Developers in Kingswood have been given permission from the local council for a new set of proposals for a former nightclub.
South Gloucestershire Council has granted permission for the demolition of the Rotunda club on Moravian Road and for it to be replaced by a development of over 1000 sq.m. of office space and 14 flats. The developers intend to incorporate 34 car parking spaces into their plans. Outline plans for the layout, scale and means of access to the site were approved in May. The developers have now been granted permission for the reserved matters of appearance and landscaping meaning development can now proceed.
Developers already had permission to demolish the club and replace it with 24 flats and around 270 square metres of office space. The Council’s rules on affordable housing would have meant that eight of these flats would have been transferred to a housing association for rent or shared ownership. However, as the new proposals are for less than the Council’s threshold figure of 15 homes, no affordable housing is required and the local community will lose out on the eight affordable homes.
Local councillors for the area, Roger Coales, Andy Perkins and Pat Rooney (Labour, Woodstock) said:
“This is another example where a developer has been given permission to build 14 units so they can avoid the affordable housing element. It’s not surprising given the current housing market that the number of dwellings has been reduced but nonetheless it is disappointing that this practice continues to occur.”
The local councillors have previously exposed this loophole in the local council’s planning rules. Their research showed that over a two year period from January 2006, out of the 60 planning applications received by South Gloucestershire Council for developments of between 10 and 18 dwellings, 31 of them (52%) were for exactly 14 dwellings but only five (8%) were for 15 or more dwellings.
The councillors added:
“The Council is currently going through a process of updating its planning policies and we have argued strongly that this loophole needs to be closed. Indications that we have received seem to suggest our concerns have been recognised and will be addressed.”
Source: Woodstock Labour Councillors