The representative of the Service Director – Planning made the following points by way of introduction:-
a. There was an incorrect reference to refusing the application in the Equalities section of the report. This was an error as the application was being recommended for approval.
b. The application is for the construction of a 3 tier (four storey) decked car parking in place of existing open air surface car park, with associated landscaping works within The Glen Hospital Complex. To provide; 263 car parking spaces; 14 disabled parking spaces; 4 electric car spaces; 68 cycle parking spaces.
c. The construction would not be visible from street level because it will take place in the Quarry. The roof would be level with the street level, and over looked by Victoria Court.
d. Committee were provided with a CGI imagine showing the street view, looking into the Quarry following construction, together with location & design plans.
e. Noise Disturbance: this was considered as the application came supplied with an acoustic report. All authorities were satisfied that with the majority of parking on the lower level; parking spaces on the top level limited to 36 spaces; the possible limited use at night; that the change in noise levels will be insignificant.
f. Air Quality: There would be an increase to cars coming on site because they will no longer be parking in the surrounding areas. An Air Quality assessment concluded that the air quality impact of the development will be negligible.
g. The trees being removed will be replaced by 27 new ones.
h. Committee were requested to approve the application with agreed conditions.
Councillor’s points of clarification
i. Explanation was sought on the term ‘Brown Roof’; this represents a living roof; using locally sourced material to support wild life; extends to the use of other materials such as sand and rubble being used in establishing the roof area.
j. Clarification on the Travel Plan was given. This had been conditioned. The applicants are unable to use the building until the travel plan is approved. The plan was centred on staff travel arrangements and not on service users, hospital patients travel arrangements.
k. The CIL calculation of nil was queried. The committee members were informed that the levels of CIL applicable to all developments were set out in policy with a car park development given a nil rating.
l. The developers had reduced the number of parking spaces from that proposed but were not given any direction as to how to redesign the spaces. This has resulted in larger parking bays. Members commented that larger bays would facilitate patients with disabling conditions get into and out of their cars.
Councillor’s comments and observations
m. Cllr Mead was in favour of the application. The applicant, the hospital, provided services to many who were driven to the hospital by a relative and taken home again following treatment therefore the application for parking should be viewed in favourable terms. The additional parking would reduce the numbers of patients cars parked in the surrounding area.
n. Cllr Davies noted that the great strides made by the City in reducing car usage but this application was different as it relates to hospital parking. The proposal addresses issues currently being experienced by local residents and patients. Acknowledged the efforts made by the applicant to address a number of issues. Minded to support.
o. Cllr Eddy reminded all of his time in hospital that has shaped his view on hospital service provision. The local RPZ had impacted both patients and staff. Travelling to the hospital by bus for many required taking 2 buses and when arrival was time critical often bus services were not always reliable. Minded to support.
p. Cllr Breckels viewed hospital provision different from a shopping centre and this development was a sensible approach to mitigate issues and therefore minded to support.
q. Cllr Breckels proposed a vote to approve and Cllr Eddy seconded.
Resolved - unanimous vote (9 for) that planning permission be granted subject to conditions as set out in the report.