16.04.19…..Way back when we were dealing with the Karis planning application for King Alfred one could talk to planning officers and ask questions and learn from them. I learned this:
First things first
Begin by looking at the Planning Statement (if there is one). This one also includes a Health Impact Assessment. Look at the Design & Access Statement (if there is one). For this scheme there are multiple parts in various places out of sequence with other documents so I give a link just to the documents page.That orientates you as to what they intend to achieve from the site. These will give you the questions that come to mind and a sense of what to then look at. Choose a subject area that has direct relevance for you, which impacts on you or for which you have expertise or can provide evidence. Don’t feel you have to give up because it is a lot of reading or too difficult. Just look for what IS accessible and understandable and LOOK FOR THE MISTAKES AND FABRICATIONS!
Look not only at the bare bones description saying how many flats or units of housing are proposed. A scheme may look like it would not be too crowded for the site but until you know how many BEDROOMS are in the flats you have not got a clear view. This scheme of 260 Mayfield care home units for leasehold sale and some 600 or so Moda flats for rent have multiiple bedrooms in many of them. And some bedrooms will accommodate couples or a few children! The Application Form is a quick source of key information. Add up the number of bedrooms to see what the minimum population of a site is likely to be.
Ensure you follow the progress and further uploading of documents and changes to schemes, especially if readvertised because of significant changes as happened on 26th March for this one. Sadly no revised Application form has so far been provided so that the increase in 2 and 3 bed flats can be offset or calculated against the reduced number of flats!
Properties adjacent to any redevelopment site or likely to be affected by overshadowing or overlooking will be included in drawings and the identity and use of rooms behind windows guessed at. Every use has a distinct value in Planning and some windows have more clout than others. Make sure yours is correctly identified in drawings. If there is a big threat it could be worth your while challenging their claims by hiring an expert to do it for you. This is a key area where you need to be able to provide evidence to back up claims.
Look at CGI photomontage pictures of how fabulous the applicant has made their scheme look. Notice things like how big the trees look and what they are there to hide. On April 12, following readvertisement, a set of comparative CGI views were uploaded that are pretty jaw dropping. Scroll on down to see them! And marvel.
1. The clusters of grey stumps all have tidy flat roofs….no sign of lift equipment bumps, receiving equipment or other maintenance access equipment. And rooftop furniture is always ugly. Where is it if not visible?
2. Look at the views from Old Shoreham Road across the big carpark by Furniture Village. Suppose the owners of the carpark decide to build something there. All those Mayfield windows I see in these CGI’s tell me THEY would be able to block neighbouring redevelopment on light loss and privacy grounds because of being so close to the boundary or to at least force a much reduced use of sites. Same goes for Newtown Road and all those little employment spaces. What if they wanted to demolish and build higher? The plans for Sackville Trading Estate compromise future land use adjacent in a big way.
3. Look for how the scheme will impact the area visually and ask if it is in keeping with Listed buildings or important areas. How does it impact the character of the area? The Conservation Advisory Group have concerns about the views from Hove Park which would see these big grey stumps looming like broken teeth between the park’s trees.
Most people just complain about parking issues and heights. You can do MORE. Look at other issues. Get ideas from a quick look at the above!