The presenting officer outlined the details of the case for the installation of a new shopfront and a single storey extension to the rear of 56 Honor Oak Park, SE23, together with the blocking up of a ground floor window and the installation of replacement HVAC equipment, including fresh air intake, extraction ducts and A/C compressors.
The presenting officer clarified that the application is only in relation to the single storey rear extension, the shop front and the AC and plant material. The presenting officer also highlighted that the use class of the unit is already a hot food takeaway (Use Class A5) and as such change of use is not required or sought by this application. The presenting officer also highlighted that the applicant would require a planning application if hours of operation were desired to be changed.
The presenting officer outlined that 38 objections had been received and that this was considerably more than the number of properties which were consulted. The presenting officer outlines that full details of the objections can be found in Table 1 in the report and the objections include concern of whether a change of use is required, noise and disturbance concerns and traffic concerns.
Councillor Sheikh asked for clarification in regards to the scale of the consultation, whether refusal of the application would stop the owner opening, and what options are available to residents to raise their concerns. The presenting officer highlighted that A5 is the lawful use of the unit so any take-away could occupy the unit ‘tomorrow’ without an application, the presenting officer highlighted that a planning permission is not restricted to any particular occupier or type of takeaway operator. The presenting officer highlighted that Lewisham is in the early stages of its Local Plan review which looks at new policy formation and that the public consultation will take place in the next few months.
Councillor Penfold asked whether the new owners would be bound by the existing opening hours of the permission from 1994. The presenting officer confirmed that the owner are bound by the existing opening hours, unless they could demonstrate that any deviation from those hours is already immune from enforcement action, and thus that a planning application would be required to change them.
Councillor Gibbons reminded the public that concerns relating to the application in question to be taken into account and that the saturation of pizza takeaways is not something that can be considered on the current application.
The committee received verbal representations from Robin Dunne on behalf to the applicant. Robin Dunne clarified that the application is not for a change of use and that the A5 use was granted consent in 1994. Robin Dunne highlighted that he attended he local meeting and the concern over the illumination was noted and the proposal was amended and that the applicants are committed to Honor Oak Park. Robin Dunne also highlighted that an acoustic report was submitted with the application and that Environmental Health raised no objection.
Councillor Krupski asked the applicant if the business could operate without the extension. Richard Dunne answered that the extension is required.
Councillor Gallagher asked the applicant for clarification on what they meant by being committed to Honor Oak Park. Richard Dunne stated that this is in terms of increased employment and an improved frontage. Councillor Gallagher asked for confirmation of the figures on the amount of local people that would be employed, Richard Dunne stated that he does not have the figure and that the increased employment is mainly in the form of delivery drivers.
Councillor Sheikh asked the applicant how much consultation has been done with local residents and businesses to view demand. Richard Dunne highlighted that consultation was undertaken and that the area is currently served by the Catford branch and delivery records show that there is demand in the area. Councillor Sheikh asked the applicant if they have spoken to local businesses, Richard Dunne stated that he had not and there is no obligation for the applicant to do so. The presenting officer highlighted that pubic consultation by the applicant is not required for an application of this type.
Councillor Ogunbadwa (Chair) stated that due to the number of objectors that the objectors choose a few people to make the objections on behalf of all of the objectors.
The committee received verbal representations of David of Parbury Road and Esteban of Honor Oak Park. David raised objections on the following grounds, the design of the shop front, the signage is out of keeping with the area, concern in regards to smell, no provision for delivery bikes in the design, issues with motorbikes. David also raised questions in regards to the front boundary of the property. Esteban stated that he appreciated he description of the application but feels local residents have not been consulted on change of use when legislation moved hot food takeaways from being within A3 use to its current classification, A5, raised concerns in regards to traffic issues and that Dominoes would not operate within the existing hours of operation.
The presenting officer clarified that Environmental Health are satisfied with the information that has been submitted and that the standards that are applied are better than previous standards used. The presenting officer stated that in regards to the setting back for the parknig of bikes, the current application is not for a change of use and is only for a shopfront. The presenting officer clarified in regards to the point made about the A3 use, that a number of years ago Central Government changed the use class of takeaways, and no planning permission or associate consultation was required as a result of this. The presenting officer also clarified that Dominos being the applicant cannot be taken into account in the assessment of the application.
Councillor Gibbons stated that he lives locally and understands the concerns that have been raised in regards to consultation and delivery vehicles, and the concerns from objectors as to why this application cannot be considered as a change of used.
Councillor Sheikh suggested that the application be deferred, as it is important to address the community’s concerns in regard to the application.
Councillor Mallory agreed with the points raised by Councillor Gibbons and stated that a deferral would not help this application as they concerns raised are not issues that can be considered under the current application.
The presenting officer clarified to members that if any additional conditions are proposed, they need to be relevant to current application and conditions that already exist need not be reapplied without specific reason.
Councillor Krupski stated that there are no grounds for a deferral and believes one of the main concerns for the objectors is transport and stated that she suggests strongly to the applicants that electric bikes are used.
David, a member of the public audience asked if parking on the highway would be illegal. Kheng Chau – Legal Services stated that the highway authority can enforce on the obstruction of the highway.
A number of questions and comments were shouted from the public, Councillor Ogunbadwa (Chair) stated that questions could not be taken from the floor.
Councillor Gallagher stated that members sympathise to the points raised and asked if the sign would be illuminated when the shop was closed. The presenting officer clarified that this would be covered by the separate advertisement consent application.
Councillor Brown stated that the audience/ residents have attended due to their concern regarding the impact of the proposed operator, and that whilst members understand their concerns and sympathise with them, this application is only for the shopfront, extension, and A/C and plant units and that members are not able to make a decision on the basis of the the operator. Further, if Domino’s wished to change the opening hours, an application would then be required.
Councillor Sheikh’s motion to defer the application was not seconded.
Councillor Brown moved a motion to accept the officer’s recommendation, this was seconded by Councillor Krupski.
Members voted as follows:
For: Councillors Brown, Krupski, Ogunbadwa (Chair), Penfold, Gallagher, Gibbons, Mallory and Moore.
Abstained: Councillor Sheikh.
RESOLVED: That application DC/17/104077 be approved