Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee
Wednesday, 1st March, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1BN

Contact: Arabella Yandle  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

99.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received

100.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 178 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 February 2017.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 1 February 2017 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

Members' Update pdf icon PDF 695 KB

There are a number of references to the Members' Update within these minutes. The Members' Update was circulated to all present prior to the meeting.  A copy is attached.

 

101.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest

 

Minutes:

Councillor Michael Firmager, who was welcomed as a new member of the Planning Committee, stated that as an Earley Town Councillor he had made a decision on a consultation response to Wokingham Borough Council on the application for Item no 107, but that this did not create a conflict with his role on the Planning Committee, and he had not made up his mind on the decision before the Committee.  He did not attend the meeting of Earley Town Council in respect of Item no 103.

 

102.

Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.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No applications had been recommended for deferral, or withdrawn.

103.

Application no - 170031 - Aldryngton Primary School, Earley, RG6 7HR pdf icon PDF 370 KB

Recommendation:  Approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal:  Full application for the proposed demolition of external stores, swimming pool (including support facilities), temporary classrooms and part demolition of main building, followed by erection of two storey teaching block with hall. Erection of detached store adjacent to car park, provision of MUGA in playing field and associated works to landscaping and extension to car and cycle parking.

 

Applicant:  Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in Agenda pages 15 to 54.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included: 

 

·         Clarification as to the number of objections that were received per subject;

·         Additional comments from the adjoining Ward;

·         Additional information regarding the hours of the two schools, Aldryngton Primary School and Maiden Erlegh Secondary School;

·         Proposed amendment to condition 9, to whit that there would be no deliveries during the start and end of school day.

 

Members had visited the site on 24 February 2017.

 

William Luck, Town Councillor, Earley Town Council, spoke in objection to the application.  He stated that, whilst he understood the issues around school places, he felt that traffic and parking issues had not been properly addressed by the application, omitting a revised plan for on-site parking, a travel plan and traffic mitigation measures. 

 

Ian Head, Chair of Governors, Michael Gordon, Resident, and Hannah Sealam, Resident, led the Members through a presentation, and asked for a rejection of the application, raising the following points:

 

·         The governors in the school were legally bound to guarantee health and safety in the school and the plan did not fully address traffic, parking or safety and the impact of the increase in pupil numbers, referring to the availability of parking in the surrounding area that did not exist and taking into account the proximity of Maiden Erlegh Secondary School, a pre-school and shops.

·         Lancaster Road, referred to in the plan as offering 18 on-street parking spaces could, in fact, only safely house 11.  Residents felt there was an unacceptable level of danger already and the proposed increase in pupil numbers would impact traffic, noise and safety.  It was also felt that the design was overbearing.

·         The loss of the swimming pool would contravene several paragraphs of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in regards to loss of the pool, amenity and opportunities to improve health and well-being in the community.   The proposed alternative at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre would not be able to cater to the level of use the pool at Aldryngton Primary School was subject to.  In addition, as pointed out by Sport England, the proposed Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) was not big enough for a number of field sports and did not have a run-off area.

 

Kathryn Mitchell, Resident, spoke in favour of the application as a parent who had not been able to place her child because of oversubscription despite living 0.32 miles away.  She stated that her allocated school was 3 miles away and that this resulted in an annual mileage of approximately  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.

104.

Application no - 162829 - Plot to North of Church Lane, Three Mile Cross pdf icon PDF 837 KB

Recommendation:  Approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal:  Application for Reserved matters application for 175 dwellings including internal access roads, garages, parking places, open spaces, allotments, Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) and Locally Equipped Area of Play.

 

Applicant:  Taylor Wimpey Homes

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in Agenda pages 55 to 90.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·         Clarification to the report regarding car parking and the methodology of determining the amount of spaces required;

·         Proposed amendment to conditions 2 to include approved plans;

·         Proposed amendments to conditions 3, 6, 9 and 13;

·         Proposed deletion of conditions 5 and 10 due to duplication;

·         Proposed additional condition to whit that plans of allotment plots and locations of water supplied would be submitted for approval;

·         Proposed re-designation of condition 15 as an informative,

·         Additional comments from residents in objection to the application.

 

Philippe Nozay and Neville Swift, Residents, led the Members through a presentation, suggesting that an increase in housing was not an imperative, going on to state that the application presented issues in terms of building height, traffic and flooding, and questioning the location of the affordable housing stock.

 

Andy Barron, Taylor Wimpey, spoke in favour of the application, commending the officers on their hard work.  He explained that the images shown by the first speakers were of standing water, not flooding, and that, as there was no existing infrastructure in the area, the steps taken to mitigate drainage and flood prevention that were part of the application would, in fact, improve the existing situation.

 

In response, the Service Manager, Highways Development Management, stated that traffic and access had been part of the outline application, and as such did not form part of the application in front of the Committee. He also informed the committee that a number of junctions and road improvements had already been put in place.  He confirmed that the flood risk strategies that had been secured for the site, including the attenuation ponds and other Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) features, would improve the current issues that the site had with regards to any potential surface water flooding on the site.

 

The Case Officer explained that the type of affordable housing proposed was   mixed in accordance with policy. The siting of this housing proposal could not be dictated and the Housing Provider would seek for it to be clustered for management purposes.  He indicated that there were only two 3-storey buildings, and that their placement and appearance, in terms of their overall design were in accordance with parameters. 

