Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The Hamptons- Public Enquiry Result

Below is the full text of the decision following the Public Enquiry into the expansion of The Hamptons development in Worcester Park:


TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990 – SECTION 78
APPEAL BY ST JAMES HOMES
AT PHASE 4B/5C, THE HAMPTONS, GREEN LANE, WORCESTER PARK, KT4 8PL
APPLICATION: REF A2008/59974/FUL


1. I am directed by the Secretary of State to say that consideration has been given to the report of the Inspector, John Woolcock BNatRes (Hons) MURP DipLaw MPIA MRTPI, who held a public local inquiry between 17 March and 19 May 2009 into your client's appeal against a decision of the London Borough of Sutton Council (LBS) to refuse planning permission for construction of 184 new dwellings, including 59 affordable units, roads and landscaping comprising: twenty nine 1 bedroom apartments, fifty nine 2 bedroom apartments, six 3 bedroom semi-detached houses, twenty six 3 bedroom terraced properties, four detached 4 bedroom houses, twenty semi-detached 4 bedroom houses, thirty six terraced 4 bedroom houses, and four 5 bedroom detached houses, together with garages, surface and basement car parking, cycle and refuse facilities and the installation of 62 ground source heat pumps at phase 4b/5c, The Hamptons, Green Lane, Worcester Park, KT4 8PL in accordance with application number 2008/59974/FUL, dated 30 June 2008.


2. On 4 November 2008 the appeal was recovered for the Secretary of State's determination, in pursuance of section 79 of, and paragraph 3 to Schedule 6 to, the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The reason for this direction is that the appeal involves proposals for residential development of over 150 units, which would significantly impact on the Government’s objective to secure a better balance between housing demand and supply and create high quality, sustainable, mixed and inclusive communities.
Inspector’s recommendation and summary of the decision


3. The Inspector recommended that the appeal be allowed and that planning permission be granted, subject to conditions. For the reasons given below, the Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector’s conclusions, and agrees with his recommendation. A copy of the Inspector’s report (IR) is enclosed. All references to paragraph numbers, unless otherwise stated, are to that report.

Procedural Matters

4. In reaching this position the Secretary of State has taken into account the Environmental Statement which was submitted under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999. The Secretary of State is content that the Environmental Statement complies with the above regulations and that sufficient information has been provided for him to assess the environmental impact of the application (IR3, IR74).

5. The Secretary of State has also had regard to the fact that at the inquiry the appellant proposed to amend the appeal scheme to increase the number of affordable units from 59 to 63 (IR4, IR75). He agrees with the Inspector (IR75) that no prejudice has been caused to any party by this course of action and has determined the appeal on the basis of the amended scheme providing 63 affordable units.
 
6. An application for costs was made by the appellant against the LBS. The Secretary of State's decision on that application is the subject of a separate letter.
Matters arising after the close of the inquiry

7. Following the close of the Inquiry, written representations were received by the Secretary of State from Councillor Stuart Gordon-Bullock (letters dated 25 May and 2 August). The Secretary of State also received a representation from Brendan Creane (letter dated 19 March). He has taken account of these representations in his determination of these appeals but, as they did not raise any new matters not considered at the Inquiry, he has not considered it necessary to circulate them to all parties. Copies of this correspondence can be made available upon written request to the address at the foot of the first page of this letter.
Policy considerations

8. In deciding the application, the Secretary of State has had regard to section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 which requires that proposals be determined in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
9. In this case, the development plan comprises the London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations since 2004), published February 2008, and saved policies of the London Borough of Sutton Unitary Development Plan (UDP), adopted 2003. The Secretary of State considers that the development plan policies most relevant to the appeal are those listed by the Inspector at IR9 - 10.

