Decisions

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Decisions published

12/01/2023 - Kenavon Drive - Installation of Bus Stop Cages ref: 831    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Made at meeting: 12/01/2023 - Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Decision published: 26/01/2023

Effective from: 12/01/2023

Decision:

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report informing the Sub-Committee of traffic management measures associated with the development of the former Homebase and Toys R Us site on Kenavon Drive.  A plan showing the proposals surrounding the development and the exact line markings proposed was attached to the report at Appendix 1.  The report also sought approval to carry out a statutory consultation on changes to the waiting restrictions and pay and display bay along Kenavon Drive to facilitate the installation of a bus stop cage on either side of the carriageway.

The report explained that the development had been under construction for some time with works currently taking place to construct the final building on the site.  Highway works that were required to facilitate reconfigured and new vehicular access to the site had commenced with further works likely to proceed early in 2023, although exact timescales were unclear.  During the application discussions it had been agreed that dedicated bus stop cages would be provided on both sided of Kenavon Drive to facilitate bus route Buzz 42.  The buses currently stopped in these locations, but the developer was to provide the bus cages to identify fully the location of the bus stops and help promote public transport as an alternative mode of travel.  The report set out the revisions to the existing waiting restrictions and pay and display bays.

Resolved –

(1)     That the report be noted;

(2)     That the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to undertake a statutory consultation in accordance with the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996, for the proposals contained within in Appendix 1;

(3)     That subject to no objections being received, the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to make the Traffic Regulation Order for the proposed scheme;

(4)     That any objection(s) received following the statutory advertisement be reported to a future meeting of the Sub-Committee;

(5)     That the Head of Transport (or appropriate Officer) in consultation with the appropriate Lead Councillor, be authorised to make minor changes to the proposals;

(6)     That no public inquiry be held into the proposals.

Wards affected: Thames;


12/01/2023 - Station Hill - Alterations to South West Interchange Taxi Rank ref: 830    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Made at meeting: 12/01/2023 - Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Decision published: 26/01/2023

Effective from: 12/01/2023

Decision:

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report informing the Sub-Committee about traffic management measures associated with the development of the Station Hill site, which was bounded by Station Hill, Greyfriars Road and Garrard Street.  A plan of the proposals surrounding the development and the exact line markings proposed was attached to the report at Appendix 1.  The report also sought approval to carry out a statutory consultation on changes to the waiting restrictions surrounding the southwestern interchange at Reading Station.

The report stated that the changes required were minimal and ultimately resulted in minor relocations of the taxi rank and drop off bay facilities and stressed that the capacity of the taxi rank was being increased by the redesign from 18 to 22 with the drop off/pick up bay capacity being unaltered.  Plans showing comparison extracts were set out in the report.

Resolved –

(1)     That the report be noted;

(2)     That the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to undertake a statutory consultation in accordance with the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996, for the proposals contained within in Appendix 1;

(3)     That subject to no objections being received, the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to make the Traffic Regulation Order for the proposed scheme;

(4)     That any objection(s) received following the statutory advertisement be reported to a future meeting of the Sub-Committee;

(5)     That the Head of Transport (or appropriate Officer) in consultation with the appropriate Lead Councillor, be authorised to make minor changes to the proposals;

(6)     That no public inquiry be held into the proposals.

(Councillor Ayub declared an interest in the above item on the grounds that he owned a hackney carriage. He left the room and took no part in the discussion or decision making.)

 

Wards affected: Abbey;


12/01/2023 - Active Travel Fund Tranche 3 - Castle Hill and Bath Road - Traffic Restriction Proposals for Statutory Consultation ref: 829    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Made at meeting: 12/01/2023 - Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Decision published: 26/01/2023

Effective from: 12/01/2023

Decision:

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report that sought approval to carry out a statutory consultation for the implementation of traffic restrictions in the form of double yellow lines, reducing an existing bus lane and removal of the tidal flow lane on Castle Hill and Bath Road as required as part of the implementation of the Active Travel Fund Tranche 3 scheme.  A plan showing alterations to residents parking bays on Castle Hill was attached to the report at Appendix A, a plan showing alterations to the eastbound bus lane on Bath Road was attached at Appendix B and a plan showing removal of the central peak traffic flow reversible lane was attached to the report at Appendix C.

The report detailed the restrictions on Bath Road and Castle Hill.

Resolved –

(1)     That the report be noted;

(2)     That the proposal to carry out the Statutory Consultation be approved;

(3)     That subject to no objections being received, the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to make the Traffic Regulation Order(s);

(4)     That any objection(s) received following the statutory advertisement be submitted to a future meeting of the Sub-Committee.

