Agenda item

21/P/02296 - 1 and 2 Ash Grove, Guildford, GU2 8UT


Prior to consideration of the above-mentioned application, the following persons addressed the Committee in accordance with Public Speaking Procedure Rules 3(b):


·         Mr Neil Thompson (to object) (in person)

·         Dr R Hazelwood (to object) (in person) and;

·         Mr Robert Shaw (in support) (in person)


The Committee considered the full application for variation of condition 2 (approved plans) of planning permission 18/P/02391, approved on 17/02/2020, to allow changes to the approved scheme to increase bedspaces from 79 to 99 with use of ‘twodios’, external substation and bike store, removal of first floor podium, additional dormer windows and removal of connection between Blocks B and C.  (Amended plans received 02.02.22 routes, ‘twodio’ arrangement, removal of roof terrace, addition of rooflights, landscaping, brick detailing, window design and dormer window dimensions).


The Committee received a presentation from the planning officer, Kelly Jethwa.  The Committee noted the supplementary late sheets and was asked to ignore the second blue page as well as the late representations listed as neither were relevant to the application and had been included in error. The only relevant information was included on the first blue page detailing the amendments and corrections.  The site had previous approval for 79 bed spaces for student housing with the extant planning permission implemented.  The site was surrounded by mixed uses with a no through road abutting the A3 and the railway separating the site from the University Campus.  This was a minor material amendment to make alterations to the external layout and internal arrangements to accommodate 24 bed spaces which would increase the total number of available bed spaces to 99 as opposed to 79 as previously approved.  In relation to Block C, new windows would be installed within the stairwells as well as dormer windows to prevent overlooking to number 3 Ash Grove and had been stipulated in condition 32.  The link previously proposed between blocks B and C had been removed.  Some ancillary buildings for bike storage and a home delivery locker had also been included as well as a podium off the pedestrian footbridge. A reduction in parking from 11 to 7 spaces was also proposed.  No changes were proposed to the elevation, height or size of the building.  The main changes related to the detailing such as the windows and dormers and window designs.  The internal arrangement of the buildings would be altered to create the additional bed spaces in what had been described as ‘Twodios’.  These would have two bedrooms, shared kitchen, dining areas and changed the requirement for internal spaces to external spaces outside of the building.


The Committee noted that planning officers had worked with the applicant to improve the development with a number of changes secured via condition.  The proposed scheme would cause no material harm to the character of the area or neighbouring amenities.  The site was found to be suitable for the additional 24 bedspaces and the application was therefore recommended for approval subject to the amendments as detailed in the supplementary late sheets and a Deed of Variation to the S106. 


The Committee discussed the application and expressed their concerns regarding the effects of air pollution caused by the siting of the accommodation next to the A3 and the effects of air quality during the construction phase.  The Environmental Control Officer, Gary Durrant confirmed that all applications of this size had to undertake an air quality assessment.  Some air quality monitoring had already taken place and the objective levels were not any where near to the definition of ‘developed’.  The site was also located some distance away from the road and given the levels were not high, Environmental Health were satisfied that the monitoring levels were safe. The expectation was that the development would provide EV charging points.  The number of car parking spaces was also low considering the number of people who would live onsite therefore reducing the number of car users.  Lastly, in terms of the effect on the air quality during the construction phase, this would be managed via Environmental Health legislation.  Condition 24 was also in place to encourage residents not to use their own personal cars as a means of transport.   


The Committee noted their concern that only 56 bike places had been provided for a total of 99 residents as well as accessing bike storage which looked like quite a convoluted journey and how it would work practically.


The Committee noted that no significant changes had been made to the footprint or built form of the proposed development.  The Committee also noted queries raised in relation to the evidential need for more student accommodation in Guildford given the existing the plethora of existing student residences.  In addition, how did the room sizes of the ‘twodios’ compare to a single unit.


The planning officer, Kelly Jethwa confirmed in relation to the councillors queries that the cycle storage was a 52 two-tiered structure and therefore it would provide at least 104 spaces for bicycles.  Regarding accessibility, a couple of spaces were being provided near to the podium but most of the students would have to navigate through the podium to the cycle storage.  Twodios were more commonly seen in London and developers were responding to a market demand for the scenario whereby two friends get to live together.  The applicant was not required to comply with the nationally described space standards that were set by central government.  Single occupancy studios were generally smaller.  The Committee also noted that the road was a classified adopted road by Surrey County Council.  Under the original planning application considered in June 2019, part of the proposal included a controlled parking zone along Ash Grove so obstructive parking would not affect bin lorries or deliveries to local residents.  


A motion was moved and seconded to approve the application which was carried.

























Cllr Bob McShee





Cllr Jon Askew





Cllr Deborah Seabrook





Cllr Angela Goodwin





Cllr Ramsey Nagaty





Cllr Pauline Searle





Cllr Liz Hogger





Cllr Angela Gunning





Cllr Ruth Brothwell





Cllr Maddy Redpath





Cllr Paul Spooner





Cllr Colin Cross





Cllr Fiona White





Cllr Graham Eyre











In conclusion, having taken account of the representations received in relation to this application, the Committee


RESOLVED to approve application 21/P/02296 subject:


(i)            That a S106 Agreement be entered into to secure the provision of:


·         SANG and SAMM Contributions in accordance with the formula of the updated tariff


If the terms of the S106 or wording of the planning conditions are significantly amended as part of ongoing S106 or planning condition(s) negotiations any changes shall be agreed in consultation with the Chairman of the Planning Committee and lead Ward Member.


(i)            That upon completion of the above, the application be determined by the Head of Place.  The preliminary view is that the application should be granted subject to conditions.


(ii)           Amended condition 6:


The development must accord with the Arboricultural Report prepared by Dryad (amended version dated 24.02.2022, reference D2549.REV4.0.AIA.AM) and addendum showing removal of tree G2 (reference D2549 - Additional tree removal twodio V1.2). No development shall commence on site until the protective fencing and any other protection measures shown on the Tree Protection Plan (amended version dated 24.01.2022, reference D2549.REV4.0.A1.TCPWR Rev 4.0) in the Arboricultural Report have been installed. At all times, until the completion of the development, such fencing and protection measures shall be retained as approved. Within all fenced areas, soil levels shall remain unaltered, and the land kept free of vehicles, plant, materials and debris. No development shall commence until a site meeting has taken place with the site manager, the retained consulting arboriculturalist and the Local Planning Authority Tree Officer.


Reason: To protect the trees on site which are to be retained in the interests of the visual amenities of the locality.






Supporting documents: