Venue: Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1BN
Contact: Tricia Harcourt Senior Democratic Services Officer
To receive any apologies for absence.
An apology for absence was received from John Kaiser.
To confirm the Minutes of Meetings of the Committee held on: 25 February 2015 – Extraordinary meeting, and 4 March 2015
The Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the Committee held on
25 February 2015 and the meeting of the Committee held on 4 March 2014 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
There are a number of references to the Members’ Update within these minutes. The Members’ Update and three Appendices were circulated to all present prior to the meeting. A copy is attached.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest.
Tim Holton declared a personal interest in Item 120 application F/2014/2105 residential development on former Allied Bakeries site, Viscount Way, Woodley, on the grounds that owner of one of the commercial units adjoining the site to the north is the landlord of the premises where he works. He indicated that he would withdraw from the meeting for the discussion and decision making on this application.
Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items
To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.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 had been recommended for deferral or withdrawal.
Recommendation: Conditional Approval, subject to Legal Agreement
(Application deferred for additional information to be obtained. Only the information in the addendum to the report will be considered.)
Proposal: Erection of 68 dwellings with associated road, parking, amenity space, landscaping and creation of new access onto Loddon Bridge Road.
Applicant: Bloor Homes Ltd and ABF Grain Products Ltd
Having declared an interest in this application, Councillor Tim Holton left the room and was not present during the discussion or decision making.
The Committee considered the addendum report on one aspect of this application set out on Agenda pages 17 to 20. A copy of the original report considered at the meeting on 4 March 2015 was attached at Agenda pages 21 to 84. This application had been deferred so that information and guidance could be obtained to allow Members to understand the impact of any potential complaints from occupiers of the development site on the granting of any future Goods Vehicle Operating Licences to the haulage companies currently operating on the adjoining site.
The Committee was advised that similar concerns had been raised by the third haulage business on the adjoining site. Also that further reports had been submitted by the applicant, which had been reviewed by the Council’s Environmental Health Officer, details of which were set out in the Members’ Update. The Committee was also advised that a variation to the original S106 Legal Agreement had been agreed such that prospective purchasers and tenants will be made aware of the proximity of the haulage yard and the on-site mitigation measures by information being placed on deeds and plots sale contracts.
A letter from a barrister acting on behalf of Jeff Cahill, the owner of Luckings Logistics Ltd, giving information about how the Traffic Commissioners make their decisions when reviewing Goods Vehicle Operating Licences, had been circulated.
It was noted that Members visited the site on 27 February 2015 to assess the impact on the character of the area, the relationship with adjacent; land uses, highway impact and highway safety of the new access.
Members were referred to the appeal decision on the application at the Linpac site in Woodley where there was a similar situation of proposed housing development adjacent to an industrial site. The Inspector in allowing the appeal had not attached great weight to the possibility of future objections.
Officers indicated that the applicant had demonstrated that in light of the proposed mitigation measures, noise would not be significant. This had been acknowledged by the Environmental Health Officer, who agreed with this conclusion.
RESOLVED: That application F/2014/2105 be approved subject to:
1) the completion of a S106 Legal Agreement, as set out on Agenda page 53, with recent amendments;
2) the conditions set out on Agenda pages 22 to 33, with condition 11 amended to restrict construction work to 8.00 to 18.00 on Monday to Friday.
Councillor Holton returned to the meeting.
Recommendation: Conditional Approval
Proposal: Erection of additional 860sqm of flooorspace to include 6 new classrooms, SEN/group room, improved library facilities and studio hall. Also the change of use of 8858sqm of agricultural land to non -residential institution for use by the school with parking and additional features.
Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council
The Committee considered a report about this application, set out on Agenda pages 85 to 109.
The Committee was advised that a formal response had not yet been received from the Environment Agency in relation to its holding objection on ecological grounds, but it had been indicated that no objection would be made.
