Contact: Louise McLornan, Democratic Services Officer
No apologies were reported.
Declarations of Interest
Councillor Whyte declared an interest in item 2a, 12 - 30 Wellington Place and 42 - 46 Upper Queen Street, in that he was previously employed by and retained a beneficial interest in a company which provided consultancy services to the company which owned the building. He left the meeting for the duration of the discussion on the item and did not participate in the vote.
Councillor McCullough also declared an interest in item 2a, as a Member of his family worked for PwC, the tenant of the building. He left the meeting for the duration of the discussion and did not participate in the vote.
Councillor Hussey declared an interest in Item 2b, Chancery House, in that he was a Member of the Bar Library, who had lodged an objection to the application, and so he left the meeting and did not participate in the vote.
The Members considered the undernoted report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report and Summary of Main Issues
1.1 This report was originally scheduled for consideration at the meeting of the Planning Committee members on 15 June. However, it was deferred to give Members more time to consider the report and documentation. It was also agreed to request that the Department for Infrastructure engages with local residents on the proposed S76 planning agreement. Officers have since put this request to the Department. The Department has also been invited to attend the meeting of the Planning Committee members on 24 June 2021 to field any questions that Members may have about the proposed S76 and process.
1.2 The original report to the 15 June meeting is reproduced below.
1.3 The Council has received correspondence from the Department for Infrastructure (the Department) in relation to planning application LA04/2017/0474/F for the redevelopment of Casement Park to provide a new stadium. The proposal is of regional significance and the application is being dealt with by the Department rather than Belfast City Council.
1.4 In accordance with Section 76(3) of The Planning (Northern Ireland) Act 2011, the Department is consulting the Council, seeking its comments on the draft Section 76 Planning Agreement (S76) negotiated with the applicant, Ulster Gaelic Athletics Association (GAA). The draft S76 includes clauses relating to the appointment of a Stadium Manager, Travel Plan Co-ordinator, Event Safety Manager, Event Management Group and Traffic Management Contractors. There are also clauses regarding economic requirements for employment and ongoing monitoring.
2.1 It is recommended that the Chief Executive, or her nominated officer, uses her delegated authority to offer no objection to the proposed S76 as set out in the Department’s letter of 10 June 2021 and respond to any further changes to the proposed S76 Planning Agreement, provided that those changes are of a minor or technical nature.
3.0 Main Report
3.1 The Council has received correspondence from the Department in relation to planning application LA04/2017/0474/F for the redevelopment of Casement Park to provide a new stadium (see Appendix 1). The proposal is of regional significance and the application is being dealt with by the Department rather than Belfast City Council. The Department is formally consulting the Council, seeking its views on the proposed S76 (see Appendix 2). The Department has given the Council six weeks to respond i.e. by 22 July 2021, hence reporting this matter to the Committee as a late item.
3.2 The Council provided its substantive consultation response to the planning application in August 2017. The Planning Committee offered no objection to the application but made the following specific comments:
· Further detailed cross sections through the entire site and surrounding properties were recommended
· Further images to demonstrate impact on the skyline and key views were recommended
· Greater certainty around travel, transport and traffic should be provided.
3.3 The application was considered by the Planning Committee again in September 2019 following reconsultation. The Committee agreed to provide no further comments but that ... view the full minutes text for item 3a
The Planning Manager outlined that correspondence had been received from the Historic Environment Division (HED) regarding the proposed listing of 11 no. boundary markers. He explained that Article 80 (3) of the Planning Act (NI) 2011 required that HED consulted with the Council before placing any building on the statutory list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. The Members were advised that the Department, based on the completion of detailed surveys, was considering the listing of the following 11 boundary markers at:
· Kensington Road, Tullycarnet, Belfast
· Grosvenor Grammar School, Marina Park, Belfast
· Orangefield Presbyterian Church, 464 Castlereagh Road, Belfast
· Ladas Way/Ladas Park, Belfast
· Glenside Bridge, Belmont Road, Belfast
· 84 Castlehill Road, Belfast
· Near St Molua’s Church, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast
· Near ‘The Weir’, 276 Malone Road, Belfast
· Outside 593-595 Falls Road, Belfast
· Horse Shoe Bend, Crumlin Road, Ligoneil, Belfast; and
· 622 Ballysillan Road, Belfast.
The Members of the Committee recommended that, in accordance with the Council decision of 4th May 2021, the Chief Executive would exercise her delegated authority to offer no objection to the proposed listing of the structures.
The Members considered the undernoted report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report and Summary of Main Issues
1.1 The purpose of this report is to advise the Committee of NILGA’s 2021 Planning Training Programme for elected members (Appendix 1, available on mod.gov); seek permission for up to three Planning Committee members to participate in the full programme.
