Agenda and minutes
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To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 28 August 2019.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 28 August 2019 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest
To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.
Councillors Graham Pask, Joanne Stewart, Ross Mackinnon and Peter Argyle declared an interest in Agenda Item 4 (1), but reported that, as their interest was a personal or an other registrable interest, but not a disclosable pecuniary interest, they determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote on the matter.
Councillor Geoff Mayes declared an interest in Agenda Item 4 (2), and reported that, as his interest was a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other registrable interest, he would be leaving the meeting during the course of consideration of the matter.
Schedule of Planning Applications
(Note: The Chairman, with the consent of the Committee, reserves the right to alter the order of business on this agenda based on public interest and participation in individual applications.)
(Councillors Graham Pask and Peter Argyle declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 4(1) by virtue of the fact that the Member of Parliament (MP) Richard Benyon was a director of Englefield Estate and both Councillor Pask and Argyle lived within his constituency. As their interest was personal and not prejudicial or a disclosable pecuniary interest, they determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote on the matter.)
(Councillor Joanne Stewart declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 4(1) by virtue of the fact that she was a member of Holybrook Parish Council’s Festival Committee, which obtained services, such as marquee hire, from Englefield Estate. As her interest was personal and not prejudicial or a disclosable pecuniary interest, she determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote on the matter.)
(Councillor Ross Mackinnon declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 4(1) by virtue of the fact that that the wife and mother of Richard Benyon MP, Director at Englefield Estate, had signed his nomination forms when becoming a Councillor for West Berkshire Council.)
As the Chairman had given his apologies for this meeting and Councillor Royce Longton (who was Ward Member for items 4(1) and (3)) felt it inappropriate, on this occasion, to chair items 4(1) and (3) it was necessary to appoint a Member to Chair both items. Councillor Andrew Williamson proposed Councillor Graham Pask and this was seconded by Councillor Peter Argyle and agreed by the Committee.
(Councillor Graham Pask in the Chair)
The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(1)) concerning Planning Application 18/02485/OUTMAJ in respect of an outline application for residential development of up to 100 dwellings with new cycle pedestrian access onto Coltsfoot Way and two vehicular access points onto Clayhill Road. The matter to be considered was access.
Mr Michael Butler, Principal Planning Officer, introduced the report and highlighted the following points:
· The application was seeking planning permission for a residential development of up to 100 dwellings and the only matter for consideration was access. All other matters including appearance, landscaping, layout and scale were to be considered at a later stage under reserved matters applications.
· The Council had received in excess of 10 letters objecting to the application.
· Approval was recommended, subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement.
· The site lay within the settlement boundary, which was agreed in May 2018 as part of the Housing Sites Allocation Development Plan Document (HSA DPD).
· The applicant had agreed to accept a S106 planning obligation, which would secure 40% of the homes as affordable, which equated to 40 units. The applicant would also provide a sum of £22k towards the public open space and £4k towards the construction of the new off-site footpath link to Coltsfoot Close.
· Mr Butler ran through the consultation responses, which were summarised under section 4.3 of the report.
· It was confirmed that the applicant had carried out a range of in-depth studies including a Habitat Ecology Assessment.
· Regarding Policy HSA15, the ... view the full minutes text for item 22.(1)
(Councillor Geoff Mayes declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 4(2) by virtue of the fact that his son was the finance director of TA Fisher (applicant for the application). As his interest was personal and prejudicial and a disclosable pecuniary interest, he would be leaving the meeting during the course of consideration of the matter and would take no part in the debate or voting on the matter.)
(Councillor Geoff Mayes left the room at 7.30pm)
(Councillor Royce Longton in the Chair)
The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(2)) concerning Planning Application 18/03209FULEXT in respect of the demolition of an existing building and construction of 15 dwellings, 2 retail units (use class A1/A2/A3), associated access, parking and landscaping.
Ms Lydia Mather introduced the report to Members’ of the Committee, which recommended conditional approval, and ran through the key points. The site was within the settlement of Theale. Part of the site was within a Conservation Area. Separation distances between buildings was in some cases less than 21 metres and therefore conditions had been added for extra screening. The access for the site was off Crown Lane.
