11/3572/COU RIVER THAMES VISITOR CENTRE (Mr Barry Edwards)
River centre with D1 and A3 use, confirming to Thames Policy Area Appraisal (TPAA) 4.2 paragraphs 1 & 2:
“River centres have activities for use classes D1 and A3 of the General Use Class 1987 accommodating permanent environmental information, formal or informal education functions, and provide environmental activities (talks, meetings and events) which promote the vibrancy of the tidal Thames, Blue Ribbon Network and wide enjoyment of the environment”
“River centres also provide the opportunities for people to congregate on the water with the provision of food and drink, entertainment, sport and recreation , tourism, cultural, river-related economic activities, practising environmental belief and health facilities for the enjoyment of the Thames being an essential means by which river centres bring life to the waterways. The update and inclusion of the term river centre in 2011 is very carefully detailed to provide a robust and secure planning status, as described within the D1 and A3 General Use Order”
Officer recommendation: REFUSAL
Councillor Linnette rejoined the Committee having withdrawn for the last item and took the Chair from Councillor Naylor.
The Development Control Officer introduced the item, briefly describing the main issues at hand and the history of applications on the site.
In addition she reported the following written representations received following publication of the agenda:
(i) One letter of objection from the Environment Trust which stated that:
· A3 should be strictly a minor and ancillary part of the information / exhibition / education centre
· The pontoon to house toilets was an unsightly, inappropriate intrusion into MOL
· Supported the recommendation to refuse, and commended officers on comprehensive and well-reasoned report
· Support the continuing enforcement action
(ii) A further letter has been received from the applicant. This had been scanned and made available to Members to review.
(iii) A further letter has been received from the Planning Consultant for the applicant. A copy of this had been made available to the Planning Committee and was attached as an appendix to the addendum. [Also attached as an appendix to these minutes]
The Committee heard representations against the application from Yvonne Hewett, Hilary Pereira and Chares Pineles.
The Committee heard representations in favour of the application from Barry Edwards and Honor Bailey. Mr James Lloyd, Planning consultant to the applicant had registered to speak but the Committee heard that he was unable to attend.
The Committee considered the information received from officers and from those who had made representations in addition to that contained in the report and addendum. They discussed the application and in particular they considered the following themes:
(i) That the existing A3 use had been found to exceed an ancillary use.
(ii) That the Metropolitan Open Land policy was crucial to any decision taken, in terms of land use and design (in addition to the over-concentration policy). The Committee noted that A3 use was not deemed an appropriate use within such areas
(iii) That the impact on the area of the scheme in terms of siting, design and encroachment would be unacceptable.
(iv) Whether reports of noise and disturbance could be substantiated, especially given the existing hours of use.
(v) Consideration was given to the function of the space and the value of the D1 space.
(vi) That there was some lack of clarity over the numbers of visitors to the centre and to the number of ‘covers’ served and what a ‘cover’ represented.
(vii)Deliveries to the site and how these were currently made and how they might continue to be made should permission be granted. Reference was also made to earlier planning decisions with respect to this.
The Development Control officer reported to the Committee the inclusion of an incorrect map the front of the report and explained the difference between this and the actual layout of the area. She assured members that the report was written with the correct drawings as reference and that the drawings they had viewed during the item and on line were also correct.
It was RESOLVED that:
The application be REFUSED for the reasons set out in the officer’s report.