Decision details

Planning Application SL/2019/0146 - Land at Booths, Oubas Hill, Ulverston

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decisions:

Erection of freestanding single storey restaurant with associated drive-thru, car parking and landscaping and associated works, 2 customer order displays with associated canopies and play area (McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd)..

 

Note- Councillor Judy Filmore declared a non-pecuniary interest in this item by virtue of the fact that she was predetermined. Councillor Filmore addressed the Members in accordance with the Planning Committee’s Public Participation Scheme before leaving the meeting during  discussion and voting on the item.

 

Councillor Janette Jenkinson declared a non-pecuniary interest in this item by virtue of the fact that she was a member of Ulverston Town Council during initial discussions. She remained in the meeting during discussion and voting on the item.

 

The Planning Officer presented Planning Application No.SL/2019/0146 which sought permission to erect a single storey restaurant with an associated drive-thru. He referred to a site map to illustrate the location, displayed plans and photographs which outlined the proposals and he drew Members’ attention to the late representations which had been circulated prior to the meeting. The Planning Officer highlighted that within the late representations the applicant’s agent had outlined the proposed opening hours and that a suitable planning condition would be included in the decision notice, should approval be granted. He then moved on to outline the proposals for the single storey restaurant with a drive-thru element which included 30 parking spaces and a play area, on the brownfield site which was currently being used as a recycling centre in the car park of Booths supermarket.

 

The Planning Officer went on to explain that the key issues for consideration were the principle of the development; the impact on the town centre; the impact on amenity, design, scale and layout; highways safety and parking; air quality, noise and odour; impact on the environment and wildlife; and impact on drainage and flooding. The Planning Officer moved on to detail the assessment of the application. He informed Members that the site was within Ulverston’s development boundary and that sequential testing had been applied and that no suitable alternative sites had been identified. The site was well connected to the town centre and the proposal was acceptable in principle. He referred to the impact on visual amenity and highlighted specific details of the site which included the maximum height of the building at 5.7 metres, which was considered to relate acceptably to its surroundings. He explained that soft landscaping and external lighting would be controlled by planning conditions and he added that directional signage within the site had already been granted permission. Furthermore, the Planning Officer informed Members that due to concerns highlighted in representations regarding the impact on residential amenity, the delivery and opening times would be controlled by planning conditions and he went on to outline the distance of the application from the nearest residential dwellings. He stated that the proposal would not cause harm to local residential homes or businesses. The Planning Officer confirmed that Highways England had no objections to the proposal and he informed Members that despite the proposed site being in ‘Flood Zone 2’, it was not a high risk site and that the Local Lead Flood Authority had no objections to the development. Moving on, the Planning Officer informed Members that a noise report and odour control measures had been submitted with the application and that South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC’s) Environmental Protection Officer was satisfied with the proposal, subject to their recommended conditions. Regarding the impact on Public Health, the Planning Officer informed Members that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) required authorities to enable and support healthy lifestyles and that Development Management Policy DM22 stated that proposals for hot food takeaways needed to be carefully managed and have regard to the proximity to sensitive areas such as schools. He informed Members that the nearest Primary and Secondary Schools were 700 metres and 750 metres away from the site respectively, and highlighted that Ulverston town centre was closer to the nearest schools than the proposed restaurant. The Planning Officer went on to outline the impact on the environment, climate change and wildlife and he highlighted the commitment, by the applicant, to limiting the impact the development would have on climate change and that a survey of travel arrangements of employees from similar size restaurants had been completed and that a travel plan would be put in place. The travel plan would encourage staff to use sustainable modes of transport and in addition the proposal included parking spaces for eight bikes and two electric vehicles. Furthermore the applicant was committed to using one vehicle for deliveries and the collection of recyclable materials which would remove the need for separate vehicle trips and would cut emissions. In addition, the cooking oil from the restaurant would be recycled to create a bio-fuel which would be used as fuel for McDonald’s delivery vehicles. Alongside this, all power used within the proposed restaurant was to be green energy provided by Npower. Furthermore, the Planning Officer made reference to a condition within the report, relating to the applicant providing bat and bird boxes at the Next Ness nature reserve. However, Cumbria Wildlife Trust had confirmed that nest boxes were not installed on nature reserves without a viable nest box project and therefore the nest boxes were not viable at the Next Ness nature reserve. Consequently the condition would be omitted from the decision notice, should approval be granted. In concluding his report the Planning Officer stated that the proposed development was considered to accord with the principles of sustainable development set out in the South Lakeland Strategy Policies CS1.0, CS1.2 and CS1.3; the proposed use satisfied the requirements of the sequential approach and the development was in accordance with Core Strategy Policy CS7.5 and Development Management Policy DM23; and the development would not have any significant adverse impacts on the amenity of local residents or the local environment and was in accordance with Core Strategy Policy CS8.10, Development Management Policy DM1, DM2 and the National Planning Policy Framework. He went on to clarify that condition 15, the provision of bat and bird boxes, would be omitted and confirmed two additional conditions, as included in the late representations, which covered delivery and waste collection times and the opening hours which were to be 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m.

