Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 8th July, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Callum Wernham  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted from Gary Cowan and Angus Ross.

2.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 238 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 May 2020, and the minutes of the extraordinary meeting held on 21 May 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 13 May 2020, and the Minutes of the extraordinary meeting of the Committee held on 21 May 2020 were confirmed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman at a later date.

3.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest

 

Minutes:

Andrew Mickleburgh declared a personal interest regarding agenda item 5 (application number 200893), on the grounds that he was a Member of the Earley Town Council Planning Committee who had made a recommendation regarding this application. Andrew added that he had an open mind regarding this application, and would consider all representations prior to making a judgement.

 

Carl Doran declared a prejudicial interest regarding agenda item 5 (application number 200893), on the grounds that they may have been a perception of predetermination due to comments previously made. Carl added that he would take no part in the discussion or vote related to this item.

 

Chris Bowring declared a personal interest regarding agenda item 9 (application number 200985), on the grounds that he was a member of the Wokingham Theatre who may benefit from an overall increase in parking in the area should the application be approved. Chris added he had an open mind regarding this application, and would consider all representations prior to making a judgement.

4.

Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.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No applications were recommended for deferral, or withdrawn.

5.

Application No.200893 - 15 The Drive, Earley, RG6 1EG pdf icon PDF 347 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Carl Doran declared a prejudicial interest in this item and therefore took no part in the discussion or voting

 

Proposal:Householder application for the proposed first floor side and rear extension to existing dwelling and single storey rear extension (part-retrospective)

 

Applicant: Mrs Noor Khan

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 31 to 54.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included a correction to page 31 of the officer report to state that the site was within the Bulmershe and Whitegates Ward.

 

In line with the given deadlines, two public written submissions were received for this item. These submissions were circulated to Members in advance, and noted on the evening. The submissions as provided can be found below.

 

ACER Residents’ Association provided the following statement in objection to the application:

 

1.    “– ACER’s is concerned to maintain the character of Whitegates which is predominantly separated semi-detached houses with sloping hip-end roofs.

 

  1. To build houses too close to each other and omit the sloping roofs causes a terracing effect

 

  1. Whitegates streets are characterised by green frontages.  Removal of all greenery in front gardens changes the character of a street

 

  1. To build the side extension less than the minimum distance to the boundary is unacceptable as it contributes to a terracing effect. 

 

  1. The side extension adjacent to the house shows a vertical gable end construction.  This vertical end would give rise to a terracing effect which is unacceptable.

 

  1. It should be noted that if the pitched roof of the main extension was continued all the way along its length, then the main house would end up with a hip end roof, which would be in keeping with the character of the area. Please see marked up drawing TDE:007.

 

  1. The Borough Design Guide states that the rhythm of buildings and the gaps between them are important to the character of the area, which is valued by the residents.

 

  1. Similar roof conversions have been rejected when applied for under local Planning procedures as they were not in character, including 192998 at 5 Byron Road

 

  1. Should the Committee be inclined to Approve, the following conditions are requested:

i)     The gap to the boundary should be a minimum of 1 metre. There is no reason given as to why it should be less. 

 

ii)    The pitched roof profile of the extension should extend along the full length of the property.  This has no effect on the internal accommodation but has the benefit of returning the main property to a hip end. 

 

iii)    Reinstate soft landscapingin the front garden which is tall enough to be seen when travelling down The Drive.  This would maintain the character of the area in line with CP3 and assist with the green environmental emergency measures declared by WBC.”

 

Shirley Boyt, Ward Member, provided to following statement in objection to the application:

 

There are 58 dwellings in The Drive.

 

All are 1930s semi-detached except for three newly built detached and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Application No.200888 - Lambs Farm Business Park, Basingstoke Road, Swallowfield pdf icon PDF 489 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the proposed erection of 3 no. buildings (units R1, R2 and R3) for business use (Use Classes B1(a), (b), (c) and B8) with ancillary office space, parking and associated works

 

Applicant: J P Winkworth Limited

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 55 to 86.

 

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

 

In line with the given deadlines, two public written submissions were received for this item. These submissions were circulated to Members in advance, and noted on the evening. The submissions as provided can be found below.

 

Roderic Vaughan, resident, provided the following submission in objection to the application.

 

Lambs Farm Business Park LFBP is not in Spencers Wood (paragraph 12 of report); is in rural parish of Swallowfield in open countryside, where a presumption against new development applies, in principle, based on current Development Plans.

 

Expansion of rural business parks like LFBP are considered strategically, through the Local Plan. This was done, but without success. Around 2010 it was noted the site ‘could be recognised as having scope for consolidation or limited additional development’. LFBP was considered as a potential employment allocation through the MDDP when the Examiner noted ‘evidence to support the site’s inclusion on the basis of additional land is required, or that they are preferable in location, sustainability or deliverability, is not convincing’. There has been major expansion at LFBP since 2012. Sound planning principles have been ignored; potential further development at LFBP was found to be unsustainable at public examinations.

