Agenda and draft minutes

Extraordinary, Planning Committee - Thursday, 21st May, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Callum Wernham  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Media

Items
No. Item

111.

Apologies pdf icon PDF 239 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no apologies.

Members' Update

There are a number of references to the Members’ Update within these minutes. The Members’ Update was made available to Members prior to the meeting via email, and placed on the website for the public to view. A copy is available on the website.

112.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest

 

Minutes:

Gary Cowan declared a prejudicial interest in item number 114, application number 193339, on the basis that he may have made a predetermination with regards to this application. Gary stated that he would take no part in the discussion or vote for this item.

 

Chris Bowring declared a prejudicial interest in item number 114, application number 193339, on the basis that his wife was a Member of the spa. Chris stated that he would take no part in the discussion or vote for this item.

 

Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey declared a prejudicial interest in item number 114, application number 193339, on the basis that she was a Member of the spa. Rachelle stated that she would take no part in the discussion or vote for this item.

113.

Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.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No applications were recommended for deferral, or withdrawn.

114.

Application No.193339 - Nirvana Spa Mole Road, Sindlesham, Wokingham, RG41 5DJ pdf icon PDF 501 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval subject to legal agreement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors Chris Bowring, Gary Cowan and Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey declared prejudicial interests relating to this item and took no part in the discussion or vote.

 

Proposal: Full application for the proposed erection of a two storey detached building to provide 70 no. bedroom hotel accommodation ancillary to spa (Use Class C1) incorporating replacement gym, ancillary facilities and outside swimming pool, with associated car parking and soft landscaping, following demolition of existing 'Pulse 8' gym building.

 

Applicant: Mr S Barley

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 5 to 42.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Various amendments to conditions 3, 14, 20, 21, 22 and 25;

·           A verbal update, not included within the published Members’ Update, to state that recommendation A be amended to: A) Completion of a legal agreement within three months, unless a longer date is agreed by the Planning Service Manager and Chairman of Planning Committee, to secure an Employment Skills Plan, and……

 

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.

 

Emily Temple Agent, provided the following submission in support of the application. “Thank you Chairman, and good evening.

The application before you seeks ancillary overnight accommodation to serve the existing Nirvana Spa.  The proposal comes as a result of a few factors; 1) combining on site gym facilities with the spa to ensure ongoing viability, as the existing ‘Pulse 8’ gym membership was not sufficient to sustain the enterprise.  2) Widening the market appeal of the very successful spa, especially the bespoke salt water treatments and rehabilitation programmes, and 3) retain and increase local employment opportunities. 

             

 The current proposals are the result of extensive pre-application discussions with planning officers, responding to their advice in both the design and suite of technical and environment reports submitted. This includes replacement gym floor area so there is no net reduction from ‘Pulse 8’; a two storey height (plus basement) to better reflect the lower ridge of the existing spa complex, and design detailing such as the arched windows, to reflect existing.

 

 To be clear, this is not a stand-alone ‘hotel’ development.  It is not for independent weddings or conferences, and the proposed floorplans should provide reassurance of this.  The existing spa already provides ancillary dining to members, and the proposed café and restaurant are an extension of these facilities for those who book to stay overnight to use the spa facilities.  

 

 Parking layouts have been revised to accommodate increased numbers, whilst maintaining safe flow and pedestrian safety around the site.  Deliveries are now accessed from an existing entrance off Harrow Way, eliminating turning and waiting in front of existing residential properties.  This, combined with the movement of built development away from the boundary fence, and an enhanced building design when compared with the existing gym, offers an enhancement to local residential amenity.

 

 A  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114.

115.

Application No.192852 - Sorbus House, Mulberry Business Park, Fishponds Road, Wokingham, RG41 2GY pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval subject to legal agreement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Outline application with for the proposed erection of 38 dwellings to include one and two bedroom dwellings, landscaping, bike store and bin store (access to be considered)

 

Applicant: Mr P Smith

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 43 to 90.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included an amendment to recommendation A to read: A completed legal agreement secured within three months of the date of the Planning Committee to secure the provision of a minimum of nine on site affordable housing units (in shared ownership with two x 1-bed units and seven x 2-bed units) and an Employment Skills Plan.

 

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.