 

Peter Howlett, a local resident, addressed the Committee. He began by emphasising the protection of plant and animal life and he highlighted Section 1.35 of South Lakeland District Council’s Development Framework Core Strategy which stated that South Lakeland District Council should “manage and nurture plant and animal life and protect and improve the man-made environment”. Mr Howlett moved on by stating that McDonald’s remained one of the biggest contributors to fast food litter in the UK and that single use plastics made up a large proportion of the litter which contributed to the global plastic pollution crisis. He raised the point that a drive-thru McDonald’s in Ulverston would inevitably threaten the nearby water courses and the biodiversity of Morecambe Bay. Mr Howlett then argued that the commitment by McDonald’s to have staff perform three litter picks per day and provide bins along Ulverston Canal was farcical, as he believed that it would exacerbate the problem as it mitigated the concept of ‘take your litter home’ and raised confusion over who would be emptying the bins. Mr Howlett moved on to highlight the impact on the climate and local pollution levels which he believed the proposed restaurant would have. He went on to state, that a drive-thru would encourage idling engines at the site which was a major contributor to CO2 emissions. Mr Howlett then informed Members that McDonald’s proudly claimed that they sold a quarter of a million burgers every hour, and that the link to global deforestation as an impact of the mass produced beef market and its impact on the environment was undeniable. He informed Members that McDonald’s gave away the largest amount of small toys in the world, the majority of which were immediately thrown away, which further highlighted his point regarding the global plastic pollution crisis. Mr Howlett concluded his address by informing Members that the proposed restaurant failed on local and national policy and on planning objectives and he urged the Committee to reject the proposal as the decision was likely the first real test of South Lakeland District Council’s green pledge and that it presented an opportunity for the Council to show that those words really meant something.

 

Councillor Judy Filmore addressed the Committee. She began by stating that the proposed restaurant would contradict South Lakeland Local Development Framework Core Strategy. Councillor Filmore continued by arguing that the local economy should be sustainably managed to create prosperity through promoting local businesses and providing development sites for indigenous businesses. She emphasised her point by highlighting that McDonald’s workers would mostly be on minimum wage until the age of twenty-five, and informed Members that the applicant was a multi-national company and that the money spent on the proposed development would not help the local economy but instead help McDonald’s shareholders. Councillor Filmore moved on to highlight the uniqueness of Ulverston, which she believed, relied heavily on thriving independent local businesses and money being spent supporting them. She highlighted to Members that the proposed development would bring seven local businesses into direct competition with McDonald’s. Councillor Filmore then moved on to emphasise the health and well-being issues that she linked to the proposed development and pointed out the statistic that one in five children aged 10 to 11 was currently obese and World Health Organisation statistics stated that overweight children were more likely to be overweight in adulthood. She then highlighted to Members that a medium portion of fries in McDonald’s contained 24% fat. Councillor Filmore concluded her address by asking Members to consider the impact on the local economy and stated that the health and wellbeing of local children should not be compromised and highlighted that in saying no, there would likely be, a brownfield site available for a local business, which would enhance the local economy.

