APPLICATIONS P08D0696 & L08D0144: ALTERATIONS TO PROVIDE EIGHT RESIDENTIAL UNITS AND ASSOCIATED WORKS AT WOODSIDE, LARKHILL ROAD, WORCESTER
- Meeting of Planning Committee, Thursday, 19th February, 2009 1.30 pm (Item 26.)
- View the background to item 26.
The Head of Urban Environment recommends that planning permission is granted subject to the conditions set out in the plans list and to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement.
The applications were for alterations, both internal and external, to facilitate the conversion of the main house to form eight apartments, two to the lower ground floor, three on the ground floor, two on the first floor and one unit within the roofspace.
The main house was only part of the historic curtilage of Woodside which was set in a site with varying ground levels. The building was a Grade II listed building and was within the Lark Hill Conservation Area.
The last use of the main house had been as offices for the Heart of England Tourist Board, but had been vacant for some time.
Proposals for development on other areas within the site were already in place having been granted approval previously.
The comments of the Conservation Areas Advisory Committee were referred to, where concerns had been expressed at the closing in of the main staircase. It was explained that it had been considered preferable that the lobby areas to the apartments be provided on the extensive landing areas rather than to sub-divide the historic rooms to provide this space.
The works proposed would, if it became necessary, be reversible; all remaining historic features within the building would be retained. Where inappropriate materials were used these would be replaced with traditional materials, such as a wood panelled door to replace the office style glass door currently in place, and where metal window frames had been used, these would be replaced with timber sash windows.
The only additional window opening proposed was the insertion of a dormer window within the roofspace to provide natural lighting for the top floor accommodation.
The Architect explained that the main house had suffered some susbsidence and needed underpinning, which was proposed to be done as part of the scheme.
The site was currently laid mostly to hard standing which had served the office use as car parking, the proposal was to remove the majority of this hardstanding and return the land to garden use. An area for car parking would be relaid with appropriate materials to accommodate 13 vehicles.
The return of the majority of this land to a permeable state would assist with the drainage of the site.
There was currently a pedestrian gated access from the site onto Perry Wood Close which at the request of the residents of that Close had been locked to prevent access through the site for some years. The scheme proposed that this access would be retained but with controlled access for residents only.
The application was supported by documentation outlining the marketing which had been undertaken to attract a new user for the house as office accommodation. This marketing had not been successful. The Head of Urban Environment commented that he could not recommend refusal of the application on the grounds of loss of office space as other buildings on the site had been approved for conversion to residential units, and a scheme for new build of seven houses within the grounds had been granted on appeal.
There was a requirement for the payment of a commuted sum for an education contribution to be secured by way of a Section 106 Agreement.
The Committee was concerned that the access through onto Perry Wood Close would encourage residents to park there as there could be competition for parking spaces within the site; this street was already over parked and was of concern to the residents.
It was proposed that an additional condition be applied to ensure that this pedestrian access was completely blocked up to avoid the potential problems set out above.
The recommendation as on the Order paper was proposed and seconded. An amendment to include the additional condition regarding the pedestrian access point was proposed and seconded, on being put to the vote, a tied vote was recorded and the Chairman cast his second vote in favour of the amendment.
The recommendation plus an additional condition was then put and it was
RESOLVED: That the Committee:-
1. is minded to grant planning permission in respect of application P08D0696 for the development subject to the applicant and other affected parties entering into an Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in accordance with the agreed Heads of Terms, and subject to the Legal and Democratic Services Manager being satisfied with the Agreement, authorise the Head of Urban Environment to grant the planning permission, subject to the conditions set out in the plans list, and to an additional condition to ensure that the pedestrian access from the site to Perry Wood Close was permanently blocked up, the wording of such condition to be delegated to the Head of Urban Environment; and
2. grant listed building consent in respect of application L08D0144, subject to the conditions set out in the plans list.