For background on Roehampton University’s portacabin planning applications this can be found in previous articles within this blog under variance references such as ‘portacabins’, ‘2016/1385’ or ‘2016/5912’. Many people have asked about this planning application, for various reasons whether it be what happened or how did it not go to the Council’s Planning Application Committee (PAC), and this blog is to highlight some further background which might be of interest, not just for this application, though perhaps for others.
There were three retrospective planning applications, with the first two being withdrawn.
Application number: 2015/5648
Proposal: Erection of six portacabins for a temporary period of five years.
First Council document mentioned is on 14 October 2015 and the decision notice of 19 February states this application was withdrawn on 14 February 2016.
The portacabins in question are highlighted in the photo below taken from Kimpton House. Keep an eye on the portacabins in the red rectangle. Parkstead House (Grade I listed) is in the background.
Application number: 2016/1385
Proposal: Retention of seven portacabins sited against the southern boundary for a period of three years (affecting the setting of a Grade I listed building).
Notice the retention change in the proposal from five years to three years, though the number of portacabins increased from six to seven?
This application was started on 15 March 2016, only a month after application 2015/5648, though was able to continue until December 2016. At this stage, this retrospective planning application had been in motion for a year with two withdrawn applications. There were a lot of objections which were lodged against this withdrawn planning application meaning that objectors had to start again with the next planning application.
Application number: 2016/5912
Proposal: Retention of three portacabins at the southern end of the site for use as additional teaching space for a further 3 years (Affecting the setting of a Grade I listed building).
Application Registered: 14 November 2016, though documents started to be uploaded on 11 October 2016
Decision: Approve with Conditions 14 February 2017
Again, there were a lot of objections, though have you noticed two further amendments.
The retention is now for three cabins instead of seven. Also, the date of approval is 28 months after the first document was uploaded (15 October 2015) with the first planning application (2015/5648).
The following photo, also taken from Kimpton House, highlights the now removed portacabins.
Didn’t Councillor Carpenter suggest he was going to provide resident representations at the Council’s Planning Application Committee (PAC)?
Yes, this was stated at the Roehampton Forum, yet didn’t happen. It has been suggested that Councillor Carpenter may not have been aware of the Council’s delegated power which permits planning application to be agreed by the Council’s planners rather than the PAC. This application was approved as it was less than 500 square metres of non-residential floor space. If this is true, one hopes that Councillor Carpenter is aware of the delegated powers now that he is on the PAC?
Another suggestion was that maybe Councillor Carpenter did not make his views known to the PAC that he wished to make representations at the PAC regarding this planning application. If this is true, then could Councillor Ambache, who was on the PAC at the time, could have informed Councillor Carpenter to make his representation position known to PAC members?
At the Let’s Talk event of 12th September 2016 wasn’t the portacabin planning discussed?
Yes, it was, and the following is taken from the Minutes;
“4. Roehampton University
Question/Comment – A resident said that he had contacted the planning service, without response, about the portacabins that had been erected without planning permission in the car park at Roehampton University facing Kimpton House. He said that the portacabins had been in place over 4 years and reduced on-site parking provision at the University that had been pushed out onto already busy roads such as Holybourne Avenue and Fontley Way. He suggested a survey by the University about staff and student parking during term and non-term time to determine the impact of the portacabins and said that residents were being forced into accepting a CPZ because of University demands. Concern also raised that the University is ‘getting away’ with not following due process and who is auditing the process? A resident raised the issue of excessive noise emanating from the University portacabins that affected Kimpton House and ‘terrified’ some residents.
Response – It was noted that an earlier planning application had been withdrawn but a revised one was due to be submitted including a transport assessment. A planning enforcement notice was still valid in respect of the unauthorised structures. Councillor Carpenter said that the University claimed that the portacabins did not reduce parking as the car park had been repainted to provide the same number of spaces as previously. He again advised residents to come along to the councillors surgeries to speak about any problems and if possible to attend the Roehampton Forum and Roehampton Partnership meetings. Councillor Ambache told the meeting that breaches of planning control should be reported to the planning service at the Town Hall and that, as a member of the Planning Applications Committee that would consider any application, he would not be able to ‘take a position’ on the matter but was listening to the related dialogue. He also confirmed that he was available to be contacted on any of the issues raised and this could be done in a variety of ways.
Councillor McKinney said that she understood the portacabin area to be the psychology department.
With the consent of the meeting, Rev. McKinney then spoke as a governor of Whitelands College to inform the meeting that some concerns had been expressed at the Roehampton Forum. He said that he would raise the issue of the noise with the college and also that as far as he was aware the portacabins would be removed as the need for them had now reduced”.
Note that there is a comment in the Let’s Talk Minutes which states that the “portacabins would be removed as the need for them had now reduced”?
What does this application and Ibstock School’s planning application (2015/5074) have in common?
Both applications have taken at least two years to work their way through the planning system before being approved, though were being utilized by the applicants to some extent. As this is typed, Ibstock School’s planning application was registered on 22 September 2015 and is yet to be approved.
Three attempts for one planning application, maybe something to think about for 66 Alton Road?
With so many objections to the second application having to be repeated for the third application, is this a lesson as to the fate that 66 Alton Road (planning application 2017/3082) may face? Residents and interested parties may need to be vigilant in keeping an eye out for further attempts to demolish this building.
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