Under the new chairmanship of Whitley ward councillor Emmett McKenna, two University planning applications were mentioned at the first Reading Borough Council (RBC) planning applications committee of the new mayoral year.
Reading University have applied (190749) to build a synthetic sports pitch with 15 metre floodlighting and a spectators’ stand on the Whiteknights campus at Elmhurst Road. The committee recommended that councillors undertake a site visit for which RBC planning officers would prepare a briefing note.
The council officer responded that these technical details were looked at by RBC environmental protection but that he was sure the case officer could meet Councillor Williams on site if necessary.
The second item related to the redevelopment of St Patrick’s Hall (172045). The government planning inspector had dismissed the appeal by the University and their property developer UPP against RBC’s decision to refuse their application. Church ward councillor Ruth McEwan said:
I will just highlight as a councillor of Church ward that obviously we had a lot of concerns from residents who welcome the decision. Residents are incredibly happy about the decision and I just wanted to put that on record.
Councillor Josh Williams quoted from the last sentence of the committee report:
Meaningful pre-application engagement with local residents, the Council and other local stakeholders will be essential to achieving something on that site…
He went on to congratulate local residents for all their hard work.
In principle development on the site is acceptable but the University went far too far with this application and I welcome the decision as well.
He also looked forward to future meaningful discussions with the University.
- Planning applications committee 29 May 2019 papers & webcast
- Planning applications 190749 & 172045
- University’s appeal to redevelop St Patrick’s Hall dismissed