Wards affected: Abbey; Coley;


12/01/2023 - Waiting Restriction Review Programme 2022B ref: 828    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Made at meeting: 12/01/2023 - Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Decision published: 26/01/2023

Effective from: 12/01/2023

Decision:

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report that sought approval for officers to carry out statutory consultation for recommended new/alterations to waiting restrictions.  The proposals aimed to address the issues that had been raised in the initial list of requests, which had been submitted and agreed for investigation at the meeting on 14 September 2022 (Minute 18 refers).  The recommendations set out in the report had been shared with Ward Councillors and the recommendations and drawings, by Ward, were attached to the report at Appendix 1.

Resolved –

(1)     That the report be noted;

(2)     That having considered option 4, Abbey Ward, West Street, and option 28, Kentwood Ward, Lyndhurst Road, of the recommendations report, as set out in Appendix 1 attached to the report, the options set out in (3), below, be agreed;

(3)     That the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to undertake a statutory consultation in accordance with the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996, for the proposals contained within in Appendix 1, subject to:

(i)      Abbey Ward, Russell Street – Officer recommendation be agreed, namely to defer to the next programme;

(ii)     Abbey Ward, West Street – Officer recommendations be agreed, namely that the bay on West Street be changed to a good vehicle loading bay;

(iii)    Coley Ward, Carsdale Close – Defer to the next programme;

(iv)     Coley Ward, Lorne Street – Remove from the programme;

(v)      Emmer Green Ward, Almond Drive – Defer to the next programme;

(vi)     Kentwood Ward, Lyndhurst Road – Option B be agreed, namely a single yellow line, but subject to it applying between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm, seven days a week;

(4)     That subject to no objections being received, the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to make the Traffic Regulation Order;

(5)     That any objection(s) received following the statutory advertisement be submitted to a future meeting of the Sub-Committee;

(6)     That no public inquiry be held into the proposals.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


12/01/2023 - Applications for Discretionary Parking Permits ref: 832    For Determination

Decision Maker: Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Made at meeting: 12/01/2023 - Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Decision published: 26/01/2023

Effective from: 12/01/2023

Wards affected: Abbey; Park; Redlands; Thames;


12/01/2023 - Petitions ref: 827    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Made at meeting: 12/01/2023 - Traffic Management Sub-Committee

Decision published: 26/01/2023

Effective from: 12/01/2023

Decision:

(a)     Petition for Tackling Speeding on St Bartholomew’s Road

The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the receipt of a petition, asking the Council to tackle speeding on St Bartholomew’s Road.

The report stated that on 4 January 2023 a petition had been submitted to the Council that had contained 64 signatures, 43 from paper forms and 21 from an electronic form.  The petition read as follows:

Cars frequently drive too fast on St Bartholomew’s Road which has a 20 mph speed limit. It is not uncommon for the cars at the side of the road to be driven into and recently a driver rolled their car over. Reading Council please can you tackle speeding on St Bartholomew’s Road.”

The report explained that addressing the issue of speeding motorists was particularly challenging for a local authority.  Speed enforcement, which included the placement and operation of fixed and mobile enforcement equipment, could only be carried out by the Police.  With funding and resource limitation, alongside other policing priorities, enforcement could not currently be relied upon to provide a sustained method in which to deter speeding.  The Council had been, and had continued, to lobby government and Police for an increase in civil powers of enforcement against speeding motorists.  Local authorities had limited tools to address speeding, which were predominantly limited to the implementation of physical speed calming ‘features’, such as speed humps and it was understandable that such features would not be welcomed by many as they were indiscriminate and impacted on the surrounding environment.  A scheme of features could also be resource intensive and costly for local authorities to design, install and maintain.   However, until mooted mandatory technologies were in place to override motorist inputs and limit vehicle speeds, and/or autonomously impose fines on the offending motorist, there appeared to be no alternative to these physical measures.

The Council had previously received a request for additional traffic calming on St Bartholomew’s Road and the Sub-Committee had agreed to add the request to the Council’s regularly reported Requests for Traffic Management Measures list.  Currently, there was no allocated funding for the development and delivery of the requested changes.  However, it was acknowledged that there was a demand for speed reduction features on St Bartholomew’s Road and the report proposed that the existing entry on the Requests for Traffic Management Measures was adjusted to reflect the receipt of the petition and the entry updated to reflect the latest road casualty dated for the road that had been supplied by the police.

At the invitation of the Chair the petition organiser, Melissa Marselle, addressed the Sub-Committee on behalf of the petitioners.

Resolved –

(1)     That the report be noted;

(2)     That the existing request for additional traffic calming on St Bartholomew’s Road contained within the regularly-reported ‘Requests for Traffic Management Measures’ be updated to reflect the receipt of this petition;

(3)     That the lead petitioner be informed of the decisions of the Sub-Committee, following publication of the agreed minutes of the meeting;

(4)     That no public inquiry be held into the proposals.

