Contact: Louise McLornan, Democratic Services Officer
No apologies for inability to attend were reported.
The minutes of the meetings of 13th and 15th October were taken as read and signed as correct. It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 2nd November, subject to the omission of those matters in respect of which the Council had delegated its powers to the Committee.
Declarations of Interest
Councillor Groogan declared an interest in item 6c, Havelock House, in that she had previously made representation in respect of the application, had engaged with objectors and wished to speak in objection to the application. As such, she would leave the meeting immediately after speaking on the item.
Councillor McKeown advised that, in respect of item 6c, Havelock House, he had listened to local residents in regards to the associated planning application but that, as he had not expressed a view in respect of it, he was content that he could participate in any discussion on the matter.
Councillor Nicholl declared an interest in respect of item 6d, Harberton Park, in that she had engaged with objectors and would be speaking in opposition to the application and would therefore leave the meeting immediately after speaking on the item.
The Committee agreed to the following schedule of meetings for the year 2021:
· Tuesday, 19th January;
· Thursday, 21st January (for training);
· Tuesday, 16th February;
· Thursday, 18th February (for training);
· Tuesday, 16th March;
· Thursday, 18th March (for training);
· Tuesday, 20th April;
· Thursday, 22nd April (for training);
· Tuesday, 18th May;
· Thursday, 20th May (for training);
· Tuesday, 15th June;
· Thursday, 17th June (for training);
· No meetings in July (recess)
· Tuesday, 17th August;
· Thursday, 19th August (for training);
· Tuesday, 14th September;
· Thursday, 16th September (for training);
· Tuesday, 19th October;
· Thursday, 21st October (for training);
· Tuesday, 16th November;
· Thursday, 18th November (for training);
· Tuesday, 14th December; and
· Thursday, 16th December (for training).
The information contained in the report associated with the following item is restricted in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.
Resolved – That the Committee agrees to exclude the members of the Press and public from the Committee meeting during discussion of these items as, due to the nature of the items, there would be a disclosure of exempt information as described in Section 42(4) and Section 6 of the Local Government Act (NI) 2014.
The Committee was provided with an update on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Council’s financial position, and a strategy to address the forecast deficit and the mitigation measures which had and would be taken as the situation evolved.
It was also noted that the Committee had undertaken a site visit on 16th November in respect of application LA04/2020/0804/F - Proposed major mixed use development comprising 653 residential dwellings (549 social housing units and 104 affordable housing units); 2 replacement residential care homes; mixed use area including local neighbourhood retail centre (1 convenience retail anchor unit and 3 retail/hot food/coffee shop units and hotel; Class B business uses within employment zone comprising a mix of 6 Class B1a offices; 1 Class B1b/B1c call centre and R&D office; and 11 Class B1b/B1c/B2 call centre and R&D offices/light industrial units.; community facilities including community building; MUGA pitch and play area. Development includes 2 vehicular site access points from Monagh By-Pass (1 signalised), associated internal road network, pedestrian and cycle ways, public open space, children's play area(s), landscaping, 2 no. waste water treatment works, and all other site and access works (amended scheme) at Lands West of Monagh By-Pass South of Upper Springfield Road & 30-34 Upper Springfield Road & West of Aitnamona Crescent & St Theresa’s Primary School. North and East of 2-22 Old Brewery Lane Glanaulin 137-143a Glen Road & Airfield Heights & St Mary’s CBG School, Belfast.
The Committee noted the receipt of correspondence in respect of a number of planning appeals which had been submitted to the Planning Appeals Commission, together with the outcomes of a range of hearings which had been considered by the Commission.
The Committee noted a list of decisions which had been taken under the delegated authority of the Director of Planning and Building Control, together with all other planning decisions which had been issued by the Planning Department between 5th October and 9th November.
LA04/2019/0463/F - Revision of previously approved application (Z/2012/0645/RM) and erection of 10 semi-detached dwellings and associated site works - Plots 36-45 of residential development on lands south of 25 Harberton Park Belfast. PDF 647 KB
Before presentation of the application commenced, the Committee agreed to defer consideration of the application to enable a site visit to be undertaken to allow the Committee to acquaint itself with the location and the proposals at first hand.
The Committee noted, as the application had not been presented, that all Members’ present at the next meeting, would be able to take part in the debate and vote on this item.