 

In response to Member questions regarding parking and traffic flow, the Service Manager, Highways Development Management explained how the proposed number of parking spaces had been calculated and complied with the Council’s Parking Standards Study Report, and also advised that the garages were of a larger size (3m X 7m) which would also encourage use for cars and cycle storage.  He indicated that large refuse vehicles had been tracked as part of the supporting information for the scheme  ...  view the full minutes text for item 104.

105.

Application no - 163385 - Longmoor Lake, California Country Park pdf icon PDF 365 KB

Recommendation:  Approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal:  Full planning application for the installation of vehicle overrun strips along the access road, formalisation of the existing car park and the construction of new car parks creating a total of 301 bays including disabled and public carrier vehicle bays, the removal of 73 trees and the planting of 85 trees, and erection of the tensile tent canopy adjacent to the Café, with associated  provision for  street furniture, lighting and landscaping, replacement of underground pumping station, upgrading of power supply with associated distribution boxes.

 

Applicant:  Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in Agenda pages 91 to 110.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·         Amendment to the proposal description, to whit that the number of car park bays would be 311;

·         Amendments to the report regarding planting, car parking and opening hours;

·         Clarification as to the traffic surveys that had taken place;

·         Proposed additional condition relating to the tensile canopy;

·         Additional comments in objection to the proposal, and

·         Summary statements from an online petition.

 

Roland Cundy, Chair of Finchampstead Parish Council, spoke on the application.  Whilst he appreciated that the country parks must derive income to be self-financing, he asked what traffic calming measures were proposed and what steps were going to be taken with regard to minimising risk.  He also raised concerns regarding the impact of the application on the Scouts, stating that the scouting facility was in use six days per week and that it accommodated 200 young people with a further 100 on a waiting list.  He questioned the time it had taken to renew the lease.

 

James Cutler, Resident, questioned the level of consultation of neighbours, going on to suggest that there would be a rise in crime and litter and that the amenity value of the Park was under threat.  He also questioned the apparent omission of any reference to the Nine Mile Ride Cycle Way and expressed a concern that the site might then become subject to development.

 

Andy Glencross, Countryside Officer at Wokingham Borough Council, spoke in favour of the application.  He explained that the application before the Committee was not an isolated scheme but part of a wider plan to improve networks.  He outlined the history of the site, which had been bought by the Council in 1973 and that the infrastructure dated back to that point.  He went on to indicate that the facilities that would be introduced as part of the plan would cater for the increased population and would make the site more accessible and all-weather.  He suggested that future plans would include an enhancement of the play area, catering operations and lake frontage.

 

In response, the Service Manager, Highways Development Management, outlined the methodology used by the applicant in surveying the current use of the park during the busiest periods last year, explaining that 358 vehicles had been on-site at the peak.  He stated that the formalisation of the car park spaces would be to improve  ...  view the full minutes text for item 105.

106.

Application no - 162321 - Land to the North of Wood Lane, Barkham, RG41 4TS pdf icon PDF 184 KB

Recommendation:  Approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Application for the change of use of agricultural land to equestrian land, erection of a stable lock and storage of logs (retrospective)

 

Applicant:  Mr and Mrs Smith

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in Agenda pages 111 to 126.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included a clarification as to the Ward in which the application falls, which is Arborfield and not Barkham.

 

Resolved:  That application no 162321 be approved subject to the conditions set out in Agenda pages 55 to 90. 

 

107.

Application no - 163315 - Engineering Building, Whiteknights Campus, Reading University pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Recommendation:  Approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full application for the erection of a 5 storey Health and Lifesciences Building; new entrance and external works to Philip Lyle Building; associated landscaping and car parking; following demolition of the Engineering and Harborne Building within the Whiteknights Campus of the University of Reading.

 

Applicant:  University of Reading

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in Agenda pages 129 to 156.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·         Further information regarding cycle provision, sustainable design and ecology;

·         Proposed amendments to conditions 3-5 relating to the demolition of the Engineering Building;

·         Proposed amendments and renumbering of conditions 12, 17, 18 and 19;

·         Proposed additional condition regarding the submission of a Demolition Method Statement;

·         Proposed additional condition relating to cycle provision;

·         Proposed additional condition relating to sustainable design and construction, and

·         Proposed additional condition relating to bat mitigation.

 

Mervyn McFarland, Agent, spoke in favour of the application, stating that it would help the University maintain its world-wide reputation, raising the profile of its role in the bio-sciences.  He explained that, whilst the application would result in a reduction in floor space, it was part of the University drive to increase efficiency in terms of its use of space and facilities and that it had been designed in collaboration with stakeholders to offer a contemporary design.

 

Councillor David Chopping, Ward Member, spoke on the application, stating that the car parking in the plan should be considered in the light of the whole campus, with consideration for local residents.

 

In response, the Service Manager, Highways Development Management, stated that Reading University had a parking strategy as part of their expansion plans which the Council was supportive of and would be reviewed further through future applications. 

 

In response to a Member question regarding chimneys and hazardous emissions, Mervyn McFarland stated that any emissions would be produced by the labs and as such would have to meet environmental standards.

 

Resolved:  That application no 163315 be approved subject to the conditions set out in Agenda pages 129 to 156, the amendments to conditions 3-5, and the additional conditions as laid out in the Members’ Update.