 

Paul Smith provided the following submission in support of the application. “Since the January planning committee meeting which granted outline planning permission for 38 units at Sorbus House subject to the signing of a legal agreement (S106), we have been working hard to fulfil our offer to provide on-site affordable housing. This followed the proactive and collaborative work we did with Simon Taylor before the January meeting to ensure the proposals we submitted were both compliant and acceptable.

 

We embarked on a series of protracted with Wokingham Council’s Registered Provider (RP) with a view to them taking on the site for Affordable Housing (AH). We also continued to work proactively with the planning case officer to agree the S106 agreement and funded the Council’s viability study to advise those discussions. As you can see from Simon’s report, the final conclusion of that agreement is that the S106 provision of 9 shared ownership dwellings should be approved.

 

Unfortunately WBC’s AH team couldn’t progress and therefore we looked for an alternative HA to deliver the 38 units as fully affordable dwellings. We have worked hard to find that partner and are close to securing an agreement with another RP. The intention is for them to develop the whole site (38 units) for affordable housing. 38 is considerably more than the number requested under the local policies and, if our agreement is successfully concluded, means that Wokingham Borough Council will benefit from a significant uplift in affordable homes on this site. Better than the 9 units (which we can deliver and still commercially build and sell the remaining 29 units as private housing) or paying the commuted payment for offsite affordable housing provision (£714k) which the Housing team first requested. We have further agreed to a viability review at a stage when 70% of the homes are occupied so the Council can confirm they have best value in AH. Contracts have not yet been exchanged with the RP in question which is why the S106 is in its present form.

 

So, in summary, we have done what was asked of us at the January Committee meeting. This  ...  view the full minutes text for item 115.

116.

Application No.200475 - Wokingham Family Golf, Finchampstead Road, Wokingham, RG40 3HG pdf icon PDF 373 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Application to vary conditions 2, 6 and 9 and remove conditions 3 and 7 of planning consent 172979 for the full application for the proposed erection of a single storey extension to existing driving range building to provide catering/bar and toilet facilities, erection of covered bike store and alterations to existing parking layout. Condition 2 (approved details) is varied to include an enlarged southern terrace, new lighting and changes to the building, car park and cycle parking (retrospective); Condition 6 (landscaping) is varied to discharge landscaping details; Conditions 3 (drainage) and 7 (protection of trees during construction) are removed and Condition 9 (opening hours) is varied allow extended trading hours between 07:30 to 23:30 Mon to Sat and 08:00 to 22:30 Sun and Bank Holidays and until 22:00 within external terrace areas, 7 days a week between the months of April and September inclusive.

 

Applicant: Mr A Williams

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 91 to 112.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Clarification that the recommendation commencing on page 92 did not include the conditions in number order. The conditions being varied or removed were included first and were followed by the conditions remaining unchanged. Condition 1 (three year period to commence works) and Condition 7 (protection of trees during construction) had been removed as they were no longer relevant as the works had been completed;

·           3 further public submissions in support of the application had been received since the publication of the officer report;

·           A submission from Cllr Maria Gee reiterating her opposition to the proposal was also received, specifically outlining concerns about the enlargement of the terrace and additional lighting. These matters had been addressed within the officer report.

 

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.

 

Mr and Mrs Williams, applicants, provided the following submission in support of the application. “Since opening in April 2015, Wokingham Family Golf (WFG) has become extremely popular with local people and is undoubtedly one of the town’s most valued recreational facilities. Our success derives from our wide customer base and the strong appeal we have to families with young children, friends celebrating special occasions, grandparents with grandchildren and dedicated golfers of all ages.

 

In terms of outreach work we have an attachment with 8 local schools, providing 180 children from each school the opportunity to play golf whilst running after school clubs in each school and our academy currently coaches around 100 children a week. We are particularly proud of our work with disabled and special needs individuals from Ravenswood.

 

We have a loyalty to all our customers and knew there was strong demand for a food and beverage operation which is why we embarked on the new clubhouse project. We believe that this is the next step in making WFG the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 116.

117.

Application No.200312 - Gravelly Bridge Farm, Grazeley Green Road, Grazeley, RG7 1LG pdf icon PDF 476 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the temporary change of use of the agricultural land to soil and aggregate production with a single storey site office and bunds (retrospective)

 

Applicant: Mr Fleetwood

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 113 to 136.

