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Representations Recieved

Mr Hall (Applicant)

Details of the representation

Summary

 

·         The S73 application principally sought confirmation of the final floor plans and incidental

·         alterations to rear windows.

·         Section S73 allows for consideration of conditions only, and can not revisit the principle of

·         the development.

·         The proposed floorplans provide for a 49-bed apart hotel falling within use class C1.

·         Members strongly agreed that the amendments to floor plans were acceptable, that they

·         provided for an apart hotel, which they felt specifically appropriate.

·         They agreed that an occupancy restriction and assurance for delivery of the cupola were

·         fundamental.

·         Members were unequivocal in their wish to see the apart hotel delivered, rejecting the

·         recommendation for refusal, alternatively deferring with a clear instruction for applicant and

·         officers to find a solution and if necessary, to be reasonable and think outside the box.

·         The applicant met officers and reached an agreement on both issues (the applicant provided

·         a ‘Deferral Discussion Document’ to explain their agreement (attached)).

 

Detail to be agreed

 

·         Approval of submitted plans/layout (already agreed by members).

·         Agreement on the detail for rear window alteration.

·         Length of occupancy restriction to be applied.

·         Wording for a new 106 to assure cupola delivery. 

 

1. Approval of plans

 

The plans were discussed by members, they agreed that they represented an apart hotel and that was a type of accommodation they liked and felt was particularly suitable to the National Park. It was pointed out by Patrick Brady that there was no need for an application as the apart hotel falls in the same use classification as a hotel, confirmed in the officer’s report at:

 

Paragraph 65.

 

“Circular 03/2005 ‘Changes of use of Buildings and land’ gives guidance on interpretation. At paragraph 59 it says that “short-term (i.e. purchased at a nightly rate with no deposit against damage being required) self-contained accommodation, sometimes called Apart-hotels” will fall intoUse class C1.” 

 

(This paragraph has been removed from the officer’s updated report for the April Committee

meeting).

 

Barristers opinion had also confirmed that the apart hotel operation remained in the C1 use

classification.

 

Officers were in agreement with Patrick Brady’s opinion, when he expressed that what was proposed was an apart hotel. Jane Newman agreed stating:

 

“I agree with you, it can on the basis of the plans, as set out, be used as an apart hotel, and that is clearly the intention of the applicants, and the intention of the investors, and that is fine; as far as it goes. It could also, laid out in exactly that way, be let out on a residential basis”.

 

Hence the requirement for an occupancy restriction.

 

Therefore, the new floor plans were accepted and agreed.

 

2.  Amendment to rear windows

 

The applicants had proposed a change to the rear windows to provide a balcony, officers objected as they argued that they changed the nature of the Mill aesthetic. There was little debate at committee, however no member objected, and one supported, others commented that they would in any event not be seen. The rear of the building is set into a bank side without a public view. The applicants have agreed with officers to omit these balconies, and as an alternative provide full height windows which could open with an iron Juliette guard.

 

3. Length of restriction

 

Officers insistence on an occupancy restriction is the principle reason for this application. It has held

up the development for 12months and has led to the withdrawal of a construction partnering deal

and the loss of a 200,000-euro grant.  

 

The need for a restriction arose following comments from another apart hotel site owner stating that he could operate a semi residential operation.

 

The principle of a restriction was agreed by members.

 

At committee there was an incorrect reference, stating that applicants previously signed an agreement for a 28-day restriction, and officers report led members to believe the applicants were now refusing it. The current approval from 2016 had no such occupancy restriction, and that along with its C1 approval was what the business model had been built around. The applicants simply sought to explain that imposing one now would be detrimental. However, they did suggest a compromise of 90-days as an alternative, achieving the objective but less detrimental.       

 

Members spoke only briefly with one member suggesting 90-days, one for 28-days, another suggesting a compromise.

 

The applicants and officers have agreed to a condition, leaving the decision on length of time to the

members. 

 

The wording of the restriction should be agreed in detail. It must be additional to the existing

consent and must not change current C1 use classification as this would prevent the development

and would be beyond the scope of this application.

 

4. Wording for a new S106 to assure cupola delivery 

 

Incidental observation from a Barrister had pointed out that the S106 had not been applied to the

current planning approval.  

 

However, the applicants had agreed to be bound by all previous obligations, but sought reconsideration to the cupola tie as this had never been discussed prior to its imposition, and as written was undeliverable. The applicants have always remained committed to its delivery, but could only do so under different deliverable conditions.

 

Members were resolute in the need for some form of tie, this is acknowledged and understood.    

 

The applicants and officers have now agreed the principle of a new S106. The wording for a new

concurrent build has been submitted in detail, and is explained in full in the ‘Deferral Discussion

Document’: 

 

·         It proposes various changes to make delivery more economical.

·         It will provide the land unencumbered and for no other purpose at a value of £200,000.

·         It agrees a concurrent build of a watertight shell with £500,000 in a safe account for

·         construction purposes only and legal controls. 

·         It agrees to complete the visitor centre facilities prior to any occupation of the managers

·         units.     

 

It is paramount that the principle of this agreement is agreed now. It should not be left for officers