10. Other material considerations which the Secretary of State has taken into account include Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 1: Delivering Sustainable Development; PPS: Planning and Climate Change (supplement to PPS1); PPS3: Housing; Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) note 13: Transport; Circular 11/95: The Use of Conditions in Planning Permission; Circular 05/05: Planning Obligations and LBS Supplementary Planning Document: Affordable Housing.
Main issues

11. The Secretary of State considers that the main issues in this case are those set out by the Inspector at IR73.
Highway Safety and Transport Infrastructure

12. The Secretary of State has had regard to the fact that the appeal site lies within a suburban area where the local road network is subject to congestion at times but considers that there is no evidence that the area has a poor accident record (IR76). For the reasons given by the Inspector at IR78 – 81, he shares the Inspector’s view that the combination of SCOOT and the Travel Plan potential for improvement would provide substantial mitigation of any increased traffic attributable to the appeal scheme (IR81). Like the Inspector, having given substantial weight to local evidence about traffic congestion and its effects on the community, the Secretary of State is not convinced that the appeal proposal, given the proposed mitigation measures, would make the situation here significantly worse (IR82). He also agrees with the Inspector that there is no compelling evidence that it would substantially add to the risk of accidents or impair highway safety (IR82). For the reasons given by the Inspector at IR83 – 85, the Secretary of State shares the Inspector’s view that the VISSIM model, although it might not be perfect, adds confidence to his judgement about the traffic impact of the proposed development (IR86).
 
13. Like the Inspector, the Secretary of State does not consider that the proposed development would have an unacceptable adverse effect on highway safety or transport infrastructure (IR87). He finds no conflict with London Plan Policy 3C.2 concerning transport capacity and considers that the proposal would not be contrary to the provisions or underlying objectives of UDP policies G/TR5 or TR18 regarding the transport impact of new development (IR87).
Other Matters

14. The Secretary of State fully agrees with the Inspector’s assessment of the energy strategy agreed between the main parties (IR88). For the reasons given at IR89 – 90, he is satisfied that the proposal would make appropriate contributions in respect of local education and healthcare services and, for those reasons given at IR91, he finds no basis for rejecting the appeal scheme because of its likely impact on air quality (IR91). The Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector’s conclusions with regard to land contamination and remediation matters (IR92). Like the Inspector (IR93), the Secretary of State considers that scope exists within the scheme to provide suitable open space, recreation and play provision for the proposed development. He further agrees that the scheme has been designed to reflect the high standards of the previous phases of The Hamptons and that local concern about flooding could appropriately be addressed by a planning condition requiring a drainage scheme to be approved (IR94). Like the Inspector, the Secretary of State finds that the Environmental Statement and Inquiry were properly publicised (IR95).

Conditions and Obligation

15. The Secretary of State has considered the proposed conditions and the Inspector’s comments on these at IR66-69 and IR96 as well as national policy as set out in Circular 11/95. He considers that the proposed conditions are reasonable and necessary and meet the tests of Circular 11/95. He has also considered the provisions of the executed S106 Agreement and the Inspector’s comments on these at IR70 and IR97, as well as national policy as set out in Circular 05/2005. He considers that the obligations contained in that Agreement are relevant to the proposed development and meet the policy tests of Circular 05/2005.

Overall Conclusions

16. Like the Inspector, the Secretary of State is satisfied that the proposal would make efficient use of previously-developed urban land in accordance with the guidance in PPS3 Housing, without an unacceptable impact on local infrastructure (IR98). He also considers that the proposed development would not have an unacceptable adverse effect on highway safety or transport infrastructure. The Secretary of State concludes that the proposal would accord with the development plan, and that there are no other material considerations which would indicate that the appeal should be determined other than in accordance with the development plan.
Formal Decision

17. Accordingly, for the reasons given above, the Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector’s recommendation. He hereby allows your client's appeal and grants planning permission for construction of 184 new dwellings, including 63 affordable units, roads and landscaping comprising: twenty nine 1 bedroom apartments, fifty nine 2 bedroom apartments, six 3 bedroom semi-detached houses, twenty six 3 bedroom terraced houses, four detached 4 bedroom houses, twenty semi-detached 4 bedroom houses, thirty six terraced 4 bedroom houses, and four 5 bedroom detached houses, together with garages, surface and basement car parking, cycle and refuse facilities and the installation of 62 ground source heat pumps at phase 4b/5c, The Hamptons, Green Lane, Worcester Park, KT4 8PL in accordance with application number 2008/59974/FUL, dated 30 June 2008, subject to the conditions set out at Annex A to this letter.

