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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 26/07/2004
EAST STREET – SUBMISSION OF MASTERPLAN FOR LANDOWNER SANCTION



Summary & Purpose
This report deals with the basic question of whether or not Waverley should grant approval to the development plans "Masterplan" now put forward by the developer and gives the Committee an opportunity to advise the special meeting of the Executive on 27th July.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive


APPENDIX B
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – 26TH JULY 2004
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Title:
EAST STREET – SUBMISSION OF MASTERPLAN FOR LANDOWNER SANCTION

[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]
_________________________________________________________________________

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

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

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)

Any instructions to counsel and any opinion of counsel (whether or not in connection with any proceeds) and any advice received, information obtained or action to be taken in connection with:-

(a) any legal proceedings by or against the authority; or

(b) the determination of any matter affecting the authority;

whether, in either case, proceedings have been commenced or are in contemplation (Paragraph 12).


Summary and purpose:

This report deals with the basic question of whether or not Waverley should grant approval to the development plans "Masterplan" now put forward by the developer and gives the Committee an opportunity to advise the special meeting of the Executive on 27th July.
_________________________________________________________________________

Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe, Healthy and Active Communities
Local Economy
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive

_________________________________________________________________________

Background

1. Under Clause 5:1 of the conditional contract dated 22nd April 2003, the developer Crest Nicholson Sainsburys (CNS), is required to submit development plans indicating proposals for the scheme; in particular the required elements which have to be approved by the Council before the developer submits a planning application. For the benefit of members, the required elements are set out in Annexe 1. 2. For the sake of clarity, the masterplan should be seen as a framework which establishes the building blocks and the relationship of spaces, the broad mix of uses and, in turn, a broad quantum of activity. It is not detailed architecture, nor a detailed study of traffic movement. Neither is it an assessment of environmental impact. All of these will form part of the formal planning process.

3. The requirement for the grant of Landowner approval to a masterplan arises solely as a result of the Council's contractual obligations and in no way detracts from Council's ability to consider subsequent associated planning applications. Indeed Waverley, as Planning Authority, will continue to have the duty to give full consideration to all associated applications and to arrive at its decisions having regard to the Development Plan and all material considerations.

4. Should the Council decide to grant Landowner Sanction as outlined above, the developer will proceed to submit planning applications for this development together with all associated detail. The planning process is likely to commence in September/October of this year. Members are reminded that, under the terms of the conditional contract the developer was required to commence the planning submissions no later than 31st March 2004. The delay in granting Landowner Sanction has had implications for the project programme referred to later in this report. 5. Should the Council decide not to grant Landowner Sanction, the likely consequences are as set out in advice from your consultant lawyers, Lawrence Graham at (Exempt) Annexe 2. A chronological history of the East Street development since the appointment of Crest Nicholson Sainsburys is attached at Annexe 3.

Crest Nicholson Sainsburys Scheme

6. A timetable for the development of this project, including enabling works by Waverley was prepared following the Conditional Contract and is attached at Annexe 4. 7. It will be seen that this has slipped considerably and will need to be radically revised. However it does serve to illustrate the complexity of the project.

8. Annexe 5 illustrates how this project has evolved, including considerable public involvement leading to the publication of the "Planning" and "Development" briefs. 9. With regard to the future of the Redgrave Theatre in Farnham it was resolved by Council in June 1999 that the following course of action proposed by the Leisure Committee be endorsed:- 10. In January 2001, the Council's Policy and Resources Committee considered the issue of Brightwells House/Redgrave Theatre as part of the East Street Redevelopment Project and endorsed the report from the then Leisure Committee which determined that in relation to the building there was no leisure use that would necessitate the retention of the building within the East Street scheme. 11. The Council's policy regarding the future use of the Redgrave as a theatre has not changed since the Council agreed the decisions set out above.

12. In addition, in 2002 the Council adopted the Waverley Cultural Strategy within which it clearly states its policy Ref 3.3 of the strategy to:

13. Finally, when the Council agreed the draft masterplan (Executive Minute 84 of 24.07.01) as a basis for inviting developer submissions, it clearly states within the masterplan that "Developers have the option of converting or demolishing the theatre building".

14. In July 2002, CNS were selected as development partners following a tender exercise and rigorous assessment and appraisal involving Members, Officers, Development Consultants, Consultant Lawyers, Surrey County Council, Highways Officers and the Commission for Architecture in the Built Environment (CABE).

