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AHRA   Template for Objections to    Arlington Planning application - F/TH/10/1061F            April 5th  2011
The following comments and observations are made with reference to reports and documents associated with the planning application.
Some of the comments may be repeated where the same topic comes up in more than one of those reports.  
These comments need to be read in conjunction with the reports to which they refer.

Comments in respect of the TDC Planning Brief    
The CABE report        
Thanet Local Plan    
Public Transport      
Comments and observations in respect of the planning application   
The Application Form  
Design and Access statement    
Transport Assessment   
Volume 2 Transport Assessment and Appendices  
Appendix B  KCC Meeting Minutes    
Proposed Lighting Design    
Phase 1  Desk Study Report   
Travel Plan  
Noise Assessment  
Retail Assessment
Planning Statement  
Energy and Sustainability  
Supplementary Planning Documentation   

Comments in respect of the Thanet District Council Planning Brief:

These comments relate to the Thanet District Council's adopted brief entitled, “Arlington Planning Brief” dated October 2008, which lays out the Council's requirements and aspirations for the development of the site.

At the foot of page 3, it is stated that the Council's interest is principally as a planning  authority. However, it must not be overlooked that Thanet District Council is in fact the freehold owner of the Arlington site and that the Council's tenant is Metropolitan Property Realizations Ltd.  The terms and conditions of the lease by which Metropolitan Property Realizations Ltd. holds the site, require it to obtain the permission of the landlord prior to carrying out any alterations to the buildings on the site for the purposes for  which any part of the site is used.  To this end, over and above any requirements  for planning permission, the tenant needs to seek the landlord's permission to demolish any of the existing buildings on the site.  This covers the existing shop units and the existing car parks -  being both the former public car park and the separate car park provided for the residents of Arlington House.   In view of the fact that the loss of the current residents car park is detrimental to the residents in terms of both the loss of 21 spaces and the imposition of a charge, it would not be unreasonable for the Council to withhold permission in such circumstances.

Page 4 of the brief lays out the vision and aims for the site.  In particular, it stipulates the need for a scheme which reverses the image of Arlington House in the minds of the public.  

The proposal in the planning application to apply a stain to the exterior concrete facade of Arlington House clearly does not do enough to reverse that image.  Furthermore, at page 9 of the planning brief, it states that “externally the building is in need of considerable improvement work.”  The mere staining of the exterior concrete panels (which constitute the majority of the external area of the building) does not fulfil the requirement for “considerable improvement work”.

At page 11 of the Planning Brief, reference is made to revised government guidelines (PPS6) requiring emphasis to be placed on the qualitative needs and benefits of developments, rather than focussing upon expenditure  capacity.  The application of stain to concrete panels which have been exposed to the ravages of time, salt, sand, wind and rain, does not comply to the requirement for additional weight being given to qualitative considerations.

At page 17, the planning brief makes reference to policy TC1 of the local plan, whereby the need for a retail development has to be demonstrated.  It also has to be shown that the development is of an appropriate scale and that there is no unacceptable impact on the vitality and viability of existing centres and that the location is accessible.

The application for a TESCO store on the Arlington Site brings the number of Tesco outlets with in Thanet to six. This would be the third TESCO superstore within the district operating on a 24 hours basis.   It will clearly have an impact on Margate town centre which already has the highest vacancy rates in England.

Access to the Site via All Saints Avenue is restricted for delivery vehicles. The southern end of the site is bounded  by the railway line and a low railway bridge.  All delivery vehicles must therefore enter and leave the southern end of All  Saints Avenue at its junction with the A28 on the seafront - thus forcing all such traffic to pass Arlington House.  This will result in increased noise and disturbance to residents.

In so far as the parking provisions outlined at page 18 of the Planning Brief are concerned, policy TR16 provides for a maximum of 1 space for each 20 sq metres of retail food floor space and a maximum of 1 space for each 30 sq metres of non-food retail floor space.  There is no clear determination of the actual  retail floor space within any of the documentation.  

The retail floor space can only be calculated on the basis of the floor space of the building itself on which retail activity takes place - not storage areas, service areas or roadways.   On the basis of the plan which shows 49,584 sq. ft. of food retail this allows for no more than 205 car parking spaces for the store.

Given that the Arlington location is within a few hundred yards of a main line railway station and main bus routes and policies of restraint on parking in the interests of sustainability,  the maximum allowable of level car parking provision cannot be justified in any event.

 The application provides for a substantial reduction in the level of car parking spaces provided for residents and visitors to Arlington House, from 85 to 64 spaces.  Given that there are 142 flats within the development the existing parking provision of 85 spaces is not excessive.  Whilst current use of those spaces does not normally exceed 50 at any one time, it must be borne in mind that there are some 60 flats in the building which are not currently occupied.

Page 22 of the approved Arlington Planning Brief  outlines the opportunities to be grasped, the first of which is the refurbishment and the realignment of Arlington House  in the public perception .
 Secondly, there is the matter of improving the environment for the residents of Arlington  House .
Neither of those opportunities will be successfully  fulfilled by the developers current proposal for the application of a stain to the exterior concrete panels.

Under the heading of “Regeneration rationale “ on Page 23 of the Arlington Planning Brief,  it is acknowledged that the Arlington site is well related to the station and transport links.  Additionally, it is stated that a large retail unit would provide enabling funding for the improvement of an eyesore landmark building at the gateway to Margate seafront.  The works proposed by the developer for Arlington House seem minimal and certainly insufficient to provide significant improvement and long tern sustainability.  Adequate enabling funding can be required from the developer to ensure the level of improvement needed.

At page 25 of the approved plan, it makes provision for an access road to the south of the site, between All Saints Avenue  and Eton Road.  It is therefore acknowledged that there will be a resultant detrimental impact on residents of Arlington House of additional vehicular traffic using All Saints Avenue.

Page 26 of the approved  plan  provides for a long term viable future for the whole site, including the complete refurbishment of Arlington  House.  Again, merely applying a coat of stain to the exterior concrete panels fails to fulfil the requirements of a long term viable future or the complete  refurbishment of Arlington  House.
At Page 27 of the Arlington Plan, it  requires that the development embraces the principles of sustainability with improved energy efficiency for refurbished buildings .

Whilst the proposed installation of double glazed windows to Arlington House will go some way towards proving energy efficiency these improvements will not be significant in respect of the 68 flats situated at the northern and southern ends of the building.  The flats identified as the A,B, G, H, have by far a greater area of external wall in comparison to the area of windows.  Therefore,  the heat loss from these particular flats is far greater than from the heat loss from the flats identified as   C,D,E,F, which are situated in the central part of the building and only have an exterior wall beneath the windows.  

The heat loss through the external concrete panels is significantly increased by virtue of the fact that in the case of ALL flats, the concrete floor panel extends outside of the building and the concrete panels are attached directly to this floor panel.  Moreover, in the case of the flats situated at the northern and southern ends of the building, the external panels are in direct contact with the concrete structure of the building, which in turn is in direct contact with the internal thermalite blocks.  This construction method gives rise to significant heat loss during the winter months and significant heat gain during the summer months because external temperatures are conducted through the building.  The scheme should include measures to address this deficiency,  otherwise the Arlington Planning Brief is not being complied with.

Additionally, Page 27 of the Planning Brief goes on to make mention of “high quality external refurbishment of Arlington House for the benefit of both the residents and the public perception”.
 The proposed staining does not fulfil this requirement of the brief.

Environmental issues are addressed on page 29 of the planning brief, where the first issue is potential contamination of the site.  Historically, part of the site fronting All Saints Avenue was used as a petrol filling station.  That area lies beneath the proposed location of the entrance foyer for the new Tesco store.  It will be essential to establish the degree of soil contamination caused by the previous use.  Indeed, investigation will need to  be carried out to establish  whether the petrol storage tanks are still in situ underground.

The whole of the former car park site has been used for many years as a general dumping ground for unwanted rubbish.  Whilst the rubbish may have been more recently cleared from the car park site, there remains a significant amount  of rubbish  dumped between the edge of the car park and the railway embankment.  Furthermore, there are significant spillages of oil on some areas of the floor of the car park.  Again, investigation will need to be carried out to establish the degree of any contamination.

The planning brief identifies further environmental  issues relating to the impact of the development on noise and air quality,  particularly for the Arlington House residents.
The proposed Tesco store operating on a 24 hour 7 days a week basis, with a car parking provision for 334 cars and with all deliveries having to access and egress the site past Arlington House due to the low railway bridge,  will have a significant impact on noise and air quality for Arlington House residents.

Additionally, planning permission has already been granted for the erection of 21 units of social housing immediately opposite Arlington House  on the western side of All Saints Avenue which will now also be affected by noise and air quality issues related the Tesco store.

The impact of noise pollution upon Arlington House will be significant by virtue of the nature of the tower blocks construction and the total lack of external insulation .   Whist the installation of double glazed windows will go some way towards the reduction of noise pollution within the flats it must be borne in mind that a significant  amount of noise and vibration will be transmitted through the concrete structure of the building.  The only effective method by which the transmission of noise may be significantly reduced is by way of external insulation or cladding of the building.  Such methodology would have the additional benefit of reducing heat loss during the winter months and reduction in heat gain during the summer months.  This methodology has been successfully employed at other residential tower blocks within Thanet and indeed, throughout the world and should be utilised on this building.

Page 30 of the Arlington Site planning brief details a number of assessments which need to be carried out in consideration of the planning application.

The first is the Transport Impact Assessment, which, amongst other things, will need to investigate the validity of the need for 334 car parking spaces for the Tesco store.  This is most pertinent in view of the site's location in respect of its proximity to public transportation services by way of bus and train links.  Additionally, the need for short car journeys may be significantly reduced by the introduction of a FREE BUS SERVICE, more especially from Birchington and Westgate.  Clearly this must be a requirement in the Travel Plan.

The Noise Impact Assessment, will also give rise to serious concerns by virtue of the increased traffic,
both pedestrian and vehicular, which will pass Arlington House, if the application is approved.  There are currently no heavy good vehicles passing Arlington House using the stretch of All Saints Avenue between the railway bridge and the junction of All Saints Avenue with the A28 because of the restricted height of that bridge.  This situation will clearly change if the application is approved by virtue of the necessity for all such  vehicles to use that stretch of road in both directions in order to access the Tesco store.  

