Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 8th December, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN. View directions

Contact: Callum Wernham  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Media

Items
No. Item

54.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted from Stephen Conway.

 

Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey attended the meeting virtually, and was therefore marked as in attendance, and was not able to propose, second, or vote on items.

55.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 202 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 November 2021

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 10 November 2021 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman, subject to correcting Bill Soane to be an apology for the meeting.

 

The Committee gave their thanks to Justin Turvey, Operational Manager – Development Management, for his years of service and advice to the Committee. The Committee wished him well in his future role.

56.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest

 

Minutes:

Andrew Mickleburgh declared a prejudicial interest in agenda item 59, Land off Meldreth Way. Andrew stated that he would leave the room for the duration of this item, and take no part in the discussion or vote.

 

Pauline Jorgensen commented that her address was listed as objecting to item number 59, Land off Meldreth Way, however it was not her who had made the objection and she came into the meeting with an open mind.

57.

Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.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

Item number 60, Toutley East (Land adjacent to Toutley Depot), was withdrawn from the agenda.

58.

Application No.212509 - 160 Reading Road, Wokingham, RG41 1LH pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the proposed erection of a 2no.storey plus loft level dwelling with an integrated garage to include 2No roof lights following the demolition of existing bungalow including alterations to the vehicular/pedestrian entrance

 

Applicant: G Lupton

 

The Committee considered a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 9 to 42.

 

The Committee were advised that there were no updates within the Supplementary Planning Agenda.

 

Peter Mathers, neighbour, spoke in objection to the application. Peter thanked the applicant’s architect for submitting revised proposals which were a clear improvement over previous versions, as a result of concerns raised by Members at their October Committee meeting. Peter commented that despite the revised plans, a number of concerns remained. Peter stated that his property was shown as being 8.2m high within the proposed elevations document, whereas the actual height of his property was 7.2m. Peter felt that this had allowed the architect to show number 162 to be the same height as number 164, and number 160 as lower than 162 which was false. Peter stated that number 162 was in fact lower than number 164, and the proposals would allow for number 160 to be higher than number 162, disrupting the downward slope of roof lines in line with the downward slope of the road. Peter was of the opinion that the architect had reduced the proposals from 6 bedrooms, to five bedrooms, and now to four bedrooms in an attempt to gain approval for the largest house possible, which Peter felt was an abuse of process and should warrant refusal. Peter stated that the Reading Road was a wide road and your eye was naturally drawn to one side of the road. On the even numbered side of the road, the average height of these houses was 7.36m, and the proposed dwelling would be over a meter higher than the average property height on this side of the road. Peter queried why the proposed property needed to be considerably higher than surrounding properties, given that the proposal was for a two-storey dwelling. If approved, Peter asked that the property be restricted a maximum height of 8.4m. Peter stated that the property was at risk of surface water flooding, and the applicant’s property had flooded 14 years prior. Peter asked that the Committee refuse the application, and encouraged the applicant to come back with a more reasonable proposal.

 

Peter Lindley-Hughes, architect, spoke in support of the application. Peter stated that the designs had been amended to take in to account the concerns of neighbouring properties, concerns raised at the previous Committee meeting, and to “de-risk” the scheme. Peter stated that the third floor internal level had been addressed, as had the issues relating to the windows, height and massing, whilst the garage had also been omitted in the front garden, and the dormer windows from the third floor were no longer proposed. Peter stated that he was disappointed that neighbouring objections remained despite positive email conversations. Peter added  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

59.

Application No.211686 - Land off Meldreth Way, Lower Earley pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Recommendation: Refusal

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Andrew Mickleburgh declared a prejudicial interest in this item, and in doing so left the room and took no part in the discussion or vote.

 

Proposal: Full application for the proposed erection of a food store (Use Class E), 43 no. dwellings (Use Class C3) and associated access,

servicing, parking and landscaping.

 

Applicant: Lower Earley Properties Ltd.

 

The Committee considered a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 43 to 118.

 

The Committee were advised that the Supplementary Planning Agenda included reference to an additional letter of objection from Jigsaw Planning on behalf of ASDA, requesting two additional reasons for refusal, and reference to the existing officer responses within the report.

 

Geoff Littler, Earley Town Council, spoke in objection of the application. Geoff stated that the Earley Town Council Planning Committee had considered this application on two occasions, June 2021 and October 2021. Geoff stated that each of the reasons for refusal had been voted on separately by the Town Council Planning Committee, and were all agreed unanimously. Geoff added that the current development plan clearly showed that the land of the subject application was designated as countryside, was not allocated for development, and was outside of the development boundary. Geoff stated that the policy CP11 afforded protection from development to land within that designation as countryside, unless it fell within specified exceptions, which in this case the application did not fall within any of those exceptions. Geoff stated that this parcel of land had remained in its natural state since the inception of Lower Earley, with exception to some partial degradation when the developer undertook some scrub clearance. Geoff added that within the first iteration of the Local Plan Update, this land had been put forward as local green space, and it had been proposed once more for consideration as local green space within the current consultation of the Local Plan Update.

