Agenda item

LU/299/22/PL - Land North of Littlehampton Academy, Littlehampton


[During the discussion on the application, Councillor Tandy declared a Personal Interest as an employee of Woodard Academies Trust which ran the Littlehampton Academy.]


3 Public Speakers

Leanne Smith – Supporter, representing the applicant

Stephan Mountain – Objector

John Raymond – Objector


Development of the site to provide 101 dwellings and associated car parking, cycle parking and landscaping. This application is in CIL Zone 4 and is zero rated.


The Principal Planning Officer presented the report with updates. A verbal update was given. Officers had identified that the drawing revision numbers on the landscaping plans and play area plan specified within condition 2 referred to an earlier revision would therefore need to be updated to accurately reflect the plans which were being considered. Officers had also identified that a standard foul water condition and a landscaping plan had been omitted from the report. If the application was approved, the two following conditions would need to be imposed in order to comply with Local Plan policies and in the interests of amenity and the environment.


The foul water condition would read: ‘Prior to the commencement of construction works details of a proposed foul drainage system shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority (including details of its siting, design and subsequent management/maintenance) and no dwelling shall be occupied until works for the disposal of sewage have been fully implemented in accordance with the approved details.’


The landscaping condition would read: ‘The approved details of the landscaping shall be carried out in the first planting and seeding season, following the occupation of the buildings or the completion of the development, whichever is the sooner. Any trees or plants which, within a period of five years from the completion of development, die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased, shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species, unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent to any variation.’


This was followed by 3 Public Speakers. Members were then invited to discuss the application.


The need for more family homes in the area was raised but the lack of infrastructure delivery to accompany development or that infrastructure works funded via development in one part of the District were constructed elsewhere in the District were also noted. Several sections of the Heads of Terms (primary education, secondary education, sixth form education, sports facilities, healthcare) were highlighted as examples where the residents of this development or those in surrounding streets would not directly benefit as contributions sought would be channelled to identified projects in other areas. The environmental credentials of the homes being built were also challenged. The need for houses to be fitted with solar panels and water butts to respond to issues with rainwater runoff were two examples given where Officers and developers needed to be more imaginative with design and better with enforcement. Another Member noted that the lack of infrastructure to support development, whether developments in Section 106 agreements were being fulfilled and the issue of strategic sites not being built out were wider than this one site and was being pursued by Planning Policy Committee. If the application were to be approved, it was emphatically stressed by one Member that the developer needed to get on with building the development and contribute to the Council’s 5-year housing land supply.


The Group Head of Planning noted for Members’ benefit that residential amenity was regarded as of higher value than other amenities (work or education for example) and was prioritised as such in Officer considerations. He explained that the tests for the mitigation of development ensured that mitigation met the needs of what was being proposed and not only be of benefit to the wider community. He noted that in the Local Plan additional secondary school provision was to be met with a new school rather than additions to existing ones and that healthcare projects were dependent on the NHS and would only be released when deliverable schemes were proposed. In response to questions about the development’s green credentials, he noted that this was the first development to come forward in Arun where all dwellings had ground source heat pumps.


One Member thought it was important to recognise that developers had listened and made changes to the scheme, but raised concerns with the positioning of the LAP/LEAP/ELEAP in relation to the meadow area and sought reassurances that the proposed conditions would ensure the meadow was protected and maintained, and that other conditions would address concerns over the appearance of the foul drainage system and those concerns raised by Cornfield School. The Principal Planning Officer confirmed that the LEAP and LAP were not proposed within the meadow, and the conditions addressed the noise, vibration and appearance of the foul drainage system. A landscaping and ecological management plan within the Section 106 agreement would secure the management of the meadow, and a Construction Management Plan condition was proposed to ensure all mitigations would be met in relation to the school and local residents. Following Member questions, it was confirmed that the Construction Management Plan also included wheel washing and made particular reference to a dust management strategy. Members also asked that the open space be kept in perpetuity. It was confirmed that this could be added to the Section 106 agreement. The recommendation was then proposed by Councillor Bower and seconded by Councillor Woodman.


The Committee




To grant delegated authority to the Group Head of Planning, in consultation with the Chair or Vice-Chair of Planning Committee, to approve the planning application with conditions subject to:


1.    End of the consultation period (29 June 2023), with any new matters being discussed;


2.    Confirmation of contribution towards Primary Education, Sixth Form Education, Libraries, Fire and Rescue, and NEAP provision;


3.    Completion of a signed section 106 agreement.

Supporting documents: