Recommendation: Conditional approval
Proposal: Full application for the proposed construction of a new 3G Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) with floodlights; refurbishment of existing pavilion to provide new changing facilities, viewing balcony and ancillary café; improvements to existing grass pitches and associated works; provision of an additional 39 no. parking spaces in existing car park
Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council
The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 147 to 184.
The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included forwarded responses of support from a variety of local groups, schools and trusts.
In line with the given deadlines, one public written submission was received for this item. This submission was circulated to Members in advance, and noted on the evening. The submission as provided can be found below.
Wokingham Borough Council (WBC), applicant, provided the following submission in support of the application.
“I write to present a strong case to the Planning Committee in relation to the Cantley Planning Application.
Cantley Pavilion is in dis-repair facility. Currently there are health and safety issues for residents and football clubs presently using the facilities. The pitches are in a poor condition.
The playing pitch strategy is to be finalised by January 2020 and is showing an increase in football teams within the Borough, currently 534 teams. Teams are travelling outside the borough to use football pitches, and winter training facilities, therefore an upgrade and 3G pitch is required.
Increasing provision for additional 3G pitches, this will also help towards the climate control action plan. Our teams will no longer need to travel outside the borough for external matches and training facilities. This will include a cycle shelter.
Parking is currently an issue as there is not sufficient parking on site to meet demand, cars are parking on roadside causing a potential risk, causing negative publicity for the council. By increasing, the parking by an additional 40 spaces and implementing a travel plan for the site.
New facilities/ benefits to our residents:
• New 3G pitch
• Upgrade sports pavilion and changing rooms
• New Café and social space
• Additional 40 car parking spaces
• New Artificial cricket wicket
• Upgrade the existing grass football pitches
• Destination play area
• Arts and culture events
Two phases, the first commencing in Winter 2020, maintaining the existing facilities while upgrading the pavilion, parking, new cricket wicket, café/social space and new 3G pitch and 40 additional car parking spaces. Phase 2 will be the upgrade of the grass pitches commencing spring 2021.
WBC will contribute to the climate emergency plan, as the majority of local teams are currently travelling out of the borough.
To help the carbon footprint of the building, we are proposing to use an array of Photo Voltaic panels on the pavilion roof to generate electricity, this will then be stored on site in batteries and be used to power the new LED floodlights to the new AGP facility. All new lighting throughout the scheme will be LED. We are also looking to install a rainwater-harvesting tank under the new pitch to store water which can be used during dry periods.
I trust that the Planning Committee will consider the Planning Application having noted all the above points.”
Members were asked in turn for any comments or queries on this application. Specific comments or queries are summarised below.
Simon Weeks commented that only two objections had been received related to this application, and these had been addressed within the officer report. Wokingham Town Council were broadly in support of the application as were the local Ward Members.
Malcolm Richards commented that any improvement to resident access to sport, health and wellbeing facilities were very positive. Malcolm added that the proposed 3G pitch would allow for greater year-round use, was part of the wider SDL improvements, and the scheme therefore had his full support.
Andrew Mickleburgh queried whether there was sufficient room for motorcycle parking on site. Judy Kelly, Highways Development Manager, stated that standards dictated 1 motorcycle space per 40 spaces for a D2 class facility. The scheme was proposing to provide 2 motorcycle spaces, 1 above standards. Connor Corrigan, Service Manager – Strategic Development Locations, added that there was space within the wider site to accommodate any additional motorcycles.
A number of Members voiced their support for the scheme and the benefits that it would bring to the community.
RESOLVED That application number 200985 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 148 to 153.