 

Councillor Phillip Dixon addressed the Committee. He began by reminding Members that he had served as Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder for South Lakeland District Council and highlighted the three objectives within the portfolio: to improve health and wellbeing for local people; to improve transport and increase the number of people walking and cycling; and to improve air quality across the district. He moved on to inform Members that the Council had statutory responsibility for clean air and that a drive–thru, at the proposed site, would definitely damage the air quality of the area. Councillor Dixon concluded by highlighting that the proposed restaurant went against everything that the Council was trying to achieve through its policies which focused on health and wellbeing and on addressing the impact of climate change.

 

Chris Nicholls, McDonald’s Franchisee at the proposed development, addressed the Committee. He began by informing Members that he currently ran eleven separate McDonald’s restaurants, including two in Barrow in Furness and that during the Planning Application process he had been fully compliant and had provided all of the necessary information. He had also given due consideration to the letters of objection and the petition. Mr Nicholls highlighted that McDonald’s was aware of the issue of litter originating from their restaurants and that it worked incredibly hard to prevent litter from spreading and he informed the Committee that the teams at his restaurants were required to litter pick within a large radius of the restaurants. He informed Members that his restaurants had completed 200 litter picks so far this year and that plastic straws had been removed from the supply chain. Furthermore, he stated that he had ambitions to remove all single use plastics from the supply chain and was indeed working towards this. Mr Nicholls informed Members that planned to invest in local charities, as he had done at all eleven of his restaurants, and wished to immerse his business in the local area and employ local people who would be the heart of his business. He went on to highlight that his commitment was clearly represented by the career progression of  90% of his management staff, who had commenced employment at the lowest levels and with training opportunities had worked their way up to management roles at his establishments. Mr Nicholls then informed Members that at all eleven of his restaurants he worked closely with the Police in order to prevent anti-social behaviour, which had been cited as a major issue associated with McDonald’s restaurants. In order to mitigate the issue, he had provided staff with the opportunity to attend courses to train them on how to deal with anti-social behaviour, so that they were well informed on how to deal with such issues. Mr Nicholls concluded his address by reiterating his point that he had twenty years of successfully running his businesses, and remained fully committed, as ever, to working hard within the local community.

 

The Interim Development Team Leader responded to concerns raised during public participation. He began by acknowledging Mr Howlett’s comments, which were of relevance to any development, however he stated that it was important to ensure that Members were considering the application site and proposed usage only and that the identity of the applicant was not a material consideration. He moved on to highlight that SLDC had consulted with the Wildlife Trust in order to assess the impact of the proposed development on local wildlife and the ecological environment and, regarding the impact of litter, there was a need to take reasonable steps to mitigate its impact and the Interim Development Team Leader stated that the Section 106 Agreement would include the funding of litter bins along the local canal. The Interim Development Team Leader informed Members that the impact on the local economy would be minimised by the fact that the proposed restaurant would be a greater distance from the town centre than other locally run establishments and he added that while health and wellbeing was vitally important and that the Council had a Health and Wellbeing Strategy, the  distance between the proposed restaurant and the local schools, alongside the large element of choice in the surrounding area, meant that the proposal was not considered to be in a particularly sensitive area.

 

The Planning Officer then added, in response to a question raised by Mr Howlett, that SLDC Street Scene Team would empty the bins on the site and the surrounding area after the applicant’s pledge had ended and in regards to the recycling centre, there were plans to relocate the recycling centre alongside Booths supermarket.

 

The Interim Lead Specialist Legal, Governance and Democracy drew Member’s attention to a typographical error in the financial benefits to Local Authorities from the development section of the report, which referred to Section 115 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which should be Section 155 of the Act, advising that the section was not yet in force.

 

Members thanked Officers for the comprehensive report and raised questions on the payment of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The Interim Development Team Leader, in consultation with Officers, confirmed that the square meterage of the proposed site meant that the development was exempt from CIL.

