Contact: Louise McLornan, Democratic Services Officer
No apologies were received.
The minutes of the meetings of 14th June were taken as read and signed as correct. It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 4th July, subject to the omission of those matters in respect of which the Council had delegated its powers to the Committee.
Declarations of Interest
The Chairperson (Councillor Whyte) declared an interest in relation to item 8a, LA04/2020/1959/F - Section 2 Forthmeadow Community Greenway, in that he had previously engaged with objectors to the application. He left the meeting for the duration of the item.
Councillor Maskey also declared an interest in relation to item 8a, LA04/2020/1959/F - Section 2 Forthmeadow Community Greenway, in that he was employed by Intercomm. He left the meeting for the duration of the item.
Councillor Groogan also declared an interest in relation item 8a, LA04/2020/1959/F - Section 2 Forthmeadow Community Greenway, in that she had not been present at the Special meeting of 27th June, where the item had initially been considered. She advised that she would not, therefore, take part in the vote on the item.
Councillor Groogan also declared an interest in relation to item 8c, LA04/2021/2519/F - Variation of Condition relating to Operating Hours at Former Church of the Holy Rosary, 348-350 Ormeau Road, in that she had spoken against the full application which the Committee had previously considered and that she would withdraw from the Committee and not participate in the vote on the item. She reserved the right to address the Committee in respect of the item.
The Committee noted that site visits had taken place in respect of the following three planning applications on 5th August, 2022:
· LA04/2021/2519/F - Variation of Condition relating to Operating Hours at Former Church of the Holy Rosary, 348-350 Ormeau Road;
· LA04/2021/2856/O - Proposed mixed use regeneration development comprising office (Class B1), residential apartments (including affordable), retail (Class A1), hotel, leisure (Class D2), public realm, active travel uses, cafes, bars and restaurants, and community uses (Class D1), on lands surrounding the new Belfast Transport Hub and over the Transport Hub car park, to the east and west of Durham St and south of Grosvenor Rd;
· LA04/2019/1819/F & LA04/2019/1820/DCA - Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of 3 storey (and basement) detached dwelling with garage and landscaping to front and rear at 28 Malone Park.
Request to hold two Special Planning Committee Meetings
· 5pm, Wednesday, 31st August – to consider the following application:
LA04/2021/2856/O - Proposed mixed use regeneration development comprising office (Class B1), residential apartments (including affordable), retail (Class A1), hotel, leisure (Class D2), public realm, active travel uses, cafes, bars and restaurants, and community uses (Class D1), on lands surrounding the new Belfast Transport Hub and over the Transport Hub car park, to the east and west of Durham St and south of Grosvenor Rd; and
· 5pm, Thursday, 29th September - an additional meeting in advance of the new Planning IT system.
At the request of the Director of Planning and Building Control, the Committee agreed to hold Special meetings on the following dates:
· Wednesday, 31st August, at 5pm; and
· Thursday, 29th September, at 5pm.
The Committee noted a list of decisions which had been taken under the delegated authority of the Director of Planning and Building Control, together with all other planning decisions which had been issued by the Planning Department between 7th June and 9th August 2022.
The Committee noted that correspondence had been received from DFI Roads, advising of its intention to provide accessible/disabled parking bays at the following locations:
· 40 Linfield Road; and
· 26 Stracam Corner.
The Committee was advised that correspondence had been received from Royal Mail, advising of its intention to remove a Post Box at Agnes Street, Belfast, BT13 1GG.
The information contained in the reports associated with the following four items is restricted in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.
Resolved – That the Committee agrees to exclude the members of the Press and public from the meeting during discussion of the items as, due to the nature of the item, there would be a disclosure of exempt information as described in Section 42(4) and Section 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.
LDP update on engagement with DFI
The Planning Manager (Policy) reminded the Committee that the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) had accepted the PAC findings in respect of the LDP draft Plan Strategy and that the Plan could be considered Sound, subject to modifications, including a new Strategic Policy which aligned the allocation of land and development with appropriate infrastructure. It was agreed, at the meeting of 15th March, 2022, that the new strategic policy and modifications would go out for public consultation for a period of eight weeks.
He provided the Committee with an update on response to the public consultation, which had closed on 7th July, 2022, and outlined the ongoing engagement with the DfI. He also set out the next steps as the Council progressed toward the adoption of the Plan Strategy.