(Reconsidered) LA04/2019/2387/F - Residential development comprising 151 apartments and ancillary uses including; management suite, communal space, reception area and servicing (refuse/recycling/bicycle storage) and plant equipment; and associated car parking and public realm improvements to Scrabo Street, Station Street and Middlepath Street on Land adjacent to Quay Gate House 15 Scrabo Street, footpaths and public realm at Scrabo Street, Station Street and Middlepath Street. PDF 1 MB
The Principal Planning officer reminded the Committee that, at its meeting on 13th October, it had agreed to defer consideration of the application to enable a site visit to be undertaken to allow the Committee to acquaint itself with the location and the proposals at first hand and to request further information on sustainable transport measures and the travel plan. The site visit had taken place on 22nd October.
He provided the Committee with an overview of the application. He outlined that the recommendation to approve was subject to the developer entering into a Section 76 Planning Agreement to include green travel measures, including:
· the submission of a residential travel plan;
· travel cards for each of the 151 units for 3 years;
· submission of a car club strategy and provision of 3 parking spaces retained for car club purposes (ongoing/permanent basis); and
· voucher / subsidy for a bicycle for each apartment.
He explained that the Section 76 agreement would also include developer contributions for:
· monetary contribution towards nearby play space facilities (Rotterdam Street) to offset the policy requirement for provision of children’s play space/equipment;
· provision and future maintenance of the external amenity space within the site; and
· employability and skills framework/details for the construction element of the proposal.
The Committee was advised that the original report incorrectly stated that the building was 11 storeys. He pointed out that the application sought full planning permission for a 19 storey residential building, comprising an 11 storey podium element (maximum height of 30.6metres), including outdoor amenity area, with a further 8 storey tower element above (maximum height of 55.1metres), for 151 apartments and ancillary uses.
The Members were advised of the key issues which were considered in the assessment of the proposal, including the principle of the proposal at this location, layout, scale, form, massing, height and design, the impact on amenity, flooding and drainage impact.
The Principal Planning officer explained that the site was within the City Centre boundary in the BUAP and both versions of BMAP, where residential development was acceptable in principle. The site comprised a car park area associated with an adjacent office building and included a hard-surfaced area underneath an existing elevated railway line, and lay adjacent to the junction with the M3 on-slip.
The Members were advised that the proposal supported the aims of the Belfast Agenda around city centre living and that residential uses were located immediately adjacent to the site.
The Planning officer advised that the site was not located in a Conservation Area or Area of Townscape Character (ATC), there were no listed buildings or assets of any historic interest on site, nor was the site in close proximity to any heritage assets.
He advised the Committee that it was considered that the scale, height, massing and materials of the building were, on balance, acceptable and appropriate to the site context and the area. He explained that the massing of the building was broken up by the design and that the layout assisted ... view the full minutes text for item 8b
LA04/2020/0804/F - Mixed use development comprising 653 residential dwellings (549 social housing units and 104 affordable housing units); 2 replacement residential care homes; mixed use area including local neighbourhood retail centre (1 convenience retail anchor unit and 3 retail/hot food/coffee shop units and hotel; Class B business uses within employment zone comprising a mix of 6 Class B1a offices; 1 Class B1b/B1c call centre and R&D office; and 11 Class B1b/B1c/B2 call centre and R&D offices/light industrial units.; community facilities including community building; MUGA pitch and play area including 2 vehicular site access points from Monagh By-Pass (1 signalised), associated internal road network, pedestrian and cycle ways, public open space, children's play area(s), landscaping, 2 no. waste water treatment works, and all other site and access works on lands West of Monagh By-Pass, South of Upper Springfield Road & 30-34 Upper Springfield Road & West of Altnamona Crescent PDF 2 MB
The Senior Planning officer provided the Committee with the details of the substantive scheme in the north west of the City.
He outlined the key issues which were considered during the assessment of the proposed development, including:
· Development Plan considerations
· Principle of Proposed Uses
· Open Space Provision
· Layout, Massing, Design and Visual Impact
· Traffic, Movement and Parking
· Impact on the Environment and Amenity
· Other Environmental Matters
· Drainage and Flooding
· Natural Heritage including potential impact on Protected Sites, Protected Priority Species and Habitats
· Built heritage / archaeology
· Developer Contributions/ Section 76 Agreement
· Pre-application Community Consultation
He advised the Committee that the principle of the proposed uses and general layout and location of the uses had been established through outline planning permission (Z/2010/1284/O) which was extant. The Members were advised that the uses also sat comfortably with the proposed mixed use zoning in Draft BMAP 2015.
