Report No: DEV/WS/22/030
Planning Application - Construction of 3 x 4 storey houseblocks, new pharmacy, property store, healthcare, education/ vocational training, kitchen, commercial workshop and laundry buildings, 3 x MUGA1s and running track, extension to gatehouse and gym within the secure perimeter fence, together with additional car parking, a new off-site property store, landscaping and external lighting
Attention is also drawn to Agenda Item 11 in respect of this application
i(Councillor David Smith declared a non-pecuniary interest in this item in light of the fact that he had attended Haverhill Town Council’s meeting when the Town Council considered the application. However, he stressed that he would keep an open mind and listen to the debate prior to voting on the item.
Councillor Smith further advised, in the interests of transparency, that his wife was currently employed by a firm sub-contracted by HMP Highpoint. The Lawyer informed the meeting that advice had been sought from the Council’s Monitoring Officer who confirmed that this was not an interest which needed to be declared.)
Planning Application - Construction of 3 x 4 storey houseblocks, new pharmacy, property store, healthcare, education/ vocational training, kitchen, commercial workshop and laundry buildings, 3 x MUGA1s and running track, extension to gatehouse and gym within the secure perimeter fence, together with additional car parking, a new off-site property store, landscaping and external lighting.
The application was referred to the Development Control Committee as the proposals are for ‘major’ development and Little Thurlow Parish Council had objected to the proposal.
A Member site visit was held prior to the meeting. At that site visit a question was asked with regard to bats. The Principal Planning Officer – Major Projects advised that the ecology survey that had been undertaken did not detect bats and the site was deemed as having “low to moderate bat suitability”.
The Committee was further advised that since publication of the agenda a further representation had been received from Suffolk Constabulary which referred to Paragraphs 127 and 128 of Report No DEV/WS/22/030. The Constabulary’s Business Liaison Manager asked that it be clarified to Members that whilst it was not appropriate for additional Police funding to be secured from this specific development proposal via the planning system, this did not in any way prejudice any other future proposal where funding could be sought.
Officers were recommending that the application be approved subject to conditions as set out in Paragraph 171 of the report and inclusive of a further three additional conditions as requested by the Highways Authority (as referenced in Paragraph 24 of the report and subject to the wording being agreed to the satisfaction of the Director (Planning and Growth), in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chairs of the Committee and Ward Members).
Speakers: Owner of Broxted Estate (neighbouring objector) spoke against the application
Councillor Nick Clarke (Ward Member: Claire, Hundon & Kedington) spoke against the application
Charlotte Tucker (agent) spoke in support of the application
(The owner of Broxted Estate was not in attendance to personally address the Committee and, instead, the Democratic Services Officer read out a pre-prepared statement on their behalf.)
Councillor Peter Stevens addressed the meeting in his capacity as adjacent Ward Member (Withersfield) and raised concerns principally in relation to the impact of the security lighting and highways matters.
In respect of the lighting, the Principal Planning Officer – Major Projects drew attention to the conditions proposed in relation to this matter, which he suggested were appropriate to mitigate any concerns. He also suggested, in order to reduce any potential opportunity for glare, that an additional condition could be added to impose glass treatment to the two upper floors of the houseblocks.
A number of Members made reference to the request voiced by the Broxted Estate owner for the existing outer permitter fence to the South to be significantly improved. The Officer drew attention to photographs of the fencing in question and explained that it would serve no planning purpose to request that this was improved/replaced as it simply marked a boundary; the general public were able to freely access the land either side.
Considerable further discussion took place specifically with regard to highways concerns relating to the A143, lack of complete footpath and pedestrian crossing, plus the desire for a speed restriction to be put in place.
A Suffolk County Council Highways Authority Officer was in attendance and was invited by the Chair to address the meeting on highways matters and to respond to the related questions posed by Members.
The Principal Planning Officer – Major Projects explained that the Highways Authority withdrew their initial objection to the scheme as the additional evidence submitted by the applicant demonstrated that the proposal would not exacerbate existing highways related issues in the area. It was therefore neither appropriate or reasonable for these issues to be mitigated by the application seeking determination.
The Service Manager (Planning – Development) explained that Ward Members should seek to progress their highways related concerns directly with Suffolk County Council outside of the planning process.
Councillor Andy Neal proposed that consideration of the application be deferred in order to allow additional time in which to seek clarification on highways related concerns. This was duly seconded by Councillor Peter Stevens.
However, upon being put to the vote and with 6 voting for the motion and 9 against, the Chair declared the motion lost.
Councillor David Roach then moved that the application be approved, as per the Officer recommendation and inclusive of the additional conditions in respect of highways and glazing, this was duly seconded by Councillor Sara Mildmay-White.
Upon being put to the vote and with 8 voting for the motion, 4 against and with 3 abstentions, it was resolved that
Planning permission be GRANTED subject to the following conditions, (the final wording of which to be agreed to the satisfaction of the Director (Planning and Growth) in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chairs of the Committee and Ward Members):
1. The development hereby permitted shall be commenced no later than 3 years from the date of this permission.
2. The development hereby permitted shall not be carried out except in complete accordance with the details shown on the approved plans and documents.
