Agenda and draft minutes

Extraordinary, Planning Committee - Tuesday, 2nd August, 2022 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Callum Wernham  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Media

Items
No. Item

26.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted from Councillor David Cornish.

27.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest

 

Minutes:

John Kaiser stated his surprise and disappointment that a decision taken at a previous meeting of the Planning Committee had been taken back to the Planning Committee. John added that whilst he accepted the dilemma faced by officers to try and avoid costs at appeal, he felt that the decision should not be taken back to Committee as they had already made their decision. John Kaiser added that he would declare a personal interest on item number 29, and would abstain on the vote.

28.

Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.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No applications were recommended for deferral, or withdrawn.

29.

Application No.203544 - Land To The West Of St Annes Drive, And South Of London Road, Wokingham, RG40 1PB pdf icon PDF 10 MB

Recommendation: That the decision to be taken as set out within in the Part II report.

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, set out in agenda pages 5 to 96, which set out the background to this application, including the previous decision by the Committee to refuse Planning permission, and the subsequent appeal that had been lodged by the applicant. A Part 2 report was also included within the members’ packs.

 

Mary Severin, Borough Solicitor, stated that since the time that this application was refused on 13 January 2022 confidential legal advice had been received from the barrister instructed to represent Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) in the course of the upcoming appeal. The barrister had provided WBC with new information which was not available at the time of the January meeting. Whilst all Council meetings and information provided as part of those meetings must be held in public unless an exemption applied, in this case paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1975 applied as it dealt with legal professional privilege. Mary stated that in order for officers to provide members with the information that had come to light and the legal information that came with it, the Chair would invite the Committee to exclude members of the public prior to debating the contents of the Part 2 report.

 

John Kaiser stated that to his knowledge this had never happened before, and he could not understand why the Committee were being asked to reassess a decision made by a previous Committee. Mary Severin stated that the decision to grant planning permission was now with the Planning Inspector, and the Committee were being asked as to whether they wished to proceed with the reasons for refusal given originally, given the new information.

 

Stephen Conway confirmed that he had given his apologies for the meeting where this application was considered, and added that he came into the meeting with an open mind. Stephen added that he could recall other times where the Committee had been asked to consider reasons for refusal when an appeal was upcoming.

 

In response to a query from the Clerk with regards to public speaking, Mary Severin confirmed that Peter Dennis (Ward Member) could instead speak within the Part 2 session so long as the Chair agreed. The Chair confirmed that she was happy with this approach.

 

Wayne Smith stated that he was unaware, during his three years as Executive Member for Planning and Enforcement, of any applications being sent back to the Committee to reconsider reasons for refusal. Wayne felt that it was not right to exclude the public from the meeting, or from the information provided to members. Mary Severin stated that this situation had happened before, but it was very rare. Mary added that it was difficult to go into detail as to why this had been taken back to Committee without disclosing information contained within Part  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

Exclusion of the Public

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion and decision making related to agenda item 29 on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) as appropriate.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting to consider and determine the Part 2 information within agenda item number 29 on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) as appropriate.