214 Sidegate Lane
Proposal: Change of use from Care Home (C2) to allow building to be used for the provision of temporary accommodation (Sui Generis), including external alterations and associated works.
Address: 214 Sidegate Lane
Applicant: Ipswich Borough Council
Agent: Nicholas Jacob Architects
34.1 The Senior Planning Officer presented the report illustrated by drawings and photographs. It was confirmed that a site visit had taken place on Monday 23 July 2018 and that the latest National Planning Policy Framework had been formally published on 24 July 2018. The content of what would be in a management plan was also detailed by the officer.
34.2 The Senior Planning Officer confirmed that three late representations objecting to the proposal were circulated on 20 July 2018 and provided a summary of the issues raised. A further three late representations objecting to the proposal were received and tabled as part of the Committee Meeting and a summary of the issues raised was provided. The Senior Planning Officer also advised that the late representations did not raise any new issues to those covered in the Committee report.
Mr Ian Blofield, Head of Housing and Community Services at Ipswich Borough Council, spoke on behalf of the applicant:
- There was a need for more accommodation for homeless households and details of hostels operated by the applicant were provided.
- The current number of households in temporary accommodation was 67, with 65% being families, and 25% of households were in employment.
- The scheme was for homeless households eligible for assistance where there was reason to believe that there could be a priority need. Most single people would not meet this criteria.
- Focused on operational management of the unit; qualified staff on site 24/7, households were risk assessed to ensure they were placed in a suitable scheme, which included liaising with other agencies e.g. Social Services, Education, Probation. Also considered the location of schooling for households with children in education, place of employment and existing family and support networks.
- Households would have to sign license agreement and any household who breached the licence was at risk of losing their accommodation.
- Usually provide contact details for residents nearby to contact the Duty Officer, and the applicant wanted to integrate the unit into the community, and would look to hold a consultation event in the Autumn.
Mr Ben Fox, spoke in opposition to the application:
- The development was a departure from the Local Plan, in particular, Objective 9.
- Identified findings in the Ipswich Housing Market Area, Strategic Housing Market Assessment that set out need for more care homes and does not set out need for homeless accommodation.
- Should focus on developing brownfield sites.
- Contrary to DM26 - applicant to demonstrate that the development will not cause nuisance and the Management Plan was not sufficient. Disagree with Officer’s assessment of harm.
Councillor Ion, Rushmere ward Councillor, spoke on behalf of local residents:
- Been a Ward Councillor for 9 years and never had such a contentious application.
- Received 2 calls in support, but majority (98%) have been in opposition.
- 2 petitions opposing the application have been received.
- The public consultation has been poor.
- The proposal was surrounded by residential properties.
- The proposal will have an impact upon the local amenity contrary to policy DM26.
- Policy DM26 refers to a material nuisance, which was more than likely with this proposal.
- The existing area has a low crime rate.
- Concerns expressed by activities at West Villa relating to drug use, alcohol and fighting.
- Issues raised in the consultation response received from Suffolk Constabulary, particularly in relation to drug use.
- Concerns expressed with regards to higher levels of noise and disturbance to existing residents.
- Concern that the application site was in close proximity to schools.
- There was a lack of facilities in the area to support this proposal.
- Concern that existing residents were aware of those future occupants.
- Measures outlined in the proposal will not mitigate concerns expressed.
- This proposal was gambling on the safety of existing residents.
34.3 Councillor Jones stated that it was the Council’s responsibility to provide accommodation for the homeless under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2018, and in response to concerns by residents, she asked that the locations of the smoking areas be reviewed to be suitably situated, new close boarded fencing installed around the building to protect amenity and added that the management plan was crucial.
Grant planning permission upon condition that:-
1. Development to be in accordance with plans.
2. Details to be submitted and approved:- details of loading, unloading, manoeuvring and parking of vehicles, secure covered cycle storage, boundary treatments, details of access signage, any external lighting, any external CCTV, final position of smoking area and any new plant equipment. Agreed details to be fully implemented prior to occupation.
3. Vehicular access to be implemented in accordance with submitted plans.
4. Pre-occupation details of hard and soft landscaping and replacement planting within 5 year period if soft landscaping removed or become seriously damaged or diseased.
5. Submission of a detailed Management Plan for the site to be submitted and approved. Shall include a copy of the Licence Agreement to be signed by operator and tenant. Use shall thereafter be operated in accordance with the Management Plan.
6. Parking spaces to be made available prior to occupation and thereafter retained for such purposes.
7. Any new brickwork shall match in type colour and texture to the existing brick.
1. Ipswich Borough Council supports the use of automatic sprinkler systems.
2. Adhere to Building Regulations.
3. May require Advertisement Consent for any new signage on building.
4. Highways Note.