Agenda and draft minutes

Northampton Local Area Planning Committee - Tuesday 1st June 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Guildhall, St Giles Street, Northampton NN1 1DE

Contact: Ed Bostock, Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Appointment of Substitute Members

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Connolly and Smith.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.

Minutes:

None.

3.

Minutes

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 27th April 2021

Minutes:

The minutes of the Interim Planning Committee held on 27th April 2021 would be brought to the next meeting.

4.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chairman.

Minutes:

None.

5.

Deputations/Public Addresses

Minutes:

Members of the public and Ward Councillors registered to speak on the following items:

 

N/2020/1621

Jo Parish

Irene Heller

Councillor Brian Sargeant

Pat Dooley

 

N/2021/0096

Councillor Bob Purser

Pat Dooley

 

N/2021/0258

Councillor Emma Roberts

Councillor Julie Davenport

Mark Evans

 

N/2021/0268

Councillor Danielle Stone

 

N/2021/0325

Councillor Julie Davenport

Councillor Emma Roberts

Colin Wood

 

N/2020/1287

Laura Elliott

 

6.

Proposed Pre-Committee Site Visits

Report of the Assistant Director – Growth, Climate and Regeneration.

 

This will be included with the written update published in advance of the meeting.

Minutes:

Due to the current Covid-19 situation site visits were not taking place. This would be reviewed as restrictions eased.

7.

List of Current Appeals and Inquiries pdf icon PDF 426 KB

Minutes:

The Interim Development Manager advised of no decisions reached by the Inspector – further updates would be brought to future meetings.

8.

Planning Applications pdf icon PDF 164 KB

8a

N/2020/1621 - Change of Use from Dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) to House in Multiple Occupation (Use Class C4) for 6 occupants. 4 Forfar St pdf icon PDF 433 KB

Minutes:

The Interim Development Manager submitted a report to the Committee which sought approval for a change of use from dwellinghouse to HMO for 6 occupants. Conditions were included to ensure that the basement would not be used as habitable accommodation, to secure cycle and waste storage provision and to ensure that the number of occupants was a maximum of 6. Minor external alterations were proposed. It was advised that the Highways Department were not accepting parking beat surveys during the pandemic. Whilst no parking was proposed, the property sat within a sustainable location close to public transport links and shopping facilities. It was confirmed that Private Sector Housing had raised no objections to the application. Should the application be approved, the concentration of HMOs in a 50m radius would be 9.3%. The Police had been consulted regarding neighbour concerns and confirmed that the area was not a crime and disorder hotspot.

 

Jo Parish, a local resident, spoke against the application and commented that there were a number of unlicensed HMOs in the area that would bring the concentration over 10%. She further stated that highway safety was compromised due to the number of vehicles on the street and voiced further concerns around waste and other antisocial behaviour issues.

 

Irene Heller, a local resident, spoke against the application and commented that existing residents should have a certain level of amenity; this lessened with each addition of an HMO. Ms Heller also stated that the HMO register was erroneous and asked that the Committee had all of the available information before making a decision.

 

Councillor Brian Sargeant spoke against the application and commented that HMOs were a detriment to St James; the mess they created was left to the community to deal with.

 

Pat Dooley, the agent on behalf of the applicant, spoke in favour of the application and commented that claims of antisocial behaviour were not substantiated and noted the comments from the Crime Prevention Officer within the report. Mr Dooley’s client regularly inspected his properties and there had been no complaints about any of his properties to date.

 

Members discussed the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions and reasons as set out in the report.

8b

N/2021/0096 - Change of Use from dwelling (Use Class C3) to House in Multiple Occupation for 6 occupants (Use Class C4) and new rear door. 17 Holly Road pdf icon PDF 361 KB

Minutes:

The Interim Development Manager submitted a report to the Committee which sought approval for a change of use from dwellinghouse to HMO for 6 occupants and new rear door. Since the property had extant planning permission for use as an HMO, the concentration of existing HMOs in the area was not a material consideration. The property sat within a sustainable location close to public transport links and shopping facilities and conditions were included to restrict the number of occupants, and to secure details of waste and cycle storage.

 

Councillor Bob Purser spoke against the application and voiced concerns around parking; he advised that people living in the town centre did not necessarily use public transport. He asked that the Committee refuse the application and the house be retained as a 5-person HMO.

 

Pat Dooley, the agent on behalf of the applicant, spoke in favour of the application and commented that all room sizes exceed requirements and the applicant was the same as the previously approved application.  He noted that his client interviewed potential occupants himself and undertook regular visits, and that there had been no complaints regarding any of his properties to date.

 

Members discussed the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions and reasons as set out in the report.