15. Following selection of CNS, detailed negotiations lead to the signing of the Conditional Contract in April 2003. Since that time the masterplan for the scheme has evolved through discussion with Waverley Members and Officers and consultation with stakeholders and the general public. Prior to the latest public consultation by NOP, major amendments made to the original submission can be detailed in three phases as set out in Annexe 6. (See CNS document). Current Consultation

16. In February of 2004, Members called for a further full and extensive public consultation of the current masterplan. In order that this should be demonstrably fair and impartial, NOP World was commissioned to carry out the consultation. A newsletter together with a tear-off questionnaire was posted to some 16,500 households in Farnham. In addition a telephone survey of 500 was carried out by NOP, together with 500 doorstep surveys. An unmanned static exhibition of the masterplan was also displayed in the existing Sainsbury's store in South Street, Farnham.

17. The consultation was designed to allow all residents of Farnham to offer their opinion on the proposals. In a few instances, where differing opinions were held in the same household, additional copies of the questionnaire were posted.

18. In addition to the newsletter, presentations were made by the development team to significant stakeholders including Waverley Borough Council Members, Farnham Town Council, Farnham Trust, Farnham Society, East Street Action, CEASE, Farnham Chamber of Commerce.

19. The full results of this consultation, as reported to Waverley by NOP, have been sent to all Members and are included at Appendix A to this agenda.

20. Responses from other groups, including Farnham Town Council are attached at Annexe 7.

21. At its meeting on 20th July 2004, the Council received a petition containing 1913 names from Mrs Ann Thurston, the prayer of which was as follows:-

"We support the Regeneration of East Street. We DO NOT support the proposed massive development which is out of keeping with our historic town."

The Council agreed that this would be taken into account at the Executive meeting on 27th July 2004.

Progress on Related Issues

22. The conditional contract imposes certain obligations on Waverley and CNS regarding site assembly. As all of these are the subject of current negotiations which are subject to contract, the current position is reported in (Exempt) Annexe 8.

23. The success of a mixed-use scheme of this nature, as sought by Waverley, is dependent on market conditions. A brief report on current market conditions and changes thereto by your Development Consultant, Cluttons, is attached at Annexe 9.

24. Waverley is responsible for carrying out certain enabling works to facilitate the scheme, notably the relocation of the tennis courts currently located at Brightwells. It is currently proposed to provide a replacement facility on land owned by Waverley at Riverside. Planning applications have been made for the development of the Riverside Site, which will facilitate the regeneration of the East Street area. Those applications would provide for car parking offsetting the loss of car parking due to construction activity, the relocation of the Farnham Tennis Club and if appropriate the relocation of the Farnham Bowls Club. The applications are currently subject to discussions between officers and the Environment Agency about contamination and environmental issues. Although the relocation of the Bowls Club has yet to be considered by Members, it is a possibility and its inclusion in the planning application was considered prudent. The provision of additional surface car parking at Riverside is in accordance with the Council's long term aim of providing interceptor car parks on the periphery of the town to encourage a "park and walk" culture.

Proposed Changes to the Scheme/Masterplan

25. A revised masterplan has been submitted and copies circulated under separate cover to all Members. The covering letter from Crest Nicholson, also circulated, summarises the further changes made following the outcome of the NOP exercise.

Next Steps

26. Assuming landlord sanction is agreed, then the next steps would be to commence the planning negotiation in a series of pre-application discussions with the aim of shaping and clarifying the information to accompany any planning application. This will include work on:

the various public spaces and their uses;
the buildings and their architecture;
the movement considerations; and
the environmental impacts (including traffic) and any appropriate mitigation measures.

27. It is anticipated that the Kent Architecture Centre will assist officers on the urban design assessment and its development.

28. It is understood that Crest Nicholson Sainsbury would wish to make an application during September 2004 subject to satisfactory progress on pre-application discussions.

Financial Appraisal and Risk Analysis

29. The Council commissioned Cluttons to analyse the revised masterplan and different elements of the plan. An updated (Exempt) Annexe is attached at (Exempt) Annexe 10. This annexe also includes an assessment of the potential finance- related risks associated with the development.

Recommendation

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee is recommended to advise the Executive that

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Background Papers (DoPD)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Miller Stevenson Telephone: 01483 523455

E-mail: mstevenson@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/o&s1/2004-05/015