Agendas, Minutes and Reports

West Area Committee

2nd October 2008

ITEM NO: 1

 

APPLICATION NO: 08/P/0493/F

 

TARGET DATE: 20-MAY-2008

 

APPLICANTS NAME: Henry Boot Development Ltd

APPLICATION: 08/P/0691/CA - Demolition of existing Tropicana building and pool, part of sea walls and part of Rockery walls

08/P/0493/F - Mixed Use Development comprising erection of 6 storey building providing indoor leisure pool, multi-plex cinema, bowling, restaurants, retail units, hotel (96 rooms), lower ground level car park and 2no external sunken parking areas(471 spaces) with access and creation of a public piazza all following demolition of existing Tropicana Pool. (Advice Note - an Environmental Impact Assessment Statement has been submitted with this application.)

 

SITE ADDRESS: Tropicana Swimming Pool, Marine Parade, Weston-super-Mare,  BS23 1BE

 

PARISH/WARD: Weston-super-Mare Central

 

WARD COUNCILLOR(S): Kellaway-Marriott and  Morris

The following plan is for illustrative purposes only, and cannot be guaranteed to be up to date or to scale.

 

LOCATION PLAN: (This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office c. Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. North Somerset Council, LA09063L,2001)

 


1.      08/P/0493/F2. Mixed use deveopment comprising erection of 6 storey building providing indoor leisure pool, multi-plex cinema, bowling, restaurants, retail units, hotel (95 rooms), lower ground level car park and 2 no external sunken parking areas (Total of 471 spaces) with access and creation of a public piazza all following demolition of existing Tropicana Pool At Tropicana Swimming pool, Marine Parade, Weston-super-Mare.

(GR 331668  160487)                                              Richard Kent/Sally Evans

 

MAJOR APPLICATION & COUNCIL LAND

 

The Application

 

The application proposes to demolish the existing building and construct a new leisure/entertainment complex. All of the existing building except the grey limestone sea defence walls at the north and south elevations would be demolished. The application has been amended since initial submission and now proposes a five floor building (including a floor for the mezzanine level) comprising:

 

  • 95 bed Hotel with bar and restaurant. (Bedrooms are en-suite without lounges)
  • 8 screen multiplex Cinema (to double as a conference facility)
  • 20 lane ten pin Bowling alley
  • 23 units within Use class ‘A’ for a mix of A1/A3/A4/A5 (shop, restaurant, bar and takeaway) uses some of which will face on to the promenade or walkways.
  • Pool and water park on four levels and a roof terrace/solarium/viewing area. The water park contains a 25m swimming pool with lanes varying from 1.0 -1.8m in depth, a spa and rides. 
  • 341 underground car spaces (including 30 disabled spaces) with lift and stair access to the upper floors
  • Internal central atrium with lifts to the upper floors
  • New external public piazza with an open area theatre space and cycle parking, two ramped accesses to and from the underground car park with 130 car parking spaces on the ramps
  • Two new access roads across Beach Lawns (one opposite Ellenborough Park South and another opposite the mid-point between Clifton Road and Severn Road, and the removal of an existing access road opposite Clifton Road) and alterations to the highways layout at Marine Parade and Beach Road.
  • Creation of additional areas of grassland for the Beach Lawns as ecological mitigation works
  • A continuation of the Promenade in front of the building with a route for the land train and cycles.
  • Ramped access to the beach at the southern side of the building
  • External walkways around the building at ground and first floor levels
  • Sustainable energy features including , solar panels on the roof, rainwater harvesting, ground source heat pump integrated into the piling

 

The amended plans were received on 2nd September and included the following additional revisions to the proposals :

 

  • Reduction in the size of the north elevation hotel wing
  • Relocation of the ramped car park accesses approximately 2m closer to the building thus reducing the amount of Beach Lawns lost to 2% from the previous 4%.
  • Reposition the side ‘pods’ to be angled towards the Promenade creating a more curved frontage
  • Alterations to the detailed design of the front elevation to be more symmetrical.
  • Addition of a cafe within the mezzanine to the pool.
  • Addition of 2 kiosks in the piazza at the front of the building, to function as an information centre, small shops and cycleparking
  • Additional glazing for the swimming pool, the front elevation of the building, the walkways from the pods to the main building, removal of sun screens from the side elevations and other design modifications.
  • Removal of the northern ramped access to the beach from the main building.
  • The creation of additional areas of grassland as mitigation for the loss of areas of Beach Lawns.

 

The building is intended to provide 15% of its future energy needs through the generation of on site sustainable energy technology such as solar panels and ground source heat recovery.

 

External appearance of the proposed building.

 

The proposed building is a contemporary interpretation of the art deco design of the existing building. Following the Council’s tendering process the initial design was taken to the South West Design Review Panel for comment. The scheme was then revised to take into account aspects of the Panel’s comments. The building became more symmetrical and the height of the main element of the building was reduced in height by 2.8 metres. The hotel and access stair tower were relocated to the centre of the front elevation and glazed to create a focal feature. This is balanced by two separate glazed access towers above the ‘pods’ either side of the main building which are linked by a walkway at second floor height. The pool is designed with a nautical reference as a ship’s prow looking towards the sea and has a roof terrace. The shaped seawall below the leisure pool glazing would be cast in concrete.

 

The proposed external materials for the building are mainly rendered walls with infill panels, glazing (in particular of the stairs) and aluminium windows. The waterpark is a standing seam aluminium roof; rainscreen trespa type panels walls with waves of colour and glazing (mainly at the north elevation).

 

Building layout

 

i)          The lower ground floor (within the existing sea walls and therefore at beach level) contains the car park, plant and equipment.

ii)        The ground floor contains the entrance foyer and atrium space, 12no Class A units (ie:shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments), one unit as a children’s play area (Use class D2 assembly and leisure uses); the water park, hotel reception, hotel bar and restaurant. Externally it accommodates a further 4 class A units and waste storage facilities in the ‘pods, a boardwalk around the whole building including the pool and ramped access to the beach. The entrance features an outward curved balcony with ‘Tropicana’ in upstanding letters.

iii)      The mezzanine floor contains a further bar restaurant for the hotel, pool slides rides, a dry area with restaurant above the part of the pool and stairs/lifts.

iv)      The first floor contains 6no Class A units (including shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments), the 8 screen cinema, the bowling alley and an external walkway around the building with the exception of the pool.

v)        The second floor contains the hotel bedrooms, the space required for the operation of the cinema screens and the roof terrace for the pool and the entrances to the pool rides.

vi)      The third floor contains en-suite hotel bedrooms (no suites or lounges or separate facilities.)

 

The proposed gross internal area of floorspace (GIA) proposed for retail, food and drink uses is set out in the table below.:

 

 

Ground Floor & Mezzanine

First Floor

Type

Unit No.

GIA Sq.M

Unit No.

GIA Sq.M

 

 

A1

5A

 

783.9

 

 

5B

 

 

5C

 

 

6

330

 

 

7

497.2

 

 

Subtotal

5 units

1611.1m2

 

 

A3

1

302.3

11

282.0

2

279.5

12

325.9

 

 

13

439.5

 

 

14

328.4

 

 

15

333.4

 

 

16

494.2

Subtotal

2 units

581.8m2

6 units

2,203.4m2

 

A1/A3/A4

8

526.9

 

 

8A

315.4

 

 

10

379

 

 

Subtotal

3 units

1221.3m2

 

 

 

A1/A3/A5

3

178.1

 

 

4

162.2

 

 

Subtotal

2 units

340.3m2

 

 

 

A1/A3/A4/A5

Pod 1A

114.5

 

 

Pod 1B

180.5

 

 

Pod 2A

147.1

 

 

Pod 2B

183.1

 

 

Subtotal

4 units

625.2m2

 

 

C1/A3/A4

Hotel Bar

562.8

 

190.7 (mezzanine)

 

 

Subtotal

1 unit

753.5m2

 

 

TOTAL

17 units

5,133.2m

6 units

2,203.4m2

 

The proposed Leisure and Hotel Gross Internal Area Floorspace (GIA) is set out in the table:

 

 

Ground Floor and Mezzanine

First and Upper

Type

Unit No.

GIA Sq.M

Unit No.

GIA Sq.M

 

 

D2

9

1,092.1

 

 

Waterpark

3,541.0 (includes a café )

 

932.2

Cinema

17.7

 

2,469.8

Bowling

 

 

2,103.7

Subtotal

 

4,650.8m2

 

5,505.7m2

C1

Hotel

305.2

Hotel

3,339.5

Subtotal

 

305.2m2

 

3,339.5m2

B1

Offices

224.9

 

 

Subtotal

 

224.9m2

 

 

TOTAL

 

5,180.9m2

 

8,845.2m2

 

Floor levels and comparative heights

 

These comparative heights illustrate the visual impact of the new development. Due to the proposals to raise the promenade the measurements are given in relation to the height of the existing promenade, which varies by 0.32m in front of the building

 

  • The two storey section of the existing building is about 7.9m high. The single storey side sections are about 5m high.
  • The previously approved scheme was mainly 21.2m high and the tower was 35m high. The pool building extended 11m seaward over the beach.
  • The main part of the proposed building is 23.9m high. The glass central feature is 26m high. The side ‘pods’ are 20.5m and the swimming pool terrace is 15m.
  • The pool building is proposed to extend 36m seaward over the beach.
  • the promenade, Marine Parade and the piazza area in front of the proposed building would be raised by between 1.45m and 2. The levels will be sloped down to merge into the existing to the north and south of the site

 

In order to compare these heights with nearby buildings, it is more accurate to use heights related to “above ordnance datum” (AOD).

 

 Using this method, the existing building is 15.8m AOD high at the two storey element fronting the promenade. The single storey sections are 12.5m AOD. The height of the proposed building to the top of the hotel would be 31.7m AOD and the top of the central glazed stair is 33.95m AOD. The ‘pods’ are 28.3m AOD. The height of the proposed sun terrace over the pool is 22.9m AOD.  By way of comparison, the main building in the previously approved scheme was 29m AOD and the tower was 43m AOD.

 

The piazza and promenade in front of the building are proposed to be raised to 9.45m AOD. The existing level of the promenade varies from 7.7m to 8.09m AOD across the promenade in front of the building. The beach level is 6m AOD. The promenade will therefore be raised by 1.75m – 1.36m.

 

The highest part of the proposed building is 33.95m and the main bulk of it is 31.7m AOD. In comparison to other tall buildings along the seafront, Weston College is 30m AOD; Carlton Mansions is 34m AOD; Etonhurst is 28m AOD; the Grand Atlantic is 29m to the main roof and 34m to the top of the towers.

 

The building is therefore of a comparable height to Carlton Mansions and the Grand Atlantic

 

Application Process

 

The application resulted from a competitive tendering process organised by the Council, as site owners, who chose the applicants from a shortlist of proposed schemes for the site. The chosen scheme was considered by the South West Design Panel and revisions made to the scheme before it was submitted as an application in February 2008. Third parties and relevant consultees were renotified of the amended plans and additional information on 4th September. The deadline for comments is 18th September.

