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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Development Control Committee held on 08/04/2003
APPENDIX C - SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION TO APPENDIX C



Supplementary Information
to Appendix C


WA02/2359 – Erection of a part three/ part four storey building to provide 50 flats with underground parking, together with associated surface parking, landscaping and other works on land at Woolsack Way, Godalming [as amended by plans received 7/2/3]

Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972

The Annexe to this report contains exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded during the item to which the annexe relates, as specified in the appropriate paragraphs of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely:-

The amount of any expenditure proposed to be incurred by the Authority under any particular contract for the acquisition of property or the supply of goods or services (Paragraph 8); and

Any terms proposed or to be proposed by or to the authority in the course of negotiations for a contract for the acquisition or disposal of property or the supply of goods or services (Paragraph 9)


Background

1. This application was first considered at the meeting of the Central Area Development Control Sub Committee on 12th March 2003. The outcome of the meeting is described in the main Committee agenda.

2. However, since that meeting the applicant has amended his proposal with regard to the social housing element and secondly there has been feedback from Members suggesting that it would be helpful to provide further information about the context for the application. Hence this further information.

Context for the Application

3. This application should not be seen just as a “stand-alone” development but also the catalyst for the wider Godalming Key Site.

4. In summary:

It has been a commonly held priority in Godalming to redevelop the area of the Key Site i.e. the area comprising the Police Station down to the Council's depot on Woolsack Way To reflect the priority given to this issue by the Council, and to guide development of the area, a Key Site policy was included in the Waverley Borough Local Plan 2002. There is a site specific policy (TC6). Supplementary urban design guidance has been prepared and adopted by the Council.

Without intervention from the Council, there is unlikely to be any progress on the development of the area which reflects the priority given to it by the Council and through the local plan. This is because:
i. The site is in a variety of ownerships
ii. There are environmental site problems, such as contamination and ground water which reduce land values; and
iii. The Council’s policies envisage a co-ordinated approach to development which achieves a number of planning gains which are required to achieve significant transport improvements such as the stopping up of vehicular accesses to Flambard Way, the widening of Flambard Way and the provision of a rear service road. The Council as site owner of the depot site [i.e. the land subject of this application] has come to a contractual arrangement with the applicants, Belvedere Smith, which encourages them to undertake the development of the whole of the Key Site. This mechanism which is intended to achieve leverage for the overall development outcome in accordance with the Council's priority, relies on planning permission being granted for the current planning application. Waiving the normal obligation for the applicant to provide the proportion of affordable housing required by the Local Plan is considered to be an appropriate and proportionate means, taking other priorities into account, of achieving development of the Key Site in accordance with the related policy objective.

Securing the provision of affordable housing through Local Plan policies is a significant aim of the Council. However, such policies have to be weighed against policies in the Plan, and Council objectives, that may improve facilities, the environment and transport in the Key Site. This proposal relies on prioritising the planning gain element to tackle the other issues described above, on the other parts of the Key Site.

However, the applicant has now proposed an approach that not only tackles the wider site obstacles to the Key Site development, but also provides for the affordable housing that would normally be required by this current application to be provided either in a later phase of the Key Site or elsewhere within the Borough.

Update

5. Attached at Annexe 1 to this report is a CONFIDENTIAL letter from the applicants. It should be treated as confidential because it not only contains the financial details of the mechanism described above, but it also sets out the detailed position on land negotiations on the wider Key Site.

6. In summary, the letter addresses:
The current position on the applicant’s negotiations on each part of the wider Key Site.
Further information on the issue of contamination and sub-soil conditions
The applicant’s response to a number of site specific and presentational issues
A revised proposal to provide the required social housing elsewhere on the Key Site, or alternatively at other locations within the Borough. This provision to be controlled by a Section 106 Agreement.
The late holding objection from the Environment Agency.

7. As all these matters are currently being progressed, an oral update will be made at the meeting.

Comms/dc/2002-03/075