The Committee was advised that the development was proposed on an expansive sloping site just within the settlement limits. The Senior Planning officer outlined that the site was zoned for Employment/Industry (Zoning BT007) in Draft BMAP 2015 (published November 2004) and zoned as a Mixed Use site (Zoning BT002) in BMAP 2015 (published September 2014). He explained that there was also an extant outline planning approval on the site for a mixed use development and that the presumption was therefore in favour of development.
He advised the Committee that, although a large number of trees must be removed to facilitate the development, many protected trees would be retained and that a comprehensive replanting scheme was included, with existing trees integrated within open spaces throughout the development. He added that the scheme respected the site’s edge of settlement location with a south-north landscape spine as a key design concept, providing a visual bridge between the urban character of the Glen Road to the rural character of the Belfast Hills to the north of the site.
He pointed out that the design and layout responded to the topography of the site in such a way as to minimise the visual impact.
The Committee was advised that the quantum of social and affordable housing would not only contribute towards one of the main aims of the Belfast Agenda but would also provide much needed housing in an area of identified housing stress. He explained that the introduction of retail, office and industrial units, as well as hotel and care homes, would provide jobs for people in the locality and beyond.
The Senior Planning officer advised that the design and access statement outlined that the proposal represented an investment of around £95million from the private sector and during the construction phase would create about 400 construction jobs. Once operational, the proposal would generate approximately 370 local jobs in a range of sectors within the employment, retail, community and trust home uses.
He reported that an Environmental Statement had been submitted with the application and had been considered in the assessment of theapplication. He explained that after scrutiny from ... view the full minutes text for item 8c
LA04/2020/0067/F - Demolition of existing buildings and erection of 270 apartment building comprising 8, 5 and 3 storey elements, provision of hard and soft landscaping including communal courtyard gardens, public realm, provision of 40 car parking spaces, cycle parking, substation and associated works at Havelock House, Ormeau Road. PDF 3 MB
The Principal Planning officer provided the Committee with a detailed overview of the proposal to demolish Havelock House and the construction of a build to rent apartment block. He explained that the height of the proposed building varied with a maximum height of 8 storeys located in a central location along the Ormeau Road, with the height stepping down to 7, 6, 5 and 3 storeys to the rear.
He outlined the main issues which had been considered in the consideration of the application, including:
· the principle of demolition;
· the principle of residential development at that location;
· acceptability of height, scale, layout and design;
· impact on the character of the area including built heritage;
· impact on adjoining amenity;
· access, Car Parking and Sustainable Transport Measures;
· environmental considerations e.g. Air Quality, Noise, Dust, Contamination, Lighting; and
· drainage and flood risk.
The Members were advised that, in the BUAP the site was located within the city centre and was not zoned for any use. They were advised that, in draft BMAP 2004 and 2015 the site was located within the city centre and within the Shaftsbury Square Character Area and was not zoned for any specific use.
The Principal Planning officer advised that 73 representations had been received and he advised that the issues had been addressed within the report. The concerns related to:
· the historical significance and heritage value of Havelock House, which should be listed;
· concern regarding Department for Communities listing evaluation;
· the Heritage Statement was inadequate;
· that it would damage the setting of 5 listed buildings;
· that an Environmental Impact Assessment was required to address the cumulative loss of heritage assets;
· insufficient unallocated parking;
· the scale of the development would be detrimental to the neighbouring properties;
· the potential to destabilise interface associated with the site;
· Disruption associated with noise, dust, site traffic; and
· the level of engagement between the Council and local community in relation to the application, particularly with the challenges of COVID-19.
He advised the Members that the maximum height of the proposed building was comparable to that of the adjoining 8 storey apartment block at Portland 88. He illustrated that the proposed development stepped down from 8 storeys fronting the Ormeau Road to 7, 6, 5 and 3 storeys towards the rear of the site and the adjoining existing established residential area off Donegall Pass. The Committee was advised that the separation distances were considered acceptable. The Principal planning officer reported that the orientation of the building and the path of the sun would ensure that there would be no adverse overshadowing from the proposed development.
The Principal Planning officer explained that HED objected to the proposed development and considered that it would have an adverse impact on the setting of listed buildings, in particular those in the Gasworks due to the height of the proposed development and advised that the proposed development was contrary to Policy BH 11 of PPS 6 and paragraph 6.12 of the SPPS.