The sustainability impact assessment will need to investigate the viability of the proposed application of stain to the external concrete panels of Arlington House as a long term solution.
Whilst it is claimed that the proposed stain has a life span of 25 years there is no evidence to support that claim.  Moreover, in view of the age and extreme seafront exposure of the concrete panels it must be established that the claimed 25 year life span is applicable in such circumstances.  There will need to be some significant assurance to maintain the viability of the proposed stain as a  long term solution.  Guarantees and undertakings must be sought in respect of any remedial works and maintenance which occur during the 25 year period.   Presumably, the Council as freehold owner of the building, would wish to seek such guarantees in order to protect its own asset and should be a party to any such guarantee.  If the stain should fail within that time scale, the potential environmental and cost impacts are significant.  It would not be appropriate for any liability in such circumstances to fall upon the residents of Arlington House, in the light of the cost of necessary scaffolding works for the building which would be necessary to remedy any failings.

The proposed Section 106 agreement needs to indentify the management regime, costs and contributions associated with the external refurbishment of Arlington House.

Whilst there has been a significant reduction in the contributions sought from the residents of Arlington House in respect of the refurbishment of Arlington House, there are some significant costs which the developer intends to recoup from the residents in respect of asbestos removal, roof-top cradle and a contribution towards scaffolding costs.

This must call into question, requirements being stipulated by the planning authority as part of the planning application for which the charges will be levied against the residents. Consideration needs to be given in respect of any conditional elements of the application, which then may be borne by a third party rather than the developer.

The requirement for a “Design and Access” statement requires details of the interface between new and old buildings on the site.  Particular attention must therefore be paid to the relationship between new buildings which will be constructed using modern methods and materials and the existing concrete cladding which forms the exterior of Arlington House, which will be 50 years old when the new buildings are constructed.

The CABE report

In November 2010, The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) issued a report entitled, “Supermarket Development - Asset or Liability”,  intended to give advice and guidance to planning authorities.  Clearly this document should be considered in full, as a part of the process for reviewing  the application for a Tesco store on the Arlington site.  Particular attention
is drawn to the statement on Page 5 of the report, “All traffic on site brings noise, air pollution and safety issues, but a car focussed scheme can make residents' lives grim in other ways too.”

Page 11 of this CABE report contains advice and guidance under the heading of “Reducing Car Dependence”.  This is of particular importance to the Arlington site in respect of the proposed loss of residents' parking in favour of Tesco customer parking.  In view of the proximity of the proposed Tesco store to public  transport, the extent of provision of public parking cannot be justified.

The first paragraph on page 12 of the CABE report emphasises the importance of considering the longer term impact  and need of the community rather than just any short term gains.  This is of particular importance in so far as  the proposals for the  treatment of the concrete panels of Arlington House are concerned.  

Any acceptance by the TDC of the proposal to apply stain to those panels will impact upon the residents who would then be responsible for the maintenance in the longer term.  Whilst it is claimed that the stain has a life expectancy of 25 years there are no examples or evidence available to substantiate that claim.  Taking account of the particular location of Arlington house and its extreme exposure to the elements, it is difficult to envisage a 25 year life span as being realistic.  Again, this issue should be of concern to the Council in its capacity as freeholder.

If this methodology is accepted, then there must be specific terms and guarantees in place to safeguard residents from incurring the costs of any remedial works within the 25 year period.  The terms of the lease relating to residents of Arlington House imposes upon residents the financial responsibility  for any necessary repairs to the building.

The current exterior of the building has not seen any maintenance to the concrete panels during its lifetime.  The application of the proposed stain may well result in a regular future maintenance being required in order to maintain a  clean appearance.  Any necessary cleaning will then fall as a financial responsibility upon the shoulders of the residential leaseholders.

If it is the case that the staining of the concrete panels is accepted as part of the planning application,  this may give rise to a new and unfair burden being placed upon the residential leaseholders - unless provision is made by the Council, either by way of  a planning condition or by way of an amendment  of the lease between TDC and Metropolitan Property Realizations Ltd.  that such responsibility shall rest with the intermediate landlord.

Page 13 of the CABE report encourages a “robust” approach by planning authorities to achieve the best possible outcome in their negotiations with developers.  In particular, reference is made to planning authorities not lowering their expectations on the basis of arguments from developers relating to economic considerations.   In this case the developer has already claimed that it cannot afford to carry out external cladding or insulation on the grounds of cost.

 Furthermore , there is reference in the CABE report to the reduction of carbon emissions in association with new developments.

In the case Arlington  House, the opportunity exists for the exterior of the building to be provided with some form of exterior insulation to enable TDC to work towards its target of reducing carbon emission for its area.

National Indicator 186 requires local authorities to reduce overall carbon emissions.  In the case of Thanet,  published figures indicate that there has been no reduction in carbon emissions for the district.  Any failure by the local authority to grasp the opportunities given by this planning application for the reduction of carbon emissions, will result in TDC's continued failure to meet the
requirements of the national indicator.

In addition to the opportunity for appropriate and effective insulation of the building,  the rationalisation of the travel plan for the Tesco store, by the reduction of the required public parking and therefore encouragement towards the use of public transport, would be a missed opportunity to take further steps to reduce carbon emissions.

The CABE report at page 15 suggests that councils with weak local economies may be more likely to agree a scheme on the basis of its short term value, rather than the longer term impact. This is clearly a danger with the Arlington development.

The long term impact on the quality and environment is paramount and to this end, the most appropriate and long term viability for the exterior refurbishment of Arlington House and strict controls of parking provision, in accordance with TDC's policy, are clearly overriding considerations.

Thanet Local Plan

 The Thanet Local Plan outlines the Council's policy in dealing with a number of matters linked to planning applications.  It is therefore essential that the Thanet Plan is strictly adhered to, as it constitutes the TDC's formally adopted policy.

Section 5 of the plan relates to transportation and paragraph 5.1 provides for the avoidance of congestion, traffic noise and pollution.  Emphasis is placed upon maintaining a pleasant and attractive environment for Thanet, reducing car park provision and reducing the need to travel and reliance on the use of cars for local travel.   
Para. 5.1.1 makes reference to promoting greater use of buses, and the implementation of a “Bus Strategy” in relation to new developments.  

Para. 5.9 makes reference to the “District Transport Plan”, a reduction in the number of car journeys and the safeguarding of environmental quality.

Para. 5.10 makes reference to the Council guiding the location, scale and density of new developments.

Policy TR1  provides for developments generating high levels of travel, only being permitted in areas highly accessible by foot, bicycle or public transport.  The definition of “highly accessible” is then given as “ within 800 meters of a railway station and within 400 meters of a bus route.”  Clearly the development at the Arlington site easily fulfils these requirements and therefore cannot
justify the level of public car parking that is proposed.

Policy TR 6 and Para. 5.34 refer to the district transport plan, policy TR17, and structure plan TR16,  whereby heavy lorries will be discouraged from using minor roads.  In the case of the Arlington site, heavy lorries will be coming off the A28 onto All Saints Avenue, which is classified as a minor road.
As previously indicated, the low railway bridge will necessitate all lorries turning around on the Arlington site to return to the A28 - thus each lorry passing Arlington House twice.

Para 5.51 promotes cycling and provides for secure cycle parking and storage facilities.

Policy TR 13 requires developments generating travel demand to provide cycle parking and changing facilities.
Public Transport

Para 5.55 states that Thanet has the lowest per capita car ownership in Kent.   This statistic must therefore counter the need for an extensive public parking provision for the Tesco development.

Policy TR14 provides for encouraging the provision and use of bus and rail facilities. This is reinforced by policies TR15 and TR16.

Para 5.63  addresses matters of car parking, where it states that the availability of car parking is a major influence on choosing that means of travel.  

Para 5.65  states that the objective is to reduce the dominance of the private car.

Policy TR17 provides for the maximum number of car park spaces that the Council will allow,  based upon a scale of one parking space for each 20 sq. metres of food retail space and one parking space for each 30 sq. metres of non-food retail space.  Therefore, based upon the plans submitted, the maximum provision of car parking space can only be 205 spaces

Policy TR 18 provides for the retention of existing car parking.  The policy states that “development will be refused unless there is satisfactory replacement as part of the development.”  Arlington House  has a dedicated car park which was constructed at the same time as Arlington House.  This existing residents' car park is connected to Arlington House and stand on its own supports which are separate from those which support  the former  public car park.   The proposal to replace 85 parking spaces with 64 spaces is not satisfactory.

The original planning application  E S/1/61/82D   makes provision for erection of 142 flats with parking spaces and  garages.

Since 1965, the residents of Arlington House have enjoyed free and uninterrupted use of the residents' parking deck which provides parking for up to 85 cars.  This use has continued without
interference or objection by either TDC or the intermediate landlord.  As such, surely it has become an established use for planning purposes and additionally, the residents  have gained the right of a prescriptive easement ?

Thanet District Council,  in its capacity as freeholder,  will need to give landlord's consent to the intermediate landlord ( Metropolitan Property Realizations Ltd.) for the residents' parking area to be demolished.  Whilst the landlord's lease with the intermediate landlord, provides for such permission to not be unreasonably withheld, TDC can reasonably withhold such permission if the parking provision is not adequately and suitably replaced.

Additionally, the Council can in its capacity as planning authority withhold planning permission on the same grounds.

Arlington House comprises 142 residential flats, of which some 60 are currently empty on a full time basis.  Whilst the current usage of the car park is on average 55 cars, which based upon the current occupancy of approx. 80 flats, gives rise to a car ownership of some two thirds.  Once the development is complete and Arlington House becomes a more desirable place to live, those empty flats will no doubt be occupied.  That will give rise to a need for some 94 parking spaces on the same assumption of two-thirds car ownership.  Therefore, looking to the long term viability and sustainability of the development, the retention of the existing car parking at 85 spaces is most appropriate.
The proposed level of residents' parking on the submitted plan for 64 spaces is clearly inadequate.
Such inadequacy can be easily addressed by the reduction of car parking spaces allocated to the Tesco store development or by providing Arlington House residents with the ability to share the Tesco car park as promoted in PPG 13.  The realignment of the proposed barriers or bollards  within the proposed parking provision would  enable the Council to consider   the application in line with its stated and published policies and enable the Council to meet its local plan implementation targets.

