The planning application for the sports pitches near the Rayleigh Lesiure Centre will come to the District Council Committee next Thursday September 25th. You can download the full planning schedule here (490 kb)
There are three items, all recommended for approval.
We guess that onlinefocus readers will be mostly interested in the sports pitches application. The officers report runs to 11 or 12 pages, but here are some lengthy extracts.
It should be noted that the officers have NOT proposed any conditions upon the times and days of use. This contrasts with the planning permission given the sports pitches near the “Chichester” in Rawreth, which are limited to one day per week. However it is possible for councillors at the meeting next week to propose extra conditions, or indeed to move refusal. As always though, district councillors must stay impartial in advance of the meeting.
PLANNING APPLICATION DETAILS
3.5 The application proposes the change of use of the land to provide 5 no. youth football pitches and extend the car park to the Rayleigh Leisure Centre. The south western corner of the site is separated from the pitches by the new bridle way link to Sweyne Park and is also proposed to be planted with indigenous tree species.
DEVELOPMENT CONTROL COMMITTEE Item 4
-25 September 2008
SCHEDULE ITEM 3
3.6Three of the proposed pitches will be small pitches for ?mini soccer? (under 10 years of age) and two pitches will be for 11-a-side junior football (up to 18 years of age).
3.770 new additional car parking spaces would be provided to the north east of the site and will form an extension to the parking area available for the Leisure Centre.
3.8 Provision is also made within the layout for cycle stands and a possible future site for a changing facility.
CONSULTATIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS
3.9 Rayleigh Town Council: No objections to the application.
3.10 Essex County Council Specialist Archaeological Advice: The proposed development lies within an area of known archaeological potential. A significant early Saxon cremation cemetery (EHER 14773, 7788) has been excavated in the immediate vicinity and further archaeological features and deposits may survive within the development area.
Such deposits are both fragile and irreplaceable and any permitted development on site should therefore be preceded by a programme of archaeological investigation which should be secured by an appropriate condition attached to any forthcoming planning consent. The planning condition based on guidance given in PPG 16 (Planning and Archaeology) now recommended by the Essex County Council
Highways Authority: No objections to the proposal as submitted, subject to the following recommended conditions being attached at any grant of consent:-
1. Prior to the beneficial use of development commencing the car parking area indicated on the submitted plans, including any parking spaces for the mobility impaired, has been hard surfaced, sealed and marked out in parking bays. The car park shall be retained in this form at all times. The car park shall not be used for any purpose other than the parking of vehicles that are related to the use of the development.
3.28 Six letters have been received in response to the neighbour consultation which in the main make the following comments and objections:-
o What are the plans for the management of the pitches?
o Who is responsible for maintenance?
o During what months of the year will the pitches be in use and what time periods and have these been measured in terms of noise?
o Where the pitches are not in use, ie, out of hours or season, what provisions will be made to ensure the pitches are not used, ie, gates/barriers, or mis-used or in a manner that sees damage, vandalism, noise in the area, breach of security and/or devaluation of residential properties?
o What provisions will be made to avoid anti-social behaviour and/or gathering of youths in the newly created area. Earlier this year, large groups of youths consistently gathered in Priory Chase outside the leisure centre and skate park areas before and after using the current 5-a-side pitch behind the leisure centre? Community police, Council representatives and the leisure centre agreed to prevent bookings by such youths who were acting in an anti-social way.
o What provisions will be made to prevent use of pitches by excessive youths utilising the skate park in the area, thus increasing number of youths congregating in the area?
o What provisions will be made to manage litter in the area? Currently litter is consistently left by youths utilising the skate park and leisure centre. Rochford District Council has currently taken the stance that it is not responsible for litter in Priory Chase as it is still apparently under the responsibility of George Wimpey.
o What provisions will be made to ensure users of the pitches do use the associated car park, and not Priory Chase outside residential housing? Will any fencing be created around the pitches?
o Are any flood lights planned in the area?
o Are there other Council run pitches of this sort, based as close to residential housing as proposed here? Pitches in the plans appear very close to residential area.
o Additional noise and disturbance
o Vandalism and youths
o Pitch four too close to neighbouring homes
o Increase in traffic
o Pitch five should be removed
o Car parking should be replaced by bicycle parking and pedestrian footways
o Bus service made more frequent and reliable
o Another ecology survey should be implemented in a year?s time
o The spraying of glyphosate on the site must be investigated.
o What measure will be put in place to stop parking in Priory Chase?
o Increase in litter
o Planning application is ill-conceived and pays no respect to the residents of Priory Chase or Temple Way.
o Priory Chase and Temple Way are still private roads and have yet to be adopted by the Council, therefore any road markings and parking restrictions are not enforceable; this needs to happen before this and any further developments are considered.
o Gross over-development of this small neighbourhood.
