An amended proposal from Menta Redrow (“MR”) came before the Planning Committee on 6 July 2017. The discussion proceeded on a pre-application basis, as it had done on 6 April 2017 (please see website for the various articles I wrote in April). In other words, the occasion was an opportunity for the developer to present amended ideas, and for the Committeee to scrutinise such ideas, but not an occasion for a final decision.
Members of the Committee were negative about the amended application, as was Sean Fitzsimons, attending as Councillor for Addiscombe. The Minute of the meeting which sets out the concerns of the Committee and of Cllr Fitzsimons can be found in the longer article on the website.
From the point of view of ECCO members, the main positive development is the possible retention of mature trees. The loss of community open space and public amenity area will surely be unwelcome. As for the bridge to nowhere, I reported after the MR presentation at Oval Ark on 26 April that Craig Marks on behalf of MR had stated that Menta Redrow would “build it [ie the link], fit it and fund it”. He could not have been more clear. MR seem to have rowed back a little from that commitment in the intervening months.
Realistically, the paramount issue for the Committee is likely to be that of the amount of affordable housing in the development. Since the original permission was granted, a new Mayor has been installed at County Hall, he has issued new planning guidance which the Committee can and will give significant weight to, and the Mayor’s guidance is likely to be fortified by the Local Authority’s own amended Local Plan which will probably be adopted in the early Autumn.
So, the planning considerations which Committee will bring to bear in reaching their final determination – when they are eventually called upon to make it – are likely to be substantially different from those that governed preceding decisions. There may well now be a protracted dogfight about this development, one perhaps further complicated by post-Brexit caution in corporate decision-making.
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