At a meeting on Wednesday 30th March, 2016, Wokingham Borough Council’s Planning Committee approved the application to develop Elms Field and the Paddocks Car Park.
The Planning Officers recommended that the application be approved, subject to a large number of conditions about delivery and materials. Consultation had been extended to 6 April because the original notice failed to mention that part of the development would be in a Conservation Area but the Officers sought a decision on 30 March subject to no substantive issues being raised during this extended consultation period.
The objections raised by the Society’s Executive Committee, as well as those submitted by other organisations and individuals, were addressed and answered in the Officers’ Report, while the concerns expressed by those who had asked to speak at the meeting were responded to without altering the outcome. Other than the issue with the proximity of the residential units to the houses at the end of Albert Road, the only concern expressed by the Committee which has led to a change is the retention of the steps at the Terrace which were proposed for removal on safety grounds.
It is understood that there will be a public consultation in due course about the detailed design and use of the park and information about this will be displayed as soon as the Society hears about it.
The Planning Committee also approved an application for the tennis courts at Elms Field to be used as a temporary car park while a second storey is being added to the Station Car Park. Work to convert the site for parking use is expected to begin soon.