WSCC/027/18/F Proposed New Access Road. New Circular Technology Park (former Ford Blockworks), Ford Airfield Industrial Estate, Ford, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0HY
78.1 The committee considered a report by the Head of Planning Services, as amended by the agenda update sheet (copy appended to the signed copy of the minutes). The report was introduced by James Neave, Principal Planner, who gave a presentation on the proposals, details of the consultation and key issues in respect of the application.
78.2 Councillor Colin Humphris, Clymping Parish Council, spoke in objection to the application. The objections included: the effect of increased HGV numbers on Church Lane on historic buildings, increased risks to pedestrians, cyclists and other road users; no safe controlled crossing points on Church Lane; no mitigation measures being recommended; extended delivery hours, and no control over delivery schedules; traffic surveys being undertaken on a quiet day during the summer school holidays, and the substantial increase in local traffic and pedestrian footfall once the new homes proposed for Yapton and Ford are constructed. Councillor Humphris asked for the following on Church Lane: speed limit reduction; footpath and pavement redesign; safe crossing points; and junctions to be redesigned. He also requested that current delivery hours and number of daily vehicle movements remain the same.
78.3 Jenny Betteridge, a local resident, spoke in objection to the application. At the Chairman’s discretion, three photographs provided by Miss Betteridge were circulated to all members of the committee. The objections included: the effect of increased HGV numbers on residents living on Church Lane in terms of additional noise and increased vibrations very close to their only amenity areas (the properties do not have rear gardens); increased danger to road users (Church Lane is part of the national cycle network and the south coast cycle route) and pedestrians; the traffic survey was flawed because it was undertaken on a quiet day in August; the impact on listed buildings and other protected historical assets and their settings.
78.4 The Democratic Officer read out a letter of concern from Vince Anderson, Friends of the Old Ford to Hunston Canal to the committee. The letter referred to the Arun Local Plan 2011-2031 which stated that development would be permitted where it would not adversely affect the remaining line and configuration of the canal and features along it. The letter asked that the remainder of the canal be protected and restored for other uses including a footpath, cycleway, ponds, open spaces, hedgerows and trees which would help people get to work, benefit wildlife and preserve canal features. Committee members were invited to visit the site of the old canal.
78.5 Veronique Bensadou, Senior Planner for Grundon Waste Management Ltd, spoke in support of the application. The new access route meets the Arun District Local Plan criteria, joins the existing service road used by the sewage works and Viridor’s waste recycling site and will move the site traffic away from existing and proposed residential areas. As a result, an increased number of permitted hours for waste delivery is being sought which are similar to, but shorter than, the nearby Viridor facility. Current recycling operations at the site experience a higher number of smaller lorries than envisaged and the proposed increase in the number of vehicles reflected this and would ensure that materials delivered to the site were generated locally rather transported from further afield in larger lorries. All proposals had been rigorously assessed for their potential impact and no objections had been received from the statutory consultees.
78.6 In response to a matter raised in the letter of concern, Planning Officers provided clarification that the route of the former canal would not be physically impacted by the proposed development.
78.7 During the debate, committee members raised the points below and clarification was provided by the Planning Officers, where applicable:
Increase in number of HGV movements
Points raised – What is the proposed increase in the number of vehicle movements; is this a significant increase? Will it affect total tonnages; and are movements from the Viridor facility included?
Response - The details about numbers of vehicles are included on page 36 of the committee report. Vehicle numbers/controls relate to the Circular Technology Park only; not to Viridor’s vehicle movements. The proposed route of HGVs would be via an already well trafficked road, and additional vehicle movements proposed are not considered to give rise to unacceptable impacts. The applicant is not proposing to increase total tonnages processed at the site.
Monitoring of vehicle movements and hours of operation
Point raised – How will the hours of operation and number of vehicle movements be monitored?
Response – This would be controlled by conditions and/or legal agreement. The draft legal agreement at Appendix 2 of the committee report includes provisions such as record keeping; a requirement for letters to be sent to local residents explaining reporting of breaches; and remedial actions to be taken by the applicant should breaches be identified.
Point raised – Can the size of vehicles be controlled?
Response – There is no existing control over vehicle size.
Prevention of use of existing outbound route
Point raised – Can the HGVs be prevented from accessing the facility from the existing outbound route?
Response – The proposed legal agreement would prevent the use of the existing east and west accesses. Gates at these accesses would be locked or replaced with a continuous fence, the final details of which would be controlled.
Impact upon allocated housing land
Point raised – To what degree will the access road impact upon future housing e.g. through visual/noise impacts?
Response – Condition 5 on page 43 of the committee report refers to the landscaping requirements, which can be made as robust as possible. Officers consider the proposed access arrangements, via an established route serving other development at the airfield, would have less of an impact upon future housing land than the current access arrangements.
Hours of operation
Point raised – Can the Planning Committee refuse to allow the application to increase the number of hours of operation in order to mitigate the impact on residential amenity?
Response – Yes, but the Committee would need to be clear of the impacts which they consider to be unacceptable if minded to refuse the requested hours. The proposed hours of HGV movements are sought by the applicant to facilitate the operation of a waste facility with extant planning permission.
Points raised – Has the increase in the number of vehicle movements been communicated to Highways England? Will there be an impact upon residents’ ability to access the new cycle route along the A259?
Response – Highways England were not consulted because the application site is a considerable distance away from a trunk road.
Point raised – The traffic survey was undertaken in August, during the school holidays; can it give an accurate impression of the impact of the proposed increase in the number of vehicle movements?
Response – The survey complied with government guidelines; the original survey was undertaken in December 2015 and a subsequent survey should be undertaken within three years - the 2018 survey complied with this requirement.
Point raised – Can a crossing point on Church Lane be installed?
Response – There is already a crossing point by the open prison and some informal crossing points where the footpath changes from one side to the other where there are dropped kerbs and central bollards.
78.8 Mr Jupp proposed that the existing hours of operation should be retained and this was seconded by Lt. Col. Bartonand put to the committee. Six members voted for the amendment and six members voted against. The Chairman then voted against the amendment, using his second and casting vote. The amendment fell.
78.9 Lt. Cdr. Atkins proposed that planning permission is granted for application WSCC/027/18/F as set out in the recommendations on page 24 of the committee report. This was seconded by Mrs Duncton, put to the Committee and approved by a majority.
78.10 It was resolved – that planning permission is granted for the proposed new access road, subject to:
(a) the conditions and informatives set out in Appendix 1 of the report (as amended by the update tabled at the meeting); and
(b) the applicant entering into an agreement under section 106 and s106A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (‘the Act’) to deal with:
i) amendments to the existing S106 agreement for the Circular Technology Park site to remove the current controls on routeing and to allow an increase in the number and hours of HGV movements; and
ii) requiring the closure of existing vehicular accesses to the Circular Technology Park and routeing to/from the site only via the new access road and Ford Road/Church Lane.