(Service Manager – Planning Policy & Implementation) To consider the attached report for the redevelopment of existing surface level car park comprising the demolition of public toilets and the construction of a multi-deck car park, cinema (sui generis), commercial floorspace (mixed Class E), replacement public toilets and cycle store, all associated plant, together with new vehicular and pedestrian access, all hard and soft landscaping, and associated works.
The Planning Officer, N Finney, presented a report for the redevelopment of the existing surface level car park at Cottis Lane in Epping, comprising the demolition of public toilets and the construction of a multi-deck car park, cinema (sui generis), commercial floorspace (mixed Class E), replacement public toilets and cycle store, all associated plant, together with new vehicular and pedestrian access, all hard and soft landscaping, and associated works.
The key issues of Design, Neighbouring Amenity and Sustainability for the application were described to the Committee. Planning Officers had concluded that:
· the proposals would integrate satisfactorily with the surrounding townscape in terms of scale, massing and overall design;
· the proposal would support the vitality and viability of the town centre;
· the proposals would have an acceptable impact on the living conditions of neighbouring properties in terms of light, privacy and outlook;
· In terms of transport, the extent of car and cycle parking was acceptable and, in combination with the submitted Travel Plan, would support the transition to Electric Vehicles;
· the sustainability aspects of the proposal complied with the current policy; and
· overall, the proposed development was compliant with the requirements of the Development Plan and the LPSV.
The Committee noted the summary of representations that had been received in relation to this application. The Committee heard from an objector and the applicant before proceeding to debate the application.
Cllr J M Whitehouse requested further clarification on condition 34 (Meanwhile Use Area [Cottis Lane]). L Grainger explained that there were ‘trigger points’ for the developer to bring forward alternative proposals if the proposed cinema was not developed, and the Council could take enforcement action if these alternative proposals were not forthcoming. The land could be used as publicly accessible open space as its ‘Meanwhile’ state.
Cllr H Kane enquired if there was a restriction on the opening hours of the new car park on Sundays and Bank Holidays, such as 10.00pm or 11.00pm? L Grainger explained that there had been no objections raised on this matter during the public consultation for the proposal, and it was in a town centre location. Cllr H Brady reminded the Committee that the current car parks were open 24 hours, seven days a week, and residents would use the car park when visiting the cafes and restaurants in the high street. L Grainger further added that the condition relating to opening hours of the development was for the proposed commercial uses, and did not include the car park or the meanwhile space – which would be subject to a further planning application as already outlined.
Cllr C C Pond lamented that these developments were predicated upon the construction of a multi-storey car park, when the Council should be encouraging residents to use their cars less, not more.
(1) That planning application EPF/2925/20 at Cottis Lane Car Park in Epping be granted planning permission, subject to:
(a) the thirty-seven planning conditions listed in Appendix 1 of the report on pages 173 – 195 of the agenda; and
(b) the completion of a Section 106 Legal Agreement to secure the planning obligations and financial contributions outlined on pages 117 – 118 of the agenda.
Cllr C C Pond requested that his vote against the granting of planning permission for this application be recorded in the minutes.