Agenda and minutes
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To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 19 July 2023.
· 20/02079/COMIND - Inglewood House – Councillor Tony Vickers, Ward Member Representation: Page 10, first bullet point, second sentence should read as follows: ‘However, he had met the leaders of the Owners Association and informed them he would speak in support of their views against the application’.
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.
Councillor Dennis Benneyworth declared an interest in Agenda Item 4(1) as it was within his ward. He had attended the planning meeting of Hungerford Town Council when the application was discussed. Councillor Benneyworth reported that he would consider the information afresh and had not predetermined the item.
Councillor Carolyne Culver declared an interest in Agenda Items 4(2) and 4(4) as both were within her ward. Councillor Culver also declared that in her capacity as Chairman of the Scrutiny Commission she had been contacted regarding Agenda Item 4(3). Councillor Culver reported that she had no pecuniary interest in any of the applications and would form her decision on the evidence provided and subsequent debate, and reported that, as her interest was a personal or an other registrable interest, but not a disclosable pecuniary interest, she determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote on the matter.
Councillor Howard Woollaston declared an interest in Agenda Item 4(3) as it was within his ward. He had been lobbied by residents on the original application for the site and had been opposed to it. Councillor Woollaston reported that because the application before the Committee concerned conditions there was not a conflict of interest.
Councillor Adrian Abbs declared that he had been lobbied on Agenda Items 4(3) and 4(4) by various members of the public.
During the course of the debate, Councillor Phil Barnett declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 4(2) by virtue of the fact that he had previously worked for Aurora.
During the course of the debate, Councillor Clive Hooker declared an interest in Agenda 4(3) as he had formed part of the Committee that had considered the initial application for the site in 2019, which he had been lobbied on at the time. He confirmed that he had not been lobbied on the current reserved matters application. Sharon Armour considered the reserved matters application to be a separate application that needed to be considered on its own merits.
During the course of the Councillor Heather Codling declared an interest in Agenda Item 4(4) as she was the Portfolio Holder for Education and was aware of the application.
(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).
(Item starts at 8 minutes and 50 seconds into the recording)
1. The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(2)) concerning planning application 23/01650/FUL in respect of the change of use of office building (Class E) to education use (Class F1(a)), minor external alterations and associated works to curtilage, including provision of outdoor amenity space and erection of fencing.
2. Ms Cheyanne Kirby introduced the report to Members, which took account of all the relevant policy considerations and other material planning considerations. In conclusion the report detailed that the proposal was acceptable in planning terms and officers recommended that the Development Control Manager be authorised to grant planning permission subject to the conditions outlined in the main and update reports.
3. In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Mr James Cole, Town Council representative (Hungerford), Mr James Iles, Agent, and Councillor Tony Vickers, Ward Member addressed the Committee on this application.
Town Council Representation
4. Mr Cole in addressing the Committee raised the following points:
· The Town Council had no warning about the application and the fast-tracking of the application raised policy issues.
· Members of the Town Council had met with the promoters of the application and were happy with what they heard.
· This would not be a standard school and pupils would mostly arrive by minibus or car. However, roads were capable of handling the additional traffic. A swept path analysis had been completed and it was understood that start and finish times would be staggered.
· The proposed fencing was considered acceptable.
· Some planting was proposed, which would improve the appearance of the site.
· Even if this turned out to be a short-term solution, it was considered to be a good use of an empty building and it would be good to have such a school in Hungerford.
· The Town Council would be happy for the Committee to approve the application.
Member Questions to the Parish/Town Council
5. Members did not have any questions of clarification.
6. Mr Iles in addressing the Committee raised the following points:
· Mr Iles had been pleased to work closely with Planning Officers and he was grateful for their assistance in bringing the application to Committee in such a timely manner.
· The proposal was for a much-needed special needs school, located in a fully-refurbished office block.
· There was an acute need for a special needs school in the district and the proposal would provide 30 places serving a catchment of around 30 minutes travel time, meeting the demands of West Berkshire and the immediate neighbouring area.
· Teaching would be on a one-to-one basis in small groups.
· The applicant had worked hard to find a suitable location and the aim was to open the school in September to meet demand and support local authority placements as soon as possible.
· Various modest modifications were proposed, including a new security fence, provision of outdoor play areas, a new doorway to access the play space, roof lights, and new native hedge planting.
· There would be space within ... view the full minutes text for item 3.(1)
(Item starts at 42 minutes and 24 seconds into the recording)
1. The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(2)) concerning various applications for the Institute for Animal Health in respect of discharge of Conditions 16, 17, 18 Part A, 18 Parts B-D, 19, 20 and 21 of planning permission 20/01336/OUTMAJ.
2. Ms Cheyanne Kirby introduced the report to Members, which took account of all the relevant policy considerations and other material planning considerations. In conclusion the report detailed that the proposal was acceptable in planning terms and officers recommended that the Development Control Manager be authorised to approve the information submitted pursuant to each of the conditions identified above in accordance with the schedules set out in the report and update report.
3. The Chairman asked Mr Paul Goddard if he had any observations relating to the application. In relation to the Construction Management Plan, Mr Goddard noted that the site was so extensive that it had its own internal haul routes. All large vehicles would enter and leave the site via the main access to the High Street. It was recognised that the haul route to the A34 was not ideal, but was the best that could be achieved. Construction workers would access the car park from Churn Road and no problems were envisaged. Officers recommended the Construction Method Statement (CMS) for approval.