 

Revised and additional comments received after this date will be provided to the committee by way of an update sheet

 

A pre-application screening opinion was produced by the Council confirming that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was required with the application because i) the proposed footprint of the development extends into a ‘sensitive area’ as defined by the EIA Regulations (the pool building extends beyond the existing western sea wall), ii) the development was likely to have a significant effect on a site of international importance for nature conservation (the Severn Estuary), and iii) it is likely to result in complex and potentially hazardous environmental effects particularly concerning flooding and public safety due to the location, size and nature of the site location. An Environment Statement was therefore submitted with the application

 

Site Description

 

Site, existing building and location

 

The Tropicana was built in 1937 on the beach at Weston-super-Mare adjoining the western side of Marine Parade. It is located south of the Seaquarium, opposite Clevedon Road. The existing building consists of a two-storey dressed Mendip stone Art Deco type building at the eastern (front) elevation with single storey side sections fronting onto Marine Parade. It accommodates a café, changing facilities, public toilets and the entrance hall at the ground floor. Above are rooms currently used by contractors associated with the sea defence improvements. The north, south and eastern sides of the remainder of the site are surrounded by a grey limestone faced sea wall (approx 4m high) enclosing an open-air swimming pool. There is also a single storey building which was previously used for functions and adverse weather activities at the southern side.

 

In front of the Tropicana is Marine Parade the Beach Lawns, a section of which is paved, linking Marine Parade to Beach Road. The area of the existing pool is approximately 950 sqm and it has been closed for public use since 2001. The existing Tropicana site area (excluding any of the Promenade) is approx 0.9ha.  During its life the Tropicana has been altered significantly. Extensions and alterations to the building have been permitted in 1959, 1975, 1981, 1990 and 1992. 

 

The site boundary is 300m “as the crow flies” and 360m on foot from the town centre boundary as identified in the Local Plan, and 450m from the identified primary shopping area. It is accessible on foot, by land train and by bicycle along Weston seafront promenade. Vehicular access is from Marine Parade which is subject to one way traffic restrictions (south to north) and has on street parking facilities. There are vehicular and pedestrian links to residential areas opposite the site, through the Beach Lawns to Beach Road where there are bus routes. Further bus routes are at Clevedon Road.

 

The Beach Lawns  are in part separated from Marine Parade by the Rockery walls which function as sea defences, protect the town from wind blown sand and contain protected flora. The Severn Estuary adjoins the north, west and southern boundaries and the pool building extends onto the beach into the estuary. The Severn Estuary is a site of special scientific interest, and wildlife site of international importance.

 

 

Relevant Planning History

 

Year

Reference

Proposal

Decision

1981

2146/81 and LB2865/81

Alterations to building and demolition of diving stage (Gd II Listed Building.)

 

Approve

1999

99/P/2389/F

Re-development of the Tropicana to provide a night-club, 7 screen cinema, family entertainment centre, cafes, restaurants, food court, health and fitness club and car parking

 

Withdrawn July 2000

2000

00/P/1345/F

Re-development to provide new leisure facilities,

 

Withdrawn 2001

2000

00//P/0217/CA

Demolish the existing building

Withdrawn 2001

 

2001

01/P/2393/F

Re-development of existing swimming pool and replacement with new indoor leisure pool with ancillary family entertainment centre, multi-screen (5) cinema, health and fitness centre, restaurants, cafes, bars and underground car parking

 

Approved  May 2003

2001

01/P/2394/CA

Demolition of existing building

Approved May 2003

 

2006

06/P/2439/RG3

New sea defences and seafront improvements including the construction of a new seafront parapet wall, secondary sea defence wall, public art, floodgates etc.

Approved 2006.

 

Separate reports have been prepared on the associated application for conservation area consent to demolish the existing Tropicana building (ref no 08/P/0691/CA); the application for listed buildings consent to remove the Grade II listed shelter adjacent to the Tropicana (ref no 08/P/0753/LB) and the planning application to rebuild the listed shelter on the seafront south of the development site (ref no 08/P/0448/F). 

 

Planning Policy

 

The policy framework is provided by the development plan and other material considerations, in particular Government Planning Policy Statements (PPS’s) and Guidance (PPG’s) and the emerging Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS). These are summarised in appendix one attached to this report.

 

The application site lies within the Revitalisation of Weston Seafront and Town Centre (policy E/1A) area where it is identified as a priority area for regeneration and redevelopment; Beach Lawns Conservation Area (policy ECH/3); Settlement boundary for Weston super Mare (policy GDP/1); Flood Zone 2 & 3 (policy GDP/2); Severn Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (policy ECH/13); Wildlife site of International Importance (Ramsar) (policy ECH/12); Candidate Special Area of Nature Conservation importance (SAC) (policy ECH/12); Coastal zone (policy ECH/15); Beach Lawns amenity area, unregistered park/garden and wildlife site (policies ECH/1/ECH/5/ECH/14) as defined in the North Somerset Local Plan. A Strategic cycleway route is proposed along the Promenade (policy T/8).

 

Consultations

 

Further consultations have been carried out on the revised plans and members will be updated on any additional or revised comments.

 

Third Parties:  210 letters of objection have been received.  The principal planning points made are as follows:

 

  • The scale, size and design of the proposed building is out of character with the Conservation Area and the historic design and value of the area;
  • loss of important views along seafront in Conservation Area;
  • loss of existing building which has historic and local significance and is in keeping with and important to the Conservation Area;
  • poor quality of design that will result in another carbuncle building of the Technical collage type;
  • the building is not designed to withstand the exposed location subject to storms and tides;
  • loss of Beach Lawns and interruption of their openness;
  • car parking on the Beach Lawns is harmful to views, ecology and the character of the Conservation Area;
  • loss of openness of the Seafront;
  • loss of the Rockery walls will adversely effect the character and appearance of the Conservation Area;
  • building and car park at risk of vandalism;
  • the Promenade will be less easy  to use by walkers, joggers, the elderly, cyclists, disabled people due to the use to access this building;
  • inadequate additional parking facilities will lead to on street parking in residential roads, and nuisance from traffic created by the development;
  • nuisance to residents from illumination of building;
  • nuisance to residents from noise and disturbance from users and traffic;
  • unsuitable and inappropriate site for proposed uses;
  • contrary to PPS 22 (does not provide sufficiently for renewable energy);
  • the building and operations are unsustainable;
  • it is inaccurate that  bowling needs to be removed from Dolphin Square to enable its redevelopment and may prevent the development of Dolphin Square;
  • PPS 6 requirements for a quantitative & qualitative assessment have not been addressed;
  • there is insufficient need for the development and it will adversely effect the viability and vitality of the town centre;
  • it is inappropriately located outside the town centre;
  • there is little encouragement of linkages to the town centre;
  • it will result in diverting and drawing trade away from the town centre;
  • it fails to demonstrate any overriding social and community benefits;
  • the leisure and retail floorspace should be located on town centre site(s);
  • no need for a hotel of this size and sort, existing ones are closing down;
  • will result in the loss of the cinema and possibly other businesses in town;
  • PPS 25 & flood risk have not been addressed, it is located in flood zone 3a and a sequential sites assessment should be carried out;
  • The car park is in danger of flooding and not properly protected;
  • the need is for a pool with a retractable roof not this development;
  • The building is more appropriate for a site near the motorway or near more recent developments of the same character ;
  • a sequential sites assessment should have been carried out for the uses;
  • the increased amount of car parking will result in unsustainable car journeys showing the site is unsustainable and contrary to PPG 13;
  • the development is unlikely to be viable and the town could be left with another vacant building on the seafront;
  • the development will result in excessive numbers of cars journeying through town and traffic jams;
  • the proposed associated changes to the traffic flows and system – particularly at Pier Square, are out of context with the proposals;
  • the proposed extension is contrary to policy as it is not previously used land and in within a flood zone;
  • the cinema and other uses are too far away from the town centre for it to benefit from the regenerative effects of the building;
  • the existing facility would be used by the public if it was repaired and opened. It only requires maintenance

 

In addition a petition signed by 25,105 people has been submitted. It states that:

 

  “We the residents of Weston super Mare and North Somerset (and visitors) request and require that North Somerset Council listens and acts upon the following proposition, stated below. We request that North Somerset Council declines to accept the proposals placed before it by Henry Boot Ltd, and Life Properties. The Council shall then proceed to negotiate with a properly constituted Charitable Trust, to sell or lease the Tropicana site and support the development of the same, in line with the wishes of the electorate; namely to provide swimming facilities, together with supportive leisure and retail outlets, without hotel or residential development.”

 

43 letters of support has been received.  The principal planning points made are that the development will provide:

 

  • much needed facility for tourists and residents;
  • assistance for the local economy;
  • an attraction for more tourists;
  • proposals to renovate  a run down site;
  • a much needed children’s facility;
  • a much needed indoor pool with swimming facilities;
  • jobs and the opportunity for local employment;
  • cultural opportunities;
  • good range of facilities;
  • spreads the leisure activity locations in Weston reducing congestion near the pier;
  • an all year facility;
  • enlivenment for the seafront;
  • traffic and highway alterations that will reduce congestion;
  • opportunities to make the town more self sufficient in leisure activities;
  • opportunities to bring the town into the 21st Century;
  • a facility for all members of families;
  • a scheme that can take young people off the streets and give them somewhere to go and something to do;
  • a scheme that is essential for the regeneration of Weston seafront;
  • a balance for the Knightstone, Rozel and Legion buildings;
  • a brilliant design which will make Weston the envy of other resorts;  

 

2 letter expressing continued support has been received following revised plans.

 

5 further letters have been received which make only general observations.  The principal points made are that the:

  • Council should ensure that EU Regulations are complied with;
  • hotel should be higher quality;
  • decision should take into account what would happen to the building if it is not economically viable and is left vacant;
  • development should not compete with existing hotels and restaurants to an extent that they are out of business; the community needs are for a full size swimming pool with disabled facilities.

 

Weston-super-Mare Town Council:      On plans as originally submitted: “The Town Council are aware that there is a general feeling that the public are not entirely happy with the proposals, especially the residents in the adjacent wards. Particular concerns relate to the amount of beach space being lost, the effects on the beach lawns and the loss of beach lawns as a public facility for tourism and events. Concern has also been expressed regarding the proposals for underground car parking provision and its impact, as well as the need for further hotel provision. However this has to be balanced with the need for the site to be developed urgently in order that the wider community can benefit by gaining this much needed leisure facility” 

 

In respect of the amended plans the Town Council states:   "No objection. The Town Council are in support of the amendments which are considered to be an enhancement. However it is regretted that an increase in the size of the swimming pool space has not been addressed."

 

Environment Agency:       The Agency objects to the proposals on the grounds that the site is within a floodplain and although a Flood Risk Assessment has been carried out it does not include a satisfactory sequential sites assessment. In addition to this, confirmation is required that the North Somerset sea defences scheme will be completed prior to occupation of the building. Additional details are required to show the means of protecting the underground car parking from flooding; to show that the materials being used are appropriate; to demonstrate the resilience of the building to flood risk and additional details of the proposed means of drainage. If these objections are overcome then conditions will be required to be attached to the consent covering flood risk, surface water drainage, biodiversity and environmental management.

 

 Officer comment: Additional comments are expected in response to the amended and updated information submitted.