The Thanet Plan addresses matters relating to environmental protection.        
Para. 13.26 -  13.20 and Policy E34  require numerous actions and investigations relating to suspected or potentially contaminated land.  By virtue of the known previous uses to which the site has been subjected it is essential for the necessary criteria to be met.

Para. 13.35 - 13.39 and Policy E 35 address  the matter of air quality.

Para. 13.40 - 13.43 and Policy EP 6  address  noise pollution.

The Tesco development will generate additional noise in the immediate vicinity of the residential block of Arlington House.  It is proposed that the Tesco store will be open on a 24 hour/7 day basis and therefore the noise will be generated  throughout that period.  There will be additional traffic noise along All Saints Avenue, not only from customers cars, but by way of lorries delivering to the store on a 24 hour basis. Those lorries will travel both directions of All Saints Avenue outside Arlington House.

There will additional noise generated by Tesco customers entering and leaving the store on a 24 hour basis.  This additional noise will include the slamming of car doors and boots as well as noise generated by shopping trolleys.  Such noise will echo from the cat parking area beneath the store and will be clearly heard from the open area of the Tesco car park which extends the entire length of the eastern side of Arlington House.

A further source of noise will be the store itself, by way of significant air conditioning units, again operating on a 24 hour basis.

Policy EP6 provides for planning permission to only be granted where “adequate mitigation of noise levels is provided”.  To this end,  the installation of double glazed windows to Arlington House is insufficient to prevent noise being conducted through the concrete core and construction of the building.  The significant area of external concrete panelling will draw the noise disturbance into the flats, by virtue of the physical contact between the external panels and the interior of the building , thus allowing the noise to be transmitted throughout the building.

The only means by which such noise pollution may be reduced is by way of an external sound barrier encasing the external facade of the building.  Failure to provide such insulation will not meet the requirement to provide adequate levels of noise mitigation.

In view of the Tesco store's  proposed location within a residential area of All Saints Avenue with the existing development of Arlington House and the proposed residential development  on the western side of All Saints Avenue, the opening hours of the store should be restricted to no later than 10pm and the hours for deliveries should be similarly restricted to the opening hours of the store, thereby providing residents with some quiet during the night-time hours - and thus according with Policy EP6.                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Comments and observations in respect of the Planning Application

The Application Form

Section 3 of the Application entitled Description of the Proposal, states that the application includes the installation of a cleaning cradle.  However, there does not  appear to be any further reference to any  design or specification of such cleaning cradle within the supporting documentation.

As such, this calls into question whether the cleaning cradle forms part of the application or not.  Clarification needs to be sought on this particular aspect.

Section 10 of the application under the heading Vehicle Parking makes reference to existing onsite parking site parking spaces numbering  575.

This information is misleading in so far as the area of the car park which was formerly used as public parking has been abandoned since the demise of the Dreamland Amusement park with which it was associated for parking purposes.  Moreover,  the existing car park has been fenced off by the applicant since July 2010 to prevent any unauthorised used or access.

The only available parking on the site is that which is used by the residents of Arlington House,  being a separate designated area of 85 spaces on an upper floor.  This area has been used as the designated residents car park since 1963 and has a pedestrian walkway linking the car park to the rear entrance of Arlington House at first floor level.  The access door is served by a secure door entry system which is connected to each flat, in order for residents to allow access for visitors.

It must also be noted that the total proposed number of spaces for car parking on the new development  amounts to 428 spaces ( including those allowed for disable drivers).

Section 18 of the application relating to the proposed development of non residential floor space includes the provision  for the new shops and hotel fronting  Marine Terrace and the shops or doctors' surgery fronting All Saints Avenue, as well as the proposed Tesco store.

It therefore follows that the employment details given at Section 19 of  the application must
similarly include those likely to be employed at the hotel, shops and doctors' surgery rather than those to be employed by Tesco alone.

Section 20 of  the application details the hours of opening for the Tesco Superstore to be 24 hours each day from Monday through to Saturday.

It is not appropriate for a superstore to be open on a 24 hour basis within a residential area.  The propose store will be sited within metres of the residential Arlington House tower and immediately opposite to a residential development on the western side of All Saints Avenue, for which the Council has already granted planning permission.  

The other two, and much smaller, supermarkets situated within Margate (namely  Morrisons  at College Square and Tesco at Northdown Road  close at 8pm and 10pm respectively).

There can be no justification for a superstore to remain open on a 24 hour basis within a residential area because of the unacceptable impact of noise and disturbance upon residents.  Unnecessary and unwanted noise will be generated by customers, traffic and deliveries to the store in very close proximity to residential properties.

It is suggested, therefore, that the opening times should be restricted to no later than 10pm at night and deliveries to the store should not be allowed between 10pm at night and 7am in the morning.

Design and Access Statement

Within the document entitled Design and Access Statement, there is at page 19, a document entitled Area Schedule.  This schedule indicates the gross internal area of the superstore to be 7,565 square metres and for the parking provision to be 344 spaces. The bottom of the schedule shows the provision for residential parking spaces to be 64.  There is no rationale, reasoning, or explanation as to how the residential parking has been calculated or apportioned.  

However, the area quoted of 7,565 square metres is spurious and does not accord with measurements quoted on the plans.  Plans make reference to a 49,584 sq ft unit - this equates to 4,607 sq mtrs.  It appears that the area of 7,565 square metres includes the ramp and the the first floor external lorry yard - surely this should not be considered to be part of the area of the building?

Arlington House has always had a dedicated car park for residents and visitors which is capable of holding some 85 cars. The parking area was built at the same time as Arlington House, stands on foundations separate to the public car park and is attached to Arlington House by a pedestrian walkway.

Car use and ownership in 1963 was nowhere near the levels of use and ownership today.  Arlington House contains 142 residential units of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom flats.  Clearly the developers and
Margate  Corporation thought the car parking  provision to be adequate and appropriate at that time.  It is totally without foundation or justification that the current developers should see fit to reduce the residential car parking provision down to 64 spaces.

In addition, the residents of Arlington House have been advised by the applicant that as well as the number of spaces being reduced, there will be a charge introduced of £300 per annum for each parking space (that charge is of course subject to VAT and the charge is likely to be increased each year).

It is the developer's wish to demolish the residents' car park in order to make way for the Tesco store.  It is therefore not reasonable that the residents should be doubly penalised by both the loss of parking spaces and the imposition of a charge.  The residents have always had full use of no less than 85 parking spaces for a period of some 48 years.

Whilst the applicant may argue that surveys of recent usage of the residential car park indicates that 64 spaces would service that need - it must be borne in mind that a significant number of the flats are either currently empty or not occupied on a full time basis.

The applicant itself, owns some 36 flats which it is currently in the process of refurbishing, with a view to them being let.  This will inevitably increase the demand for parking spaces.

Additionally , there are some 20-30 flats in private ownership which are currently unoccupied, or are not occupied on a full time basis because the owners either work away or use their flat for weekends and holidays.

The developer has failed to justify the need for 344 parking spaces for customers of the Tesco store.

The Council had adopted its own policy in so far as the maximum number of spaces which will be allowed in respect of new developments. That policy provides for:

a maximum of 1 parking space for each 20 square metres of food retail area
a maximum of 1 parking space for each 30 square metres of non-food retail area.  

The measurements  given in the area schedule relate to the overall built area for Tesco, including the delivery and storage areas, rather than the retail areas to which its customers have access. Clearly,
the parking space for customers is intended to be calculated on the basis of the floor area to which the customers have access - hence the references to the retail area.  Any areas which are not used for the purposes of retail (to which customers do not have access) cannot therefore be taken into account when assessing the need for customer parking in accordance with the Councils policy.

 Whilst the area schedule is unhelpful and misleading in that respect, there is a plan within the noise assessment report which indicates the trading area of the shop floor to be 49,584 square feet.
This equates to 4,607 square metres.  There is a similar plan within the Planning Statement which quotes the same figure.

Assuming that the floor space would be divided into 2/3 food retail and 1/3 non-food retail  - Thanet Council's policy would give rise to a MAXIMUM of 205 car parking spaces for the Tesco store.  This is
significantly less than the 344 car parking spaces proposed on the area scheduled and therefore cannot be approved by the Council.

Page 29 of the Design and Access Statement makes brief reference to a cleaning cradle being provided to the roof of Arlington House, in order that the windows and cladding panels may be cleaned.  If the new windows are fitted with self cleaning glass and the cladding panels treated
or coated with a dirt resistant finish, then such cleaning would not be necessary.

Other residential blocks in Thanet have been successfully refurbished without the need for the installation of a cleaning cradle.

Not only would the installation of a cleaning cradle be an unnecessary expense which the developer proposes to charge to the residential leaseholders in the sum of £330,000  -  the construction of the residential leases provides for on-going maintenance charges being the responsibility of the individual leaseholder.  Therefore, each time the cradle is used, the residents would incur a further charge.  It is not appropriate for the council to require the installation of a cradle in the knowledge that it is the residents rather than the developer that meets the costs.

It would therefore be more appropriate for more suitable, modern materials to be utilised in the external refurbishment of Arlington House rather than long term expenditure being incurred, which will fall as a financial burden on the shoulders of the leaseholders for the life of the building.  This approach would then obviate the need for the cradle in any event.

Page 30 of the Design and Access Statement contains a photograph of the existing windows which clearly shows the degree and extent of the staining and discolouration to the external concrete panels of the building.

Page 32 of the Design and Access Statement states that,  “If the panels were to be painted then long term maintenance would be required”.  Such a statement clearly implies that long term maintenance is not a viable option.  This therefore calls into question the need for a cradle system which would only be installed for the purpose of long term maintenance.

Page 33 of the Design and Access Statement makes mention of the proposed stain being a “maintenance free solution which is guaranteed for 25 years”.  Again this would call into question the need for the rooftop cradle for intermittent cleaning.