It was noted, and that although mention was made of parking problems in the area, existing problems could not be solved by this application; and that there had been no objections from residents.
RESOLVED: That the Head of Development Management and Regulatory Services be authorised to approve application F/2014/2633 subject to the Environment Agency’s ecological holding reason being satisfactorily overcome and there being no further objection raised; and to the conditions set out on Agenda pages 86 to 90.
Recommendation: Conditional Approval, subject to Legal Agreement.
Proposal: Redevelopment of the site to provide 38 dwellings including affordable housing, hard and soft landscaping, open space, parking provision and associated works.
Applicant: Bellway Homes Thames Valley Limited
The Committee considered a report about this application set out on Agenda pages 111 to 157.
The Committee was advised that the Members’ Update, and Appendix 1 included details of:
· Deletion of conditions 20 and 21;
· Recommended additional highway condition;
· Recommended additional informatives
· Additional comments and responses about flood risk assessments/modelling from the Swallowfield Flood Resilience Group; the Councils’ Drainage consultants, WSP; the Environment Agency; Bellway Homes, Swallowfield Parish Council; and Thames Water;
· Clarification on the affordable housing contributions;
John Anderson, representing Swallowfield Parish Council, spoke raising concerns about the application.
Lee Atkins, from the Swallowfield Flood Resilience Group spoke objecting to the application, specifically on flood risk grounds.
James McConnell and Ryan Saul representing the applicant spoke in support of the application.
Stuart Munro, Local Ward Member, spoke supporting local concerns about the application.
It was noted that Members had undertaken a site visit on 5 December 2014 to assess the impact on the character of the area.
In response to questions, it was confirmed that the proposed provision of formal dedicated visitor/unallocated parking was sufficient, as the principal road way is wide enough to accommodate some on-street parking, and many of the private houses could accommodate 3 cars on their driveways.
Concerns were raised about the number of dwellings proposed on the site which had been allocated for housing development for up to 25 dwellings, but 38 were proposed. Officers indicated that although the site had been identified as a ‘Limited Development Location’, where sites should generally not exceed 25 dwellings, no specific maximum number of dwellings had been given for this site. It is the Officers’ opinion that the development of this brown field site with additional dwellings will not cause significant harm. The Borough Design Guide standards will be met and the development is acceptable in character terms.
The majority of the local objections were in relation to drainage and flooding issues. Copies of recent correspondence and responses from WSP, the Council’s Drainage consultants, had been circulated. Despite the significant representations in respect of flood risk from the resident’s group, supported by a technical expert, it was reported that WSP Officers had been party to meetings and further information, and had been able to run a greater number of in depth model runs to test drainage solutions. WSP is satisfied that no objection on drainage and flood risk grounds can be raised. Officers indicated that as the advice received from Thames Water was that any issues that potentially could arise as a result of the development would be dealt with, and can be controlled by conditions, there was nothing to substantiate refusal on drainage grounds.
RESOLVED: That application F/2014/0940 be approved subject to:
1) the completion of a Legal Agreement, as set out on Agenda pages 144 and 145 by 5 April 2015;
2) the conditions as ... view the full minutes text for item 115.
Recommendation: Conditional Approval, subject to Legal Agreement.
Proposal: Redevelopment of Former Bearwood Golf Course to provide a new football training ground and academy facility, comprising of 3 full size team pitches, 7 other pitches for use by various under 18 age groups and a goal keeping practice areas. A single storey extension and conversion of existing golf course clubhouse into security gatehouse and visitors café; new maintenance shed and maintenance store. Single storey changing block and medical suite. Refurbishment of West Lodge for junior academy trialists; refurbishment of apple store; retention and refurbishment of riding stables offices/stores to academy offices; new single storey academy building to provide changing rooms, medical suite, classrooms, player recreation and gymnasium area. Refurbishment of Mole Lodge to provide accommodation for senior academy trialists; new two storey first team building; single storey headquarters building. The refurbishment/rebuilding of existing housing and farm/industrial buildings to provide 26 residential units (net increase of 18 residential units) with associated parking, landscaping and access. Demolition of ancillary buildings, plus garden wall to be made good and associated works relating to Bearwood Lake dam.