 

Natural England:       Initially objected to the scheme on the grounds that it was likely to have a significant effect on the internationally important areas of interest at the site. However following the provision of additional information and Appropriate Assessment under the Habitat Regulations, the objection was withdrawn. The conditions set out in the Appropriate Assessment should be attached to any approval.

 

English Heritage:   English Heritage objects to the proposal. The overall scale and bulk will have a harmful impact on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and in particular on the balance and scale of the existing development that has taken place on the foreshore of the beach. There are major concerns with the impact of the development on adjacent listed buildings, on potentially sensitive archaeological deposits and the historic environment. It is considered that the loss of the Tropicana building will be a major loss to the town of one of it most important iconic symbols.

 

The size, scale, height and overall massing of the replacement building are considered to be excessive for this location, and the scale and dimensions are completely at odds with the general character and appearance of the conservation area. The associated alterations to the infrastructure including roads, car parking and sea walls will also be detrimental to the Conservation Area. The Beach Lawns will lose its more appropriate green character further eroding the character of the Conservation area. One of the most significant features of the Conservation Area are the views within it or outside into it. The scale of the building loses the perception of open space, sea and sky and blocks views from the surrounding area. It also significantly interrupts views along the seafront which will be harmed by the new building. The vastly increased scale of the proposal is excessive in relation to the wider context.

 

There are a number of Listed Buildings and structures in the vicinity of the site including the Grand Pier, Coalbrooke fountain and 3 seafront shelters which although not designed as a whole, when taken as a group, have a balanced visual presence on the seafront and contribute towards the Victorian/Edwardian character. The Pier is the most important and dominating of these features but the proposed Tropicana would be higher than it by approximately 8.5m. This jeopardises the balance and scale of the built structures in this part of the Conservation Area. The development will have an adverse impact on the setting of the listed structures. It will also have an adverse impact on the relatively uninterrupted flow of the beach, and encroach onto it harming one of the town’s greatest assets. Separate comments have been made on the proposed relocation of one of the Grade II Listed shelters but it is noted that the need for the relation is only due to the size of the proposed development. It is therefore considered that if the application is approved the applicants should undertake to repair all three of the shelters along the seafront. Further concerns are expressed with the potential for damage to archaeological remains and wider impacts on the town centre.

 

Officer comment: These comments were made prior to the fire at the Grand Pier. Any further comments arising from the submission of revised plans will be reported.

 

Crown Estate : No comments.

 

South West Regional Development Agency :    Supports the proposal provided that:

 

·      the design and layout of the building recognises its prominent location and provides a high quality frontage on the seafront which complements the surrounding area and helps deliver Weston vision;

·      the development incorporates sustainable building technologies both during construction and the subsequent management and operation of the facilities;

·      the proposals complement rather than compete with the town centre and provide a range of leisure and retail facilities that provide services and facilities for local people particularly within the deprived wards within the vicinity of the site; and

·      the employment provision, both during and after construction, support the local economy through local recruitment and skills development initiatives and the developer engages with the West at Work Partnership to provide advice and guidance on local recruitment and training services.

 

Weston-super-Mare Civic Society:  With the exception of the pool and ancillary uses the proposed uses are inappropriate for a site on the beach. Opposed to the parking of cars on or under the Beach Lawns, which are a characteristic treasure of the resort.

 

Weston Town Centre Partnership:       Following a survey of businesses in the Partnership 68% thought that the application would benefit the town centre; 52% considered the development should only include a leisure pool; 66% considered the proposed leisure uses (except the pool) should be located in the town centre because of the risk that such uses at an out of centre site could adversely effect the vitality and viability of the town centre. The site is likely to become a destination in its own right and not result in linked trips to the town centre. These views should be balanced by the argument that the development will benefit the town as a whole. It is requested that the developer should provide effective linkages to the town centre.

 

Avon Wildlife Trust:    Objects to the proposals due to the loss of 4% of the Beach Lawns. This area contains important “Red Book” data and locally notable species. The proposals to translocation of existing turf  are unsatisfactory and may not work. The opportunity to reduce the impact by using green roofs has not been included in the application.

 

Wessex Water: A new foul pumping station and off site rising main to be constructed as part of the development have been agreed with the developer; the Environment Agency should agree any surface water discharge to the beach; seawater must not access the foul water system; the existing sewage treatment works has sufficient capacity for the foul water.

 

South West Tourism :  Supports the proposed design and style of the development but this is conditional on it fitting with regional objectives, especially gaining the support of the local community. However the Board does not have the expertise in planning issues and leaves planning judgements to the relevant officers. The tourism strategy is driven by the need to increase quality and to create a more sustainable tourist industry. The proposed development will exemplify the development quality agenda, visitors will be delighted with the development. The development should be able to demonstrate its commitment to using and employing local people. 

 

Police Architectural Liaison Officer : Comments awaited.

 

Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment: CABE has written to confirm that it does not have any views on the application.

 

Highways Agency:  The proposals will not result in any significant impact on the strategic road network therefore no objections.  No additional comment have been made as a result of the revised plans.

 

WsM Hotels and Restaurants Association:  Agreed to the proposals with the exception of the hotel which should be a 4 star establishment. Concern is expressed with the number of restaurants which could take trade away from the town centre.

 

West Mendip Internal Drainage Board:  No comments.

 

Business West : Supports the application, it provides an all weather attraction which will help regenerate Weston and will add to the other redevelopments such as Knightstone.

 

Planning Issues

 

Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires that the determination of an application shall be made in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. In the case of major development schemes there are a number of development plan policies that apply to the site and against which the proposals needs to be evaluated.

 

The main policy considerations in this case are considered to be (a) whether the proposal would bring about a satisfactory regeneration of the site without adversely effecting the vitality, viability and regeneration of the town centre (b) whether the visual impact of the proposed redevelopment on the Conservation Area and character of the seafront is acceptable (c) whether the scheme would be adequately protected against flooding (d) whether the proposal would meet transportation and highway safety objectives (e) whether the development would have an adverse effect on the living conditions of neighbouring residential and commercial properties  and (f) whether the proposals have any adverse impact on nature conservation, ecological and archaeological interests.

 

Issue 1: Principle of development and the effect on the vitality, viability and regeneration of the town.

 

Local planning authorities are expected to take a plan-led approach to development.  The vision for Weston-super-Mare as embodied in the recently adopted North Somerset Replacement Local Plan (NSRLP) is to rejuvenate the whole town and establish it as a diverse modern economy. The economic regeneration of Weston-super-Mare is seen as a key strategic aim for the Council and the regeneration of the seafront and town centre is a major part of that aim.

 

The Tropicana site (including the area of Beach Lawns in front of it), together with Town Centre, Birnbeck Pier, Knightstone Island and the Dolphin Square environs, is identified specifically as a priority site for regeneration and redevelopment within the Seafront and Town Centre Regeneration Area identified in Local Plan policy E/1A. The policy requires that development of these sites should

 

i)     make a positive and distinctive contribution to the existing built environment;

ii)    promote more efficient and effective use and re-use of land and premises including the intensification of land use activities;

iii)       increase the diversity of land use activities;

iv)       provide investment opportunities;

v)         contribute towards improving the environmental quality and strengthen transport and other linkages in and around the Town Centre and seafront;

vi)        capitalise on the coastal setting and promote the sub-regional role and the function of the Town Centre. 

 

In terms of these objectives, the design, form and scale of the building means it would make a distinctive contribution to the town although the degree to which this is a positive impact is disputed by the various consultees. It would provide investment opportunities and would improve the entertainment, leisure and recreation offer of Weston.  In addition, it would provide the desired intensification of land uses and would contain a diverse range of uses to benefit both residents and visitors and would be a strong physical and visual landmark providing a link in the “chain” of key sites along the sea front.

 

Further guidance is given in the explanatory text to the policy which indicates that:

 

  • regard will be had to the sequential approach to development in PPS6 whilst recognising the individual circumstances of a coastal town resort where entertainment and leisure uses are traditionally located close to the seafront and tourist accommodation and not solely located in the defined retail core of the town centre
  • diversity in activities and mixed use development including entertainment, leisure, retail and other appropriate uses that are compatible with each other and surrounding uses should be encouraged ;
  • strong physical, visual and perceptual links between and through areas should be established;
  •  schemes should contribute to the achievement of a high quality urban environment and a sense of place;
  • development should enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre; and should
  • enhance the distinctive offer for Weston-super-Mare and not replicate development elsewhere in terms of design and form.

 

The policy aim is also supported through the Joint Replacement Structure Plan which requires retail and leisure uses involving large numbers of movements by people, to be steered to locations where vehicle use is minimised, and public transport usage maximised. The Seafront and Town Centre Regeneration Area is such a location. It also aims to establish sub-regional centres such as Weston as a priority location for major recreational facilities.  Policy 7 reinforces Weston’s identity as a tourist destination whilst the vitality and viability of the town centre is maintained and enhanced. Other Local Plan policies require development to be sustainable through being integrated with public transport, cycleway and footpath links.

 

The draft Regional Spatial Strategy incorporating the Secretary of State’s proposed changes (RSS) gives further support to the principle of the development indicating that the economic decline of the town is reflected in the “relatively poor” state of the town centre’s retail and leisure offer.  It highlights the need to maintain and enhance the role of existing resorts such as Weston by, amongst other things, developing new facilities.  The draft requires that major new tourism facilities should be located near strategically significant cities or towns (SSCT’s) where they will enhance the overall quality of the tourism offer, be readily accessible, help to extend the tourist season and add substantial value to the local area by increasing visitor numbers.   The proposal complies with these objectives.

 

The impact on the vitality and viability of town centres, including their evening economy is difficult to assess. This is important given the scale of retailing proposed in the development.  PPS6, supported by local plan policy RT/1, requires that the “quantitative” and “qualitative” need for retail and leisure developments must be considered, and where a need is established, a “sequential approach” should be followed to site selection.  This should give preference to town centre sites and no unacceptable impacts should result to the viability and vitality of existing centres. PPS 6 advises that local planning authorities should place greater weight on quantitative need (ie the need for additional floorspace). However qualitative considerations (ie: provision of choice, accessibility and related benefits) should also be taken into account and, where there are clear and demonstrable benefits in identifying sites for appropriate development to serve communities, additional weight should be given to meeting these qualitative considerations. Benefits from regeneration and employment do not constitute indicators of need for additional floorspace but they can be considered as material considerations. 

 

The application has been evaluated for the Council by an independent retail planning consultant (DTZ). In order to apply the sequential site test the location of the site has to be considered. It was concluded that although it is beyond what would usually be considered as edge of centre (which would be 300m from the town centre) due to the important role of the seafront for leisure activities and the general spread of commercial activities along it, it is possible to consider the site to be at an edge of centre location.

 

Following an assessment of the applicant’s submissions on retail need, and applying the Donaldson’s Retail and Leisure Study carried out for the Council, DTZ have  forecast that there is a need for 8,300 sq m of comparison goods retail floorspace to be provided in the town centre by 2011.  This application is proposing to meet approximately half of this need (3,850 sq m) but on an edge of centre site.  The sequential test required by PPS6 requires that need is met first and foremost within the town centre.  At present there is insufficient need for the amount of retail development proposed at the edge of centre site and there is unlikely to be until at least 2016.