The terms of the claimed 25 guarantee will need to be carefully examined.  Any such guarantee would need to be in the form of a Warranty, which would cover both materials and labour for the 25 year period.  If the proposed guarantee is limited to merely supplying a quantity of stain, then, again, because of the terms of the residential leases, it is likely that the necessary scaffolding and labour costs for the application of further stain would fall as a charge to the leaseholders.

The photographs on page 33 of the Design and Access Statement purporting to be a close-up view of the mock up area are misleading and have clearly been digitally enhanced.  The photograph depicts the panel as a definite shade of  grey.  A shade of grey would be far more effective in both covering the inherent staining and not discolouring for the future.

The area of concrete on the building which has actually experimentally stained is in fact white in colour.  There is a further panel which has also been subject to experimental staining which, again is not  grey.  However, all panels still show the inherent, pre-existing stains which are clearly visible through the experimental staining method and detract from the possibility of the proposed staining method providing a viable long term solution for the refurbishment of Arlington House.

Page 40 of the Design and Access Statement - Sustainability, makes reference to the new windows for Arlington House.  However, it fails to mention that there are no other improvements whatsoever to reduce the heat lost from the building through the un-insulated walls.

The Energy Efficiency table shown on page 40 may relate to the proposed Tesco supermarket   but
it certainly does not relate to Arlington House. The external concrete panels of Arlington House are connected directly to the internal walls, floors and ceilings and therefore the energy efficiency of the building will be sitting at the lower  end of  the scale.  

Transport Assessment

Paragraph 1.1.2. on page 1 of the Transport Assessment report  acknowledges the  fact that the car park adjacent to Arlington House is currently not in general use.  It also makes mention of the fact that there are some 50 vehicles belonging to residents that are using the upper deck car park belonging to residents.  There is no mention made of the fact that the current residents parking provision is for 85 cars, nor is there any mention of the current occupancy rate of Arlington House.

Paragraph 2.2.3.  on page 3 of the Transport Assessment Report is somewhat confusing, in so far as reference to access points for Arlington House.  There is currently one access point to the residents' car park which is used for both entry and exit and which is kept secure by a locked chain.

Paragraph 2.2.4.  mentions an existing pedestrian route through Arlington Square from Marine Terrace to Arlington House.  This is incorrect.  This route was fenced off by the applicant some FOUR years ago, in order to prevent noise nuisance and vandalism caused by persons who had been consuming alcohol in the public houses situated on Marine Terrace and subsequently chose to use the area for nefarious activities - leading to upset and disturbance being caused to Arlington House residents.

Page 6 of the Transport Assessment Report at paragraph 2.3.6 acknowledges that All Saints Avenue mainly serves the residential areas.  
 Paragraph 2.4.1.  on page 6 of the Transport Assessment Report acknowledges that there are six bus routes within walking distance of the site.
Paragraph 2.4.4 .  acknowledges the proximity of Margate Railway station with three trains running in each direction every hour.

Page 19 of the report at paragraph 3.3.1.  refers a total of 428 parking spaces being provided on site for use by  customers, staff, visitors and the EXISTING residents  of Arlington House. The implication of this statement is there is an intention NOT to provide  parking spaces for future residents of Arlington House.  Clarification of this point needs to be sought from the applicant.

Paragraph 3.3.7.  claims that the proposed parking provision is within the numbers permitted by both KCC and TDC.  This statement is considered incorrect because of the measurements of the store area are incorrect and do not relate to the actual size of the store.

Page 20 of the Transport Assessment Report  shows  a tabulation of the parking provision.
This table claims the food store to occupy an area of  7,339 square metres.  This is a deliberately
misleading  figure, ( and a different figure to that used in other reports) used in an effort to justify a level of parking allowed by Thanet District Council's own parking policy.

The council's own policy provides for a maximum of:

1 parking space for each 20 square meters of food retail area
1 parking space for each 30 square meters of non food retail area.  

The provision of parking is intended to be based upon the area to which customers have access when purchasing goods from the store.  The actual trading area of the store, for this purpose is in the region of 4,600 square meters.  Even if the whole of the area of the store itself were for the provision of food retail, this would only give rise to a maximum of 230 parking spaces.   However, it must also be borne in mind that this is a maximum figure in any event and by virtue of the situation of the store and it proximity to public transport facilities, the car parking provision must be reduced to accord with the Council's parking policy.

The foot of the parking provision table appears to again make it clear that the provision of 64 parking spaces is intended only for the existing residents of Arlington House.  No provision is made for visitors or future residents of the significant number of currently empty flats - of which 36 belong to the applicant and are in the process of being renovated for the purpose of being let.

Paragraph 4.2.3.  on page 21 of the Transport Assessment Report acknowledges the policy to “promote the use of Public Transport  and the discouragement of car trips”.  The proposed level of car parking flies in the face of that policy.

Page 24 at paragraph 4.4.3.  of the Transport Assessment Report acknowledges that the local planning authorities should set details for maximum parking provision.

Paragraph 4.5.7.  on page 27 of the Transport Assessment Report refers to policy TR16 and acknowledges that proposals seeking car parking provision above the standards set out in appendix G  “will not be permitted”.

Therefore, Thanet District Council has no option but to refuse the application with the parking provision shown, on the grounds that the proposed parking provision is at a level above which its own policy allows.

Page 32  of the Transport Assessment Report indicates that there will be between 700 - 800 traffic movements per hour along All Saints Avenue, in respect of vehicular traffic generated by the new Tesco store.
The “pass by” reductions shown on page 33 are misleading in that they would relate to the traffic using the Canterbury Road and Marine Terrace - rather than All Saints Avenue.  The additional generation of traffic will have a degenerative effect on the residents of Arlington House.  Whilst the proposed installation of double glazing will go some way towards the reduction of noise levels, the fact that there are no proposals to include any form of insulation to the concrete panels will allow for the transmission of noise and vibration into the residential units.

At page 34, Table 7.4  shows a traffic distribution summary.  This appears to show that 54.6% of the traffic to the new Tesco store will be entering All Saints Avenue  and passing Arlington House from the station green roundabout.  The table anticipates that the remaining  45.4% of traffic to the Tesco store will be accessing from the other end of All Saints Avenue and coming under the railway bridge.

This assessment is based upon local traffic during   the winter months and does  not make allowance for a significant increase of holiday makers and day trippers between April and September.
Access to the Tesco store during those months will be significantly higher from the A28 as this is the main access into Margate.  That additional traffic will therefore pass by Arlington House - mostly twice as such traffic is likely to return to the A28.

Paragraph 8.6.1 at page 44 states that there will be an anticipated queue of 70 vehicles at the Clock Tower Roundabout as a result of the Arlington development.  This is a clear indicator of the additional traffic that will be  using Marine Terrace as a direct result.

It must be anticipated that there will be queues of traffic in both directions on All Saints Avenue between the railway bridge and the station green roundabout.  These queues will comprise traffic from the A28 and Marine Terrace which is attempting to enter the Tesco car park and similarly leaving the Tesco car park to access the A28 and Marine Terrace.  This traffic will be passing Arlington House and creating a significant noise nuisance which does not exist at the present time.

Page 36 refers to the Outline Travel Plan of the use of cars by Tesco employees.  Paragraph 9.1.3 in particular, refers to reducing the demand for employees car parking at the proposed development.  However, there does not appear to be any reference to the intended number  of car parking spaces which will be made available/reserved  for Tesco employees.

Paragraph 10.1.1 at page 47 refers to a “food store with a gross floor area of 7, 339 sq. metres with 365 car parking spaces”.  However, it must be made clear once again, that the quoted size of the food store is misleading by virtue of the fact that the actual retail area of the store, upon which the need for customer car parking is assessed is in fact merely in the region of 4,600 sq. metres.

VOLUME 2 Transport Assessment and Appendices

Paragraph 1.1   on page 4 of the Scoping Report states that the proposed redevelopment would comprise of 6,689 square metres of  gross floor area food store, together with 398 car parking spaces. These figures are, again, different from those quoted in other reports and in the event, are again inaccurate.

This particular paragraph refers to an attached layout plan ( which can be found at page 20) and that layout plan shows the area of the food store to be 49,584 sq. feet.  This equates to 4,607 sq. metres.

The figure given of 398 car parking spaces does not accord with, and is in excess of, the maximum which can be allowed under Thanet District Council' policy.

Paragraph 1.2 acknowledges that the current car park of 575 spaces is not in general use except for the top deck which is used by the residents of Arlington House, where there are approx.50 vehicles parked.

Paragraph 6.1 on page 6 confirms that the traffic surveys were undertaken on the 3rd and 4th October 2008 - it must  therefore be borne in mind that these surveys were conducted outside of the tourist, holiday and visitor season and therefore would in no way reflect the significant amount of additional traffic which would be using the area in the period between April -September of any given year.   Due regard must also be given to the anticipated additional traffic to be generated by the Turner Centre opening in 2011 and the Dreamland Park re-opening in 2012.

Paragraph 8.2 refers to information having been extracted from a data base relating to food super stores with a gross floor area between 5,017 -  8,361 sq. meters.  Therefore the data given must be considered spurious as it does not apply to the size of the store in question. The area of the proposed Store is being quoted at a higher level due to the nature of its construction whereby the store itself is raised on stilts and therefore has a significantly increased access  and service area as a result.

Paragraph 8.3 appears to be stating that the actual number of vehicular trips to the proposed store would be less than that indicated by the historic data.  If this is the case, then it would further call into question the amount of car parking spaces that are proposed for the customers of the new store - and why there will be a queue of 70 cars at the Clock Tower roundabout as previously mentioned on page 44 of volume 1 of the traffic report.

On page 7, paragraph 8.4  refers to the parking provision in respect of Arlington House.  It states that the proposal is for 51 car parking spaces to be allocated to existing units within Arlington House.  This is incorrect as the application is for 64 spaces for use by Arlington House residents.  However, there is no mention made of the fact that there are currently 85 car parking spaces allocated to Arlington House.

 Furthermore, there is no mention made of the fact that the developer proposes to make a charge of £300 + Vat  to residents for each car parking space.  The applicant would need to seek permission and approval from the Council (in its capacity as freeholder) to create the additional sub leases for car parking spaces as no such sub-letting exists at present.

It was prior to the submission of the planning application that  residents have been notified that their car parking allocation was to be 64 spaces. The proposed level of charging remains.  However, it does not appear to be the case that any charge will be levied by the developer in respect of the use of other car parking spaces by other users of the site.

