Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall
Contact: Carolyn Donnelly, Democratic Services Officer
No apologies for inability to attend were reported.
The minutes of the meetings of 17th, 19th and 25th January were taken as read and signed as correct. It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council, at its meeting on 1st February, subject to the omission of those matters in respect of which the Council had delegated its powers to the Committee.
Declarations of Interest
The Chairperson (Councillor Whyte) declared an interest in relation to item 7a – LA04/2021/1672/O, on the basis that he had previously worked with Radius Housing and left the meeting while the item was being considered.
Councillor Matt Collins declared an interest in relation to item 7g – LA04/2022/0129/F, in that he had met with the housing association and developers and left the meeting while the item was being considered.
The Committee noted that the following items had been withdrawn from the agenda:
ITEM WITHDRAWN LA04/2019/2653/F Demolition of existing property and erection of a 9 storey building (overall height 37m) comprising a ground floor retail unit together with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. (Amended plans and updated technical information). Chancery House, 88 Victoria Street, Belfast.
· 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. (Amended plans and updated technical information). Chancery House, 88 Victoria Street, Belfast.
ITEM WITHDRAWN LA04/2022/1503/F Proposed erection of a freestanding 6.8-metre high screen erected on steel structural supports (9 metres in total height) with associated site works. Lands within Musgrave Police Station 60 Victoria Street, Belfast.
· LA04/2022/1503/F Proposed erection of a freestanding 6.8-metre high screen erected on steel structural supports (9 metres in total height) with associated site works. Lands within Musgrave Police Station 60 Victoria Street, Belfast.
ITEM WITHDRAWN LA04/2021/0319/F Proposed use of hard standing area as overflow car park with a free draining surface and soft landscaping scheme, to serve existing approved uses on-site. 115 Blacks Road Belfast BT10 0NF - Lands to north of square golf training area east of the 3G Dome south of 45 and 46 Garnock Hill.
· LA04/2021/0319/F Proposed use of hard standing area as overflow car park with a free draining surface and soft landscaping scheme, to serve existing approved uses on-site. 115 Blacks Road Belfast BT10 0NF – Lands to north of square golf training area east of the 3G Dome south of 45 and 46 Garnock Hill.
The Committee noted the abandonment and agreed to write to the Department for Infrastructure to request that more detail is provided on the reasons for future proposed abandonments.
Request for Pre-emptive Planning Committee Site Visits
The Committee agreed to undertake the undernoted site visits:
· LA04/2022/1280/F Proposed social housing led, mixed tenure residential development comprising of 52 no. dwellinghouses and 87 no. apartments with public open space, children's play park, landscaping, car parking, associated site works and infrastructure and access arrangements from Blackstaff Road (139 no. units in total). Former Kennedy Enterprise Centre (north of Westwood Shopping Centre) Blackstaff Road Belfast BT11 9DT
· LA04/2022/1046/F, 18 Annadale Avenue, Proposed demolition of existing building and construction of a residential development consisting of 14 No. units (9 No. apartments and 5 No. terraced dwellings) with associated landscaping and car parking (amended plans received).
The Committee noted the Planning decisions issued between 10th and 31st January, 2023.
The Committee noted the Appeals Decisions.
Update on LDP Draft Plan Strategy
The Planning Manager (Plans and Policy) provided the Committee with the revised proposed wording of Policy SP1A – Managing Growth and Supporting Infrastructure Delivery, of the Local Development Plan (LDP), following engagement with the Department for Infrastructure.
· noted the response from DfI that confirmed its acceptance of a further, slightly revised wording for Policy SP1A and supporting text;
· endorsed the proposed Policy SP1A wording, that included detail, in respect of justification and amplification; and
· noted the next steps and potential timescales for the potential adoption of the LDP Plan Strategy.
LA04/2021/1672/O Outline planning permission (with all matters reserved) for mixed use development on Sites A, B, C, D. Comprising up to 7,710 sqm GEA mixed use to include tourist hostel, residential, office, retail, commercial including community enterprise, community infrastructure and social enterprise floor space (A1 or A2 or B1 or B2 or C1 or C2 or D1) units on Site A, up to 6,980 sqm GEA of Hotel (C2) floorspace on Site B, the erection of a multi-storey car park comprising of up to 231 spaces (4,130 sqm GEA) and up to 7,130 sqm GEA of employment or community (A1 or A2 or B1 or B2) floorspace on Site C and up to 1,110 sqm GEA mixed use to include residential, office, retail, commercial including community enterprise, community infrastructure and social enterprise (A1 or A2 or B1 or B2 or D1) floorspace on Site D.
The Senior Planning Officer provided the Committee with an overview of the application that included aerial view images, site location photographs and maps and highlighted that a revised Travel Plan had been received with a subsequent consultation response from DfI Roads.
He pointed out to the Committee that consultation responses had been received from DAERA NIEA, NI Water and Environmental Health, along with clarification from the agent on the proposed residential parking ratio and specific uses within the mixed-use buildings on Sites A and D.