The Conservation Officer had been consulted on the demolition and was satisfied that the plans were in-keeping with the area. Ms Mather ran through comments from each of the consultees and additional conditions resulting from responses received.
Officers were recommending approval subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement to secure the required amount of affordable housing.
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Mr Martin Vile objector, Mr Michael Lee, agent, and Councillor Alan Macro, Ward Member, addressed the Committee on this application.
Mr Martin Vile in addressing the Committee raised the following points:
· The density of the site exceeded that stated in the Council’s Core Strategy being 87 percent above the limit. The development would be imposing.
· The development had been designed based on unattractive office buildings close by rather than a more attractive residential area.
· A mix of one and two bedroom houses was not required in Theale.
· The north end of the site would be particularly dominating to the local area.
· The calculated loss of light to neighbouring properties was inaccurate.
· The angle from windows exceeded the 25 percent required.
· Crown Lane and number 77 Woodfield Road would be overlooked and separation distances were less than what was required.
· The 15m2 of amenity space proposed was below what was required. The density of the site was far too high and was in breach of the Council’s policy on this matter.
· The site would be accessed by a single track road that would not allow two cars to pass.
· Visibility splays shown in photos of the site were not truly representative.
· Increased traffic would cause further damage to roads near to the site.
· Refuse lorries would exceed the High Street’s 10 tonne weight restriction, making refuse collection particularly difficult.
· There was fear that there were not enough spaces being provided in the proposed plans for ... view the full minutes text for item 22.(2)
(Councillor Geoff Mayes re-joined the meeting at 8.25pm)
(Councillor Graham Pask in the Chair)
The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(3)) concerning Planning Application 19/01038/FULD in respect of the erection of 2 x 1 bed and 2 x 2 bed apartments with associated parking and infrastructure following reconfiguration of existing retail car park (accessed from King Street) and creation of new loading bay with associated alterations to shop frontage (accessed from Victoria Road).
Mr Bob Dray introduced the item to Members of the Committee and ran through the key points. The application was a third application for a similar scheme. The first two applications had been refused and the proposal before Members had evolved from the previous applications. There were no technical objections raised by consultees. Seven public representations had been received and all objected to the application.
The main reasons for objections could be viewed under section 4.3 to the report and included highways concerns and loss of amenity. Mr Dray added that the Highway’s Officer had scrutinised the plans and was satisfied with the visibility splay and how traffic would manoeuvre within the site.
Mr Dray drew attention to the update sheet, which clarified the timing and frequency of deliveries to the existing retail unit (Budgens). The updated sheet also provided clarification on amenity space and provided two additional conditions. In conclusion, Mr Dray reported that the recommendation was to approve planning permission.
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Mr Kevin Johnson, Parish Council representative, Mr and Mrs Hakhnazarian, objectors, Emily Temple, agent and Councillor Graham Bridgman, Ward Member, addressed the Committee on this application.
Parish Council Representation:
Mr Johnson in addressing the Committee raised the following points:
· Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council’s Planning Committee had strongly objected to the application. Mr Johnson referred to West Berkshire Council’s Planning Policy GD1, regarding sites that were detrimental to the street scene.
· The proposed parking layout was impractical as the parking bays were too small at only 1.8 metres wide, which was less than the West Berkshire Council’s standard of 2.4 metres wide.
· The private parking area for the apartments showed 6 spaces, whereas the total required was 6.5 spaces. The Parish Council felt that therefore 7 spaces should be provided.
· The proposed amenity space was too small and was less than the size of the ground floor apartments and appeared to be below the recommended mixture of 25m2 per apartment.
· The frontage of the proposed apartments extended onto the pavement with the entrance door directly onto the pavement.
· Mr Johnson stated that the above points confirmed that the proposal would cause an overdevelopment of the site and an overcrowded layout. The amenity space was too small and the apartments were very close to retail parking which conflicted with the National Development Plan Policy HD4.
· The Parish Council’s Planning Committee had strongly objected to the loading/delivery bay proposed, which would be situated at the front of the store on Victoria Road. This would cause safety issues for ... view the full minutes text for item 22.(3)