Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 13th November, 2019 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Callum Wernham  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Media

Items
No. Item

47.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted from Councillor Carl Doran.

48.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 October 2019

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 9 October 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

Members' Update pdf icon PDF 269 KB

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

49.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

50.

Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.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No applications were recommended for deferral, or withdrawn.

51.

Diversion Order Wokingham Footpath 23 pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Recommendation: That the diversion order be made

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Diversion Order of Wokingham Footpath 23

 

Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this Diversion Order, set out in agenda pages 9 to 16.

 

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

 

Simon Weeks commented that no objections had been received to the proposals which had been through consultation.

 

RESOLVED That the Diversion Order of Wokingham Footpath 23 be made.

52.

Application No. 192128 - Woodside Caravan Site, Blagrove Lane, Wokingham (Evendons) pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Application to vary condition 1 (relating to temporary and personal restrictions) of planning consent 181694 which was a variation to conditions 1 (names of residents) and 2 (number of pitches) of planning permission 152821 (appeal decision APP/X0360/C/15/3085493 dated 15/1/18) for the change of use of land for the stationing of caravans for residential purposes.

 

Applicant: Mr B, C and Ms C Maughan

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 17 to 50.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included clarification that the site to date had not been promoted through the Local Plan Update call for sites exercises or subsequently, however the site would be subject to assessment through the local plan process.

 

Philip Bain, resident, spoke in objection to the application. Philip stated that more consideration and weight should be given to the noise and disruption caused by this site which in his opinion had not been fully realised within the Officer’s report. Philip added that environmental health had been involved with this site and a complaint had been upheld regarding these matters. Philip stated that the site was near residential properties and consequently directly affected their amenity. Philip added that residents wanted clear clarification with regards to other pitch provision within the Borough, and why potential sites had been deemed as unsuitable, which was an arbitrary conclusion in his opinion. Philip stated that trade vehicles had been seen on site, despite conditions prohibiting the site being used for commercial activities. Philip raised concerns regarding police activity relating to the site, though confirmed that this was not a planning consideration. Philip was of the opinion that should this application be approved then Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) were not representing the local community as the site was, and would continue to, cause harm to the local and surrounding area.

 

Lettie Maughan, applicant, spoke in support of the application. Lettie stated that there had been no criminal activity on site and there had been a long history of claims made by local residents that the occupants were deceitful regarding their circumstances, all of which were untrue. Lettie stated there were no trade vehicles on site, and only one transit van. Lettie added that the application as presented was true and accurate. Lettie stated that the site was seen as devaluing local residential dwellings, however this site was necessary as refusing permission would make 18 children homeless as there was no other suitable site available. Lettie added that land swaps had been investigated but this had been unsuccessful, and there really was no other option for all current occupants. Lettie concluded by stating that some occupants had disabilities and 5 children lost their father last year which had added to their stressful situation.

 

Sarah Kerr, Ward Member, spoke in objection to the application. Sarah stated that this further application for temporary permission was frustrating, as the site was currently having a negative impact on residents, wildlife and the surrounding area.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Application No. 191573 - 9 Easthampstead Road, Wokingham pdf icon PDF 605 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval subject to legal agreement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal:Full application for the proposed erection of a three storey building consisting of 22 residential units following demolition of existing building.

 

Applicant: Classicstone Properties

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 51 to 116.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Clarification that previously refused scheme 181723 had been appealed and a decision was pending. The applicant had given an undertaking that the appeal would be withdrawn if this application was approved;

·           Clarification of paragraph 118, in summary to state that the Council’s Highways Officer raised no objections based on parking space provision due to the highly sustainable town centre location;

·           Examples of other town centre developments which had lower car parking spaces per unit than present in the subject application;

·           Free parking times for both Easthampstead Road East and West public car parks, which were located nearby the subject application site;

·           Clarification that paragraph 123 referred to a dual level cycle parking solution, which was not an adopted policy. Specific details would be resolved as part of the pre commencement requirements in Condition 9;

·           Clarification of paragraph 127, to state that access to the site was via the adopted highway, with the private road access being limited to part of the western side of the building;

·           Clarification that paragraph 132 should refer to an incident on 5 December 2018, not 2019;

·           Additional clarification regarding delivery arrangements and construction phases relating to Condition 6;

·           Clarification that although there were four departures from internal living room space requirements, these were Borough Design Guide guidelines only and not policy requirements;

·           Correction that the commuted sum quoted in paragraph 162 should state £50,610.71;

·           Correction that paragraph 165 should refer to Rooks Nest Wood SANG.

