Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee
Wednesday, 13th February, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: David Hicks 1 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

Contact: Callum Wernham  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Link: Watch the video of this meeting

Items
No. Item

69.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

70.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 January 2019.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 9 January 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

Members' Update pdf icon PDF 139 KB

There are a number of references to the Members' Update within these minutes. The Members' Update was circulated to all present prior to the meeting. A copy is attached.

71.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest

 

Minutes:

John Jarvis declared a personal prejudicial interest in agenda items 73 and 74, on the grounds that he was involved in an ongoing personal dispute with the developer, Bellway Homes. He stated that he would leave the room for the duration of these items and would take no part in the discussions or votes.

 

Chris Bowring declared a conflict of interests in agenda item 76, on the grounds that he was the Deputy Executive Member for Regeneration. He stated that he would leave the room for the duration of this item and would take no part in the discussion or vote.

 

72.

Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.

Minutes:

Following the decision to refuse planning permission for application number 181631, it was decided that agenda item 73 (application number 181499) be deferred.

73.

Application No 181499 - Land South of Cutbush Lane, Shinfield pdf icon PDF 334 KB

Recommendation: Conditional Approval subject to legal agreement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The decision was taken to hear agenda item 74 prior to this application. Following the decision to refuse planning permission for agenda item 74 (application number 181631), it was decided that agenda item 73 (application number 181499) be deferred.

74.

Application No 181631 - Land South of Reading Road and Arborfield Road, East of Chestnut Crescent, West of the River Loddon pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Recommendation: Conditional Approval subject to legal agreement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

John Jarvis left the room for the duration of this item.

 

Proposal: Full planning application for the change of use of 21.7ha of land from agricultural use to informal recreational land ( Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace SANG ) and associated infrastructure including pedestrian and vehicle access, a car park, footpath network and landscaping.

 

Applicant: University of Reading.

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 105 to 120.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           An updated set of head terms with regards to the legal agreement;

·           A set of conditions and informatives;

·           An updated part C, ‘Reasons for Refusal’;

·           Clarification that the Parish Council had not provided any further comments on the application.

 

Nina Sharp, Agent, spoke in support of the application. She stated that the application was for a change of use of 21.7 hectares of agricultural land to a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG). Nina added that the nearby Langley Mead SANG had a high visitor count and was popular with local residents. Nina stated that the proposed application was situated in flood zones 1, 2 and 3, however Natural England had assessed the overall viability of the land and had deemed it to be acceptable with a variety of ‘must have’ features including a variety of environments, a circular walkway, an easy to access car park and space suitable for dog walking (without leads). Nina added that Natural England had given their full support for the proposed scheme.

 

Anthony Pollock, Ward Member, spoke in objection to the application. He stated that the proposed development site was currently under water due to flooding, and was of the opinion that local residents were becoming increasingly frustrated with local SANGs being placed adjacent to rivers prone to flooding. Anthony added that the river was six foot higher than the base of the land towards the edge of the proposed SANG, and that this stretch of the river had always been prone to overflowing and flooding. Anthony stated that the applicant could not use the land for housing developments, so had instead opted to develop the land as a SANG. Anthony was of the opinion that the proposed 13 car parking spaces were insufficient, and that local residents needed a much higher quality SANG provision in the area.

 

Connor Corrigan, Service Manager for Strategic Development Locations and Planning Delivery, responded to a number of points raised by the speakers. He stated that it was acknowledged that the proposed development site was prone to flooding (being in flood zones 2 and 3) however this was acceptable as the SANG would not be in constant use especially during times of more extreme weather and had links to a wider SANG. Connor added that the site had a one in twenty year flood level, and acknowledged that some of the footpaths and part of the proposed car park would flood in ‘extreme’ events. Connor stated that flooding was accepted to occur on the site  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

Application No 180988 - Pitt Works, Colemans Moor Road, Woodley pdf icon PDF 275 KB

Recommendation: Conditional Approval subject to legal agreement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

John Jarvis re-entered the room.

 

Proposal: Full application for the proposed erection of 17 dwellings together with associated vehicular accesses, car parking and landscaping following demolition of the existing dwelling and outbuildings once associated with a former scrapyard use.