At paragraph 8.5, a  table indicates vehicular movements on All Saints Avenue, between 665 - 843 per hour at peak times.  Bearing in mind that this is based on a survey during October 2008 it does not take account of the significant increase during the summer period.

Paragraph 8.6 states that it is reasonable to assume that something in excess of 30% of the traffic movement would be by way of “pass by” trips rather than new trips.  However, in order to put this data into perspective it must be borne in mind that the vast majority of “pass by” trips are on the A28 /Marine Terrace road or on the All Saints Avenue/Tivoli Road route rather than that part of All Saints Avenue which runs past Arlington  House.

Paragraph 9.1  bears  out this conjecture by referring to  “the most viable route from each of the surrounding environs”  and reference to “the adjacent highway network.”

Appendix B  - KCC Meeting Minutes  

Minute 2.  Reference is made to access from Marine Terrace to the 1st  floor of a car park for Arlington House residents.  However the proposal to construct a new 1st floor car park for residents has been abandoned for about a year.

Particular attention is drawn to  TRICS  Research Report at  page 12,   where Table 3.6 refers to surveys carried out in 6 areas, of which one was Thanet.  The table refers to trips made to a supermarket and whether they were Primary, Non primary- diverted  or Non primary- pass by.

The data clearly shows that Thanet has the highest percentages of  Primary and Non primary -
diverted trips and significantly, by far the lowest percentage of Non primary -pass by trips.

This calls into question the assumption made in the Traffic Assessment whereby it is assumed that  30% of the visits to the new store will be by way of pass- by.

Proposed  Lighting Design

There are proposals for various levels of decorative lighting for the exterior  of Arlington House. These  proposals are purely for aesthetic effect and should in no way impact upon the residents of the building.  Steps must be taken to ensure that none of the proposed external lighting is connected to the electricity supply of Arlington House.  Any power that is consumed in relation to the common parts of the building is charged to residents as part of the service charge expenditure.

It is therefore essential to ensure that any supply for the three proposed areas of lighting, (around the base of the building, at each end of the building  and at the roof level) is connected to a separate supply or meter to be financed either by the developer or the local authority.

There is a proposal for the installation of decorative lighting to the stairwell at each end of the building.  However, this proposal  may not be effective by virtue of the fact that each stair core is equipped with emergency lighting and remain lit 24 hours per day.

Depending  on what is proposed, additional lighting  may be both  ineffective and impractical given the  necessity for an independent  power supply to be provided for any additional lighting provision.

Phase 1 Desk Study Report

Page 5 acknowledges the existence of a residents' car park, designated for use by residents and being in use.

Travel Plan

Paragraph 1.2.1 on page 8 makes reference to the proposed development being a food store with a gross floor area of 7,339 sq. metres together with 336 car parking spaces.

Paragraph 1.2.3 states that it is proposed that a total of 430 parking spaces are provided on the site as a whole for customers, staff, visitors and the existing residents of Arlington House.  It is therefore being suggested by that statement that future residents of Arlington House will not be provided with any car parking facilities.

Paragraph 1.2.4  states that 336 parking spaces will be provided for the food store customers and staff.  However, there is no mention of the number of spaces to be set aside for staff use.

On page 9, paragraph 1.2.8  states that 64 car parking spaces are retained for existing Arlington House residents.  Again, there is no reference made to the fact that  there are currently some 85 car parking spaces available for residents of Arlington House nor that some 60 flats are either permanently empty or not occupied on a full time basis.

Paragraph 1.5 on page 10 outlines the objective to reduce to car usage.  Subsequent paragraphs make it clear that such steps will only be undertaken subsequent to the opening of the store.

It would clearly be more effective to implement a travel policy prior to the opening of the store in order to restrict car usage by non availability of staff car parking, in the first instance.  This would result in a reduction in the number of car parking spaces needed for the Tesco store.

At page 15, paragraph 2.3.2 states that deliveries take place even when the store is closed.  The current proposal is for the store to be open 24 hours.  Therefore it would only be closed between Saturday night and 10am on a Sunday and again from 4pm Sunday until Monday morning.

 The proposed store is  situated in a residential area and therefore it is not appropriate for the store to be open on a 24 hour basis.  Additionally, for the same reason,  it is not appropriate for deliveries to made during unsocial hours i.e. after 10 pm or before 7am in the morning.  To do so would result in unacceptable noise to the residents of Arlington House by virtue of the lack of sound insulation within the building.

Paragraph 3.2.at  page 17  refers to the requirements under planning policy to reduce car usage.

Paragraph 3.2.5  on page 18 states that customers undertaking a weekly shop with children necessitate the use of a car.  However, paragraph 1.2.6  of the same report states  that there will only be 12 spaces dedicated for Parent/toddler parking whereas 309 spaces are available for general use.  The two paragraphs therefore appear to be somewhat contradictory.

At page 20, paragraph 3.3.3. acknowledges that local authorities should set parking standards.  This is indeed what Thanet has done and therefore  those standards must be imposed.

Page 24 refers to policy TR 16 and acknowledges that proposals seeking car parking provision above the standards set out in Appendix G  will not be permitted.  However the report is silent upon the “standards” to which the appendix refers.  

Those standards are:

1 parking space for every 20 sq. meter of food retail area
1 parking space for every 30 sq .meters of  non food retail area

 The subsequent pages of the Travel Plan report are, in the main, a duplication of the Transport Assessment.  As such, the references to the proximities and frequencies of public transport by way of bus and train facilities can be equally applied as a more appropriate and favourable method of employees travelling to their place of work, than  relying upon the car.

Much of the Travel Plan report has been produced from a standard format document with little regard to its contents or accuracy.  This is clearly illustrated at page 30 of the report which refers to 0%  throughout.  This clearly makes a  total nonsense of the credibility or reliability of the report.

Paragraph 5.2.2. at  page 32 of the report relates to a target to reduce the number of Tesco employees travelling to work on their own by car by 5% no later than 2 years after the store has opened.  Such an insignificant  challenge is hardly worth comment - surely a more aspirational target should be set ?

Paragraph 7.1.19. at page 38 of the report makes reference to the availability of car parking spaces for employees, in relation to car sharing agreements.  However, despite the details of car parking spaces relating to disabled persons and families with children at part 3 of the report, there is no mention whatsoever of the proposed parking allocation in respect of staff.  Again it seems that this is a standard set of documents, applicable to any site and  merely submitted to fulfil the requirements of a planning application.

Noise Assessment

Paragraph 1.2  on page 4 of the report acknowledges that the report is to determine how noise may be generated as a result of the proposed development and would affect residents, including those of Arlington House.

Paragraph 1.5  states that the assessment of noise levels at Arlington House will be assumed on the basis of noise being emitted from the operation of  vintage  amusement rides and music at Dreamland.

This assumption appears to undermine the noise assessment as a whole.  Is it  possible to assess noise levels for something which does not exist at this time, and may or may not exist at some time in the future ?  Clarification needs to be sought from the authors in respect of the hypothetical and speculative circumstances upon which they have based their report.

On page 5, paragraph 1.7  states that the development comprises a retail store of 5,593 sq. metres  at a first floor level with 338 parking spaces beneath.   Again this is a different store size to that mentioned in several other reports.  This same  paragraph  goes on to state that Arlington House would have an additional 74 car parking spaces at a first floor level car park, being similar to the parking provision currently in place.  However, the applicant made a decision not to build a first floor car park for residents about a year ago so the report is therefore inaccurate and cannot be relied upon.

The whole of this report is clearly inaccurate as it is based upon an earlier proposal and NOT the application being currently placed before the Council.    

 Paragraph 2.5  on page 7 states that there are different levels of acceptable noise for daytime and night time hours.  Daytime is defined as 7am - 11pm.

Bearing in mind the proposal for the Tesco store to be operating on a 24 hour basis, the levels of noise generated by the store, its customers and its deliveries,  will be constant on a 24 hour basis.

On page 8, paragraph 2.10   makes reference to Guideline Values issued by the World Health Organisation detailing the lowest noise level that would result in psychological, physiological, or sociological effect.

However,  that is not to say that any lower levels of noise would not be considered to be a nuisance, a distraction or in any other way an unnecessary factor.

Paragraph 3.3 on page 13 states that the weather conditions during the survey were generally dry with an occasional night breeze.

 However,  paragraph 3.7 on  page 14 states that there was a period of loud noise during the survey  for a period between 4.45am  and  6.50 hours.  This anomaly needs to be identified and explained.

Paragraph 4.1 on page 17 states that the car parking for the store will be contained in an undercroft  beneath the  store and that  it would therefore be screened from Arlington House.  This is not the case.  An area of open carpark for Tesco customers extends the entire length of the eastern side of Arlington House - being the area currently known as Arlington Square.
Paragraph 4.3  states that the level of noise of a car door or boot slamming at a distance of 10 meters is 66 decibels.  Clearly this is the level of noise that will be generated at this proximity to Arlington House.

Paragraph 4.5  states that the noise at night will be lower than the noise during the day.

It is assumed that this means existing background noise.  The noise  generated by a car door, a car boot, a car engine, or a shopping  trolley  has more impact at night because background noise is lower.

On page 19  it is stated in the conclusion of the report that the predicted noise levels will not affect the  amenities of residents.  This conclusion is clearly untrue and cannot be reasonably drawn from the facts and the evidence.

Paragraph 5.3  on page 20  states that reversing alarms are not used at sensitive times at sensitive sites.  It is unlikely that vehicles fitted with a reversing alarm would have a facility for that alarm to be muted.  It is a safety feature that would be activated the moment the reverse gear is selected - in the same manner that the reversing lights on a vehicle are automatically activated.

On page 20,  it appears  from the chart shown here that the maximum indicated noise level at Arlington House from a single delivery to the Tesco service yard would be 80 decibels.

Paragraph 5.5  on page  21,  states that the store expects around 10 HGV deliveries each day, being the total of Tesco and other individual suppliers. The same paragraph goes on to state that the noise assessment is based upon only one delivery taking place at any one time.

This is clearly spurious by virtue of the fact that the proposed development shows two loading bays and,  therefore,  it is clear that the store is designed with the potential to receive two deliveries at any one time.