 

Andrew Mickleburgh stated that his main concern with this application was with regards to parking provision. Andrew added that some residents and visitors may struggle to find parking, which could lead to ‘spill over’ onto other roads with parking restrictions. Andrew commented that he was pleased to see the inclusion of photovoltaic panels within the application, and queried whether more than the conditioned percentage of energy from renewable sources could be provided. Simon Taylor, Case Officer, stated that all spaces were allocated and disabled spaces and electric vehicle charging spaces would be managed via a car parking management plan. With regards to the percentage of energy from renewable sources, this was conditioned to generate 10 percent of the predicted energy requirements for the development. The Committee could add an informative suggesting that the applicant provided over and above the conditioned 10 percent of generated predicted energy requirements for the development.

 

Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey queried whether there was adequate alternative parking available within the town centre setting, and whether the provided parking was policy compliant. Simon Weeks stated that previous town centre developments had set a precedent of providing less spaces that units, whilst the subject application provided spaces equal to unit numbers. Although the proposals were not policy compliant,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Application No. 191554 - 8 Victoria Road, Wargrave pdf icon PDF 348 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval subject to legal agreement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full planning application for the proposed erection of one 6no. bedroom dwelling with attached double garage and ancillary annex, provision of new access, gates, bike storage and bin storage.

 

Applicant: Mr and Mrs Ramsey

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 117 to 154.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included clarification that the recommendation on page 118 had been inadvertently swapped with the recommendation on page 156. For clarity, the recommendation for the subject application was set out in agenda pages 118 to 125, with the bold text on page 118 swapped with the bold text on page 156.

 

Paul Kelly, resident, spoke in objection to the application. Paul stated that this was an unusual application, with the site being split into two separate but similar planning applications. Paul added that there were inaccuracies within the report, including incorrect totals of supporting comments and objecting comments. Paul was of the opinion that the application had created confusion as a result of being split in to two parts. Paul stated that the Committee had not been provided with full evidence nor the complete details of this application. Paul added that Victoria Road was used as on-street parking by residents who did not have access to sufficient parking on their properties, and the area outside the proposed development was the only available area for some residents. Paul concluded by stating that the proposed access was dangerous for cyclists and other highways users, and was contrary to CP6.

 

Carl Ramsey, applicant, spoke in support of the application. Carl stated that the current dwelling was dated, and the plan had always been to renovate the existing property. However, there were various structural problems with the existing dwelling, including a ceiling that had collapsed, which had meant that it would be necessary to build new properties on the site. Carl stated that they had worked closely with Wokingham Borough Council’s Planning department throughout the planning process. Carl commented that there was not a number 2, 4 or 6 Victoria Road as the site was originally designated for additional houses, however they were intent on making the site their ‘forever home’. Carl stated that a considerable amount of work and consultation had been undertaken between neighbours, and their closest neighbours were supportive of the scheme. Carl added that there were no objections from any of the relevant Council department or consultative authorities. Carl stated that all relevant planning policy had been followed, and on-street parking would still be available on Victoria Road.

 

John Halsall, Ward Member, prepared a statement regarding this application and in his absence it was read out by the Vice Chairman. John apologised to the Committee as he was unable to be present on the evening. John stated that he had listed this application on the grounds that it was controversial. John added that he was neither supporting the application nor objecting to it. John stated that therefore it should  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Application No. 191570 - 8 Victoria Road, Wargrave pdf icon PDF 350 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Full planning application for the proposed erection of one 5no. bedroom dwelling with attached double garage and ancillary annex, provision of new access, gates, bike storage and bin storage.

 

Applicant: Mr and Mrs Ramsey.

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 155 to 188.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included clarification that the recommendation on page 156 had been inadvertently swapped with the recommendation on page 118. For clarity, the recommendation for the subject application was set out in agenda pages 156 to 162, with the bold text on page 156 swapped with the bold text on page 118.

 

Paul Kelly, resident, spoke in objection to the application. Paul stated that there were a number of inaccuracies with the report, including the number of comments for and against the application being incorrectly stated. Paul stated that the amenity value of his property would be compromised by this application, as the proposed dwelling would be 10 metres closer to his property than the existing property. Paul added that the proposed application would be overbearing, cause loss of light to his property and would have an impact on the general overlook of the setting. Paul stated that the proposed dwelling would interrupt the 45o line within 5 meters of his dwelling which was contrary to R18 of the Borough Design Guide. Paul added that there were privacy concerns regarding the overlook from the proposed dwelling directly into the 1st floor bedroom of his daughter’s bedroom, concerns of which had been raised with the child protection department. Paul stated that Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) had approved the inclusion of the aforementioned bedroom window in 2012 and therefore it was acceptable. Paul concluded that the proposed application would be entirely unacceptable and contrary to CPO8.

