Godwin Developments, the developer of the highest residential block in Derby, ‘The Landmark’, has re-submitted the planning application for another development – the car park on Agard Street. Originally they planned to build an 8 storey block with 77 flats – this was refused; this has now been increased to 148 studio flats over 8 floors.
I raised questions about Godwin Group in an earlier article:
So, in the absence of much practical experience in large residential projects of this nature, Derby City Council Planning Committee is likely to approve the planning application for this next Godwin Developments venture. Notwithstanding objective concerns over this organisation, the Council received 41 representations on the application – 1 was in support, from Marketing Derby, and 40 objected!
The objections included the following comments:
“Ultimately, the soundness of a decision by your authority requires careful weighing of the significance of the heritage assets and the degree of harm arising from the proposed development against any public benefits arising from the proposed scheme.
Historic England objects to the application on heritage grounds as outlined above and in our previous letters of 29th January 2019 and 25th April 2019. We recommend that you seek further advice in relation to the issues raised from your in-house Conservation Office”
Derby City Council Conservation Officer
“I have strong concerns about this proposal in terms of the buildings height, size, scale and overwhelming massing, layout and materials.
The proposal would not preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Friar Gate Conservation Area and cause harm to its significance as a designated heritage asset. It does not relate to its context.”
Derby City Council – Urban Designer, Planning Services
“The materials are broadly acceptable, but the design proposes what appears as random indentation of the front elevation, which seems over-elaborate and has no justification for this form within the submission. In my view, the excessive height mass and scale in this location, coupled with an over-elaborate design, result in a composition which fails to “take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area” as cited in paragraph 130 of NPPF. I recommend this scheme is refused on design grounds.“
Derby City Council – Environmental Protection – Air Quality
“…the Environmental Protection Team still has concerns over the level of impact that the development could have on NO2 concentrations along Agard Street and subsequently, the ability of the Council to reduce NO2 in order to comply with the National Air Quality Objectives and the EU Limit Values.”
Derby City Council – Highways Development Control
“The Highway Authority recommends Refusal of the application on the grounds that the vehicular movements associated with the servicing of the site would give rise to an unacceptable increase in danger to the users of the highway; due to the likely reversing of service vehicles off the highway”
Despite the grave concerns by the Council’s own Officers, the Planning department are recommending the application is approved:
“Taking into account the recent amendments to the scheme and the public benefits, it is considered that those benefits would marginally outweigh the less than substantial
harm to the setting of the Friar Gate Conservation Area and of the nearby listed buildings resulting from the proposed development. Therefore, in heritage terms, it is
considered that the amended proposal would satisfy the tests in paragraph 196 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
It is considered that the amended proposal sufficiently mitigates (or is capable of mitigating, by way of condition) any unacceptable impact relating to the design, highway access, the impact on air quality and on amenities, and that a refusal on those grounds would not be sustainable.”
Based on the objections, it does bring into question how serious the professional concerns have to be in order for a planning application to be refused.
Whilst the job of Marketing Derby is to be very pro inner-City regeneration, it does seem that their influence rides rough shod over the many serious issues with this scheme.
Previously Godwin Developments have had no presence in Derby; if this application is approved then, within the space of just 6 months, they will have had approved The Landmark building, and this Agard Street construction.
Just last year they became a “BondHolder ” in Marketing Derby, the only body that seems to be in favour of their application!
Categories: Derby City Council