(2)     That the existing request for additional traffic calming on St Bartholomew’s Road contained within the regularly-reported ‘Requests for Traffic Management Measures’ be updated to reflect the receipt of this petition;

(3)     That the lead petitioner be informed of the decisions of the Sub-Committee, following publication of the agreed minutes of the meeting;

(4)     That no public inquiry be held into the proposals.


15/12/2022 - Housing Benefit War Pension and Armed Forces Compensation Disregard Policy ref: 821    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2022 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 23/01/2023

Effective from: 15/12/2022

Decision:

The Director of Finance submitted a report reviewing the arrangements for Housing Benefit made in respect of Section 134 8(a) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, entitling local authorities to modify any part of the Housing Benefit scheme to provide for the disregarding of prescribed war disablement pensions or war widow’s pensions.  Attached to the report at Appendix 1 was War Pension and Armed Forces Compensation Disregard Policy.

 

The report explained that prior to the introduction of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, there had been a statutory £10.00 per week disregard on War Disability and War Widows pensions in calculation of income for means tested social security benefits including Housing Benefit.  The Social Security Administration Act 1992 had allowed councils to disregard up to 100% of war pensions above the £10.00 per week disregard and the Council had agreed to disregard war pensions in full at some point in the 1990s.  From April 2004, the Government had agreed to subsidise 75% of the discretionary disregard councils made if the amount did not exceed 0.2% of the total Housing Benefit subsidy received. This meant that the Council only paid for 25% of the discretionary disregard.

 

In 2021 a number of councils had been asked by external auditors to provide evidence that they had passed resolutions disregarding War Pensions and War Widow(er) Pensions from Housing Benefit. Many councils no longer had the original documentation confirming the disregard and the auditors had agreed to accept the historic position but insisted that councils re-affirm their policy.  The report therefore recommended that the Committee re-affirm the discretionary disregards for War Pensions and War Widow(er)’s Pensions in order to safeguard the finances of war pensioners and war widow(er)s.  Adoption of the policy had already been factored into the budget projections and operation of the Benefits Service and the administration of claims in 2022/23.

 

Resolved –

 

          That the Council continue to disregard the whole of any incomes prescribed in the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (War Pension Disregards) Regulations 2007 and that the Housing Benefit War Pension and Armed Forces Compensation Disregard Policy attached at Appendix 1 be approved for the 2022-23 subsidy year and subsequent years.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


15/12/2022 - Allocation of s106 Funding for Reading Station Subway Scheme 2022/23 ref: 822    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2022 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 23/01/2023

Effective from: 15/12/2022

Decision:

The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report seeking spend approval for £205,761.05 for a Reading Station Subway Refurbishment capital scheme to improve north/south access across the station. It was anticipated that the scheme would be funded from the secured Section 106 contribution, however some additional funding might be required from the Local Transport Plan (LTP) Bridges & Carriageway Capital award for 2022/23.  Appendix 1 to the report set out a summary of the relevant S106 contributions.

 

The report noted that it had been a long-standing desire of the Council and cycling groups to enable safe cycling along the subway, as this prohibition and the surrounding rail infrastructure and strategic road network were significant cycling barriers between the north and south sides of the station and beyond.  The Council had commissioned a feasibility report on allowing cycling as part of a scheme to remove the lowest ceiling panels using S106 funding.  The proposed scheme would remove the vulnerable low level ceiling panels, secure and protect the Network Rail Services, increase the headroom clearance and include minor repairs to floor and wall tiles, along with improved signage.  There was also a separate proposal to replace the lighting to reduce energy consumption and enable remote monitoring and control the lighting units. 

 

The report explained that the proposed scheme would provide improved head room clearance, which although below national guidelines, would enable the Council to accept the position and allow cycling through the subway if the Cycling Prohibition Order was revoked.  The Traffic Management Sub-Committee at its meeting on 14 September 2022 (Minute 20 refers) had agreed a consultation on revoking the cycling prohibition to create a shared use (pedestrian/cyclist) facility. The outcome of the consultation would be reflected in the final design of the scheme.  The scheme was not dependent on the outcome of the consultation to revoke the cycling prohibition, as the works to remove the low sections of ceiling panels were still required to ensure that a viable long-term solution was delivered.  The scheme design was currently being finalised and works were provisionally scheduled to commence in early 2023.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)        That spending approval be given for the Reading Station Subway Refurbishment scheme;

 

(2)        That the Executive Director for Economic Growth & Neighbourhood Services, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Environmental Services & Community Safety and Director of Finance, be authorised to finalise details of the scheme and programme within the overall approval given;

 

(3)        That the Executive Director for Economic Growth & Neighbourhood Services, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Climate Strategy & Transport, the Assistant Director of Legal & Democratic Services and the Director of Finance be authorised to enter into relevant contracts required to undertake the approved scheme and works programme.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


15/12/2022 - Draft Residential Conversions Supplementary Planning Document ref: 823    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2022 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 23/01/2023