· noted the content of the report and the summary of consultations received to the recent public consultation on the new draft Strategic Policy and modifications to the draft Policy HOU1; and
· endorsed the proposed modification to the Policy SP1A, set out in 3.7 of the report, as the basis for the finalisation of the new Strategic Policy.
LDP update on Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) consultation
The Principal Planning officer presented the Committee with an update on the preparation of Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) following the closure of the public consultation on 4th August, 2022.
He reminded the Members that SPGs represented non-statutory planning guidance that supported, clarified and illustrated by example policies included in the current planning policy framework, including regional policy. They were a material consideration in determining planning applications but did not in themselves contain policy over and above what was set out in the plan. He advised that SPG must be read in conjunction with the LDP and the Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS) but, unlike the LDP, they were not subject to the same scrutiny in terms of the statutory process.
The Members were advised that the SPGs had been prepared over the last three years in conjunction with Government Departments and Agencies, as well as a number of representatives from professional bodies. The consultation period ran from 12th May until 4th August, 2022. The Principal Planning officer explained that officers had attended and organised a number of events and workshops both internally and externally to help publicise the documents and to help manage the engagement and focus discussions.
The Committee noted the summary of consultations received in the recent public consultation on draft SPG for the emerging Belfast LDP.
Update on the replacement Planning Portal
The Planning Manager (Development Management) provided the Committee with an update on the project to replace the Planning Portal.
The Members were advised that the timeframe for the project remained under significant and increasing pressure although the official implementation date remained 17th October, 2022.
The Planning Manager provided an update on the project plan, change and transition plan and next steps to the Committee.
The Committee noted the contents of the report and that it would continue to be provided with regular updates.
Financial Reporting - Quarter 4 2021/2022
The Director of Planning and Building Control provided the Committee with an update in respect of the financial position of the Planning Committee for Quarter 4, which confirmed an overspend of £545k after absorbing £1.342m of covid related losses of income off set by underspends in employee costs, additional income in services not affected by Covid and also as a result of less expenditure than planned in supplies and services.
The Committee was advised that a report outlining the year end position for the Council had been submitted to the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting on 17th June, which had provided an overview of the financial performance of the Council in the context of the agreed finance strategy that had put in place to manage the financial impact of Covid-19.
The Committee noted the update which had been provided.
(Reconsidered item) LA04/2020/1959/F - New parkland (Section 2 Forthmeadow Community Greenway) - foot and cycle pathways, lighting columns, new entrances and street furniture on site including vacant land bounded by the Forthriver Industrial Park in the east, Springfield Road to the South and Paisley Park & West Circular Road & Crescent to the West. Area also includes links through the Forthriver PDF 2 MB
(The Chairperson (Councillor Whyte), Deputy Chairperson (Councillor Maskey)
and Councillor Groogan, having declared an interest in the item,
left the meeting while the item was under consideration.)
(Councillor Hanvey in the Chair.)
The Planning Manager (Development Management) explained that the application had previously been considered by the Committee at its meeting on 27th June 2022, where it had resolved to approve the application and granted delegated authority to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of the conditions. However, no decision notice had been issued and, following advice from Legal Services, the application was being returned to the Committee to allow the objectors a further opportunity to address it before a decision was taken.
The Committee was advised that, in accordance with the Council’s standard operating practice, those who wished to address the Committee must provide their consent to being recorded before they received the appropriate link. In advance of the meeting in June, the objector’s solicitor had consented and was provided with the appropriate link. However, the additional speakers had requested to speak just shortly before the meeting started but had not provided their consent to be recorded. Once the objectors had provided their consent, the link was immediately issued so that they could join the meeting. Whilst the objectors were able to present to Committee with their solicitor, it was clear that there was some confusion. Therefore, in order to avoid any suggestion of procedural unfairness, it was considered appropriate to allow a further opportunity to the objectors to address the Committee.
The objectors had also expressed concern that the Late items report had not been made available to them. The Committee was advised that, for the purposes of completeness, a copy of the relevant extract had been appended to the Case officer’s report.
The Planning Manager explained that the application had also been considered by the Committee in September 2021, where it had agreed to grant permission with delegated authority given to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of conditions. He explained that that decision had been subject to Judicial Review and that the Council had conceded on the single point of its application of the BUAP 2001, and that the decision had therefore been quashed.
