The City of Westminster Planning Applications Committee met at Westminster City Hall on Tuesday 14th March 2017. A Public Document Pack was prepared and included the agenda (12 applications) and application details for Shirland Road (Item 1, 50 pages).

The Councillors on the Committee were:
– Andrew Smith (Chairman)
– Iain Bott
– Jonathan Glanz
– Jason Williams
All emails and letters are read by someone on the Committee, even if they are not referenced in the Public Document Pack.

The Chairman of the Delaware Mansions Board of Directors, Owen Robertson, attended the meeting and made the following notes:

An overview of the application was given (by someone not on the Committee), including presentation of photographs, floor plans and elevations
– The majority of objections came from Delaware Mansions, notably regarding parking
– Summary of parking:
* There are 24 parking spaces in the new development
* Currently there are 19 garages available to Oak Tree House, 11 of which are used by Oak Tree House residents
* A maximum of 11 carparks will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis to Oak Tree House residents
* A minimum of 13 carparks will be available to residents of the new development
* The projected number of carparks required by residents of the new development is 14
* The Council are not expecting all 11 carparks available to Oak Tree House residents to be taken up because some are used for storage, meaning more than 13 could be available to residents of the development

Jan Prendergast then spoke to the committee on behalf of residents
– There had been a site visit by Councillors
– The site has a long history of care use
– Beechcroft House was named for Sir (Richard) Melvill Beachcroft, who fought hard for the creation of the Paddington Rec Ground
– In recent history the site was used as a Pupil Referral Unit and Westminster City Guardians still have an office
– Rayne House, which is adjacent to the site, is a sheltered scheme
– The development is a flagship scheme to provide greatly needed social care. The provision of social care facilities is generally supported by local residents
– Because this is a Council development, the bar must be set higher
– Jan met with Delaware Mansions residents and a cabinet member to discuss the traffic issue. Concerns still exist, so great that surveys and reports have been commissioned by Delaware Mansions residents
– Parking in Maida Vale is close to saturation. Jan lives locally and said parking was difficult 40 years ago when she gave up her car
– There is a need to create more parking spaces in Delaware Road and Maida Vale in general
– A care home will bring lower pressures on traffic than a residential development
– Delaware Road was made one way to create echelon parking, which does not exist
– A request was made for a Santander docking station, but it is not a suitable location
Jan made 3 suggestions/recommendations:
* Have a two-way stretch at the northern end of Delaware Road between the parking access and Elgin Avenue
* Improve the rubbish and recycling collection
* Oak Tree House should have some remedial works to common parts

The Committee then considered the application.
Andrew Smith:
– Quite likes the development
– A care home is desperately needed
– Acknowledges the parking concerns
Iain Bott:
– Welcomed the design
– Has sympathy for local residents
– Should review the design of streets (in terms of providing more parking)
– There is a dire need for care facilities, Council should approve
– Co-location of a creche should be encouraged
Jonathan Glanz:
– Visited the site
– The suggestion of a two-way road warrants further investigation but can probably not be part of the application
– Questioned car sharing (to which the Highways Officer advised that demand for the Council/ZipCar scheme is constantly monitored and extra spaces are often accommodated using paid parking or yellow lines thereby not affecting residents parking)
– Affordable care is in great need
Jason Williams:
– Agreed with his colleagues, no comments

The Chairman thought the best way to pursue the two-way road was for Jan Prendergast to continue to work with the cabinet member.

The decision: Approved

Supporting Documents
15-Mar-2017: Email from Jan Prendergast to Carringtons – outcome of Planning Committee meeting
14-Mar-2017: Letter from Delaware Mansions to Cllr Robathan – reply to below letter
10-Mar-2017: Letter from Cllr Robathan to Cllr Prendergast – reply to objections raised
02-Mar-2017: Letter from Westminster City Council to Carringtons – advice of planning meeting
09-Feb-2017: Letter from Peacock and Smith (traffic consultants) to Westminster City Council – objections to the development
12-Dec-2016: Letter from Delaware Mansions to Westminster City Council – objections to the development
01-Dec-2016: Notice to residents advising of the proposed development