio units to add to the choice of accommodation, and a reduction in the size of Cluster A from 8-bed to 7-bed;
· Increase in the shared amenity space at ground, basement and first floor levels.
· Increase of 7 number of additional long-stay cycle parking spaces at basement level.
3.4 The Planning Officer clarified to the Committee that although there was no specific definition of “non-material”, planning officials determined that the amendments would be non-material if:
· There was no material impact on any neighbours or other statutory or non-statutory bodies, the amended scheme would still fall within the description of development on the original decision notice and still complied with Lewisham’s Development Plan.
· There was a reduction in size (in any dimension) and the design and appearance was not compromised.
· There was a reduction in the number and size or location of any openings, and that would not compromise the overall design and appearance, particularly in conservation areas.
3.5 The Committee also noted confirmation that the proposed amendments would not be non-material if:
· They would alter the nature or description of development.
· There would be an increase in size (by volume and/or height) to the extent where that would have a material impact on the design, external appearance and/or local ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
That it be agreed to GRANT the discharge of Condition 53 (Retention of Amenity Spaces) subject to the following informatiives:
i. That the drawings submitted with the application, namely the design statement have been assessed only in relation to the conditions as referred to on the application, and do not provide acceptance or otherwise pertaining to any other outstanding conditions or subsequent applications; and
ii. In relation to outstanding conditions to be discharged, as outlined in the report.
4.1 The Committee noted the following regarding this Item:
· Councillor James-J Walsh disclosed a pecuniary interest, advising the that he works for a university.
· Councillor Will Cooper stated that he had received correspondence from residents in his ward in relation to this item but had expressed no prior personal views about the proposals.
4.2 The Planning Officer gave an illustrative presentation of the report, advising the Committee that the proposal was brought for a decision at the request of the Committee which had considered and agreed an earlier scheme that the application under consideration was related.
4.3 The Committee noted the report, and a recommendation for it to consider and agree details submitted pursuant to Condition 53. Part A (Retention of Amenity Spaces) of an approved scheme relating to 164-196 Trundley’s Road and 1-9 Sanford Street, London SE8 5JE.
4.4 In determining the recommendation, Committee noted:
· That the application to discharge Condition 53 was submitted in conjunction with a non-material amendment application (DC/22/127348) to increase the number of student bedspaces to 402 and therefore the benchmark of 1.25sqm applies.
· That the proposals exceeded 1.25sqm and would 1.3sqm of internal communal amenity space per student, and that the addition of the external amenity space (203sqm) in the calculation summed the ratio to 1.8sqm.
· That when considering other amenity spaces (including shared kitchens, laundry rooms and external amenity space), the quantum of amenity space equated to 5.2sqm per student bedspace.
4.5 The Planning Officer also clarified to the Committee:
· That given that the non-material amendments had been agreed under Item 3 above, all cluster units would be served by a minimum of 4sqm of communal amenity space, to deliver an average of 4.6sqm per student across the scheme.
· That the proposed shared amenity areas of the student accommodation would comprise of:
o lounge at Ground Floor;
o games area at Level 1;
o study rooms at Level 1;
o external amenity space at Level 1;
o gaming/gamer room at Level 1;
o laundry facilities; and
o communal kitchens serving the cluster units
· That all the units would have access to the shared amenity spaces at ground and first floor level, and occupiers of the studio units would have access to their own cooking facilities within each unit.
· That the units within a cluster would have shared kitchen facilities with other units within their cluster, and the size of cluster units would be in a range of 6-, 7- and 8- and 9-bed clusters across the scheme.
· That the larger cluster units would be delivered in accordance with the preferences of universities to deliver larger clusters of units with a shared single communal kitchen to help foster a greater sense of social interactions to minimise the potential for social isolation.
· That the communal kitchens designs would be delivered in accordance with the guidance for Homes in Multiple Occupation to ensure adequate facilities and amenities in the use of the kitchen.
4.6 The Committee further noted:
· That the proposed scheme would include 203sqm of ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
That it be agreed to GRANT planning permission and Listed Building Consent subject to:
i. A S106 Legal Agreement and conditions and informatives to cover the principal matters outlined in the report; and
ii. Additional informatives requiring the applicant to consider, in consultation with the Planning Authority:
· That arrangements for delivery and servicing consider the strain on Ladywell Road, in order to avoid peak times, especially due to traffic at the junction with Lewisham High Street;
· That the S106 offsite payment for play space should consider works to the north of Ladywell Fields, close to the café area;
· That the S106 payment for planting should consider community consultation, including views from local amenity groups, to identify and agree where trees and shrubs should be planted.
The Senior Planning Officer gave an illustrative presentation of the report, recommending that the Committee approves the proposals for planning permission and listed building consent for the restoration of the exterior and internal areas of the Playtower, to facilitate the conversion for a multi-screen cinema, as well as the construction of two residential blocks, respectively on the south and east of the existing building.
5.1 The Committee noted the rationale for the application:
· That the recommendations were brought for a decision due to the Council receiving 16 individual objections against the proposed development following consultation with residents and businesses in the surrounding area, the relevant ward Councillors, and the Ladywell Society.
· That the consultation exercise had triggered a local meeting that took place on 21st June 2022, chaired by Councillor Liz Johnston-Franklin, where residents’ comments and concerns about the proposals were noted, and those were attached as minutes to the report as Appendix 1.
· That the proposed building was currently in disrepair, both structurally through decay but also through vandalism, which had resulted in fires, damage to the windows, pigeon infestation, and graffiti drawings throughout.
· That the proposed building in its current state had been included in Historic England at Risk Register and was identified as one of ten most “at risk” buildings in England by the Victorian Society.
5.2 The Committee considered the description of the proposed site and character of the area, and noted the following:
· That Lewisham Playtower comprised of a two-storey Victorian building located on the southern side of Ladywell Road.
· The Victorian building was previously known as Ladywell Baths, but ceased to be in use in 1964, from which point it was used as a community space up until 2004. The site had remained vacant after 2004.
· That the site was located on the southern side of Ladywell Road, within the St Mary’s Conservation area and Lewisham’s town centre and had an excellent Public Transport Accessibility Levels’ (PTAL) rating.
· That the surrounding area had a mixed character of commercial and residential uses. The closest residential building is St Peters Gardens, which is located to the southeast area to the site.
· That the most significant external feature was the tower, which formed a local landmark of Grade II listed, with historical aesthetic and communal value.
5.3 Commenting on the details of the proposed development the Committee noted:
· That the works would include the conversion of the first-floor area to provide a ticket office and café/bar. The main cinema screen pod, Cinema 1, would be sunken into the main pool tank. The second Cinema Pod would be installed at basement level along with the toilet facilities. At first floor level, there would be two smaller screen pods, Cinemas 3 and 4, in addition to a hospitality area.
· That a pitched slated roof would be added to the flat roof of the 1930s extension.
· That the glazed roof on the western elevation would be replaced
· That the main alternation at the front would be the restoration of ... view the full minutes text for item 5.