11/1677/FUL - AMIDA CLUB, STAINES ROAD, TWICKENHAM (Mr. John Mullen, David Lloyd, C/O CB Richard Ellis)
The erection of an outdoor swimming pool, clubroom extension and associated plant room.
Officer’s recommendation: PERMISSION
The Development Control Officer introduced the report and briefly described the proposal. He drew the attention of the Committee to the addendum and reported the following amendments and additions to the report since it had been published:
Amendments to the Report:
Replace para 20 as follows:
- The application site is not designated as Green Belt Land in either the Unitary Development Plan: First Review 2005 or the Development Management Plan 2011 which is due to be adopted on 1 November 2011. The land is however designated Green Belt Land under the Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938.
- The land at Twickenham and Fulwell golf courses is held under "The Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act, 1938. An Act to make provision for the preservation from industrial or building development of areas of land in and around the administrative county of London." Under this Act owners are required to request permission from the Secretary of State to build on or dispose of this land. This requirement is separate from and in addition to any requirements for planning permission; an advisory informative (NI02) is to be attached to this decision. Most of this land is protected in the Local Development Framework by its designation as Metropolitan Open Land under Policy DMOS2, it is not covered in the LDF by any planning policy green belt designation in the terms described by PPG2.”
- NI02 The applicant is advised that under The Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act, 1938, you are required to obtain separate permission from the Secretary of State for this proposed development.
In addition the Development Control Officer referred to the following late representation received.
Additional comments have been received from an objector who has identified a need to amend para 20 of the officer report so that it clarifies the fact that the land is designated Green Belt under the Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act. In support of this observation, the following excerpts from the Examiners Report on the Development Management Plan are highlighted which considered the fact that PPG2 does not cover the issue of 1938 Act Green Belt Land:
“The 2000 UDP Examination did not have the benefit of an important expression of government policy in the form of a letter from Bob Neill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State with responsibility for planning at the Department for Communities and Local Government, of 14th March 2011, to the local MP. This letter refers to the case raised by the representors and was presented in evidence to this Examination. In it the Minister refers to this 1938 Act land and states:
“I understand the argument that it would be clearer if all land which has Green Belt status was identifiable in local development frameworks, so as to encourage consistency of treatment. It is though up to local authorities to decide what land to designate as green belt in their local plans.”
The letter from the Minister is a relevant expression of government policy to this Examination. It also aligns with previous statements of government policy on 1938 Act land which indicate that the approach to protection should be consistent with the approach to protecting land through PPG2 development plan Green Belt. These include most notably the Secretary of State’s ‘Decisions in Response to Consultation’ (November 1984)1 which states:
“6. Government policy on the designation and protection from inappropriate development of Green Belts has, since the 1950s, been applied through the Town and Country Planning legislation. This ensures a consistency of approach across all green belt land, including 1938 Act land and that in its vicinity.
The Council’s evidence indicates that it has previously been assumed that the 1938 Act was of no relevance to development plan designations, however decision makers did not have the benefit of the statements of Government policy above in general, nor of the letter from the Minister of March 2011 in particular which render such an assumption also to be false. If the Council therefore chose to designate this site as Green Belt in the DMP it would be in accordance with national policy, justified in that it would serve the purposes of Green Belt (and deliver its objectives) and also justified in that assumptions.”
It is concluded that the officer’s report should be amended to read “The application site is not designated as Green Belt Land under the Development Framework but it is so designated under Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938”.
The Committee heard a representation against the application from Mr Berend.
The Committee heard a representation in support of the application from Mr Avery.
The Committee considered the information received, the points raised by speakers and the additional information referred to in the addendum.
In particular the committee discussed the following points:
(i) Officers clarified at the request of the committee the distinction between the classification of the land as Green Belt or otherwise according to the Green Belt Act 1938 and the Town and Country Planning Acts
(ii) That an application from 2008 was approved and still able to be implemented that was very similar. The committee discussed the material differences between the two, in particular the placement of the swimming pool
(iii) That the lighting on the proposed swimming pool area would be less intrusive than that already present at the tennis court.
(iv) That the pool was not likely to be busy in the winter months.
(v) That the noise from the pool would be overshadowed by the nearby road.
(vi) The Development Control Officer clarified that the positioning of the pool would move it onto designated Metropolitan Open Land from non-metropolitan open land.
(vii) The committee sought and received clarification of the areas on the application site that were designated Metropolitan Open land and those areas designated as ‘White land’.
(viii) That the ecological value of the land where it was proposed the swimming pool would be situated was compromised already by the previous conversion to a tennis court.
(ix) That bio-diversity, conservation interests and the appearance of the locality could be encouraged by planting and landscaping conditions.
(x) That a natural swimming pool could be installed but the reasonableness of such a condition should be considered.
It was RESOLVED:
That the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions and informatives set out in the officer’s report and the following additional landscaping condition:
(A) No development shall take place until full details of soft landscaping works have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority such details to include planting plans, written specifications (including cultivation and other operations associated with plant and grass establishment) and shall specify the quantity, density, size, species, position and the proposed time or programme of planting of all shrubs, hedges, grasses etc, together with an indication of how they integrate with the proposal in the long term with regard to their mature size and anticipated routine maintenance.
(B) All tree/plant/shrub planting included within the approved specification shall be carried out in accordance with that specification and in accordance with BS 3936:1986 (parts 1, 1992, Nursery Stock, Specification for trees and shrubs, and 4, 1984, Specification for forest trees); BS 4043: 1989, Transplanting root-balled trees; and BS 4428:1989, Code of practice for general landscape operations (excluding hard surfaces).
(C) All soft landscaping works shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details and in any event prior to the occupation of any part of the development