Jamie Wake 2014 Independent Candidate for Whitley ward in the Reading Local Elections
  • scissors
    February 26th, 2013jamiewakerdgPlanning Applications

    At the next Planning Meeting of Reading Borough Council which take place on March 6th, the proposed Kennet Island Creche / Children’s daycare centre is set to be recommended for approval.  The recomendation is to:

    “…Delegate to Head of Planning and Building Control to (i) GRANT planning permission subject to completion of a Deed of Variation to the s106 legal agreement associated with planning permission 08/00452/FUL by 27th March 2013, or (ii) REFUSE permission should the Deed of Variation not be completed by 27th March 2013 (unless the Head of Planning and Building Control agrees to a later date for completion of the Deed of Variation)…”

    The Heads of Terms for the Deed of Variation would secure:

    1) That the proposed crèche/children’s daycare centre shall form part of the phased provision of 724sq m of ‘Community Centre’ floorspace at Kennet Island as agreed under planning permissions 08/00452/FUL and 09/00181/FUL;

    2) The development hereby approved shall not be occupied until a Travel Plan has been submitted to and approved by the local planning authority. In compliance with Reading Borough Core Strategy Policy CS23: Sustainable Travel and Travel Plans, the travel plan shall include:

    i. a full analysis of the proposed modal split for staff at the crèche,

    ii. reasons for the modal choice,

    iii. detailed proposals for future transport provision with the aim of securing reduction in car trips generated to and from the crèche, and

    iv. an initial travel survey (carried out within 3 months following occupation) which shall include a detailed survey of the number of movements generated by the crèche.

    3)  There shall be an annual review of the Travel Plan, which shall include a detailed survey of the number of movements generated by the crèche. This shall be compared with the initial survey (the ‘control level’) carried out under the terms of 2) iv. above and in the event of any reduction not being secured the crèche shall undertake whatsoever measures, as may first have been agreed in writing by the local planning authority, as are necessary to cause a reduction in the number of car borne trips to, as a maximum, the control level. This may include such options as a greater provision of subsidised transport in order to minimise danger, obstruction and inconvenience to users of the highway in compliance with Core Strategy Policy CS23: Sustainable Travel and Travel Plans.

    If such an agreement is entered into, planning permission shall include the following conditions and informatives:

    Conditions to include:

    • TL1 – Full 3 years.
    • AP1 – Development as per approved plans.
    • M2 – Details to be submitted.
    • Use restricted to a creche/children’s daycare centre (D1).
    • Restriction on hours of operation between 07:00hrs and 19:00hrs Mon – Fri and 08:00hrs – 16:00 hrs on Saturdays. No opening on Sundays or Bank Holidays.
    • Restriction on use of external play area between 09:00hrs and 17:00hrs Mon – Fri.
    • No development until details of acoustic attenuation system (to ensure ‘good’ levels as recommended in BS8233 are achieved in adjacent premises) have been submitted and approved. Approved acoustic attenuation measures to be installed prior to first occupation.
    • C1 – Limit on hours of construction and demolition – standard hours.
    • Submission of an amended Community Centre Management Plan to incorporate the proposed crèche/children’s daycare centre.
    • Units 6 and 7 not to be occupied until vehicle parking spaces provided and made available for use.
    • External glazed screen to be removed upon cessation of the crèche use.

    The proposed creche would be open to the general public but would offer preferential rates to Kennet Island Residents.  The report to be discussed at the Planning Meeting says that the £4.50 per hour rate has been reduced to £4.00 per hour for residents.

    I did send a letter in support of the application but I did remind officers that St James would need to address the ongoing parking issues so that members of public who do not live on the development could park to drop their children off without affecting other residents.  There are some visitors spaces around the piazza but these are often taken up by St James visitors and Hallmark Staff who sem to park there permanently rather than the commercial bays.  I’m pleased to see reference to parking in the report.   I also raised that St James needed to consult more with residents about the use of Community Space for residents.

