The WPC Planning and Transport Committee meets every four weeks to review planning applications. It does not have the power to approve or refuse applications, but is able to object to or comment on every application. WPC is also one of the parties that can speak at the Borough Council’s Planning Meetings, along with the local borough councillors and a residents’ spokesperson.

To ensure WPC’s opinion is taken into consideration its objections have to take account of the constraints placed on planning authorities by government guidelines and policies. This occasionally results in a ‘No Comment’ even though there may be significant objections from near neighbours. We welcome input from residents, and will be better able to take your views into account if you let us know of objections soon after plans are announced or by being copied in on any letter of objection being sent to the Borough Council.

All planning applications and decisions can now be viewed on the WBC website in the Planning and Environment section.

The Role of the Parish Council Planning and Transport Committee

As the planning authority, the Borough Council is required to consult the Parish Council on all applications for planning consent within the parish. The Planning and Transport Committee of Winnersh Parish Council has delegated powers from the full Council to comment on applications on behalf of the Council, but all Winnersh Parish Council members are notified of applications to be heard.

It is the Parish Council’s policy to comment on all applications. Each application is considered on its individual merits. While considering the views of residents and other interested parties, the Planning Committee is not bound to pass on these views when making its decisions. In the same way, Wokingham Borough Council is not bound to take account of the views of Winnersh Parish Council, although its local knowledge can often be influential in the outcome of an application.

Comments generally fall into one of the following three categories:

  • Do not object, possibly giving reasons
  • Do not object in principle, but expressing concerns over certain aspects of the application
  • Object, giving reasons

In addition the Parish Council may request the planning authority to consider imposing conditions if the application is granted planning approval, eg enhanced landscaping, times that industrial units can be in use.

Aspects that the Parish Council Will Take Into Account when Formulating Its Comments on Planning Applications

General. Whatever the application the Parish Council will always consider:

  • The policies contained within the Wokingham Core Strategy and associated documents and the Wokingham Borough Council Design Guidelines. However the Parish Council will not consider itself constrained by such policies when commenting.
  • Design Guidelines issued by the Government and by Wokingham Borough Council. Again the Parish Council will not feel itself constrained by such policies when commenting.
  • The general design of the proposal, including materials used.
  • Compliance to the Winnersh Parish Council Strategic Aims document.
  • The effect the proposal will have on neighbouring properties. However as neighbouring residents will be given the opportunity to comment directly to Wokingham Borough Council, comments by the Parish Council are only likely to be made if the proposal will have a detrimental effect.
  • The visual consequence of the proposal, particularly from where the development can be seen by the public generally.
  • Whether, in the Parish Council’s view, the application will cause any highway problems.
  • Provision of amenity space.
  • Landscaping proposals where submitted.
  • Local knowledge on flooding and drainage issues.
  • Wildlife issues.

Extensions to dwellings. In addition to the above the Parish Council will consider:

  • The design of the extension, both in its own right and compared to the existing structure.
  • The size of the extension, both in actual terms, and relative to the existing dwelling and to adjacent properties.
  • The size of the plot on which the complete dwelling will be positioned.

New Dwellings. The Parish Council will normally object to any new dwelling unless it is within the identified settlement of Winnersh, or is a replacement for a dwelling to be demolished. In addition to the General items above the Parish Council will consider:

  • The size and design of the dwelling

Other types of Application. These will generally be considered on the effect that they will have on the Parish.

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