4. The Chairman asked Ms Erica Myers if she had any observations. Ms Myers indicated that she was happy with the site investigation reports submitted as part of the original planning application, and the additional reports and Remediation Strategy submitted under Condition 18. Site-wide contamination had not been identified, only isolated pockets. The remediation consultant was aware of the issues affecting the site and the Remediation Strategy contained detailed proposals for how contamination would be remediated and validated. Areas of the site had yet to be investigated due to the presence of buildings on the site, so some demolition needed to be allowed in order to provide access for the additional investigations to be carried out and the remediation proposals to be finalised. Once remediation was complete, a validation report would be submitted prior to occupation.
5. In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Ms Judith Cunningham, Parish Council representative, Mr Jon Turner, Agent, and Councillor Carolyne Culver, Ward Member, addressed the Committee on this application.
Parish Council Representation
6. Ms Cunningham in addressing the Committee raised the following points:
· The Parish Council was disappointed at the deferral from the last meeting, but were grateful that the Committee was taking the time to review the application.
· The Parish Council had requested that the application be referred to the Committee due to the lack of documentation available on the website within the consultation period.
· The scheme represented a significant build for a rural community and included extensive demolition and decontamination.
· A planning solicitor had been engaged to assist with due diligence on every application related to this site. This would ensure full transparency and the best outcome ... view the full minutes text for item 3.(2)
1. The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(3)) concerning Planning Application 22/00858/COND1 in respect of an application for approval of details reserved by condition 9 'zero carbon', 10 'CEMP', 11 'LEMP', 16 'levels' and 18 'travel plan' of approved application 19/02979/OUTMAJ: Outline application for the erection of a new logistics warehouse building (for occupation by Walker Logistics) (Use Class B8) with ancillary office floorspace, an aircraft museum building (Use Class D1), and associated access, car parking and landscaping. Matters to be considered: Scale.
2. Ms Sian Cutts introduced the report to Members, which took account of all the relevant policy considerations and other material planning considerations. In conclusion the report detailed that the proposal was acceptable in planning terms and Officers recommended that the Development Control Manager be authorised to grant approval of the submitted details.
3. The Chairman asked Officers to comment on the matter of the item possibly facing Judicial Review and why the Committee was able to consider the application in light of this. Mr Bob Dray stated that Members would recall the reserved matters approval awarded by the Committee earlier in the year for the site. A claim had been lodged against this application and the Local Authority (LA) was currently awaiting a response as to whether or not the matter would be heard at Judicial Review. The application before the Committee involved conditions on the outline planning permission and not the reserved matters application, which was subject to the claim. There was no injunction on proceeding with development of the site or the applicant progressing their application whilst the matter was considered. If any decision was to be quashed following the court proceedings it would not affect the decision on the current application. There were no legal or planning reasons why the Committee should not proceed with determination of the application.
4. Ms Sharon Armour concurred and explained that there was an application before the LA to discharge conditions on the outline that was not subject to challenge, even if the reserved matters application was to be found to be unsound.
5. The Chairman asked Mr Paul Goddard if he had any observations relating to the application. Mr Goddard reported that Highways Officers had only given consideration to the condition on the Travel Plan and had no comments on any of the other conditions. Highways Officers had objected to the original planning application in 2019 on sustainability grounds, which had subsequently been approved. As part of the approval, a Travel Plan had been requested and the applicant had promised the provision of a minibus to take employees to and from the site, particularly for those living in the Swindon area. The minibus was an integral part of the Travel Plan. Other measures included the encouragement of car sharing and a travel plan coordinator post to monitor implementation of the Travel Plan going forward. The proposed Travel Plan was limited however, there ... view the full minutes text for item 3.(3)
1. The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 4(4)) concerning Planning Application 21/02865/REG3 in respect of the extension and refurbishment of the existing school sports hall. Temporary overflow car parking space to be resurfaced and reused for the duration of the construction process. External plant compound.
2. Ms Catherine Ireland introduced the report to Members, which took account of all the relevant policy considerations and other material planning considerations. In conclusion the report detailed that the proposal was acceptable in planning terms and officers recommended that the Development Control Manager be authorised to grant planning permission subject to the conditions outlined in the main and update reports.
3. Mr Bob Dray wished to clarify two points that had arisen since the publication of the report and revise the recommendation verbally. Further comments from the Drainage Engineer were included with the update sheet regarding the flood risk assessment and drainage strategy. The Drainage Engineer still had concerns however, was working with the applicant in relation to surface and ground water issues. It was recommended in the update report that if Members were otherwise content with the proposed application, then they could approve it and delegate drainage matters to Officers to resolve prior to the decision being issued.
4. Mr Dray reported that a further response had been received regarding the BREAAM matter detailed in the report. In the report, BREAAM excellent was recommended and there had been ongoing debate as to whether this was achievable. Further information had been received and Mr Dray would scrutinise this with the Environmental Delivery Team. If it was deemed not appropriate to apply BREAAM then an alternative condition would be applied setting out what environmental measures would be provided.
5. Mr Dray stated that neither of the matters related to why the application had been called in and if Members were minded to otherwise approve the scheme, then the two technical points could be delegated to Officers to resolve. This was Officers’ revised recommendation.
6. In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Mr Fred Quartermain, Parish Council representative, Mr Greg Bowman (West Berkshire Council) Applicant, Mr Thomas Maxwell, Agent, and Councillor Carolyne Culver, Ward Member, addressed the Committee on this application.
Parish Council Representation
7. Mr Quartermain in addressing the Committee raised the following points:
· It was not in dispute that the current facility was ageing and did not meet requirements. The principle of the redevelopment of the site was not a contentious issue for the Parish Council.
· The Parish Council was concerned that the aspect of the redevelopment proposed was flawed in a number of ways. One of these areas was the use of the site.
· The sports facility on the site had been in place for a number of years. It was Council owned however, was not just a school sports hall and since it had opened had been a community facility outside of school hours including evenings, weekends and school holidays. ... view the full minutes text for item 3.(4)