Applicant: Reading Football Club
The Committee considered report about this application set out on Agenda pages 159 to 225.
The Committee was advised that as agreement on the S106 Legal Agreement would not be reached by 2 April, it is Recommendation B set out on Agenda page 160 that will be considered; and that the Members’ Update included details of:
· The height of the HQ building;
· The consultation response and recommended condition from the Environment Agency;
· Recommended additional condition re use of helicopters;
· Recommended amendments to conditions 3, 4, 46;
· Clarification of comments from the Mid and West Berkshire Local Access Forum;
· Comments from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species
Liz Connolly, Jan Heard and Michael Heard, local residents, all spoke to raise the issue of the need for a safe crossing of the B3030 at the edge of the site.
Ian Tant, agent and Nigel Howe, Chief Executive of Reading Football Club, both spoke in support of the application.
Gary Cowan, Local Ward Member, spoke generally in support of the application but raised some concerns.
It was noted that Members had visited the site on 27 March 2015 to assess the impact on the character of the area/countryside and relationships with adjacent land users and to view the heritage assets.
Local concerns had been expressed about the speed of traffic on Mole Road adjacent to the site, and the effect any increase in traffic movements would have on the safety of the highway, particularly at the intersection with the byway. Officers indicated that speed limits on Mole Road and surrounding roads was not part of the application but could be looked at if requested, and that a footpath has been included to run inside the hedge along Mole Road from the residential properties to link with the public network. Officers had assessed the level of traffic movements at the current training ground and concluded that the traffic movements will not be high when ... view the full minutes text for item 116.
Recommendation: Conditional Approval, subject to Legal Agrement.
Proposal: Erection of 12 dwellings (including 4 affordable dwellings) with access, parking, open space and landscaping.
Applicant: Mr S Hicks
The Committee considered a report about this application set out on Agenda pages 227 to 273.
The Committee was advised that S106 Legal Agreement had been signed on 20 March 2015, so this date should be added to Informative 2 on Agenda page 234; and that the Members’ Update and Appendix 2 included details of:
· Clarification from the Highways Officer about the carriageway width in Hurst Road;
· Clarification that the affordable housing provision exceeds the policy requirement;
· Site levels in relation to historic flood level and maps;
· Additional letters of objection, with Officers’ responses.
The following correction to the report was noted:
· Agenda page 244 – in paragraph 22 reference to ‘MDD submission policy CC09’ should read ‘MDD policy CC09’ as the MDD is a fully adopted document in the Development Plan.
It was noted that Members had visited the site on 27 March 2015 to assess the impact on the character of the area, neighbouring properties and potential drainage issues.
Rob Yeadon, representing himself and other local residents, spoke objecting to the application.
Jim Bailey, representing the applicant, spoke in support of the application.
Dee Tomlin, a Local Ward Member, spoke objecting to the application.
The main concern locally was in relation to the potential for flooding on the site and the impact that building on the site would have on drainage and flooding at adjacent properties along Hurst Road. There seemed to be confusion about which flood zones, the development site had been designated by the Environment Agency. Copies of recent correspondence, indicating that the majority of the site was within Flood Zone 2 submitted by local residents including emails that they had with the Environment Agency were included in the Appendix 2 to the Members’ Update.
However, the Case Officer had received information from the Environment Agency (EA), based on modelling, flood risk assessments and land surveys, which concluded that majority of the site is in Flood Zone 1, which is not reflected in the EA’s general/indicative Flood Map. This had been confirmed by EA in an email included in the Members’ Update
Members commented that that site was wet/boggy when they visited the site, and concerns were expressed that the site was not suitable for housing development, and did not fulfil the requirements of the new Local Flood Risk Strategy. Residents had given details of incidents of flooding. Officers confirmed that a Flood Risk Assessment had been undertaken when the site had been allocated as suitable for residential development in the MDD (Managing Development Delivery) plan document in 2013.