The Committee therefore had a new case officer report following a further site visit and a fresh assessment of the application for consideration.
The Planning Manager advised the Committee that, since publication of the Case officer’s report, further correspondence had been received from Take Back the City (TBTC) in objection to the application. They had referred to their City of the Future event which sought to showcase potential ways forward for the former Mackie’s site and highlighted the acute housing need in the area. It urged the Committee to refuse the application as it wanted to see a more sustainable, equitable and forward-looking application for the site. It reiterated its previous concerns about re-zoning the site, that it ... view the full minutes text for item 11a
(Reconsidered item) LA04/2019/1819/F & LA04/2019/1820/DCA - Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of 3 storey (and basement) detached dwelling with garage and landscaping to front and rear at 28 Malone Park PDF 1 MB
(The Chairperson (Councillor Whyte), The Deputy Chairperson (Councillor Maskey) and Councillor Groogan re-joined the meeting at this point in proceedings)
(Councillor Whyte resumed the Chair.)
The Planning Manager reminded the Committee that the application had previously been listed for consideration by the Committee at the Special meeting on 27th June 2022. However, the Committee had agreed to defer consideration of the application at that meeting in order that the Committee could undertake a site visit in respect of it. The site visit had taken place on 5th August, 2022.
He advised the Committee that, since the publication of the Committee report, a late objection had been received from the Ulster Architectural Heritage (UAH), which stated that:
• the proposal was contrary to Policies BH10 and BH12 of the PPS 6 and the SPPS;
• the existing building made a positive contribution to the Conservation Area despite the absence of essential maintenance;
• it also referenced Development Management Practice Note 5 and the former Athletics Store judgement and the former DoE failing to properly take into account the relevant policy tests for demolition; and
• it was contrary to the Malone Park Conservation Guide and limitation on plot coverage.
The Planning Manager advised the Members that the Malone Park Residents Association had raised a similar objection previously.
He outlined that officers had considered the policy presumptions against development contained within PPS6 and the Malone Park Conservation Guide and afforded them their full presumptive weight. There were, however, a number of other relevant material considerations which were set out in the case officer’s report of 27th June. The question of weight was a matter for the Committee. The case officer’s report dealt with the issue of demolition of the existing building, including consideration of the merits of the existing building, application of PPS 6, including engagement of Policies BH10 and BH14. It also had regard to the previous appeal decision which was not subject to challenge. The report also considered the SPPS, Policy BH2 of the draft Plan Strategy and Section 104(11) of the Act. In that regard, officers believed that the assessment was in accordance with the UAHS decision.
Another late objection had also been received from a neighbour. The objection stated that:
• previous proposals for a replacement building on the site had been refused
• the presumption under Policy BH14 of PPS 6 was to retain the building;
• the current proposal was not significantly different and would be overly cramped;
• the proposal failed the test in the Conservation Area Guide that plot coverage should be no more than 1.5 times the original dwelling; and
• an approval would set an undesirable precedent.
The Committee was advised that those issues had been considered within the Case officer’s report.
The Planning Manager presented the Members with the main issues which had been considered during the assessment, including:
· the principle of development;
· the impact on the character and appearance of the Malone Park Conservation Area;
· the setting of ... view the full minutes text for item 11b
(Councillor Groogan, having declared an interest in this item, remained in the meeting but did not participate in the vote).
The Principal Planning officer reminded the Committee that the application had been listed on the agenda for the Special meeting of 27th June but that the Committee had agreed to defer consideration at that meeting to allow a site visit to be undertaken. The site visit had since taken place, on 5th August.
She outlined that Mr. M. McFarlane, on behalf of Bredagh GAC, had since requested the removal of its letter of support for the application.
The Committee was also advised that Environmental Health had provided additional clarifying comments on their position in relation to noise control. She explained that Environmental Health still had concerns regarding the potential for noise disturbance due to
patron dispersal from the premises.
Environmental Health was not objecting to the application but had provided a number of conditions, including that the restaurant (and bar) should not operate outside 11am to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays and 10am - 11pm from Sunday to Thursday; the submission of a Noise Management Plan, to include the supervision and management of patrons within the premises and outside during patron arrival and dispersal; and music limiting technology installed to ensure a maximum level would not be exceeded.
