Issue - meetings

2022/0658 Technology House, 48 - 54 Goldsworth Road, Woking

Meeting: 28/02/2023 - Planning Committee (Item 6)

6 2022/0658 Technology House, 48 - 54 Goldsworth Road, Woking pdf icon PDF 83 KB

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[NOTE 1: The Planning Officer advised the Committee that an additional letter of representation had been received from the Basingstoke Canal Society which raised concerns regarding elements that were contrary to the Town Centre Masterplan and suggested that the Society should receive contributions from the scheme. The Planning Officers commented that the Town Centre Master Plan document was not adopted policy and that they did not think any contribution should be made. This representation did not affect the Planning Officers recommendation.]


[NOTE 2: In accordance with the procedure for public speaking at Planning Committee, Mr J Summers attended the meeting and spoke in objection to the application and Mr S Lodge and Mr T Morris spoke in support.]


The Committee considered an application for the demolition of existing buildings and erection of a building of up to twenty five storeys comprising two hundred and twenty four residential units, ground floor commercial units, landscaping, bin and cycle storage, public realm works and associated works and facilities (Amended Plans)


Following a number of question from the Committee the Planning Officer confirmed that the application was within the area that was considered the ‘town centre’ and that the application had gone through the Design Panel process three or four times.


Regarding the differing percentages of affordable housing quoted by the Planning Officer and the applicant, it was explained that from a planning perspective it was not possible to state a development would deliver 100% affordable housing as there was no way to secure this. Through S106 Agreement a maximum of 40% affordable housing could be secured and it was only on the word of the developer that the remaining 60% would be delivered. This was explained on page 39 of the report. The Committee heard that it was uncommon to be able to deliver even 40% affordable housing in town centre locations.


Taking into account the other high developments in the immediate vicinity of this application, some Councillors questioned whether the Council would be liable to costs if this application was refused. Thomas James, Development Manager, explained that Planning Officers would not recommend refusal if they were not confident that they could defend their position on appeal. With regards to this application, it was noted that it was a subjective matter regarding the impact on the townscape and whether the Committee considered the provision of affordable housing to overcome this reason for harm. The Planning Officers were confident they could win an appeal with the refusal reasons as set out in the report.


Following a more detailed explanation of the bin storage and collection solution, the Committee were concerned that all the bins would be taken down and stored on the pavement on collection day. It was noted that there was no visualisation of these bins on the pavement, but it was anticipated there would be a considerable impact. Planning Officers did not think it was an acceptable solution, which many Members of the Committee agreed with. The Committee considered whether they wanted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6