The planning officer introduced the report.
Deputations were then heard whose points are summarised:
Ms Elizabeth Hughes, Director of Princes House objecting whose points included:
· Not suitable for use as an artist's studio as has very low ceilings and a lack of light.
· Concerns basement area will be turned into industrial use if application is approved.
· Not a self-contained unit, there are no bathrooms in the studio so tenants would need to use the stair and lift to access these.
· Previous unlawful uses within the basement.
· Décor damages and vandalism have taken place and other tenants are insecure.
· None of the residents want this to be approved.
Mr Darren Vincent, local resident and Director of Princes House objecting whose points included:
· Concerns with safety of the substances used in the basement adding more risk to other tenants in the building.
· If used as a workspace it will exacerbate parking issues.
· Issues of security in the building.
Mr David Clarke, resident of Princes House objecting whose points included:
· Artists will be using toxic materials.
Tenants will have access to electric and gas meters, post and the
front door so huge security issues and the residents do not support
Mr Brian Organ, applicant whose points included:
· Ceilings are 10ft high and there is lots of light to the basement.
· There have been no objections to the current tenant using the basement.
· There is a separate entrance to the rear so the tenants using the studio would not interfere with the front entrance, tenants post etc.
· Happy to agree to the proposed conditions from the planning officer.
Councillor Tom Wood, ward councillor, whose points included:
· Although conditions go a long way to mitigating the detrimental impact of this application asks that this is rejected.
· B1c use is not disruptive however report states that this is a different matter as it is within a residential building.
· Noise travels well in Princes House and if used as a studio will be additional noise which will be heard in the ground floor flats.
· Often residents do not report noise complaints to environmental health however this does not mean there have not been noise issues.
· In 1996 a condition was imposed on the property that the basement would only be used for storage as anything else would create too much noise for other residents.
In response to questions the following matters were clarified:
· The studio would be a self-contained unit with lockable doors. The planning officer did not know whether it was possible to incorporate toilet facilities into the unit.
· Class B1c was for light industry and within a residential area this would need to have no significant impact on residential amenity. Significant harm would include noise pollution.
Members felt that this would create a detrimental effect on living conditions and felt that this was not acceptable. There is also a lack of sound insulation so noise from the studio would have an effect on other residents.
RESOLVED that permission be refused for the following reason:
In the opinion of the Local Planning Authority, the proposed use of part of the basement as an Artist Studio would not be compatible with the residential nature of the larger building and would result in a detrimental impact on the occupiers of adjoining properties, particularly those within Princes House, in terms of increased noise and disturbance. The proposal is therefore, contrary to the aims and objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework and Policy PCS23 of the Portsmouth Plan.