(Service Director (Planning Services)) To consider the attached report.
The Service Director (Planning Services) presented a report with regard to the proposed variation of Condition 18 of planning permission EPF/0439/14, relating to the hours of operation of the Council’s MOT and Grounds Maintenance Depot at the Oakwood Hill Industrial Estate in Loughton.
Members noted that the application had been referred to the District Development Management Committee for determination as it had been called in by Councillor C. Roberts. The Service Director (Planning Services) reported that, in addition, as the application related to the variation of a condition applied to a major (over 10,000m2 floor area) development on the Council’s own land, it was required to be considered by the Committee in accordance with Article 10 (District Development Management Committee and Area Plans Sub-Committees) of the Constitution.
The Committee was advised that the proposal sought consent to extend the operational hours of the MOT and Grounds Maintenance workshops and to include operational hours for the Housing Maintenance Section that was also to be located at the Depot. Members noted that the amendment was intended to consolidate operations at the Depot and to regularise operating times in line with existing contracted hours.
The Service Director (Planning Services) advised the Committee that main issue for consideration in respect of the application related to its impact on local amenity. Members noted that the proposal would add an additional early morning hour of operation to the grounds maintenance use of the Depot and two additional later hours of operation, resulting in operating times of 7.00am to 6.00pm from Monday to Friday. The Service Director (Planning Services) reported that, on Saturday’s, a reduction in grounds maintenance operations was proposed, albeit with an earlier start time, resulting in operating times of 7.00am to 1.00pm. and that the operation of housing maintenance activities was proposed to be added to the condition, with hours of operation of 8.00am to 6.00pm from Monday to Friday.
The Committee was advised that concerns with regard to the proposed variation of the operating hours of the Depot had been raised by the Service Director (Commercial and Regulatory Services), particularly in respect of the proposed commencement of operating hours for grounds maintenance services at 7.00am. Members were advised that agreement had been reached with the Service Director (Commercial and Regulatory Services) on the implementation of the earlier start time, provided that any operational works occurring before 7.30am only occurred within the confines of the Depot building with all external doors and windows closed and that no operational works occurred outside the confines of the building, except for maintenance vehicles leaving the Depot between the hours of 7.00am and 7.30am. The Service Director (Planning Services) reported that the requirement for earlier operating hours was due to the need for grounds maintenance work to be undertaken during seasonal hours, where operations could commence earlier in each day of the Summer months and for longer periods during extended daylight hours.
The Committee was advised that changes to the grounds maintenance operating schedule had been implemented since operations transferred to the Depot, to minimise disturbance to residents of neighbouring properties, including the undertaking of noisier activities in terms of maintenance and unloading at the end of each day, rather than the start of the day. Members noted that the Service Director (Commercial and Regulatory Services) had also suggested a number of other improvements, such as the refuelling of vehicles the night before, carrying out vehicle checks inside the building with the doors to the unit shut and only opening the doors when vehicles left the Depot, to further reduce the impact on neighbouring properties. The Service Director (Planning Services) emphasised, that, as a result of these measures, any noise arising before 07.30 hours would be solely from vehicles leaving the Depot, rather than from any maintenance checks being carried out outside, so as to minimise any harm to surrounding amenity. The Committee noted that operational activities would only constitute work carried out as part of grounds maintenance functions, including movements of operational vehicles, maintenance of equipment, delivery and removal of green waste and other items, etc., but would not include the arrival of staff by personal vehicle.
The Committee was advised that those properties that had windows directly facing the Depot were approximately 40 metres from the entrance of the site, but that such windows serviced kitchens and bathrooms and were therefore less sensitive to noise disturbance than a bedroom. The Service Director (Planning Services) indicated that, although there were properties that had more sensitive rooms facing the Depot further along Oakwood Hill, these had less of a direct line of sight to the site, which would afford some reduction from noise emanating from the Depot and that it was therefore considered that the proposed variation to the condition was reasonable.