 

Malcolm Gaudreau, neighbour, spoke in objection to the application. Malcolm stated that he had lived in the area for 34 years, and his property was side on to Swallows Meadow via the gated entrance. Malcolm added that 358 objections had been received, and since the inception of Lower Earley Swallows Meadow had been an open green space, without a lock or prohibition of access, and the grass had been maintained over time. Malcolm stated that many different species were present on the site, including deer, badger, and muntjac deer. Malcolm stated that vehicles regularly exceeded the speed limit on the road, and the addition of a supermarket could lead to serious accidents. Malcolm added that the proposals would only add to existing congestion issues on the road, whilst the effects of the proposals would be devastating for residents of Witcham Close via additional noise, light, vehicle emissions and HGV movements in addition to a loss of privacy and a reduction in house prices. Malcolm stated that flooding was already an issue in the area, and the proposals would only add to this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

Application No.211777 - Toutley East, Land Adjacent Toutley Depot, West of Twyford Road pdf icon PDF 775 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval subject to legal agreement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item was withdrawn from the agenda.

61.

Application No.203544 - Land To The West Of St Annes Drive And South Of London Road pdf icon PDF 830 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval subject to legal agreement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the proposed erection of 54 units (including 19 affordable homes) with associated access road from St Anne’s Drive, landscaping and open space.

 

Applicant: Beaulieu Homes

 

The Committee considered a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 159 to 242.

 

The Committee were advised that updates contained within the Supplementary Planning Agenda included:

 

·           Confirmation that a response of no objection had been received from Natural England;

·           Amended final paragraph on agenda page 159;

·           Insertion of approved plans related to condition 2;

·           Insertion of plan related to condition 19;

·           Insertion of plan related to condition 20;

·           Clarification that agenda page 209 paragraph 63 should refer to “Open Space Typology Plan”;

·           Additional condition 40 in relation to access.

 

David Stack, neighbour, spoke in objection of the application. David stated that he was speaking on behalf of local residents, and this planning application had been started over 6 years ago, with previous versions being refused and appealed by the developer and eventually withdrawn on the strength of the Council’s recommendation. David added that this application had generated over 300 objections online from local residents. David stated that there were four main reasons for refusing this application, and noted that application 211686 had been refused by the Committee for the same reasons. David added that the application site currently sat within designated countryside, and core strategy CP11 stated that proposals outside of development limits, including within countryside, would not be permitted unless one of the exceptions applied, which David felt that it did not in this case. David stated that the settlement boundary sat outside of the current settlement boundary of Wokingham and failed to demonstrate how it would maintain the separation between Wokingham and Bracknell to prevent harm to the visual amenity of the local area, whilst being contrary to policy CP21 and the South Wokingham strategic development plan. David commented that the strategic development plan clearly showed that the site was not allocated for development and was not part of the South Wokingham SDL plans for housing, and was identified to be open green space to contribute to the settlement separation between Bracknell and Wokingham, and approval of this application would therefore be contrary to the strategic plan. David stated that as of 31 March 2020 Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) was able to demonstrate a 5.23 year housing land supply, whilst three large scale developments had been identified within the Local Plan Update, and as such WBC did not need to approve further small scale developments such as this one, which was contrary to a number of policies and plans.

 

Kay Collins, agent, spoke in support of the application. Kay stated that the applicant had engaged in positive discussions with WBC officers to makes changes to the proposed scheme with a number of positive benefits. Kay added that the proposals were well contained with a good buffer and would not lead to the coalescence of Wokingham and Bracknell. Kay stated that it was a well planned development  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Application No.211975 - Nutbean Farm, Nutbean Lane, Swallowfield pdf icon PDF 308 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the proposed change of use of land from agricultural to equestrian plus erection of 2 no. stable buildings with associated hardstanding, the creation of a manège and extended vehicular access (part retrospective).

 

Applicant: Mr Jem Dance

 

The Committee consider a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 243 to 268.

 

The Committee were advised that updates contained within the Supplementary Planning Agenda included:

 

·           Additional condition 9 relating to landscaping, and officer comment;

·           Confirmation that a consultation response had been received from Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) Ecology with a recommendation of approval subject to conditions;

·           Updated comments from the WBC Ecology officer, and associated officer response.

 

Andrew Mickleburgh queried whether specific permission could be applied to the applicant in relation to commercial activity. Natalie Jarman, case officer, stated that condition 4 restricted commercial activity, and should the applicant wish to remove this condition they would be required to apply to remove that condition and consideration would have to be made at that time.

 

RESOLVED That application number 211975 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 244 to 247, and additional condition 9 as set out within the Supplementary Planning Agenda.