Recommendation: Conditional Approval
Proposal: Full planning application for the erection of a new teaching block, extended car parking and the reconfiguration of the existing MUGAs and sensory garden.
Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council C/O DHA Planning Ltd
The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 111 to 152.
The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:
· Clarification that agenda pages 127 to 142 were duplicated due to an administrative error;
· Additional comments received;
· Alteration to condition 6 to replace the word ‘provided’ with ‘implemented’;
· Altered condition 9.
Jenny Lissaman, on behalf of the residents’ association, spoke in objection to the application. Jenny commented that the Committee had not undertaken a site visit for this application. Jenny was of the opinion that the application would allow a much loved open space to become lost and added that residents were becoming fatigued with a lack of consultation and compromise with developments in the area. Jenny queried why there was a need for the application to include a car park, when there was capacity at other local sites including the space owned by the University of Reading nearby. Jenny was of the opinion that the Officer report did not clarify how the new development would be screened, adding that a hedge would provide inadequate screening in the winter months. Jenny asked that the overall parking strategy for the area be evaluated in order to find a more amenable solution. Jenny added that Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) was ignoring its own policies with regards to this application, and asked that the application be taken away and revised.
Jim Leivers, WBC Interim Director of Children’s Services, spoke in support of the application. Jim stated that Addington was a brilliant school which had been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. Jim added that without the proposed development resource WBC would be required to provide alternate services for the children Addington served. Jim concluded by stating that the application had been carefully considered and assessed by himself, the Head teacher and Planning Officers, and was a resource which was very much needed.
A number of Members queried whether there was a need for new parking provision, when considering that there was available parking locally. In addition, Carl Doran commented that the Site of Urban Landscape Value (SULV) was being constantly eroded, and the proposed car parking would add to this. Alex Thwaites, Case Officer, stated that from a planning perspective an increase pupil and staff numbers resulted in an increase in parking provision, and this had been assessed by highways and was deemed acceptable. Alex added that there had to be a balanced approach to the SULV as the parking had to be positioned somewhere on site. Alex added that the proposed main teaching block was positioned outside of the SULV. Simon Weeks stated that if the application was approved, Jim Leivers could enter discussions with the University of Reading to explore alternative options for parking.
Stephen Conway asked for clarification ... view the full minutes text for item 10