Recommendation: Conditional Approval.
Proposal:Full Application for demolition of existing community building (D1use class) and erection of a single storey replacement building for use as Gospel Hall (D1 use class).
The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in Agenda pages 11 to 34.
The Committee was advised that the Members’ Update included:
· clarification on the position, height and area of the current and proposed buildings;
· clarification from the applicant on the proposed use of the building;
· information from the Council’s Environmental Health Officers;
· examples of D1 uses;
· Town Council comments on the lawful use of the site which were omitted from the report;
· further submissions from local residents and the Officer’s responses;
· recommended changes to conditions 2 and 6;
· a correction to the Noise Management Plan;
· the recommended replacement of conditions 7 and 8 with one condition 7; and
· a recommended additional condition 13.
It was noted that Members visited the site on 4 December 2015 to assess the impact on the character of the area and adjacent properties.
Colin George, representing Wokingham Town Council, spoke in objection to the application.
Keith Rogers, representing local residents, spoke in objection to the application.
UllaKarin Clark, Local Ward Member, spoke in objection to the application.
Ian Douglas, Agent, spoke in favour of the application.
In response to questions raised about the D1 use class of the building, Mary Severin, the Borough Solicitor, confirmed that the D1 use class would be retained by the property even if the building was demolished.
The Chairman reminded Members that D1 use class meant that the building could already be used as a Gospel Hall but that, if the new planning permission was granted, it provided the opportunity to introduce some conditions.
Members asked for clarification on the roof line and position of the building and its effect on the character of the area and the provision of parking spaces. The Planning Officer confirmed that the proposed roof line was 0.2m higher than the existing building; it was set back 5m for the line of the neighbouring houses; and the separation from the boundary was 0.5m. If the new building was not set back then there would be a loss of one or two parking spaces.
Clare Lawrence, Head of Development Management and Regulatory Services, clarified that, due to the set back of the building there would be no terracing effect. She referred to other similar applications which had been approved and said that it would be difficult to justify refusal on the grounds of the effect on the character of the area.
In response to suggestions that the conditions should specify a later start time on Sundays, the Chairman referred to other planning appeals in which the inspectors had allowed start times of 05:45 and 06:00.
Members asked the Officer if changing the design of the façade had been considered to make it appear more residential. The Agent indicated that the Applicant would be open to that.
RESOLVED: That application No. 150260 be approved, subject to the conditions set out on Agenda pages 12 to 14 with conditions 3,6,7 and 8 amended and a new condition 13 added as set out in the Members’ Update; and with the Head of Development Management and Regulatory Services and the Chairman authorised to grant planning permission following final agreement on the front elevation and the materials being submitted.