After careful consideration and feedback from some residents and other nearby venues, we have decided to object to the change of use planning application for the Church of the Holy Spirit on Beeston Hill. The decision was not taken lightly as we want to see the site return to long term use - but we do not feel the impact on local residents due to increasing of on street parking is justified. Our objection in full is below.
All three local ward councillor object to the application as we believe the site is unsustainable due to its impact on street parking, local amenity, and other matters.
It is densely populated residential area with venues nearby in the immediate surround area of the proposed site whose use already creates significant on street parking demand and contribute to a chronic lack of on street parking in the area for both residents and current venues.
There is clearly no space for up to ten employees to park in the surrounding streets and the Highways Authorities decision to use only the current number of employees to justify its recommendation is questionable - the sites likely on street parking impact must be judged on total likely employment, not currently levels.
The judgement that a faith venue would generate more on street parking also ignores the fact faith buildings have peak demand usage, focused on specific days for short periods. The proposed change of use would create a permanent demand for on street parking throughout the week – changing the parking characteristics of the area.
There are already two venues near the proposed site which create a significant on street parking demand throughout the week - Building Blocks Nursery and Hamara Healthy Living Centre, and a nearby mosque which creates significant peak parking demand on a Friday afternoon. These on street parking demands seem to have been ignored in the assessment of available on street parking provision.
This is even before loading and unloading of delivery vehicles has been accounted for - taken up even more non-existent on street parking spaces. It is unrealistic in our view to expect a site of this size to only receive up to ten boxes of merchandise every two weeks and to employ up to ten members of staff and that business to be viable – this would suggest a higher likely volumes deliveries to site, increasing the loading and unloading volumes to above the applications estimate, resulting in a high on street parking demand then suggested.
We also have concerns over refuse collection for the site and where this would be stored.
We also have concerns over the disputed landownership of elements of the site with Building Blocks Nursery.
(After speaking to the Chair of Trustees - this has been an admit error on the redline boundary and fixed so this element if the objection will be removed and we will advised Hilary Benn MP of the same)
Should the application be recommended for approval by planning officers, we ask the matter be referred to the relevant plans panel for a member decision.