Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 12th December, 2018 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Callum Wernham  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Link: Watch the video of this meeting

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


There were no apologies.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 November 2018.



The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 14 November 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

Members Update pdf icon PDF 1022 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.


Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest



Chris Bowring declared that he had listed application number 182236 (item 57) should it be recommended for approval. He stated that he wanted the opportunity for the application to be discussed in detail by members and was interested in hearing the views of other Committee Members. He added that he went in to the meeting with an open mind and would listen to all evidence and viewpoints before making a decision.


Wayne Smith declared an interest in item 58 on the grounds that the property was the house that he shared with his wife. He stated that he would leave the room during Member discussion and voting.


Application No 182236 - 8 Medway Close pdf icon PDF 311 KB

Recommendation: Conditional Approval.

Additional documents:


Proposal: Householder application for proposed erection of single storey front extension, first floor front and side extensions, conversion of existing garage to provide habitable accommodation and internal alterations.


Applicant: Mr and Mrs Hira.


The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application set out in agenda pages 13 to 32.


The Committee were advised that there were no Members’ Updates.


Richard Kind, Neighbour, spoke in objection to the application. Richard thanked the Committee for considering the application in further detail after their recent site visit to the property. He stated that a chartered surveyor had conducted a desktop study of the proposed application and was concerned that the surveyor had not conducted a site visit. Richard added that the surveyor acknowledged that a consequence of construction could include a reduction in natural light to the neighbouring lounge flank window, and Richard felt that this contravened Wokingham Borough Council’s (WBC) policy. Richard stated that the surveyor did not comment on the increase from 60 degrees to 75 degrees between the neighbouring properties as a result of the proposed development. Richard added that the Borough Design Guide stated that developments should have consistent gaps to avoid a terracing effect, and should be in keeping with the character of the area. Richard felt that the proposed front extension would increase the impact on the street scene adversely and the extension was an overdevelopment. Richard added that the proposed application would remove all of the soft landscaping to the front of the property.


Mr Pauljit Hira, Applicant, spoke in support of the application. Pauljit thanked the Committee for taking to time to conduct a site visit and to consider this application. He stated that this application was a necessary increase in space for his growing family, and felt that his neighbour’s objections had been addressed thoroughly within the Officer’s report. Pauljit outlined examples of other nearby properties, such as 3 and 5 Medway Close, which had no soft landscaping to the front of their properties. He added that there were also examples of 1st floor extensions (similar in design to the proposed application) within the area, and felt that this made the proposed application in keeping with the street scene. Pauljit stated that in terms of amenity space, his garden was currently lager than his neighbour’s and this would still be the case should the proposed application be approved. He felt that the existing trees in his neighbour’s garden would have a larger impact on light loss than the proposed development would have.


Stefan Fludger, Case Officer, clarified several point raised by the speakers. He stated that the Surveyor’s letter did not state whether a site visit had been conducted, but even if it was only a desktop study they were a qualified expert in their field and had come to a conclusion which supported the Officer recommendation for approval. Stefan stated that there would be a one metre separation distance to the boundary, which was in line with guidelines and would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.


Application No 182595 - Kestrels, Scarletts Lane, Hare Hatch, RG10 9XD pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Recommendation: Conditional Approval.

Additional documents:


Wayne Smith left the Committee and listened to the Officer presentation and the agent’s speech, before leaving the room during Member discussion and voting.


Proposal: Householder application for the proposed erection of two storey side/ rear extension, following demolition of single storey building.


Applicant: Mrs J Roxburgh-Smith.


The Committee received and reviewed a reportabout this application as set out in agenda pages 33 to 54.


The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included a correction to the application number stated in the report, which should have read 182595.


Mark Leedale, Agent, spoke in support of the application. He stated that several amendments had been made to the scheme over time in collaboration with Officer recommendations. He added that the proposed development would result in a 35% increase in size to the original property, when combined with an existing extension. Mark stated that the proposed application would not impose on the green belt and that it was in line with Wokingham Borough Council’s guidelines and policies.


Angus Ross asked for clarification on whether the 35% increase to the property was based on the original property, without the existing extension. Senjuti Manna, Case Officer, clarified that the 35% increase in size was based on the original property, and that the increase was a combination of the existing extension and the proposed development.


Tim Holton queried whether the Parish Council had made any comment with regards to this application, and asked whether there was a need for a condition regarding demolition. Justin Turvey, Planning Specialist, stated that the Parish Council had not commented on the amended scheme but had previously made responded on the original scheme, and that Officers were satisfied that no condition regarding demolition was necessary and that this was reasonable in planning terms.


RESOLVED: That application 182595 be approved subject to the conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 34 to 35.  


Application No 182892 - Land between Thames Valley Business Park and Napier Road Reading, South of the River Thames and north of the Great Western Main Line Railway. pdf icon PDF 10 MB

Recommendation: Conditional Approval Subject to Legal Agreement.

Additional documents:


Proposal: Full application for the construction of a segregated fast-track public transport, pedestrian and cycle bridge and viaduct, comprising concrete bridge structure supported by concrete columns, steel beams and reinforced soil embankment, together with new footway links and existing footway alterations, junction improvements and landscaping.


Applicant:Reading Borough Council Highways and Transport Department.


The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application as set out in agenda pages 55 to 130.


The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:


·           Additional comments of support from Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Reading Buses, Reading and Wokingham Chamber of Commerce, Reading Business Growth and Skills Committee, Thames Valley Park Management Ltd, Microsoft and the University of Reading;

·           An additional comment from Network Rail;

·           Additional comments of objection from Tesco, Save Our Ancient Riverside (SOAR) and Cllr Bill Luck (Earley Town Council);

·           Additional residential comments objecting to the application (3 from Wokingham, 7 from Reading and 2 from unknown locations);

·           A clarification that 13 trees would be removed, rather than 14;

·           Two formatting corrections relating to pages 88, 89 and 92 of the published agenda.


Michael Firmager, On Behalf of Earley Town Council, spoke in objection to the application. He stated that the Town Council had concerns related to the design of the bridge, which the Town Council felt was unsightly. He added that the plans did not conform to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) paragraph 124, which stated that developments should be of a high quality design and provide good levels of amenity and should conserve and enhance the surrounding natural environment. Michael stated that the proposed development would be (in essence) a large concrete bridge, which was contrary to NPPF paragraph 130 which stated that permission should be refused for development of poor design that failed to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area and the way it functioned. Michael added that the proposed development was contrary to NPPF paragraph 170, which stated that planning policies and decisions should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment, by protecting and enhancing valued landscaped. Michael stated that the proposed viaduct was too close to the river bank and felt that the proposals did not retain or enhance any features of the existing landscape. Michael stated that the proposed development was contrary to NPPF paragraph 194, which stated that developments should provide exceptional and convincing justification should they harm a designated heritage asset. Michael added that the proposals before the Committee did not make any substantive changes from the proposals which were rejected by the Committee in June 2018 and that they failed to enhance the character of the area or provide any enhancement to Earley. Michael commented on his appreciation for the Save Our Ancient Riverside (SOAR) group with regards to their objection to this application.


Tamzin Morphy, Resident, spoke in objection to the application. She stated that the application before the Committee was the same as the application that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.


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.


There were no applications recommended for deferral, or withdrawn.