    Whilst I do not have children myself, I do feel that this is a much needed amenity and I look forward to Reading Borough Council addressing other much needed amentities such as schools for once the users of the Creche reach school age.

    The full report to be presented can be found here

    Tags: ,
  • scissors
    May 20th, 2012jamiewakerdgkennet island, Planning Applications

    Drake Way Kennet IslandOn the 3rd November 2011, a report was made to the Traffic Management Advisory Panel at reading Borough Council about installing waiting restriction along Drake Way on Kennet Island – Drake Way is the adopted road on the Island that does not currently have parking restrictions – this is a godsend to residents living here considering there is a great lack of parking spaces for residents and visitors on Kennet Island!

    The report reads as follows:

    1. PURPOSE OF REPORT AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    1.1 As the Kennet Island development progresses, access concerns have been raised by existing occupiers and future occupiers with regards the on street parking which occurs along Drake Way during weekdays. This on street parking can result in large vehicles being unable to reach there destinations safely while undertaking deliveries. These occurrences are likely to increase when the private Circle Hospital is completed and occupied in the summer of 2012 and when future development to the south of the Hilton Hotel commences.

    1.2 When the Hospital and further development (which is included in the adopted Master plan for Kennet island) is completed, there is concern that the current levels of parking may obstruct emergency vehicles.

    2. RECOMMENDED ACTION

    2.1

    That the Advisory Panel not this report.

    2.2

    That the following recommendation is made to Cabinet.

    2.3

    That in consultation with the Chair of the Advisory Panel, Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Transport & Planning and Ward Councillors, the Head of Legal Services be authorised to carry out statutory consultation on the relevant proposals as shown on drawings 24400/005/002 and 2440/005/003 where appropriate and subject to no objections being received that the Head of Transport implements the scheme.

    2.4

    If objections are received to the statutory consultations, those objections will be reported back to a future meeting of the Panel

    3. POLICY CONTEXT

    3.1

    The proposals are in line with current Transport and Planning Policy.

    4. THE PROPOSAL

    4.1

    Planning consent was granted for the redevelopment of the former Whitley Sewage works to a mixed used scheme (App 05/00548/OUT) and subsequently separate reserved matters planning applications have been submitted to cover the various plots on the site. These include Phases 1 and 2 of the residential scheme (App 09/00235/REM), the Hilton Hotel (08-00893-Ful) and the Circle Hospital (09/02187/FUL).

    4.2

    Following the completion of Phases 1 and 2 of the residential scheme and the opening of the hotel, deliveries to the hotel have been obstructed during the weekdays by on street parking along the west side of Drake Way. Safety has been further compromised by indiscriminate parking at the junction of Drake Way and Lindisfarne Way, which results in vehicles obscuring sight lines. When the non emergency private hospital opens and when the commercial developments commence on the vacant land to the south of the hotel, the potential for further obstructions to occur, will increase.

    4.3

    While parking occurs along Drakes Way in the evenings and weekends it is not to the same level as that which occurs during weekdays and the free flow of vehicular traffic is not severely hindered.

    4.4

    Therefore in order to provide clear access during the weekday it is proposed to introduce a limited waiting restriction of “Monday to Friday, No Waiting 8am to 6pm”, on the west side of Drake Way between the junction of Lindisfarne Road and Drakes Way and a point 140 metres south of this junction. This is the current adoptable length of Drake Way

    4.5

    However the developer is aware of the parking concerns within Kennet Island and therefore when the second phase of Drake Way is completed, the section adjacent to the Circle Hospital, parallel parking bays will be provided adjacent to the carriageway to accommodate the displaced parking. The developer has also confirmed that if the parking restrictions are approved, they will not be installed until after the new parking bays have been provided. This second phase of Drake Way is due for completion in summer 2012, prior to the opening of the Circle Hospital.

    4.6

    It should be noted that as the parking restrictions along Drake Way will only be between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, this will still allow visitors to the residential dwellings to park here during weekday evenings and weekends. Therefore, given the provision of the additional spaces on the second phase of Drake Way, the parking provision for the development will actually increase during these periods.

