Agenda and minutes
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Declarations of Interest
Councillor Malik stated that although reference was made in the report to taxi drivers, his speaking in support of the application at Minute 38 was not influenced by his business interests or the taxi trade.
Site Address: Cotuit Hall Old House, Pullens Lane, Oxford
Demolition of single storey lecture hall and refectory buildings. Change of use from Student Accommodation (Sui Generis) to Residential Institution (Use Class C2). Erection of connecting buildings, a new accommodation block at the western end of the site, reconfiguration of the retained buildings, and provision of associated car parking and cycle parking spaces, landscaping, plant, and associated works. (Amended description)
Reason for coming to Planning Review Committee
The application was considered at East Area Planning Committee on 8 November. The Committee resolved to refuse planning permission for the following reason:
The proposed development, because of the change of use, associated activities and increased footprint of building on the site, would result in less than substantial harm to the open, quiet, residential character of the Headington Hill Conservation Area. The proposed development would result in less than substantial harm to a heritage asset but it is not considered that the public benefits would outweigh this harm. The proposal is contrary to the Council’s development plan, in particular Local Plan policies HE7, CP1, CP8, Core Strategy policy CS18 and Headington Neighbourhood Plan policies GSP2, GSP4, CIP1, CIP4. The proposal is also contrary to the guidance set out in paragraphs 128-134 of the National Planning Policy Framework, the Planning Practice Guidance and the Council’s Headington Hill Conservation Area Appraisal.
The application has been called in to the Planning Review Committee by Councillors Tanner, Malik, Pegg, Price, Abbasi, Azad, Kennedy, Rowley, Simmons, Hayes, Brandt, Wolff, Iley-Williamson, Anwar, Thomas and Humberstone because it was not considered that there were strong planning reasons for refusal and the refusal would be unlikely to be successful at appeal.
This report considers the proposed development and has been updated following the East Area Planning Committee meeting to incorporate into the report matters that were set out in an addendum at that meeting.
Officer recommendation: The Committee is recommended to:
(a) Approve the application for the reasons given in the report and subject to the required planning conditions set out in section 12 of this report and grant planning permission subject to:
The satisfactory completion of a legal agreement under s.106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and other enabling powers to secure the planning obligations set out in the recommended heads of terms which are set out in this report; and
(b) Agree to delegate authority to the Head of Planning, Sustainable Development and Regulatory Services to:
1. Finalise the recommended conditions as set out in this report including such refinements, amendments, additions and/or deletions as the Head of Planning, Sustainable Development and Regulatory Services considers reasonably necessary;
2. Finalise the recommended legal agreement under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and other enabling powers as set out in this report, including refining, adding to, amending and/or deleting the obligations detailed in the heads of terms set out in this report (including to dovetail with and where appropriate, ... view the full agenda text for item 38.
The Committee considered an application for the demolition of a single storey lecture hall and refectory buildings; change of use from Student Accommodation (Sui Generis) to Residential Institution (Use Class C2); erection of connecting buildings, a new accommodation block at the western end of the site, reconfiguration of the retained buildings, and provision of associated car parking and cycle parking spaces, landscaping, plant, and associated works (Amended description) at Cotuit Hall Old House, Pullens Lane, Oxford, OX3 0DA.
The Planning Officer reported updates to the report:
· Receipt of a letter from a residents group setting out their concerns forwarded by the local MP. These were addressed in the report.
· If approved, conditions would be updated to include reference to the relevant paragraphs of the adopted Headington Neighbourhood Plan (HNP).
The Chair increased the speaking time to 10 minutes for both sides to allow all speakers adequate time.
Councillor Nigel Chapman, local ward councillor, spoke against the application.
Michael Crofton-Briggs, representing local residents, spoke against the application. Local residents Katharine Pardee, Matt Philips and Terry Cudbird were available to answer questions.
Councillor Saj Malik, member of East Area Planning Committee, spoke in support of the application.
Oliver Sheppard (the agent) and Paul Ellis (head of school), representing the applicant, spoke in support of the application. Jenny Hepworth (representing EF Academy) and Tony Fretton (the architect), also representing the applicant were available to answer questions.
In reaching its decision, the Committee considered all the information put before it including the officer’s report, updated since the application was considered at East Area Planning Committee, and presentation and the answers to questions given by officers and the public speakers.
In answer to questions and from the officer’s presentation the Committee noted in particular:
· That the purpose of policy HP5 was to ensure a balanced supply of housing tenures across the city. The affordable housing contribution was calculated according to a standard formula and was intended to mitigate the loss of student accommodation by contributing to an increase in affordable housing, thus indirectly reducing pressure in the private rented sector created by displaced students.
· Although the current use did not provide actual HE student accommodation and the loss was notional, the change of use resulted in a permanent loss of the site for this purpose as would remain classed as a residential school and could not revert easily to student accommodation.
· Numbers living on site during term-time would not increase substantially (from about 210 students to 300 for teaching, and 244 living on site with 56 living out, plus additional staff members): summer language school numbers would decrease slightly.
· The speakers’ respective positions on the impact on the character of the conservation area of the development as a whole and the application of the tests in the NPPF, the Local Plan and the Headington Neighbourhood Plan.
· The applicant’s statements about how students travel to and from the site; on-site control; and the management of student movements and numbers through proposed conditions. ... view the full minutes text for item 38.
To approve as a true and accurate record the minutes of the meeting held on 21 August 2017.
The Committee resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 21 August 2017 as a true and accurate record.
Date of Future Meetings
The Committee noted the scheduled meeting dates, and that the next meeting would be on 10 January 2018 to consider application 16/02745/CT3.