 

Members gave consideration to the highways impact and the risk of further congestion on the A590 and raised concerns regarding the impact of litter and requested that a more far reaching network of bins be provided to compensate for people taking their food to local beauty spots. The majority of Members welcomed the proposed development and agreed that it was in an appropriate location, on a brownfield site with parking.

 

RESOLVED – That the application be accepted subject to the following conditions:

 

Condition (1)   The development hereby permitted shall be commenced before the expiration of THREE YEARS from the date hereof.

 

Reason            To comply with the requirements of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by Section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

 

Condition (2)   The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans:

Location Plan Dwg No 7134 AEW 8526 1001 received 15th February 2019

Proposed Site Plan Dwg No 7134 AEW 8526 1004 received 15th February 2019

Proposed Floor Plan and Roof Plan Dwg No 7134 AEW 8526 1006 received 15th February 2019

Proposed Elevations Dwg No 7134 AEW 8526 1005 received 15th February 2019

 

Reason            For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.

 

Condition (3)   Before development above damp proof course commences on site, arrangements shall be made with the Local Planning Authority for the inspection of all external facing and roofing materials to be used in the development hereby permitted. The samples shall then be approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and the development constructed in accordance with the approved details.

 

Reason            To ensure the use of appropriate materials and to ensure the development is of a high quality design in accordance with Policy CS8.10 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy and Policy DM1 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document.

 

Condition (4)   Foul and surface drainage shall be drained on separate systems.

 

Reason            To secure proper drainage and to manage the risk of flooding and pollution and to accord with Policy CS8.8 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy and Policy DM6 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document.

 

Condition (5)   Full details of the surface water drainage system (incorporating SUDs features as far as practicable) and a maintenance schedule shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority for approval prior to development being commenced. Any approved works shall be implemented prior to the development being completed and shall be maintained thereafter in accordance with the schedule. The drainage scheme submitted for approval shall be in accordance with the principles set out in the Flood Risk Assessment dated February 2019 proposing surface water discharging to the adjacent ditch drains surrounding the site.

 

Reason            To secure proper drainage and to manage the risk of flooding and pollution and to accord with Policy CS8.8 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy and Policy DM6 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document.

 

Condition (6)   No development shall take place until a Construction Method Statement has been submitted to, and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The statement shall provide for:

i.          The parking of vehicles of site operatives and visitors;

ii.          Loading and unloading of plant and materials;

iii.         Storage of plant and materials used in constructing the

                                    development;

iv.        Measures to control the emission of dust and dirt during 

construction;

v.         No burning of waste to take place;

vi.        Measures to avoid excess dirt on adjacent roads;

vii.        Measures to control noise and vibration from plant, equipment and procedures – this to include any rock pecking and excavations.

The approved Construction Method Statement shall be adhered to throughout the construction period.

 

Reason            To safeguard the amenity of adjacent residential properties and to accord with Policy DM1 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document and paragraph 127 (f) of the National Planning Policy Framework.

 

Condition (7)   Construction works, including site preparation, earthworks, start-up of machinery, deliveries and unloading of equipment and materials shall not take place outside the hours of 08.00 – 18.00 Mondays to Fridays and 09.00 – 13.00 on Saturdays and at no time on Sundays, Public or Bank Holidays.

 

Reason            To safeguard the amenity of adjacent residential properties and to accord with Policy DM1 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document and paragraph 127 (f) and 180 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

 

Condition (8)   During the construction phase of the development the developer shall fully comply with the conclusions and recommendations detailed in the Phase One and Phase Two Assessments by Pam Brown Associates dated May 2018. Before the building is first brought into use, a validation report and statement from a competent person, detailing the contamination assessment, including any found during development, any remediation undertaken, and also reference the Phase One and Phase Two Assessment, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

Reason            To ensure that risks from land contamination are minimised, in accordance with Policy DM7 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document and paragraph 170 (e) of the National Planning Policy Framework.

