Decisions

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Decisions published

01/06/2022 - 212061/FUL - Richfield Driving Range, Richfield Avenue ref: 728    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 01/06/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 23/06/2022

Effective from: 01/06/2022

Decision:

The demolition of existing driving range structures and the development of a new three-storey 8 form entry school  for  years 11 - 16, including a SEND unit and 300 place 6th form (total school capacity of 1500 pupils) including the creation of a new access from Richfield Avenue, new parking area, cycle parking landscaped areas, external play areas, Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) and sporting pitches. 

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above application.  An update report was tabled at the meeting which proposed amendments to the S106 obligations for transport works and deletion of two of the planning conditions, clarified the bicycle provision position and the reasons for BREEAM ‘Very Good’ and the wording for the BREEAM conditions.  The recommendation had been amended accordingly.  It was recommended at the meeting that a further condition regarding

Resolved   

(1)      That the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection Services be authorised to grant full planning permission for application 212061/FUL, subject to completion of a S106 legal agreement by 30 June 2022 (unless a later date be agreed by the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection Services) to secure the amended transport works Heads of Terms set out in the update report and the original Employment, Skills and Training Head of Terms set out in the original report;

(2)      That, in the event of the requirements set out not being met, the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection Services be authorised to refuse permission;

(3)      That planning permission be subject to the conditions and informatives recommended in the original report, but with the removal of Conditions 11 and 14 as recommended in the update report, and the following amendments:

  • Condition 28 regarding the Travel Plan to be strengthened to require the school to explore how to improve the facilities to support cycling, including more cycle parking, storage and changing facilities;
  • Condition 20 regarding BREEAM rating to be amended to require the school to look at further ways to improve the BREEAM rating above 60%;
  • An additional informative encouraging the school to explore their opening hours to ease congestion;

(4)      That transport officers be asked to investigate the inclusion of bus stop markings near to the school in association with the wider requirement for alterations to Traffic Regulation Orders surrounding the school, to accommodate future bus services to the area.

Wards affected: Thames;


01/06/2022 - 211728/OUT - Dellwood Hospital Liebenrood Road ref: 727    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 01/06/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 23/06/2022

Effective from: 01/06/2022

Decision:

Outline application considering access, appearance, layout and scale for the partial demolition, retention and extension of existing building to form a care home (C2 use class) and ancillary accommodation, amended access arrangements, car parking and associated works (landscaping reserved for future consideration).

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above application.  An update report was tabled at the meeting which explained that the applicant had agreed to provide a construction phase employment and skills training plan and did not intend to take up the option of providing an equivalent financial contribution and therefore the plan could be secured by condition rather than a section 106 obligation.  It also explained that the use of the development as a C2 care home could also be secured by way of a planning condition rather than obligation.  The recommendation had been amended accordingly.

Comments and objections were received and considered.

Supporter Evelyn Williams, and John Horsman and Anna Ciesielska on behalf of the applicant, attended the meeting and addressed the Committee on this application.

Resolved –   

(1)      That outline planning permission for application 211728/OUT be granted, subject to the conditions and informatives as recommended in the original report, with the additional conditions set out in the update report;

(2)      That details of the pre-commencement reserved matters in respect of landscaping, external materials and the scheme of decentralised energy provision be submitted to members of the Committee and, if there were any significant concerns expressed, these matters be brought to Committee for approval.

Wards affected: Southcote;


01/06/2022 - 220125/LBC - Oxford Road Primary School, 146 Oxford Road ref: 726    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 01/06/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 23/06/2022

Effective from: 01/06/2022

Decision:

Listed Building Consent for proposed works to Oxford Road Community School - repairs and refurbishment to the pitched roof and replacement of bitumen felt covering to a number of small flat roofs.

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above application.  An update report was tabled at the meeting which presented additional information which had been omitted from the original report on the proposed lime mortar mixture, the listed building materials condition and photos of the existing roof.

Comments were received and considered.

Resolved –   

That, pursuant to Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992, listed building consent for application 220125/LBC be granted, subject to the conditions and informatives as recommended in the original report.