He reported that it was recommended that the Committee approved the application subject to conditions for the undernoted reasons:
• It was a mixed-use scheme that would provide high quality city centre social housing alongside appropriate city centre uses;
• The creation of vibrant, city centre space;
• Enhancement of existing civic spaces and creation of strong mixed-use frontages; and
• Providing connections between commercial, business and office uses, and existing and proposed residential areas.
The Committee granted planning permission subject to conditions and a legal agreement between the Council, as landowner, and the developer/s when the site is leased/disposed of, that would seek the necessary developer contributions.
The Committee delegated authority for the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of the conditions and legal agreement from a land-use planning perspective.
(Chairperson, Councillor Whyte, in the Chair)
LA04/2022/1284/F Erection of Purpose Built Managed Student Accommodation (PBMSA) development comprising 862 units with additional use of accommodation by further or higher education institutions outside term time, communal facilities, internal amenity courtyard, cycle stores, active ground floor uses including cafe and retail, and associated bin stores and plant and public realm improvements to surrounding footpaths. Lands bounded by Library Street (to south); Stephen Street (to west); Little Donegall Street (to north); and Union Street (to east), Belfast PDF 2 MB
The Senior Planning Officer outlined the application for the erection of a Purpose Built Managed Student Accommodation (PBMSA) development on lands bounded by Library Street, Stephen Street, Little Donegall Street and Union Street. He highlighted the following key issues:
• Principle of development;
• Principle of Student Accommodation;
• Principle of proposed ‘out of term’ accommodation;
• Principle of ground floor café and retail units;
• Impact on Built Heritage;
• Scale, Massing and Design;
• Open Space Provision;
• Trees and Landscaping;
• Traffic and Parking;
• Impact on Amenity;
• Impact on Air Quality;
• Drainage and Flooding;
• Waste Management;
• Other Environmental Matters;
• Impact on Protected Sites;
• Pre-application Community Consultation; and
• Developer Contributions.
He pointed out that since the initial report had been completed, a third party objection had been received and he explained the officers’ response to the following areas of concern:
• Need for further student accommodation in an area where student accommodation was plentiful;
• No real benefits to the local community and noise pollution experienced from neighbouring Alma Place PBMSA (Library Street); and
• Reduction of light to adjacent ‘Factory Building’ (apartments) and resulting loss of sunlight.
He outlined the consultations responses which had been received from the Council’s Urban Design Officer, Shared Environmental Services, DfI Roads and the City and Regeneration Team. He added that further supporting and technical information had also been received from the Planning Agent in response to DfI River’s queries in relation to storm water and allowance for urban expansion and climate change in drainage modelling.
The Senior Planning Officer reported that it was recommended that the application be approved subject to conditions and the completion of an agreement under Section 76 of the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 in respect of developer contributions, for the undernoted reasons:
• The development would contribute towards regeneration of entire city centre block;
• Creation of an internal landscaped courtyard;
• No adverse impact on built heritage;
• Need adequately demonstrated;
• Buildings step down in scale towards more domestic scale of Carrick Hill; and
• Four third party objections and one letter of support.
The Chairperson welcomed Ms. C. Ní Chuilín MLA and Mr. F. Dempsey, of Carrick Hill Residents’ Association to the meeting.
Ms. Ní Chuilín stated that there was supposed to be 66 family homes developed in Nelson Street which had been subsequently designated to student accommodation, she added that Frederick Street Car Park had been considered for family homes and had been now designated as a car park for the university which had not alleviated the student carparking in residential streets.
She further pointed out other sites within the area which had been designated as student accommodation and stated that she believed that the application was not compatible with the Inner North West Masterplan.
She explained that she had been campaigning for regeneration in the area for a long time, but for buildings which were ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
LA04/2022/1479/F - Partial redevelopment of former Kennedy Way Waste Water Treatment Works to include the development of new Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) workshops, storage, changing facilities and ancillary offices (development to include three new buildings 1) the main hub building; 2) a store to hold an alternative bottled water supply; and 3) a generator store), access improvements, parking, service yards, storage areas, contractors compound, boundary fencing, cesspool, solar PV panels and landscaping, Former NI Water Ltd Sewage Treatment Works, Blackstaff Road. PDF 2 MB
The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the item in order to undertake a site visit.