Paragraph 5.8 states that it is essential that trolleys of goods from delivery lorries will only be moved during the daytime, the compactor will only be used during the daytime and that only one delivery will be made each hour during the night.

The reason for this statement is that the noise levels are averaged over the course of an hour.  The report therefore  seeks to justify the acceptable level of noise generated on an average hourly basis rather than taking account of more extreme peaks of noise for shorter periods.  Such practice does clearly  not represent the true level of disturbance which is likely to be caused to Arlington House residents.

Taking account of the statement made at para.  5.5 that only 10 HGV deliveries would be made each day that is not consistent with the statement made at para. 5.8 that only one delivery must be made each hour during the night.

Paragraph 5.11 refers to a situation where the compactor is used in the same hour as 2 deliveries - whereby the average noise for that hour increases from 30 decibels to 47 decibels at Arlington House.

Again, on the basis that paragraph 5.5 states that there will only be 10 deliveries each day,  it appears to be contradictory to then relate a scenario where two of those deliveries arrive during the same hour.

However,  taking account of the fact that the proposed store has  two delivery bays, it is therefore possible that in fact, 4 deliveries could take place within the same hour.

At page 27, it indicates that there has not been any assessment made in respect of the noise from road traffic on the existing roads.  Consequently, there are no predictions as to the likely increase in road traffic noise by virtue of the increase of traffic to and from the proposed Tesco store, either by way of cars passing Arlington House or the delivery vehicles passing Arlington House.

Such a situation (of not establishing existing noise levels)  is clearly unacceptable as it will be impossible to measure and establish the full impact of future additional noise from all sources and all directions in so far as the residents of Arlington House are concerned.

Page 28 makes reference to the noise from site construction.  However there are no references to the anticipated noise of demolition in respect of the existing car park and commercial units which are constructed mainly of reinforced concrete.  It is reasonable to assume that those noise levels will be both extreme and prolonged.

Paragraph 8.10  on page 29 states that the nearest residential properties would be 74 meters from the closest building construction.

This statement is clearly untrue, bearing in mind the location of Arlington residential tower within the proposed development.  It can clearly been seen from the plans that both the store and the car park will each only be a matter of a few metres away from Arlington House.

Paragraph 9.2  on page 31 refers to “options to control the impact of noise to include improved glazing and alternative forms of ventilation.”  Paragraph 9.6 goes on to state that ventilation would need to be specified to maintain the overall sound insulation of the facade system.

There is however, no mention or details of the form which the quoted “facade system” will take nor indeed of a ventilation system.  In fact,  there is no sound or heat insulation within the existing facade of Arlington House and this statement appears to reinforce the need for some form of insulation to be applied to the facade.

Further information and clarification needs to be sought in respect of these matters.

At paragraph 10.1 on page 33, the noise assessment conclusions make reference to “there needs to be mitigation in the form of night time restrictions in order to prevent impact on local residents”.

It must therefore follow that given the inaccuracies and miscalculations within the report, in both the car parking and the delivery scenarios  -  that there should be planning conditions to restrict both the opening hours of the store and the times that deliveries take place.  

Appendix D to the Noise Assessment provides details of typical noise levels.  These details are most helpful in collating decibel levels to identifiable situations.

The table shows 90db to be the noise of a heavy lorry at 5 metres.  Such heavy lorries will be passing along All Saints Avenue at a distance of little more than 5 metres from Arlington House,

80db is given as the noise level at the kerb side of a busy street.  All Saints Avenue will become such a busy street with the advent of a Tesco store which is projected to have a similar turnover as the current Sainsbury store at Westwood.

Retail Assessment

Paragraph 2.5 on page 2  states that the proposed store has:
7,677 sq. metres of gross floor space.

It goes on to say the floor space comprises of:
2,508  sq. metres of net convenience goods sales floor space.
1,544  sq. metres of net comparison goods sales floor space.

This therefore give a total new retail floor space of :
4,052 sq. meters.

It must be noted that this figure appears to be less than the retail floor space quoted in other reports.

Paragraph 3.2.8  on page 5 acknowledges the requirement for the proposal to have plans to limit carbon dioxide emissions and matters relating to climate change.

However, the proposal does not sufficiently grasp the opportunity to restrict carbon emissions by reducing the use of the private car or reducing heat loss from Arlington House.

On page 9 of the report, one of the bullet points acknowledges the refurbishment of Arlington tower to represent a positive landmark and improved environment for its residents.

Paragraph 3.5.1  refers to the Arlington Planning Brief and states that “any development is required to enable a dramatic  improvement to the appearance of Arlington House”.

However, the proposal does not sufficiently grasp the opportunity to improve both the appearance of Arlington House the environment for its residents by some form of external cladding.

Paragraph 5.2  at page 12,  acknowledges that  the proposed store will attract tourist spending as well as trade from the resident population

This clearly bears out the situation that the span of All Saints Avenue which fronts Arlington House will be subjected to the increased traffic diverting from the A28 and Marine Terrace.

Paragraph 5.5. 10  on page 13 quotes four comments from individuals which have been extracted from internet blog sites.  These random comments  cannot be accepted as a representative survey of the views of local residents.  One of the quoted comments was posted online almost two years before the publication of the retail assessment report.

Paragraph 5.5.12  acknowledges that the level of recorded crime in the Margate Central area is four times the Thanet  average.  This statistic is misleading as the reason behind this level of crime is,  significantly, the  number of incidents along Margate seafront- due to alcohol related crime, particularly late at night.

This situation is a further reason for the restricted opening hours of the proposed store to be limited to no later than 10pm at night.  Failure to do so will result  in intoxicated persons taking a route from Marine Terrace, through  the proposed new car park, to access the new Tesco store in order to purchase alcohol, cigarettes and food.  This will result in further disturbance to residents of Arlington House and a further increase in alcohol related incidents.

At page 18, paragraph 6.4  refers to Policy EC15 in that “developers should reduce the floor space of their development and reduce or reconfigure their car parking spaces”.

It is clear from the evidence contained in the reports supporting the planning application that the    reconfiguring  of car parking has taken place to the benefit of the Tesco store and to the detriment of Arlington House residents.

On page 19 at paragraph 6.7.1, it makes reference  to the suitability or otherwise of the Dreamland site as an alternative location.  It is acknowledged that the Dreamland site is located off Marine Terrace.  However, at paragraph 6.7.4  it states that “ highway constraints limit the potential of the site for retail use”.

The reports' conclusion seems to make little sense on the basis that the access to the Arlington site and to the Dreamland site from the highway  is very similar.

Paragraph 6.7.12 on page 20 refers to a further alternative site at Union Row and reference is made to residential units at the rear of the decked car park and any new development impacting on the amenity and privacy of existing residents.

However, no such consideration has been given to the proposed development which will impact on the amenity and privacy of residents of Arlington House.

Paragraph 6.7.26  page 22 relates to the  Tivoli Brook Industrial Estate which is dismissed as “unsuitable” by virtue  of the number of vehicles, including delivery lorries, entering and leaving the site.

Such a statement is contradictory to the assertions of the Transport  Report, which is minimising the
number of delivery lorries and claiming that other vehicular traffic will have been passing the location in any event.

At page 23, paragraph 6.7.39  assesses  the suitability or otherwise  of the King Street  gas works and makes reference to adjacent residential units,  as being detrimental to its suitability.

Again, no such consideration is given to the residents of Arlington House .

Paragraph 6.8.2  on page 23 states that the proposed store is expected to provide a “main shop destination.”

Again, this statement appears to be in contradiction of other reports supporting the application, on the basis that a significant amount of the anticipated business will be by way of “pass -by” trade.

At page 24, paragraph 6.8.5  states that the proposal incorporates replacement parking for residents of Arlington House.

This is not the case.   The residents' parking currently consists of 85 spaces.  The number of spaces proposed on the new development has been reduced to 64.  That does not constitute a replacement.

Paragraph 6.8.6 states that a store of the proposed size would normally expect 500 parking spaces.  It is claimed that there has been a compromise on the number of spaces.

Again , this is not the case, as a store of the proposed size would not be granted planning permission to have as many as 500 spaces even in accordance with the KCC parking standards - let alone the reduced levels of parking standards adopted by TDC.

It is further stated that the parking has been configured to be located under the store.  However, again this is not totally true as there is additional store parking in the open area to the rear of Arlington House.  This will generate noise and disturbance for the residents of Arlington House.

Paragraph 6.8.7 states that the proposed store is intended to compete with stores art Westwood Cross.

Those stores are out of town developments -   not an edge-of-town development within a residential area.  This again gives rise to  concern as to the levels of traffic which will be generated along All Saints Avenue and the resultant additional noise and disturbance  to residents on the west side of the building, coupled with the customer car park and delivery area which will provide an additional source of noise and disturbance to the residents on the east side of the building.  

On page 28 at paragraph 7.18.2,  references are made to the trade at the proposed store as a consequence of Margate's tourist destination role.

This will result in the majority of that tourist traffic accessing the store from the A28 and Marine Terrace - thereby passing the western flank of Arlington House and the likelihood of returning by the same route.

Paragraph 6  of Appendix 1  of the Retail Assessment,  tabulates the amount of custom that the new store is likely to generate by diverting existing customers from existing stores.  The table shows the amount of trade in financial terms that will be drawn from existing stores in Birchington, Broadstairs, Cliftonville, Margate, Westgate and Westwood. There is no indication as to the likely numbers of customers to which this trade relates.

However, it is shown that the total proposed turnover of the new store will be something in excess of  £22 million.  In order to put this amount into perspective,  it is a very similar figure to the amount of trade done by Sainsbury's at Westwood Cross and it exceeds the amount of business done by ASDA at Broadstairs.

It must also be borne in mind that both Sainsbury's and ASDA are out-of-town stores.

Planning Statement

Paragraph 1.4 on page 1  states that the proposed scheme offers the opportunity to enhance the living conditions of the residents.  However, the enhancement by way of new windows to the building is negated by the cars and lorries using All Saints Avenue to access the proposed store on one side of Arlington on House and the customer car park on the other side of Arlington House.

On page 2, paragraph 2.6  acknowledges the close proximity of the railway station and concludes that the site is well served by public transport.