He explained that, if the Planning Committee ... view the full minutes text for item 8d
LA04/2020/1873/F - Community space and extension to the children's play area previously consented under planning application ref LA04/2018/0323/F, with 3.6m perimeter fence on lands at Frank Gillen Centre (1A Cullingtree Rd) PDF 368 KB
The Principal Planning officer outlined the details of the application which sought permission to extend a previously approved playground and the addition of a community space. She explained that the proposal was to be incorporated into a wider community and recreation scheme at the Frank Gillen Centre, as approved by Committee in October 2018.
She provided the main issues which had been considered in the assessment of the application, including the effect on the character and appearance of the area, and the impact on the living conditions of neighbouring properties and access.
The Committee was advised that officers felt that the extension of the park would improve the local environmental quality and would not result in unacceptable noise or nuisance impacts. The Principal Planning officer added that the proposed security fencing was relatively light weight and was adequately separated from nearby dwellings and that it would not result in any significant impact to residents, in terms of dominance, shadow or outlook.
She explained that Environmental Health and DfI Roads had offered no objections to the proposal and that no third party representations were received.
The Committee granted approval to the application, subject to the imposing of the conditions set out within the case officer’s report.
The Planning Manager advised the Committee that the application sought to vary conditions 4 and 5 of planning permission Z/2014/1373/F. He explained that the original application had granted permission for the erection of a warehouse/office building in 2015. He explained that, given the length of time which had passed since its approval, officers had sought confirmation that the development had commenced. The Members were advised that, on the basis of evidence submitted by the applicant, it appeared that development had commenced within the time limits and that the variation of the conditions could be assessed under Section 54 of the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.
He advised the Committee that the site was located within the development limits of Belfast within both the Belfast Urban Area Plan and the Draft Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (2015) and that it was within a zoned area of existing employment/industry (BT011/30).
The Planning Manager outlined that the variation of conditions 4 and 5 proposed to update the proposed gas remediation protection measures, design and verification. He highlighted that approval Z/2014/1373/F included a Contamination Assessment Report and, since it had been produced, BS8485 had been updated in 2015 and again in 2019.
He explained that DAERA Land and Groundwater Team and Environmental Health had been consulted in relation to the amended wording of the conditions and both had responded with no objections to the proposed variations.
The Members’ attention was drawn to the Late Items pack where it was noted that Condition 1 was included in error and, if granted, would not be included within the Decision Notice.
The Committee granted approval to the application, subject to the imposing of the conditions set out within the case officer’s report and delegated power to the Director of Planning and Building Control for the final wording of the conditions.
LA04/2020/0163/F - 27 apartments within 2 x 3 storey buildings including access, car parking, cycle bays, open space, landscaping and all associated site works on lands adjacent and to south of nos 1-13 (odds) Lewis Park and nos 2-20 Lewis Mews. PDF 457 KB
The Principal Planning officer provided the Committee with the details of the application. She advised that the site was unzoned whiteland in the BUAP and dBMAP 2004, and that the majority of the site was zoned for housing in draft BMAP 2014. The remaining part located to the south was unzoned whiteland within draft BMAP 2014.
She provided the main issues which had been considered in the assessment of the case, including:
· the principle of the proposal at this location;
· design, layout and impact on the character and appearance of the area;
· impact on residential amenity;
· impact on traffic and parking;
· impact on Historic Monuments;
· flooding and infrastructure capacity; and
· environmental matters
She advised the Committee that the proposals followed the general pattern of previously approved apartments along the river and that the design and layout would not create conflict, was in keeping with the local character, and would not impact on environmental quality or residential amenity in accordance with PPS 7.
The Members were advised that each unit had an adequate outlook and that dwelling units were proposed to be built to a size not less than those set out Policy LC1, providing adequate living accommodation.
The Principal Planning officer advised that it was considered that the design, layout and separation distances proposed were acceptable and would not significantly impact on existing residential amenity by way of overlooking, dominance or overshadowing.
She outlined that 7 objections, from 3 local residents, had been received and raised issues including noise, dust and disruption during the construction phases, boundary maintenance concerns regarding ground conditions on a neighbouring development, inaccuracies with submitted maps, impact on residential amenity and health and safety concerns. The issues had been dealt with in the Case officer’s report.
The Committee was advised that DfI Roads was content with the parking spaces and access provided and that HED (Historic Monuments), Rivers Agency, NI Water and Environmental Health had all considered the proposal and had offered no objections.
The Committee granted approval to the application, subject to the imposing of the conditions set out within the case officer’s report and delegated power to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of conditions subject to no new substantive planning issues being raised by third parties.