22/00530/FUL 60 St Georges Place, Cheltenham GL50 3PN
The Principal Planning Officer introduced the part-retrospective application the retention of and proposed alterations to extraction equipment. She confirmed that a new extraction pipe had been installed without planning permission, and that environmental health officers were currently investigating noise complaints associated with the equipment, but that a series of improvements were now proposed, in consultation with environmental health officers, which should result in a marked improvement. The impact on the conservation area and adjacent listed buildings would be minimal, with the proposed equipment less visible than the previous system, which would have to be removed for legal reasons. She said a number of conditions were attached to the recommendation to permit, including the requirement for a noise survey two months after the installation, and removal of the previous extraction system within six months.
In response to Members’ questions, the officer confirmed that:
- the legal requirement for the removal of the previous extraction equipment arose because the pipe overhung third party land to the rear of the building;
- a noise survey would identify noise levels from the new equipment, and further improvements may be required, but this was a separate environmental health process, not part of the planning process;
- many of the objections related to the situation at present, and measures designed to address these concerns had been raised.
In debate, Members made the following points:
- this proposal represented a step forward – the old system was very ugly and noisy, and very close to residential property. Extraction was noisy, but could be silenced to a large degree, and it would be helpful if Members could receive a report from environmental health officers, after three months or so, to see how well the new scheme was working;
- the new extraction system may not be so visible from the road, but was still very much so at the rear, for the residents of St George’s Tower and Latheram House. The amenity of these neighbours was most seriously affected by the noise, however; what would happen if the noise reduction didn’t work? Would the restaurant have to close down? It was a difficult situation with both a long-established and successful business and the amenity of local residents at stake.
The Chair pointed out that officers could not be expected to report back on all conditions attached to planning permissions, but the case officer gave reassurance by stating that conditions were designed to build in a checking process and the technical advice of the environmental health officer would have to be taken on this – he had confirmed that further works would be requested on the system, regardless of the outcome of the planning process. The scheme had been considered on its merits, all appropriate safeguards were in place, and officers would get confirmation if the proposed scheme was successful. If it was not, there would be an opportunity to look at it again.
The Chair moved to the vote on the officer recommendation to permit, with conditions as set out. The vote was recorded as follows:
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