Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 11th March, 2020 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Callum Wernham  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Items
No. Item

91.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted from Councillor Simon Weeks.

92.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 255 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 February 2020.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 12 February were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Vice Chairman in the Chair, subject to the following amendment:

 

Agenda page 6: “Gary Cowan queried the cost of the development proposal.

Members' Update pdf icon PDF 430 KB

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

93.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest

 

Minutes:

Carl Doran declared a personal interest in Agenda item 95, land at 78 Reading Road, on the grounds that part of the application site was owned by BT, his employer. BT were not the applicants and they had no issue with the application. Carl added that he would still take part in the debate and the decision.

 

Stephen Conway declared a personal interest in agenda item 97, on the grounds that he had listed this item to allow for public debate. Stephen added that he would consider this application with an open mind, and would take account of the officer report, presentation, Committee debate and all other representations prior to making a judgement on this application.

94.

Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.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

No applications were recommended for deferral, or withdrawn.

95.

Application No. 193059 - Land at 78 Reading Road and to the Rear of 80 Reading Road, Eversley, RG40 4RA pdf icon PDF 570 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for proposed change of use to provide light industrial (Use Class B1) and internal and external storage and distribution (Use Class B8) on the site with associated parking

 

Applicant: Palmarium Properties Limited

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 15 to 56.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Clarification that the first sentence of paragraph 1 on page 33 should refer to there being three existing buildings on site;

·           Further clarification relating to Policy CP15;

·           Additional submissions received since the publication of the agenda, and associated officer comments.

 

Chris Bowring stated that the Committee had been on a site visit to the subject application site. Pauline Jorgensen stated that she had not been able to visit the site. Justin Turvey, Team Manager (Development & Regeneration), clarified that not attending the site visit did not preclude a Member from voting on an application.

 

Gareth Rees, resident, spoke in objection to the application. Gareth stated that he was speaking on behalf of a number of Reading Road residents. Gareth was of the opinion that the proposed development was contrary to Policy CP11 as it was an inappropriate increase in size. Gareth stated that the B usage of the site only extended to building 2, with the remainder of the site being classified for agricultural usage. Gareth was of the opinion that the proposals did not meet the requirements of Policy CP11, being neither diverse nor rural. Gareth stated that the site would have an inadequate turning circle for heavy goods vehicle (HGVs) and that it had not taken account of the provision for waste storage. Gareth added that the transport statement had inaccurate access vehicle tracking and the visibility splays were inadequate being 60m rather than 120m. Gareth asked that should this application be approved, additional conditions be added regarding enforcement action, hard fencing, limiting vehicle weight to 3.5 tonnes and limiting the on-site businesses to diverse and rural enterprises.

 

Robin Henderson, agent, spoke in favour of the application. Robin stated that the site was well contained and was currently in a neglected and redundant state, and was in need of meaningful use. Robin added that the applicant had engaged in consultation with officers throughout the planning process, and the applicant had received expressions of interest from businesses for usage of the site. Robin stated that B1 usage was suitable for a residential environment, and it was unlikely that there would be increased vehicle movements than would have resulted from previous planning approval on the site. Robin added that the proposals would improve the sight lines on Reading Road, and the requested planning permission would not facilitate a Collards Waste operation. Robin stated that the proposals were necessary to provide local employment, generate a much needed improvement to the site whilst having a low impact on the surrounding area.

 

Judy Kelly, Highways Development Manager, stated that the site had been tracked for large HGVs, and an adequate and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95.

96.

Application No. 192018 - Hare Hatch Sheeplands, Bath Road, Hare Hatch pdf icon PDF 374 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the change of use of three existing nursery glasshouses into events area relating to the existing nursery

 

Applicant: Hare Hatch Sheeplands

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 57 to 80.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           A request from the agent to review conditions 3 and 4, and associated officer responses in objection;

·           Amendment to condition 3(f);

·           Amendment to condition 4.

 

Frank Moore, resident, spoke in support of the application. Frank stated that he was a keen amateur gardener, and he fully supported this planning application to allow three existing nursery structures to host horticultural events. Frank added that this site was a benefit to the community, and the application was fully in line with Wokingham Borough Council’s (WBC’s) vision of enabling strong and vibrant communities to thrive.

 

Alyson Jones, agent, spoke in support of the application. Alyson stated that the enforcement notice associated with the site did not prohibit the events related to this application. Alyson added that a range of activities would be hosted on site, including flower shows, children’s activities, community events and Tywford in Bloom. Alyson stated that the applicant had applied for permission to host events on weekends and school holidays, however they accepted the restricted hours.