Effective from: 15/12/2022

Decision:

The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report seeking approval to undertake community involvement on a Draft Residential Conversions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), to provide detailed guidance on proposals for conversion of dwellinghouses to flats or to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).  The results of the public consultation would inform the development of a final version of the SPD for adoption. The following documents were attached to the report:

 

·       Appendix 1 – Equality Impact Assessment

·       Appendix 2 - Draft Residential Conversions Supplementary Planning Document

 

The report noted that an existing Residential Conversions SPD dating from 2013 remained in effect, but that its age and the fact that it pre-dated the Local Plan could affect its weight in decision-making, and there were some issues that had arisen from its implementation that required addressing in a revised version. A new draft Residential Conversions SPD for consultation was attached to the report at Appendix 2.

 

The report explained that the revised version of the SPD was based on the existing SPD but with some important changes and updates.  The main changes from the existing version included: clarification that, within the Article 4 area, the 25% threshold applied to the total number of residential buildings as opposed to residential dwellings;  a new, criteria-based approach to proposals for conversion to both flats and HMOs outside the Article 4 area, including a  threshold that the proportion of residential buildings within 50m of the application site that had been converted either to flats or an HMO would not be expected to exceed 50%;  reference to avoiding a situation where a residential dwelling was sandwiched between two HMOs; general updates to policy references and alignment with the Local Plan.

 

The draft SPD would be subject to a consultation which was intended to take place between 19 December 2022 and 13 February 2023.  Responses received would be considered in preparing a final draft SPD for adoption.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)                That the Draft Residential Conversions SPD, as attached to the report at Appendix 2, be approved for consultation;

 

(2)                That the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection Services, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Planning and Assets, be authorised to make any minor amendments necessary to the SPD that did not alter the policy direction prior to consultation.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


15/12/2022 - Employment and Skills Plans – Updated Report and Skills for Growth Proposal ref: 824    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2022 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 23/01/2023

Effective from: 15/12/2022

Decision:

Further to Minute 11 of the meeting of the Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee held on 7 July 2022, the Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report providing an update on progress made by REDA with the implementation of planning policies concerned with promoting Employment and Skills Plans (ESPs) and seeking approval for the associated delivery framework and action plan.  Attached to the report at Appendix A was an outline 18-month delivery plan for supporting Economic Growth Nov 2022 - Apr 2024.

 

The report noted that REDA (formerly Reading UK CIC) was the Borough’s preferred economic development partner, managing all aspects of ESPs through both delivery plans and programmes funded by S106 contributions, as set out in the Borough’s Supplementary Planning Document 2013.  The report set out the outcomes of this work to date which showed that REDA had a strong track record of delivering benefits to the local community through using S106 developer contributions, including over the last 18 months providing support to 1,700 local people helping them move forward in the jobs market or into self-employment.  Partnership with both public and private sector partners would continue to be central to delivery of the programmes with match funding and support-in-kind from companies and organisations including Hammerson, Abbey Rotary Group, Reading Business Network, Hilton Reading, Activate Learning, Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and the University of Reading.

 

The report explained that REDA’s Skills for Growth Group had identified the following priority areas: Start up in the Community; Sector-focused Careers Advice for Schools; Employment and Employability Support (particularly targeted at over 50’s, single parents and other key cohorts); Developing the New Skills employers will need – creative skills, green skills, engineering and construction and Supporting Skills at the heart of Reading’s Economy including construction, technology, hospitality and healthcare.  The framework for ESP delivery would respond to known demand where skills shortages were a regional issue; training would match residents to available local jobs and enterprise opportunities with a particular aim to upskill and retrain to enable residents to access better paid, better quality work with an eye on emerging skills.  In addition, the framework would invest in programmes of support to prepare local people for new and emerging job opportunities from developing sectors: supporting the development of a more environmentally sustainable economy and training for jobs in the emerging ‘green economy’, and providing aspirational support for people to secure work in the rapidly developing creative production sector, much of this enabled by the development of studio space of national significance on Reading’s borders.

  

The report explained that the proposed programme would feature a greater level of outreach activity through council services and the community and voluntary sectors to ensure it was more accessible and targeted. This could include using neutral and more user-friendly spaces such as libraries and community centres.  Specific groups targeted would include schools in more deprived wards, the over 50s, women and people from minority ethnic communities. Access to opportunity would ensure those with supported employment needs as well as the longer term unemployed were reached.  Much of this work would involve working closely with New Directions (the Council’s own adult education service), statutory agencies and voluntary organisations dedicated to supporting specific communities through adult employment support, sector skills training and government led programmes such as Multiply.

