Recommendation: Conditional Approval
Proposal: Full application for the proposed erection of a grandstand, pitch flood lighting, car park and artificial turf footpath.
Applicant: Mr Mark Ashwell
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:
· Proposed amendment to condition 7 to include timings for when the floodlights could be switched on;
· Proposed amendment to reason for condition 10,
Members had visited the site on Friday 15 July 2016.
Imogen Shepherd-DuBey, Wokingham Town Council, spoke in objection to the application. She commented that the Town Council had concerns about the impact of the floodlighting and possible additional traffic. It was felt that the application was detrimental to the amenities of adjoining land users and did not comply with CP3 of the adopted Core Strategy.
Kate Williams spoke in objection to the application. She commented that she lived very close to the site and was concerned what impact the additional noise and the light from the floodlights may have upon her children.
John Dudman spoke in objection to the application. Mr Dudman stated that the proposed changes were unnecessary, that the floodlights would shine into nearby homes, creating light pollution and that the existing spotlights were already strong. In addition he felt that noise pollution and traffic problems would be created. The issue of existing lights was raised.
Graham Taybor (Chairman Wokingham & Emmbrook Football Club) and Clive McNelly (Chairman Emmbrook Sports & Social Club) spoke in support of the application. They commented that the application was appropriate for the level of football that the club aspired to.
Councillor UllaKarin Clark, Ward Member, spoke in support of the application. She asked on behalf of Mr Nicholls who was unable to attend the meeting, whether consideration could be given to adding a condition regarding a separate access route for disabled supporters not arriving by car.
Members asked about floodlight height, the time the floodlights would be lit and the use of floodlights during training sessions. Members also asked about the impact of traffic. The Planning Officer commented that the floodlights had been conditioned so that they should not be turned on before 9am and after 7pm at weekend and should not be turned on anytime Monday to Friday apart from 20 midweek days per year for competitive matches from 9am until 10pm. 10pm was a common cease time for similar operations.
The Planning Officer indicated that 61 and 51 Lowther Road would be situated around 50m away from the floodlights and that lux levels would be relatively low. Environmental Health had not raised concerns regarding light levels. A Member asked about light levels at Old Forest Road and was informed that the floodlights were approximately 90m away and that lux levels were considered acceptable.
With regards to noise, no material increase in the number of spectators was expected. A Noise Management Plan would also be required.
Members expressed concern regarding possible increased parking. The Service Manager, Highways Development Management stated that the surfacing of the informal parking area would assist the potential increase in parking and that the usage of Lowther Road was considered acceptable given the significant width of the road and there being no parking enforcement within the area.
Members discussed disabled access and requested that an informative around this be added.
RESOLVED: That application No. 153382 be approved, subject to the conditions set out on Agenda pages 12 to 13, with condition 7 amended as set out in the Members’ Update.