Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document
Meeting of the Council held on 16/10/2007
ANNEXE 1 - JOINT PLANNING MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE TECHNICAL BRIEFING - 28TH AUGUST 2007 - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Summary & Purpose
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Joint Planning Management Committee technical briefing
28th August 2007
Questions and Answers
1. How high are the floodlights? What time will they be turned off in the evenings?
The floodlights around the tennis courts will be around 6metres high but are positioned on the south side of the site behind the main building. Consequently, there will be little effect on the surrounding area. The floodlights around one of the rugby pitches would be around 18metres high. In contrast, the floodlights at Health End School are 14metres high. Lights around the car park will be low to the ground with little light spillage.
The applicants will be working with Waverley Borough Council to agree times for flood lights to be switched off, but it is expected to be around 9.15 –10pm. Borough wide, the average time for lights being switched off is 10pm except for Heath End which is 9.30pm.
2. What will be the cost of membership to the health and leisure club?
3. There is an indication on the plans that the site will accommodate a bowls club. Would facilities, such as a pavilion, be required for this?
The original plans included a bowls club because of the ongoing east street negotiations. The plans should no longer indicate the area specifically for a bowls club but there is scope for this in the future. The area in the plans indicated for bowls will actually be an area of open space. If, in the future, this area was identified as an area for bowls, this would need to be part of a separate planning application.
4. Why is there no provision for indoor tennis?
The size of the building to accommodate indoor tennis would be too excessive.
5. Can you explain how there will be a reduction in car use to the centre from 84% in 2009 to 69% in 2013.
The applicants will attempt to lower car usage through the implementation of a package of transportation measures, including improving accessibility to bus routes, dedicated parking spaces for car sharers and cycle route improvements.
6. What is enabling development?
Enabling development allows a community to secure an asset provided it is satisfied that the balance of public advantage lies in doing so. For example, a recent application at Moor Park for several new buildings allowed for the restoration of a historic building. Enabling development allows the Council to grant permission for development which would not normally be acceptable in order to secure benefits to the community. Principally, the development should not be excessive but must be sufficient to meet objectives.
7. In terms of transport, is this site sustainable, are there other sites that are more appropriate?
Officers are satisfied that there are no other sites which would be anymore sustainable than this site. Councillors would need to consider whether there is any advantage in disaggregating the site so that there were different places for each activity. However, National Policy supports moving towards more multi venue centres.
8. What is the current status of the site being used for mineral extraction?
The minerals plan has only been agreed in draft and has not be formally ratified. The Surrey Structure Plan states that mineral deposits need to be safeguarded and it is up to Members to decide how much wait to put on its current status. Officers feel that limited weight should be given to the draft plan as using the site would not prejudice significant amounts locally or regionally.
9. Are 250 parking spaces enough for the development?
The Rugby will have separate parking to the Health and Leisure Centre. There are 250 spaces for the development and an additional 113 for the Rugby Club. There will be a need to look in more detail at the operation and management of the car park when there are fixtures and events.
10. Can the Rugby Club afford the costs involved in relocation?
The rugby club will need to raise money to fund the relocation. A number of grants have been applied for and there is a 5yr business plan in place as well as existing capital to support the move. There would be no rent expected from the applicants.
11. Will the flood lights light up only the pitch?
A flood lighting expert will be consulted to ensure that the floodlights are placed appropriately to light only the pitch.
12. What will be the charges for the tennis courts?
The applicants are in discussion with the Council about the charges. There is a formula which is used to establish this charge.
13. Where are the bus stops in relation to the site.
The bus stops are within 600mtres to the site and the applicants will be making improvements to the current stops as part of the transport plan.
14. Will the facilities be used all year around?
Rugby is seasonal (September to May) consequently the playing fields will be used for summer camps and cricket when they are not in use. Tennis and the MUGA will be used all year.
15. Will the Pavilion be used for other events?
The Rugby club will hire out the pavilion for events to raise money and all necessary licensing consents will be obtained for this.
16. Where is the Athletics track on the plans?
This will be marked out during the summer months for use by schools for sports days and summer term.
17. How have the needs of schools been established?
Two local schools (Polycarps and William Cobbetts) and an enhanced survey will be carried out in order to ascertain these needs.
18. There are only two tennis courts open for school use, is there a comprehensive survey to show practicalities of how it could work?
The leisure department will be working with Stax to organise an appropriate system with schools. It would make sense to have more courts and less time in order to enable more classes to use the facilities. A School Liaison Officer will be involved.
19. The footpath along the edge of the site is unusable, will it be improved with the development?
The applicant is proposing to place a new surface on the footpath so that it can easily be walked on as well as spending on landscaping to make the path more attractive for walkers and to screen the development.
20. If the application is granted does this set a precedent for future development on protected land?
No, any planning application which is an exception to policy will need to go through the same tests as this has done. In any case, even if this scheme was granted, it will need to go through GOSE for final approval.
21. Can the Council legally enforce the applicants to provide affordable facilities for the community?
Sustainability is important and the Council will be looking to protect this for eternity. A section 106 will be required between the Council and the applicant.
22. What are the plans for the existing Rugby club site in Wrecclesham Road?
The Leisure section has been looking into potential uses of the area but any decision would need to be agreed by the Council. There are no restrictive covenants on the site but restrictive planning policies apply, and they would be looking to re-use the site for activities such as football. Although the current site is not ideal, for smaller clubs who don’t have any facilities, this would be a good base for them to use. The site has limited parking facilities but it is not expected that the clubs, who take over the site, would be that large.
23. Why hasn’t Cannons considered adopting a scheme to help the Rugby club?
Cannons did not feel that it was its problem to solve. They looked after their own interests and did so on firm planning policy grounds.
24. Why is a leisure Centre required on the site?
The needs have been identified through a Leisure needs report and it has highlighted that current facilities are not meeting needs. There is an investment of around £23million on facilities.
25. Are there facilities for a crèche?
A crèche will be in place at the centre as well as junior activities.
26. In terms of the applicant’s traffic assessment, could Members have more information about traffic movements, particularly during peak hours. What is the catchment area for the site and are there objections on capacity?
More detail about the traffic assessment can be presented at the next meeting. The County argue that there is too much parking. It is predicted that the catchment area would be 6miles but a majority of interest would be within 2miles.
27. Is there enough space for the rugby club?
Yes. The juniors only require half a pitch and the international size pitches are four times the size of current pitches.
28. Is Cannons a private enterprise?
Yes, a private facility.
29. The Wrecclesham Site is not good enough for rugby but ok for football?
The rugby club has far more members (over 1000) and the club/s which might take over the site are likely to be much smaller and there would be a less strain on the access to the site on Wrecclesham road.
30. What provision will be made for cycle routes?
A map outlining the cycle routes will be brought to the next meeting. The applicants intend to look for gaps in existing cycle routes and improve signage and markings.
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