Agenda and draft minutes

Extraordinary, Planning Committee - Tuesday, 18th May, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN. View directions

Contact: Callum Wernham  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Media

Items
No. Item

72.

Apologies pdf icon PDF 269 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted from Gary Cowan.

73.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest

 

Minutes:

Pauline Jorgensen declared a prejudicial interest in agenda items 76 and 77, on the grounds that although she had no involvement in these applications in her role as the Executive Member for Highways and Transport she had spoken to both supporters and objectors of these applications, and had been advised not to take part in the discussions or votes for these items.

 

Angus Ross stated that three of the supplementary planning documents had been signed by him in 2010 and 2011, whilst he was an Executive Member. Angus added that despite this he had no involvement with these applications since and would therefore take part in all of the discussions and votes.

74.

Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.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No applications were recommended for deferral, or withdrawn.

75.

Diversion of Foot Paths in Support of Application No. 192928 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Recommendation: That the orders be made

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Diversion of parts of Wokingham Footpath 24 / Wokingham Without Footpath 9 and Wokingham Without Footpath 5, and the stopping up of part of Wokingham Footpath 25, Wokingham Footpath 10 and Wokingham Without Footpath 5 in support of the planning application for the construction of the South Wokingham Distributor Road (SWDR) and the Eastern Gateway between Finchampstead Road and Waterloo Road.

 

Applicant: Mrs Jean Mulovi, Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this item, set out in agenda pages 5 to 20.

 

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

 

Maria Gee, Ward Member, spoke in objection to this item. Maria was of the opinion that there were many good qualities about the proposed new footpath routes in the new proposed developments, including improved surfaces and improved access for disabled residents. Maria raised concerns that the footpaths were not suitable for shared use, and felt it was unclear what would be done to deter cyclists from using the existing footpaths without also deterring wheelchair users. Maria queried whether the Committee was convinced that the new designs would appropriately direct each type of path user. Prior to making changes to the existing network, Maria asked that the Committee look at the gaps between the boards of the boardwalk to see whether they had been considered in relation to the most commonly used wheels for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Maria sought confirmation that the boardwalk surface would not become slippery in winter. Maria was of the opinion that the design of the SWDR could potentially places obstacles in the way of increased pedestrian use due to a lack of controlled crossing points. Maria asked the Committee to consider whether the new designs were the best that they could be prior to removing or diverting the existing pathway network, and asked the Committee to confirm whether these plans had met Wokingham Borough Council’s duties under the Public Sector Equality Duty.

 

Simon Weeks queried whether any of the signage related to the usage of the footpaths would be changing. Andrew Fletcher, case officer, confirmed that officers were not looking to prevent use of the paths by cyclists, and cyclists would be entitled to use the paths under permitted use.

 

Simon Weeks queried whether the boardwalk would meet current standards related to pushchairs and cyclists. Andrew Fletcher confirmed that the boardwalk would meet the current standards, and officers were happy with the designs.

 

Angus Ross stated that much work had been done to ensure the continuity of the public rights of way system in the area, whilst taking into account the needs of future housing developments and major roads. Angus added that many of the public footpaths were currently well used, and the modifications suggested would maintain safety and usability. Angus stated that footpath 5 was currently seldom used due to the relatively unsafe entry and exit, however the proposals would improve upon this and should make it a much more useful walking route.

 

Stephen Conway stated that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.

75.1

Combined Minutes from Applications 203535; 192928; 190900; 190914 and 191068

Minutes:

Due to the linked nature of applications 203535, 192928, 190900, 190914, and 191068, the presentation, public speaking, and discussions for these items were taken as one. Each item was voted on separately.

 

Pauline Jorgensen declared a prejudicial interest in applications 203535 and 192828, and took no part in the discussions or votes on these items.

 

Peter Dennis, Wokingham Town Council, spoke in objection to application number 192928. Peter stated that this application would blur the boundary between Bracknell and Wokingham. Peter added that Wokingham Town Council had been consulted on this application since September 2019, and they wanted to see a fully segregated cycle lane. Peter stated that if Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) was seen to be taking the Climate Emergency seriously then they needed to invest in proper cycling infrastructure which would encourage children to cycle and walk to and from school. Peter added that officers had stated that there would not be space to segregate a cycle lane, however in his opinion there was room for this and in any case the cycle route needn’t necessarily follow the main road. Peter queried why a Dutch style roundabout had not been considered, which would have aided cyclists. Peter stated that cycling uptake was on the increase, and WBC should be looking to make it easier for the community to adopt sustainable travel methods. Peter asked that the Committee send the plans back for further review, to ensure that the designs fully promoted sustainable travel in an efficient and safe way.

 

Adrian Mather, Wokingham Town Council, spoke in objection to application number 203535. Adrian stated that the Town Council had met to discuss this application and had resolved to recommend a refusal, as they felt that it was unsafe. Adrian was of the opinion that the plans did not comply with CP1, CP2 or CP3 of the core strategy, and removal of crossing points went against both WBC and NHS guidelines. Adrian felt that removal of crossing points could lead to more accidents, especially when considering that there would be significantly more traffic passing through this area as a result of the applications being considered on the evening. Adrian stated that this application would fail to address the issues caused by the two Victorian era railway bridges, which did not comply with modern standards including for safe vehicle clearance heights. Adrian added that it was a terrifying experience to cycle under one of the bridges whilst a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) passed through in the other direction. Adrian asked the Committee to consider whether the removal of pedestrian crossing points and the nature of the existing bridges would address what the town really needed in terms of safety and accessibility amongst other issues.