The Officer from WSP, the Council’s drainage consultant, confirmed that the EA’s general Flood Map is an approximate map, but the detailed site specific technical information using recent modelling to support the application, indicates that the majority of the site is in Flood Zone 1 with a only a small section in Flood Zone 2; and that ... view the full minutes text for item 117.
Recommendation: Conditional Approval.
Proposal: Erection of part two storey, part single storey rear extension; single storey side extension on west elevation; change of roof form from twin rear gable to crown roof design; raising of roof to create habitable accommodation in roof space and two storey front gable extension.
Demolition of existing detached garage, removal of existing chimneys and changes to existing fenestration.
Applicant: Mr R Chand
The Committee considered a report about this application set out on Agenda pages 275 to 289.
The Committee was advised that the Members’ Update and Appendix 3 included details/copies of:
· Additional photographs showing the relationship of no. 29 to the neighbouring properties at 27 and 31 Copse Mead;
· Elevation plans showing the proposed scheme overlaid on the existing and the refused scheme overlaid on the current proposal;
· A copy of the decision notice and Inspector’s report relating to the previous application which was refused and dismissed at appeal.
Tom Barker, representing Woodley Town Council, spoke objecting to the application;
Eddie Cheng, neighbour at no.31 and Nick Wade, representing his parents who are resident at no.27, both spoke objecting to the application.
Kate Haines, a Local Ward Member, spoke in support of the Town Council and neighbours’ objections.
Members were reminded that this application was for a similar development to one which had been refused, but that the scale and bulk of some of the proposed extensions had been reduced to overcome the reasons for refusal.
It was noted that Members had visited the site in September 2014, to assess the impact on neighbours, when the previous application was been considered.
However concerns were raised that this new application had not significantly reduced the impact on the neighbour at no.27 Copse Mead. Officers indicated that the side extension adjacent to no.27 had now been reduced to single storey, with the 7m gap at first floor level maintained; and the two storey element of the rear extension had been reduced in length from 4m to 3m.
It was suggested that in light of the scale of the proposed extensions, if the application was approved, any permitted development rights that remained on this property be removed.
A proposal to refuse the application on the grounds of the mass and bulk of the proposed extension being harmful and having an un-neighbourly impact on the residents of no.27 Copse Mead, was not approved when put to the vote.
RESOLVED: That application F/2015/0055 be approved subject to the conditions set out on Agenda pages 275 and 276, with the addition of a condition to remove remaining Permitted Development Rights.
Pre Committee Site Visits
To consider any recommendations from the Head of Development Management to hold pre-committee site visits, set out in Members’ Update
The Head of Development Management and Regulatory Services recommended that pre-Committee site visits be undertaken in respect of the following application:
· F/2015/0073 – Land adjacent to 1 Anson Walk, Shinfield, for the erection of 2 x one bed and 2 x one bed flats with associated parking and landscaping. The site visit would enable the Members to assess the impact on the character of the area.
RESOLVED: That pre-Committee site visits be undertaken on
Friday 24 April 2015 in respect of the following application:
F/2015/0073 – Land adjacent to 1 Anson Walk, Shinfield, for the erection of 2 x one bed and 2 x one bed flats with associated parking and landscaping, to assess the impact on the character of the area.
Site visits agreed at the 4 February and 4 March meetings in respect of:
F/2014/2784 Green Isle, Wargrave Road, Remenham
F/2014/1561 – Land west of Old Wokingham Road (Pinewood), Crowthorne,
RM/2014/2561 – Land to the north of Cutbush Lane, Shinfield
which were not carried out, will now be undertaken on 24 April 2015.