Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 11th September, 2019 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.


Apologies for absence were submitted from Councillors Stephen Conway and Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 317 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 August 2019



The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 14 August 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

Members' Update pdf icon PDF 143 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



Item 36 – Angus Ross stated that he was a member of Wokingham Borough Council’s Local Access Forum and was also a member of the local ramblers association. Angus stated that he was able to take part in the debate and the vote as he did not have a pecuniary interest.


Item 40 – Gary Cowan declared an interest for this item on the grounds that he had been involved with various issues related to the Coombes Woodland for many years. Gary added that he would take no part in the debate nor the vote.


Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.


Item number 39, application number 191112 (Manor Farm, Finchampstead, RG40 3TL), was withdrawn from the agenda.


Diversion Order Wokingham 16 pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Recommendation: That the Diversion Order is made.

Additional documents:


Proposal: Diversion Order FP Wokingham 16


Applicant: Bellway Homes Ltd


The Committee received and reviewed a report about this Diversion Order, set out in agenda pages 11 to 16.


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


Simon Weeks stated that the Diversion Order was envisaged to be required as a part of the outline application for the site, and would be a minor diversion to the eastern side of the route and had received no objections.


Malcolm Richards queried what road safety aspects had been taken into account as the diversion would cross an estate road. Andrew Fletcher, Case Officer, clarified that there would be a safe crossing point available for the user. The road formed a part of the NWDR and there were adequate crossings with central islands being provided


RESOLVED That Diversion Order Wokingham 16 be authorised, as per the recommendation as set out on agenda page 11.


Application No. 191972 - 24 Matthewsgreen Road, Wokingham, RG41 1JU pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:


Proposal: Householder application for the proposed erection of a single storey extension to existing detached garage, plus conversion of the garage into habitable accommodation.


Applicant: Mr Graham Ebers.


The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 17 to 30.


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


Simon Weeks stated that this application was before the Committee as the applicant was the Deputy Chief Executive of Wokingham Borough Council. An application of this nature would not routinely come to the Committee, however all Officers who form a part of the Council’s Corporate Leadership Team were required to have their planning applications brought forward to the Planning Committee to allow for an additional level of scrutiny and due diligence. Simon added that there had been no objections to this application.


Pauline Jorgensen queried how had the plans been validated with regards to parking, as there were no plans showing the available parking submitted. Marcia Head, Development Management Team Leader, stated that the Case Officer had undertaken a site visit and had no concerns regarding the parking provision. Subsequently, there was no need to require a parking plan to be submitted as a part of this application.


RESOLVED That application number 191972 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 17 to 18.


Application No. 191566 - Old Bird House, Milley Lane, Hare Hatch, RG10 9TH pdf icon PDF 436 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval and subsequent deferral and delegation of the final decision to the Assistant Director – Place Based Services following the conclusion of the advertising period on 12 September 2019, and subject to the consideration of any further representations received


Additional documents:


Proposal: Full planning application comprising a new vehicular access, improved vision splays to Milley Lane for the existing and new access and associated fencing and gates


Applicant: Mrs D Klat


The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 31 to 54.


The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:


·           A summary of 20 additional submissions against the proposal, and Officer responses to issues not raised in the previous submissions;

·           Additional Officer comment regarding traffic data;

·           Additional Officer comment regarding materials to be used;

·           Additional Officer comment regarding the loss of hedgerows;

·           Correction to the final paragraph on agenda page 31 to state that Council Officers raise no objection, as distinct from the objections raised by the Ward member;

·           Correction to paragraph 26 on agenda page 43, clarifying that listed building consent was not required and therefore Informative 1 was unnecessary.


