Agenda item

DC/14/2536 - Land East of Billingshurst to North ad South of A272, East Street, Billingshurst (Ward: Billingshurst & Shipley) Applicant: c/o Agent


The Development Manager reported that this application sought approval of reserved matters pursuant to DC/15/0059 for up to 475 dwellings, regarding strategic infrastructure including the spine road, drainage infrastructure and details of public open space.  


Application DC/15/0059 had been approved, subject to a legal agreement which had now been completed, in June 2015.  The Committee had again considered the application in March 2016 in order to assess it against the Horsham District Planning Framework (HDPF), which had been adopted by the Council since its approval. 


Outline permission had been given for the main site accesses and the route of the main spine road from the Stane Street roundabout across the northern part of the site and down to the A272 where a new roundabout would be provided.  Most of the residential parcels north of the A272 would be separated from the spine road by landscaped areas.  Those parcels to the south were separated from the spine road by a narrow landscaped strip.  A new access to Hilland Farm to the north would be included.  A number of structures, including pumping stations, to facilitate provision of services to the site were proposed. There would also be a number of attenuation ponds and basins to manage surface water.  These would be integrated into the areas of public open space to provide landscape features.  A new bund would be created in the large area of open space in a dip adjacent to woodland and former allotments to the south of Roman Way.  Six public open spaces equipped for outdoor activity for different age groups were proposed, as required under Condition 6 of the outline application.


The area around Hammonds Mill, a non-designated heritage asset within the site, would be  enhanced and included in a ‘heritage trail’ through the site, as part of the Heritage Asset Mitigation Strategy required under Condition 14 of DC/15/0059.


The application site was located outside the built-up area and consisted of an almost wholly undeveloped greenfield site, except where the A272 crossed the site in an east-west direction as it entered Billingshurst.  The site was bounded to the south and east by hedgerow and there were mature trees along the western boundary.  The northern boundary was more open in character.  Billingshurst Conservation Area partially adjoined the site on its western boundary.


Details of relevant government and council policies and relevant planning history, as contained within the report, were noted by the Committee.


The responses from statutory internal and external consultees, as contained within the report, were considered by the Committee.  The application had been amended in response to the Landscape Architect’s concerns.  The Landscape Architect and Leisure Team had submitted further comments in response to the amended plans, which raised some minor issues regarding matters such as planting, surfacing and equipment, all of which could be addressed by condition. 


The Parish Council had objected to the original application and, since publication of the report, had commented on the amended plans; they were concerned that the play areas were too close to attenuation basins and that an attenuation basin in the south of the site would not be delivered until after the school was built. They considered that the applicant had addressed the Landscape Architect and Leisure Team’s comments .  Officers confirmed that the relationship of  play areas and attenuation basins was considered acceptable by the Leisure Team and that the delivery of the attenuation basin in the south was linked to completion of dwellings, not the school.

Twenty-eight letters of objection and one letter of comment had been received.  The applicant’s agent addressed the Committee in support of the proposal. 


Members considered the officer’s planning assessment which indicated that the key issues for consideration in determining the proposal were:  the appearance of the spine road; landscaping; highway safety; footpath and cycleway provision; and drainage.


Members considered aspects of the proposal, including the speed limit on the spine road, which was set by the Highway Authority, and the ongoing maintenance of the play areas.  Members were advised that the management and maintenance of the play areas and open spaces was addressed in the legal agreement of DC/13/0735, as amended by DC/15/0059.  




That planning application DC/14/2536 be approved subject to conditions. The conditions as reported would be amended should the applicant submit acceptable details of play equipment, surfacing and planting prior to the Decision being issued.   


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