 

Andy Bowker, resident, spoke in objection to application number 203535. Andy commented that Members were elected to represent their residents and not WBC officers. Andy was of the opinion that a better option rather than the proposed scheme would have been to construct a large new roundabout  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.1

76.

Application No. 203535 - Land at the junction of Finchampstead Road and Molly Millars Lane pdf icon PDF 636 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The substantive minutes for this item are contained in minute item 75.1.

 

Proposal: Full planning application for works at the junction of the A321 Finchampstead Road and Molly Millars Lane comprising replacement of the existing three-arm mini-roundabout with a larger roundabout; demolition of Nos 81 and 83/85 Finchampstead Road; and associated landscaping and changes to the pedestrian crossing environment.

 

Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 21 to 54.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Amendment to paragraph 11, to state that the building due to be demolished were number 81, 83, 84 and 85 Finchampstead Road;

·           Amendment to paragraph 22, to state that transport modelling had assessed junction performance in 2036 as well as 2026;

·           Clarification that reference to “Appendix B, Highway (General Arrangement Plan)” was located on page 52;

·           Additional clause to condition 3, relating to removal of uncontrolled crossing and additional signalised crossing at Finchampstead Road South;

·           Additional condition 12 (hours of work).

 

RESOLVED That application number 203535 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 22 to 27, additional condition 12 as set out in the Members’ Update, amended condition 3 (relating to improved sight lines at the uncontrolled pedestrian crossing that currently exists) via delegation to the Chairman, and additional condition 13 (relating to provision of a toucan crossing on Finchampstead Road, towards the south side of the proposed roundabout) via delegation to the Chairman.

77.

Application No. 192928 - Land south of Wokingham, east of Finchampstead Road and west of Waterloo Road, Wokingham. pdf icon PDF 916 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The substantive minutes for this item are contained in minute item 75.1.

 

Proposal: A full planning application for the construction of the South Wokingham Distributor Road (SWDR) between Finchampstead Road and Waterloo Road, including a link to Heathlands Road, together with associated works including demolition of Nos 76A and 76B Finchampstead Road.  The SWDR will comprise a single carriageway, approximately 2.7km length and will also include a shared 3m wide cycle lane/foot way.

 

Applicant: Mrs Jean Mulovi, Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 55 to 138.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Clarification that the expiry date was 31 May 2021;

·           Clarification that comments received from Wokingham Without Parish Council on page 131 were received on 3 March 2019 and revised on 17 August 2020;

·           Correction to paragraph 92 to replace the word westbound with the word eastbound;

·           Reference to additional drawings received;

·           Additional consultation response received from Wokingham Town Council.

 

RESOLVED That application number 192928 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 57 to 77.

78.

Application No. 190900 - Land to the South of Anne's Manor pdf icon PDF 657 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The substantive minutes for this item are contained in minute item 75.1.

 

Proposal: Full planning application for the proposed change of use of land from nil use to D2 for proposed Suitable Alternative Greenspace (SANG) with associated landscaping. To be read in conjunction with applications 190914 & 191068.

 

Applicant: Kingacre Estates Ltd

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 139 to 178.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Clarification that the expiry date was 28 May 2021;

·           Clarification that the comments contained on pages 172 to 176 were Wokingham Without Parish Council’s initial comments submitted on 5 September 2019, and their revised comments contained on pages 177 and 178 were received on 28 September 2020.

 

RESOLVED That application number 190900 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 140 to 149.

79.

Application No. 190914 - Land at phase 2a of the South Wokingham Strategy Development Location (SDL) pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Recommendation: Conditional approval subject to legal agreement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The substantive minutes for this item are contained in minute item 75.1.

 

Proposal:  Outline application with all matters reserved except for principal means of access to the highways, for up to 215 dwellings, public open space, play areas, associated infrastructure and landscaping. To be read in conjunction with applications 190900 & 191068.

 

Applicant: Kingacre Estates Ltd

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 179 to 276.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:

 

·           Clarification that the expiry date was 28 May 2021;

·           Clarification that the comments contained on agenda pages 267 to 271 were Wokingham Without Parish Council’s initial comments submitted on 5 September 2019, and their revised comments contained on pages 272 to 273 were received on 28 September 2020;

·           Clarification of condition 53.

 

RESOLVED That application number 190914 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 181 to 209, and amended condition 53 as set out in the Members’ Update.

80.

Application No. 191068 - Land at phase 2b of the South Wokingham Strategy Development Location (SDL) pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Recommendation: Conditional approval subject to legal agreement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The substantive minutes for this item are contained in minute item 75.1.

 

Proposal: Hybrid planning application (part outline/part detailed) comprising an outline application with all matters reserved except principal means of access to the highways, for a mixed use development of up to 1,434 dwellings, a two-form entry primary school, local centre (A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 and D1 including community building D1/D2), public open space, play areas and associated infrastructure and landscaping; and a full application for the proposed Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG), associated landscaping and temporary car park. – To be read in conjunction with applications 190900 & 190914.

 

Applicant: Keir Ventures Ltd and Miller Homes Ltd

 

The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 277 to 416.

 

The Committee were advised that the Members update included:

 

·           Clarification that the expiry date was 28 May 2021;

·           Clarification that the comments contained on agenda pages 407 to 411 were Wokingham Without Parish Council’s initial comments submitted on 5 September 2019, and their revised comments contained on pages 412 to 413 were received on 28 September 2020;

·           Clarification of condition 66.

 

RESOLVED That application number 191068 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 280 to 315, and amended condition 66 as set out in the Members’ Update.