The Principal Planning officer presented the details of the application to the Committee. She explained that the site was located within the existing settlement limits of the City, as defined within the BUAP and draft BMAPs and that the buildings on site were Listed. Planning approval had been granted for an 18 bedroom hotel and licensed restaurant in November 2019 but no works had commenced on site to date. The key issue which had been considered was the application’s impact on neighbouring amenity due to noise, nuisance and general disturbance.
The Committee was advised that the site was primarily surrounded by residential dwellings in the Bell Towers and in Fitzwilliam Avenue. She explained that 21 objections had been received, including three which had been received since the most recent Case officer’s report had been published, and that they all focused on concerns in respect of noise impact and parking issues.
The Chairperson welcomed Councillor Groogan to address the Committee. She advised the Committee that she did not believe that the variation application should be approved for the following reasons:
· it was inappropriate because of the impact on neighbouring amenity due to noise, nuisance and general disturbance;
· there was no reason why it should be decided any differently than it had been previously, when it was initially assessed and indeed, when an almost identical application to vary was refused less than a year ago (ref: LA04/2020/1229/F);
· that variation was deemed to have insufficient evidence that there would be “no additional detriment to neighbouring properties” and had provided no justification for it. There was very little, if anything, substantially different in the current application, with no additional mitigating measures to justify the change to ... view the full minutes text for item 11c
The Principal Planning officer presented the Committee with the details of the application. She reminded the Members that it had initially been submitted before the Committee on 15th February, 2022 but that it had been deferred for a site visit to take place on 3rd March, 2022. The application was subsequently presented to the Committee on the 15th March, 2022. At that meeting, the Committee had agreed to defer consideration of the application to allow the applicant to reconsider the issues which had been raised by officers, including parking and amenity concerns.
The Committee was advised that the applicant had submitted amendments to the scheme following the previous Committee meeting, in anattempt to address the concerns which had been raised by officers.
With regards to parking, the number of parking spaces had been reduced from 11 to 7 resulting in a reduced amount of hard standing on the site. DFI Roads had provided further comment and had offered no objections.
In relation to the amenity space, as a result of the reduction in parking spaces, she explained that the communal amenity space provision had increased from 263.1sqm to 418.9sqm. She outlined that that had resulted in an increase from 23.9sqm per apartment to 38.08sqm per apartment. The Committee was advised that while the quantum was in excess of the guidance, the scale and height of the building was such that the significant areas of the space would be over shadowed for parts of the day, which would detract from its value. In addition, she advised that the scheme did not offer any private amenity space.
The Committee was advised that the scheme included additional tree planting to the rear of numbers 31 and 33 Parkside Gardens. The Tree officer was content with the tree proposal arrangements.
She explained that the amended plans illustrated that the outlook for the south facing apartments had been altered to include obscured glazing to habitable rooms. As the windows were located in habitable rooms, such as kitchens/dining areas, she highlighted that it would be unreasonable to use obscure glazing and would impact the quality of the living environment. The use of obscured glazing to habitable rooms was an indication of over development.
The Members were advised that the bin collection area had been repositioned to a hard standing area close to the entrance point of the site.
The Committee was advised that NI Water had raised concerns with capacity issues, though an engineering solution was possible. She explained that that solution would be subject to agreement with NI Water.
The Principal Planning officer outlined that not all issues had been resolved, in that the scale and massing remained the same as the previous plan, there would still be potential for overlooking from apartments 4, 7, 8 and 11 and that there was still no private amenity space for residents.
The Chairperson welcomed Mr. T. Bell, agent, Mr. B. Kerr, Newington Housing Association, and Mr. R. Dougan, Architect, to the meeting. Mr. Bell advised ... view the full minutes text for item 11d
LA04/2022/0293/F - Erection of hotel/aparthotel comprising 162 hotel beds and 94 aparthotel beds, conference facilities, restaurant /cafe/bar uses (including roof top bar), gym, landscaped public realm, car parking, cycle parking and associated site and road works at lands directly south of Titanic Belfast and north-west of Hamilton Dock located off Queens Road PDF 1 MB
The Senior Planning officer provided the Committee with a presentation on the proposal.