Again, this raises questions as to the necessity of the proposed extent of customer car parking for the store, especially when this is at the expense of car parking for residents.

Paragraph 2.7 acknowledges that Marine Terrace is currently the main vehicular East -West  route through the town and therefore experiences high levels of traffic.

It is, therefore, these high levels of traffic which will be diverting from that route to visit the proposed Tesco store. This involves passing by Arlington House on All Saints Avenue.

Paragraph 2.10  acknowledges that planning permission has already been granted to erect 21 residential units on All Saints Avenue, directly opposite the proposed new Tesco store.

It must also be borne in mind that the provision of car parking to that new residential site was restricted by virtue of the fact that, at the time, there were ample car parking  facilities available on the opposite site of the road, on  Arlington site  public parking facility.  The proposed new store clearly impacts upon that situation.

Page 4 outlines the planning history for the site.

Particular attention is drawn to application E S/1/61/82D  which provides for the erection of 142 flats and garages/or parking spaces.  Whilst there is no mention of any specific number of garages or parking spaces,  it is a matter of fact that the current residents' car park was erected at the same time as Arlington House and has been in constant use as the dedicated, private parking  facility for residents since that time.

The current car parking deck  bears signs erected by the applicant stating that it is a private residents car park. It is  attached to Arlington House by way of a walkway to the residents entrance and provides spaces for 85 cars.

Paragraph 4.12  on page 6 acknowledges the decline in value of the residential properties in Arlington House and goes on to state that the proposed refurbishment  should increase the value of the residences.

However, due regard must be give to the fact that the flats in question are held on leases which have a decreasing term.  By the time the development is complete those leases will have less than  60 years to run and therefore, the flats will not have increased in value.  For a property to be mortgable, lenders require an unexpired lease term of at least 75 years.  Furthermore, the values of properties in close proximity to a 24-hour superstore are shown to have reduced in value by up to 30%.

It  must also be borne in mind that whilst there are proposals to replace the existing single glazed windows with double glazing, there are no proposals to install any form of insulation to reduce either the level of noise transmitted into the flats from Tesco traffic on one side of the building and the Tesco car park on the other.

Similarly, the lack of insulation does nothing to reduce the heat loss from the building nor indeed to
reduce the building's Carbon Footprint.

4.13 acknowledge that the currently disused car park has been fenced off to prevent access other than by residents.

It is further stated that the proposed Tesco store's car park will be managed by the store and other parking on the site for the other commercial users and the residents will be managed by the landlord.

However it is not mentioned in the report that the Landlord intends to introduce a charge of £ 300   to residents for the use of a parking space.  Such charge will of course be subject to VAT.

There has never been any previous charge to residents for car parking - other than by way of a service charge covering the insurance premium and lighting costs of the existing residents' car park.

4.14 acknowledges that a small portion of the current decked car park is in use,  to provide  residential car parking.

The current level of parking provides 85 spaces but the proposed residents' parking on the new site only provides for 64 spaces.

4.18  page 7 confirms that the development of the super store on the Arlington site will provide the necessary funding for the refurbishment of Arlington House.  It is further stated that the refurbishment will be to the benefit  of the town and help to change the perception of  this particular area.

Therefore, it is essential that the refurbishment  should be carried out to a sufficiently high standard in order to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability.

page 8 the proposals for the external refurbishment of Arlington House are listed.

The first item related to the cleaning and staining of the external, concrete panels.

It is proposed that those panels should be stained to reflect the original colour when the building was first erected in 1963.

The applicant has carried out a number of staining experiments on panels at the rear of the building.  None of these trials have been particularly successful and the current underlying discolouration is showing through the applied stain . To continue with this proposal cannot be considered acceptable.

It is stated in one of the other reports ( page 33 of the Design and Access report ) that the external finish to the building should be grey in colour. These two reports are therefore inconsistent.   It would be a more appropriate option for the exterior finish to be a suitable shade of grey rather than white or off-white.

It is proposed that the existing single glazed windows throughout  the building be replace with double glazed units. To this end, sample windows have been installed in one of the empty flats belonging  to the applicant.  Whilst those windows appear aesthetically pleasing it must be borne in mind that they need to be sufficiently robust to withstand the extreme  weather conditions experienced at Arlington House.

The current single glazed windows are the original installation and have lasted for almost 50 years. The existing windows are still operational and whilst some may need maintenance  by way of replacement  seals  and brushes they have certainly not reached the end of their useful life.

It must be ensured that the materials,  manufacture and installation of the replacement  windows is to a very high and exacting standard in order that they may, too, have an expected life in excess of 50 years.

It must be ensured that the  style of window opening enables the exterior to be cleaned from within in order to reduce future costs and that provides for the windows to be safely opened in windy conditions.

 It must be ensured that each flat is provided with an individual window warranties in order that they may be produced as part of the sale documentation as required by solicitors acting in the conveyance in the instance of a future sale of that flat.

The next item of the refurbishment programme is the installation of a maintenance cradle to the roof of Arlington House for the purposes of the ongoing cleaning of the building.  This is a requirement imposed by the Council.  As such, it becomes a controversial  issue in so far as the financial impact on the residents of the building.  The applicant intends to levy a charge in the region of £ 330,000 to the leaseholders'  service charge for the installation of this item.  

It is not appropriate for the Council to impose such a condition unless the cost is met by the developer.  

As has been previously mentioned , provided that suitable materials and finishes are applied to the exterior of the building then the necessity for regular maintenance will be obviated.  Certainly, there has been no necessity for the installation of a cleaning cradle for a regular routine for any of the other refurbished tower blocks within Thanet.

The drawings accompanying the application show that it would be necessary to demolish part of the existing plant room on the roof of Arlington House in order to create sufficient space for the installation of a rail system upon which the cradle would be located. This in itself gives rise to a number of further issues.

Additionally, the drawings show the rail for the cradle running along only three sides of the building.  This calls into question the effectiveness of such a system which would therefore only be utilised to clean three sides of the building.

The area of plant room which it is proposed to demolish contains the water storage tank for the buildings' sprinkler system which, in turn,  forms part of the fire alarm and fire precautions system. No mention is made as to where or how the water tank will be relocated to ensure the ongoing provision of the sprinkler system.

If the installation of a roof top cradle is to form a part of the scheme, clarification needs to be sought as to the proposals for the relocation and operation of the sprinkler system.

The applicant has made a significant issue of the alleged inability of the building  to carry any additional weight by way of exterior cladding or insulation.  However, no reference whatsoever has been made to the additional weight and stresses to be applied to the roof to accommodate the proposed maintenance cradle.  Clearly, investigations and surveys need to be carried you to ensure that the installation of any cradle would not be detrimental to the integrity of the roof plate or the general structure of the building.

The plans showing the new entrance and lobby area do not accord with the Arlington House planning brief, where it is shown that there would be a small private square or garden area with seating for the use of residents. This aspiration could easily be achieved by reducing the size of the lobby area without impacting upon the structure of the extended stairwell, from the first to the ground floor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  The refurbishment of Arlington House also includes a proposal to relocate many of the telecommunications  aerials on the roof of the building and for them to be screened by a roof canopy.  However, the proposal is for the aerials which are currently attached to the roof plate and the top of the external wall of building to all be moved inwards and be re-attached to the roof of the plant room.

Again, there is concern as to the ability of the plant room to support both the weight of the additional aerials and to withstand that stresses caused by the action of the wind against those aerials.  Furthermore, there is also the additional weight of the roof canopy and the screening to be considered.

It has already been necessary for strengthening works to be carried out to the plant room as a result of damage caused by the weight and stresses of the existing aerials already in place.  Therefore, further investigations and surveys will need to be carried out, to ensure that any further necessary strengthening is carried out in order to maintain the integrity of the walls and roof of the plant room.

If it is the case that the applicant is happy for the building to bear the weight of the roof-top cradle, the screening and the canopy, it must therefore follow that the building can also carry the weight of external cladding - exactly the same as other tower blocks in the district.

The roof plate of the building currently has a bitumen/asphalt covering in order to maintain a watertight seal.

Clearly the proposed works to the roof area and the amount of activity involved will be beyond the ability of the roof covering to maintain its watertight integrity.  Therefore, it will be necessary to ensure that the proposed roof works include the installation of a new roof covering in order to prevent the ingress of rain to the ceilings of flats on the 18th floor of the building.  Such necessary reroofing should not be at the cost of the residential leaseholders.

The relocation of the resident's car parking is accepted as a necessary party of the redevelopment.
However, what is not accepted is the proposed reduction from 85 spaces to down to 64 car parking spaces and the introduction of an annual charge for the provision of a car parking space to each resident.

85 car parking  spaces  is the provision which was made when the building was erected in 1963.  Car ownership at that time was obviously at a much lower level that it is today.  Therefore, it could be argued that the provision of 85 car parking spaces would not be sufficient for 142 flats if all those flats were to be occupied.  

However, bearing in mind that the current residents car park is being demolished to make way for the Tesco development, it is quite reasonable that the parking provision should be replaced on a like-for-like basis in order that it is in no way detrimental to Arlington House residents for both the present and the future.

The applicant contends that provision of 64 spaces is adequate on the basis that the number of residents' cars parked at any one time does not normally exceed 50 vehicles. However, the applicant fails to mention that he, himself, has some 35 empty flats which he is currently in the process of refurnishing with a view to them being let out.  This in itself will give rise to a further demand for
parking spaces.
In addition, as mentioned in association with other reports there are further flats in the ownership of other which are not currently occupied.  There are further flats which are not occupied on a full time basis because they are only used for holidays and weekends or because  they are owned by persons who currently work away.
                                                                                                                                                                                           Whilst there are many environmental reasons to discourage the use of cars, none of those arguments can be applied when it comes to the matter of residential car parking for the accommodation of those vehicles when they are not in use.

At paragraph 5.1.1., the Planning Statement then goes on to state that the store is:
6,777 sq. meters in gross external area
with a net sales area of 4.052 sq. meters.

It must be noted that there is a considerable and significant difference between the figures given as the gross external area and the net sales area, where Tesco will in fact be carrying out it's business with customers.  It is assumed that the quoted sales area relates to the space within the store where sales goods will actually be accessed by members of the public.

