The Committee is recommended to endorse the approach set out in the West of Chichester Residential Architectural Design Strategy (June 2019) which will inform all the Reserved Matters applications for residential development of the first phase of the SDL (granted outline planning permission ref: 14/04301/OUT).
Endorse with comments – for the developer to further consider a greater range of design and materials in the Design Strategy, to reflect the climate emergency.
The following members of the public addressed the Committee:
Mr Plowman – Parish Representative
Ms P Gaskin – Objector (speaking on behalf of Ms V Briginshaw)
Mr B Ballie – Agent (Designer)
Cllr C Apel – CDC Member
During the discussion Members debated the lack of solar panels, UPVC window frames, whether the design of the dwellings were overly traditional in appearance without having the benefit of period features such as chimneys. Whether modelling new houses on older properties within the vicinity was appropriate, and if the dwellings should be designed for the future with sustainability as a focus. Members further debatedthe opportunity for construction with green roofs, encouraging walking and cycling, more trees and hedging, and the need to be more aspirational. Members also sought clarification on the Eastern Square. Ms Bell responded that the Eastern Square is covered in the eastern character area. The layouts and street scenes shown were illustrative layouts and street scenes, and that there was a substantial amount of new planting and the landscaping which will be covered by the reserved matters elements. The Eastern Square will have formal planting, and development fronting the open spaces, which the design strategy relates to.
Ms Bell confirmed that she understood the comments in relation to the climate emergency, which has just been declared by CDC Cabinet, and the environmental elements of the scheme. Miss Bell explained thatthe over-arching design strategy is required by condition 27 on the outline planning permission, to ensure that design is not just viewed in isolation as part of each reserved matter but to ensure that there is consistency across the whole development. Condition 28 on the outline planning application requires details of the environmental elements and Policy 40 of the Local Plan and covered electric charging points, energy and water consumption. It is this condition together with the reserved matters application that will consider these elements. Miss Bell explained that although these elements were not covered within design strategy, this does not preclude them from being included in the design strategy.
Miss Bell further explained that in terms of the design, the developers had created ‘character areas’, with the influence taken from the surrounding areas for the residential areas. A more modern approach is being considered for the local centre.
Mr Whitty reminded the Committee that this item was not to approve design, but to endorse the strategy for design. This item would be brought back to the Committee with the reserved matters application for consideration in due course, but by bringing this matter to the Committee at an early stage it allows the issues to be examined. With regards to the suggestion by some Members for more modern design, the developer was present and had heard the comments, although the authority’s policy does not prescribe the requirement for a modern approach. The NPPF is clear that whilst ensuring good design, the Committee should not be prescriptive regarding a particular design. Mr Whitty also confirmed as explained by Miss Bell, there were a number of solutions other than solar panels to ensure Policy 40 of the Local Plan was met, which would primarily be brought to the Committee via reserved matters. Mr Whitty advised that on this occasion the Committee was being asked to consider and endorse the design strategy.
The Chairman queried if the pallet of materials could include solar panels and green roofs, but considered it was positive as a design strategy with distinct areas. Mr Whitty responded that the strategy appears to be broadly accepted, although with the requirement for further planting and green roofs, which the developer had heard through the Committee’s comments and could provide as an addition for the reserved matters.
In response to further discussion by the Committee, Mr Whitty confirmed that solar panels could be installed to be more aesthetically pleasing, although it may not be appropriate to insist that all houses had solar panels but the developer could be requested to consider this recommendation. Mr Witty advised that with regards to aluminum windows, these are more commonly used for commercial or more contemporary buildings, and advised that UPVC windows are normally acceptable for these types of buildings, which are not listed or in a conservation area.
The Committee further debated sustainability and appearance of the dwellings. Mr Whitty reminded the Committee that details did not need to be considered, in order to endorse the design strategy. Members further commented on the need to make a stance regarding the impact on the climate of not including specific features and in response Mr Whitty confirmed he understood the comments being made and explained that the options were to either refuse to endorse the design strategy, endorse the design strategy or endorse the design strategy with comments.
The Chairman asked members to vote on whether they agreed to endorse the design strategy, which was not carried. A proposal was put forward to endorse the general approach of the design strategy but request the developer to further consider a greater range of designs and materials in the Design Strategy, to reflect the climate emergencywhich was seconded and carried.
Endorse as amended.
Mrs Fowler left the meeting at 11.55pm and did not return.