    4.7

    To approve the safety at the Drake Way / Lindisfarne Way junction it is proposed to introduce a “No Parking at any time” restriction on the 4 radii of

    the junction (junction protection markings), to prevent the indiscriminate parking here continuing.

    4.8

    It is also proposed to add junction protection markings to all the other junctions along Drake Way, including those within the length currently under construction, to prevent the indiscriminate parking transferring to these locations again to the detriment of road safety.

    4.9

    Parking bays exist along the east side of Drake Way and these are private bays for the residential units which are adjacent to the road. To ensure that these are not obstructed, access protections markings will also be placed along the carriageway edge in front these parking bays.

    4.10

    Appendix A contains Drawings 24400/005/002 and 24400/005/003 which indicate the proposals together with photographs of the existing on street parking issues.

    5. CONTRIBUTION TO STRATEGIC AIMS

    5.1 To promote equality, social inclusion and a safe and healthy environment for all

    6. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND INFORMATION

    6.1 Statutory consultation will be carried out in accordance with the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996. Additional local consultation will be carried out as required.

    7. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

    7.1 Any proposals for waiting/ movement restrictions are advertised

    under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

    8. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

    8.1 The works will be wholly funded by the Developer.

    9. BACKGROUND PAPERS

    9.1

    Planning Consents for Kennet Island

    9.2

    Section 38 Agreement for Drake Way

    I won’t upload the plans but these can be found at the RBC website at http://www.reading.gov.uk/meetings/details/3367/.

    Very few residents know about the consultation that ends tomorrow, 19th May 2012.  No letters have been recieved by residents and when quizzed at the KIRA AGM, Cllr Mike Orton didn’t seem to have any further information either.  In fact, RBC have not even contacted KIRA.  I objected on these grounds:

    Hi Chris

    I understand that the consultation into the above ends on 19th May 2012 and I would like to submit my objection on the grounds that the consultation has not been carried out to encompass all of the residents on Kennet Island that make use of Drake Way.  Signs have been sighted along Drake Way but residents along Drake Way do not appear to have any letters through their door, nor other island residents in other parts of the development, and the Kennet Island Residents Association has not been approached (of which I am a committee member and now Co-Chair) with details of this consultation.

    As you will probably be aware, residents parking on Kennet island is extremely limited meaning that in most cases, family and friends are unable to visit due to a distinct lack of  parking spaces.  The only option, if lucky to be able to obtain one, is to make use of the road side along Drake Way – this applies day or night.  This also applies to people unable to find parking for local businesses such as the Island Lounge or Hudsons Convenience store.

    Whilst I and other residents appreciate that the developers have raised concerns that large vehicles may not reach their destinations safely, I am more concerned that large vehicles are putting residents – including children – at risk by travelling through a residential area which includes Drake Way.  Surely the safest way would be to make use of an entrance via Commercial Way which is already used to such traffic?

    The developer says that they are aware of the parking concerns within Kennet Island – something that seems to have been ignored in subsequent planning applications for Kennet Island – but fails to state that the proposed parallel parking spaces will be equal in number to the spaces lost from Drake Way.

    Whilst this consultation appears to benefit the developers, it has done very little to engage with residents or offer any benefit to them.  On those grounds, I object.

    Kind regards

    Jamie Wake

    I sent this by email to Chris Saunders only to find he is on annual leave so had to send to Jane Hicks and Darren Cook – I hope they acknowledge it!

    Tags: , ,
  • scissors
    April 29th, 2012jamiewakerdgPlanning Applications

    While trawling planning applications to see what might affect people here in Whitley, I noticed that St James – the developers of Kennet Island – have submitted a planning application to change the use of what was the Dentist (Unit 9) on the piazza so that they can extend their offices.

