Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 12th July, 2023 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Callum Wernham  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist


No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


There were no apologies for absence.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 June 2023.

Additional documents:


The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 14 June 2023 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


At the conclusion of the meeting, the Committee thanked Senjuti Manna for her service as a Planning Officer for WBC, as this would be her last Committee meeting. The Committee thanked her for presenting often challenging applications in a public environment with the utmost professionalism. The Committee wished her every success in her future endeavours.


Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest



David Cornish declared a personal interest in agenda item 15, application number 223256, on the grounds that he was a Member of the Finchampstead Parish Council Planning Committee. David added that he had not been present at the meeting where this application was discussed, and had made no comment on the application. David stated that he would consider all representations prior to forming a decision.


Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.


No applications were recommended for deferral, or withdrawn.


Application number 223256 Oak Dale Lower Wokingham Road Crowthorne RG45 6BX pdf icon PDF 768 KB

RECOMMENDATION: Conditional Approval subject to legal agreement.

Additional documents:


Proposal: Full application for the proposed demolition of the existing dwelling and erection of 60-bedroom care home (use class C2), with associated access, parking and landscaping.


Applicant: Mr Simeon Batov


The Committee considered a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 15 to 86.


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


·         Clarification to paragraph 2;


·         Clarification that the WBC Sustainability Planning Officer recommended approval subject to conditions;


·         Clarification that the residents of 65 Wellesley Drive had withdrawn their support for the proposal and had objected instead;


·         Amended condition 13;


·         Removal of condition 14;


·         Amended condition 20;


·         Additional officer clarification on a number of topics, including the weight given to the tilted balance, conflict with CP11, and highways safety.


Roland Cundy, Finchampstead Parish Council, spoke in objection to the application. Roland stated that he was the Chair of the Finchampstead Parish Council’s Planning Committee, who had objected to this application and recommended refusal. Roland stated that the application was not in accordance with the emerging Finchampstead Neighbourhood Development Plan (FNDP), due to the scale of the buildings, the overdevelopment of the site, and the unsustainable nature of the site. Roland added that three-storey buildings outside of the SDL of Gorse Ride were not supported by the emerging FNDP policy D1. Roland noted the officer comment with regards to the topography and screening of the site, which suggested that a three-storey building in this location would be suitable. Roland stated his strong disagreement with this conclusion. Roland added that insufficient on-site parking would likely lead to parking on the road, whilst the development would likely lead to a considerable increase of traffic on the Lower Wokingham Road.


Neil Davis, Planning Consultant on behalf of local objectors, spoke in objection to the application. Neil stated that he was representing the views of over 60 local residents who were opposed to the proposed development. Neil was of the opinion that the recommendation to grant planning permission was based on a flawed approach, which had failed to correctly balance the impact of the development against the stated housing need. Neil stated that the application site was located outside of an established settlement area, and within land defined as countryside, whilst the Wokingham Landscape Character Assessment classified the site as being within the Finchampstead Forested and Settled Sands, which was defined by low density housing within mature woodland and a sense of remoteness. Neil added that this was a sensitive location on the edge of settlement, whilst the proposed three-storey development and associated hardstanding would harm the transition between the settlement and countryside, in clear conflict with policy CC02. Neil stated the built form would dwarf that of the host property and properties on neighbouring plots, which typically comprised of detached houses set within large plots. Neil added that the proposal would amount to a volume uplift of 957 percent, whilst twenty trees would be removed – eroding its sylvan setting. Neil commented that officers accepted that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.