Support of Sullart Street planning application

Planning Application ref: 2/2011/0151

Proposal: The development of 63 town houses and 38 apartments (including 25% affordable)
and use Class C2 residential accommodation with care, comprising 55, one, two
and three bedroom apartments for persons aged 55 and over with associated works.

Submission: Support
Comments: The Cockermouth Civic Trust supports the proposed scheme and welcomes the diverse use of the currently derelict brown field site.

The site is located on the edge of the town centre and within the perceived boundary of a denser urban grain. It is therefore important and a strong positive that this proposal recognises and responds to this location. The mixture of 3 and 4 storey terrace blocks to form visually strong streets is not only acceptable but an important feature to encourage and support. The integration and continuation of the existing streets to the north of the site enhances and adds to the current urban quality of the area.

To asses the detail of the scheme a ¿Building for Life Assessment¿ has been carried out and achieved a score of 15 (out of 20). The following comments resulted:

Ques 3. Whilst the tenure mix is good it was felt there should be a proportion of accommodation for rent.

Ques 5. The evidence available at the time of assessment was not sufficient to ascertain how refuse bins are to be successfully stored. The drawings do show larger refuse storage areas for the apartments but not for individual houses. We are concerned that if well designed locations for refuse bins are not incorporated there is a risk these items will be left on full view and detract from the ‘designed’ streetscapes.

Ques 15. Is there sufficient overlooking of the Greenway in order to reduce any possibility of anti-social behaviour?

Ques 16. It is likely that a long term management commitment for grounds maintenance will be in place but no detail or evidence was available at the time of assessment.Any planning approval should seek clarification and an undertaking that an adequate management regime is built in to the business model and will run in perpetuity.

Ques 17. The Trust was disappointed to see that a well designed scheme is to incorporate white uPVC windows. Presumably the choice of uPVC is driven by maintenance issues. However, other more acceptable materials are available that arguably are more durable than plastic. The Trust do not support the use of plastic nor do we think the use of the colour white to be appropriate (brown is also unacceptable). We strongly request that this material be substituted for something more sustainable and more fitting to a scheme as this. Timber, or timber powder coated aluminium clad are acceptable. All to be side hung casements or sliding sash (no top hung).

Ques 20. The internal layouts of the terrace houses are unimaginative and the Trust feel a revisiting of the internal layouts is required so that a better relationship of kitchen to lounge is achieved. It may be possible to create an open plan family room at first floor level with a bedroom or garden room to the ground floor rather than the restricted traditional cellular layout that is suggested.

In conclusion, the Trust support the principle of the proposal.