8c

N/2021/0258 - Change of Use from Dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) to House in Multiple Occupation (Use Class C4) for 4 occupants. 103 Delapre Crescent Road pdf icon PDF 325 KB

Minutes:

The Senior Planning Officer submitted a report to the Committee which sought approval for a change of use from dwellinghouse to HMO for 4 occupants. There were no statutory objections to the application and should it be approved, the concentration of HMOs in a 50m radius would be 7.15%. No parking was proposed as part of the application, however the property sat within a sustainable location close to public transport links and shopping facilities.

 

Councillor Emma Roberts spoke against the application and commented that there were a number of properties within the 50m radius that were not residential properties; this was skewing the data and she felt that the Committee were being misled.

 

Councillor Davenport spoke against the application and commented that the university and One Angel Square had been built with no parking provision; users were therefore forced to use Far Cotton as a car park.

 

Mark Evans, the applicant, spoke in favour of the application and commented that the application was compliant and that there had been no statutory objections. He advised that he used local lettings agents which carried out monthly visits to ensure the smooth running of his properties.

 

Members discussed the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions and reasons as set out in the report.

8d

N/2021/0268 - Change of Use from Dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) to House in Multiple Occupation (Use Class C4) for 4 occupants. 13 Edith Street pdf icon PDF 357 KB

Minutes:

The Senior Planning Officer submitted a report to the Committee which sought approval for a change of use from dwellinghouse to HMO for 4 occupants. It was advised that there had been no statutory objections raised to the application. No parking would be provided; however, the area was considered sustainable being in close proximity to shopping facilities and public transport links. Should the application be approved, the concentration of HMO properties in a 50m radius would be 7.9%. There was another live application in the vicinity, and should this also be approved, the concentration would increase to 8.9% which was still below the 10% maximum threshold recommended by the Council’s adopted SPD in relation to HMOs. Cycle storage would be provided at the rear of the property.

 

Councillor Stone, in her capacity as Ward Councillor, spoke against the application and expressed concern over the degradation of the area. She stated that she had heard of children living in HMOs which she saw as unacceptable.

 

In response to questions, the Senior Planning Officer explained that the Council used various sources to gather information on illegal and uncompliant HMOs and that the proposed bathrooms complied with the Council’s SPD in relation to HMOs.

 

Members discussed the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions and reasons as set out in the report.

8e

N/2021/0325 - Change of Use from Dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) to House in Multiple Occupation (Use Class C4) for 5 occupants. 74 Towcester Road pdf icon PDF 312 KB

Minutes:

The Senior Planning Officer submitted a report to the Committee which sought approval for a change of use from dwellinghouse to HMO for 5 occupants. Members’ attention was drawn to the addendum which included a summarised statement from the applicant in response to comments received and subsequent comments from Planning officers. Should this application and another in the vicinity be approved, the concentration of HMOs in a 50m radius would be 9.8%. The application had received no statutory objections and, whilst no on site parking was provided, the location was considered sustainable, near shopping facilities and public transport links. Cycle storage would be provided to the rear of the property.

 

Councillor Davenport, in her capacity as Ward Councillor, spoke against the application and commented that a local action group had identified 2 properties listed as residences were in fact businesses which put the HMO concentration above 10% in a 50m radius.

 

Councillor Roberts, in her capacity as Ward Councillor, spoke against the application and commented that the Council should seek to change its Planning Policy to reflect the negative impact that HMOs had on areas within the town that had a high number of them. Councillor Roberts also noted the 2 properties identified by the local action group which put the concentration above the Council’s 10% maximum threshold.

 

Colin Wood, a local resident, spoke against the application and commented that the alley attached to the property was regularly fly-tipped, subject to antisocial behaviour and the garages and sheds in the area stolen from regularly.  Mr Wood also stated that there were numerous vehicles attached to “empty” properties in the area.

 

The Senior Planning Officer advised that the 2 properties in question were flats above commercial premises and therefore included in the calculation. 

Members discussed the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions and reasons as set out in the report.

9.

Northampton Partnership Homes Applications

9a

N/2020/1287 - Installation of 3 street lights in Tom Court (Retrospective). Development Land, Toms Close pdf icon PDF 269 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Interim Development Manager submitted a report to the Committee which sought retrospective planning permission for the erection of 3 streetlight columns. Members’ attention was drawn to the addendum which contained further comments from a local resident. It was noted that there had been no objections received from Environmental Health.  Collingtree Parish Council had requested amendments to the relocation or shortening of two of the columns.

 

Laura Elliott, Project Manager for Northampton Partnership Homes, spoke in favour of the application and advised that the scheme had been assessed by a commissioned expert who agreed that it was fully compliant. Ms Elliott further advised that an offer to reduce the height of one of the streetlights was declined by a resident.

 

Members discussed the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions and reasons as set out in the report.