Fresh bid to keep Londis air conditioning units installed without planning permission

A convenience store has made a fresh bid to keep air conditioning units installed outside without planning permission.

The Londis entrance on Park Road, Cannock
The Londis entrance on Park Road, Cannock

Members of Cannock Chase Council’s planning committee refused to give retrospective consent in February for the four air conditioning units outside Londis in Park Road, Cannock.

They were concerned about neighbours being affected by noise and the visual appearance of the units.

Cannock Chase Council has now received another application for the air conditioning units.

A supporter of the plans told the committee at its latest meeting that the applicant was not aware planning permission was needed for the installation. And he apologised on the applicant’s behalf.

A report to the planning committee said proposals to help reduce noise for neighbours had been put forward. It was proposed that the dairy unit be relocated to a ground level location in the courtyard with an acoustic enclosure. The three other units would also have an acoustic enclosure and would be operated between 7am and 10pm.

But objector Stephen Humphries said: “The new application is essentially the same as the old one. The area is primarily residential and my residents and my tenants don’t want to rely on the units being switched off at 10pm.

“Moving one of the units might even make things even worse. After ignoring the planning process when the units were installed the applicant wants to minimise any inconvenience to themselves.”

Property landlord Gurdeep Chahal, who spoke in support of the application, told the committee more than £100,000 had been spent on the new convenience store and the positioning of the units had been considered to minimise impact on neighbours and the street scene. He added that they would be willing to consider measures to conceal the units, such as a trellis.

He said: “These units are essential for a convenience store. Without them they can’t operate.

“(The applicant) was informed by a shop fitter that he didn’t need planning permission. He took it in good faith.

“On behalf of the tenant I apologise the application wasn’t made in the first place. When it came to planning where we should have the installation of these units we spent quite a lot of time planning it and how it would impact neighbours.”

Committee members have deferred their decision so that the applicant can return with detailed acoustic enclosure plans to reduce noise from the units.

Councillor Andrea Muckley said: “I’m torn because I understand this is a business but it is a residential area first and foremost. Having gone on a site visit I’m very aware of the sound.

“I imagine the tenants are vexed by them just appearing. Although a trellis and moving an air conditioning unit would take away the element with regard to visual impact I’m still extremely concerned about the noise.”

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