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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 8 April 2013

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

Penarth Heights

Purpose of the Report

1.         To report the progress of the Penarth Heights development;

2.         To seek Cabinet authority to permit Crest Nicholson to create reinforced earth embankments (subject to planning and an appropriate legal agreement(s)) on the Council's land adjoining the northern boundary of the site as shown indicatively between Points A and B in Appendices A and B.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet note the progress of the Penarth Heights development.

2.         That Cabinet authorise permitting Crest Nicholson to create reinforced earth embankments (subject to planning and an appropriate legal agreement) between Points A and B on the Council's land adjoining the northern boundary of the site as shown indicatively in Appendices A and B;

3.         That Cabinet authorise the Head of Legal Services to agree and complete and execute the appropriate legal documentation required to permit Crest Nicholson to create reinforced earth embankments (subject to planning and an appropriate legal agreement) between Points A and B on the Council's land adjoining the northern boundary of the site as shown indicatively in Appendices A and B.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure Cabinet are updated on the progress of the Penarth Heights development;

2.         To secure the approval of Cabinet to permit Crest Nicholson to create reinforced earth embankments (subject to planning and an appropriate legal agreement(s)) on the Council's adjoining land.

3.         To secure the approval of Cabinet for the Head of Legal Services to agree and complete and execute the appropriate legal documentation.

 

Background

3.         The Penarth Heights development commenced on site in June 2010.  This followed the residential development being granted planning approval (2007/00295/FUL) during April 2010 following the signing of a Section 106 legal agreement.  The scheme has involved the demolition of the existing flats (the Royal Close and Highview Road/Chichester Road Estates) and the construction of 377 new residential units (comprising a mix of detached and semi detached houses, terraced houses and flats) and associated highway infrastructure and open space.  Of the 377 new homes 75 will be affordable.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         Over the past two and a half years Crest Nicholson has demolished the Royal Close Estate (2010) and Highview Road/Chichester Road Estate (2012).  Since the demolition Crest Nicholson has physically constructed 79 new residential units, and a further 16 are currently under construction.  Of these ten of the completed residential units are affordable and have been purchased by United Welsh Housing Association.  Of the new private residential units 71 have at the time of writing this report achieved legal completion and a further four have exchanged contracts.  

5.         Crest Nicholson has also commenced the construction of an important strategic cycleway/footway link between the marina and the Penarth Heights development within an area known as the Bowl.  This combined cycleway/footway should be completed during the Spring of 2013.

6.         Having recently demolished the Highview Road/Chichester Road properties Crest Nicholson are now focused on facilitating the construction of the next phase of the scheme.  As part the next phase Crest Nicholson propose a revised earthworks strategy that would retain a greater volume of earthworks material on the next phase of the site (subject to planning permission) thereby reducing the environmental and community impact of the next construction phase achieved by more than halving the number of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) movements that would travel through Penarth.

7.         The existing planning approval (2007/00295/FUL) for Penarth Heights would result in an estimated 37,504 cubic metres of surplus earthworks material requiring off site disposal from the remaining undeveloped area of the site, i.e. the next phase.  Crest Nicholson's planning consultants state this original planning approval "…would have generated approximately 4,700 HGV trips (to and from the site)…" i.e. 9,400 lorry movements in total. 

8.         By contrast the developer's revised earthworks strategy, which is set out in a recently submitted new planning application (2012/01140/FUL) if approved would lower the amount of earthworks material requiring removal from the site to about 19,340 cubic metres, a reduction of about 18,160 cubic metres (i.e. 37,504 cubic metres less 19,340 cubic metres).  This in turn would mean the number of HGV movements would be reduced from approximately 4,700 (to and from the site) to approximately 1,976 HGV movements (to and from the site).  In total approximately 2,724 HGV movements (to and from the site) i.e. a total reduction of 5,448 lorry movements would be negated by such an approach.  This represents more than a 50% reduction of lorry movements through Penarth.

9.         To achieve the reduction of earthworks material requiring off site disposal the developer's new planning application (2012/01140/FUL) proposes ground remodelling along the northern site boundary to create a c30 degree slope reinforced earth embankment(s), to support the northern edge of the proposed new adopted highway (identified as Woodlands Road on Appendices A and B).  Subject to planning permission being granted it is intended for the Council as landowner to enter into an appropriate legal agreement(s)) permitting Crest Nicholson to create the said reinforced earth embankments, as these would be located between points A and B on the Council's land adjoining the northern boundary of the site as shown indicatively in Appendices A and B. 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      Crest Nicholson would be responsible for funding the works.  The reinforced earth embankments are proposed to form part of the adopted highway and as such the maintenance of these structures would be dealt with by the Council.  Therefore Crest Nicholson would be required to provide an appropriate Bond and Commuted Sum for the maintenance of the structures.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.      The reduction of earthworks material (if approved for planning) is a sustainable approach as it would reduce the impact of the development on the environment by a) minimising the amount of material requiring off site disposal that would be generated from the next phase of the development; and b) greatly reducing the impact of lorry movements through a densely populated area.  In addition the material generated from the demolition (e.g. the crushed brick) may be used by the developer within foundations for roads, footways and parking areas and as backfill to drainage trenches. 

12.      There is a history of localised landslides in the area and therefore Crest Nicholson will be required to demonstrate to the Council that in engineering terms the design and construction of the proposed reinforced earth embankments will be of a sound engineering design. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.      The planning application submitted recently (2012/01440/FUL) is presently under consideration by the Council as Local Planning Authority.  Any decision by Cabinet regarding the recommendation in this report (on behalf of the Council as landowner) to permit Crest Nicholson to create reinforced earth embankments on the Council's adjoining land in no way implies the Council in its separate role as Local Planning Authority supports the planning application 2012/01440/FUL.  The planning application by Crest Nicholson is a separate matter addressed under the statutory planning process.

14.      It is intended for the Council (as landowner) and Crest Nicholson to enter into an appropriate legal agreement (subject to planning) to formalise the arrangements to permit Crest Nicholson to create reinforced earth embankments between Points A and B on the Council's adjoining land indicatively shown in Appendices A and B.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.      None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      The Penarth Heights project is a Corporate Plan priority under the heading Regeneration.  The delivery of the project will assist the Council towards achieving its Regeneration Priority in the Corporate Plan (2010-2014 Revised), which aims to “To work with partners to develop a sustainable community which maximises opportunities for economic growth, social improvement and environmental regeneration and protection”.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.      This report is a matter for an Executive decision by Cabinet

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.      Penarth Heights is located in the St Augustine's ward.  The local ward members have been consulted on the content of this report.

Comments received:

Councillor Gwyn Roberts

Thank you for this information.

Firstly, I am unable to determine from the Drawings if the embankment will overshadow the blocks of Flats known as the Moorings, Slipway and Landings.

So long as they do not put these in permanent shade from sunlight in the winter solstice , I have no objection

 

Secondly, I note the satisfactory assessment of the engineering to prevent later land slippage but given the problems on adjacent land, can there be some ongoing obligation upon Crest to deal with any subsequent problems?

 

Thirdly, I appreciate the tenuous connection but when the related Planning Application was submitted to raise the building level of these flats, Penarth Town Council asked that as they would be more prominent across the bay, that the individual units be finished in complementary pastel shades. Could you tell me if this was progressed? If not could an attempt be made even at this late stage?

 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Mark White - Major Projects Manager.

 

Officers Consulted

Lawyer, Legal Services;

Estates Group Officer;

Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation;

Operational Manager, Highways and Engineering;

Operational Manager, Parks and Grounds Maintenance.

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services.

 

 

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