3. No development above slab level shall take place until details of the external materials to be used on the three ‘T-60’ accommodation blocks have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall thereafter be carried out in accordance with the approved details.
4. No development above ground level shall take place until a scheme of soft landscaping for the site drawn to a scale of not less than 1:200 has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The soft landscaping details shall include planting plans; written specifications (including cultivation and other operations associated with plant and grass establishment); schedules of plants noting species, plant sizes and proposed numbers/ densities. The approved scheme of soft landscaping works shall be implemented not later than the first planting season following commencement of the development (or within such extended period as may first be agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority). Any planting removed, dying or becoming seriously damaged or diseased within five years of planting shall be replaced within the first available planting season thereafter with planting of similar size and species unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent for any variation.
5. No removal of hedgerows, trees or shrubs, brambles, ivy and other climbing plants shall take place between 1st March and 31st August inclusive, unless a competent ecologist has undertaken a careful, detailed check of vegetation for active birds’ nests immediately before the vegetation is cleared and provided written confirmation that no birds will be harmed and/or that there are appropriate measures in place to protect nesting bird interest on site. Any such written confirmation should be submitted to the local planning authority
6. No development shall commence until details of the strategy for the disposal of surface water on the site have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority (LPA). Thereafter the development shall be carried out and constructed fully in accordance with the approved details.
7. No development shall commence until details of the implementation, maintenance and management of the strategy for the disposal of surface water on the site have been submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA. The strategy shall be implemented and thereafter managed and maintained in accordance with the approved details.
8. Within 28 days of practical completion of the last dwelling or unit, surface water drainage verification report shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority, detailing and verifying that the surface water drainage system has been inspected and has been built and functions in accordance with the approved designs and drawings. The report shall include details of all SuDS components and piped networks in an agreed form, for inclusion on the Lead Local Flood Authority’s Flood Risk Asset Register.
9. No development shall take place until a Construction Method Statement has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the local planning authority. The approved Statement shall be adhered to throughout the construction period. The Statement shall provide for:
i). the parking, and manoeuvring of vehicles of site personnel, operatives and visitors
ii). loading and unloading of plant and materials (including deliveries)
iii). a deliveries management plan (to include routing of delivery vehicles and measures for resolving complaints)
iv). storage of plant and materials used in constructing the development (including any site office/s)
v). provision and use of wheel washing facilities and additional measures to prevent mud and other debris from the site being deposited onto the highway via construction, delivery and other site related vehicles, including a strategy for remedy of this should it occur.
vi). measures to control the emission of dust and dirt during construction.
vii). a scheme for recycling/disposing of waste resulting from construction works (including any excavated soil). There shall be no burning on site of waste materials.
viii). hours of operation for construction activities, including concrete pour, operation of generators, traffic movements for deliveries and waste disposal. The Local Planning Authority shall be provided with three days’ notice prior to any extended concrete pour taking place outside the agreed hours of construction, to allow for express agreement that the works can proceed.
ix). lighting scheme, if any, for the construction site and any compounds (including within and outside hours of operation and construction).
x) details of haul routes on and off the highway network
xi) Identification of areas of the site to be fenced off to prevent ground disturbance/compaction or storage of materials in these areas.
xii) Details of measures to mitigate/supress noise disturbance from external plant and machinery (including, for example, construction vehicles, compressors and pneumatic percussive tools).
xiii) Noise management responsibilities and measures
xiv) Monitoring and review procedures and mechanisms
xv) Complaints response procedures
xvii) Community liaison procedures
10). No development shall commence until details of a Construction Surface Water Management Plan (CSWMP) detailing how surface water and storm water will be managed on the site during construction (including demolition and site clearance operations) is submitted to and agreed in writing by the LPA. The CSWMP shall be implemented and thereafter managed and maintained in accordance with the approved plan for the duration of construction. The approved CSWMP shall include method statements, scaled and dimensioned plans and drawings detailing surface water management proposals to include: -
i. Temporary drainage systems
ii. Measures for managing pollution / water quality and protecting controlled waters and watercourses
iii. Measures for managing any on or offsite flood risk associated with construction
vi. The development shall achieve BREEAM Excellent or Outstanding standard. This shall be evidenced by a BREEAM certificate upon completion. The development shall achieve a Final BREEAM Excellent or Outstanding rating in accordance with the requirements of the relevant BREEAM scheme. A copy of the project’s Final Certificate shall be submitted to the local planning authority within 6 months (maximum) following completion of the development.
11. All mitigation and enhancement measures and/or works shall be carried out in accordance with the details contained in the following reports as already submitted with the planning application and agreed in principle with the local planning authority prior to determination.