 

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

 

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

 

Alison Crooks, agent, provided a submission in support of the application. “Dear Mr Chairman

 

My name is Alison Crooks and I represent the applicant. I trust that you and the committee are keeping safe and well. 

 

I would like to start by thanking the planning officer for his report and assistance throughout this application. This has been a positive process, even during these unusual working conditions. 

 

Fleetwood Grab Services is a local company. They have been based at Gravelly Bridge Farm for many years and work in the local area. They specialize in the management of soils generated from construction projects which can include foundations from household extensions. Fleetwood Grab process clean soils to produce a British Standard quality soil. The soils are returned for landscaping projects and the stones are used in drainage or laying tracks. This helps to achieve 100% diversion from landfill and ensures that the soils are used for beneficial uses.

 

During this lockdown period, Fleetwood Grabs has continued to serve customers, in line with Government guidance, to help ensure that waste continues to be managed in an environmentally sound manner. No staff have been made redundant or furloughed. The continued use of the application site is paramount to the survival of this business. 

 

We note in the officer’s report that there are no local or statutory objections to the development. We fully support the officer’s recommendations and thank you for your time.”

 

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 site had been operational for three years with no planning permission. Should the Committee be minded to grant planning permission, this would give the Council more control via conditions. Simon added that the site was obliged to keep waste transfer licences, which detailed what material was entering the site. Simon stated that this site would allow for material to be recycled and used for construction purposes instead of being turned into landfill waste.

 

Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey queried whether this site had any relation to the potential development site at Grazeley. Simon Weeks stated that the Committee could only determine this application based on what was present currently.

 

Gary Cowan queried whether the site could be restricted to using materials within a five mile radius, as per Shinfield Parish Council’s request. Justin Turvey, Operational Manager – Development Management, stated that conditions were required to be reasonable. In this case,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 117.

118.

Application No.193248 - Land North of Church Lane, Church Lane, Three Mile Cross pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the proposed erection of a temporary compound to facilitate infrastructure works, including hardstanding, parking, fencing and gates, cabins and storage units. (Part retrospective)

 

Applicant: Southern Electric Power Distribution

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 137 to 158.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included an updated description of the proposal to include mention of lighting and CCTV towers.

 

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

 

Rory Hollings, agent, provided the following submission in support of the application. “Southern Electric Power Distribution (SEPD) is in the process of replacing its end of life Reading Main to Reading Town 132 kilovolt underground circuits running between the London Road and Vastern Road sub-stations, part of a multi-million pound investment to Reading’s electricity infrastructure. To enable these works to be undertaken several temporary compounds have been established for the siting of materials, equipment, machinery and welfare facilities. 

 

The planning application before you today is for one such compound located in land to the north of Church Lane near Shinfield, opposite the Pulleyn Transport depot. The compound was first established in July 2019 under the assumption that it constituted permitted development.  It has since been highlighted that this may not be the case.  Following dialogue with the planning team it was agreed that an application would be submitted in order to regularise the use of the site as a temporary compound.

 

Permission is sought to continue the use of the site as a temporary compound up until the end of Summer 2021. The compound enables SEPD and its contractors to continue working safely and help ensure that future electricity supplies are secured for those served by this key power line. The site has been successfully and safely operated to date with no known issues or complaints from local residents.

 

Following the completion of these infrastructure works, the compound will be demobilised, and the site will be returned to its original state as a grazed pasture field.

 

SEPD is committed to undertaking the infrastructure works and operation of the compound site safely and as a ‘responsible neighbour’ and any issues that are raised will be dealt with quickly and appropriately and to the satisfaction of all affected parties.

 

During the course of the application SEPD has liaised with the case officer to provide the required information to assist in reaching the recommendation before you today.  Where the possibility of harm has been identified, every effort has been made to mitigate this through design and collaboration with the Council. SEPD has worked to reach a suitable outcome to the satisfaction of all.

 

We respectfully request that the planning committee, in accordance with the case officer’s recommendation, approve the continued use of this site as a temporary compound to allow these essential infrastructure works to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 118.

119.

