Agenda and minutes
Venue: The Old Library - Oxford Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Lois Stock, Democratic Services Officer
Apologies were received from the following:-
Councillor Antonia Bance – Councillor Bob Price substituted;
Councillor Laurence Baxter – Councillor Shah Khan substituted;
Councillor Ed Turner – Councillor Van Coulter substituted.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors serving on the Committee are asked to declare any personal or prejudicial interests they may have in any item on the agenda.
The following declarations were made:-
(1) Councillor Khan – personal interest in the planning application for 51 Union Street as a member of the West Area Planning Committee which first heard the application; however he was hearing it afresh tonight and approached it with an open mind.
(2) Councillor Brett made a personal statement concerning an article in the Oxford Mail which had highlighted views he had previously expressed about some of the comments made about students resident in East Oxford. He clarified his position and made it clear that he approached the planning application before the Committee with an open mind and would take all points of view into account before coming to a decision.
The Head of City Development has submitted a report concerning the demolition of former school canteen, erection of 26 en-suite student rooms with shared facilities, 2 parking spaces for disabled students and 26 covered cycle spaces at 51 Union Street, Oxford.
Call – In: The planning application was considered by the West Area Planning Committee at its meeting of 9th November 2011. when it resolved to support the proposals subject to conditions and the completion of an accompanying legal agreement.
The application has now been called in to the Planning Review Committee
for further consideration by Councillor Benjamin, supported by Councillors Williams, Wolff, Wilkinson, Pressel, Rowley, McCready, Morton, Gotch, Young, Craft and Altaf-Khan.
The Head of City Development submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) concerning the demolition of the former school canteen, erection of 26 en-suite student rooms with shared facilities, 2 parking spaces for disabled students and 26 covered cycle spaces – 51 Union Street, Oxford. Murray Hancock (Planning) presented the report to the Committee.
Councillor Brett (Chair) explained that he would allow up to 10 minutes for people speaking against the application and the same for those speaking in favour of it.
Sue Widgery (Head Teacher, East Oxford Primary School) and Halima Baranas (Parent Governor) spoke against the application and made the following points:-
(1) The objectors were not “anti-student” but felt that there was a disproportionate number of students in East Oxford, and that this imbalance impacted upon local residents;
(2) Access to the site was a concern because it was very narrow and there was no separate access;
(3) Further lighting would have implications for local people – there had been issues already with lighting on the all-weather pitch;
(4) The Thames Valley Police Crime Prevention Officer had suggested that the school should improve its boundaries (which had been done), and that there should be the submission of a lighting plan for the site. Concern had been expressed about a possible increase in users of the school site;
(5) She felt that having student accommodation overlooking the playground of a primary school would be a safeguarding issue
(6) The school already contained an Early Intervention Hub, youth facilities and a lifelong learning facility on the site. It was a well used site. This added to the concern about the narrow entrance;
(7) There was also fear that the new facility could be used outside university terms by students who were left unsupervised;
(8) Other uses of the site were possible, but did not seem to have been explored;
(9) Strong local feeling was exemplified by a petition of over 200 names.
Mark Crampton-Smith (Applicants Letting Agent), Peter Uzzell (Agent for the Applicant) and Daniel Stone (Charities and Community Officer, Oxford University Students Union) spoke in favour of the application and made the following points:-
(1) The site had unrestricted Class B1 use, so could be used for offices or light industry, and if so would employ more staff who would generate more car movements than the proposed use before the Committee;
(2) Security would be enforced by a 2m high metal fence around the site, and there was little likelihood of trespass by students;
(3) The playing pitch on the school site already had a wall and fence around it and the school buildings were 50m away from the proposed blocks of student flats. Most urban schools had residential developments around and overlooking them;
(4) The site was in a 24 hour CPZ, and was in any case intended to be a car-free development. The access road contained speed humps and its use by 26 students was little different to its use by the 35 employees ... view the full minutes text for item 24.
Minutes of the meeting held on 28th September 2011 are attached.
Resolved to confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 28th September 2011.
Dates of future meetings
Meetings are scheduled for the following dates, starting at 6pm:-
25th January 2012
Resolved to note the following dates:
22nd December 2011
25th January 2012
29th February 2012
28th March 2012
25th April 2012