The long running development of the Porchester Road Baptist Church has been granted planning permission by Westminster Council. Councillor Brian Connell, who spoke at the planning meeting said: "We've worked to represent the views of residents consistently, understanding that a development of the existing church was needed that was in keeping with the local area. We successfully opposed the original proposals a few years ago and the new development is a vast improvement that residents can know they have helped to shape."
Residents had reservations about the newly proposed building around noise and scale, which were acknowledged by the planning committee. Conditions were proposed to contain the plant noise and for the top of the building to be a darker shade of stone, to better blend in with the surrounding area. A sample of the brick colour brought to the meeting showed that it would not be like the yellow Collonades colour.
The new development by the Dolphin Square Foundation will provide 32 intermediate affordable flats, a new Baptist Church, Community Hall and a Children's Library.
The application for 7-9 Botts Mews and 1A-2A Bridstow Place came to a Westminster planning committee in November. Your Councillors have been successful in having the decision deferred until a more detailed construction management plan is submitted and following this a site visit by the committee to understand the acute challenges the application construction management plan faces for the site.
Councillor Richard Holloway made representations in writing before the meeting and also spoke to express the strong opinion from residents. Richard said: "Given the limited time and in order to present the strongest case, I was not able to bring up all the different objections that residents have raised. I outlined our continued opposition to the principle of the double basement in the Mews as overdevelopment of the area and I also objected in practical terms to the lack of detail in the construction management plan, particularly the access needs for residents in Bridstow Place during lorry movements and the lack of detail of the impact on traffic on Chepstow Road and Artesian Road."
Given that officers had recommended conditional approval to the application prior to the meeting we're pleased that we have made sure the developer looks again at their plans for this unsuitable development.
We would like to see the site developed, but not in a way that causes two years of misery to local residents.
You may have received information that the Labour group member on the planning committee supported the views of residents at the meeting. The Labour member on the committee was the only one to oppose a site visit and did not feel that the decision should have been deferred.
The development of 13-19 Leinster Square was approved at the planning meeting despite objections from your local Councillors. Cllr Brian Connell spoke at the planning meeting, saying that in its current state he did not believe the development met the need to preserve or enhance, although he did welcome the property reverting to its original residential use.
The committee felt that the planners had met the challenges around overlooking and privacy with the updated terraces, which will include tall greenery designed to restrict overlooking. Cllr Brian Connell agreed with the committee that this requirement be written into the Section 106 agreement, which gives the council good powers of enforcement for the long-term.
Cllr Richard Holloway, who was also at the meeting, said: "We would have preferred that there be additional changes to accommodate the concerns of residents in 29 and 31 Monmouth Road, but the committee felt that the developer had already made sufficient adjustments to reduce overlooking." The issue of noise and disruption during the construction is a critical one and we insisted that the construction management plan be robust.
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