She explained that HED (Historic Monuments) had submitted a consultation response stating that there was no evidence of a scheduled monument consent and that it needed to be completed before a decision was made. The agent had responded to HED to clarify that there was an existing scheduled monument consent granted after the previous extant approval and HED had since confirmed that they were therefore content with the application, subject to conditions.
The Committee was advised that the main issues which had been considered during the assessment included:
· the principle of a hotel at that location;
· loss of open space;
· scale, massing and design;
· impact on Built and Archaeological Heritage;
· traffic and road safety;
· flooding and drainage;
· impact on amenity;
· human health;
· the impact on natural heritage;
· Pre-application Community Consultation; and
· consideration of developer contributions.
The Members were advised that the site was located within an established industrial/ commercial area within the wider Titanic Quarter. It formed part of the mixed-use Titanic Quarter zoning. The site had previously benefitted from being part of the wider Phase 2 Concept Masterplan (Z/2010/2864/O) which was granted in June 2008, with a hotel approved on the site in 2010. The Senior Planning officer explained that while both the outline and hotel permissions had since lapsed, they remained a material consideration.
The Committee was advised that a further planning application, LA04/2019/1636/F, for hotel use was approved by the Committee in February 2020, which further established the principle of development and a hotel use at that location. The ‘Design Principles’ document which accompanied the Concept Masterplan included a range of parameters for the particular site (referred to in the masterplan as Block 8) relating to land area, gross floor space, storeys and height. The extant approval exceeded the height set out in the masterplan by approximately 2.2m but was considered appropriate given the quality of the proposal and design cues taken from the nearby listed H&W Drawing Offices. She explained that the current scheme was only 150mm higher than the extant approval. HED had considered the proposal and had no objections.
The Senior Planning officer outlined that the amended scheme for a 256-bed hotel was very similar in terms of design, height, massing and layout to the extant approval for a 276-bed hotel (LA04/2019/1636/F). In response to market conditions, the applicant now wanted it to comprise 94 apart-hotel rooms and 162 conventional hotel rooms.
Consultees including DfI Roads, NIEA, Shared Environmental Services, Historic Environment Division, NI Water, DfI Rivers, City Airport, NIE, the Council’s Landscape Team, Environmental Health, Senior Urban Design Officer and Tree Officer had no objection to the proposal, subject to conditions.
Two representations had been received from local residents. Their concerns focused on noise, the hours of operation and licensing in respect of the rooftop bar and general noise mitigation. She explained that Environmental Health had reviewed the Noise Impact Assessment and had advised that it met the ... view the full minutes text for item 11e
LA04/2022/0023/O - Site for 15 storey residential development, 32no. 1 bedroom apartments, 35no. 2 bedroom apartments and 1no. studio apartment at Holmes Street to the rear of 15-21 Bruce Street PDF 576 KB
The Committee was provided with the key aspects of the outline application.
The Senior Planning officer explained that the details of scale and massing were to be determined at the outline stage, with siting, design, external appearance, access and landscaping being reserved for subsequent approval. She advised that, despite those matters being reserved, an indicative scheme had been submitted to help
demonstrate that those could be safely achieved.
She outlined that the site was within the development limits and within the city centre of Belfast in BUAP and both versions of Draft BMAP. The site was un-zoned whiteland within BUAP, unzoned whitelandbut also within the main office area/Commercial District Character Area in dBMAP (2004); and was zoned for Uncommitted Housing under CC04/01. It was also within the Commercial District Character Area in dBMAP (2015) and within the Linen Conservation Area.
The Committee was advised that, having regard to the location of the site and its surrounding context which included a number of tall buildings, it was considered that the site could accommodate a building of the scale and massing proposed, in keeping with the character and appearance of the area.
The Senior Planning officer outlined that consultees, including DfI Roads, NIEA, Historic Environment Division, NI Water, DfI Rivers, the Council’s Landscape Team, Environmental Health Department and Economic Development team had no objection to the proposal, subject to conditions.
She explained that the applicant had proposed provision of the following Green Travel Measures to mitigate the lack of parking provided with the scheme:
1. Membership of a bike scheme such as Belfast Bikes for 3 years;
2. a 3-year Residential Travel Card scheme;
3. 50% subsidy of Car Club membership; and
4. a Residential Travel Plan
The measures would be secured through a Section 76 Planning Agreement and were considered appropriate given the highly sustainable location of the site and its proximity to numerous transport links.