Wards affected: Abbey;


01/06/2022 - 220291/FUL - 2 Howard Street ref: 725    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 01/06/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 23/06/2022

Effective from: 01/06/2022

Decision:

Conversion of a single dwelling (Class C3) to a Sui-Generis House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) for 9 persons, and conversion of the existing garage to a cycle and garden store, plus erection of two dormer windows, bin storage and associated enabling internal works and minor external works (re-submission of 211420/FUL) 

Further to Minute 3 of the meeting held on 12 January 2022, the Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above application.  An update report was tabled at the meeting which clarified how the threshold calculation for HMOs had been interpreted. 

The original report and update report for application 211420/FUL from 12 January 2022 were appended to the report.

Comments were received and considered.

Resolved –   

(1)      That planning permission for application 220291/FUL be granted, subject to the conditions and informatives as recommended in the original report;

(2)      That a separate report on HMO Policies and guidance be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee to allow further consideration of the counting of HMOs and how to assess and deal with HMO proliferation.

Wards affected: Abbey;


01/06/2022 - 211424/FUL - 1a Eaton Place ref: 724    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 01/06/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 23/06/2022

Effective from: 01/06/2022

Decision:

Demolition of existing commercial building (Class E) and erection of residential block comprising of 2 x 1 bed flats (Class C3) 

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above application. 

Comments and objections were received and considered.

Resolved –   

That planning permission for application 211424/FUL be refused on the following grounds:

1.       The proposed development, by reason of its overall scale relative to plot size, would result in a cramped arrangement that would fail to provide any private amenity space for both flats nor sufficient internal floor space for the proposed ground floor flat. This would adversely impact upon the level of amenity provided and would result in an unacceptable quality of living accommodation for future occupants, contrary to Policies CC8, H5 and H10 of the Reading Borough Local Plan (2019);

2.       The proposed development would locate the kitchen, bathroom and landing of the first-floor flat over the bedroom of the ground floor flat. This is considered to be an inappropriate ‘stacking’ arrangement which, through noise and disturbance caused by the occupiers of the first floor flat using these areas, will result in an unacceptable level of harm to the residential amenity for occupants of the ground floor flat. This would be contrary to policies CC8 and CR6 of the Reading Borough Local Plan (2019);

3.       In the absence of a completed legal agreement to secure an acceptable contribution towards the provision of Affordable Housing and off-site tree planting, the proposal fails to contribute adequately to the housing needs and amenity requirements of Reading Borough, contrary to policies H3 and EN14 of the Reading Borough Local Plan (2019), the Council’s Adopted Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (2021) and the Reading Borough Council Tree Strategy (2021).

Wards affected: Abbey;


01/06/2022 - 211376/FUL & 211407/LBC - 41 Minster Street ref: 723    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 01/06/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 23/06/2022

Effective from: 01/06/2022

Decision:

The proposed development will include installation of a 10m stub tower, 6 no. antennas, 2 no. 300mm dishes, a GPS dish and associated ancillary equipment, alongside the removal of the existing 2.5m stub tower with 6 no. antennas and associated equipment and fixings. (Amended Description).

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above applications. 

Comments were received and considered.

Resolved   

(1)      That planning permission for application 211376/FUL be granted, subject to the conditions and informatives as recommended in the report;

(2)      That listed building consent for application 211407/LBC be granted, subject to the conditions and informatives as recommended in the report.

Wards affected: Abbey;


04/04/2022 - Strategic HR & Payroll System - Contract Procurement ref: 708    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 04/04/2022 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 16/06/2022

Effective from: 04/04/2022

Decision:

The Deputy Chief Executive submitted a report seeking authority to procure and award a contract for the provision of a third party hosted, strategic HR & Payroll system for a period of two years, with a possible extension period of a further two years.

 

The report noted that the Council required an HR & Payroll system to effectively manage and pay employees in compliance with relevant legislation, and to meet its obligations in respect of statutory reporting.  Midland HR’s iTrent software had been used for a number of years, primarily for payroll and pensions provision, the most recent contract extension being for five years from 2017 with the contract due to expire in May 2022.  The system was hosted by Midland HR who also provided helpdesk support and upgrades funded as part of the ongoing annual system costs. 

