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Agenda item

60 Morland Mews, London, N1 1HN


Conversion of 33 existing garages and 32 storage units to create six new residential units (1no. studio, 1 no. 1 bed, 4 no. 2 bed) (following external alterations and front extensions), a community centre and caretaker's office and the use of three further existing garages for refuse and cycle storage, together with associated landscaping and estate improvement works.


(Planning application number: P2019/1945/FUL)


In the discussion the following points were made:

·       The Planning Officer informed the meeting of an update to Condition 2 so as to clarify that the following drawings; BMM?LGA?00?00?DR?A-100-01/Rev.P3, BMM?LGA?00?00?DR?A-100-03/Rev.P3, BMM?LGA?00?00?DR?A?100-04/Rev.P3 should have the suffix ‘dated October 2019’ added.

·       Members were advised that the  site is not within an Employment Growth Area, or within the Central Activities Zone. It is within the Barnsbury Conservation Area.

·       With regards to the impact of the scheme on the amenity of neighbouring amenities, the Planning Officer advised that the proposal accords with policy DM2.1 of the Development Management Policies 2013.

·       On the proposed removal of 2 trees, Members were advised that the trees are considered poor in quality (being  Category U trees which are classified as unsuitable for retention). In addition the officer has recommended a condition to ensure the protection of the remaining trees during construction. A further landscaping condition is recommended to ensure maximisation of green space/landscaping (including a commitment to replace the trees to be lost where possible).

·       The Planning officer advised that although the proposal would result in the loss of 33 no existing garages and 32 no storage units within the wider estate, the proposal would still retain 37 no. garages and 48 no. storage areas which the applicant has suggested would be available for letting to residents of the estate. Members were reminded that there is no protection for retaining car parking  within the Development Plan.

·       On the quality of the proposed dwellings, the meeting was advised that the proposed units are considered good standard residential accommodation that will receive acceptable level of daylight/sunlight, and exceeds the minimum floorspace standards.

·       Members heard representation from a number of objectors and the issues raised included the loss of garage for storage space for existing residents; increase in density; loss of privacy;  loss of the existing community facilities; poor standard of residential accommodation; lack of daylight and the proposed amenity space not being up to standard.

·       Councillor Champion, the ward councillor acknowledged objectors concerns in particular the impact of the scheme on the amenity of the existing residents.

·       On the nomination rights, the Chief Executive of Barnsbury Housing Association (BHA) in response indicated that existing tenants will be offered first refusal after which it would be offered to council tenants through waiting lists.

·       In response to issues raised by the objector, the BHA Chief Executive acknowledged the difficulty in building social housing in the borough due to the high prices of land, reminding the meeting that the scheme being proposed followed a period of consultation with residents and meetings with planning officers.

·       The BHA Chief Executive informed members that although the scheme would result in the provision of social housing with high quality design, Barnsbury Housing Association has committed to making improvements to the public realm, improve biodiversity, providing cycle spaces which will be beneficial to existing and future residents.

·       The Planning Officer advised members that to mitigate the loss of existing facilities, the proposal will include new dedicated facilities with a community room(43sqm) and caretakers office(27sqm).

·       With regards to the impact of the scheme on the conservation area and heritage assets, the meeting was informed that although no objections were received from the Design and Conservation Officer, officers have recommended a condition requesting  that further details and samples of the brickwork for the main elevations, window and door treatment and pavement details (including retention of the granite sets) be submitted for approval .

·       In response to a suggestion on loss of storage and garage space, the applicant indicated that every resident who loses a garage due to this proposal would be offered an alternative space.

·       During deliberations, Members acknowledged objectors concerns, the need for applicant to reflect on how it has managed the whole process with its residents, the committee’s familiarity with the process of converting garages to flats and issues that arise from such schemes.

·       Members acknowledged that in this instance the loss of the existing ancillary garages and storages was considered acceptable in land use terms and compliant with Council policies. Members were reminded that members are constrained in light of the decision of the Planning Inspector at the appeal hearing.

·       The Chair proposed that the application be granted as per the recommendations in the officers report, including the applicants commitment to the provision of alternative storage spaces for existing residents to be included in the Head of Terms as an agreed management arrangement. The final wording of the Head of Term to be delegated to officers and the Chair. This was seconded by Councillor Klute



That following consideration of the case officer’s report (the assessment and recommendations therein), the presentation to Committee, submitted representations and objections provided verbally at this meeting, planning permission be granted subject to the conditions and informatives set out in Appendix 1 of the officer report and subject to the prior completion of a Deed of Planning Obligation made under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 securing the heads of terms as set out in Appendix 1 of the officer report.


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