The Committee was advised that the Council’s Economic Development Team had no objection to the proposal, subject to a Section 76 clause regarding Employability and Skills for the construction phase.
The Senior Planning officer explained that the Conservation Officer had raised concerns about the proposal. The Conservation officer had stated that, in terms of a hierarchy of heights, Holmes Street would ideally be subservient to Bruce Street. The Conservation officer had also expressed concern regarding the indicative ground floor use (residential and storage/plant) having a deadening effect on the frontage. The Senior Planning officer advised the Committee that that issue had been discussed with the applicant and agent. The argument put forward was that, due to its cul de sac location, retail or commercial use would not be viable and that office use would not contribute any more than residential would in terms of vibrancy. Given the small footprint of the site and unusual circumstances of the city centre cul de sac, that was considered appropriate. She highlighted that the precise detail of the ground floor and activation of the street were matters ... view the full minutes text for item 11f
The Committee was advised that the application was before the Committee for its consideration as the proposed awning was subject to Council funding.
The Members were advised that the site was located within the development limits for Belfast and was un-zoned white land within the adopted BUAP 2001. In draft BMAP 2004 the site was located within the proposed Area of Townscape Character BT 069 and was BT 052 in the 2015 version.
The application had been neighbour notified and advertised in the local press and no third-party representations had been received.
DFI Roads and Historic Environment Division had been consulted and also had no objection to the proposal.
The Committee approved the application and granted delegated authority to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of the conditions.
LA04/2022/0510/F - Construction of 90no. apartments (change of house type from that approved LA04/2019/0025/F) with associated car parking and landscaping at Parklands, Knocknagoney Dale, Knocknagoney PDF 2 MB
The Principal Planning officer outlined the details of the application to the Committee. He explained that permission was previously granted for 90 dwellings on the site, extant approval LA04/2019/0025/F, which had been approved on 19th September 2019, subject to conditions and a Section 76 Planning Agreement. The Members were advised that the current application sought approval for a change of house type from that previously approved along with changes to finishes, minor external design changes and additional balconies. The proposed development was underconstruction and was substantially complete.
The Committee was advised that the main issues which had been considered in the assessment of the application included:
· the principle of development;
· scale, height, massing and design;
· traffic and parking;
· the impact on the character of the area/LLPA; and
· the impact on adjacent land uses.
The Principal Planning officer explained that no third party objections had been received to the proposed development. He added that consultees including the Urban Design Officer, Environmental Health, DFI Roads, DAERA, Rivers Agency and NI Water had no objection in principle to the proposal, subject to conditions.
He outlined that the residential use had been established through the previous apartments located on the site and previous planning approvals for residential developments. A pedestrian access point was proposed onto the Holywood Road which would provide improved connectivity to the immediately adjoining Knocknagoney Park.
The Committee approved the application and granted delegated authority to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of the conditions and the completion of a Section 76 Planning Agreement to secure the management and maintenance of communal open space areas.
The Principal Planning officer outlined the details of the Section 54 Planning Application to the Committee, which sought to vary condition 2 of permission LA04/2017/2753/F, to amend the trigger point for the approval of details of public realm improvements to the footway along the frontage of the site.
He explained that the applicant had submitted details of proposed public realm improvements in order to discharge condition 2 under reference LA04/2021/0917/DC. The Department for Communities (DfC) had been consulted and had raised a concern that the proposals at that location would need to align with the design specification for Streets Ahead Phase 5, but that those details had not yet been agreed. The Committee was advised that, to agree the public realm improvements in advance of that, would likely result in the applicant/developer carrying out works that might need to be replaced.
It had therefore not been possible to agree the details and the condition was not discharged. Instead, it was agreed that a Section 54 application would be submitted to amend the trigger point for the submission of details of the proposed public realm improvements until the specification of Streets Ahead Phase 5 was agreed.
DFI Roads and DfC Belfast Regeneration Directorate had been consulted.
