Recommendation: Conditional Approval
Proposal: Full application for the erection of fencing and hardstanding to form
a bin store to serve the existing flats (Retrospective).
Applicant: Ms Sarah Cleaver
The Committee considered a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 171 to 188.
The Committee were advised that the updates within the supplementary planning agenda included:
· Amending the word impending with impeding on agenda page 171;
· A consultation response had been received from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) advising that the Fire Authority had no issues regarding access to the houses along the road that followed the boundary of Frog Hall.
David Rowland, neighbour, spoke in objection to the application. David stated that this was a retrospective application which restricted the access for neighbouring properties, as had been happening over decades. The restricted access caused issues with delivery vehicles, and David felt that the concerns of residents should have been considered prior to construction. David stated that the storage area did not have any drainage, and was in a full sun position which led to smells and odours. David was of the opinion that the storage was an eyesore, but not for the residents of the flats. David felt that a private company had built the storage in the cheapest and most convenient location with no planning consent or consultation. David commented that there was a suitable storage area on the other side of the car park area which was near drainage, in a shaded area, and on a site with previous planning permission for garages. David was of the understanding that this application would not have been allowed should it have gone through the planning permission process, and it should not be allowed retrospectively.
Carole Allam, resident, spoke in support of the application. Carole clarified that the alternative site proposed by neighbours was not owned by the applicant. Carole stated that residents believed that permitted development allowed for the application to progress, but once it was clarified that planning permission was required the applicant progressed with a retrospective planning application as soon as possible. Carole added that the access to neighbouring properties by emergency vehicles and delivery drivers had been clarified within the officer report, and the Fire Authority had confirmed that they had no issues regarding access to neighbouring properties.
Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey read out a statement on behalf of Ward Member Maria Gee. Maria stated that the approval of this planning application rested on the arguments about access and safety for residents at the lower end of Froghall Drive. Maria drew the Committee’s attention to the arguments presented by residents objecting to the application regarding restricted access to their homes, and the accessibility for emergency vehicles. Maria asked that the Committee satisfy itself that access was not impeded, particularly from a fire safety perspective.
Adriana Gonzales, case officer, stated that the RBFRS had confirmed that they had no objection to the application, and clarified that they had access towards the properties at the end of the carriageway.
Angus Ross stated that he had seen the site, and saw no reason to refuse the application.
Stephen Conway stated that Wokingham Borough Council’s waste guidelines required a gate or door around refuse storage, and queried whether this was possible on this site. Adriana Gonzalez stated the development on site had to be considered as presented, which did not have an access door. The waste guidelines were only guidelines, and placing a door could result in highways and access issues for properties at the end of the carriageway.
Chris Bowring queried whether there was any evidence of bad smells or odours. Adriana Gonzalez stated that on her site visit, there was no evidence of bad smells or odours and all of the bins had lids on them.
Bill Soane queried why this bin storage area did not have a wash down and drainage area. Adriana Gonzalez stated that a pipe for washing the bin store had been installed to the rear of the fencing. Justin Turvey stated that there was no planning requirement for a drain to be present. In essence, the Committee was considering an application for a hard standing surface and fencing. Storage of the bins on site did not require planning permission.
RESOLVED That application number 203460 be approved, subject to condition and informative as set out on agenda page 172.