Tetlow King Planning (TKP) recently helped Knightstone Housing Association to achieve a tight planning application timetable enabling 44 affordable housing units to proceed adjacent to Poole Town Centre.
When TKP were first instructed in January 2008, the application was in serious difficulties with objections pending from the Environment Agency and the Council’s urban design officer. These difficulties were exacerbated by the strict funding deadlines imposed by the Housing Corporation, requiring a planning permission to be secured in time for a building contract to be signed by mid-March.
An intensive round of meetings was held with Poole Borough Council following which changes to the design were agreed. These principally encompassed a reduction in the number of units, a reduction in massing, enhancement of the adjacent open space and a rearrangement of the car parking.
The objections from the Environment Agency proved even more challenging. Despite a Flood Risk Assessment being submitted showing a 1 in 200 year risk of flooding and the buildings being designed to avoid any direct physical risk, the Environment Agency continued to maintain an objection. This was based on the site being within a relatively high risk flood zone and that other sites with a lesser flood risk should be considered first.
TKP assembled a raft of documentation to counter the objection and demonstrate that the relevant criteria of both the ‘sequential’ and ‘exceptions’ tests contained within PPS25 were fully satisfied. The planning officers and members of the Borough of Poole were persuaded to overrule the Environment Agency. By mid-February a resolution to grant planning permission was in place but this still required referral to the Government Office for the South West for a 21 day period within which the application could have been called in for a public inquiry.
TKP assembled further arguments in collaboration with the Borough of Poole, ultimately persuading the Government Office for the South West to overrule the Environment Agency and allow the Council to grant permission within the required timetable.
We worked in close conjunction with Williams Lester (Architects) and AKS Ward (Engineers) throughout.