 

Stephen Conway stated that he fully supported the proposals, and queried how the 24 day limit was calculated. Simon Taylor, Case Officer, stated that the Inspector had previously commented that 20% was an appropriate guide in establishing what constituted an ancillary use limit. Officers had calculated 20% of 52 weekends, which rounded to 12 weekends (or 24 days). 73 days, as requested by the applicant, was deemed as excessive when compared to the existing use.

 

Andrew Mickleburgh recognised the significant community benefit of the application, and queried whether there were any parking concerns associated with the proposals. Judy Kelly, Highways Development Manager, stated that there were 85 parking spaces required for A1 use standards, which were available within the site, and therefore the parking provision was deemed satisfactory for the proposals.

 

Pauline Jorgensen queried what defined a community event. Simon Taylor stated that a list of events was contained on agenda page 59.

 

Malcolm Richards queried whether the hours of use should reflect bank holiday usage, as standard on applications. Simon Taylor stated that the hours needed to be corrected to reflect the existing conditions on site.

 

RESOLVED That application number 192018 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 58 to 60, amendments to condition 3(f) and 4 as set out in the Members’ Update, and amendment to the restrictions of use to reflect the existing conditions relating to bank holidays.

97.

Application No. 192280 - Land to rear of 20 -22 Station Road, Twyford pdf icon PDF 275 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the erection of a 1No bed two storey dwelling following demolition of the existing workshop.

 

Applicant: Mr Ray Cook

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 81 to 112.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Omission of Condition 17;

·           Minor amendment of Condition 20;

·           Addition of Condition 21;

·           Addition of Condition 22;

·           Comment from Twyford Parish Council, objecting to the proposals and supporting the residents’ viewpoints;

·           Correction to paragraph 5.

 

Selena Durrant, resident, spoke in objection to the application. Selena stated that the application was of modern design, which was out of keeping with the rest of the properties within the conservation area. Selena stated that her home was built in 1901 and retained its original character. Selena added that the proposals did nothing to enhance the conservation area, and mixed-use parking was at a premium in the area. Selena was of the opinion that the designs were unsympathetic to the character of the street scene, and three vehicles regularly parked alongside the existing garages. As parking was already a daily issue, the proposals would only create more issues. Selena stated that the proposals would overlook into her property, in addition to creating additional noise to the rear of the property. Selena added that an elderly neighbour would be affected by additional noise and privacy concerns. Selena asked that the Committee conduct a site visit, in order to gain a better understanding of privacy concerns and develop a better picture of the character of the existing conservation area.

 

Thomas Rumble, agent, spoke in support of the application. Thomas stated that the existing site was in a dilapidated state and was in need of redevelopment. Thomas added that the proposals were for a new one bedroom dwelling which followed the design of a previous appeal decision. The Inspector had commented that the current site negatively affected the conservation area due to its dilapidated state. Thomas stated that the site was situated within a highly sustainable area, and the new property designs were more desirable than the existing property. Thomas added that the Inspector had refused the previous appeal on two grounds (timber cladding, and the 1st floor infringing on the adjacent dwelling), both of which had been remedied within the current application proposals. Thomas stated that the proposals furthered development on brownfield land. Thomas added that the plans allowed for a positive active frontage, with a contemporary dwelling design situated within a sustainable area.

 

Lindsay Ferris, Ward Member, spoke in objection to the application. Lindsay stated that the proposals were totally out of character with the Twyford conservation area. Lindsay stated that the Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) conservation Officer had raised an objection to the proposals. Lindsay stated that the site was cramped and overlooked neighbouring properties. Lindsay stated that acceptance of the proposed structure could break down the character of the area. Lindsay saw no reason that WBC should accept the proposals in their current form.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 97.

98.

Application No. 200089 - Carnival Pool Leisure Hub Land at Wellington Road & Finchampstead Road, Wokingham, RG40 2AF pdf icon PDF 401 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full planning application for the erection of 55 dwellings (flats) with associated landscaping, parking, access and drainage. Demolition of all existing buildings on site. The proposal is for an amended design to the dwellings previously approved under reference 172012, with replacement leisure centre to be constructed pursuant to planning permission 172012.

 

Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council (WBC)

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 113 to 152.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Clarification of paragraph 128;

·           Insertion of plan numbers;

·           Correction of condition 11 to state “visibility splays”;

·           Amendment to condition 14;

·           Amendment to condition 21;

·           Additional condition 35.

 

David Smith, WBC, spoke in support of the application. David stated that this application was an alteration to the residential phase of Carnival Pool redevelopment which had previously been approved. David added that this would be the ‘last piece of the jigsaw’ for the Wokingham town centre redevelopment. David stated that the updated proposals included amendments to the residential block, which were viewed as an improvement to the previously agreed scheme. David added that the application was conditioned to deliver 10% renewable energy, however officers were hoping to achieve a significantly higher level, with the goal being a carbon neutral building to be achieved by methods including a flat roof which would allow for additional coverage of photovoltaic panels.