That planning permission be granted subject to the following conditions:
(1) The development hereby permitted must be begun not later than the expiration of three years beginning with the date of this notice;
(2) The development shall be implemented in accordance with the material details as approved under EPF/2439/15;
(3) The development hereby permitted will be completed strictly in accordance with the approved drawings nos: 13/0319/P01; 10332/P/001; 10356/P/001 rev.A; 100 rev. P3; 13/0319/P02; 13/0319/P03; 13/0319/P04; 13/0319/P05; 13/0319/P06; 13/0319/P07; 13/0319/P08; 13/0319/P09; SP9216-LD3863-01 issue C; 101 rev. P1; 700 rev. A; and 701 rev. B;
(4) The hard and soft landscaping shall be maintained in accordance with details approved under EPF/0690/15. If within a period of five years from the date of the planting or establishment of any tree, or shrub or plant, that tree, shrub, or plant or any replacement is removed, uprooted or destroyed or dies or becomes seriously damaged or defective another tree or shrub, or plant of the same species and size as that originally planted shall be planted at the same place, unless the Local Planning Authority gives its written consent to any variation; Tree protection shall be carried out in accordance with the details agreed under EPF/0690/15;
(5) Any contaminated land remediation shall be in accordance with the details approved under the approval of details application EPF/0689/15;
(6) The contaminated land verification report as approved under reference EPF/1358/16 shall be implemented in accordance with the approved monitoring and maintenance programme;
(7) The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved verification report agreed under reference EPF/1358/16;
(8) Any ground gas mitigation measures sought and agreed under approval of details application EPF/0276/15 shall be maintained and responsibility passed on should ownership or responsibility for the buildings be transferred;
(9) All construction/demolition works and ancillary operations, including vehicle movement on site which are audible at the boundary of noise sensitive premises, shall only take place between the hours of 07.30 to 18.30 Monday to Friday and 08.00 to 13.00 hours on Saturday, and at no time during Sundays and Public/Bank Holidays unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority;
(10) Prior to first occupation of the development the access arrangements, as shown in principle on drawing no.10332/P/001, dated Jan 2014, shall be agreed with the Highway Authority and shall include the following:
(a) the removal of the existing bus layby and shelter and the realignment of the footway to the edge of the carriageway across the site frontage;
(b) the provision of a new bus layby;
(c) the continuation of the existing footway to the new bus layby;
(d) the provision of a new shelter, flag, timetable and raised kerbs at the new stop;
(e) the provision of a new pedestrian refuge island sited to the west of the new access to include appropriate dropped kerb crossings on the footways and tactile paving;
(f) a minimum of 8m radii kerbing for the new bell mouth access; and
(g) the provision of two pedestrian dropped kerb crossing points with tactile paving across the new bell mouth access;
The approved scheme of works shall be implemented prior to first occupation of the development;
(11) The development shall be built in accordance with the approved construction method statement approved under reference EPF/1618/15;
(12) The approved surface water drainage scheme, agreed under reference EPF/1836/15 shall be carried out in its entirety prior to the access becoming operational and shall be retained at all times;
(13) Any gates provided at the vehicular access shall be inward opening only and shall be set back a minimum of 6 metres from the back edge of the carriageway;
(14) The flood risk assessment and management approved under approval of details application EPF/0276/15 shall be adequately maintained in accordance with the management and maintenance plan;
(15) Open storage shall only occur in accordance with the approved detail under reference EPF/0276/15;
(16) The development shall be commenced and maintained in accordance with the reptile survey agreed under EPF/0276/15;
(17) The MOT testing station and workshop hereby approved shall be used only between the hours of 08.00-17.15 Monday to Friday and 08.00-12.00 on Saturdays. Office use, including Housing Repairs, shall operate only between 08.00-18.00 Monday to Saturday. No activities shall take place on Sundays or Bank Holidays;
(18) The sound installation agreed and installed as per EPF/2018/15 shall not be removed at any time without the prior written permission of the Local Planning Authority;
(19) Tree planting shall be carried out in accordance with the details agreed under reference EPF/0690/15 and if within a period of five years from the date of the planting, that tree or replacement is removed, uprooted or destroyed or dies or becomes seriously damaged or defective, another tree of the same species and size as that originally planted shall be planted at the same place, unless the Local Planning Authority gives its written consent to any variation; and
(20) Operational use by Grounds Maintenance and other depot users hereby permitted shall occur only between the hours of 0700-1800 Monday-Friday and 07.00-13.00 Saturday. No operational activities should occur outside the confines of the building before 07.30 hours Monday-Friday, and 0.800 hours on Saturday, with the only exception to this being for grounds maintenance vehicles leaving the site, or hitching up to trailers, which should occur in a timely and efficient manner. Doors to the loading bays should remain closed when vehicles are being checked and loaded within the building between these times. No scheduled activities shall take place on the site on Sundays or bank Holidays, except unless notified and agreed by the local planning authority at least one week before the scheduled work is due to occur.