Report of the Chief Planning Officer and Development Director.
The Committee considered two reports of the Chief Planning Officer and Development Director seeking listed building consent, and approval for the demolition of 1 Stonecutter Street and 81 Farringdon Street, and associated works to retain the Hoop and Grapes Public House; the erection of a new building constructed on the retained lower basement and basement of 1 Stonecutter Street providing ground, podium, and 13 upper stories; The use of the building for offices (Class B1) at part ground and first to thirteenth floors, retail /offices (Class B1, A1, A3) at podium level, retail at part ground floor (Class A1/A3) and associated delivery bay, cycle parking facilities, together with ancillary plant at basement and lower basement levels; the laying out of a replacement private open space, associated pavilion (Class A1/A3) and enclosure, along with hard and soft landscaping; and the erection of a screen to be attached to the south west flank of the Hoop and Grapes Public House to be planted to provide a green wall, along with the enclosure of the yard to the rear of the Public House with an access to the new open space for means of escape purposes (33,528sq.m GIA).
The Assistant Director drew the Committee’s attention to the tabled addendum sheet, which advised of corrections to the planning officer’s report, and amended conditions. The Assistant Director introduced the application to Members and presented the officer’s report, informing the Committee about the details of the scheme and its wider implications. The applications for planning permission and listed building consent were recommended for approval .
In the absence of any speakers, Members then debated the application.
A Member said that the site visit had been useful as the plans accompanying the officer’s report could have been clearer about the exact implications of the scheme. The Member also sought assurances for future provision of motorcycle parking, as this would be relocated. A Member added his agreement that the plans pack circulated to Members could have been clearer.
A Member queried the servicing arrangements set out in the report and whether officers had identified how this would work in practice.
At this point, the Chairman sought approval from Committee Members to continue the meeting beyond two hours from the appointed time for the start of the meeting, in accordance with Standing Order 40, and this was agreed.
A Member stated his disappointment that a building completed as recently as 1992 was proposed for demolition, and asked officers if the environmental impact of this had been taken into account.
A Member added that access between 8am-dusk Monday to Friday was not long enough, and that the Committee must insist on longer access as part of the S106 agreement.
A Member said that they had found the consultancy letter from DP9 and their comments helpful and the fact that the applicant had met with them and agreed screening for the proposed terraces.
A Member responded to points raised on public access and the demolition of a newer building, adding that the security of the neighbouring buildings needed to be taken into consideration. The Member added that more recent buildings were built more flexibly and were not built to last as long as old buildings.
A Member told the Committee that they were disappointed with the design and appearance of the scheme, as two buildings of merit were being demolished and replaced with buildings that were not an improvement. A Member added that they disagreed, and that the proposals were an improvement on the current buildings.
In response to the point on security, a Member responded that London Wall Place had the same security concerns, yet the walkways were accessible at all times, suggesting that there was a solution. A Member added that there were residents living nearby who may benefit from access at the weekend.
The Assistant Director responded to the points raised by Members, concerning the plans pack circulated. There were three possible locations for the motorcycle parking which would be finalised through traffic management orders and secured within the S106 agreement. The servicing bays would be accessed from St. Brides Street which provides two spaces for loading vehicles. Larger vehicles would need to reverse onto St Brides Street. This would represent a small number of movements and management measures would be put in place to ensure this would not impact on highway safety. The BREEAM assessment includes consideration of a site waste management strategy and the re-use and recycling of building materials from demolition forms part of this assessment.
The opening hours for public access to the open space were still up for discussion, and the current proposals were based on how the space currently operated and the Chairman and Deputy Chairman would be advised on the opening hours agreed. The design process had undergone negotiations and enhancements, including how the scheme addresses the listed Hoop & Grapes public house. The design was considered acceptable. In response to a query from a Member, the Assistant Director assured the Committee that the matters relating to servicing and delivery set out in the servicing arrangements would be enforceable, as they would form part of the S106 agreement and therefore part of the planning permission.
Arising from the discussion, both applications were then put to the vote together amongst Members, who voted unanimously in favour of the recommendations.
RESOLVED – That:
(a) Planning permission be GRANTED for the above proposal in accordance
with the details set out in the attached schedule;
(b) That your officers be instructed to negotiate and execute obligations in
respect of those matters set out in the report under Section 106 and any
necessary agreements under Section 278 of the Highway Act 1980; and
(c) Listed building consent be granted for the works referred to above in accordance
with the details set out on the attached schedule.