The Counties Residents' Association

Protecting the interests of the community.

Browsing Posts in Reports

The “Agenda Pack” of information presented to the West Regional Planning Committee for considering in the planning application for 31 Nutter Lane (1212/11).

Click here to download the report by the external consultant employed by London Borough of Redbridge into the controlled parking zones throughout the borough.

A notice from the London Borough of Redbridge that a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) had been provisionally made for an Oak in the rear garden of 2 Hereford Road.

A report by Redbridge Planning to Redbridge Regulatory Committee regarding the fourth scheme for Chepstow (2740/10).

The long awaited “Rough Guide to Planning” by the CRA is now ready (click here).

The Government’s Regional Planning Inspectorate has dismissed (rejected) Telford’s appeal for BOTH the Art Deco and the Arts and Crafts based schemes. See the following documents for more details:- 

Day 6 of the Chepstow Public Inquiry in which the second and third schemes by Telford Homes are being considered (3398/08 and 2393/09 respectively) was the longest day of the Inquiry so far with the Inspector determined to finish proceedings in one final push. The plan for the day was to get through the proposed conditions should the Inspector see fit to approve the scheme(s), to wrap up the Section 106 Unilateral Undertakings, to hear closing statements from the various parties and finally to hear requests for the granting of costs.

The first issue to resolve was the Unilateral Undertaking which is the money paid by Telford to Redbridge to support the increased demand for health and schooling provision, together with other sums for libraries, leisure and art. There were some issues here due to the first document provided by Redbridge indicating that some sums were to be allocated to the sports ground, however, this being private land it was deemed inappropriate by the Inspector. It turned out later that Redbridge meant the adjacent “buttercup field” and all then was accepted.

Next it turned to the discussion of conditions which are attached to a potential approval of either/both schemes to ensure certain concerns are complied with. Redbridge produced a long winded list of conditions which the Inspector condensed down into far fewer and dismissed a few. CRA requested conditions came next, three of which were ours and three of which we really our way of supporting those which the Wanstead Society wished so they would be able to support Scheme 3.

Our requested condition regarding working hours was accepted. Our condition regarding keeping materials, rubbish and site vehicles off road and on site was dismissed. The rationale for this is that there is a need to apply for permission to do this, therefore, there was already sufficient protection against it. Our third condition was to correct an error on a drawing that failed to fully show one of the agreed modifications to Scheme 3 negotiated between the CRA and Telford. As our requested conditions were submitted at the start of the Inquiry there was sufficient time for this drawing error to be rectified in the interim. The three Wanstead Society conditions were dismissed as they would have in effect changed the nature of the applications being considered and this would not have been permissible.

Closing statements came next and given the level of involvment in the proceedings the Inspector afforded the CRA the opportunity to make a closing statement, something which even though it is a Public Inquiry, she had no need to do. Our closing statement was well received, with some frantic note taking/highlighting by the Inspector, which hopefully indicates it was of some use and made some important points. Off the record we got a personal thanks from the Inspector and a well done (in terms of Scheme 3 at any rate which we support) from the Telford lawyer which was pleasing as considerable effort went into its creation by several members of the CRA Committee.

Redbridge then made their closing statement which defended their case being somewhat wider in scope than that indicated by their official reasons for refusal. Finally Telford made their closing statement which deeply criticised this fundamentally “wider” stance adopted by Redbridge. Naturally both summarised and “spun” the evidence presented in the Inquiry to the benefit of their side’s case.

After the lunchtime adjournment (only 30 mins given the amount still to resolve) the Inquiry resumed to hear the claim for costs from Telford. Telford has submitted a claim for a cost award in two parts, firstly a full award to cover the costs of the appeal for both Schemes 2 and 3 and secondly a partial award covering only certain aspects of the appeal.

Interestingly and worryingly Telford are claiming not just the appeal/Inquiry costs for Scheme 3, but also the costs associated with making the Scheme 3 application itself, including all the architects drawings and general administration costs. Their reasoning being that they only proceeded with Scheme 3 because Scheme 2 was rejected, therefore, if Scheme 2 is now approved they have been put to the extra cost of Scheme 3 unnecessarily.