 

Carl Doran queried why the viability assessment was not being made available for public and Member viewing, when the guidance stated that such viability assessments should be made publically available unless there were exceptional circumstances. Nick Chancellor, case officer, stated that the viability assessment was not available due to commercial sensitivity. However, the assessment deemed that affordable housing was not viable for this development.

 

Carl Doran queried whether by stating that occupants should use the parking at Carnival Pool car park could set a precedent for private developers to argue a similar proposal. Justin Turvey, Team Manager (Development and Regeneration) stated that the Committee was realistically looking at the amendments to the scheme which was previously approved. The details regarding car parking had been previously approved at Committee. Justin added that the fall back for the applicant could be to proceed with the previously approved scheme, which would not have the updated design elements.

 

Andrew Mickleburgh was of the opinion that WBC should set a high standard for issues such as affordable housing and renewable energy. Andrew queried why there was no immediate commitment from WBC to provide a carbon neutral development. Nick Chancellor stated that planning policy only required a 10 percent renewable energy source for such a development, however the applicant desired to exceed this considerably.

 

Gary Cowan commented that it was difficult for the Committee to make a decision on this application when it had not seen the viability assessment. Gary also queried how many trees would and had been cut down, where, and how many would be replaced. Nick Chancellor stated that the original site had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98.

99.

Application No. 200191 - 314 Kingfisher Drive, Woodley, RG5 3LH pdf icon PDF 263 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Householder application for the proposed erection of a two storey side extension, new driveway and dropped kerb.

 

Applicant: Mr and Mrs J Kalsi

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 153 to 168.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Comments from Woodley Town Council, recommending that the application be refused;

·           Additional condition 9.

 

Carol Jewell, Woodley Town Council, spoke in objection to the application. Carol stated that Woodley Town Council had previously submitted objections to this application, however they did not come through. Carol added that there were poor sight lines at the application site, with a children’s play area opposite the proposed driveway. Carol stated that any vehicle exiting the proposed driveway would have to come forward significantly due to a blind spot, which could cause accidents. Carol added that the estate was designed to have an open frontage with rear access to each property. Carol stated that none of the other corner properties had this type of access, with house number three not setting a precedent as it had a path which only served 4 houses. Carol raised a number of safety concerns that these proposals could cause, and was of the opinion that this application would be out of keeping with the character of the area in addition to setting a precedent. Carol stated that the dropped kerb had not met any of the four criteria within Wokingham Borough Council’s (WBC’s) guidance, and asked that the application be refused.

 

Katrina Hearne, resident, spoke in objection to the application. Katrina stated that a front facing driveway was not in keeping with the character of the street scene, and the property was situated on a blind spot opposite a children’s play area. Katrina added that this driveway would pose a hazard to Council staff who came to maintain the park, in addition to the park being used as a general cut through for train commuters. Katrina stated that a vehicle in the proposed driveway could have to reverse into oncoming traffic, and the proposal would reduce on-street parking for residents. Katrina added that the proposals would create access issues for emergency vehicles. Katrina stated that there were two local primary schools, a secondary and an SEN in the area which resulted in the footpaths being heavily used by children and parents. Katrina was of the opinion that the proposals would be a danger to all road users, pedestrians and cyclists. Katrina stated that the existing six foot fence hides the vehicle exiting the property, and the property had sufficient parking already.

 

Jenny Cheng, Ward Member, spoke in objection to the application. Jenny stated that she objected to the driveway proposals, as they did not accord to the original design of Kingfisher Drive which had service roads and garages. Jenny added that each house had rear access, and drivers would not be expecting a driveway when using this stretch of the road. Jenny stated that the development was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 99.

100.

Application No. 193417 - Squires Garden Centre, Heathlands Road, Wokingham, RG40 3AS pdf icon PDF 267 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the proposed erection of a single storey structure to form a kitchen with associated fridge/freezer unit plus extension of existing café terrace, installation of an infill canopy over rear entrance and erection of a new 2 metre high metal mesh fence to the southwestern part of the site boundary

 

Applicant: Martin Breddy

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 169 to 190.

 

The Committee were advised that there were no Members’ Updates.

 

Martin Breddy, applicant, spoke in support of the application. Martin stated that the proposals represented a modest increase in the site footprint. Martin added that the proposal would allow for a larger kitchen which would improve staff conditions. A canopy would be moved to improve the customer experience, and the fence would be replaced in order to improve security. Martin added that the fencing would be sufficiently landscaped to shield it from view.

 

Angus Ross stated that the applicant had recently acquired the site and had done much to improve the existing structures.

 

RESOLVED That application number 193417 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 170 to 171.