 

Policy CP 11 is relevant; restricts development outside development limits. Rural enterprise is referred to in the report in paragraph 7. Key consideration is whether the proposal contributes to a ‘sustainable rural enterprise’, which is not the case as stated previously and therefore conflicts with criterion 1 of CP11. Paragraph 10 of the report states ‘there is no excessive encroachment away from original buildings’. Actually, this development is part of a continual encroachment of built form into the open countryside.

 

The application site and additional land was previously used for HGV parking without permission. Use was permitted in December 2018, with part of the land returned to pasture and a landscaping scheme introduced as conditions. The retrospective application noted parking arrangements at LFBP have always been generous to benefit occupiers. Massing of buildings to meet more business floorspace will displace HGV parking and will create pressure for further expansion. Expansion is already excessive according to criterion 2 of CP11. It also fails the test of criterion 3 of CP11 of ‘not being within suitably located buildings etc..’. The proposal conflicts with CP11.

 

The NPPF, paragraph 83, states ‘Planning Policies and decisions should enable the sustainable growth and expansion of all types of businesses in rural areas’. Carte blanche to any rural employment development is not permitted; it needs to be sustainable, the proposal isn’t and should be refused.”

 

J P Winkworth Ltd, applicant, provided the following submission in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Application No.193392 - Star Works, Star Lane, Knowl Hill pdf icon PDF 396 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Application to vary condition 7 of planning consent 153172 in order to extend the time for the deposit of engineering/restoration materials (inert waste) from 21 years from the date upon which the deposit operations commenced to 23 years, and to extend the time for the completion of the site’s restoration from 22 years from the date upon which the deposit operations commenced to 24 years

 

Applicant: Mrs Veronique Bensadou, Grundon Waste Management Limited

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 87 to 118.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           An additional condition to allow for monitoring of site progress;

·           Further clarification regarding how a consultation response from Maureen Hunt, Borough Councillor for RBWM Hurley and Walthams Ward, was considered and presented within the report;

·           Further clarification regarding concerns about litter and smell, which should not be occurring from the subject site as it had now been capped;

·           A further letter from the applicant outlining their confidence to be able to complete the site.

 

In line with the given deadlines, three public written submissions were received for this item. These submissions were circulated to Members in advance, and noted on the evening. The submissions as provided can be found below.

 

Barton Willmore, on behalf of Residents of Star Lane and Knowl Hill, provided the following submission in objection to this application.

 

“Barton Willmore submitted a detailed response to the planning application which we trust members have had the opportunity to read and digest.

 

Fundamentally, this objection focuses on the fact that the case Officer’s report acknowledges the detrimental impact that the Star Works Site has on residential amenity, however there remains a reliance on planning conditions that are neither complied with nor enforced.

 

In allowing the original application at appeal, the Inspector identified that, notwithstanding the inconvenience likely to be caused by a site such as this (due to the proximity to residential dwellings), the disadvantages would be spasmodic and short lived, and must be set against the considerable long-term benefit.

 

The application currently before you, seeks to extend the time limit to 2023 to cease deposits of waste material, and 2024 to complete restoration. A total of 5 years beyond that envisaged by the Inspector when they referred to ‘short term pain for long term gain’.

 

The Council, like the Inspector before them, have historically sought to rely on the ability to enforce against breaches of planning conditions to protect residential amenity; environment and highway safety, and it is noted that the same position has been adopted this time round. Your Officer refers consistently to the existence of Conditions which will protect residential amenity.

 

However, the fundamental point, is that to serve their purpose and be effective, the conditions must be enforced. The residents of Star Lane and Knowl Hill feel let down by the Council, who have consistently failed to enforce against clear breaches of conditions and have indicated that they are unable to do so; and also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Application No.200856 - Winnersh Triangle Car Park, Wharfdale Road, Winnersh pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the proposed upgrade to the existing Park and

Ride facility via the provision of a decked car park facility increasing parking by 104 spaces; provision of a new access to

Winnersh Triangle Railway Station; improvements to the urban realm of the station forecourt, and associated works

 

Applicant: Highways and Transport, Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 119 to 146.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included further clarification relating to the number of electric vehicle charging spaces at the proposed development.

 

In line with the given deadlines, two public written submissions were received for this item. These submissions were circulated to Members in advance, and noted on the evening. The submissions as provided can be found below.

 

Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) Highways and Transport, applicant, provided the following submission in support of the application:

 

1              The Scheme seeks to improve the Park and Ride facility at Winnersh Triangle Station by increasing the capacity of the car park to allow higher number of drivers to park and use rail and bus services from Winnersh Station into Reading, as well as other locations. The Scheme has been accepted by the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership and their independent technical advisors;

 

2              In its present form, and with restricted parking capacity, the station cannot fulfil its potential both as a gateway to the local area and as a much-improved park and ride facility. The enhanced car park design will include spaces and charging points for electric vehicles which will help reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change. This will encourage increased use of electric vehicles given that the availability of charging points is a major consideration for purchasing electric vehicles;

 