 

The report explained that since 2019 the Council had transformed its HR service and the development and utilisation of iTrent had increased significantly with additional modules and functionality now including: Recruitment & Onboarding, Performance Management, Absence Management, Annual Leave, HR Case Management and Employee and Manager Self Service.  The implementation costs of £280,318 had been met from the Council’s Delivery Fund due to their transformational nature.

 

The report proposed that, due to the investment in the use of iTrent since 2019, its integral position in the Council’s processes, and the results of benchmarking showing that this solution was approximately 20% less expensive than the next best priced alternative, the Council retain the iTrent system for a further period with a proposed procurement route to award via the G-Cloud Framework.  The new agreement would see all existing functionality retained with new provision added, including E-signatures, interactive payslips and Chatbot providing an enhanced user experience.  A reciprocal clause would be included to ensure that significant changes in staffing numbers were reflected in the annual charges. The contract would be structured over two years, with the option to extend by two further years.

 

Resolved –

 

          That the Deputy Chief Executive, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Corporate and Consumer Services, be authorised to procure and award a contract for provision of a third party hosted, strategic HR & Payroll system for a period of two years, with a possible extension period of a further two years.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


04/04/2022 - Education Management System Replacement ref: 707    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 04/04/2022 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 16/06/2022

Effective from: 04/04/2022

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


04/04/2022 - Caversham Court Stables ref: 710    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 04/04/2022 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 16/06/2022

Effective from: 04/04/2022

Decision:

The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report seeking approval for the disposal of Caversham Court Stables (the Property) on a 10-year lease.  The Property was shown on a plan attached to the report at Appendix A.  Confidential information relating to the disposal was also set out in Appendices B-F which had been submitted to the Committee in closed session (Minute 98 below refers).

 

The report explained that the Property, a Grade II listed building, was currently vacant and had been declared surplus.  In 2015/16 it had been marketed for short-term commercial leases, but the preferred letting had not progressed due to parking issues raised during the planning application process.  In February 2018, the Property had been re-marketed but issues had been raised with the presence of the gardener’s office within the building complex.  The gardening service was a requirement of the capital and revenue lottery grant for the upgrade of Caversham Court Gardens and a range of options had been considered, with the only viable option being to relocate to a new purpose-built office within the adjacent allotment.  A detailed design feasibility had been carried out including costings, but issues raised during the Listed Building application process meant the proposed site building had not been suitable.  As a condition of any lease the gardener’s office would remain in situ either using the current separate welfare facilities or with a reconfigured layout at an estimated one-off cost to the Council of circa £10,000.

 

The report explained that the Property had been remarketed in 2021 on the open market and in accordance with the Third Sector Policy, and that a total of nine offers had been received: three from the third sector and six from private individuals/developers.  The offers included retaining the Property for office use as well as a change of use to educational and residential uses.  All offers had been on the basis of a leasehold disposal with the Council retaining the freehold and a landlord role to enable better control on enforcing future uses and obligations in the context of the listed gardens.  Further information on the bids was provided in the Confidential Summary Information Appendix B and Confidential Bid Application Summary Table Appendix C considered in closed session.

 

The report explained that the top Third Sector offer had been made by Rabble Theatre Group and was an unconditional offer, subject to survey, to lease the Property for 10 years with an option to purchase on a 999-year leasehold.  They had submitted a detailed Business Plan and Third Sector Bid and had undertaken a range of building, financial and professional due diligence as part of the submission.  The offer did not require the reconfiguration of the gardener’s office.  The full bid was set out at Appendix D (submitted in closed session) and was supported by Cultural Services, whose comments were set out in Appendix E (considered in closed session), and by the Council’s Conservation and Urban Design Officer in the context of the proposed use of the listed building.