 

Appendix A to the report set out the detail of the programmes to be delivered between 2022 and 2024 continuing the work to support local people into self-employment, develop sector skills, and find good quality work against a backdrop of rising costs and austerity.  A total of £236,500 of S106 developer contributions was proposed to be allocated across the delivery programmes of Future Skills / New Job Growth, Start Up in the Community, Job and Recruitment Support, Core Skills and Up-Skilling and Small Business Development.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)        That the proposed delivery framework for targeted employment and skills outcomes for all parts of Reading’s community, as enabled by Section 106 Employment and Skills Plans and Financial Contributions, be approved;

 

(2)        That the action plan tailored to the needs of the local economy following the impacts of the cost of living crisis and cost of doing business crisis on residents and small business, and the allocation of £236,500 of S106 developer contributions to support the delivery of the action plan, be approved;

 

(3)        That the Council continue its commitment to close partnership working to support REDA (the trading name of Reading UK CIC) and its partners to manage and deliver this programme to ensure the sustainable economic recovery of Reading.

 

(Councillor Brock declared a prejudicial interest in this Item on the grounds that he was a Director and Vice-Chair of REDA.  He left the meeting and took no part in the debate or decision.)

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


15/12/2022 - 2022/23 Quarter 2 Performance and Monitoring Report ref: 826    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2022 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 23/01/2023

Effective from: 15/12/2022

Decision:

The Director of Finance submitted a report setting out the projected revenue and capital outturn positions for 2022/23 for both the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Accounts as at the end of Quarter 2 (September 2022), as well as performance against the measures of success published in the Council’s Corporate Plan.  The following documents were attached to the report:

 

      Appendix 1 – Financial Monitoring for Quarter 2

      Appendix 2 – Capital Programme for Quarter 2

      Appendix 3 – Corporate Plan Measures for Quarter 2

      Appendix 4 – Corporate Plan Projects for Quarter 2

 

The report stated that the forecast General Fund revenue outturn position at the end of Quarter 2 included a projected adverse net variance on service expenditure of £3.509m. This variance was offset by a projected £4.776m positive net variance on Corporate Budgets, of which £3.627m related to the unallocated Corporate Contingency, resulting in a projected overall positive net variance of £1.267m.  The forecast adverse variance on services included net pressures totalling £1.232m within Adult Care and Health Services relating to care cost pressures; £1.389m within Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services, primarily relating to ongoing income shortfalls in Car Parking and Planning as an ongoing impact of Covid-19; £1.437m within Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC), relating to pay, inflation and demand pressures; and a total of £0.158m across Resources and Chief Executive Services. Detailed explanations for these variances were set out in the report.  The pressures were offset by positive net variances within Corporate Budgets, specifically £1.908m on Capital Financing Costs as a result of the 2021/22 Capital Programme outturn position and £3.627m on Corporate Contingencies.

 

The report explained that £1.935m (19%) of budgeted savings had been delivered to date in this financial year, with a further £5.020m (49%) of savings on track to be delivered by March 2023. £2.084m (20%) of savings were currently categorised as non-deliverable and £1.185m (12%) categorised as at risk of delivery. There was therefore a potential impact on the 2023/24 budget should these savings not be deliverable on a recurring basis and they would be reviewed as part of the 2023/24 budget setting and 2023/24-2025/26 Medium Term Financial Strategy processes.

 

The report sought approval for amendments to the General Fund Capital Programme, following a review during Quarter 2. The amended Capital Programme was now forecasting a positive net variance of £1.201m against a proposed revised budget of £80.027m in 2022/23. This variance related to £1.151m of the Delivery Fund that had not yet been allocated to specific proposals as at the end of Quarter 2 and a forecast positive variance of £0.050m on approved Delivery Fund allocations. 

 

The report also noted that the Housing Revenue Account was projecting a positive net variance of £2.662m as at the end of Quarter 2, which resulted in a forecast contribution to HRA reserves of £0.508m.  The HRA Capital Programme was forecasting an adverse variance of £0.060m against a revised budget of £27.828m in 2022/23.

 

The report also set out performance against the measures of success published in the Council’s Corporate Plan and key projects and initiatives helping to deliver the Council’s mission and priorities.  In Quarter 2 the target had been achieved for 54% of the measures of success and performance was within 10% of the target for 29%.

 

Resolved –

 

          (1)      That it be noted that:

 

a)    The forecast General Fund revenue outturn position as at the end of Quarter 2 was a positive net variance of £1.267m;

b)    The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) was projecting a positive net variance of £2.662m as at the end of Quarter 2, which results in a forecast contribution to HRA reserves of £0.508m;

c)    £1.935m (19%) of savings had been delivered (blue) to date in this financial year, with a further £5.020m (49%) of savings on track to be delivered (green) by March 2022. £2.084m (20%) of savings were currently categorised as non-deliverable (red) and £1.185m (12%) categorised as at risk of delivery (amber);

d)    There was a total £4.065m Delivery Fund available for 2022/23 (inclusive of 2021/22 approved carry forwards). At Quarter 2, £2.914m of this funding has been allocated out to approved schemes;

e)    The General Fund Capital Programme was reporting a positive net variance of £1.201m against a revised budget of £80.027m;

f)     The HRA Capital Programme was forecasting an adverse variance of £0.060m against a revised budget of £27.828m;

g)    The performance achieved against the Corporate Plan success measures was as set out in Section 12 of this report and Appendices 3 and 4.