2.1 The Committee is asked to:
· note the appended NILGA 2021 elected member Planning Training Programme; and
· approve the attendance of the Chair, Deputy Chair and up to one other member of the Planning Committee, or theirnominees, to participate in the Programme.
3.0 Main Report
3.1 NILGA 2019Planning Training Programme Invitation
NILGA has designed a regional elected member development programme for implementation during 2021/22 following on from the 2018 and 2019 programmes. The programme builds on the NILGA training initiative co-designed with the elected member development groups and the Regional Working Group.
3.2 The overall NILGA elected member development programme includes a strand in respect of a Local Planning Programme for elected members, a copy of which is set out at Appendix One. NILGA has commissioned the seven module programme, which will run from September 2021 into March 2022 based on the experience form the previous experience and feedback. Each module will be held on a Friday afternoon with a proposed study trip in March 2022. At this stage the venue for the training has not been confirmed.
3.3 The programme will be interactive in nature and have previously been delivered by a pool of planning practitioners. The programme will include short presentations; discussions; case studies and benchmarking practice in other jurisdictions; workshops with role play; question & answer sessions; and the optional site visit.
3.4 A pre-requisite for the enrolment in the programme is that elected members who are nominated to attend must be in a position to complete all seven modules. Elected members who successfully complete the full programme, to a satisfactory standard, will be accredited with an endorsed Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) development award.
3.5 Finance and Resource Implications
The projected training costs associated with this report (£300-475 per participant and potential additional optional Study Visit cost) can be met from existing training budgets.
Equality or Good Relations Implications/
Rural Needs Assessment
3.6 There are no equality or good relations implications associated with this report.”
The Members of the Committee agreed to endorse the recommendations within the report.
The Members considered the undernoted report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues
1.1 Members of the Planning Committee are asked to agree to hold a Special, in-person, Planning Committee meeting in August to consider planning application LA04/2019/1540/F proposed Centralised Anaerobic Digestion facility at Dargan Road.
2.1 That Members agree to hold a Special, in-person meeting, at a date and time in August to be agreed in consultation with the Chairperson.
3.2 Members will be aware that, under the current decision making arrangements, as agreed by the Council on 4th May 2021, ‘for those decisions in respect of which the Chief Executive has a conflict of interest or which have a political sensitivity, she may decline to exercise delegated authority. Such decisions will be deferred until governance arrangements can be resumed or if necessary due to urgency through a physically convened meeting.’
3.3 Following a request from the applicant, the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Strategic Director of Place and Economy, has agreed that a Special, in-person, meeting will be held to consider the aforementioned planning application.
3.4 As background, the application was submitted in June 2019 and first brought to the Committee for its consideration in August 2020, where it was deferred, due to a late objection having been received and for the Committee to undertake a site visit. The application was brought back to the Committee in January 2021 and was deferred again, to allow a Non-Mandatory Pre-Determination Hearing, which was held in February 2021. The application was brought back to Committee again in April 2021, where the Committee resolved for Planning Officers to consider proposals to refuse planning permission.
3.5 Members of the Planning Committee are asked to agree to hold a Special, in-person, meeting in August to consider the application. It is proposed that the time and date for the meeting will be agreed in consultation with the Chairperson.
3.6 The Planning Committee has two meeting dates scheduled in August. Given that there are no meetings in July, there is likely to be a high volume of applications which are required to be considered on the meeting on Tuesday, 17th August.
3.7 A Design and Conservation Member Training Workshop is currently scheduled ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Issue Raised in Advance by a Member - Cllr Groogan to request that a letter be sent to a Planning Agent
Councillor Groogan advised the Members that, at the meeting held on 15th June, a Planning Agent had made an inappropriate remark which appeared to have been made in reaction to her asking a question.
The Members of the Committee agreed to recommend that, in accordance with the Council decision of 4th May 2021, the Chief Executive, or her nominated officer, would exercise her delegated authority to send a letter to Turley Planning, reminding them that asking questions was an essential part of role the Members of the Planning Committee in order to scrutinise each planning application, and that agents should be mindful of their professional conduct at meetings.
(Councillors McCullough and Whyte, having declared an interest in the item, left the meeting for the duration of the item and did not participate in the vote)
The Principal Planning officer provided the Members with the details of the retrospective application. She reminded the Members that the full application was previously considered by the Planning Committee on 15th December, 2020. The Members were advised that the key issues were the impact on the setting of nearby Listed Buildings and the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. She outlined that both Historic Environment Division (HED) and the Council’s Conservation Officer had expressed concerns and that the application was recommended for refusal. At that meeting, the Committee had deferred the application to allow for further discussion of alternative options for the plant/plant screen.