 

PPS 6 requires that when a mixed use development such as this is proposed on a site outside or on the edge of the town centre, there should be an evaluation of the different elements of the use to assess if they could be accommodated on a more central site or sites.  This is referred to as  “disaggregation”. In this case the applicants have argued that all the proposed uses (and especially the retail elements) are required to fund the pool and other related leisure uses which are unlikely to be profitable by themselves. They also state that if the uses were split between other sequentially preferable sites then this would increase costs to such an extent that the scheme would not be financially viable. The additional costs would come from the need to acquire other sites and the site development costs. However no detailed financial appraisal has been provided to support this. In support of the application the applicants have stated that the development will not require any subsidy from, or create a financial cost to, the Council. If it is accepted that the development does need to be in one complex then there are currently no suitable, sequentially better sites available.  It is recommended, however, that further financial evidence is sought from the applicant to substantiate the viability argument.  Should this prove to be unsatisfactory and/or not justify the applicants approach then this would warrant refusal of the application as there are other sites within the town centre which could accommodate elements of the proposed development.

 

The Donaldson’s study found that the need for additional retail floorspace in the town centre is for higher value retailers such as “Habitat” or “Zara”. However these are unlikely to be the types of retailers to be attracted to the Tropicana site and therefore the site is less likely to be in direct competition with the town centre. DTZ also stressed that the applicant’s calculations are based on a relatively small amount of the floorspace within the units being used for retailing. This could be revised in the future to increase the amount of retailing and turnover taking place from the building. The applicants have also been clear that the high ceilings within the ground floor of the building are intended to allow retailers to consider the addition of mezzanine floors in the future, which although subject to separate planning consent, could also increase the amount of retailing at the site. Under present circumstances, there would be no justification to allow any more retail floor space within the development and such a proposal would be refused.

 

The qualitative case for the application should also be considered. An argument for the qualitative need for the building may be made if it can be concluded that it has significant material benefits. For example it is highly likely that the complex will divert residents of Weston from seeking leisure activities in Bristol and Taunton. It would be a more attractive proposition to visit a modern digital cinema at the Tropicana rather than undertake long journeys to other towns. This could reduce travel by private car along the M5 motorway to venues such as Cribbs Causeway. The Tropicana leisure complex would provide a more sustainable alternative with a choice of restaurants and other entertainment such as bowling, the nearby seafront and the Seaquarium. The leisure complex also offers additional tourism facilities and may encourage longer stays at Weston as it adds to the facilities on offer. It also offers the potential for new employment generation, estimated by the applicants to be approximately 500 non-seasonal jobs which would be beneficial to the local economy. 

 

Overall, the Council’s retail consultants DTZ advise that, although the site is not within the town centre, there are links between the centre and the seafront. Weston-super-Mare is identified in existing policies and the draft RSS as a focus for employment led regeneration including an urban extension with substantial new housing and it is concluded that the proposal will not unduly impact on the town or other centres. Indeed, development at the Tropicana may actually promote investment in the town centre giving private sector confidence to invest in a centre that is not performing at its highest potential. The development provides the opportunity to claw back some retailing that may currently be lost from the town to other centres, although some retailing will also be diverted from the town centre to this site. DTZ found that despite the absence of quantitative need it is unlikely that there will be an adverse impact on the town centre or a significant increase in the amount of vacant units in the town centre as a result of this development.

 

Leisure development in this location is appropriate in terms of local plan policy and there is no requirement to assess the impact of these uses on the town centre. The proposal will contribute positively to leisure facilities in Weston-super-Mare and the provision of a hotel and tourist facilities complies with policy E/9 of the local plan which aims to ensure such facilities are provided primarily within the Weston Seafront and Town Centre areas.

 

In conclusion the tests of disaggregation and therefore the sequential sites assessment have not yet been fully proven and further information has been sought. However there are other material considerations to justify developments such as this. The scheme is for more than just the retailing element.  It includes a significant amount of leisure use and will create many wider benefits; it will be a leisure destination for tourists and residents, will create jobs, economic investment and result in the physical regeneration of an important cultural site. It has been identified in the local plan as a key regeneration site and has previously received planning permission for a substantial redevelopment.  The proposal represents a good opportunity to regenerate the Tropicana area and is unlikely to result in harm to the existing town centre contrary to local plan policy RT/1. 

 

It must be noted that due to the amount of retail development proposed there may be a need to refer the application to the Government Office under the 1993  Shopping Direction.

 

 

Issue 2: Impacts on Heritage and Conservation Area

 

The site is within the Beach Lawns Conservation Area and the Council is required to give high priority to the objective of “preserving or enhancing the character or appearance” of the Conservation Area.  In this case there are two main elements to address – the demolition of the existing building and the impact of the proposed replacement building.

 

Adopted Local Plan guidance on this is set out in policy ECH/3 and Government guidance on this issue is set out in PPG15.  Additional requirements for high quality designs for new development are contained in PPS1 and the Replacement North Somerset Plan Policy GDP/3. Policy 46 of  the Joint Replacement Structure Plan specifies that in Weston-super-Mare provision will be made for tourist and visitor attractions provided they improve the qualities of facilities and the attractiveness of the town, and do not adversely affect the environment, local amenity and character. This important aim is reiterated in the adopted Regional Planning Guidance and draft Regional Spatial Strategy which, whilst seeking the successful and sustainable regeneration of Weston-super-Mare and its tourist industry, (particularly when reusing brownfield sites) also require that new development should preserve or enhance conservation areas and the quality of the built environment through high quality architecture, urban design and landscaping.

 

The Replacement North Somerset Local Plan specifies in Policy ECH/3 that development in Conservation Areas will not be permitted unless it is compatible with its surroundings or locality in terms of height, scale, massing, layout, landscaping and materials. When considering proposals for development involving demolition of a building that makes a positive contribution to the character or appearance of a Conservation Area, there will be a presumption in favour of retention unless it can be demonstrated that there is no viable alternative use. This is a reiteration of Government advice in PPG 15 which provides for a general presumption in retaining valued buildings in Conservation Areas and requires consideration be given to the condition of the building, costs of repair and maintenance, efforts made to retain the building or find alternative uses as well as the merit of the redevelopment proposals before any approval for demolition is given.

 

Demolition of the existing building.

 

It should be acknowledged that the existing Tropicana is a recognised local landmark and that the most significant part is the Art Deco influenced, two storey building that provides a focus at the western end of Clevedon Road. Whilst being a prominent building on the seafront, it has less visual impact than the two historic Piers and Knightstone Island. This view is echoed within the Heritage and Urban Design Strategy, which does not identify the Tropicana as a key town feature. Although it is considered that there is some merit to the central element, it suffers from some unsympathetic alterations to the ground floor, the removal of the most important structure (the listed diving stage) and is in poor condition.

 

The recent history should also be given significant weight. In particular, it should be noted that consent has previously been given for its demolition as part of the previous redevelopment proposals.  The PPG 15 tests were taken into account in consideration of the previous application for demolition in 2003, which was approved. The practicality of the retention and renovation of the existing building were considered then and it was concluded that it was not practical to retain the existing building and that, on the basis that the proposed building was of a sufficiently high quality, the demolition of the existing building would be acceptable. Since that time the appearance and condition of the building has degenerated further and the costs of repair and maintenance of the building are likely to have increased.  Nevertheless the quality and impact of the replacement development are a very important part of the consideration.

 

Design and appearance of the proposed development.

 

This is a unique site within the Beach Lawns Conservation Area in Weston.  The site is visible from all angles and features prominently in views from Knightstone to Brean Down.  Its visibility is increased by the open aspect of Beach Lawns which separates it from the built frontage of Beach Road.

 

The design of the scheme has evolved from the initial scheme in response to comments made, in particular with regard to concerns with the architectural character and its relationship with the proposed uses. Comments were made by the South West Design Panel before the application was submitted and as a result the style is now based on the existing art deco character of the site which is characteristic of many buildings at Weston. The scheme was amended again during the processing of the application to strengthen this character by making the building more symmetrical and lighter by the addition of more glazing. The overall profile of the front elevation is now stepped with a central feature glazed staircase. This forms a focal point of reference in views down Clevedon Road. The rear west elevation reflects a more nautical design with the shape of the pool based on a ‘prow’ of a ship and the wave patterns reflected in the external panelling. The overall horizontal pattern is reflected in the two external board walks which provide life and vitality to the frontage, although it will be necessary to require that the public access is maintained through accesses from the adjacent units. The front elevation features a series of solid ‘picture frame’ settings to the glazed panels and shop fronts. The outdoor sitting and eating areas along the raised walkways, the top of the pool and the side ‘pods’ will add life and movement to the external face of the building and will provide a viewing platform across Weston bay.

 

The design has developed through consideration of the site constraints, including physical, economic and social factors as well as feedback gained from consultation with the design panel. It has been designed to be a lively and modern building that reflects its entertainment function and, as such, it is considered that it would provide the distinctive design and form envisaged by the local plan.  Very significant concerns remain, however,  about  its impact on the Conservation Area as expressed through English Heritage’s objections which are discussed below.

 

Visual Impact of the new development.

 

It must be stressed that the building is of a significant mass and height projecting some 36 metres on to the beach beyond the western wall of the existing building and 26 metres in height above the existing promenade. It gives the impression of greater mass than the previously approved scheme due to a more square profile (in particularly from the sides) and the fact that it extends significantly further (25m) seaward. The overall mass and form is led by the building’s function, and according to the applicants, is needed to accommodate sufficient development to ensure the building is financially viable although insufficient financial evidence has been submitted to date to prove this.  It should be noted that the height of the building is mainly due to the large floor to ceiling heights especially at the ground floor (7m) which the applicants wish to retain to accommodate possible future mezzanine floors for the retail units. This would not receive planning permission under current circumstances and given the scale of the building, it is recommended that the applicant be required to remove this additional height.   In view of its location and scale, as with the previously approved scheme, the development would inevitably impact on important views along the promenade, into, out of and within the Conservation Area. 

 

The raising of the level of the promenade and the creation of the accesses to the underground car park would also impact on the Conservation Area.  They will result in the removal of a 200m length of the rockery walls north and south of the building and the area of grass in front of them. This is part mitigated by the existing concrete area in front of the building but the impact will be a noticeable loss of greenery within the seafront part of the Conservation Area.

 

The building would be sufficiently distant from listed buildings such as the Grand Pier and fountain so as not to adversely effect their setting.  The impact on the setting of the shelters is not considered to be harmful given the extreme difference in scale and style of building.

 

Conclusion

 

The building is of distinctive design which reflects its modern leisure related functions whilst providing echoes of the art deco character of the existing.  As with the previously approved scheme, it has a far greater mass and height than the existing building. The materials are, with the exception of the Seaquarium, not characteristic of the Conservation Area but this is to be expected with a modern building of this nature. As the building is in a ‘stand alone’ location and is not viewed in close association with the other Victorian buildings on the seafront there is more latitude to accommodate a modern design. As with the previous scheme, it would interrupt significant views along the seafront, to the hillside, Uphill Church, and to the Royal Sands but the principle of this was accepted in the previous permission.  There is however potential to explore further reductions in height although to date the applicants have been unwilling to do this. As matters stand, however, the scheme would not preserve or enhance the character of the Conservation Area and is not considered to comply with policy ECH/3 or PPG15.  Nevertheless, if the Council considers that the regenerative benefits set out in the local plan outweigh this impact, it may approve the application as a departure from the development plan subject to it first being referred to the Secretary of State.

