Agenda item

Application No. 190673 - Luckley House School, Luckley Road, Wokingham, RG40 3EU

Recommendation: Conditional Approval


Proposal: Full application for the proposed construction of a reduced size

multi-use synthetic turf sports pitch with a 3m-4.5m high fence and 6no 12m column floodlights


Applicant: Mr Norman Patterson


The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 223 to 292.


The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included:


·           Correction to condition 12;

·           Officer response to an additional letter of objection from neighbouring properties, represented by ET Planning Consultant.


Adrian Mather, Wokingham Town Council, spoke in objection to the application. Adrian stated that Wokingham Town Council Planning Committee had previously resolved this particular application and could therefore no reconsider it within a six month period. Adrian stated that since resolving this application, further information had come to the attention of the Town Council Planning Committee that was pertinent to the application. Adrian asked that the Committee consider all the relevant information and allow time for the Town Council to reconsider the application.


Emily Temple, Planning Consultant on behalf of local residents, spoke in objection to the application. Emily stated that she was representing 14 residents and commented that a formal stage 1 complaint had been submitted to Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) with regards to this planning application. Emily added that residents had commissioned an independent noise impact assessment which had taken into account noise sources including spectators, traffic noise, PA system(s), referee’s whistle and background noise. Emily was of the opinion that many of these noise sources had not been fully assessed or modelled by the applicant’s noise impact assessment. Emily was of the opinion that although condition 6 was intended to mitigate harm it did not meet the test to be an enforceable condition. Emily stated that light intrusion from the proposed floodlights would be harmful to residents, especially in the winter months and there was inadequate screening proposed between the residential properties and the proposed development site. Emily was of the opinion that the application had been returned to the Committee far too early, and urged the Committee to allow time for a further noise impact assessment to be commissioned.


Norman Patterson, Applicant, spoke in favour of the application. Norman stated that a revised community involvement statement had been submitted for consideration. Norman confirmed that the application had no association with or funding supplied by Sports England and that the school’s business plan was not dependant on the pitch producing any income from third party use. Norman stated that use of whistles would be restricted to Saturday mornings and added that this was easily enforceable by only allowing bookings which required use of a whistle to Saturday morning slots.



Maria Gee, Ward Member, submitted a written statement which was in objection to the application. In her absence, Chris Bowring read out the statement. Maria noted that the residents did not object to the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) itself but instead the current plans for its design and use. Maria sought confirmation that a site visit had been carried out by Officers at dusk to assess the effects on residents and wildlife. Maria urged Officers to seek a revised noise impact assessment from Peak Acoustics, and consider the findings of the noise impact assessment commissioned by the residents of Denby Close. Maria sought clarification with regards to her previously submitted comments to confirm that an additional assessment of the effects of noise on bats both when foraging and in hibernation had been carried out. Maria sought confirmation that a risk assessment had been undertaken by the developers to assess the change of after school use from school use to substantial community use. Maria sought clarification that WBC would undertake an assessment to measure the light spillage to ensure that the development met the requirements of the planning permission, if granted. Maria was of the opinion that should the light spillage not conform to the planning permission requirements, that additional screening or hours of operation be implemented. Maria commented that a natural screen of 3m to 4m in height approximately 5m to 10m from the properties on Denby Close would provide screening from the lights. Maria noted that residents had complained that the distance measurements were incorrect and asked that they be revised prior to determination of this application.  


Stephen Conway queried whether hockey would still be played on the sports pitch should the development be allowed. Stefan Fludger, Case Officer, stated that hockey would only be played during school hours and would not occur after 5pm.


Gary Cowan commented that he felt that the 12m high flood lights would intrude on neighbouring properties and that the load noises such as a whistle did not account for residents having their windows open.


Gary Cowan and Rachelle Shepherd DuBey raised concerns regarding the hours of operation for the proposed site, and suggested that these be reduced. Simon Weeks proposed that the hours of use be reduced to 8pm between the months of April through to August, with the other times for hours of use as contained in the Members’ Update remaining unchanged. This proposal was seconded, carried, and subsequently amended condition 12 (as amended within the Members’ Update).


RESOLVED That application 190673 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 227 to 233, and amended condition 12 as set out in the Members’ Update and subsequently amended by the Committee.

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