The Assistant Director Transportation, Design and Planning will submit a report (Document “U”) which sets out a full application (19/05300/FUL) for the demolition of the Holmewood Social Club and construction of a single storey food convenience store and 3 retail units at Broadstone Way, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD4 9DY.
This application was previously considered by the Regulatory & Appeals Committee on 25 June, where it was resolved to approve the application. It has been agreed following the agenda preparation meeting on 27 July that in light of the expressed concerned explained in the report that the application be reconsidered at this meeting.
That the application be approved, subject to the conditions set out in Appendix 1 and 2 to Document “U”.
(Mohammed Yousuf - 01274 434605)
Previous reference: Minute 12 (2020/21)
Note: at the commencement of this item, the Chair ascertained that Councillor Amran could neither be seen nor heard on the virtual platform so he announced that the Councillor would not be able to vote in respect of this particular item
The Assistant Director Transportation, Design and Planning submitted a report (Document “U”) which set out a full application (19/05300/FUL) for the demolition of the Holme Wood Social Club and construction of a single storey food convenience store and 4 retail units at Broadstone Way, Bradford.
This application had been previously considered by the Regulatory and Appeals Committee on 25 June 2020, where it had been resolved to approve the application. It had been agreed following the agenda preparation meeting on 27 July 2020 that in light of the expressed concerned explained in the report, that the application be reconsidered at this meeting.
The Assistant Director gave a detailed overview of the application showing the location site plan, elevations, layout, details of site operation as well as photographs of the site and the adjoining area. He also summarised the representations that had been received. He also stressed that the application had been previously considered and approved by this Committee at its meeting held in June of this year, however following that meeting, some concerns had been expressed with regards to the status and the weight that should have been given to the Holme Wood and Tong Neighbourhood Development Plan, and the application was hereby resubmitted for determination. The Assistant Director stressed that in his opinion the Holme Wood and Tong Neighbourhood Development Plan did not carry sufficient planning weight for the reasons set out in his technical report, and in particular as the Plan had never gone through the stages of being formally adopted as a supplementary planning document. However it was felt that this application was in accordance with the adopted development plan policies, and it was therefore being recommended for approval.
A Member and Ward Councillor for the area stated that the photographs did not portray all the shops that were part of the current parade. In response the Assistant Director stated that the photographs were intended to give an idea of the character of the surrounding area and not be a comprehensive depiction of all the different retails units that were currently situated in the vicinity of this site. The Member also stated that it was the intention of the Neighbourhood Plan that any of the current retail unit tenants could also be allocated a place at the new centre, not just what was being proposed as part of this application. In response the Assistant Director stated that any proposal by the owners of the existing retail units to renovate any of the units would be appraised on its own merits.
The Chair expressed concerns and questioned why the Neighbourhood Development Plan had never come to fruition as an approved policy document, and considered that the status of the development plan could not be ignored.
The Assistant Director stressed that only limited weight could be given to the Neighbourhood Plan, although the issue of formal approval of the Plan was something he could not comment on, however it had been referenced in the technical report, and the officer view was that this application accorded with the spirit of that Neighbourhood Plan. The City Solicitor stated that having read the document, he agreed with the Assistant Directors’ perspective on its status.
A Ward Councillor was present at the meeting and stated his objections to the application which were that two officer reports had been submitted today, one relating to the previous consideration by the Committee in June; that both these reports gave inaccurate and misleading information; that he had communicated his concerns to the Strategic Director Place and these emails had also been circulated to Members of this Committee prior to this meeting; that he fully understood the status of the Holme Wood and Tong Neighbourhood Development Plan and that officers should have followed the necessary steps to ensure that it became a binding document. However in the absence of this it should not translate to the Neighbourhood Plan only being given very limited weight. This application would not be a sustainable development and thus would have an adverse effect on the viability of the existing retail centre located at the parade. This application would add additional retail and thus be in contravention of the Neighbourhood Development Plan, in terms of the duplication and location of the new shops, and further affect the viability and sustainability of Holme Wood and the existing businesses, and he urged that the application be refused.
The Assistant Director reiterated his earlier comments that this application accorded with the Council’s adopted Development Plan, and that the Neighbourhood Development Plan should be only be given limited weight. He added that the application was also a sustainable development both in terms of its location and its relationship to existing facilities, and thus was in accordance with the aspirations set out in the Neighbourhood Development Plan.
The Chair stressed that more weight should be afforded to the Neighbourhood Development Plan, as although there seemed to be divergent views on what weight should be given to this document, it was his view that officers had failed to progress the document through the Council’s decision making processes.
The Applicant’s agent was unable to make his representations due to technical issues affecting his connection, and he had not submitted any written representations in advance of the meeting.
In relation to the status of the Holme Wood and Tong Neighbourhood Development Plan, the City Solicitor stated again that only limited weight could be given to the status of the document.
There was then a robust discussion regarding the possibility of going through a process of registering the Social Club as an asset of community value, however the legal advice was that this was a separate process to the consideration of this application, and as such this planning application should be determined on its merits only.
During the discussion although some Members expressed support for the application, the majority of Members expressed considerable concern that the proposals would be in direct conflict with the sentiments expressed in the Holme Wood and Tong Neighbourhood Development Plan. Furthermore the proposed development would duplicate existing retail uses within the Holme Wood Local Centre and thus it would harm the vitality and viability of the Holme Wood Local Centre, and it was therefore:
That the application be refused on the following grounds:
(i) That the application does not accord with the Holme Wood &Tong Neighbourhood Development Plan.
(ii) The proposed development duplicates existing retail uses within the Holmewood Local Centre and so it would harm the vitality and viability of the Holme Wood Local Centre contrary to Policies EC5 of the Core Strategy Development Plan Document and Policy CR1A of the Replacement Unitary Development Plan.
ACTION: Assistant Director Transportation Design and Planning