Full planning permission for the erection of 99 open market dwellings
& affordable dwellings, a new doctors surgery, a replacement village hall, a car
park, a new village green, new vehicular and pedestrian accesses and works to
Warmwell Road. An outline application for the erection of 401 open market and
affordable dwellings, the provision of 2.5ha of employment land, new vehicular
and pedestrian accesses, roads, footpaths and cycleways, a car park for the
proposed Site of Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) and 2 pumping
stations; and a full application for the change of use of 22.4ha of land to Site of
Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG).
The Area Lead – Major Applications Western Team introduced the hybrid application for a full planning application for the erection of 99 open market and affordable dwellings, a new doctor's surgery, replacement village hall, car park, a new village green, new vehicular and pedestrian accesses and works to Warmwell Road; an outline application for 401 open market and affordable dwellings, the provision of 2.5ha of employment land, new vehicular and pedestrian accesses, roads, footpaths and cycleways, a car park for the proposed Site of Alternative Natural Green Space (SANG) and 2 pumping stations; and a full application for the change of use of 22.4ha of land to the SANG which was situated within 5km of heathland.
Updates to conditions had been circulated to the Committee at the meeting.
The minerals extraction area would be dealt with by a separate application and a separate condition to ensure that extraction took place prior to development.
Members were shown a map of the proposed layout of the full permission that included 99 dwellings, of which 34 affordable housing units had been secured. A total of 1844 people were on the housing register and 42 people on the Crossways register.
Other elements of the full permission including a replacement village hall and new GP surgery were also highlighted. Discussions were ongoing with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) regarding the provision of a new surgery in order to meet future demand in Crossways.
The application had been brought back to the Committee as the applicants wished to change the phasing in relation to the village hall. The GP surgery had also been included in the phasing condition, as well as a condition in relation to the provision of electric charging points for vehicles.
Jan Wardell addressed the Committee on behalf of the Rambler's Association, referring to the DEFRA guidance on rights of way which encouraged applicants and local authorities to address public rights of way at an early stage in the planning process. Unless proposals for new paths were set out in planning documents it was difficult to get a decent path at a later stage which often resulted in footpaths on estate pavements.
Chris Fry, the agent, spoke in support of the application. He stated that there were serious viability issues and therefore the scheme could not cannot carry any further obligations or limiting conditions. He was aware of the process in respect of public footpaths and gave an assurance that the proper negotiations would be entered into going forward to ensure good public links through and into the site that were currently not available.
The Highways Officer stated that although the proposal was to significantly increase the number of dwellings at Crossways, the development was on one side of Warmwell Road which was a 40mph highway and much of the quarry traffic had gone. Highways England had recognised an impact at Max Gate in Dorchester which had a particularly bad accident record and therefore wished to secure funding from this development to deliver highways improvements at that location. Negotiations would take place with Rights of Way officers about how people were able to access the countryside either by rough path or decent footpath for wider use by the public in accordance with the Equalities Act.
Cllr Nick Ireland spoke as the Dorset Councillor for Crossways, stating that the developer had engaged with residents and the Parish Council and the application in 2016 to expand the village on the opposite side of Warmwell Road had been welcomed. However, the application did not address the aspiration to reduce the speed limit to 30mph due to a fatality in the area or address issues with Silver Lake Road. He also expressed concern regarding the change in phasing of the village hall. The lease for the existing hall was shortly due to expire and may not be renewed. He suggested that the village hall should be built between phases 2 and 3 rather than phase 5 of the development. There was also no guarantee that the GP surgery would be built with no update by the CCG.
The Area Lead – Major Applications Western Team confirmed that the phasing of the village hall had been pushed back due to viability and the financial demands put on the development during the early phases.
Members discussed the obligations, in particular the financial contribution in respect of Poole Harbour and were advised that this contribution recognised the impact of the development on the Poole Harbour catchment area. Appropriate assessment as required under habitat regulations had been supported by Natural England. If no contribution was made then the scheme would fail this assessment and not meet the requirements of the Local Plan to provide effective mitigation.
The Solicitor advised that it was envisaged that the final 100 houses in phase 5 would provide sufficient incentive to enable the developer to build the village hall with the requirement to do so being through the Section106 Agreement and conditions. The provision of community facilities and need for a village hall and GP surgery were planning policy considerations and the triggers could impact on viability.
The Development Manager stated that officers had recognised that the existing village hall was not of a good standard and a condition specifying that a new village hall was provided before the existing hall was demolished had been included in the conditions which was considered to be a reasonable safeguard. The lease arrangement was not a planning matter.
Cllr Nick Ireland stated that the size of a GP surgery was calculated using a multiplier formula and with the proposed additional homes there was no doubt that the existing surgery would be too small and there were limited opportunities to extend it. He stated that the original application specified that the village hall would be built at the end of phase 1, and that phase 5 was too lenient.
Members asked about public transport in the context of a limited bus service and the Highways Officer explained that this scheme would bring forward improved links to the railway station as outlined in the Local Plan.
Cllr Nick Ireland proposed an amendment to the condition in relation to a change in phasing of the village hall to between phase 2 and 3 (250 houses). This was seconded by Cllr David Gray and supported by the Committee.
That authority be delegated to the Head of Planning to grant planning permission subject to the completion of a legal agreement under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) in a form to be agreed by the Head of Planning to secure the following:
- 35% of the units as affordable housing with 50/50 tenure split between rented and shared ownership/low-cost affordable housing
- A clause to revisit the viability of the scheme and the affordable housing provision at 100, 200, 300 & 400 units
- Education contribution of £5,444 per dwelling with 2 or more bedrooms, index linked using RPI from the date of this committee report
- Provision of a minimum of 22.4ha of suitable alternative natural greenspace (SANG) with a maintenance contribution of £960,000 and supporting funding provisions of £241 per dwelling (SAMM), index linked using RPI from the date of this committee report
- Financial contribution of £149,089 towards mitigation for the impacts of the development on nitrogen levels in Poole Harbour, index linked using RPI from the date of this committee report
- Highway contributions of £560,000 towards off-site highway works to include works to Warmwell Road and a Cycle Route Scheme, index linked using RPI from the date of this committee report,
- Provision of a minimum of three no. Locally Equipped Areas for Play, approval of maintenance and management arrangements and financial contributions towards maintenance of the proposed LEAPs of £58,540 index linked using RPI from the date of this committee report if they are transferred to the Parish Council to manage and maintain
and subject to the conditions outlined in the appendix to these minutes, including the amended conditions in the update sheet and amendment to Condition 6 in relation to phasing of construction of the village hall.
B: Refuse permission for the reasons outlined in the appendix to these minutes if the S106 agreement is not completed within 6 months of the date of the committee resolution or such extended time as agreed by the Head of Planning.