Joint report of the Chief Planning Officer and Development Director and Comptroller and City Solicitor.
The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Planning Officer and Development Director and the Comptroller and City Solicitor recommending reasons for refusal to reflect the views of the Committee in resolving, at your Committee’s meeting of 5 October 2021, that it would refuse the application for planning permission under application ref: 20/00848/FULEIA for Bury House, 31 Bury Street, London EC3A 5AR.
A Member commented that they had reviewed the recording of the meeting and looked carefully at the minutes, and did not feel that the reasons for refusal set out in the report reflected the views of the wider Committee. The Member added that the reasons for refusal should include additional points relating to the balance of public benefit against harm, and the wider impact on other heritage assets such as Holland House. The Chair responded that the report and its recommendation was devised with legal advice, and that his view was that the existing reasons were sufficient.
A Member advised that they wished to propose two amendments. Firstly, it was proposed that “(which harms would not be outweighed by the public benefit of the proposal)” be inserted into the fourth line of the first paragraph, as this reflected the thrust of the refusal as agreed by the Committee, and was consistent with the wording of the second paragraph. Secondly, the Member moved that the reasons for refusal be amended to include a reference to the impact on Holland House and other listed buildings.
The Comptroller and City Solicitor advised that in drafting the reasons for refusal, the first amendment was not included, but was felt to be implied, being more specifically relevant to the second paragraph. However, it could also be included explicitly within the first paragraph. The Chair sought Members’ views on the first amendment proposed, and this was agreed. The second amendment was formally moved and seconded, and the Committee proceeded to vote on the second amendment, with two Members voting in favour, seven Members voting against and one abstention. The second amendment was therefore lost. The Committee then agreed the recommendations of the report, with the inclusion of the amendment to the first paragraph.
The Chief Planning Officer and Development Director then advised that a decision on the Tulip was now expected in November. The Committee noted that it may be asked to revisit the decision in some form following this decision, due to additional material considerations.
RESOLVED – that:
That the Decision Letter gives the following reasons for refusal to be included in the decision letter (subject to notification to the Mayor of London and the Mayor of London being content for the City to determine the application) be as follows:
1. The development would adversely affect the setting of the Grade 1 listed Bevis Marks Synagogue and its setting and amenities by reason of the overbearing and overshadowing impact of the development on the courtyard of the Synagogue (which harms would not be outweighed by the public benefits of the proposal), contrary to Local Plan Policy CS10.1 (ensuring buildings are appropriate to the setting and amenities of surrounding buildings and spaces); Local Plan Policy CS12 (conserving or enhancing the significance of the City’s heritage assets and their settings and providing an attractive environment to the City’s communities) and London Plan Policy GG1 (Building strong and inclusive communities, promoting fairness, inclusivity and equality); and
2. The development would adversely affect the setting of the Tower of London World Heritage Site by reason of the less than substantial harm caused to LVFM view 10A.1 from the Tower Bridge North Bastion and the resulting harm to the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site (which harms would not be outweighed by the public benefits of the proposal) contrary to Local Plan Policy CS12 (conserving or enhancing the significance of the City’s heritage assets and their settings and providing an attractive environment to the City’s heritage assets and their settings and providing an attractive environment to the City’s communities); Local Plan Policy CS13 (protecting and enhancing significant views of important buildings); London Plan Policies D9w; HC2, and HC3 (protecting the significance of the Tower of London).