 

Issue 3: Flood risk.

 

The Tropicana is located within flood zones 2 and 3 and the tidal floodplain at Weston beach. The Environment Agency has not yet confirmed if the beach is flood zone 3a or 3b and this will have a considerable impact on its comments on the application. Government advice on development in such high-risk locations is contained in PPS25 and PPG20. The latter states that the developed coast may provide opportunities for regenerating existing urban areas and where new development requires a coastal location, the developed coast usually provides the best option, provided that proper regard is paid to the risks of flooding, erosion and nature conservation. The adopted North Somerset Local Replacement Plan defines the area of coast within the Weston-super-Mare settlement boundary as developed coast. This includes the majority of the application site boundary, the exception being a small area of the pool building which extends further onto the beach (and therefore into the coastal zone) than the previous approved scheme. The applicants contend that the location (which is part on the beach and part on the land) is required as the pool and leisure related uses are closely associated with the use of beach.

 

Advice on the issue of flooding is contained in PPS25 “Development and Flood Risk”.  This sets out the precautionary principle and a risk-based approach through a sequential testing process of the site’s location.  The Environment Agency (as statutory adviser on flood risk) currently objects to the application as it is within the tidal flood plain and the flood risk assessment (and in particular the need for a sequential sites assessment) has not yet been resolved to its satisfaction. Further work has been done on the sequential site assessment to demonstrate there is no other sequentially suitable site outside the flood risk area.  The Agency’s comments on this further work are awaited.

 

In certain situations depending on the vulnerability of the development to flooding and the category of flood zone a site lies in, PPS25 does set out when exceptions may be made to the sequential test.  For the “exception test” to be passed, it must be demonstrated that the development provides wider sustainability benefits to the community that outweigh flood risk; the development should be on developable previously-developed land; and must be safe without increasing flood risk elsewhere.

 

The applicants have now submitted more information which, at the time of writing is still with the Agency for assessment. The Agency also has concerns about the safety of the underground car park, the suitability of the external materials for the location and drainage. These are being addressed. The Council has confirmed that the improvements to the sea defences near the Tropicana are programmed to be complete by September 2009  which will be prior to occupation of the building. Additional information and an addendum to the flood risk assessment have been provided to the Agency and revised comments are awaited. 

 

Issue 4: Sustainable Transport

 

In policy terms one of the main aims of PPG 13 is to reduce dependence upon the private cars for everyday trips and also to reduce the frequency and length of trips. In relation to this development it can be argued that the provision of modern leisure uses within the town will accord with policy, in that trips which are currently undertaken to other destinations which are 20 to 25 miles distant, may be replaced by more local trips within town, thereby resulting in a net reduction in vehicle miles. The development is not likely to add to peak hour movements at Junction 21 either a.m. or p.m. and may reduce the number of trips which currently leave the town to other cinemas and leisure uses.

 

Local Plan policy states that developments resulting in significant traffic movements will only be permitted where they will not result in congestion and are well served by public transport, cycle and pedestrian ways. Although this site is on the edge of the town centre, the development is the replacement and enhancement of an existing leisure facility and makes use of a previously developed site. The development will be required to improve public transport service links to the town centre and surrounding residential areas and if the application is approved a planning agreement will be required to ensure this.  These improved linkages would meet the requirements of policy E/1A.

 

The new complex would include 471 car parking spaces in the car park underneath the existing building and on the access ramps to and from it. Cars will not be able to drive in front of the building although delivery and servicing vehicles will within specified times. Instead of driving continuously along the seafront, traffic will have to detour onto Beach Road then back to Marine Parade. Two new access roads are proposed across Beach Lawns, one opposite Ellenborough Park and another opposite no’s 53/54 Beach Road. The existing road opposite Clifton Road will be closed and returned to grassland.  Traffic Regulation Orders would be required to bring these changes into effect.   Comments are awaited on the revised plans, in particular from the Environment Agency which has concerns with the potential inundation of the car park by seawater.

 


Transportation Assessment (TA)

 

The TA submitted with the application models the likely traffic impact from the development. It concludes that there could be up to 2,200 vehicles accessing the site throughout the day on a typical Friday and 3,000 on a Saturday. However many of these vehicles will be existing traffic and linked trips so will not all be generated by the new development. The peak hour of use for leisure activities are 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm on weekdays and 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm on Saturdays. In order to be as accurate as possible these figures exclude any significant traffic generation from the existing disused building although the TA submitted with the previous application considered that there would have been 1,500 to 2,000 customers per day in high season, for the previous pool use. The effect of the development on the weekday afternoon peak hours would be to add approximately 370 vehicles to the road network which is a relatively small amount compared to the existing traffic numbers.

 

To accommodate the traffic movement, the application proposes alterations to the highway layout in the vicinity of the site including reversing the one-way direction of traffic along part of Marine Parade; the relocation of parking in Marine Parade to the western, seaward side instead of the Beach Lawns side and the provision of 2 new links across Beach Lawns to Beach Road. Comments are awaited at the time of writing on the most recent revised plans but if the application is approved it will be necessary to ensure that access for service vehicles in front of the building is restricted during peak hours; the proposed cycleway and land train routes along the Promenade are retained and the signal controlled crossing in Beach Road north of Clevedon Road is retained.  These and other requirements will be ensured through a S106 agreement. Traffic Regulation Orders would be required to bring these changes into effect.  

 

Parking

 

In addition to the underground car park associated with the development there is parking available on Marine Parade (432 spaces) and Carlton Street (200 spaces) and in the summer on the beach. The TA suggests there will be a need for 590 vehicles to be accommodated at or around the site given the likely stays of visitors. However there will be about 800 spaces available in walking distance of the site at peak hours. Although some parking may result on residential roads it is likely that most will be on Marine Parade as this is closer, provided parking charges do not prohibit this.

 

Cycleway and Land Train.

 

The proposed building projects over the Marine Parade path however the plans do identify a safe route through the new raised piazza for the land train and cycle path. The plans show a ‘wave’ route through the area, which would be suitable, depending upon the detail of the surface.

 


Taxi / Bus /Coaches.

 

There is a need for taxi and coach/bus dropping off areas in close proximity to the building. A suitable location for this is within Beach Road slightly north of the pedestrian access across Beach Lawns, between Clevedon Road and Ellenborough Road North. This will be a requirement of a S106 agreement.

 

Highway Drainage.

 

Within the area of the Beach Lawns opposite the junction of Clevedon Road there is a substantial underground surface water storage tank (a ‘sink’) which takes the water from Beach Road. The development of the car park could result in the loss of this feature. Therefore, a condition would be required to ensure the provision of a substitute facility at a location to be agreed.

 

Travel Plan

 

The management company for the building will be required to oversee a Travel Plan for both public and employee use. It should include targets for the reduction in the numbers of vehicles visiting the site and should be included in the S106 agreement.

 

Conclusion

 

Provided the revised plan is acceptable, it is considered that the proposals are able to comply with national and local polices regarding transportation issues and that satisfactory arrangements can be made for access and parking, providing a S106 legal agreement and suitable conditions are applied to any consent.

 

Issue 5: Impacts on neighbouring residents.

 

Although there is potential for disturbance to neighbours from noise, odour and illumination from the development, it is concluded that provided specific conditions are added to any planning permission then no overriding adverse effects to residential amenity will result. 

 

Conditions will be required to ensure the submission, implementation and continuing maintenance of an odour abatement system at all service outlets, (including the pool, catering areas and the underground car park.) The building would be lit and there will be additional streetlights therefore a condition is proposed to ensure no unacceptable effects to neighbours or the wildlife value of the Severn Estuary. Further conditions will control noise, hours of opening and use of the building.

 

Concerns about noise disturbance can be overcome by the submission of a suitable noise survey and conditions. The issue of hours of opening is currently being taken up with the applicants.

 

Issue 6: Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006

 

Development within a site of European significance, in this case the Severn Estuary must be assessed by means of an Appropriate Assessment under the Habitat Regulations for the significance of potential resulting impacts to the environment. This has been carried out and the conclusion is that provided the mitigation proposed is made a requirement of any planning consent then there will be no adverse effects from the development.  Conditions and S106 obligations will be required to ensure that external lighting; protection of the beach; construction works including their timing; and the ecological mitigation works are carried out. 

 

The initial application proposed the overall reduction in the amount of the Beach Lawns by 4% and there were ecological objections on this basis. The amended plans have now reduced this to 2%. This includes proposals to reinstate some areas of grassland (for example the existing tarmac hard  standing in from the Grand Atlantic Hotel) as mitigation. Ideally there should be no loss but the principle of such mitigation was previously agreed under the most recent consent, where the amount lost was significantly higher (5.2%)

 

Issue 7: Archaeology

 

The archaeological assessment submitted with the application identified potential impacts but concluded that disturbance to unknown sites of importance is unlikely and that disturbance to lower levels of peat from piling would have a moderate adverse impact. The overall conclusions proposed by the applicants are that provided that mitigation including the relocation of the listed shelter and the peat deposits are sampled and recorded then no significant impact will result from the development

 

Issue 8: The Crime and Disorder Act 1998

 

The existing CCTV cameras in front of the building are proposed to be removed although the developer is keen to maintain coverage. Detailed comments from the police architectural liaison officer are awaited. The requirements will be subject to a condition or S106 agreement.

 

Conclusion and Summary of Reasons for approval

 

As with the previous development proposals for this site, this is a major and complex development scheme in a very sensitive and prominent location.  The scale and mix of uses coupled with the distinctive design and substantial mass of the building means that the there are a wide range of planning matters which the local planning authority must address in order to be satisfied that planning permission should be granted.

 

In doing so, the starting point is the development plan (principally the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan) which through policy E/1A identifies the site as a priority site for regeneration.  This recognises the tradition in coastal resorts of siting entertainment and leisure facilities close to the sea front and tourist accommodation and not solely in the town centre as PPS6 would expect in inland towns.   The scheme is consistent with this approach.

 

The applicant has advised that the mix of uses within the proposed development arises from a need to secure a viable development.  This would provide the diversity sought in the Local Plan but has resulted in a large amount of retail space outside the town centre which the applicant has advised cannot be disaggregated to other more central sites.  The qualitative increase in choice the development would bring, together with the regenerative benefit to the town as a whole, are important considerations to weigh in the balance and overall it is concluded that, subject to clarifying the disaggregation issue, the development should not adversely impact on the town centre.

 

The design of the building has improved since the original submissions.  It would provide a distinctive contribution to the sea front and goes a long way to meet the requirements of policy E/1A.  However, the scale of the building in the context of the Conservation Area remains a significant issue.  It is open to the Council to relax its normal approach to development in the Conservation Area provided it considers there are other benefits and follows the appropriate departure procedures.  Attempts have been made to negotiate reductions in its mass which have been only partially successful as the applicant has indicated that further reductions would impact on the viability of the scheme.   At the time of writing, insufficient evidence has been submitted to support this argument and further evidence (and reductions) should be sought before a final decision is made.