The proposal intends to create five youth football pitches on land currently overgrown and unused. The pitches will be managed under a grounds maintenance contract with Connaught, as will all other Rochford District Council owned pitches. Connaught will be responsible for all repairs and maintenance including the collection of litter. The pitches therefore will be run independently of the Leisure Centre.
The football season runs from late August to mid May so it is intended that the pitches will be in use at this time. It is predicted that the pitches will predominantly be used on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The times of matches are determined by the football league. It is possible the times of matches will vary each week.
When the pitches are not in use the nets will be removed by the grounds maintenance contractor, however it is intended that the land will be available for local residents to use when matches are not scheduled. The area can therefore be used as open space at the convenience of local residents and the wider community,
70 new car parking spaces are proposed to accompany the introduction of five new pitches. This will add to the 96 spaces already available within the leisure centre. The FA (Football Association) suggests that for this amount of pitches proposed 80 car parking spaces should be sufficient. The 70 spaces proposed, together with that available at the leisure centre, are considered to satisfy the demand required. No objection is raised to the proposal by the County Highway Authority. The amount of spaces should alleviate the need for people to park along Priory Chase and mitigate against a highway hazard. The grounds maintenance contractor will be responsible for informing those hiring the site areas to direct cars for parking.
All access to the pitches is via the leisure centre entrance. A new footpath has been introduced leading alongside the new parking spaces to the pitches. Mounds/banks are to be created around the boundaries, as a way of securing the site and keeping access restricted to a designated point.
Provision is made for the storage of bicycles at the edge of the playing field, where they will be secure and in view from the field for security reasons.
A new bridle way link has recently been created by the adjacent private developer as part of the legal agreement, running from Priory Chase to the footbridge crossing into Sweyne Park. The south west area of the site separated by this route cannot be used for playing pitches.
It is considered that sufficient measures have been taken to ensure that there is no adverse impact upon residential amenity.
With regards to increased traffic movements and parking, the use of the leisure centre?s existing entrance and the provision of substantial parking spaces should reduce the impact upon immediate neighbours and should mean no on-street parking will occur in Priory Chase. The playing fields are only proposed to be used during the day and as such no traffic noise should occur from this site in the evenings.
No flood lights are proposed on the site, restricting use to daylight hours. Any provision of flood lights in the future would require a further planning application.
With regard to noise and disturbance it is not considered that the use would result in a material increase in noise which would result in a loss of amenity to surrounding residents. It is noted that during days scheduled for matches/training the area would be busier than usual and an increase in noise is expected. However, this is not considered to be so significant or during unsociable hours as to result in a detriment to the amenity of surrounding neighbours.
The proposal is considered to satisfy part (v) of Policy LT2 of the Local Plan.
3.50 Due to the fairly secluded location of the pitches and the skate park adjacent to the site, it is likely the area will be popular with younger members of the community. The applicant advises that once the pitches are in use, they will be monitored, liaising continually with Essex County Council. Youth workers have already been associated with the skate park. The Council offers a programme of diversionary activities that will also continue. It is therefore considered that measures to suppress anti-social behaviour are already in place and will continue.
3.54 It is proposed that this Committee RESOLVES to APPROVE the application subject to the following conditions:-
1 SC4B Time Limits Full – Standard
2 No development or preliminary groundworks of any kind shall take place until the applicant has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted by the applicant and approved by the Planning Authority.
3 Prior to the commencement of the development details for the tree planting, planting specifications, management and aftercare shall be submitted to and agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be implemented in accordance with such details as may be agreed.
4 The development shall be implemented in accordance with the methodology for mitigation of effects upon the reptile population on the site and as set out in section 7 of the Reptile Survey and Translocation by Fiona Wells Land Management Advisory Service dated July 2008 submitted in support of the application.
5 Prior to the beneficial use of development commencing the car parking area indicated on the submitted plans, including any parking spaces for the mobility impaired, shall be hard surfaced, sealed and marked out in parking bays. The car park shall be retained in this form at all times. The car park shall not be used for any purpose other than the parking of vehicles that are related to the use of the development.