DfI Roads had offered no objection to the Section 54 application. DfC had advised that concept designs for the Belfast Streets Ahead Phase 5 Project (BSA 5) would not be available until the end of 2022/early 2023. In relation to the delivery of the scheme, there was not a confirmed date at present but that they expected construction to start in 2025/2026, subject to a business case, planning approval and funding availability.
Accordingly, the Senior Planning officer explained that the following wording was recommended for the revised condition:
“Prior to the end of June 2023 the applicant shall submit details of public realm improvements along the Bradbury Place frontage as highlighted in yellow on Drawing No.01A which shall be agreed in writing with the Council and shall be carried out as agreed prior to occupation of the hereby approved development.
Reason: In the interests of the character and appearance of the area.”
The Committee was reminded that the granting of a Section 54 application to vary conditions created a new standalone planning permission. Therefore, should permission be granted, the other original conditions should be repeated as appropriate. The original permission was also subject to a Section 76 Planning Agreement (S76) to secure the management of the student accommodation and accordingly the Section 54 permission would also require a Section 76 Agreement.
The Committee approved the application and granted delegated authority to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of the conditions a Section 76 Planning Agreement.
LA04/2022/1256/F - Conversion of existing residential property into a house of multiple occupation, with a minor single storey extension to the rear of the property, Innov8 Living, 14 Belmont Avenue PDF 614 KB
The Committee was provided with the details of the application for a proposed House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), which had been requested to go before the Committee by a Member.
DFI Roads and the Council’s Development Plan team had been consulted and had no objection to the application.
The Senior Planning officer explained that an updated consultation response had been received from the Local Development Plan (LDP) Team in respect of the application. The LDP Team had advised that the proposed change of use, if approved, would result in a total of 3 HMO units along Belmont Avenue. The proposed change of use would also comply with the new Local Development Plan Draft Plan Strategy 2035.
In respect of the principle of the proposal at this location, she outlined that the application site was not located within an HMO Policy Area or Development Node as designated in the HMO Subject Plan for Belfast City Council Area 2015. Policy HMO 5 of the Subject Plan therefore applied in terms of assessing the number of HMOs in the area. She advised that Policy HMO 5 stated that planning permission would only be granted for further HMO development where, as a result, the number of HMOs did not exceed 10% of the dwelling units on that road or street. She explained that up to 8 HMOs were permitted and that the 10% threshold would not, therefore, be exceeded. The Members were also advised that the proposal complied in full with the HMO Subject Plan 2015.
The Committee was advised that three representations had been received in relation to the application, raising issues including the unsuitable use of houses with noise impact, traffic congestion and parking, devaluing of properties, the timing of the Neighbourhood Notification letters and considerable development in the immediate vicinity.
The Senior Planning officer detailed that the site was within the proposed Belmont Area of Townscape Character in Draft BMAP. It was unzoned whiteland in the BUAP. She explained that officers felt that the proposed rear extension would have a limited impact on neighbouring amenity and was considered to be sympathetic to the host dwelling, the proposed Belmont ATC and the surrounding area in accordance with Policy EXT1 of PPS7 Addendum and the SPPS.
A Member stated that he had concerns regarding the neighbouring amenity, specifically in terms of parking and traffic movements, and that no parking survey had been submitted which the Committee could interrogate. He also raised concerns regarding the small amount of private amenity space for the residents to share, which included a bin storage area.
Moved by The High Sheriff (Councillor Hussey),
Seconded by Councillor Spratt,
That the Committee refuses the application for the following reasons:
1. the impact on neighbouring amenity, specifically due to parking and traffic movements; and
2. the poor quality and inadequate private amenity space for the prospective residents.
The Planning Manager advised the Committee that there was no specific parking requirement for HMOs and that the site was in a relatively sustainable ... view the full minutes text for item 11j
LA04/2021/2114/F & LA04/2021/2113/ DCA - Demolition of existing dwelling and car part, construction of a new replacement one and a half storey detached dwelling with integral garage; and associated site works, 27 Cleaver Avenue PDF 627 KB
The Senior Planning officer provided the Committee with the principal aspects of the applications. They sought permission for the demolition of an existing dwelling and car port and the construction of a new replacement one and a half storey detached dwelling with associated site works.
She explained that the surrounding area was residential, comprising predominantly of two storey detached properties in large plots. The site was within the Malone Conservation Area, Sub Area K-Beechlands/Cleaver. In the BUAP, Draft BMAP 2004 and 2014, the site was un-zoned “white land” within the development limits of Belfast.
