Whilst few people would have an objection to a new restaurant run by Cote to be established in Weybridge I listened to the concerns of people living in the vicinity. As with all planning decisions, the matter has to be determined under the planning guidelines and policies set out by the various levels of government: borough, county and state.
My sense of the debate was that although many burghers would believe that the application would cause an unacceptable impact on local on-street parking in the evening – contrary to Elmbridge policy DM14; the fact that Surrey – the highway authority – thought otherwise killed such a case.
The argument is that if the committee had refused to permit the development on the grounds of parking stress or such a similar reason then the applicant could have appealed against the decision to the national government and would win because parking is a transport matter dealt with by Surrey. On this basis Elmbridge may not gainsay Surrey. Elmbridge might even have to pay costs.
However, I discussed Surrey’s transport planning remit with the very Surrey planning staff who deal with such applications. They told me that some aspects of transport are indeed the concern of Surrey but not all of them. Surrey’s three concerns are – as guided by the national government’s national planning policy framework: to reduce the need for major transport infrastructure; that safe and suitable access to the site can be achieved for all people; and, residual cumulative impacts of development are not severe. They felt that Elmbridge could apply its own judgement especially DM14 – the policy on the evening economy.
I regret to say that I was unable to persuade my fellow councillors of the merits of such a course of action. The vote to grant permission, as I recall, was as follows:
- For: Cllr Gray, Cllr Grey, Cllr Knight, Cllr Samuels
- Against: Cllr Davis
- Abstained: Cllr Cheyne (chairman), Cllr Foale
- Absent: Cllr L Brown, Cllr Fairclough, Cllr D Mitchell
There were several conditions placed on the development – here are the significant ones:
NOISE AND VIBRATION – The extract system shall be installed and maintained so that noise or vibration cannot be heard or felt at or beyond the boundary of the nearest premises. If there are residential units within the same building then sound insuIation works must be carried out to ensure that noise and vibration cannot be heard or felt within the units.
HOURS OF OPENING (RESTAURANTS ETC) – The use hereby permitted shall not be open to customers outside the following times 08:00-23:30 Monday to Saturday and 08:00-23:00 Sunday and Bank Holidays.
USE OF FLAT ROOF AND OF EXTERNAL STAIRCASE – The flat roof and the external staircase hereby permitted shall not be used other than as a fire escape. Prior to the commencement of the development details including a “glass bolt” or similar suitable locking system .to the first floor external fire door shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The approved details shall be implemented and maintained as such in perpetuity.
ODOUR CONTROL – The premises shall be designed, constructed and~ maintained so that no fumes or odours are detectable at or beyond the boundary of the nearest premises. The duct must be designed, constructed and maintained in such a manner that its interior is capable of being cleaned.
BIN STORAGE – Prior to beginning the development, plans and elevations of bin stores required to accommodate refuse and recycling shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The bin stores shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details and permanently maintained for use by the development hereby permitted.
OUTDOOR MUSIC – No music shall be provided outside the structure of the building.
DELIVERIES OF GOODS – Deliveries and collections from the premises shall only be carried out between the hours of 08.00 and 22.00
HANDLING OF GOODS OR MATERIALS OR COLLECTION OF WASTE – Activities which are audible beyond the site boundary including disposal of refuse and in particular disposal of glass bottles in to the external bins shall only be carried out between the hours of 08.00 and 2200.
NOISE CONTROL VIA WINDOWS AND DOORS – External windows and doors serving the licensed area shall be kept closed between the hours of 20:00 and 08:00 (inclusive) when regulated entertainment is being provided other than for normal access and egress.
Surrey will be expected to take account of the needs of residents in its Weybridge parking review that it plans to undertake in December.
I will ask for the the improvement, lighting and sign posting of Church Path to be included in the safe routes to school programme.