18. An applicant for any consent, agreement or approval required by a condition of this permission for agreement of reserved matters has a statutory right of appeal to the Secretary of State if consent, agreement or approval is refused or granted conditionally or if the Local Planning Authority fail to give notice of their decision within the prescribed period.

19. This letter does not convey any approval or consent which may be required under any enactment, bye-law, order or regulation other than section 57 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

20. This letter serves as the Secretary of State's statement under regulation 21(2) of the Town and Country (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999.
Right to challenge the decision

21. A separate note is attached setting out the circumstances in which the validity of the Secretary of State’s decision may be challenged by making an application to the High Court within six weeks from the date of this letter.

22. A copy of this letter has been sent to the Council and all parties who requested a copy of the decision.
 
 
ANNEX A – SCHEDULE OF CONDITIONS
Conditions
1) The development hereby permitted shall begin not later than three years from the date of this decision.

2) Development shall not begin until details of a scheme of landscaping, as indicated in plan nos. 53 P.01B, 53 P.02B and 53 P.03B, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. This scheme shall include; a method statement for ground protection during construction and preparation prior to importing or replacing top soil; details of maintenance during the establishment period; along with a timetable of works. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.

3) All planting, seeding and turfing as approved pursuant to condition 2 shall be carried out in accordance with the approved timetable of works and shall thereafter be maintained in accordance with the approved scheme. Any trees or plants which within a period of five years from the completion of the development die, or otherwise fail to thrive, shall be replaced in the next planting season to the approved specification unless otherwise approved in writing by the local planning authority.

4) Details of the type and treatment of the materials to be used on the exterior of each building shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority prior to the commencement of construction of that building. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved materials, which should thereafter be retained.

5) Prior to the commencement of construction of each building, details of the type of the means of enclosure for that building shall be submitted to and approved in writing with the local planning authority. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details for each building, completed prior to the first occupation of that building, and shall thereafter be retained.

6) Prior to the commencement of construction of each building, a scheme designed to safeguard against crime shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. Such details shall include methods of natural surveillance, lighting, fencing, gates, doors and windows etc. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details prior to the occupation of that building and such measures shall thereafter be retained.

7) Development shall not begin until details of a scheme for visibility splays and a timetable of works has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The visibility splays shall be provided in accordance with the approved details and timetable, and shall thereafter be maintained free of obstruction over 600mm high.

8) No dwelling shall be occupied until the secure cycle storage relating to that dwelling has been provided in accordance with the approved details shown on drawings numbers 1699-A-1005T, 1699-A-3360B, 1699-A-3305B and as described at paragraph 4.16 of the accompanying Planning Statement dated June 2008. The secure cycle storage shall thereafter be retained.

9) No dwelling shall be occupied until the refuse storage facilities relating to that dwelling have been provided in accordance with the approved details shown on drawings numbers 1699-A-1005T, 1699-A-3360B, and 1699-A-3305B. The refuse storage facilities shall thereafter be retained.
 
10) Except for the 9 units in Block L (identified as plot Nos.19 to 27) on drawing number A-1005T, the means of vehicular access to the development for the remaining 175 units shall be from Green Lane only.

11) The means of vehicular access to the development for the 9 units in Block L identified as plot Nos.19 to 27 on drawing number A-1005T shall be from Boscombe Road only.

12) The development shall not be occupied until a permanent physical barrier has been installed in accordance with details previously submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority to prevent all vehicular access (except for emergency vehicles) through the site between Green Lane, via Park Road, and Boscombe Road. The barrier shall thereafter be retained.

13) No dwelling shall be occupied until vehicle parking space for that dwelling has been provided in accordance with the approved details shown on drawing number 1699-A-1005T. Vehicle parking spaces shall thereafter be retained and kept available at all times for the parking of vehicles.

14) Unallocated car parking spaces shall be provided in accordance with the Parking Diagram included within the Planning Statement dated June 2008 and shall thereafter be retained for general public use.

15) Throughout the construction period, all building operations in connection with the construction of external walls, roof, and foundations; site excavation or other external site works; works involving the use of plant or machinery; the erection of scaffolding; the delivery of materials; the removal of materials and spoil from the site, and the playing of amplified music or speech shall only take place between the hours of 8.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Friday, and between 8.00am and 1.00pm on Saturdays and not at all on Sundays and Public Holidays unless prior approval has first been obtained in writing from the local planning authority.

16) Development shall not begin until a Construction Method Statement, to include details of;
(a) parking for vehicles of site personnel, operatives and visitors,
(b) loading and unloading of plant and materials,
(c ) storage of plant and materials,
(d) programme of works (including measures for traffic management),
(e) construction traffic routing,
(f) means to control dust,
(g) means to control noise,
(h) means to prevent deposition of mud on the highway,
has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. Thereafter all construction activities shall be carried out in accordance with the approved Construction Method Statement.

17) Development shall not begin until details of a scheme for solar panels, including a timetable of works, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority prior to the commencement of work on each building. Such details shall include elevational and sectional drawings of the relevant parts of each building. The solar panels shall be installed in accordance with the approved details and shall thereafter be retained unless otherwise approved in writing by the local planning authority.

18) Development shall not begin until a scheme for the ground source heat pumps, including a timetable of works, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The scheme shall include details of the location and depth of boreholes and measures designed to protect groundwater resources, and shall be in accordance with the description set out within paragraph 6.18 of the Environmental Statement and drawing reference A-1011A. The ground source heat pumps shall be installed in accordance with the approved details and shall thereafter be retained unless otherwise approved in writing by the local planning authority.

19) Development shall not begin until a preliminary stage Code for Sustainable Homes Assessment that achieves a Level 3 rating has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The development shall be constructed in accordance with the approved details. Prior to the first occupation of a dwelling a certified Code for Sustainable Homes Post Construction Assessment, or other verification process approved in writing by the local planning authority, shall be provided for that dwelling, confirming that the approved standards set out in the approved pre-construction assessment have been met.

20) Surface water drainage works shall be carried out in accordance with the scheme detailed in the submitted FRA by Glanville Consultants (June 2008) prior to the first occupation of the development hereby permitted and shall thereafter be retained.

21) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (or any Order amending or revoking and re-enacting that Order), planning permission shall be required in respect of development falling within Classes A, B, C, D and E to Schedule 2, Part 1 to that Order.

22) Prior to the first occupation of the development hereby permitted, a scheme for children’s play provision shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The scheme shall include details of;
(a) the location of the proposed play area(s);
(b) the number and type of play equipment to be provided;
(c) the means of enclosure and the surfacing within the play area(s); and
(d) future maintenance.
The play area shall have a minimum area of 410 m2 and shall be provided in accordance with the approved scheme no later than the occupation of the 100th dwelling and shall thereafter be retained.

23) Prior to first occupation of the development hereby permitted, a scheme for the provision of additional play equipment to be provided within the existing play areas shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The scheme shall include details of;
(a) the location of the proposed play equipment;
(b) the type of play equipment to be provided, to be limited to no less than 3 pieces of equipment; and
(c) future maintenance.
The play equipment shall be provided in accordance with the approved scheme no later than the occupation of the 100th dwelling and shall thereafter be retained.

24) Development shall not begin until details of finished floor levels for all buildings and finished land contours for the site relative to adjoining land levels have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. Development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.
 
25) Unless otherwise approved in writing by the local planning authority, development other than that required to be carried out as part of an approved scheme of remediation must not commence until Conditions 26 to 29 have been complied with. If unexpected contamination is found after development has begun, development must be halted on that part of the site affected by the unexpected contamination to the extent specified by the local planning authority in writing until condition 29 has been complied with in relation to that contamination.

26) An investigation and risk assessment, in addition to any assessment provided with the planning application, must be completed in accordance with a scheme to assess the nature and extent of any contamination on the site, whether or not it originates on the site. The contents of the scheme are subject to the approval in writing of the local planning authority. The investigation and risk assessment must be undertaken by competent persons and a written report of the findings must be produced. The written report is subject to the approval in writing of the local planning authority. The report of the findings must include:
(i) a survey of the extent, scale and nature of contamination;
(ii) an assessment of the potential risks to;
(a) human health,
(b) property (existing or proposed) including buildings, crops, livestock, pets, woodland and service lines and pipes,
(c) adjoining land,
(d) ground and surface waters;
(iii) an appraisal of remedial options, and proposal of the preferred option(s).
This must be conducted in accordance with DEFRA and the Environment Agency's Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination, CLR 11.