    This time last year the dentist ceased trading.  It only accepted private patients and many people didn’t use it.  At the time, the Dentist flanked the Piazza alongside a Shop, Unisex Hair Salon and a Cafe.  Now we only have the Island Lounge, a residents gym (managed by Hallmark) and a shop which is trying to regain trust back from the residents.  A proposed Chemist was never completed and promised Cash Machines were never installed either.  Apart from the Island Lounge and the gym, the central piazza is hardly used.

    I belive that St James should be working with residents to identify amenities that they need.  St James should then actively pursue them.  The piazza should be a thriving central part of the Kennet Island Community.  A Surgery, Chemist and Dentist is highly desired by residents.

    Of course, any residents wishing to comment on this Planning Application can do so by visiting the Planning Portal at http://planning.reading.gov.uk and searching for 12/00625/FUL.

    Tags: , , , ,
  • scissors
    April 1st, 2012jamiewakerdgPlanning Applications

    A33 Casino Location Unit 7 Rose Kiln LaneAs many of you know, I make it a habbit of trawling through planning applciations to see if there is anything that affects the ward of Whitley.  In my search I have found a planning application (App no 11/01907/FUL) by Grosvenor Casino Ltd to change the use of Unit 7 Rose Kiln Lane (formally the Peter Green Furniture Store).  Technicaly its in the ward of Southcote but it’s proximity to our ward means its relavent to residents who use the A33.

    The proposal, to be discussed at the Planning Applications Committee on Wednesday 4th April 2012 at 6.30pm, is set as “..Change of use to a Casino including associated changes to the façade and extension to the entrance, extension of the existing mezzanine floor, erection of a smoking terrace and alterations to the car park…”

    The report to be discussed reccomends permission to be granted subject to consideration of a Screening Option and conditions to include:

    1. TL1 – Full 3 years
    2. AP1 – Approved plans
    3. Materials as submitted
    4. C5 – Construction Method Statement
    5. C1 – Limit on hours of construction and demolition – standard hours
    6. TR8 – Vehicle parking before occupation – approved plans
    7. Car Park / Delivery Management Plan to be submitted for approval prior to occupation
    8. Travel Plan to be submitted for approval prior to occupation
    9. Bicycle storage to be submitted for approval prior to occupation
    10. Noise assessment for plant to be submitted for approval prior to occupation
    11. Development in accordance with Arboricultural Report
    12. L1 – Landscaping details to be submitted
    13. L2 – Landscaping – implementation of approved details
    14. Bat survey to be submitted for approval prior to commencement
    15. LTG1- External Lighting to be submitted for approval prior to occupation
    16. CCTV scheme to be submitted for approval prior to occupation

    According to the report, reading Borough Council’s Licensing Department have confirmed that the following license have been granted for the operation of the building as a casino:

    • Gambling Licence – This allows a site to be used solely for a casino and permits the provision of gambling facilities 24 hours per day.
    • Premise licence – This allows music, a stage area, live performance and late night refreshment; the premise licence has been granted for these uses 24 hours a day, while the sale of alcohol has been granted between the hours of 10am and 6am each day.

    A public consultation was carried at 25 – 27, Cadogan House, Lex Reading, MVf, Matalan Rose Kiln Lane; Harveys, Rosebys, Magnet from Reading Link Retail Park were notified by letter, and a site notice posted on site. No letters of comment have been received.

    The report does remember that the “Racino” complex has been permitted on the former trail park noth of Island Road, opposite the Kennet Island Development.  But it also seems to forget how close that would be to the proposed casino!  Grosvenor casino has advised the council that the Casino Market has evolved, needing larger premises, and “…would not compete directly with the other existing casinos as it is a different type of casino venue with a different offer to the existing casino facilities, and would be in a different area of Reading…”

    I guess we live to see the similarities and differences between this planned Casino and the Racino complex.  It would bring new jobs into the area which can only be a good thing and thankfully, most casino users would use the facilities during the evening meaning an increase traffic would be unlikely during peak times.  Though with the addition of the Racino and the promxity of the football stadium, will the A33 cope?  I guess we just have to wait and see.

    Tags: , , , , ,