Recommendation: Conditional approval
Proposal: Full application for the proposed erection of 3no. commercial warehouse buildings for storage (Class B8) use (retrospective)
Applicant: Mr M Bicknell
The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 67 to 88.
The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included clarification that Local Ward Member Emma Hobbs had submitted concerns regarding this application, and inclusion of said concerns.
Emma Hobbs, Ward Member, raised concern with aspects of this application. Emma stated that she had no objection to the applicant’s business, and was supportive of the jobs that the applicant had created locally over the years. Emma commented that the road was quite narrow, with a lorry and a car struggling to pass each other. Emma added that with the size of the business growing as it was, it was becoming a little bit too big for a residential area with a school and 25 newly approved houses due to be built. Emma was of the opinion that it may be time for the applicant to explore a separate site in a less residential area to provide for this expanding business. Emma concluded by stating that should this application be approved she hoped her comments would be taken into consideration when considering any future applications.
Stephen Conway queried whether there was contradiction between CP11 and the NPPF with regards to this application. Simon Taylor, Case Officer, stated that the NPPF applied to expansion of an existing business within a rural setting, whereas CP11 was designed to protect the characteristics of a rural setting with no business structures already present. Marcia Head, Development Management Team Leader, added that this application would be refused should the land have been an empty green field, but by granting planning permission it gave Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) control over the storage provision on site.
Andrew Mickleburgh queried whether a detailed parking plan should be submitted prior to approval being granted. Simon Taylor stated that there were historic permissions off site which included limiting vehicle movements and allowing 9 staff cars and 6 cess pool emptying vehicles parking. Simon added that there was likely to be a departure from these conditions due to the current number of vehicles present on site and this could be subject to enforcement action in future.
Angus Ross queried whether the site had always been situated within its current curtilage. Simon Taylor clarified that the site had roughly doubled in size over the last 10 to 15 years.
Abdul Loyes queried whether the buildings on site would need planning permission to change from a class B1 to a B8 unit or vice versa. Simon Taylor stated that planning permission would be required to vary a unit from a B1 to a B8 or vice versa.
The Committee raised concerns with the history of retrospective planning applications on site. Simon Weeks proposed that an informative be added, strongly advising the applicant to ensure that all future planning applications were not retrospective. This proposal was seconded and added to the list of informatives set out in the Officer recommendation.
Emma Hobbs commented that the applicant had always been very responsive to her requests as Ward Member in the past.
RESOLVED That application number 192648 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 68 to 69, and the additional informative as resolved by the Committee.