3              Given that Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) have declared a “climate emergency”, the Scheme will demonstrate the steps WBC is taking to reduce adverse environmental impacts and improve public health in the area, and to make WBC carbon neutral by 2030;

 

4              The Park and Ride facility will be complemented by station forecourt improvements in the form of a new access, turning head and urban realm enhancements. These elements of the Scheme would not only generate a number of strategic benefits, based on its own merits, but would also complement the car park enhancements. The improved access for buses would help the access and egress manoeuvres, thereby increasing the attractiveness of the bus park and ride;

 

5              There will be additional safety benefits associated with the new access arrangements (e.g. pedestrian movements between the business park and the station will not have to interact with buses and other vehicles accessing the forecourt). This would greatly enhance the perception of pedestrian safety at the station forecourt. The planting of new trees and an overall improvement in the ambience and appearance of the station approaches will also generate benefits for those using the station;

 

6              The Planning, Design and Access Statement assessed the Scheme against the NPPF and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Application No.200985 - Cantley Park Recreation Ground, Norreys pdf icon PDF 356 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the proposed construction of a new 3G Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) with floodlights; refurbishment of existing pavilion to provide new changing facilities, viewing balcony and ancillary café; improvements to existing grass pitches and associated works; provision of an additional 39 no. parking spaces in existing car park

 

Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 147 to 184.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included forwarded responses of support from a variety of local groups, schools and trusts.

 

In line with the given deadlines, one public written submission was received for this item. This submission was circulated to Members in advance, and noted on the evening. The submission as provided can be found below.

 

Wokingham Borough Council (WBC), applicant, provided the following submission in support of the application.

 

“I write to present a strong case to the Planning Committee in relation to the Cantley Planning Application.

 

Cantley Pavilion is in dis-repair facility. Currently there are health and safety issues for residents and football clubs presently using the facilities. The pitches are in a poor condition.

 

The playing pitch strategy is to be finalised by January 2020 and is showing an increase in football teams within the Borough, currently 534 teams.  Teams are travelling outside the borough to use football pitches, and winter training facilities, therefore an upgrade and 3G pitch is required.

 

Increasing provision for additional 3G pitches, this will also help towards the climate control action plan. Our teams will no longer need to travel outside the borough for external matches and training facilities. This will include a cycle shelter.

Parking is currently an issue as there is not sufficient parking on site to meet demand, cars are parking on roadside causing a potential risk, causing negative publicity for the council. By increasing, the parking by an additional 40 spaces and implementing a travel plan for the site.

 

 New facilities/ benefits to our residents:

• New 3G pitch

• Upgrade sports pavilion and changing rooms

• New Café and social space

• Additional 40 car parking spaces

• New Artificial cricket wicket

• Upgrade the existing grass football pitches

• Destination play area

• Arts and culture events

Timeline:

Two phases, the first commencing in Winter 2020, maintaining the existing facilities while upgrading the pavilion, parking, new cricket wicket, café/social space and new 3G pitch and 40 additional car parking spaces. Phase 2 will be the upgrade of the grass pitches commencing spring 2021.

 

Climate control

WBC will contribute to the climate emergency plan, as the majority of local teams are currently travelling out of the borough.

 

To help the carbon footprint of the building, we are proposing to use an array of Photo Voltaic panels on the pavilion roof to generate electricity, this will then be stored on site in batteries and be used to power the new LED floodlights to the new AGP facility. All new lighting throughout the scheme will be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Application No.201050 - Alexandra House, Alexandra Court, Wokingham pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full planning application for the change of use of night club on the ground floor of Alexandra House to a flexible mixed use comprising A1 (Retail), A2 (Financial and Professional Services), A3 (Cafes and Restaurants), A4 (Drinking Establishments), and/or A5 (Hot Food Takeaways) and B1(a) (Office) plus changes to fenestration at ground floor. Part retrospective

 

Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 185 to 204.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included a correction to the date of consideration by the Committee.

 

No written public submissions were received for this item.

 

Members were asked in turn for any comments or queries on this application. Specific comments or queries are summarised below.

 

Simon Weeks commented that this application sought no space increase, but instead greater flexibility to ensure that the building was fully utilised.

 

Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey queried whether there was any parking provision on site, and whether secure cycle parking could be provided on site. Natalie Jarman, case officer, stated that there was no parking provision associated with the site, however due to its town centre location there was nearby parking available. Natalie added that the upper two floors were already in operation as office accommodation.

 

Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey asked that an informative be added, stating that as the Borough Council encouraged cycling as a method of transportation the Committee asked that the applicant consider the provision of secure on site cycle storage. This was unanimously agreed and added to the list of informatives.

 

Malcolm Richards queried whether the current hours of use extending into the night would cease should the application be approved. Natalie Jarman confirmed that the current hours of use, related to night club usage, would be replaced by the hours of use associated with the proposals.

 

A number of Members commented on their support for this application, as it would give the Borough Council greater flexibility to help ensure that the building was fully utilised.

 

RESOLVED That application number 201050 be approve, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 186 to 188, and additional informative asking that the applicant consider the provision of secure on site cycle storage.