Kim McLaren, resident, spoke in objection to the application. Kim stated that there had been 45 objections to this application, including from both Wargrave & Ruscombe Parish Councils. Kim added that this application sought the removal of all hedges and trees on this stretch of the road, and was directly opposite a listed building. Kim stated that the application would encroach on the green belt and would allow for the removal of mature native hedging and trees. Kim commented that the application would be harmful to the greenbelt and would become a negative feature within the setting of the listed building’s character. Kim added that TB24 required conservation of designated heritage assets, and was of the opinion that the views from Hill House were a material consideration and formed a part of the character of this listed asset. Kim stated that the application was located close to an area of special interest, and when taking in to account the recently declared climate emergency by Wokingham Borough Council serious consideration and reserve should be given to proposals asking for the removal of mature trees and hedgerows and thereofre should be required to remain. Kim raised concerns about traffic safety implications on Milley Lane, and added that HGVs could be impeded, even more so than currently, as a result of the proposed works. Kim concluded by stating that this location was inappropriate for access to the site and the application would harm the listed building Hill House.


Paola Kalisperas, on behalf of the applicant, spoke in favour of the application. Paola stated that the application would bring safety improvements to the existing main gate of the site. Paola added that her mother had originally purchased The Old House and the cottage combined, and subsequently purchased the current plot to breed rare pheasants – hence the name The Bird Gardens. Her mother had since sold part of the property. Paola stated that the current application had been altered based on pre-application advice and feedback from planning officers. Paola added that the application would achieve vehicular access to the Bird Garden in addition to widening the verges  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.


Application No. 191112 - Manor Farm, Finchampstead, RG40 3TL pdf icon PDF 738 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:


This item was withdrawn from the agenda.


Tree Preservation Order (TPO) - Coombes Woods, TPO 1684/2019 pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Recommendation: That the Committee confirm the making of TPO 1684/2019

Additional documents:


Gary Cowan left the room and did not participate in this item.


Proposal: Confirmation of TPO 1684/2019


Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council (WBC)


The Committee received and reviewed a report about this TPO, set out in supplementary agenda pages 3 to 38.


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


Candice Jules, resident, spoke in objection to the TPO. Candice stated that her land used to be a part of the Newland Farm and was originally planted for the purpose of harvesting trees. Candice stated that her paddock predominantly housed silver birch trees, and had previously been overrun with rhododendron which she had cleared. Candice stated that she was concerned with the additional species included within this TPO, as some of them were seen as weeds which needed careful management. Candice added that she had submitted a woodland management plan to WBC with no response. Candice stated that a 5 day dated and diseased tree application took a considerable amount of time for WBC to respond to. Candice queried how WBC would manage with increased correspondence if holly, which was seen as a weed, was classed as a tree under this TPO and required permission to manage.


Dean Thompson, resident, spoke in objection to the management of the TPO. Dean stated that he had planted 400 trees on his land, and just 18 now remained as a result of theft and antisocial behaviour by members of the public. Dean stated that landowners and woodland mangers needed to be able to properly manage their woodland effectively and efficiently, and this TPO would inhibit this.


Chris Hannington, Case Officer - speaking about woodland management, clarified that a woodland management plan (WMP) had been received from Mrs Jules however it was deemed to not be up to standard. Chris added that a management plan approved by the Forestry Commission sat above a TPO and a TPO was a flag to the FC that a woodland provided amenity value. They would consult the council over WMPs in such cases. Chris stated that there was some evidence that some of the woodland at the Coombes had been planted in rows, ostensibly for forestry, however there was other contradictory evidence such as rows of various different species planted which suggested otherwise. Chris stated that all tree species were included within this TPO, however species such as rhododendron which were not classified as trees were not to be protected.


Angus Ross commented that many of the general public that used the woodland for recreational walks would be unlikely to see different ownership, and this TPO would allow WBC some control over the area in order to retain its amenity value.


Andrew Mickleburgh queried how long an approved woodland management plan would last. Chris Hannington stated that an approved woodland management plan would likely last for many years or even decades. Chris added that if somebody deviated significantly from an approved woodland management plan, the TPO would be a legal vehicle to prosecute under the terms  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.