(Councillors Murphy and Garrett left the meeting at this point in proceedings)
The Senior Planning officer outlined the principal aspects of the application to the Members. It sought the retention of a 5-storey warehouse at Nos. 35-39 Queen Street and the addition of a two-storey glazed rooftop extension. She explained that it further sought the demolition of Nos. 31-33 Queen Street, to be replaced with a 5-storey infill building which would also benefit, in part, from the rooftop extension at upper floors.
The Members were advised of the following issues which had been considered during the assessment:
· the principle of offices and ground floor uses at the location;
· the principle of demolition of 31-33 Queen Street;
· the consideration of economic benefits;
· the impact on built heritage and the principle of demolition in the conservation area;
· the scale, height, massing and design of the extension and new build;
· the impact on traffic and parking;
· the impact on amenity;
· site drainage;
· waste management;
· the impact on human health;
· the impact on the amenity of adjacent land users; and
· the consideration of developer contributions.
The Senior Planning officer reported that the site was located within the City Centre, City Centre Conservation Area, Area of Parking Restraint, Primary Retail Core, Airport Height Restriction, Old City Character Area and that it was proximate to listed buildings.
She confirmed that DFI Roads, Environmental Health, NIEA, NIE, Rivers Agency, HED and NI Water had all been consulted in addition to the Urban Design Officer, the Economic Development Team and the Environmental Health team within the Council. Their responses were detailed in the Case officer’s report.
No third party objections had been received.
The Members were advised that, having regard to the submitted information and reports, consultee responses and representations, officers considered that the conversion and extension of the current building and proposed replacement building were acceptable. It was reported that the Conservation Officer noted that the current building at 31-33 Queen Street did not reflect the architectural or historical interest of the wider conservation area and did not make a material contribution that merited retention. The Senior Planning officer outlined that demolition in the conservation area met the policy test for demolition as set out in PPS6. She explained that the Urban Design Officer, Conservation Officer and Historic Environment Division considered that the extension to 35-39 Queen Street was appropriate to the context of the host building and locale. Officers considered that the proposed scheme would contribute positively to the local environment by enhancing the character and appearance of the conservation area and that the proposed scheme would make a positive contribution to the economy. The proposal met the policy tests outlined in the SPPS and Planning Policy Statement 6.
The Members of the Committee agreed to recommend that, in accordance with the Council decision of 4th May 2021, the Chief Executive would exercise her delegated authority to grant approval to the application, subject to conditions, with power delegated to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the Section 76 Planning Agreement and the wording of conditions subject to no new substantive planning issues being raised by third parties.