Report on the Meeting of the Development Control Committee held on Monday 29th April 2013 regarding the Badminton Centre Planning Applications

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A meeting of the Development Control Committee took place at the Civic Offices to discuss the two planning applications effecting the Loughton Parish Council area.

13/00267/FUL Land Adjacent To MK Bowl Watling Street H7 To H8 Elfield Park Milton Keynes

Construction of a new National Badminton Centre including an arena of 17 x badminton courts and 6 x indoor tennis courts; 6 outdoor courts; associated fitness and conference facilities; administrative and overnight accommodation together with ancillary uses; associated car parking and landscaping works.

13/00266/OUT National Badminton Centre 96 Bradwell Road Loughton Lodge Milton Keynes MK8 9LA

Demolition of the existing National Badminton Centre, health club and residential accommodation block and outline planning consent for a C3 residential development consisting of up to 104 units including the retention of the existing farmhouse building.

The public gallery was packed with concerned residents and some supporters of the Badminton Centre.

There were seven speakers who addressed the Committee each had three (3) minutes to put their case and ranged from local residents to the Chair of the Loughton Residents Association and the Chair of Loughton Parish Council.

The local ward member Cllr Andy Dransfield was also present.

The Chair of Loughton Parish Council expressed his concern about the potential loss of the existing Farmhouse and 17th Centre Threshing Barn which serves as Restaurant, and hoped that these would be retained in any future scheme. Cllr Todd felt the proposed development was not in keeping with the local environment and that residents enjoyed the open spaces and did not want to see infill development encroaching into the area, he also expressed his unease at the fact that Milton Keynes Council appeared to be jettisoning their planning policies to ensure this housing scheme went ahead.

The applicants then expressed their right to reply and had a total of twenty one (21) minutes to make their response, (the same amount of time that objectors had in total).

Councillors on the Committee felt that the applicants should incorporate the Farmhouse and Threshing Barn, but as the Planning Officer advised the meeting, that as the site is not in a conservation area they could only request and not demand that these buildings are retained in any future scheme, (bearing in mind that they are seeking outline planning permission and that the plans presented are only indicative at this stage.)

One Councillor moved a motion to the effect that Section 106 monies (these are a contribution made by the developer to Milton Keynes Council, although sometimes to a Parish and Town Council often for additional facilities, such play areas etc where a development is taking place.) should be put into disabled adaptions for properties anywhere in Milton Keynes, on put to a vote this was agreed.

The Planning Officer said that the development of the new Badminton Centre will not take place until a developer has signed contracts for the development on Bradwell Road to take place, and on condition that the new building allowed for School and Community use and that the applicant makes a financial contribution towards sports education out in the community.

The Committee on a show of hands voted unanimously in favour of both planning applications.              

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