7.1 – 19C1231 - Cae Rhos Estate, Porthdafarch Road, Holyhead.
7.1 19C1231 – Outline application for the erection of 32 market dwellings and 4 affordable dwellings, construction of new vehicular and pedestrian access, provision of play area and open spaces together with full details of access and layout on land adjacent to Cae Rhos Estate, Porthdafarch Road, Holyhead
The application was presented to the Planning and Orders Committee at the request of Local Members. At the meeting on 8 January, 2020 the Committee resolved to visit the application site before determining the application. The site was visited on 22 January, 2020.
It was reported that a letter was received by Cadnant Planning, the applicant’s agent. The letter was read out to the meeting as follows:-
‘The proposed development is for the erection of thirty-six houses including four affordable dwellings on a site allocated for housing in the Joint Local Development Plan (JLDP). The JLDP allocation indicates that the site is actually allocated for fifty-six houses. SUDS drainage requirements, open space requirements, the need for strategic landscaping and biodiversity enhancements combined with the irregular shape of the site means that the number of houses proposed has been reduced beyond that envisaged in the JLDP. That said, the site still makes a valued contribution to housing supply whilst significantly alleviating concern about traffic impact.
There has been lengthy discussion with officers and external consultees to ensure that all aspects of this development are acceptable. However, until recently there has been an impasse and difference of opinion in terms of traffic impact. Your written report recommends refusal as things stand on the basis that “The additional traffic generated by the proposed development would add to the existing delays and congestion at the northerly end of Porthdafarch Road between the Tan yr Efail junction and Kingsland Road to the detriment of the free flow of traffic and road safety at this location”. However, discussions have been ongoing with the applicant willing to work with the Council to try and resolve current road safety issues and it seems that we now have a mutually acceptable solution.
An assessment of deliverability of the site, the capacity of the road network and road safety matters would have been made by the Council in advance of its allocation in the JLDP and there were no concerns raised at that time. This is acknowledged in the planning committee report – the site was clearly deemed deliverable at the time of inclusion in the JLDP and that position was ratified by the Examination in Public. At that point, as is the case now, there would not have been any other means of accessing the site other than via Kingsland Road and Porthdafarch Road.
It is our view and that of the specialist Transport Consultants that the development is acceptable without any mitigation. The Council’s own independent transport assessment concludes that given the forecast increase in traffic the proposed development would not be expected to present a serious road safety issue. However, the applicant has agreed to fund a Traffic Regulation Order and some enhancement measures to try and help improve the existing situation.
The current road safety issue arises from vehicles mounting a pavement to allow other vehicles to pass. This is a problem which your Highways Officer acknowledged the Council must look to resolve regardless of the proposed development. This application is an opportunity for the Council to secure some assistance in resolving that issue and I understand that the amended recommendation to you today now allows the developer and the Council to move forward with proposals to alleviate existing concerns. This process will be funded by the developer.
The fact that the development should be acceptable is made clear in the work the Council commissioned consultants Ove Arup to carry out and by the detailed submissions made by SCP Transport Consultants. This work confirms that there are no existing significant queues or delays along Porthdafarch Road and that there have been no accidents in the last 5 year period.
It has been demonstrated that the impact of the development will be to add no more than 1 additional vehicle every 4 minutes at the busiest hour of the day. All of the above has been agreed by Ove Arup, who were instructed by the Council to prepare an independent Transport Assessment to review the applicant’s Transport Assessment. Both highway consultants do not consider that there is an overall highway safety issue linked to the proposed development.
Based on this, we do not consider that the proposed development would cause any significant increased delays or congestion at the northerly end of Porthdafarch Road between the Tan yr Efail junction and Kingsland Road or cause road safety concerns at this location. We believe that the above conclusions clearly demonstrate that the proposed development will not cause any material detriment to the highway network and that planning permission should now be approved.
We have been open to discussing alternative mitigation with the officers throughout the application and it seems now that your Highways Officer agrees that an acceptable solution has been found following consultation. Should the same solution be viewed as acceptable to you as a committee, then the application can be approved today as per the amended recommendation. “
The Development Management Manager reported that this is an outline application but includes full details of the access to the site and the design of the site. The application site is located on an allocated site (T11) within the settlement boundary of Holyhead. A Transport Assessment was commissioned to gauge the capacity of the highways network near the site. Assessments have been undertaken to gauge the effects on the amenities and these have been addressed with the reduction of the amount of dwellings on site and the increase in distance between each dwelling. She noted that the development will include 4 affordable dwellings together with a play area; an education contribution of £73,500 is required as part of the development in accordance with relevant policies.
