Courtesy, of Mr Philip Stubbs, KRA Secretary:
Yes Redding Way is in Knaphill although Sainsbury’s have reverted to calling their store Sainsbury’s Brookwood.
Turning to the application from Sainsbury’s that is before the Planning Committee, an application to build an extension to the store including the building of a mezzanine level. We have already reported on events at the November meeting of the Planning Committee when the Members deferred making a decision even though the Planning Officer recommended acceptance. The Councillors at that meeting were unhappy with some detail of the proposal and sent it back to the Planning Office with ten specific questions.
Before going into events at the December Planning meeting we thought it would be helpful to give some background information on events between the two meetings. Following the November meeting a representative of Sainsbury’s contacted Cllr. Whitehand seeking a meeting to try and resolve some of the issues raised during the November Planning meeting. Sainsbury’s agreed that one of KRA expert representative could be in attendance. The meeting was a positive move in trying to meet all the KRA points on noise, air pollution, tress and landscaping, use of retail space and road issues connected with the Bagshot Road. The meeting generated a great deal of work but we were up against the deadline of 13 December, date of the next scheduled Planning Committee.
On 9 December Sainsbury’s wrote to Woking Borough Council outlining the changes they were prepared to make to the application before the Committee. This included their offer to fully enclose the service yard plus a comprehensive range of supplementary conditions controlling deliveries and the operation of the service yard.
The KRA submitted their own paper to members of the Planning Committee and WBC Planning Office to clarify where the Association were in agreement with Sainsbury’s revised proposals but also to stress where we believed as a Residents Association the plans fell short of meeting residents reasonable demands. Our local ward Cllr. R. Sharp circulated a number of additional and amended conditions.
Finally let’s turn to the Planning meeting itself. At the start of the discussion on Sainsbury’s application the chairman made it clear that he would not accept a further deferral to January. He stated that at the end of the debate the Committee would have to make a decision, either accept the plans in line with the Planning Officers recommendation or reject them. The Planning Officer was then invited to make his presentation but one of the Councillors asked for 5 minutes to read the new paper handed to members as they entered the Council Chamber. The Planning Officer explained that he had written a briefing note to bring the Committee up to date on the changes that Sainsbury’s had made to the application as a result of the Company’s discussions with the Planning Officer, Cllr M. Whitehand and other third parties. As stated the paper was circulated to Councillors but copies were not made available to members of the public so we cannot comment on the contents or give details of what was agreed by the Committee when they finally accepted the application.
Following the presentation by the Planning Officer the chair invited Cllr. R. Sharp to make a statement. The chair made it clear that Ward Councillors who were not members of the Planning Committee would only be permitted to make an opening statement and would not be allowed to contribute to the general debate. Cllr R. Sharp took the Committee through his amendments. A substantial number of Cllr R. Sharps amendments were accepted by the Planning Committee and will be incorporated into the decision paper.
The Committee resolved to grant Planning permission, subject to the imposition of many conditions proposed by the KRA and the ward Councillors and reflecting the concessions Sainsbury’s had offered, including the full enclosure of the service yard to address concerns relating to delivery noise; controls regarding vehicle movements; an “enhanced” landscaping scheme providing more trees within the car parking area; restrictions on the type of goods that can be sold; control restricting out of hours access to the car park to prevent anti-social behaviour and traffic calming measures within the car park to address concerns raised by residents living in Percheron Way.
However the KRA remain very unhappy about the manner in which this application has been handled by Woking Borough Council and about a number of conditions that, based on the advice of the Planning Officer, Members of the Planning Committee were dissuaded from imposing. We will provide further comments on the detail of the conditions once the formal Decision Notice has been issued.