Refused, reasons to be set out in the minutes.
The Committee considered application 21/01818/F for the redevelopment of the site to form 38no retirement apartments including communal facilities, access, car parking and landscaping at Pakefield House, St Johns Street, Bicester, OX26 6SL for Churchill Retirement Living.
Alison Frecknall, local resident, addressed the Committee in objection to the application.
Paul Beaumont, local resident, addressed the Committee in objection to the application.
Laura Baker, agent for the applicant, addressed the Committee in support of the application.
In reaching its decision the Committee considered the officer’s report and presentation, the addresses of the public speakers and the written updates.
(1) That it be confirmed that, had the power to determine application 21/01818/F continued to rest with the Committee, the Committee would have refused application 21/01818/F for the following reasons:
1. The proposed access into and out of the site and onto the private service road fails to provide adequate and necessary vision splays to the south of the access. The proposed development therefore fails to provide a safe access to and from the site contrary to Policy ESD 15 of the Cherwell Local Plan 2011-2031 as well as paragraph 110 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
2. The PPG classifies development types according to their vulnerability to flood risk and provides guidance on which developments are appropriate within each Flood Zone. Car parks are classed as Less Vulnerable in accordance with table 2 of the Flood Zones and flood risk tables of the PPG. Tables 1 and 3 make it clear that this type of development is not compatible with this Flood Zone and therefore should not be permitted. In addition, the submitted Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) identifies a flood level for a 1% annual probability flood event with the appropriate allowance for climate change of 71.06m AOD. When compared to the topography of the site, the proposed development will result in a loss of flood storage at this level. The FRA proposes no mitigation for this and as such the development as proposed will increase the risk of flooding elsewhere. The proposed development is therefore contrary to paragraph 167 in the National Planning Policy Framework and its associated planning practice guidance and Policy ESD 6 of the Cherwell Local Plan 2011-2031.
3. The submitted Flood Risk Assessment does not comply with the requirements for site-specific flood risk assessments, as set out in paragraphs 30 to 32 of the Flood Risk and Coastal Change section of the planning practice guidance. The Flood Risk Assessment does not therefore adequately assess the development’s flood risks. In particular, the FRA fails to take the impacts of climate change into account. The development provides inadequate mitigation to address flood risk for the lifetime of the development. The floodplain has not been safeguarded or compensation for lost flood storage provided. The proposed development is therefore contrary to paragraph 167 in the National Planning Policy Framework and its associated planning practice guidance and Policy ESD 6 of the Cherwell Local Plan 2011-2031.
4. The ecological report submitted with the application does not adequately assess the importance of the river Bure, nor the developments impact on the river’s ecology. The ecological report also refers to the loss of a small watercourse but the impact of this has not been robustly assessed. There is insufficient detail on the management of the river corridor and how the development would deliver net biodiversity gain and how the development can contribute towards extending the connectivity of habitats up and downstream. The proposed development therefore fails to comply with Policy ESD 10 of the Cherwell Local Plan 2011 – 2031 and paragraphs 170 and 175 of the National Planning Policy Framework.