Land at Wates Way 20/01221/FUL
Decision status: Refused
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Planning permission is sought for the demolition of all buildings and structures and the construction of x1 part two/part three storey ‘L – Shaped’ building comprising Class E (Use class for ‘Commercial, Business and Service’) foodstore and 46 (1 and 2 bed) Class C3 residential dwellings including x16 affordable units on the site of this vacant Class B1 (c) light industrial site. The development would retain the access/egress from Ongar Road for the foodstore. The existing access/egress from Burland Road would be retained for the residential dwellings. 129 car parking spaces service the foodstore. 26 car parking spaces and cycle store service the residential dwellings. Associated landscaping, replacement substation and associated engineering works are also included.
Mrs Caroline Corrigan presented the report and advised that at the request of the Highway Authority the wording of the reasons for refusal had been amended:
Reason 1: The proposed signalised junction including the new access to the site at the Junction of Ongar Road and opposite North Road, would result in an unacceptable impact on the free flow of traffic along Ongar Road and at Wilsons Corner, reducing the efficiency of the Highway network particularly at peak times, including weekend peak times, leading to prolonged vehicular delays and traffic.
Reason 2: The increase in prolonged traffic delays would exacerbate an area of poor air quality to the detriment of the health of pedestrians and nearby residents
Reasons 3: The proposed signal junction and its infrastructure would lead to vehicle and pedestrian conflict in a congested area
Reason 4: It has not been satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposed junction can be delivered due to the presence of statutory undertakers’ equipment.
A statement received from Jenny Downs/Steven Savill in objection of the application, which was read by the Chair, which stated:-
“We have grave concerns regarding the short notification period and indeed the actual notifications of this application. We received advice via email on 8th December 2021 with a letter dated 16th November 2021, advising that representations should be made by 10th December 2021. However, important documents were not uploaded until 10th December 2021 and time is required to locate, absorb and consult on this new information. The supplementary document alone amounted to 54 pages.
Now that the Highways Authority comment has been published, we would like to support their findings. Our gravest concern is that the proposed traffic management will render the local traffic as unmanageable. Brentwood North currently has significant issues during along this stretch of Ongar Road during peak times.
The Highways Authority continues to object to this proposal on the basis of its potential impact on pedestrian safety. The site is located on a busy pedestrian route, used by many to access the town centre and as a route to get to the schools located in Sawyer Hall Lane. It is not acceptable that the safety of these members of the community could be compromised by this scheme.
The potential increase in standing traffic will impact air quality in the area as well as impacting the multitude of residents that surround this development. Residents that border this development includes many older people residing in a care home and many families with very young children. At peak times, the pedestrian traffic has a high proportion of children walking to one of the many schools in Sawyers Hall Lane with many in pushchairs that are more at risk from the traffic fume expulsion.
In conclusion, we do not consider the scheme before Members today represents a suitable scheme for the development of the Wates Way site. We support the future redevelopment of the site, but not at the expense of pedestrian safety and highway congestion on an already busy route.
We appreciate the work that has been undertaken by the mediation group. Their conclusions appear to a viable option and we note that Lidl are not supportive of this option. The location of the store on the drawings show much more sensitivity to the location of the development within a heavily populated residential area and avoids the lorry unloading bays directly adjoining gardens. It also appears to limit overlooking and maintains amenity. However, we would ask that any future submissions be properly considered and consulted upon and that all parties are given appropriate notification and time to digest and comment. This will then give all parties the opportunity to be fair and objective. This development is along one the primary routes in Brentwood and we must all ensure that due diligence is seen to be done.
We urge members to refuse this scheme.”
Mr Hardy as agent was present at the meeting and addressed the committee on behalf of the applicant.
Cllr Lewis, Ward Councillor, spoke in objection to the application.
Cllr Fulcher, Ward Councillor, spoke in objection to the application.
Cllr Aspinell, Essex County Councillor (Brentwood North) and a Member of the Local Highways Panel, spoke in objection to the application.
Members expressed concerns relating to the traffic and environmental impact, together with concerns relating to air quality, the wider community including safety of children walking to and from schools which neighbours close to the proposed site had raised.
Concerns were expressed with regards to the roof gardens, which they considered will overlook neighbouring gardens.
Members did however support the principle of the development, as did some residents for another food store within the borough, but felt that the objections raised by the highway authority were overwhelming and that on that basis could not vote in favour.
Following a full discussion, Cllr Mynott MOVED and Cllr Cloke SECONDED that the application be REFUSED.
A vote was taken, and Members voted as follows:
FOR: Cllrs Bridge, Barber, Dr Barrett, Cuthbert, Fryd, Gelderbloem, Heard, Jakobsson, Laplain, Mynott, Tanner, Wiles (11)
AGAINST: Tanner (1)
The motion to REFUSE the application was RESOLVED.
(Cllr Cloke declared a non pecuniary interest by virtue of being the Vice-Chair of the Local Highways Panel and Cllr Wiles declared a non pecuniary interest by virtue of being a Essex County Council Councillor and a Members of the Local Highways Panel).
Report author: Caroline Corrigan
Publication date: 10/01/2022
Date of decision: 15/12/2021
Decided at meeting: 15/12/2021 - Planning and Licensing Committee