27) A detailed remediation scheme to bring the site to a condition suitable for the intended use by removing unacceptable risks to human health, buildings and other property must be prepared, and is subject to the approval in writing of the local planning authority. The scheme must include all works to be undertaken, proposed remediation objectives and remediation criteria, timetable of works and site management procedures. The scheme must ensure that the site will not qualify as contaminated land under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in relation to the intended use of the land after remediation.

28) The approved remediation scheme must be carried out in accordance with its terms prior to the commencement of development other than that required to carry out remediation, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning authority. The local planning authority must be given two weeks written notification of commencement of the remediation scheme works. Following completion of measures identified in the approved remediation scheme, a verification report (referred to in PPS23 as a validation report) that demonstrates the effectiveness of the remediation carried out must be produced, and is subject to the approval in writing of the local planning authority.

29) In the event that contamination is found at any time when carrying out the approved development that was not previously identified it must be reported in writing immediately to the local planning authority. An investigation and risk assessment must be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of Condition 26, and where remediation is necessary a remediation scheme must be prepared in accordance with the requirements of Condition 27, which is subject to the approval in writing of the local planning authority. Following completion of measures identified in the approved remediation scheme a verification report must be prepared, which is subject to the approval in writing of the local planning authority in accordance with Condition 28.

30) A monitoring and maintenance scheme to include monitoring the long-term effectiveness of the proposed remediation and the provision of reports on the same must be prepared, both of which are subject to the approval in writing of the local planning authority. Following completion of the measures identified in that scheme and when the remediation objectives have been achieved, reports that demonstrate the effectiveness of the monitoring and maintenance carried out must be produced, and submitted to the local planning authority. This must be conducted in accordance with DEFRA and the Environment Agency's Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination, CLR 11

5 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Anonymous said...

What??? Isn't the current occupancy of the Hamptons enough? Apart from the money grabbing capitalists, who actually wants this cluttering up of housing?

Downwind of the Cock said...

Poor old Worcester Park and North Cheam, what an absolutely crazy decision which illustrates the far-too-cosy-for-comfort nature of big business and the Labour Party. Green Lane is going to be a total nightmare.

Paul said...

What an extraordinary display of obfuscation: A 22 paragraph text followed by a 30 paragraph annex, of which only paragraphs 12 - 14 in the text address the supposed "main issues".

To paraphrase the opinion on traffic I think they are saying "there is already a lot of congestion in Worcester Park, but we've done some modelling on traffic flow using Transport Research Lab software, and while we don't think the modelling is very good it says things won't get any worse. Also no-one has been run over."

How much modelling did it take to work out that the already stationary traffic can get no worse? Or that by turning Central Road into a car park it makes pedestrians infinitely safe?

Genius.

I'm amused that a requirement has been imposed (annex para 12) to erect a permanent physical barrier to prevent access in or out of the development except through Green Lane. Woe betide anyone who thought of such an innovative solution.

Anonymous said...

It's ridiculous expecting Green Lane to be the only access road to the Hamptons as well as the rest of the area. One could suggest that the pre-War plan to build a flyover across the railway at the bottom of Green Lane should be revived, the ramp has already been built of course, but it would destroy Manor Park and we wouldn't want to upset the vandals who frequent the place after dark. The only way is to open up the route to Lower Morden between the cemetries and somehow override Merton Council or cut another access road through to Motspur Park. I thought there was another access road on the original plan that gave access through to Boscombe Road. One is tempted to ask how nobody considered all this before Phase One of the Hamptons was approved.

Disgruntled Resident said...

More social engineering for Worcester Park - yippee NOT! Can someone please force all the van owners who are not allowed to park where they live, ie in the Hamptons, to pay the residents of the surrounding streets for the disruption caused. Very frustrated at the already increased and unbearable traffic in the area. How does someone who doesn't live in the area have the right or knowledge to make that decision. Very disgruntled, living on the edge of the Hamptons.

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