She explained that several meetings had been held between the applicant/agent, architects, HED, the Conservation Officer and the Planning Officers, and that the overall design of the proposal had evolved from the initial proposal, with all viable options for the plant having been considered. The Members were advised that discussions had taken place to achieve a proposal which would serve the purpose required for the applicant and the tenants of the building, while minimising any potential impact on the setting of nearby listed buildings and the Belfast City Centre Conservation Area.
The amendments to the original proposal included the following changes to the right-hand side of the pediment (of the Listed Scottish Provident building facing Donegall Square West):
· the 3.1m high aluminium screen had been removed;
· the Air Handling Unit (AHU) had been lowered and moved 1.5m away from Donegall Sq East, closer to the internal courtyard;
· the high level (upper) duct from the AHU had been removed and repositioned lower at
· roof level, reducing the overall height; and
· the ducts had been moved away from Donegall Sq East, closer to the courtyard.
The following change had also been included to the left-hand side of the pediment:
· the high level (upper) duct from the second AHU, adjacent to Wellington Street, had been removed and repositioned and now ran behind the AHU rather than in front.
The Principal Planning Officer reported that HED had been heavily involved in discussions with the agent and had played a major part in informing the amendments. She explained that HED’s main concern was the impact of the proposals on the setting of the Listed Scottish Provident Building and that HED had since advised that they were content with the proposals to remove the intrusive screen to the rooftop and also the proposed relocation of ductwork and a moveable / collapsible edge protection system. The Members were advised that HED’s final response had indicated that the proposal to remove the upper duct of the plant located to the left hand side of the Scottish Provident Building pediment was also welcomed.
The Members were advised that the agent had provided additional information to HED including an image and CGI showing the mitigated impact of the ... view the full minutes text for item 8a
LA04/2019/2653/F - Demolition of existing property and erection of a 9 storey building (overall height 37m) comprising a ground floor retail unit together with cycle parking and plant areas: and 8 floors of grade A office accommodation at Chancery House, 88 Victoria Street PDF 943 KB
(Councillors McCullough and Whyte re-joined the meeting at this point)
(Councillor Hussey, having declared an interest in the item, left the meeting
for the duration of the item and did not participate in the vote)
The Planning Manager reminded the Members that the application had been due to be considered by the Planning Committee in April 2021. However, the Committee had deferred the application because Members had been unable to access all the relevant documents through the Planning Portal. The application was then scheduled to be considered by the Committee in May 2021, however, it was withdrawn from the agenda in light of further information having been received from the applicant.
The Members were advised that the application sought full planning permission for the construction of new 9 storey (37m tall) building comprising of ground floor retail space with 8 floors of Grade A office space above. The existing building had since been demolished under the terms of a previous planning permission which meant that the previous permission was extant in perpetuity. The current application followed Pre-Application Discussions with officers.
The Members were advised that the site already benefitted from an extant planning permission for the erection of a seven storey office building (Z/2011/0380/F) with retail use on the ground floor and offices above. The principle of retail and office development had already been established and was acceptable at the city centre location. The Planning Manager advised that the proposal would support jobs and contribute to the economy.
He outlined the main issues which had been considered in the assessment of the proposal, including:
· the principle of office and retail uses at that location
· the demolition of the existing building;
· the impact on the character and appearance of the area and ATC;
· the impact upon the setting of nearby listed buildings;
· the impact on amenity;
· water infrastructure and flood risk; and
· access and parking.
He provided the Members with views of the following Listed Buildings which were in proximity to the site:
· Old Town Hall (Grade B1)
· Royal Courts of Justice (Grade A)
· Nos. 161 – 163 Victoria Street and No. 2 Gloucester Street (Grade B1)
· Former Northern Bank 108 – 110 Victoria Street (Grade B2)
· Albert Clock Queen’s Square (Grade A)
He outlined that the site was located within the development limits for the city, as designated within the BUAP, dBMAP 2004 and 2015 and was within the proposed Victoria & Oxford Street Area of Townscape Character (ATC).
In terms of its relationship with neighbouring buildings, it was considered that the impacts on outlook and natural light would not be significantly greater than those arising from the extant permission.
He reported that HED had advised that the scale and design of the proposal had the potential to adversely impact on the setting of nearby listed buildings. However, officers considered that the scale and design of the building to be appropriate to its context, which included several substantial buildings in the area, and that the setting of listed buildings ... view the full minutes text for item 8b