 

(2)        That the BFfC Contract Sum for 2022/23 be increased by £0.707m in order to fund the additional pressure arising from the 2022/23 pay award;

 

(3)        That the amendments to the General Fund Capital Programme (as set out in further detail in Section 11 of the report and Appendix 2) be agreed, resulting in a revised budget of £80.027m;

 

(4)        That the amendments to the HRA Capital Programme (as set out in further detail in Section 11 of the report and Appendix 2) be agreed, resulting in a revised budget of £27.828m;

 

(5)        That spend approval be given for the Capital Programme Schemes set out in Table 10 totalling £0.880m and paragraph 11.9 totalling £0.162m.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


15/12/2022 - Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023/24 - 2025/26 Update ref: 825    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2022 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 23/01/2023

Effective from: 15/12/2022

Decision:

The Director of Finance submitted a report providing an update on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) prior to public consultation on the Council’s proposed Budget.  The following documents were attached to the report:

 

·       Appendix 1 - Summary of Interim General Fund Budget 2023/24 to 2025/26

·       Appendix 2 - Summary of General Fund Budget Changes 2023/24 to 2025/26

·       Appendices 3a and 3b - General Fund and HRA Capital Programmes 2023/24 to 2025/26

·       Appendix 4 - Flexible Capital Receipts Strategy

·       Appendix 5 - Equality Impact Assessment

 

The report noted that the updated MTFS had been developed to reflect the changing landscape in which local authorities were now operating including the economic effects of the conflict in the Ukraine and uncertainty created by Brexit and a change in leadership of the UK Government.  The MTFS reports for the previous two years had been dominated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which had increased costs and reduced levels of income.  Although the situation had improved, income levels had still not returned to pre Covid-19 levels in a number of cases.  The updated MTFS proposed further re-profiling of income targets to later years, although not on the scale previously required.  Initially the impact of lost income had been offset by grant funding from Central Government, but this was no longer the case. It was noted that the high levels of inflation currently being experienced might subdue economic activity and in turn a further reduction in income levels to the Council.

 

The report explained that there were significant pressures in the social care system and that the updated MTFS included an increase of just over £4m in the budget for Adult Social Care services for next year to fund the impact of those cost pressures, including the ongoing commitment to fund care providers at a level that allowed them to pay staff at the rate recommended by the Living Wage Foundation rather than the lower national living wage rate set by central government.  In addition, an initial assessment had been undertaken of the financial impact of Adult Social Care funding reforms, which were included as cost pressures in year 3 of the MTFS following the announcement to push back the reforms to 2025/26.  The MTFS also assumed that the Business Rate reset originally assumed to happen in 2022/23 would not now happen until 2024/25 at the earliest.  The proposed budget also included an increase in the Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) contract sum for 2023/24 of £2.2m. This included inflationary increases and a growth pressure in respect of Home to School Transport that had previously been assumed to be absorbed by BFfC. Bids for additional discretionary funding had not yet been agreed and negotiations are ongoing.

 

Appendix 3 attached to the report set out the draft capital programmes, the financing cost of which would be included in the revenue budget.  The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities had published a consultation on changes to the capital framework for Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP proposed to become effective from April 2023 onwards.  The outcome of this consultation was still outstanding and the draft MTFS assumed that the changes would not be implemented.

 

The report outlined other considerations in drafting the MTFS including the impact of the Environment Bill proposals on Waste Operations which was included as a cost pressure in Year 3, and the removal of the 1.25% increase in employers National Insurance contributions and other funding in respect of the Health and Social Care.  A general Council Tax increase of 1.99% and an additional Adult Social Care precept of 1% were assumed across each of the three years.  There was an estimated funding gap of £2.394m in 2023/24 which would need to be addressed to comply with the legal requirement to set a balanced budget.

 

The report explained that a period of public consultation on the budget would commence on 19 December 2022 and conclude on 19 January 2023.  Following the conclusion of the consultation a further report would be submitted to the Committee on 20 February 2023 recommending approval of a balanced budget to Full Council in order that it could approve its budget, associated Council Tax level and precept for 2023/24 at its meeting on 28 February 2023.