Application No.200863 - 75 London Road, Wokingham, RG40 1YA pdf icon PDF 348 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the proposed change of use from HMO (Use Class C4) to supported living (Use Class C2), plus erection of two storey rear extension with 3 no. rooflights and solar panels and erection of detached rear outbuilding to form a meeting room following demolition of existing outbuilding, with associated parking, cycle and bin storage.

 

Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 159 to 184.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Clarification of the floor areas;

·           Clarification that Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) purchased this property as a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) in 2017, and had been vacant since;

·           Clarification that notification Letters were sent on 8 April 2020. However, in response to objections received from neighbours and in the interest of openness, a site notice was also posted by the applicant on 30 April 2020;

·           Clarification that on agenda page 170, paragraph 22, R23 of the Borough Design Guide refers to alterations and extensions to buildings;

·           Since publication of the report, 5 additional public letters of objection had been received. The points raised by these letter have been addressed within the officer report;

·           Clarification that the applicant had provided details of the proposed surface water drainage strategy. The WBC Drainage Officer was satisfied with these details, and so has determined that Condition (10) is no longer necessary.

 

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

 

Maria Gee, Ward Member, provided the following submission in objection to the application. “I wish to object to the application in its current form (revised).  I objected initially to the extent of the new build on site, the parking and access to London Road, and to the building in the garden, while acknowledging the need for local accommodation for care leavers.  It is also good that measures have been taken for sustainability and that the building will be brought back into use.

 

In my original objection I observed that three parking spaces did not allow safe access to and from the site on a bend in a very busy road.  I suggested that reducing the size of the accommodation proposed would solve this problem because fewer parking spaces would be required.  I am very pleased to see that the number of parking spaces has been reduced and reserved for residents or visitors with disability permits.  However, reducing the car parking spaces does not overcome the problem that led to the need for the original proposal to have three spaces.  That problem is that the application is overdevelopment of the site.  The application almost doubles the footprint of the main dwelling and the percentage of the site occupied by buildings has more than doubled from 25% to 53%. 

 

I cannot see the need for a very sizeable meeting room separated from the main  ...  view the full minutes text for item 119.

120.

Application No.200753 - 2 Walnut Tree Close, Ruscombe, RG10 9PF pdf icon PDF 391 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Householder application for the proposed erection of a single storey rear extension with 5no. rooflights including interior alterations and changes to fenestration, plus first floor front extension with 3no. rooflights

 

Applicant: Mr and Mrs D Kinnersley

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 185 to 200.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included the existing and proposed side elevation plans.

 

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

 

Anne Owen, agent, provided the following submission in support of the application. “The design of the renovations has been carefully considered and developed in keeping with the character of the existing buildings in the Close. The pre-application consultation with Wokingham Planning Department enabled us to establish an acceptable approach, in size and style. The Department’s preapplication report highlighted the unique nature of the corner plot, which is relatively secluded, minimizing impact on the street scene.

 

The corner plot is unique in the Close, being set back from the street scene. It does not set a precedent for future development of any other dwellings in the Close, because they are all sited closer to the roadway.

The extended house will have 5 bedrooms plus kitchen-diner, living room, playroom and study. This is reasonable and proportionate provision for a family home in the area.

 

The new roof design complements the existing building, using exactly the same form with a ridge height increase of only 1.9m – less than a full second storey.

The study window of Number 3 is already visible from the existing ground floor windows of the playroom at Number 2 and is the only window of a habitable room on this side of Number 3. The new first floor windows are positioned directly above the existing ground floor windows. The top sections of these windows are rooflights, set obliquely in relation to the neighbour’s windows. They follow the profile of the roof, being set at the same angle. This design reflects the character of the existing house and neighbouring buildings.

 

There is a distance of 13.1m between the extension and Number 3, exceeding the minimum recommendation of the Borough Design Guide. 

 

The single storey garage is retained, creating a step down in form from the first floor extension. There is a 15.8m visible gap to the next house from the first floor extension. It does not create additional enclosure.

 

The first floor extension meets all Building Research Establishment (BRE) guidelines on daylight provision, with 45 degree and 25 degree daylight lines shown correctly on the drawings.

 

 My clients fully appreciate the spacious and pleasant character of the Close and its community, which they enjoy. Their brief was to design a sympathetic extension in this context, to meet the needs of their growing family. We have enacted this with great care.”

 

Members were asked in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 120.