The Officer reported that following the Transport Assessment that was commissioned the Highways Authority were proposing refusal of the application as was noted within the report. The applicant has endeavoured to resolve the issue of highway concerns and offered to contribute towards a Traffic Regulation Order in the area to prohibit parking on areas of the Porthdafarch Road to allow for safer flow of traffic, however the Highways Authority were not satisfied that this would satisfy the consultation process to secure the parking restrictions. Consultation has continued with the Highways Authority and the developer and at the last meeting of the Planning and Orders Committee the application was deferred as the applicants had offered a piece of land at Mountain View, Holyhead for parking for local residents but this did not satisfy the Highways Authority that it would be acceptable to respond to highways concerns in the area. In the meantime, a one-way system has been proposed by the applicants and they consider that it would respond to the traffic issues in the area (a map of the one-way system was shown on screen to the Members of the Planning and Orders Committee). The Highways Authority have now responded that they are satisfied in principle with the proposal for a one-way system to address the highways concerns and are now proposing approval of the application subject to a Grampian condition being imposed to ensure that no development shall commence on the site before a Traffic Regulation Order has been completed and that a one-way system and a public footpath near the site be in place. A Section 106 agreement will also be imposed on any approval of the application as regards to an affordable housing element on site and an education contribution and any costs incurred regarding the Traffic Regulation Order to be funded by the developer. The recommendation therefore is of approval of the application subject to conditions as noted above.
Councillor Trefor Ll Hughes MBE, a local member said that this development at Cae Rhos, Holyhead would have a detrimental effect on the highways network in the area. This is a significant application with many concerns expressed locally as regards to the highways network in the area. He said that the roads near the proposed site are narrow and there are cars parked outside people property. He noted that a considerable amount of traffic uses Porthdafarch Road and local people walking on the pavements around this area; the McDonalds take-away unit is located across the road to the entrance to Porthdafarch Road. He said that there has been no mention within the report that there is a caravan site at the Valley of the Rocks and these vehicles use the Porthdafarch Road to enter the caravan site. Councillor Hughes expressed strongly that the highways network is insufficient to be able to accommodate further development in the area; he questioned whether the piece of land afforded by the applicants at Mountain View was to be incorporated within the application. Councillor T Ll Hughes MBE said that buses are having to mount the kerb to pass parked cars on Porthdafarch Road and he considered that this will continue if a one-way system was to be implemented. Councillor T Ll Hughes MBE proposed that the application be refused.
Councillor Dafydd R Thomas, a local member said that considerable traffic uses the Porthdafarch Road and especially during the summer months. He expressed that there is a dire need for housing in Holyhead but there is an issue of traffic problems in this area. He said the piece of land at Mountain View needs to be used for parking with adequate lighting for residents of the area if the application is to be approved.
Councillor K P Hughes said that during the site visit it was evident that it was a desirable place to live but the increase in traffic in the area would have a detrimental effect on the local residents and a Traffic Regulation Order would also have an effect on residents. He expressed that he could not support such an application that would have a detrimental effect on the amenities of local residents and people who would live in the dwellings on the proposed application. Councillor K P Hughes seconded the proposal of refusal of the applicant.
Councillor John Griffith said that the one-way system proposal is going to have an effect on a considerable numberof residents in the area and especially along the highways network from the McDonalds take-away unit and along Porthdafarch Road. He said that problems could entail at Kingsland Road aswell if a one-way system was to be implemented. Councillor Griffith ascertain whether consultation will take place with local residents as regards to the proposed one-way system. The Development Management Manager responded that the Highways Authority has stipulated conditions as regards to any approval of the application and one of the conditions is a Grampian condition for a public consultation as regards to the proposal of a one-way system as part of the Traffic Regulation Order; any objections would be taken into account but failure to conform a Traffic Regulation Order would entail the application not being able to take place in accordance with the proposed conditions and would need to be reconsidered by the Planning Authority.
Councillor Bryan Owen said that he would support the application subject to conditions outlined by the Officers at the meeting. He proposed that the application be approved.
Councillor Dafydd Roberts said that the map shown at this Committee shows the proposed one-way traffic system in the area and he considered that it would be an improvement for the local residents to be able to park safely on the road. He questioned whether the Highways Authority wished to comment as regards to the one-way system proposed. The Development Control Engineer (Highways) responded that the Highways Authority has been refusing the application due to concerns to the highways network in the area. He noted that the one-way system would be acceptable and noted that Arthur Street is already has a one-way traffic system and are able to park on both sides of the road; the residents of Arthur Street therefore would not be affected by this development. The Development Control Engineer (Highways) further said that there are concerns as regards to cars mounting the kerb to pass parked cars on Porthdafarch Road which is unacceptable to people walking on the pavement; a one-way system would alleviate the problem of double parking and road safety issues. The Officer said that the Highways Authority is now recommending approval of the application subject to public consultation on the Traffic Regulation Order as regards to the one-way highways system, which should be, put in place before any development on the site.
Councillor Dafydd Roberts seconded the proposal of approval.
Following the vote it was RESOLVED to approve the application in accordance with the Officer’s amended recommendation, subject to:-
· delegation to planning officer’s to impose suitable planning conditions:-
· a Grampian condition as regards to a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) being implemented before any development of the site;
· that a Section 106 legal agreement be imposed to secure affordable dwellings within the development and an education contribution and the developer to fund the costs of the TRO.