The Committee was advised that the key issues which had been considered during the assessment of the applications included:
· the principle of development;
· impact on the Malone Conservation Area;
· impact on amenity;
· impact on trees; and
· access and parking layout.
The Senior Planning officer explained that it was not considered that the dwelling to be demolished made a material contribution to the Malone Conservation Area and therefore the demolition was acceptable, subject to a suitable replacement scheme. The proposed one and a half storey detached replacement dwelling was deemed to be of an acceptable scale and massing and in keeping with the character and appearance of the surrounding area. Overall, the proposal was considered to preserve the Malone Conservation Area.
The Committee was advised that the Conservation Officer had offered no objection to the proposal, further to amendments received to the design which included the removal of the integral garage and its replacement with a smaller storage area to facilitate a setback and to ensure that it was subservient to the main dwelling, as was commonly the case throughout the Conservation Area.
The Members were advised that the proposal complied with Policy BH12 and BH14 of PPS 6, paragraph 6.18 of the SPPS, Policy BH2 of the Belfast LDP Draft Plan Strategy and Section 104(11) of the Act.
Subject to the notification of the application for Conservation Area Consent for demolition to the Department under Section 29 of the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011, the Committee granted approval to the applications subject to conditions. Delegated authority was given to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of conditions.
LA04/2022/0155/F - Extension of time for temporary change of use of and alterations of former printing hall to event space for a period of 3 years, The Limelight Belfast Ltd, Ground floor print hall, 122-144 Royal Avenue PDF 406 KB
The Committee noted that the application was before the Committee as the Council had an interest in the land.
The Senior Planning officer explained that temporary permission was being sought for the extension of time for a temporary change of use and alterations of the former printing hall event space for a period of three years.
The Members were advised that the site did not have any particular zoning within draft BMAP and also fell within the City Centre limit, the Scotch/Cathedral character area and city centre area of parking constraint under draft BMAP. The site adjoined a listed building which was the Belfast Telegraph Building.
The Senior Planning officer outlined that the application had been neighbour notified and advertised in the local press and that no third-party representations had been received.
He advised that DFI Roads, Environmental Health and Historic Environment Division (HED) had all been consulted. HED and DFI Roads both had no objection to the proposal. Environmental Health had no objection to the proposal, however the officer clarified that they did not recommend a 12 month approval, rather they advised that the time period was a matter for Planning Service. Environmental Health also advised that no noise complaints had been received in the last number of years during events, albeit the event space had been closed for an extended period of time during Covid 19 lockdowns.
On balance, considering the temporary planning permissions granted to date, that the extant permission for the redevelopment of the site was due to expire in February 2023 and Environmental Health’s response, he outlined that officers were recommending that a temporary permission of no more than 18 months be granted to ensure that the Council could consider the development in the light of circumstances then prevailing and to ensure future development was not hindered by an extended temporary use as event space.
The Committee approved the application for a temporary period of 18 months and granted delegated authority to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of the conditions.
LA04/2021/2602/F & LA04/2021/2611/LBC - Removal of Existing 3m High Palisade Perimeter Fence. New Metal Railings and Gates with associated Lighting, Central Steps, Belfast City Cemetery, Falls Road PDF 621 KB
The Committee was advised that the applications were before it as the applicant was Belfast City Council.
The Senior Planning officer explained that the applications comprised the removal of an existing 3metre high palisade perimeter fence and to erect new metal railings and gates with associated lighting.
He explained that the new boundary railing would replace the existing palisade fence. The railings would be 2.7m, reduced to 2.3m high at the gates, which would be located at the top and bottom of the steps to enable access to the steps during cemetery opening hours.
He outlined that the Central Steps and Vault at Belfast City Cemetery (HB26/25/001D) were a Grade B1 listed building of special architectural or historic interest, as set out in Section 80 and protected under the Planning Act (NI) 2011.
The Members were advised that the proposal was deemed to comply with the SPPS and PPS 6. The proposed development was considered acceptable with no adverse impacts on the Listed Building. HED had been consulted and was content without conditions. No third-party objections were received from consultees or members of the public.
The Committee granted full permission and listed building consent, with delegated authority given to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of conditions.