[To consider the planning application]
The Committee considered a report regarding 18/00078/OUT, outline permission for the demolition of derelict glasshouses and ancillary buildings, to include the derelict bungalow and the redevelopment of the site with 14 x two-storey dwellings, along with access road and car parking (all matters reserved).
Colin Noakes, Planning Officer advised that he was updating Councillors in response to two questions raised during the site visit the Committee had undertaken earlier in the day. He confirmed that the developers would be financially responsible for the update to the road and in respect of the 12 letters of objection, five of those were from local residents.
Mr John Rowley addressed the Committee and spoke in opposition to the application.
Ms Jane Trethewey addressed the Committee and spoke in support of the application.
A Councillor confirmed that the site had been languishing in a poor state for some years. She referred to the many hours and hard work taken to write the Tettenhall Neighbourhood Plan and expressed concern that if little or no account was being taken of that Plan, then of what relevance was it and what had been the point in writing it. If a policy document was being ignored then there should be very good reasons why, and it was difficult to identify the reason in this case. Although the site was in a poor state, there could be other uses for it. The access would need to be widened and that would not be straightforward. There had been several objections from local residents who lived closest to the site and those objections should be taken into account and it was unfortunate that those residents had not been involved enough during the application process. She questioned if the £80,000 would be a one-off payment as that would be insufficient for maintenance of such a valued country park, which made a significant contribution to the local neighbourhood and surrounding areas. She was concerned that a principle or precedent would also be set, even though the full footprint would not be used. It would be beneficial to see the issues raised being resolved; however, not at the expense of the Neighbourhood Plan and local environmental concerns.
A Councillor referred to the potential impact of the proposed development on the Green Belt and expressed concern regarding any future changes, particularly given the significant wildlife presence. He agreed that the site required maintenance and upkeep and he expressed reassurance that the submitted ecological and protected species surveys were satisfactory and the Highway Authority had not objected.
Colin Noakes, Planning Officer advised that four ecological surveys had been undertaken; one general survey, one for newts, one for bats and one for reptiles and he confirmed that all would have to be adhered to if planning permission was granted. He also advised that the houses would not be built in the Green space and the developers would be required to pay for the upgrade of the road.
· Levels survey.
· Drainage details.
· Removal of permitted development rights.
· Control external lighting.
· Demolition and Construction Management Plan.
· Maximum two-storey.
· Maximum volume.
· Parking only in designated areas.
· Parking spaces only to be used for parking.
That a Section 106 Agreement be required and authorised (to be signed by the purchaser from City of Wolverhampton Council immediately after the purchase after planning permission is granted) requiring the payment of £80,000 to meet the costs of 10 years maintenance of the reminder of the WEC as part of the Smestow Valley Local Nature Reserve.