Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 13th July, 2022 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

19.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted from Rebecca Margetts.

 

David Cornish attended the meeting virtually, which meant that he could participate in the discussion but not vote on any items.

20.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 304 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 June 2022

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 8 June 2022 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair, subject to removal of duplicate attendance of the Chair and Vice-Chair.

21.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest

 

Minutes:

Stephen Conway declared a prejudicial interest in item number 25, on the grounds that he was now the Executive Member for Housing and he had been in discussions with officers and other Executive Members about this application. Stephen added that he would take no part in this item, and would leave the room for its duration.

22.

Applications to be Deferred and Withdrawn items

To consider any recommendations to defer applications from the schedule and to note any applications that may have been withdrawn.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No applications were recommended for deferral, or withdrawn.

23.

Shinfield Footpath 3 Diversion Order pdf icon PDF 277 KB

Recommendation: That the order be made

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Application for the diversion of part of Shinfield Footpath 3 under Section 119 Highways Act 1980

 

Applicant: University of Reading

 

The Committee considered a report about this Footpath Diversion Order, set out in agenda pages 25 to 32.

 

Whilst no updates were contained within the Supplementary Planning Agenda, the Committee were verbally advised that the route would contain a gate on point C to stop cattle from reaching the road.

 

John Kaiser queried whether any substantial trees would be lost as a result of the proposals. Andrew Fletcher, case officer, confirmed that two very small trees would be lost, which had been identified as low value within the tree survey.

 

Chris Bowring queried whether assurances could be given that the University of Reading would take good care of the kissing gate, and queried alongside John Kaiser whether the upkeep of the new A to C route had been accounted for in the budget. Andrew Fletcher stated that the maintenance of the route would be picked up within the standard public rights of way maintenance budget, whilst maintenance would likely not be required for between three and five years, and a growth bid could be placed in year 3. The kissing gate was owned by the University of Reading and under the Highways Act they were responsible for its maintenance.

 

David Cornish stated that he always had a cautious approach to moving public rights of way, as they were one of the most ancient civil rights. David queried why a gate could not be placed along a fence in the existing A to B position to allow the landowner to access their land, and queried why a 1.8m security style fence was required if the concern was with regards to the ingress of cattle. Andrew Fletcher stated that the landowner was entitled to fence either side of the footpath so long as they did not encroach upon it, however the landowner felt that this was impractical in its current location as it would not allow them to use the land as effectively. With regards to the fencing, the applicant wished to keep the land secure and were entitled to choose such a design of fence.

 

RESOLVED That the order be made, subject to no further objections being received, or if objections were received that the order be sent to the Secretary of State for confirmation.

24.

Application No.220175 - Hogwood Farm, Sheerlands Road, Arborfield, RG40 4QY pdf icon PDF 923 KB

Recommendation: Conditional approval

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Proposal: Application for approval of Reserved Matters pursuant to Outline Planning Consent O/2014/2179 (as varied by 181194, dated 14/11/2018). The Reserved Matters comprise details of 157 dwellings across parcels P14 and P15 with access via the Nine Mile Ride Extension (NMRE), associated internal roads, provision of Public Open Space (PG2 and AGS5), sports facilities land and allotments land, together with parking, cycleways, footpaths, landscaping and sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS). Details of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale to be considered.

 

Applicant: CALA Homes Thames Ltd

 

The Committee considered a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 33 to 72.

 

The Committee were advised that updates contained within the Supplementary Planning Agenda included an update to condition 1 to insert updated planning reference numbers.

 

John Richards, on behalf of the applicant, spoke in support of the application. John stated that this reserved matters application continued the progress of the Finchwood Park site, whilst phase one was nearing full occupation and phases two and three were under construction. John added that this application for phases fourteen and fifteen would open up the eastern part of the site, allowing delivery to significantly advance. John stated that there was a real community at Finchwood Park, with over 150 occupations across both private and affordable tenures, with critical infrastructure including a SANG which would be transferred to Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) and the Nine Mile Ride being delivered. John added that this application sought to deliver a further 157 new homes, with 52 being affordable. A mix of housing types including 3-, 4-, and 5-bedroom family homes would continue the establishment of a diverse new community within the Arborfield SDL. Over 2.5 hectares of open space would be delivered as part of this application, including an area of the highest quality and diversity which would include a trim trail, bridleway, wildflower planting, play area, BMX facility and a pocket park. This application would also unlock strategic sport and recreation provision to be delivered by WBC via CIL, including sports hubs and new allotments. Ten percent of the site’s energy requirements would be delivered through the installation of photovoltaic panels, whilst electric vehicle charging points would be installed at every property. John stated that each home would include an incorporated bat box, insect brick, hedgehog hole and native tree planting.

 

John Kaiser stated that whilst he was supportive of the development at Arborfield, he was concerned by the number of four-bedroom homes being delivered. John added that the strategic market assessment carried out in 2016 stated that no more than twenty-two percent of any homes should four-bedroom dwellings. John noted that the proposed Toutley development later on in the agenda proposed just seventeen percent of four-bedroom dwellings, whilst this development proposed thirty-three percent. John felt that this was not what the Borough needed. Connor Corrigan, Service Manager - Planning and Delivery, stated that the wider site was delivering 1,500 units and the delivery of affordable units and unit types was looked at across  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Application No.211777 - Toutley East, Land Adjacent to Toutley Depot, West of Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG41 1XA pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Recommendation: Conditional approval subject to legal agreement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Stephen Conway declared a prejudicial interest in this item and subsequently left the room and took no part in the discussion or vote.

 

Proposal: Outline application for up to 130 residential units and a 70-bed care home (all matters reserved except access to the site).

 

Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council

 

The Committee considered a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 73 to 138.

 

The Committee were advised that updates contained within the Supplementary Planning Agenda included:

 

·         Reference to an additional neighbour comment;

·         Extract from the minutes of the meeting held on 11 May 2022 in relation to this application.

 

Matt Pope, on behalf of the applicant, spoke in support of the application. Matt stated that he was reading out a statement prepared by David Hare, the Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Services, who was running late. Matt stated that Toutley East was included as part of the North Wokingham SDL when the Core Strategy was adopted in 2010, and had been expressly promoted for housing within the recent Local Plan Update. The proposals would deliver a positive number of truly affordable housing which would help to meet the projected housing need of the Borough in a very sustainable location with good access to facilities and close to Wokingham Town Centre. Matt added that opportunities would be explored to reduce the carbon footprint of the site in line with the Council’s declared climate emergency, in addition to exploring options to improve biodiversity. Matt stated that David Hare was primarily passing comment to champion the proposed specialist dementia care home which was required by Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) immediately. The long-term term trend for those who would require long-term dementia care was set to increase from 160 to 190 in 2025, and to 265 in 2035. Matt added that the impending reforms to adult social care in addition to increasing demand were a storm waiting to happen, and provisions needed to be made to meet this demand. Matt stated that David Hare had a constituent who was asked to leave his care home as he could become violent with staff and other patients, whilst no other care home would want to take him, whereas a WBC dementia care home could meet this type of need. The proposed care home would provide a modern and flexible type of care designed to support personalised care enabling residents to live healthy lives whilst providing better value than current provisions and ensuring enhanced in-Borough service provision for our residents. Matt stated that officers had been working hard to mitigate the problems, and added that David was confident that this facility would provide for the needs of our residents. Away from the prepared statement from David, Matt added that there was nothing of a higher priority for him than providing high quality dementia care ran by WBC.

 

Rachel Bishop-Firth, Ward Member, spoke in objection to the application. Rachel stated that whilst she was in support of additional social and affordable housing, issues including  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.