• Ecological Appraisal and Biodiversity Audit (Bioscan, December 2021)
• HM Prison Highpoint – Addendum Information for BNG Assessment (Bioscan, 17 March 2022)
• HM Prison Highpoint – Addendum Reptile Information (Bioscan, 17 March 2022
• HM Prison Highpoint – Response to Place Services (reptiles and botanical survey of mitigation land) (Bioscan, 27th May 2022)
• HM Prison Highpoint – Addendum PEA for Compound Access Road (Bioscan, 9th June 2022)
This shall include the appointment of an appropriately competent person e.g. an ecological clerk of works (ECoW) to provide on-site ecological expertise during construction. The appointed person shall undertake all activities, and works shall be carried out, in accordance with the approved details.
12. No development shall take place until an ecological design strategy (EDS) addressing the mitigation, compensation and enhancement of the existing retained grassland and for birds, bats and reptiles, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority.
The EDS shall include the following.
a) Purpose and conservation objectives for the proposed works.
b) Review of site potential and constraints.
c) Detailed design(s) and/or working method(s) to achieve stated objectives.
d) Extent and location/area of proposed works on appropriate scale maps and plans.
e) Type and source of materials to be used where appropriate, e.g. native species of local provenance,
f) Timetable for implementation demonstrating that works are aligned with the proposed phasing of development.
g) Persons responsible for implementing the works.
h) Details of initial aftercare and long-term maintenance.
i) Details for monitoring and remedial measures.
j) Details for disposal of any wastes arising from works.
The EDS shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details and all features shall be retained in that manner thereafter.”
13. Prior to the commencement of development, full details of the proposed lighting scheme for the approved development (including but not limited to lighting of the car park and new pedestrian link from the car park to the prison entrance) together with details of new CCTV cameras to be installed as part of the re-development shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority for approval in writing. Thereafter the development shall be carried out fully in accordance with the approved details.
14. Prior to the installation of any new lighting at the site (including during construction) A lighting design scheme for biodiversity shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The scheme shall identify those features on site that are particularly sensitive for bats and that are likely to cause disturbance along important routes used for foraging; and show how and where external lighting will be installed so that it can be clearly demonstrated that areas to be lit will not disturb or prevent bats using their territory.
All external lighting shall be installed in accordance with the specifications and locations set out in the scheme and maintained thereafter in accordance with the scheme. Under no circumstances should any other external lighting be installed without prior consent from the local planning authority.
15. Prior to first occupation, details of the Part L compliance a BRUKL documentation shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Details shall include information on ventilation, lighting, heating and cooling and unregulated loads. Any areas in which the proposed energy strategy might conflict with other requirements set out in the Development Plan should be identified and proposals for resolving this conflict outlined.
16. Prior to first operational use of the site, at least 15% of car parking spaces shall be equipped with working electric vehicle charge points, which shall be provided for staff and/or visitor use at locations reasonably accessible from car parking spaces. The Electric Vehicle Charge Points shall be retained thereafter and maintained in an operational condition.
17. Prior to the construction above damp-proof course, a scheme for on-site foul water drainage works, including connection point and discharge rate, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Prior to the occupation of any phase, the foul water drainage works relating to that phase must have been carried out in complete accordance with the approved scheme.
18. No development approved by this planning permission shall commence until the following components to deal with the risks associated with contamination of the site shall each be submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority:
i) A site investigation scheme,
ii) The results of a site investigation based on i) and a detailed risk assessment, including a revised Conceptual Site Model (CSM),
iii) Based on the risk assessment in ii), a remediation strategy giving full details of the remediation measures required and how they are to be undertaken. The strategy shall include a plan providing details of how the remediation works shall be judged to be complete and arrangements for contingency actions.
19. No occupation of any part of the permitted development shall take place until a verification report demonstrating completion of works as set out in the remediation strategy is submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority.
20. If, during development, contamination not previously identified is found to be present at the site then no further development (unless otherwise agreed in writing with the local planning authority) shall be carried out until the developer has submitted a remediation strategy to the local planning authority detailing how this unsuspected contamination shall be dealt with and obtained written approval from the local planning authority. The remediation strategy shall be implemented as approved.
21. Details of the location/s and specification of any new plant or machinery to be installed or provided within the application site shall be submitted to the local planning authority for approval in writing prior to being installed or otherwise provided at the site. These details shall include noise information including demonstration that the noise generated by the plant or machinery would be 5db or more below night-time background levels measured at the nearest sensitive receptors. Only the approved plant or machinery (including any noise mitigation or other noise reducing/sound proofing measures as may be required) shall be installed at the site in the locations approved by the local planning authority.
22. Precise improvements to Steeple Chase/Lancaster Way highways to be agreed in writing and thereafter implemented.
23. Photographic condition survey of the Steeple Chase/Lancaster Way highways (and any repairs carried out to the highway after development constructed)
24.Timing of the provision of the new car park.
25. Treatment of glazing to the upper two floors of the T blocks where those windows face towards external site boundaries
(On conclusion of this item and Part A of the meeting, the Chair permitted a short interval before commencing Part B of the meeting. During the interval Councillor Jason Crooks left the meeting at 2.27pm.)