 

Applicant: The Owner and/or Occupier, Copperwood Developments Ltd.

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 121 to 200. 

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Amended conditions 2, 10, 23 and 31;

·           Additional conditions 36 and 37;

·           Clarification of paragraph 37 (page 148);

·           Clarification of paragraph 113 (page 159);

·           Clarification of trip rates.

 

Darren Smith, Woodley Town Council, spoke in objection to the application. Darren stated that the application before the Committee was an improvement on the previous plans for 20 dwellings (now down to 17 dwellings). Darren added that the proposed dwellings were too high at two and a half storeys, and that the proposed development was too dense. Darren was of the opinion that the top windows should be obscurely glazed. He added that there were existing issues with parking in the surrounding area, and that the area suffered from flooding issues which would need to be addressed by a suitable flooding protection plan. Darren raised the Town Council’s concern that although the parking provision at the proposed development would meet the Council’s regulations, some overspill on to the already congested main road could occur. Darren was of the opinion that the two and half storey height of the proposed developments was overbearing compared to the surrounding area.

 

Chris Mason, Resident, spoke in objection to the application. He stated that he was the resident of one of the neighbouring properties which backed on to the proposed development site. He was of the opinion that it was logical to develop the site, however he was concerned with the density of the application. Chris stated that car parking in the area was already overwhelmed, and that an increase in traffic and car parking from the proposed development would only add to this issue. Chris added that there would be an increase in noise and pollution (compared to its current state of usage), and the development would apply more pressure to local resources such as GP surgeries. Chris was of the opinion that the two and a half storey description of the development was ‘clever’ as the roof sloped down from its peak height. Chris added that he was concerned about the potential for the proposed dwellings to overlook existing dwellings, and stated his concerns regarding the ground and building contaminants.

 

Andrew Bandosz, Agent, spoke in favour of the application. He stated that the Case Officer’s report had detailed and addressed many of the concerns raised by the Town Council and residents. Andrew added that the proposed development sought to redevelop a former scrapyard, replacing it with 17 residential dwellings. Andrew stated that removal of the contaminated and polluted concrete and earth was positive in planning terms. Andrew added that a scrapyard  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.

76.

Application No 182460 - West Forest Gate Wellington Road/ Finchampstead, Wokingham pdf icon PDF 466 KB

Recommendation: Conditional Approval subject to legal agreement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Chris Bowring left the room for the duration of this item.

 

Proposal: Full planning application for demolition of existing B1(office) building and the erection of 2 buildings to provide 49 apartments, car parking, vehicular and pedestrian access and landscaping.

 

Applicant: Webb Core Offices.

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 201 to 246.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Additional clarification regarding parking provision;

·           Replacement of condition 18 (travel plan) with a condition regarding electric vehicle charging;

·           Additional clarification regarding the car club.

 

The Committee raised concerns over the lack of affordable housing provision at the proposed development. Laura Callan, Case Officer, clarified that a viability assessment had been undertaken and had concluded that it was not financially viable for the developer to provide affordable housing on site.

 

Carl Doran was of the opinion that the application was contrary to CP15 (loss of floor space), and felt that the parking was insufficient. Laura Callan stated that part of the existing office buildings were vacant, and the owner had struggled for some time to find a permanent occupier for the entirety of the building, and therefore there would not be a real terms loss of floor space. 

 

In response to Member questions regarding the viability of a car club, Judy Kelly, Highways Development Manager, stated that the site was considered a sustainable location for a car club to be implemented. Laura Callan added that a full car parking management strategy would be secured by condition.

 

In response to further Member queries regarding the car club, Judy Kelly stated that a similar scheme was available in Montague Park and was currently working well. Judy added that financial contributions from the developer would be put towards extending and improving the car club provision. Judy stated that more detail on the car club would be developed at a later date. 

 

Malcolm Richards raised concerns regarding congestion in the area, particularly at a local roundabout. Judy Kelly stated that the increased number of vehicle movements as a result of the proposed development were deemed acceptable.

 

RESOLVED: That application 182460 be approved, subject to the conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 202 to 210 and replaced condition 18 as set out in the Members’ Update.