 

Flood risk remains an issue and negotiations are continuing with the Environment Agency.  Currently the Agency objects on the grounds that the location of the development has not been justified in sequential terms (ie: it is not satisfied that there are no other sites available outside the flood zones) and to elements of the design including the underground car park and materials.

 

Given the distance between the development and the nearest residential properties, it is considered that the risk of noise and disturbance to residents and hoteliers would not be unacceptable given the sea front location.  Conditions can also be imposed to control some of the impacts generated by the development.

 

The impact on wildlife and ecological interest has been addressed and with suitable planning conditions the development would not be harmful to the sensitive coastal habitats.

 

Overall, if the outstanding issues can be resolved, it is concluded that the development is consistent with the vision of the local plan.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

Subject to:

i)                    The Environment Agency’s objection being addressed to the satisfaction of the local planning authority,

ii)                  the submission of further evidence demonstrating the viability of the development and the need for the submitted quantity of retail and food and drink uses;

iii)                the reduction in the height and scale of the development principally by the reduction of the ceiling heights of the retail units;

iv)                subject to (iii) above, referral to the Secretary of State as a departure from policy ECH/3 of the North Somerset Local Plan,

v)                  referral to the Secretary of State under the Shopping Direction 1993, and

vi)        the completion of a legal agreement securing (a) contributions or the securing of additional bus services; (b) a travel plan; (c) off site highway works, (d) ecological mitigation works; (e) provision of underground surface water storage facilities, (f) provision of a coach/taxi drop off area; (g) the detailed highway works as illustrated on plan no 1759-02 rev E; and (h) prior agreement of the local planning authority of the classes of goods to be sold from the Class A units and/or the occupiers of those units.

 

the application be APPROVED subject to the following conditions (together with any additional or amended conditions and advice notes which may be required as a result of ongoing consultations and negotiations)

 

 

1               The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiry of three years from the date of this permission.

 

          Reason: In accordance with the provisions of Section 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

 

Materials

 

2               Notwithstanding the submitted plans no development shall commence until samples and sample panels of external materials, including for walls, roofs, fenestration, doors and surfacing materials have been constructed on site or submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority, no variations to the approved details shall take place without the written approval of the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: To ensure that materials to be used are acceptable and suitable for this exposed site in accordance with policies GDP/2, GDP/3 and ECH/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan.

 

3               Prior to the commencement of demolition or development of any sea defence walls sample panels of the external finishes demonstrating the type of stone or other materials (which shall reuse stone from the existing sea walls where possible), joints and pointing are erected on site and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  The development shall be carried out in complete accordance with the approved details unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: To ensure that materials to be used are acceptable for this exposed location and to protect the character and appearance of the Conservation Area in accordance with Policies GDP/2, GDP/3 and ECH/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

Detailed design and landscaping

 

4               Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted) Development Order 1995, or any order revoking and re-enacting that Order, no telecommunications aerials shall be added to the external elevations of the building without the permission of the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: The Local Planning Authority wish to retain control external alterations in order to maintain the integrity and appearance of this development and in accordance with Policy ECH/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan

 

5               Prior to the occupation of the building a scheme for the provision of cctv security cameras including the timescale for their implementation on site shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall be fully implemented in accordance with the approved details and there shall be no variations to the approved scheme without the prior consent in writing Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: The Local Planning Authority wish to retain control external alterations in order to maintain the integrity and appearance of this development and in accordance with Policy ECH/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

6               Notwithstanding the approved plans, no development shall be commenced on the construction of the new building until fully detailed drawings at suitable scales of the following external design features have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority :

 

a)       Walkways and terraces including railings and supporting columns,

b)       Roof design and construction,

c)        Building entrances and doors,

d)       Public art which shall be integrated into the designs

e)       The retention of the existing sea walls at the north and south elevations of the building.

f)      External cladding

 

          The works shall be carried out in their entirety in accordance with the approved plans, unless amendments are first submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: To ensure that the detailed design is acceptable and to protect the character and appearance of the Conservation Area in accordance with Policy ECH/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan.

 

7               Notwithstanding the submitted drawings, no development shall commence until fully detailed drawings including external materials and a programme for the implementation of the following have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority :-

 

a)       Layout of the piazza including means of illumination, cycle parking and surface treatment

b)     New and raised sections of the sea walls and the promenade

c)      Public art

d)     Street furniture including seats, signs, lighting and bins

e)     Route of the land train and cycles

f)        Hard and soft landscaping and planting

 

          The works shall be carried out in accordance with the approved plans and phasing scheme unless amendments are first submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: To ensure that the detailed design is acceptable and to protect the character and appearance of the Conservation Area in accordance with Policies GDP/2, GDP/3, T/10 and ECH/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan.

 

8.      No work shall be commenced until details of the height and position of extractor flues and means of mechanical ventilation serving the uses within the building and car park have been submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority. No extractor flues or means of mechanical ventilation shall be installed other than in accordance with the approved details.

 

          Reason: In the interests of visual amenity, public health and in accordance with policies GDP/2 and GDDP/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

Phasing

 

9.             Prior to the commencement of development a scheme for the phasing of the construction and occupation of the building shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall ensure that prior to occupation of any of the retail floorspace:

 

i)      the car parking is fully available for use by the public in accordance with the approved plans, and

ii)        the pool and leisure uses are constructed in accordance with the approved plans and are open for use by the public, and

iii)      the piazza is completed in accordance with the approved plans

 

          The development shall be carried out in complete accordance with the approved phasing scheme and following the initial occupation the approved uses shall continue to operate in accordance with the approved scheme shall be unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: To ensure the provision of leisure opportunities in accordance with policies T/6, T/8, T/10 and E/1A of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan.

 

Floodlighting

 

10.        Details of any external floodlighting, and internal lighting if it is visible from outside the building and means of external illumination of any building or structure at the site both during and after construction works have been completed, shall be submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority before the building is occupied.  No means of external illumination shall be installed other than in accordance with the approved details and shall not be varied without the permission in writing of the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: In the interests of the preserving the ecology and living conditions of neighbouring residents and in accordance with policies GDP/2, GDP/3, ECH/12, ECH/13 and ECH/15 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

Ecology

 

11.        Prior to the commencement of development a scheme for the provision and phasing of the ecological mitigation works shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The approved scheme shall be implemented in full in accordance with the approved phasing unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason : To ensure the survival of rare or protected species and the replacement of a valued feature in the Conservation Area in accordance with Policies ECH/3,  ECH/11 and ECH/14 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan

 

12.        No development shall commence until full details of a scheme for the translocation of any flora identified in the survey in the Environmental Statement have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall accord with the principles set out in annexe 1 of this decision notice and including the future management of the site, shall be implemented in full, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: To ensure the survival of rare or protected species in accordance with Policies ECH/11 and ECH/14of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan.

 

13.        Prior to the commencement of works, full details of a scheme of measures to protect the ecological interest of the Severn Esturary, Beach Lawns and Rockery Walls from the development works shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and implemented in full. The scheme including the future management of the site, shall accord with the principles set out in annexe 2 of this decision notice unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning authority.

 

          Reason: To ensure the survival of rare or protected species in accordance with Policies ECH/11, ECH/12, ECH/13 and ECH/14 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan   

 

Use of the building

 

14.        The building hereby permitted shall not open to the public before 8.30 am nor after 11.30 pm unless first approved in writing with the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: To prevent undue disturbance to nearby residents and in accordance with Policies GDP/2 and GDP/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

15.        Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 any statutory instrument revoking and re-enacting that Order, the part of the premises hereby permitted shown to be used as a swimming pool shall only be used as a swimming pool in accordance with the approved plans and shall be used for no other purpose without the prior permission of the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: The Local Planning Authority wishes to ensure that part of the building is used as a pool in accordance with policy E/1A of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan

 

16.        Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 any statutory instrument revoking and re-enacting that Order, the maximum total gross internal floorspace within the building used for retailing purposes within Use Class A1 shall not exceed 3,800 sq m without the prior consent of the Local planning Authority.  No unit shown on the approved plans shall be subdivided or amalgamated with another unit without the prior permission in writing of the local planning authority.

 

          Reason : To protect the vitality and viability of the town centre in accordance with policies RT/1, RT/2 and E/1A of Replacement North Somerset Local Plan

 

17.        The floorspace used for retailing within Use class A1 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) shall not be used for the sale of food for consumption off the premises.

 

          Reason : To protect the vitality and viability of the town centre in accordance with policies RT/1, RT/2 and E/1A of Replacement North Somerset Local Plan

 

Parking and transportation

 

18.        Notwithstanding the approved plans, prior to the commencement of development full details of the design of cycleparking shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The building hereby permitted shall not be occupied until the cycle parking has been fully constructed in accordance with the approved plans unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason : To ensure that the building is served by acceptable cycleparking in accordance with policy T/6 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan.

 

19.        Prior to the commencement of development full details of the design of the car park shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The details shall include proposals for security, access, public safety, lighting, flood protection and barriers. The development shall be fully implemented in accordance with the approved scheme prior to occupation of the building unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.   

 

          Reason: In the interests of highway and public safety and in accordance with policies GDP/2, GDP/3, T/6 and T/10 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

20.        No development shall commence until a dropping off facility for coaches and taxis has been constructed in Beach Road in accordance with plans to be first submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The facility shall be constructed in complete accordance with the approved plans prior to occupation of the building unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: In the interests of highway safety and sustainable transport in accordance with policy T/10 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

21.    Prior to commencement of development a Travel Plan for the journeys to and from the building both by employees and members of the public shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, The Plan  will need to address the following issues:

 

·      The identification of targets for trip reduction and modal shift

·      The methods to be employed to meet these targets

·      The mechanisms for monitoring and review

·      The penalties to be applied in the event that targets are not met

·      The mechanisms for mitigation

·      Implementation of the Travel Plan to be an agreed timescale or timetable and its operation thereafter

·      Mechanisms to secure variations to the Travel Plan following monitoring and review

 

          A review of the targets shall be undertaken within 3 months of the first occupation of the development and on an annual basis thereafter at the time of submission the annual Travel Plan Report.

 

          Reason: To ensure that the development is operated in a sustainable manner in accordance with Policy T/11 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

 

Odour control

 

22          No unit shall be occupied or use of the building or car park commenced until details of the height and position of any extractor flues and means of mechanical ventilation serving that unit or use, have been submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority. No extractor flues or means of mechanical ventilation shall be installed other than in accordance with the approved details.

 

          Reason: In the interests of visual amenity, public health and in accordance with policies GDP/2 and GDP/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

23          No unit shall be occupied or use of the building or car park commenced until full details of a scheme for odour abatement and which include where relevant details of the proposed method of removal of grease, particulate and gaseous phases; the noise levels of all fans; the ductwork and flue termination location and mountings and the future maintenance of the equipment, have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and fully implemented unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority. All equipment shall be maintained in accordance with the approved details and the cooking processes shall cease if the operation of the extract equipment fails to function to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority.