Redbridge counter argued that it was Telford’s choice to produce Scheme 3 and certainly they did not appeal Scheme 2 until after Scheme 3 was launched. Redbridge also argued that if the Inspector found that Redbridge had sufficient reasonable grounds to refuse, even if she subsequently permits either/both, then costs should not be awarded.

The Inspector therefore has two main jobs to do, firstly to determine whether either/both schemes should be granted or refused. Secondly if either scheme is to be granted does the Inspector feel that there was at least reasonable grounds to have been refused and if not what level of costs should be awarded.

In some ways the whole case(s) have to be considered twice as a result of this and perhaps the consideration of whether the schemes are acceptable is the easier case to conclude. We certainly do not envy her job at this point.

Third parties (ie the CRA etc) were not permitted to comment on the costs submission as that is solely an issue between the two main parties. However, one issue we had with the cost submission was brought to the attention of the Redbridge camp who incorporated that argument into their rebuttal.

Below are links to the various documents we have been able to obtain copies for:-

Documentation from Telford Homes

 

Documentation from Redbridge Council

 

CRA Documentation

 

Other Documentation

 Inspectorate Decision Paperwork

NB The above links will be updated over each day’s proceedings and duplicated across each days report.

Day 5 of the Chepstow Public Inquiry in which the second and third schemes by Telford Homes are being considered (3398/08 and 2393/09 respectively) was perhaps the longest day of the Inquiry so far. The hope for the day was to get through the final witness and to wrap up various loose ends such as Section 106 and agreeded conditions.

Unfortunately the speed (or rather lack there of) of the Redbridge solicitor once again drew out the day and prevented all this from occuring. By 19.00, having been in the “witness box” since 10am, Telford’s third witness (Dr Miele), was finally released.

Dr Miele’s evidence was as an expert witness regarding all matters associated with Conservation Areas. The main thrust of his evidence was to demonstrate that whilst schemes 2 and 3 took very different approaches to the Chepstow site; scheme 2 taking a contrasting approach, whilst scheme 3 took an “in keeping” approach, both were equally valid.

Redbridge were the first to cross examine Dr Miele and first impressions were good given that Dr Miele soon confirmed that in his opinion, not only had the Wanstead Grove Conservation Area been correctly designated (ie had been designated using the correct procedure), but that in his opinion he also believed the designated was in fact warranted.

The remainder of Dr Miele’s cross examination by Redbridge seemed to gain little (if anything) to the benefit of Redbridge’s position, in fact it mainly seemed to permit Dr Miele and opportunity to simply re-state Telford’s case in greater detail.

After Redbridge’s primary cross examination it came to cross examination by the third parties, ie the Counties Residents’ Association and the Wanstead Society. The latter were not present but were permitted the opportunity to ask questions in written form, details of which can be found in the various documents below.

As the CRA are supporting scheme 3 (matching Nutter Lane blocks) our questions centred on Scheme 2. We sought to demonstrate that as the houses were a legacy from Scheme 1 (from 2007) that the Inspector should re-evaluate their suitability given the intervening CA designation. We also sought to demonstrate that the Scheme 2 houses were difficult to position in their plots given their offset shape and that the skew nature of the Nutter Lane blocks were inferior to the Scheme 3 parallel arrangement.

We questioned on the suitability of drawing on the Shrubberies design for use in the Scheme 2 Nutter Lane blocks, whether the “in keeping” approach of scheme 3 were better, the size of the local resident “turn out” at the Scheme 2 Regulatory meeting in June 2009 and some minor points regarding the history of the old Wanstead Grove. However, it seems doubtful whether anything here succeeded.

Dr Miele was then re-examined by Telford’s solicitor on a few issues and finally the Inspector sought clarification on a few issues herself. This was followed by a more general dicussion on how Day 6 on the 28th June will run. The Inspector invited the CRA to make a closing submission, for which we have no right to do, but given the level of our involvement during the proceedings she would permit.

Given the slowness of day 5 she recognised that day 6 would be needed for all the remaining “in session” activities and the site visit will have to be held on a 7th day later that week. Again here the CRA were invited to submit a suggested list of specific views we would like the Inspector to see during her tour.

