Agenda item


The Principal Planning officer provided the Members with an overview of the application.  She reminded the Committee that, at its meeting in June 2021, it had resolved to refuse the application for the following reasons:


1.     The proposal would result in in overdevelopment of the site and would be out of character with the area. The proposal is therefore contrary to the SPPS and Policy QD 1 Criteria a and b of PPS 7 – Quality Residential Developments, if permitted, it would result in an over dominant building which would result unacceptable damage to the local character due to the proposed height, scale, massing, density and overdevelopment of the site.


2.     The proposal will impact on the setting of the listed buildings and as a result fails to comply with PPS 6 Policy BH 11 Development affecting the Setting of a Listed Building.


However, she explained that, following the meeting, the applicant had submitted amended plans reducing the height of the building, from six storeys to five, and removing one residential unit and one retail unit.

The Committee was advised that HED had been consulted on the amended plans and now offered no objections to the revised proposal. She explained that HED had commented at the June Committee meeting that, in its opinion, the proposal was close to being acceptable and that it considered that the removal of one floor and a setback would help alleviate its concerns.


The remaining consultees had previously offered no objections to the proposal.


The Principal Planning officer detailed that no additional representations had been received following further neighbour notification and that there had been 682 signatures of support for the proposal.


Whilst the space standards in the aPPS7 did not strictly apply, all units met the space standards and would have an outlook onto the public street.  She explained that the officers’ view was that the amended proposals had overcome the reasons for refusal resolved by the Committee at the previous meeting and that the scheme was now considered acceptable.



The Chairperson advised the Committee that Mr. D. Jackson, Cornerstone NI, and Mr. J. Martin, consultant, were in attendance to address the Committee in respect of the amended application. 


Mr. Jackson explained that they had been working hard with officers and the Historic Environment Division in order to reach a satisfactory plan for the site.


            A Member queried the applications compliance with BMAP AR02, whereby buildings should be two to three storeys high.  She also asked for clarity in respect of residential amenity whereby some apartments had just two windows, and whether an updated shadow analysis had been carried out.


            In response, the Principal Planning officer advised that some areas, particularly on arterial routes, would evolve and change over time and that heights would increase.  She explained that, given the reduction in height and that there was no longer an impact on the listed building nearby, officers felt that, on balance, the application was suitable within its context.


            The Member stated that she was uncomfortable with the idea of allowing higher buildings along arterial routes without the required policy in place.  In response to a further question, the Principal Planning officer confirmed that there were no other tall buildings within the immediate context of the application site.


            In response to a further question, the Principal Planning officer clarified that an updated light assessment had not been carried out but that some walls had been removed in the amended plans, which would allow a greater amount of daylight into the rooms, and that daylight could be enjoyed from the external amenity space.


            Accordingly, the Chairperson put the officer’s recommendation to approve the application to the Committee, with delegated authority granted to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of conditions subject to no new substantive planning issues being raised by third parties.


            On a vote, eight Members voted for the proposal, with one against and two no votes, and it was accordingly declared carried.


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