Reason: To prevent undue disturbance to nearby residents and in accordance with Policy GDP/2 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan.

 

Noise

 

24.    Prior to the commencement of development a scheme for controlling noise emanating from machinery and equipment sources shall be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall demonstrate the cumulative effect of all sources that will not exceed a noise rating level of 10dB below background to be evaluated to British Standard 4142; 1997 and shall not exceed any frequencies below 250Hz and shall include engineering details of the machinery and equipment to be used. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved scheme unless amendments are first submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning authority.

 

          Reason: To prevent undue disturbance to nearby residents and in accordance with GDP/2 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan.

 

25     Internal noise levels in the Use Class A3, A4 and A5 units including those associated with the hotel, at the front (east) elevation of the building shall not exceed 80 dB LAmax or 75 dB LAeq,10mins at any time without the prior permission of the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason : To protect the living conditions of neighbours and the environmental quality of the Severn Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest in accordance with policies GDP/3 and ECH/13 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan

 

26.    The doors and windows of the Use Class A3, A4 and A5 units including those associated with the hotel, which open onto the front (east) elevation of the building shall be shut and remain closed when amplified music or speech is being played within the building unless being used for access, unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason To protect the living conditions of neighbours in accordance with policies GDP/2 and GDP/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan

 


Storage of Refuge

 

27     No development shall take place until full details of the provision to be made for the storage of refuse have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  Prior to the occupation of the building the approved storage facilities shall be provided in accordance with the approved scheme and thereafter shall be made permanently available for use for the storage of refuse only, unless further revised plans are first submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: In the interests of the local environment and in accordance with Policy GDP/2 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan

 

28     No development shall take place until there has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority a scheme providing appropriate space and facilities for the separate storage and collection of waste for re-use and recycling.  The approved details shall be provided before the use hereby permitted commences and thereafter shall be made permanently available for the use for the storage and collection and waste for re-use and recycling only for the occupiers of the building.

 

          Reason: The Local Planning Authority wish to encourage sustainable recycling initiatives in accordance with Policy GDP/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

Construction

 

29          Details of provision to be made for site offices, contractors’ facilities, storage of materials, the parking and turning on site of operatives and construction vehicles during the construction period shall be submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority before development commences.  Such facilities shall be provided and used in accordance with the approved plans and details for the duration of the construction period.

 

          Reason:  In the interests of highway safety and in accordance with Policies GDP/2, GDP/3 and ECH/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

30          Prior to the commencement of development a plan to mitigate nuisance from construction works shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. It shall accord with the relevant recommendations in the Environmental Statement and shall contain details of the hours of construction works; methods for dust suppression and acoustic attenuation from piling etc works and shall be implemented in full unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason; To protect the living conditions of neighbouring residents and the ecological quality of the Severn Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest in accordance with policies GDP/3 and ECH/13 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

Public Access

 

31          Prior to occupation of the building the external walkways shall be constructed in accordance with the approved plans and open for use by the public, they shall be retained as such unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. 

 

          Reason : In the interests of public access and good design accordance with policies GDP/3 and ECH/3 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

Flood Defence – Potential conditions subject to confirmation by the Environment Agency

 

32          No development shall commence until a phasing scheme for the provision of sea walls has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be implemented in full in accordance with the approved details unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason : To prevent increased risk of flooding and to ensure a satisfactory means of tidal flood defence in accordance with policy GDP/2 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan.

 

33          No part of the development shall be occupied until an emergency plan for the site including an evacuation procedure has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority in consultation with the emergency services. The plan shall name a person responsible for its implementation and shall be updated by that person when necessary.

 

          Reason : To minimise risk to the site occupants in an extreme tidal flood event in accordance with policy GDP/2 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan.

 

34     No existing flood defences shall be removed until a scheme detailing how the flood defence will be maintained during the construction works, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The works shall be carried out in accordance with the approved scheme unless any amendments are first approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason : To maintain flood defence during construction works in accordance with policy GDP/2 of the Replacement North Somerset Local Plan.

 

Drainage

 

35     No development shall be commenced until a scheme for the disposal of foul and surface water drainage including land drainage has been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. Unless otherwise agreed the scheme shall exclude the discharge of unclean surface and foul water to the Severn Estuary and details of a new foul pumping station. Such works shall be carried out concurrently with the development in accordance with a programme to be submitted with the scheme and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: To ensure that the development is served by a satisfactory system of foul and surface water drainage and to prevent pollution of the water environment and damage to matters of ecological interest and to prevent increased risk of flooding in accordance with Policies ECH/12, GDP/2 AND GDP/4 of the Replacement North Somerset Local plan.

 

Crime Prevention

 

36     Prior to commencement of development a crime and disorder prevention and security statement shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority, it shall include full details of security at the site and prior to occupation of the building shall be fully implemented unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: To ensure the site is secure and complies with policy GDP/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan and the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

 

Archaeology

 

37     No development including the demolition of buildings or other structures shall commence until the applicant or their agents or successors in title, has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation and or recording which has first been submitted by the applicant and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Prior to occupation of the building the resulting assessment shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

          Reason: So that records may be made before the archaeological remains are affected by the development and in accordance with Policy ECH/3 of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

 


ADVICE NOTES

 

The applicants attention is drawn to the following advice:

 

CONDITION 12

ANNEXE 1

 

Information Required on Habitat and Species Translocation

 

a)            Aims and Objectives: Provide the background justification for habitat and species salvage with statement of any project limitations; including an assessment of the likely success of translocation and a statement of criteria against which success will be judged;

 

b)            Evaluation of the Donor Site: Provide information covering:

 

(i)       An evaluation of the donor site for key physical and chemical characteristics (e.g. geology, soils, drainage patterns, water table variation, ground water quality, topography and local climate)

 

(ii)     The presence of any features or conditions that cannot be moved or replicated.

 

c)             Evaluation of the Receptor Site: Provide a reasoned explanation for the selection of the receptor site along with a comparison of its physical and chemical characteristics with that of the donor site.

 

d)            Method Statement: Provide details of:

 

(i)       The proposed techniques, practices, types of tools and machinery to be employed;

 

(ii)        The proposed preparation of the receptor site:

-       handling and disposal of any surplus soils

-       creation of appropriate substrate

-       creation of appropriate topographic features

-       creation of appropriate local drainage conditions

-       excavation, where appropriate, of trenches and holes to receive transplants

 

(iii)   The overall extent and also depth of cut and size (length and width) of vegetation to be moved:

-            grass turfs

-            plant litter and rootstock

 

(iv)     The care of vegetation and soils during transit and any constraints on vehicle movements;

 

e)            Location of Works: Provide details of the location of all elements of habitat translocation shown on an appropriate scale plan.

 

f)               Timing of Works: Provide a timetable and programme for operations, identifying any seasonal or weather constraints.

 

g)            Responsible Persons: Provide details of the personnel responsible for each element of translocation with details, where necessary, of site supervision and means for achieving quality control.

 

h)             Aftercare and Long Term Management: Provide details for proposed site aftercare operations (3-5 years) and long term management (beyond 5 years).

 

i)               Monitoring: Provide details of the proposed monitoring during the 3-5 year aftercare period and in the long term (beyond 5 years).

 

j)               Wastes: Provide details for the disposal of waste materials and by-products arising from habitat movement.

 

k)             Control of Run-off: The measures, where necessary, to prevent site contamination and run-off to watercourses.

 

l)               Weed Control: The proposed means to control weed species and non-natives (aliens) during all stages of the operation.

 

m)          Publicity and Publication of Results: Provide details on the proposed means for publicity and reporting of results arising from monitoring.

 

CONDITION 13.  

ANNEXE 2

 

Measures To Avoid Impacts During Construction

 

a)            Appropriate scale plans to identify:

 

(i)       Restricted areas for construction activities – showing important nature conservation features that are to protected during construction;

 

(ii)     Approved layout and areas for construction activities necessary to build the proposed development.

 

b)            Measures To Avoid Impacts During Construction: Provide details demonstrating how approved construction activities in approved areas will be planned for and located to avoid harm to nature conservation features. These details may include a variety of measures; such as:

 

(i)                 Siting of all construction activities to avoid harm to Beach Lawns/Severn Estuary SSSI;

 

(ii)               Training and awareness: Provision of information to all site personnel explaining the importance of Beach Lawns/Severn Estuary;

 

(iii)             Information / warning signs for site personnel specifying location, type and means of installation;

 

(iv)             Protective fences for sensitive nature conservation areas and features specifying location, type and means for installation;

 

(v)               Supervision on site (e.g. provision of an ecological / environmental clerk of works (full or part time);

 

(vi)             Protection against vandalism (e.g. security fencing around equipment / materials that could cause pollution);

 

(vii)           Refuelling protocols to avoid pollution incidents from fuel spillages;

 

(viii)         Contingency measures for unexpected incidents (e.g. discovery of protected species during construction);

 

(ix)             Emergency measures for accidents (e.g. pollution incidents);

 

(x)               Other measures (e.g. repair of damaged areas and features);

 

(xi)             Maintenance of records and periodic review of operations to identify problems and to take remedial action.

 

c)             Timing of Works: Provide a timetable (e.g. a Gantt chart) to show:

 

(i)       When specific Measure to Avoid Impacts (see b above) will be implemented (e.g. fencing, training etc.)

 

(ii)     Phasing of construction activities to avoid critical periods (including legal constraints and the overwintering birds season).

 

d)            Responsible Persons and Lines of Communication: Provide details of personnel and lines of communication necessary to implement the construction mitigation measures; including:

 

(i)       Compliance with regulations and legal consents relating to nature conservation;

 

(ii)     Compliance with planning conditions and contractual arrangements relating to nature conservation;

 

(iii)   Installation of physical protection measures;

 

(iv)    Regular monitoring of environmental procedures and inspection and maintenance of physical measures;

 

(v)      On-going monitoring and implementation of contingency measures in the event of an accident or occurrence of other potentially damaging incidents;

 

(vi)    Regular reporting on the success of the above to the Local Planning Authority.

 


APPENDIX ONE

 

Summary of relevant policies

 

The Development Plan.

 

Adopted Regional Planning Guidance 2001

 

Policy VIS 1: The vision for the RPG is to minimise development on greenfield sites; concentrate growth on Principal Urban Areas (including Weston-super-Mare).

 

Policy VIS 2: Promoting sustainable future development including the use of previously developed land; mixed uses; efficient use of land; providing and enhancing provision for walking, cycling and public transport; take flood risk fully into account.

 

Policy SS 2: Promotion of principle urban areas to accommodate most developments .

 

Policy SS 10: At Weston super Mare Local Authorities and other agencies should : -  promote it as a destination for employment and regeneration opportunities; enhance the towns environmental; support investment to enhance tourist and business facilities to aid economic regeneration; focus investment in public transport.

 

Policy EN 1: Natural Environment. Local Authorities and agencies should ensure the protection and enhancement of landscape, nature conservation sites and biodiversity.

 

Policy EN 3: Historic environment. Local Authorities and agencies should indicate that new development should preserve or enhance historic buildings and conservation areas and important archaeological features having regard to PPG 15 & 16.

