Sally Panayi (Senior Planner) presented the report and provided an overview of the application which relates to the construction of a new single storey nursey and children’s centre and single storey school extension in Leamington Spa.
Full details were presented to the Committee including the following –
· The existing Children’s Centre would be demolished.
· Temporary buildings currently in place would be removed.
· There are residential properties to the north and east of the site.
· There is commercial development to the south and west of the site.
· The current car park would be expanded to provide a total of 50 spaces including 4 disabled spaces.
· There would also be 5 electric vehicle spaces, with charging points.
· A net increase in biodiversity will be achieved by the creation of a wildlife corridor which will also enhance the existing boundary.
· Sustainability requirements for the proposed development have been met using design principles that reduce heat gains and losses and use low energy solutions and energy available from renewable sources to heat and ventilate the buildings
There have been two objections in relation to on street parking. The Committee noted that these are standard problems at school sites, especially at peak times, where people park across yellow zig-zag lines or on the pavement. It was confirmed that the planned expansion of the car park provision would increase parking for staff on site.
Comments in relation to local wildlife have been received by officers. It was confirmed that movement of protected species including hedgehogs would not be restricted by the erection of boundary fencing. It was noted that the school has a mini forest on site and that this will remain in place.
The Committee was informed that erection of the children’s centre would require the removal of vegetation including immature trees in the central area of the wildlife site. The mature trees along the eastern boundary of the site adjacent to the gardens of Hawthorn Road are to be retained.
Following a question from Councillor Sarah Feeney, it was confirmed that the current cycling storage facilities will remain on site and an additional cycle store will be positioned closer to the children’s centre.
Councillor John Cooke stated that he felt this was an interesting application and thanked officers for the presentation, including the photos which helped Members visualise the site.
Councillor Judy Falp stated that she welcomed the additional parking. Some staff who will visit the children’s centre are not there permanently with a desk and have previously had to park some distance away.
Councillor Adrian Warwick added that this was a very positive application with an excellent design.
Councillor Jan Matecki added that the way the building had been planned and designed is very thoughtful and suggested that others could learn a lot from this application.
The recommendation was proposed by Councillor John Cooke and was seconded by Councillor Judy Falp.
A vote was held, and the Committee voted unanimously in favour of the
That the Regulatory Committee authorises the grant of planning permission for the construction of a new single storey nursery and children's centre and single storey school extension at Kingsway Community Primary School, subject to the conditions and for the reasons contained within Appendix B of the report of the Strategic Director for Communities.