Recommendation: Conditional Approval
Proposal: Part redevelopment and part retention and refurbishment of existing buildings to provide a mixed use leisure led development at the Carnival Pool facility and adjoining land, including Class D2 Assembly and Leisure, Class B1(a) Office) B1(b) Research and Development, C3 Residential and complimentary Retail (Class A1, A2, A3, A4, A5), and construction of a new multi-storey car park and new public spaces, as part of the regeneration of Wokingham Town Centre.
Applicant: Wokingham Borough Council
The Committee received and considered a report about this application, set out in Agenda pages 35 to 120.
The Committee was advised that following concerns raised, a revised plan had been received showing the retention of some of the group of trees along the boundary with the railway, and that the Members’ Update included details of:
· Recommended amendments to conditions 4, 12 and 36;
· Additional representations;
· Notification from Network Rail of their intention to provided additional capacity in the station carpark.
Andrew Waters, representing Wokingham Town Council spoke in general support of the application, but objecting to the size of the multi-storey car park.
Peter Must, representing the Wokingham Society and Barbara Young, a local resident, both spoke objecting to the application, particularly in relation to the bulk and design of the car park building.
Councillor Mark Ashwell, Deputy Executive Member for Regeneration and Communities, Sarah Morgan, representing the Regeneration Team and
GwynnethHewetson, past Chair of More Arts, all spoke in support of the application.
Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner, a Local Ward Member and Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, spoke in support of the application.
It was noted the Members had visited the site on 20 July 2015 to familiarise themselves with the application site and surrounding area.
Members commented on various issues that did not form part of this application, but would be resolved in the reserved matters application, yet to be submitted.
Concerns were expressed that the existing trees along the boundary with the railway should be retained as far as possible and strengthened to provide screening of the bulk of the car park building to mitigate the impact on the occupiers of the houses in Oxford Road. In response to further concerns, Officers confirmed that an alternative will be provided for the Cadets venue facility.
Members acknowledged that the carpark building was large and bulky, but felt that the level of parking spaces being provided was needed to replace those lost elsewhere in the town and to provide for the increased uses on the site, and that this was an appropriate location.
RESOLVED: That application O/2015/1056 be approved, subject to the conditions set out on Agenda pages 37 to 54, with conditions 4, 12 and 36 amended as set out in the Members’ Update.