 

Policy EN 4: Quality of the built environment. Local Authorities etc should aim to achieve high quality architecture, urban design and landscaping; improve the environment in towns etc, encourage reuse of brownfield sites;

 

Policy EC 1: Economic development. Local Authorities etc should support sustainable economic development by encouraging new economic activity where it will bring the most benefits; ensuring unique cultural assets are maintained, enhanced and used to develop business activity etc.

 

Policy EC:6 Town centres and retailing. Local Authorities etc should seek to locate developments which attract large numbers of people (including retailing, leisure, and public facilities) in the centres of principal urban areas and in other designated centres for growth; ensure the vitality and viability of existing centres in accordance with PPS 6 etc.

 

Policy TCS1: Tourism. Local authorities should promote and encourage sustainable tourism including the range and quality of attractions and accommodation; promote special features; complement or enhance the local environment and ensure developments are of a suitable scale; support regeneration initiatives in coastal resorts; provide for major new flagship attractions in sustainable locations.

 

Policy TCS:2 Culture, leisure and sport. Local Authorities should identify and protect sites for such uses.

 

Policy TRAN 3: In Principal urban areas more sustainable transport should be encouraged. 

 

Policy RE 2: New developments should be protected from flood risk

 

Policy RE:6 New developments should support and encourage sustainable construction and targets for sustainable energy production. 

 

Joint Replacement Structure Plan 2002.

 

Policy 2:  the Locational Strategy to be adopted in the Structure Plan area  is:-

 

f)     to ensure that commercial, retail, and leisure uses which involve large movements of people are steered to locations where their road vehicle movements will be minimised and public transport access maximised.

g)    to improve and renew (where necessary) the fabric of centres in  urban areas by:-

i)     establishing city and sub-regional centres as priority locations for major investment in retail and major recreation and leisure facilities.  (Weston-super-Mare is defined as a sub-regional centre).

 

Policy 7: Weston-super-Mare’s identification as a tourist destination will be reinforced, the vitality and viability of its town centre maintained and enhanced.

 

Policy 22:  [Local Plans should define a coastal zone].  In developed coastal areas provision of new development, including re-development will be restricted to areas not liable to flooding or erosion, and activities requiring a coastal location.  In areas liable to flood or erosion, developments should be restricted to those needed in the location and which have adequate protection measures.

 

Policy 38:  The vitality and viability of sub-regional centres, will be maintained and enhanced in making provision for the changing requirements for population catchment areas.  Weston-super-Mare town centre is a named sub-regional centre, where provision will be made to improve the range and quality of community, leisure and related facilities, integrated with improvements to access by public transport, etc., 

 

Policy 46:  In Weston-super-Mare, provision will be made for tourist and visitor attractions where they:-

 

i)     improve the qualities of facilities and the attractiveness of the town;

ii)    support regeneration and the vitality and viability of the town centre.

iii)   support conservation or economic development objectives and provided there are no adverse implications for the environment, local amenity and character.

 

Adopted North Somerset Local Plan 2007.

 

Policy GDP/1 – The preferred location for major developments is in the Weston-super-Mare area.

 

Policy GDP/2 – Environmental and public protection. Development that could result in environmental damage to be assessed and permitted only if mitigation is possible.

 

Policy GDP/3 – New developments should exhibit a high standard of planning,  design and sustainable construction.

 

Policy GDP/4 – New developments should incorporate sustainable water management where necessary.

 

Policy GDP/5 – Development will only be permitted where adequate developer contributions for infrastructure and planning requirements have been made.

 

Policy ECH/2 – Public art will be considered where it would benefit the amenities of the area. 

 

Policy ECH/3 - Development within a Conservation Area will be only permitted where it preserved or enhances:-

 

i)     The character or appearance of the area; and

ii)    Features of special architectural or historic interest in the area; and

iii)   Other townscape elements which contribute positively to the character and appearance of the area.

 

Where proposals are for the demolition of buildings that make a positive contribution to that character and appearance of the Conservation area there will be a presumption in favour of their retention unless it can be demonstrated that there is no viable alternative.

 

Policy ECH/4 – Proposals affecting a Listed Building or its setting will be approved if the architectural and historic interest and the style, design, plan and other features of special architectural or historic interest are preserved; any new use would be compatible with the preservation of the building.

 

Where proposals are for the demolition of a listed building there is a strong presumption in favour of preservation.

 

Policy ECH/5 – Historic parks and gardens. Development will only be permitted if the historic character, appearance and importance will not be unacceptably harmed and important features are conserved, enhances or restored.

 

Policy ECH/6 – Development will not be permitted if it significantly alters or damages nationally important archaeological remains or their setting.

Policy ECH/10 – Development which significantly effects Biodiversity will not be permitted unless there is an overriding need or mitigation is possible.

 

Policy ECH/11 – Development which could harm protected species will not be permitted unless satisfactory mitigation is imposed.

 

Policy ECH/12 – Development which is likely to adversely effect or conflict with the conservation objectives of candidate or designates Special Protection Areas, Special Area of Conservation or Ramsar site will not be permitted.

 

Policy ECH/13 – Development in or near Sites of Special Scientific Interest or National Nature Reserves that adversely effect the interests of the areas will not be permitted unless material considerations that outweigh the loss of biodiversity exist.

 

Policy ECH/14 – Permission will not be granted for development that significantly adversely affects sites of local wildlife importance or local nature reserves.

 

Policy ECH/15 – Development within the defined coastal zone will be permitted only if the uses and activities are appropriate to and cannot be accommodated elsewhere. Account will be paid to the impact on the coastal environment, scale, degree of risk from flooding, erosion and instability and the effects of works to mitigate the risks.

 

Policy E/1 – Weston-super-Mare Vision, is to establish the town as a dynamic and diverse modern economy with a positive and distinctive profile.

 

Policy E/1A – Within the Weston Seafront and Town Centre Revitalisation Area development proposals will be required to make a positive and distinctive contribution to the existing built environment; promote more efficient use of land, reuse land and premised including the intensification of land uses; increase diversity of land uses where appropriate; provide investment opportunities; contribute environmental quality and strengthen transportation linkages in and around the town centre and seafront and capitalise on the coastal setting and promote the sub-regional role of the Town centre.

 

Priority locations for regeneration and redevelopment are: the Town centre, Birnbeck Pier, Knightstone Island, the Tropicana and Dolphin Square.

 

Policy E/9 – New or extended hotel facilities will be permitted where site selection complies with a sequential approach which firstly identifies sites within the Weston Seafront and town centre, followed by sites adjoining and located elsewhere in the Weston area.

 

Policy T/6 – adequate parking provision is required for new developments.

 

Policy T/7 – Development which adversely affects the use safety or amenity of public rights of way or other forms of public access or would prejudice the planned development of the network will only be permitted if adequate mitigation is made.

 

Policy T/8 - Development effecting Strategic cycle routes will only be permitted if it does not adversely prejudice implementation.

 

Policy T/10 – Development will only be permitted if it is not detrimental to highway safety; will not lead to unacceptable traffic congestion and will not severely affect the character of the area and can be integrated with public transport, cycleway, and footpath links.

 

Policy T/10 – Proposals for major developments will be expected to provide sustainable transport plans which aim to reduce car use and to deliver other sustainable transport objectives.

 

Policy RT/1 – Retail, leisure community and other trip intensive development will be permitted within Weston town centre and other centres provided it, i) is consistent with the sequential approach to site selection, ii) reflects the scale and role of the centre, iii) will not harm environmental, amenity, traffic, parking and access considerations, iv) would reduce the need to travel by car. New development should be of an appropriate scale, form and high quality design and accessibility that would improve the character and quality of the area. Development at out-of-centre locations that could be accommodated within the town and district centres and be consistence with their scale and role or would undermine their vitality and viability will be refused.

 

Policy RT/2 – The Council is committed to rejuvenating Weston town centre as a shopping, business, leisure and tourist centre.

 

Policy RT/6 Proposals for major developments for out of centre retail and other town centre uses will only be permitted where i) need for the development has been demonstrated; ii) the site selection has followed a sequential process; iii) there are no unacceptable implications for the vitality and viability of existing centres; iv) there are no adverse consequences for business or other uses; v) the site is accessible from it catchment area by walking, cycling, public transport and persons with special needs and it would reduce the need to travel by private car; vi) no unacceptable consequences will result to environmental, local amenity, highways and traffic considerations, and vii) opportunities and made where appropriate for business and community uses on upper floors.

 

Policy CF/2 – Cultural and community facilities will be permitted in settlement boundaries providing the possibility of sharing the use of existing facilities has been considered; the location is sustainable and accessible to a variety of modes of transport and where necessary a sequential approach has been followed to site selection, there is a need for the development, and there will be no adverse impact on the vitality and viability of relevant centres.

 

Policy CF/4 – Buildings that are or were last used for community and cultural purposes are protected from alternative uses unless specific circumstances apply.

 

Other Material Planning Guidance.

 

The following Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPG’s) and Planning Policy Statements (PPS’s) are particularly relevant :

 

PPS1 –   Delivering sustainable development.

PPS6 –  Planning for Town Centres

PPS9 –   Biodiversity and geological conservation

PPS10 – Planning for sustainable waste management.

PPG13 – Transport

PPG15 – Planning and the Historic Environment

PPG16 – Archaeology and planning

PPG17 – Planning for open space, sport and recreation

PPG20 – Coastal Planning

PPG21 – Tourism

PPS22 – Renewable energy

PPS23 – Planning and Pollution Control

PPG24 – Planning and Noise

PPS25 – Development and Flood Risk.

 

Good Practice Guide on Planning for Tourism (DCLG 2006)

Supplement to PPS1 – Planning policy and climate change.

 

Draft Regional Spatial Strategy 2008

 

Draft policies:

 

SD 1: The ecological footprint.

 

SD 2: Reduction of contribution to climate change

 

Policy CSS: The Core Strategy – includes accommodating most growth at Strategically Significant Cities and Towns (SSCTs)

 

Policy CSS, A: SSCTs include Weston-super-Mare.

 

Policy CSS, D: Development should ensure efficient infrastructure

 

Policy CSS. E: Development should be of a high quality design

 

Policy CSS,F: Planning and delivery of major development

 

Policy CSS,G: Delivery of Sustainable construction

 

Policy HMA 1: WsM to secure employment led regeneration, safeguard environmental integrity and designated habitats by providing for revitalisation of the town centre and seafront etc.

 

Policy RTS 2: Demand management and sustainable transport measures at the SSCTs.

 

Policy TRS3: Sustainable parking

 

Policy GI 1: Conservation of Green infrastructure

 

Policy RE5: Energy generation on site

 

Policy W2: Waste reduction targets.

 

Policy ES1: Sustainable economic prosperity

 

Policy TC1: Ensuring the vitality and viability of towns and cites.

 

Policy TO1: Development of sustainable tourism.

 

Policy TO3: Safeguarding and investing in tourism destinations(includes comments that the role of existing resorts especially Weston-super-Mare by safeguarding existing high quality accommodation and facilities and developing new facilities where appropriate and of an appropriate scale.

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