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Agenda item


To consider planning application number 21/1013 for the Erection of an external staircase to rear between tram shelter and sub-station buildings (to access previously approved cafe roof terrace) and installation of new windows to west elevation.


The Committee considered application number 21/1013 for the erection of an external staircase to the rear between the tram shelter and sub-station building to access a previously approved roof terrace and installation of new windows to the west elevation at Bispham Tram Shelter, Queens Promenade.


Ms Susan Parker, Head of Development Management, presented the report and provided the Committee with an overview of the application which was in relation to the locally listed Bispham Tram Station.


The Committee was reminded that it had considered the application in November 2022 and at that meeting had requested an additional condition requiring a fixed guard rail to the rear of the premises to be painted in a bright colour to improve visibility and that ground markings be provided. The applicant had not accepted the need for a guard rail or for the requirement for it to be painted or accompanied by ground markings and the application was now back before the Committee for further consideration.


Ms Parker advised that the application had been amended since the first submission and a rear external staircase between the tram station and the adjacent substation, along with new windows in the west elevation was now proposed. The proposed external staircase would give access to a recently installed roof terrace, which had been installed in line with a previously approved planning application. The staircase would be accessible from inside the café with an external gate opening outwards onto the rear of the Promenade. This gate would only be in use as an emergency exit and for deliveries and would not be used for general access and egress by customers. Ms Parker advised that Planning Officers were of the opinion that the staircase would have a minimal visual impact and would not harm the character or significance of the station building.


The Committee was advised of an objection that had been received in relation to safety issues associated with the gate, if it was to open onto the Promenade into the path of pedestrians and cyclists. Ms Parker noted that the applicant had worked with Planning Officers to mitigate this objection and plans had been submitted that would provide a rail to the rear, to keep pedestrians and cyclists away from the door. In respect of other objections raised in relation to the lease, land ownership, Building Regulations compliance and customer and staff conflicts, the Committee was reminded that none of these issues were planning considerations and could not be considered as part of the application.


Ms Parker advised that Planning Officers had not been able to secure the changes requested by the Planning Committee at the November meeting and the proposed guard rail was considered necessary. She noted that the Applicant would have the right of appeal regarding this condition. The proposal was considered acceptable and would contribute to ensuring the future of a locally listed building and the Committee was asked to approve the application, subject to the conditions listed in the report.


Mr Anthony Molyneux, as the Applicant, spoke in favour of the application and provided the Committee with an overview of the discussions that had taken place with Planning Officers during the course of the application. He provided the Committee with photographs of the café in use to give context to his application and to give an understanding of the egress onto the Promenade and noted that he had been instructed to remove tables to the rear of the café however, Mr Molyneux stated that he believed these tables fulfilled the same function as the requested guard rail and that these tables were frequently used by disabled customers and carers. In relation to the guard rail, Mr Molyneux asked the Committee to reconsider its inclusion in the planning conditions as he did not feel it was necessary or required. In addition he raised concerns that the guard rail could encourage anti-social behaviour and allow people to climb onto the café whilst it was not in operation.


Ms Parker advised the Committee that Mr Monlyneux’s wish to set tables and chairs to the rear of the café, onto the Promenade was not a matter that could be considered as part of this planning application.


The Committee discussed the application and was advised that it could only look at the application before it and that any other amendments would be subject to a separate application or a street trading licence. The Committee noted that a guard rail had been considered to be necessary by the Planning Officers when it was recommended for approval in November 2022 and that it would be appropriate to retain the condition.



To approve the application subject to the conditions outlined in the Officer Report.

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