 

The report stated that the highest commercial offer was a leasehold, unconditional, owner-occupier’s offer subject to surveys. The proposal was to keep the building as offices and potentially subdivide them into separate units.  This was an unconditional offer and represented Best Consideration in accordance with section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

The report explained, although the offer from Rabble did not represent Best Consideration under the requirements of S.123 of the Local Government Act 1972 the Council could dispose of the Property to Rabble under the General Disposal Consent (England) 2003 (General Consents) if it considered that in doing so, the disposal would help secure the promotion or improvement of the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of its area. In this instance, Rabble’s proposals would meet these criteria and it was therefore proposed to grant Rabble Theatre Group a lease of the Property for a period of 10 years with an option to purchase after 10 years on a 999-year basis.  The detailed terms were set out in the Confidential Summary information Appendix B considered in closed session.  Rabble would work with the Council and partners, including grant organisations to deliver the key outputs of their business plan, summarised in Appendices D and E, and to support the Council’s ‘Made in Reading’ identity, create opportunities through collaboration and support key elements of the Council’s Corporate Plan.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)      That, taking into account the information provided in closed session, it be agreed to grant Rabble Theatre Group a 10-year lease at the Caversham Court Stables together with an option to purchase a 999-year leasehold interest;

 

(2)      That, in the event that the bid proposal or offer price was subsequently reduced or altered or the purchaser did not perform to an acceptable timescale, the Executive Director for Economic Growth & Neighbourhood Services, in consultation with the Director of Finance, Leader of the Council, the Lead Councillor for Corporate and Consumer Services and the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services, be authorised to:

 

                     a) agree a revised bid proposal or offer price;

 

                     b) re-engage with other bidders as appropriate or remarket the Property for disposal at best consideration.

 

 

Wards affected: Caversham;


04/04/2022 - Contracts for Grant Funded Services for Those Rough Sleeping / At Risk of Rough Sleeping ref: 709    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 04/04/2022 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 16/06/2022

Effective from: 04/04/2022

Decision:

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report outlining funding applications to the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing (DLUHC) for the Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) 2022-25 and Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP) 2021-2024 to relieve and prevent rough sleeping in Reading.  Subject to approval and award from DLUHC the report sought authority to procure and award contracts utilising the grant funds and authorisation to enter into new contract arrangements from 1 October 2022.

 

The report explained that the Council had applied for DLUHC grant funding of a maximum sum of £1.8m to fund Housing First and tailored off the streets support under RSI 2022-25, for which alocation announcements were due in April 2022. This three-year funding award from RSI 2022-25 would provide the opportunity for longer contracts than had been possible through previous iterations of RSI.  The full application for RSI 2022-25 grant also included funds of circa £1m for extending existing interventions until new contract start dates in October 2022 to ensure smooth implementation and that no vulnerable people were disadvantaged, increasing FTE internal operational and strategic capacity and seasonal demand/surge funding for emergency accommodation.

 

The report proposed that, subject to grant funds being allocated and awarded to Reading under RSI 2022-25, an open tender exercise be carried out and 30-month contracts of a maximum sum of £1.8m awarded to the successful tenderer(s) for Housing First and tailored off the street support functions with contract start dates of 1 October 2022. 

 

The report also stated that grant funds had been applied for and awarded to the value of £220k under DLUHC’s Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP) 2021-24 to deliver “Move-on Homes”. Funds would support couples with multiple needs to move on from supported housing into settled accommodation with intensive tenancy sustainment support.  It was proposed that, an open tender exercise be carried out and a 24-month contract awarded, with an overall contract value of £220k, to the successful tenderer for support to couples in “Move-on Homes” with a contract start date of 1 October 2022.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)      That the following be noted:

 

(a)  the application to the DLUHC for Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) 2022-25 funding in the maximum sum of £1.8m to commission (a) Housing First and (b) tailored support from the streets into settled accommodation including navigators, outreach/in-reach & out of hours tenancy sustainment;

 

(b) the DLUHC award of funding in the sum of £220k from the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP) 2021-24 to deliver “Move-on Homes”;

 

(2)      That, subject to the successful outcome of the application in 1(a) above, the Assistant Director of Housing and Communities, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Housing, be authorised to:

         

(i)            enter into a grant agreement with DLUHC for it to provide Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) 2022-25 funding of a maximum sum of £1.8m; and

         

(ii)          procure the necessary contracts to implement the RSI 2022-25 funding conditions and enter into contracts with the successful tenderers in respect of the services referred to 1(a) above;

 

(3)      That the Assistant Director of Housing and Communities, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Housing, be authorised to procure the necessary contracts to implement RSAP 2021-24 funding conditions and enter into contracts with the successful tenderers in respect of services to deliver “Move-on Homes” referred to in 1(b) above.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;