(Alderman Rodgers and Councillor Douglas retired from the meeting)
LA04/2022/0129/F Proposed social housing led mixed tenure residential development comprising 122 residential dwellings, pedestrian and cycle ways, public open space, children's play area, landscaping (including 8 metre landscaped buffer to western boundary), boundary treatments, parking, access (provision of a right turn lane) and ancillary site works. Lands north of 14 Mill Race and 15 Belfield Heights and south of 2-15 St Gerards Manor Ballymurphy Belfast Co. Antrim PDF 1 MB
The Principal Planning Officer provided the Committee with an overview of the application and highlighted the following key issues in the assessment of the proposed development:
• Development Plan considerations;
• Principle of Housing at this location;
• Loss of Open Space;
• Scale, massing, design and layout;
• Open Space Provision;
• Impact on existing trees and vegetation;
• Traffic, Movement and Parking;
• Impact on the Environment and Amenity;
• Other Environmental Matters;
• Drainage and Flooding;
• Impact on Protected/ Priority Species and Habitats;
• Developer Contributions/ Section 76 Agreement; and
• Pre-application Community Consultation.
He explained that the principle of housing on the unzoned brownfield site and the accompanying loss of open space had been considered acceptable, given the provision of much needed social housing. He added that the removal of a number of unprotected trees and some boundary vegetation had been considered to have low conservation status and was outweighed by a comprehensive planning scheme that included the augmentation of existing boundary planting and that consultation had confirmed that there would be no adverse impact on protected sites, species or habitats.
He pointed out that a Section 76 Planning Agreement would secure Green Travel measures that would include the provision of Travel Cards.
He reported that ten letters of objection had been received and that the issues raised had been considered, and that no consultees had offered any objection to the application.
He concluded by stating that, having regard to the development plan, relevant policy context and other material considerations, the proposal had been considered acceptable and it was recommended that planning permission was granted, subject to conditions and a Section 76 Agreement.
Moved by Councillor Garrett,
Seconded by Councillor Murphy, and
Resolved – That the Committee approve the application and delegate authority for the Director of Planning and Building Control to investigate the appropriateness of a condition on the application, and all further major housing applications, that would provide winter grit bin provision and replenishment of one grit bin per 50 units of housing until such time as DfI adopt the scheme and carries out its own statutory assessment of winter provision.
LA04/2020/2105/F Residential development comprising 55no. apartments comprising 6 no social, 6 no intermediate, and 43 no private apartments and associated site works, 1-5 Gaffikin Street, Belfast. PDF 433 KB
The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the item in order to undertake a site visit.
LA04/2022/2018/F and LA04/2022/2019/LBC
The Principal Planning Officer outlined the application to the Committee and explained that the site was being used as a community, recreational and cultural space to facilitate multi-disciplinary uses on a temporary basis, and that the site was a listed building surrounded by a number of other listed buildings.
She reported that HED and the Conservation Officer had been consulted and had offered no objection to the application.
She concluded by stating that, having regard to the development plan, relevant planning policies and other material considerations, it had been determined that the proposals should be approved.
The Committee approved the applications.
The Committee considered the undernoted report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues
1.1 The Planning Committee will recall that at its meetings on 27 June and 14 November 2022 it agreed to delegate authority to the Director of Planning and Building Control the determination of a number of Local applications to which NI Water had objected.
1.2 The Council continues to receive objections from NIW to some Local applications. The purpose of this report is to seek the Committee’s agreement to delegate to officers those Local planning applications to which NI Water has objected.
1.3 For the avoidance of doubt, it is only those applications which would have been delegated to officers under the Scheme of Delegation were it not for the objection from NI Water which are proposed to be delegated. Therefore, any of the Local applications which it may later transpire require to be referred to the Committee for other reason/s (other than the NI Water objection) will be reported to the Committee to determine. Individual Members can also still request that the applications are referred to the Committee under paragraph 3.8.1 of the Scheme of Delegation.
2.1 That the Committee agrees to delegate to the Director of Planning and Building Control those Local planning applications to which NI Water has objected.
3.0 Main Report
3.1 The Committee will be aware from the Committee Workshop on 18 November 2021 that NI Water has objected to a significant number of Local applications on grounds of insufficient waste-water infrastructure capacity.
3.2 As advised at the Committee Workshop, officers have been engaging with NI Water to try to resolve those objections. Whilst progress is being made, and NI Water is actively considering a threshold for the scale and nature of development above which they would like to be consulted on future planning application, the objections to these Local applications remain.
Scheme of Delegation
3.3 Members will be aware that the Council operates a Scheme of Delegation for Planning which identifies which matters are to be determined by the Committee and which are delegated to officers.
3.4 Paragraph 3.8.5 (f) of the Scheme of Delegation (January 2020) states that planning applications are not delegated where ‘There is an objection from a statutory consultee and the recommendation of the Planning Officer is to approve.’ This means that those applications are required to be determined by the Planning Committee.
3.5 The Planning (General Permitted Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 2016 identifies NI Water as a statutory consultee ‘…where a development proposal is likely to significantly impact upon the availability of suitable water and sewerage infrastructure to service development proposals.’
3.6 This means that where NI Water has lodged an objection to a Local application and the officer recommendation is to approve, the application cannot be delegated and must be determined by the Committee.
3.7 Therefore, at its meeting on 27 June and 14 November 2022, the Committee agreed to delegate 97 and 25 Local applications respectively ... view the full minutes text for item 22.