Agenda item

Application no 171328 - 15-27 High Street, Wargrave, RG10 8BU

Recommendation:  Approval


Proposal: Full planning application for demolition of existing car showroom, repair/MOT garage plus "Suncroft" dwelling and proposed erection of 10 dwellings with provision of car-parking, private amenity space, bin and bicycle storage.


Applicant: Oracle Marker Ltd


The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in Agenda pages 119 to 146.


The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:


·           Updated category type to Major, and

·           Proposed additional condition regarding site levels information.


Peter Palmer, Business Owner, spoke against the application, stating that his business employed 30 people who would be put out of work when the site was developed.  He indicated that a business presence was an integral part of village life and suggested that improvements to the garage would welcome.


Elizabeth Butler, Secretary of the Alms Houses, spoke in objection to the application, outlining the possible impact of the increased use of the track, construction traffic, uncontrolled parking, pedestrian safety, difficulties with refuse collection, loss of business from the village centre, overdevelopment and the lack of affordable housing. 


John Halsall, Ward Member, spoke against the application, stating that the benefits of the application were doubtful.  The increase in vehicle movements would be considerable and the necessity for cars due to the lack of local services meant that the parking provision was not adequate.  The target market for the development was necessarily wealthy people who would have two cars per property as standard and would not be using public transport.  He suggested that 2-3 affordable homes could be developed, to be managed by the almshouses. 


In response, the Case Officer explained that the need for housing and employment needed to be weighed up.  The policy team had looked at the application in relation to the local plan and had not opposed it.  Part of the garage site was sui generis, that is not subject to a specific class. It was the loss of the B2 use use that carried more weight.  In relation to refuse collection, he stated that the site could be adequately serviced. 


In regards to the question of affordable homes, the Case Officer explained that the site was a brown field site with a high existing value and the decontamination of the site.  If affordable houses were to be included in the scheme, it would become unviable.  The previous application had had 11 units, but this was reduced to 10 due to over development, and this had resulted in financial constraints.  Any reduction in units would also make the plan unviable. 


The Service Manager, Highways Development Management, stated that there would only be one more property with egress on Wargrave Hill.  In the last 5 years, there had been no accidents associated with the junction or within its vicinity.  Supporting information indicates that the garage produced more traffic than the proposed homes would.  The removal of the garage would end the need for commercial deliveries or waste disposal.  


In response to Member questions regarding overdevelopment and sustainability the Case Officer stated that the application fell in to a modest development location within a settlement boundary.  There was an acceptance that these were not subject to the same degree of sustainability and had, in this case, been deemed sustainable.   The garden sizes met the council standards of 11m. 


In response to Member queries regarding the unique nature of the site in relation to parking, the Case Officer stated that the number of car parking spaces in the application exceeded standards. 


Councillor Wayne Smith proposed that the application be deferred pending to enable the developer to take on board and consider the Committee Members concerns with the site regarding parking and layout..   This proposal was seconded by Councillor Philip Houldsworth.


Resolved:  That Application no 171328 be deferred.


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