 

Carl Ramsey, applicant, spoke in support of the application. Carl stated that both a CIL payment and a S106 agreement were applied to this application, and the dwelling would be used to accommodate family – some of whom had some health issues – allowing them to be close by. Carl added that they had worked closely with WBC’s planning department throughout the planning process, and a number of changes had been made to the application following feedback from neighbours. Carl stated that this plot had been moved further away from number 10 Victoria Road, and the proposals had received no objections from other neighbours, WBC departments of consultative authorities. Carl was of the opinion that number 10 Victoria Road had reduced their own amenity space when deciding on extending their property in 2012. Carl stated that he had removed an extremely large light blocking fern tree previously, which had allowed more light into both his property and number 10. Carl was of the opinion that the 1st floor window at number 10 Victoria Road should never have been approved as it overlooked his property, and was likely only allowed due to the existence of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Application No. 191879 - 31 Redhatch Drive, Earley pdf icon PDF 282 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Householder application for the proposed single storey side/rear extension including conversion of existing garage to additional habitable accommodation, and insertion of 4no. rooflights, internal alterations and changes to fenestration (part-retrospective).

 

Applicant: Mr Muhammad Dawood

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 189 to 208.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Clarification that a condition requiring the implementation of the proposed parking was inadvertently omitted from the recommendation. However, there was space for 3 vehicles on the existing driveway and it was therefore not considered necessary to condition this. For clarity, the condition requiring the proposed paving to be permeable was retained;

·           Additional neighbour comments and Officer notes;

·           Additional comments from Earley Town Council and Officer notes.

 

Muhammad Khan, applicant, spoke in support of the application. Muhammad stated that he had no objections to any of the conditions as set out within the report and would abide by them fully. Muhammad demonstrated a new plan, which had not been formally submitted to Officers beforehand. This demonstrated a reduction in the proposed hard standing in the front garden. Muhammad stated that now only 60 percent of the front garden would be paved, with 40 percent of the garden retained as a grass surface.

 

Caroline Smith, Ward Member, spoke in objection to the application. Caroline stated that the proposals were out of keeping with the character and appearance of the area. Caroline added that should the Committee be minded to approve the proposals, that the flat roof could not be used as a balcony without prior approval and requested that the fence be reinstalled. Caroline requested that a hard and soft landscaping scheme and a sustainable drainage scheme be provided as part of the application.

 

Simon Weeks queried whether any new balustrading could be added to the proposed site. Stefan Fludger, Case Officer, stated that it was conditioned to ensure that no new balustrading could be installed. Stefan added that it was possible to pave the entire front garden under permitted development rights, however it was not a requirement under the planning permission for all of the front garden to be paved.

 

The were some queries from Members regarding a new set of plans shown on the evening by the applicant which only proposed to pave over 60 percent of the garden. Marcia Head, Development Management Team Leader, stated that the Committee had to approve the plans as set out within the report. Marcia added that the grass area had already been retained and the applicant would be in breach of the approved plans should they alter this without permission at a later date. Simon weeks suggested that the applicant could submit a non-material planning application to alter the percentage split of hard paving and grass area to the front of the property should the application be approved.

 

Simon Weeks commented that the applicant could work with Officers to ensure that parking was not permanently occupied, for example by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

Reconsideration of Refusal Reason 2 - Application No. 181499 - Land South of Cutbush Lane, Shinfield, RG2 9GH pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Recommendation: That refusal reason 2 is withdrawn

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: That refusal reason 2 be withdrawn.

 

Taken to Committee by: Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee were advised that this was taken to Committee as an urgent item, and had returned to Committee as per the rules set out in section 4.2.14.1 of the constitution, gaining support of at least one quarter of the Committee.

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in supplementary agenda pages 3 to 10.

 

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

 

Stephen Conway stated that he had originally proposed the motion to refuse application 181499, which included refusal reason 2 relating to suitability of the mix of affordable housing. Stephen stated that he now accepted the clear legal advice given that refusal reason 2 would be very difficult for Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) to defend at appeal. Stephen noted the comments made by the QC, which made clear that dropping refusal reason 2 would not jeopardise WBC’s defence of refusal reason 1, and it was considered that WBC could still make a robust case in respect of the design reason for refusal.

 

Gary Cowan raised a number of concerns regarding how the affordable housing working group were involved in the original application. Gary was of the opinion that this working group had struck a deal with the developers, and had therefore made it impossible for the Council’s affordable housing team to defend a refusal reason of this nature at appeal. Gary questioned whether Members of the Planning Committee who were also on the affordable housing working group should declare an interest in items in which affordable housing proposals had been discussed.

 

Mary Severin, Borough Solicitor, clarified that the recommendation of the affordable housing working group was just advice. In this particular instance, the Committee resolved to go against this advice which then resulted in a decision that went against policy.

 

Pauline Jorgensen stated that she had previously been a member of the affordable housing working group, and stressed that it never made any deals with developers.

 

Christopher Howard, Case Officer, stated that Officers had to bring a scheme to Committee with an offer of affordable housing in order for the Committee to resolve the application.

 

RESOLVED That refusal reason 2 for application 181499 be withdrawn.