Therefore, it is that area to which the calculation of parking provision needs to be assessed in accordance with the council's own policy.

Paragraph 5.4.4 on page 9  states that parking for the store will be provided at ground level below the store.  This statement is misleading by virtue of the fact that parking for the store will also be provided at ground floor level to the north of the store and situated on the eastern side of Arlington House.

At paragraph 5.8.4. on page 10 it also misleadingly states that Tesco parking will be located under the store.

Paragraph 5.9.2 states that the refurbishment is costly and will be enabled by the Tesco store, as well as helping to improve the appearance of the site.

Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever why any part of the cost of the refurbishment should be passed on to the residential leaseholders, as is proposed by the applicant.

On page 17, paragraph 6.4.16 refers to policy TR1 in so far as a site being highly accessible if it is within 400 meters within public transport.

The Arlington Site clearly falls into that category by virtue of its proximity to both the railway stations and various bus routes.

Paragraph 6.5.4. on page 18 makes reference to the expectation for the development and the refurbishment of Arlington House to provide an improved environment for its residents.

The total lack of any insulation at any part of the building does not improve the environment of the building or its residents either by way of insulation from noise of the additional traffic store or the noise from the car park.

Similarly, the total lack of insulation does nothing to improve the environment of residents buy reducing the heat loss through the concrete fabric of the building.

Paragraphs 7.2   and   7.5.2 on page 20 make mention of the “complete” refurbishment of Arlington House

At page 21, the final bullet point makes mention of the necessity for improved energy efficiency for both new and refurbished buildings.

The energy efficiency of Arlington House is not significantly improved merely by the installation of double glazing.  This is more particularly the case with the four flats situated on each floor at the north and south ends of the building  where by far the greatest loss of heat is through the un-insulated concrete panels.

Paragraph 7.3.3.  at page 22 states that the concrete cladding and frame of the building are stained.

The stains to which this statement refers are mainly black vertical lines below points where the sliding window frames meet.  The staining is mainly caused by the rubber window seals having worn and perished with use and time.

Paragraph 7.4.4. at page 22 tries to justify the poor appearance of the building on the lack of a cleaning cradle.  Whilst, historically, this may be the case in respect of the untreated concrete panels which have not been clean for almost 50 years -  it has no bearing for the future.

Materials and finishes have improved significantly in the last 50 years and the use of appropriate maintenance free and self cleaning finishes will avoid the necessity and cost of a cleaning cradle.

Much reference is made to the unsightly appearance of telecommunications aerials at roof level.
To install a cleaning cradle in their stead would be similarly unsightly.

Comments made at paragraph 7.6.6.  seem to make little sense.

There is no relevance to the fact that the current residents' car park cannot be accessed from the buildings' main entrance.  In any event, there is no provision under the new proposals  for car parking to be accessible from the new entrance to the building.

Paragraph 7.9.9. refers to an incomplete  and inconclusive structural report as to the viability of the ability of building to support any external cladding.  The same principal can only apply to the additional weight  on the roof and the plant room, by virtue of the proposed cradle, movement of aerials and installation of screening.

There does not appear to be any issues with the additional weight of external cladding being applied to the other residential tower blocks in Thanet.

At paragraph 7.7.11 on page 23, the applicant states that the trial staining has been successful.  

The results  need to be viewed first hand in order to see that the results are inferior and in no way represented by the photographs included in the Design and Access Statement.

Paragraph 7.7.12 refers again to the installation of the cradle to clean the building.  However, the same paragraph goes on to assert that the treatment is guaranteed for 25 years and requires minimal maintenance.

Provided that the staining treatment is properly warranted , there is no need for the installation of a cleaning cradle.

Paragraph 7.7.14 asserts that the relocation of the residential car parking will make it more accessible to the residents.

This is clearly not the case.  The current 1st floor parking level is accessed by a doorway and short walkway from the 1st floor of the building.  The vast majority of the new parking provision is significantly further away from the door to the building and will therefore involve a longer walk for disabled and elderly residents.

Paragraph 7.7.15 refers to the proposed external lighting scheme.

However this needs to be installed in such a way that it does not result in the cost for powering this lighting is borne by the leaseholders.

On page 25 at paragraph 7.10.2, references are made to three flats having a right to a parking space within the condition of their lease.  Requests to the applicant for the location of those three leases have not been fulfilled.

However,  on the basis of the occupation of the residents' car park on an ongoing basis for a period in excess of 12 years without the objection of the landlord, it is argued that a prescriptive right exists.  It is further argued that such a right is further reinforced by virtue  of the fact that the landlord  has recharged the buildings' insurance of the car park to the residential leaseholders, and , in addition has levied charges to the residential leaseholders in respect of the installation, maintenance and electricity supplies for security lighting of the residents' car park.

Paragraph 7.10.4  contains an assertion by the applicant that sufficient residential parking will be provided to meet demand.

However, it must be noted that the applicant has taken steps to curtail future demand by introducing a high annual charge for parking, where no charge exists at present.

Paragraph 7.10.6 confirms that residents will need to make application for parking permits ( but the actual costs have not been mentioned).

Paragraph 7.10.8  claims that the Council's current parking standards have been met.

 The Council's standards provide for parking in accordance with the retail floor area in respect of food space and non-food space.  The applicant has chosen to ignore that provision and merely quote the overall size of the built area of the store, including the storage and service areas from which obviously no retailing activity takes place.

Plans within other documents supporting the application show the actual retail area ( including the tills) to amount to 4,607 sq. meters.  Allowing for 2/3 retail and 1/3 non-food retail, this provides for 205 car parking spaces.

Note: The Retail Assessment  2.5  page 2  stated that the proposed store has a total new retail floor space of : 4,052 sq. metres and it must be noted that this figure appears to be less than the retail floor space quoted in other reports.

Paragraph 7.12.2 acknowledges that the pedestrian access to the site via Arlington Square ( via Marine Terrace) is not currently  open.

This situation will change as a result of the proposed car parking provision, whereby it will become possible for pedestrians to access the new store by cutting across the car park area from Marine Terrace.  This situation will give rise to additional noise and disturbance to the residents of Arlington House, more particularly late at night when pubs close and drinkers will seek to obtain further supplies of alcohol from the Tesco store.

It is for this reason that the trading hours of the store will need to be restricted to no later than 10 pm at night.

On page 29, paragraph 7.17.2 states that surveys have predicted that there would be no significant increase in traffic noise as a result of the development.  This is clearly total nonsense, in view of the amount of traffic which will need to pass along All Saints Avenue in order to generate the predicted £22 million of turnover  for the store.

Energy and Sustainability

Paragraph 7.19.3 on  page 30 states that the installation of double glazed windows will increase the energy efficiency of Arlington House.  However, there is no report to give details of the current energy efficiency rating of any of the flats, nor is there any report to give an indication of the anticipated increase in energy efficiency rating.

Supplementary Planning Documentation

During March 2011, a number of additional plans, documents and reports were submitted by the Applicant and it is therefore appropriate that further comments and observations are made in respect of those items separately.

Drawing 080417 shows a 4 metre high acoustic fence to be erected at the southern end of the site to shield the noise of the service yard from the residential properties at Railway Terrace.  The erection of such a fence is an acknowledgement of the anticipated level of noise expected to be generated at the service yard, which would then be deflected back in the direction of Arlington House.

A document entitled “proposed replacement windows” indicates that there has been a change type and style of sample windows which have been installed by the applicant in one of its own retained flats.  

There are a number of factors which need to be taken into account in the design and installation of the replacement window to take account of the dividing walls between each flat and the dividing walls of the rooms within each flat.  The sections of the window frame need to be positioned in such a way that they butt against the dividing walls not only for aesthetic purposes but to also ensure the operation of the tilt and turn mechanism.  Additionally, account needs to be taken of the opposing geometry on each side of the building.

Whilst details of the window design have been submitted for the main flat windows, no design details have been submitted for the windows to the third bedroom of the “G” and “H” flats, the windows to the lift lobbies or the windows to the fire escape stairwells at either end of the building.

The report entitled “Technical Note” makes reference at paragraph 3 under the heading of Committed Development, makes reference to the additional traffic to be generated by the development of the Seabathing Hospital and the Dreamland site but not the Turner Centre.

Table 5.1 details the envisaged traffic use and accumulation for the proposed Tesco car park.  It shows traffic movements of 600 to 700 cars per hour in All Saints Avenue for 8 to 9 hour periods on Fridays and Saturdays.  Additionally, it is predicted that the car park will be full or nearly full for significant periods.  This situation must give rise to ques of cars in All Saints Avenue waiting to get into the car park.

Paragraph 5.4 makes reference to the width of All Saints Avenue to be increased.  The increase in width will bring traffic closer to Arlington House, thereby impacting upon residents by way of noise and pollution.

Paragraph 7.3 refers to the roadway from the residents car park to Marine Terrace.  It is stated that access/egress will be controlled only by signage.  This does not provide for the secure parking area for residents cars for which the £300 fee is envisaged or prevent use for public parking.

Table 8.1 indicates a traffic queue of 16 cars in All Saints Avenue.

Paragraph 8.33 makes reference to the Clock Tower Roundabout operating over capacity.

Drawings 156171-TR-002 and 156171-TR-005 each show the paths for two articulated vehicles simultaneously at the two loading bays.

Drawing 156171-TR-003 shows vehicular access to the roadway circumnavigating Arlington House.  This roadway accesses the residents car park but does not detail any control mechanisms to maintain any degree of security or to prevent use as public parking.

The report entitled “Retail Assessment - Supplementary Information” makes reference at paragraph 3.6 to the anticipated turnover of £22m being only for food retail - with an addition £6.8m turnover being generated by non-food retail.  This clearly underlines the amount of additional traffic that will access the store and the number of deliveries that will be required to service that volume of turnover.

At paragraph 3.19, the report implies that Tesco customers will leave their cars at the Tesco car park and visit the town centre.  However, such envisaged usage of the Tesco car park would be detrimental to Tesco insofar as the availability of space is concerned based on the usage  detailed in table 5.1 of the Technical Note.  Furthermore, such usage would impact on the volume of traffic using All Saints Avenue and queuing for the Tesco car park.