Below are links to the various documents we have been able to obtain copies for:-

Documentation from Telford Homes

 

Documentation from Redbridge Council

 

CRA Documentation

 

Other Documentation

 Inspectorate Decision Paperwork

NB The above links will be updated over each day’s proceedings and duplicated across each days report.

Day 4 of the Chepstow Public Inquiry in which the second and third schemes by Telford Homes are being considered (3398/08 and 2393/09 respectively) was again quite a long day as within days 1 and 2. Telford’s second witness, David Wood (their architect) was on the stand for the entire day and in fact the Inquiry had to relocate at 5pm from the main council chamber so that his re-examination could continue.

His main evidence was relatively swift, all be it interupted for clarification arguments at several points. The main cross examination by Redbrige was however painfully slow and seemed to gain little in the 4-5 hours of questioning - Mr Wood was very considered (annoyingly so from the perspective of the CRA’s position) in defending Telford’s case regarding Scheme 2 (flat roofs on Nutter).

The CRA got to question Mr Wood quite extensive and again Mr Wood was annoyingly defensive regarding the flat roof schemes, however, several points (all be it minor ones) were conceded such as the depth of the Scheme 2 houses (the ones we do not like) not being 16m in depth as had been suggested, but rather 18m. Roding Cottages which had been described as “early 20th century” by Mr Wood was also picked up to be wrong as they were built in 1892.

CRA questioning got some small admissions that there were some design “problems” with the Scheme 2 houses, in that they are cramped at the left hand end, their layout somewhat dictated by spatial problems (TPO trees in the way) and that the overal result was less than pleasing.

It soon became apparent that Telford’s third witness, discussion of conditions and unilateral undertakings would not be possible in the remaining time alloted. A sixth day was therefore added to the proceedings. Day 5 will be on the 14th June from 10pm in the council chamber with day 6 to be sometime w/c 28th June (date/venue tbc).

Documentation from Telford Homes

 

Documentation from Redbridge Council

 

CRA Documentation

 

Other Documentation

 Inspectorate Decision Paperwork

NB The above links will be updated over each day’s proceedings and duplicated across each days report.

Day 3 of the Chepstow Public Inquiry in which the second and third schemes by Telford Homes are being considered (3398/08 and 2393/09 respectively) was much faster paced than the first two days. In addition to hearing from the remaining third parties (Wanstead Society and the CRA), Redbridge’s second and final witness (Julie Williams) and Telford’s first witness (Chris Hicks) were also fully processed.

Early “housekeeping” issues would seem to have finally put to bed the matter of whether the Wanstead Grove Conservation Area was legally designated – it was as it turned out (phew)!

The Wanstead Society spoke first and were repesented by both Marian Temple and Roger Estop with the latter being quite extensively cross examined by Telford. Next it was the CRA’s turn represented by Malcolm Dowers who was cross examined by both sides given our split stance (against scheme 2, for scheme 3). Apparently some in Redbridge Planning believe the Counties Estate has routes as far back as “medieval times” which was news to us. We pointed out that the earliest building on our patch is Applegarth which is 17th century.

Redbridge’s second and final witness gave evidence in general support for Redbridge’s case, ie in support of the grounds for refusal of each scheme. Much was made by the Telford camp that no mention of English Heritage’s stance regarding the schemes was included in their evidence.

Telford’s first (of three) witnesses gave evidence primarily on the basis of procedure. The CRA’s efforts to secure a redesign of the houses (scheme 3) were welcomed and reported by him as being “more successful” than those on scheme 2 (whilst saying scheme 2 houses were still acceptable in his opinion). Cross examination and re-examination followed, including some questions from the CRA as to whether English Heritage had approved scheme 2, or rather (as we suggest) delegated further decision to the local Conservation Officers.

Day 4 is scheduled for 9.30am on Thursday 27/5/10 again in the Council Chamber with an indication that it will run for as long as is needed to fully hear Telford’s remaining two witnesses and to “round table” discuss the conditions.

Documentation from Telford Homes

 

Documentation from Redbridge Council

 

CRA Documentation

 

Other Documentation

 Inspectorate Decision Paperwork

NB The above links will be updated over each day’s proceedings and duplicated across each days report.