Erection of a two storey roof level extension and six storey infill extension to the existing building to create 1,353 sqm GIA of additional office, flexible commercial and showroom floorspace (Class E/Class F.1/sui generis), comprehensive refurbishment of the main façade, and provision of roof terraces, bin and cycle storage.
(Planning application number:
In the discussion the following points were made:
· The Planning Officer advised that site is situated on the southern side of Old Street. Office building is 6 storeys in height with plant enclosure at roof level and to the rear is a 2 storey building.
· The site is surrounded by a mixture of commercial and residential uses, the closest residential dwellings are located immediately to the east of Tilney Court and a student accommodation block to the west.
· Members were advised that site is not located within a conservation area but lies within 20 metres to the east of the St Lukes Conservation Area. The site is also located within the setting of a Grade 1 Listed building at St Lukes Church. Site also forms part of the Finsbury Local Plan area and is located within the Central Activity Zone and is accessible to public transport with Old Street station the closest underground station
· With regards to land use consideration, members were advised the proposal would result in the provision of additional office floor space and improve the quality and efficient use of the existing floor space within the building as well as its flexibility of use which is acceptable in principle.
· In terms of the proposed commercial development, the Planning officer acknowledged that this considered to be supported by national, regional and local planning policies.
· The proposed office development would provide a significant uplift of overall employment floor space to the area.
· In addition to the above, Planning Officer advised that the proposal would make a positive contribution of affordable workspace via off site contribution which would meet the council’s objectives on promoting an inclusive economy
· In terms of the schemes design and its impact on heritage asset, the Planning Officer advised that overall, the proposed development would have an acceptable impact in terms of massing, scale and appearance and it would cause no harm to the setting of the heritage assets nearby.
· Members were advised that applicant has submitted a daylight and sunlight report which concludes that the proposed development would result in some level of noticeable reduction of daylight for neighbouring properties at 1-5 and 6 Tilney court as well as 5 of the bedsits within the Canto Court student accommodation and that 10 windows at Tilney Court have failed the VSC test, none of them have failed the test on daylight distribution.
· The Planning Officer acknowledged that having reviewed the results and the extent of the impact caused by the proposed development, it is judged that the adverse impacts are not severe and would not justify a refusal of planning permission on this ground.
· In terms of sunlight loss, Planning Officer noted that properties at 1-5 Tilney Court and 6 Tilney Court would see some reductions in sunlight received which breaches the BRE guidance, however the level of reductions are not considered so severe taking into account the setting of the site and the developments within Tilney Court
· Members were advised that the proposal will result in a 49.8% reduction in regulated emission and applicant have offered a carbon offset contribution of £39, 336 for the remaining C02 emissons
· The planning Officer highlighted some of the benefits of the scheme, that it would result in an uplift in priority use ( office) within CAZ and Finsbury Local Plan area, provision of flexible commercial use on ground floor and the scheme proposes affordable workspace financial contribution and provision of SME unit
· The proposal provides sympathetic high quality roof and rear extensions that are sensitive to surrounding heritage assets and local landmark
· The Planning Officer reiterated that the scheme will provide for additional green coverage to the site; that there will be an improvement to the energy performance and sustainability standard ; cycle parking will be provided on site etc.
· In response to concerns that contrary to officers advice from the Inclusive Economy Team, the proposal offers affordable financial contribution in lieu of on site provision of affordable workspace, the Planning officer advised that the Team was consulted, and officers have agreed with this 50/50 approach , to provide affordable work space on the ground floor, but to offer a financial contribution due to the type of layout on the first floor.
· In further clarification, the Planning Officer acknowledged that that there will be affordable work space provision for the ground floor and the financial contribution by the applicant only relates to the first floor.
· On the use of a unit for a restaurant and whether an extract flue unit had been proposed to remove odours, the Planning Officer advised that although no occupier in situ at the moment, any future plans for a restaurant use, drawings and plans will need to be agreed by both Environment and Planning Officers before it can proceed.
· It was agreed that concerns about of daylight and sunlight loss should be taken in context of the location of the site and surrounding buildings, that the breaches were acceptable.
· Councillor Klute proposed a motion to grant planning permission. This was seconded by Councillor Picknell and carried
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.