 

Condition (9)   Prior to the building being first brought into use a validation report confirming that the odour/ventilation extraction system (including the effectiveness of the filtration/treatment process) is as indicated in the Odour Control Report and fully compliant with recent guidance for commercial kitchens, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason            To safeguard the amenity of neighbouring occupiers in accordance with Policy DM1 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document and paragraph 127(f) and 180 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

 

Condition (10)Prior to the building being first brought into use a validation report confirming the conclusions set out in the Noise Impact Assessment dated February 2019 by Loven Acoustics, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason            To safeguard the amenity of neighbouring occupiers in accordance with Policy DM1 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document and paragraph 127(f) and 180 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

 

Condition (11)Refuse and recycling shall be stored and managed in accordance with the Waste Management and Recycling Statement received by the Local Planning Authority on 15th February 2019 and thereafter maintained.

 

Reason            To safeguard the amenity of neighbouring occupiers in accordance with Policy DM1 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document and paragraph 127(f) and 180 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

 

Condition (12)No works or development shall take place until a full specification of all proposed tree and shrub planting has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The specification shall include the quantity, size, species, and positions or density of all trees to be planted. All trees shall be planted in accordance with the agreed specification and times and in accordance with British Standards BS4043 – Transplanting Root-Balled Trees and BS4428 - Code of Practice for General Landscape Operations.

 

Reason            These details are required to be approved before the commencement of development to safeguard and enhance the character of the area and secure high quality landscaping in accordance with Policy DM4 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document.

 

Condition (13)No development shall take place until full details of both hard and soft landscape works have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. These details shall include:-

i.          Proposed finished levels or contours;

ii.          Means of enclosure;

iii.         Car parking layouts;

iv.        Other vehicle and pedestrian access and circulation areas;

v.         Hard surfacing materials;

vi.        Minor artefacts and structures (e.g. furniture, play equipment, refuse or other storage units, signs, lighting etc.);

vii.        Communications cables, pipelines etc. indicating lines, inspection covers, support and;

viii.       Retained landscape features such as trees together with details of how they will be protected during construction.

Soft landscape works shall include planting plans, written specifications (including cultivation and other operations associated with plant and grass establishment), schedules of plans, noting species, plant sizes and proposed numbers/densities and an implementation programme.

The agreed scheme shall be carried our as approved to the agreed timetable. Any trees/shrubs which are removed, die, become severely damaged or diseased within five years of their planting shall be replaced in the next planting season with trees/shrubs of similar size and species to those originally required to be planted unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent to any variation.

 

Reason            These details are required to be approved before the commencement of development to safeguard and enhance the character of the area and secure high quality landscaping in accordance with Policies DM1, DM2 and DM4 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document.

 

Condition (14)No development shall begin unless and until a scheme for the provision of external lighting has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall include full details of the location, design, illuminance levels, light spillage and hours of use of all external lighting within the site. The approved lighting scheme shall be implanted in full prior to the first occupation of the development hereby approved.

 

Reason            These details are required to be approved before the commencement of development to safeguard and enhance the character of the area and to minimise light pollution in accordance with Policy DM2 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document.

 

Condition (15)Deliveries and waste collection shall not take place other than between the following hours:-

06:30 – 22.00 Monday - Saturday.

09:00 – 18:00 Sundays and Bank or Public Holidays.

 

Reason:           To safeguard the amenity of the neighbouring residents in accordance with Policies DM1 and DM2 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document and National Planning Policy Framework Chapter 12, Achieving well-designed places - para 127.

 

Condition (16)The drive through restaurant and takeaway shall not operate other than between the following hours:-

06:00 – Midnight – Monday to Sunday

 

Reason:           To safeguard the amenity of the neighbouring residents in accordance with Policies DM1 and DM2 of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document and National Planning Policy Framework Chapter 12, Achieving well-designed places - para 127.

Publication date: 08/08/2019

Date of decision: 27/06/2019

Decided at meeting: 27/06/2019 - Planning Committee

Accompanying Documents: