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Agenda item

Collingwood House, Mercers Road, London, N19 4PJ


Retention of existing air conditioning units with base slab, all associated pipework within existing acoustic enclosures, and proposed installation of canopy over enclosures alongside the South West elevation of Collingwood House and new gates to the street frontage to Mercers Road.


(Planning application number: P2021/0587/FUL)


In the discussion the following points were made:

·         The planning officer advised that three further objections had been received. One of these was a new objection and the other two provided additional comments to objections that had previously been submitted. The new objection related to the description of the relocation of plant equipment in paragraph 4.1 of the officer report. The planning officer advised that the application followed an enforcement investigation and the approved drawings in the report and presentation showed the location of the plant.

·         A member queried the purpose of the alleyway and the planning officer advised that the area was currently used as a bin store. Under the proposal, the bins would be relocated. The applicant stated that the alleyway had been put in in accordance with policy to reduce noise. The proposed canopy was also part of the mitigation strategy.

·         A member stated that it was unusual to have air-conditioning at ground floor level. The planning officer advised that the gym was at ground floor and first floor levels with residential units above. An assessment had to be made on whether the proposal was acceptable.

·         In response to a member’s question about whether the 2019 permission permitted the plant equipment at ground floor level, the planning officer advised that it did not.

·         A member raised concern about the need for an enforcement investigation and the lack of compliance and asked for reassurances that the applicants would fulfil conditions. The applicants stated that they had engaged with local residents throughout the process and any conditions imposed would be fulfilled in collaboration with neighbours. A planning officer stated that the conditions were tightly worded and action would be taken if necessary.

·         In response to a member’s question, the applicant confirmed that the hours of operation were 7am-11pm Monday to Friday and 9am-9pm at weekends. There were no plans to extend these hours.

·         A member raised concern about the tests being conducted in winter and not on a hot day when more cooling was required. The applicant stated that the tests were conducted prior to opening and tested acoustics with normal gym usage and high usage. Since opening no impact on residents had been observed and this was with classes taking place.

·         A member asked why the applicant implemented the previous planning permission and then installed the plant in a different location. The applicant stated that the permitted location was not suitable for the size of the equipment and the works were undertaken to tight timescales during lockdown. There was no intent to override the planning process. The applicants stated the works were undertaken from July 2020 and a planning application was submitted in November 2020. The planning officer stated that this planning application was withdrawn in January 2021 and the current planning application was received in February 2021.

·         The legal adviser stated that the fact the application was for retrospective planning permission was not a material consideration.

·         In response to a question from a member as to whether the maintenance of the green roof and the acoustic levels could be conditioned, the officer replied that the requirement for the green roof to be maintained could be included in the management plan and in relation to acoustic levels, Condition 4 could be amended to require a test to ensure the plant was running appropriately.

·         A member expressed disappointment that the plant had been installed prior to obtaining planning permission and requested that in future the applicants apply for planning permission where necessary, prior to undertaking further work.

·         A member raised concern about the approach of the applicants and the solution identified by the applicant to the location of the plant. A planning officer advised that the Sub-Committee had to determine the application before them and to move the plant would require a new planning application to be submitted.

·         A member stated that two of the conditions were time limited and requested that officers monitor this to ensure compliance.


Councillor Picknell proposed a motion to amend Condition 4 to require a test for acoustic levels and a motion that the management plan be amended to require the maintenance of the green roof.  These were seconded by Councillor North 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, subject to the amendment of Condition 4 and the management plan being amended as above.

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