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Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests that relate to business on the agenda and which have not already been included in the register of interests, before any discussion takes place on the item. Unless the interest is sensitive, you must also disclose the nature of the interest. In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, you must then leave the room and must not participate in any further discussion of the item. Councillors requiring clarification should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer prior to the day of the meeting.
No declarations of interest were made by Members.
To consider the report of the Assistant Service Lead City Development.
The Principal Project Manager (Development) (MD) presented the application for the development of a Co-Living (Sui Generis) accommodation block and a hotel (Class C1) including bar and restaurant, following demolition of existing shopping centre and pedestrian bridge, change of use of upper floors of 21-22 Queen Street to Co-Living (Sui Generis), and all associated works including parking, landscaping, amenity areas, public realm improvements, new pedestrian bridge and provision of heritage interpretation kiosk. (Revised)
The Principal Project Manager (Development) set out a detailed description of the site and surrounding area, including: site photographs, views towards the site from surrounding streets, the location of Central and St David’s conservation areas, the location of listed and locally listed buildings, and the character of the surrounding built environment. He also showed photos of views from the existing building towards the neighbouring properties along Northernhay Street, noting the level difference between the site and properties to the west. He then presented the proposed scheme, including: layout plans, highways plans, floor plans, elevations, indicative 3D views and sections, the latter of which showed the relationship of the buildings to the neighbouring properties, including separation distances and sightlines. He commented that the architecture of the two buildings had been amended to achieve more distinctive design and reduce the continuous built form across the site. The roofline was modulated to respond to the sloping topography. Both buildings included green roofs and photovoltaic panels. The buildings also incorporated artwork panelling on the ground floors. The Hotel included a green wall on part of the building facing Northernhay Street. The public spaces included new hard and soft landscaping, including a habitat pocket park with a footpath through it linking Paul Street near the junction with North Street to the City Wall.
The Principal Project Manager (Development) then presented the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment illustrative views of the proposal from the surrounding streets, as well as Northernhay and Rougemont Gardens, and views from within the site near the scheduled City Wall. He then reported the following late matters:
· the agreement of Natural England with the conclusion of the appropriate assessment carried out by the Council under the Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended), provided the assessment is precise in setting out the number of units to be granted;
· confirmation by Devon County Council as the Lead Local Authority that surface water drainage detail can be dealt with a by pre-commencement condition;
· a request to delay the decision of the application from the Exeter Science Centre stating that the site would be appropriate for a STEAMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths and Medicine) Discovery Centre in the City Centre;
· a further objection from Mr Gavin Hall including a reference to material flaws in the committee report, a failure to meet the tests for some conditions as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and stating that the public benefits would not outweigh the identified harm to heritage assets; and
· the written response of the planning agent refuting Mr ... view the full minutes text for item 81.