 

Resolved –

 

          That the Draft Medium Term Financial Strategy as set out in the Appendices to the report be noted, including:

 

a)     the Council’s General Fund Budget Requirement of £158.825m for 2023/24 and an assumed increase in the band D Council Tax for the Council of 1.99% plus an additional 1.00% Adult Social Care precept, or £54.71 per annum representing a band D Council Tax of £1,884.43 per annum as set out in paragraphs 12.1 to 12.3 of the report;

 

b)     the proposed service savings and efficiencies of (£3.7m) and additional income of (£1.5m) currently proposed in 2023/24 and set out in Appendix 2;

 

c)     the overall savings currently proposed within the MTFS of (£9.6m) (of which changes to income, fees and charges was (£3.0m));

 

d)     the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2023/24 to 2025/26 as set out in Appendix 3;

 

e)     the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account Capital Programmes as set out in Appendices 3a and 3b;

 

f)     the Strategy for the use of flexible capital receipts to deliver future transformation and ongoing savings as set out in Appendix 4.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


07/12/2022 - 221544/FUL - Kings Meadow Woodland, Napier Road ref: 815    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 07/12/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 13/01/2023

Effective from: 07/12/2022

Decision:

Temporary Change of Use for up to 45 days in a calendar year, to Change from Class F2 (Local Community Uses) to Christmas Party Events at Kings Meadow, with the site being restored to its former condition at, or before 14:00hrs on 31st December 2022

 

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

 

Comments were received and considered.

 

Resolved –

 

          That temporary planning permission for application 221544/FUL be granted, subject to the conditions and informatives set out in the report.

Wards affected: Thames;


07/12/2022 - 221493/TPO - 5 Hampstead Court, Grovelands Road ref: 816    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 07/12/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 13/01/2023

Effective from: 07/12/2022

Decision:

Works to protected trees.

 

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

 

Resolved –

 

          That the proposed tree works under application 221493/TPO be approved.

 

(Councillor Ennis declared a prejudicial interest in the above application on the grounds that he was the applicant.  He left the meeting and took no part in the discussion or decision).

Wards affected: Norcot;


07/12/2022 - 220258/FUL - 220 Elgar Road South ref: 817    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 07/12/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 13/01/2023

Effective from: 07/12/2022

Decision:

Residential redevelopment comprising demolition of existing single storey building and erection of 16 dwellings together with associated works (re-submission of application 210526).

 

The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above application.  An update report was tabled at the meeting which set out information on access to open space at Waterloo Meadows.

 

Comments and objections were received and considered.

 

At the meeting it was moved and agreed that the application be refused for the reasons set out in the resolution below.

 

Resolved –

 

          That planning permission for application 220258/FUL be refused for the following reasons:

 

(1)      The proposed development only includes one 3-bedroom dwelling, significantly below the policy requirement of 50%, and therefore fails to contribute adequately to the need for family sized accommodation contrary to Policy H2 (Density and Mix) of the Reading Borough Local Plan 2019;

 

(2)      The proposed development includes insufficient outdoor amenity space and is not reflective of the context of development in the vicinity, which would detrimentally affect the overall amenity and living conditions for future residents contrary to Policy CC7 (Design and the Public Realm), Policy CC8 (Safeguarding Amenity) and Policy H10 (Private and Communal Outdoor Space) EN9 (Provision of Open Space) and EN14 (Trees, Hedges and Woodlands) of the Reading Borough Local Plan (2019));

 

(3)      In the absence of a completed S106 Legal Agreement the proposed development fails to contribute adequately to the employment, skills or training needs of local people with associated socio-economic harm, contrary to Policy CC9 (Securing Infrastructure) of the Reading Borough Local Plan (2019) and the Employment Skills and Training SPD (2013), fails to adequately contribute to the Affordable Housing needs within the Borough contrary to policies CC9 (Securing Infrastructure) and H3 (Affordable Housing) of the Reading Borough Local Plan (2019), Affordable Housing SPD (2021) and Planning Obligations under S106 SPD (2015), fails to provide suitable mitigation for its impacts on energy use/climate change contrary to Policy H5 (Standards for New Housing) and CC9 (Securing Infrastructure) of the Reading Borough Local Plan (2019) and the Council’s adopted Sustainable Design and Construction SPD (2019) and Planning Obligations under Section 106 SPD (2015) and fails to make adequate provision for open space contrary to Policy EN9 (Provision of Open Space) of the Reading Borough Local Plan (2019).

Wards affected: Katesgrove;


07/12/2022 - 220856/REG3 - Former Family Centre North Street ref: 818    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 07/12/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 13/01/2023

Effective from: 07/12/2022

Decision:

Development of 37 new affordable dwellings including vehicular, cycle and pedestrian access, parking and hard and soft landscaping as an amended scheme to the extant scheme for 41 dwellings under planning permission 191659.

 

The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above application.  An update report was tabled at the meeting which set out additional information on sustainability.

 

Comments were received and considered.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)        That the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection Services be authorised to grant full planning permission for application 220856/REG3, subject to completion of a unilateral undertaking by 23 December 2022 (unless a later date be agreed by the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection Services) to secure the Heads of Terms as 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 as recommended in the original report.

 

(Councillor Emberson declared a prejudicial interest in this item on the grounds of predetermination as she had promoted the scheme as Lead Councillor for Housing.­  She left the meeting and took no part in the debate or decision).

Wards affected: Abbey;


07/12/2022 - 221520/LBC - Various locations, central Reading ref: 819    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 07/12/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 13/01/2023

Effective from: 07/12/2022

Decision:

Listed Building Consent for works including repairs and cleaning to Zinzan Chest Tomb, Jubilee Cross, Simeon Monument and Victoria Statue

 

The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above application.  An update report was tabled at the meeting which set out additional information on materials, an amendment to the proposed wording on the Jubilee Cross inscription and a summary of further consultation responses received.  An amendment to the condition regarding materials was recommended.

 

Comments were received and considered.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)        That, subject to no substantive objections being received before the expiry of the consultation period on 8 December 2022, the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport & Public Protection Services be authorised to grant Listed Building Consent for application 221520/LBC;

 

(2)        That consent be subject to the conditions and informatives as recommended in the original report, with the amended condition as recommended in the update report.

Wards affected: Abbey;


07/12/2022 - 22123/FUL - 138-144 Friar Street ref: 820    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 07/12/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 13/01/2023

Effective from: 07/12/2022

Decision:

Demolition of No’s 138-141 & 142-143 Friar St, partial demolition of No. 144 Friar St and erection of ground, mezzanine and 1st to 6th floor (7 storey) hotel building with 163 bedspaces (Class C1), with ancillary ground floor lounge, bar and restaurant and associated works.

 

The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above application.  An update report was tabled at the meeting which set out additional responses to the public consultation, additional information submitted by the applicant, an update on daylight and sunlight matters, an update on sustainability and energy matters, an update in relation to pre-commencement conditions and an updated conclusion.  The update report also recommended an amendment to proposed Condition 5 regarding demolition works and a related additional informative, and three additional conditions regarding sustainability and energy.

 

Comments and objections were received and considered.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)        That the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection Services be authorised to grant full planning permission for application 221235/FUL, subject to completion of a section 106 legal agreement by 21 December 2022 (unless a later date be agreed by the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection Services) to secure the Heads 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 as recommended in the original report, with the amended condition and additional conditions and informative as recommended in the update report.

Wards affected: Abbey;


07/12/2022 - 221232/FUL & 221233/LBC - 1-15 Queen Victoria Street & 145-148 Friar Street ref: 814    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 07/12/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 13/01/2023

Effective from: 07/12/2022

Decision:

221232/FUL - Demolition of No. 146 Friar St and structures to rear and partial demolition of  No.  145  Friar  St  and  various  external  works  to  other  existing  buildings,  as  part  of  redevelopment to provide: reconfigured basement and ground floor uses (Class E(a) or (b)) on  Friar  St  and Queen  Victoria  St  frontages  and  proposed  apart-hotel  (Class  C1)  at  part-basement, part-ground and on all upper floors; part-two, part-three storey rear extension to No’s 5-15 (odd) Queen Victoria St; replacement basement and five storey building at No. 145  Friar  St  and two-storey  roof  extension  to  No.  146  Friar  St;  proposed  public courtyard accessed  via Queen  Victoria  St  walkway;  roof  level  plant;  and  various  other  associated  works.

 

221233/LBC - Various internal and external works associated with No’s 147 and 148 Friar St and No’s 1 – 15  (odd)  Queen  Victoria  St,  including  part-two, part-three  storey  rear  extension to  No’s  5-15 (odd) Queen Victoria St, as part of redevelopment to provide reconfigured basement and  ground floor  uses  (Class  E(a)  or  (b))  on  Friar  St  and  Queen  Victoria  St  frontages  and  proposed apart-hotel (Class C1) and on all upper floors.

 

The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above applications.  An update report was tabled at the meeting which set out information on: floor space and CIL, additional information submitted by the applicant, an omission from the site planning history set out in the original report, a further response to the public consultation, sunlight matters, sustainability and energy matters and pre-commencement conditions / clarifications regarding repair works to 12 roof level gables at 1-15 Queen Victoria Street and 148 Friar Street. 

 

The update report also summarised additions to the recommended conditions and set out an updated conclusion.  For application 221232/FUL amended wording was recommended for conditions 3, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27 and 28, to include reference to the roof level gables, and four additional conditions (relating to sustainability, energy and the roof gables) and one additional informative were recommended.

 

Comments were received and considered.

 

Resolved –

 

          221232/FUL

 

(1)        That the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection Services be authorised to grant planning permission subject to the completion of a Section 106 legal agreement by 21 December 2022 (unless a later date be agreed by the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Regulatory Services) to secure the Heads 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 as recommended in the original report, with the amended and additional conditions and additional informative as set out in the update report;

 

          221233/LBC

 

(4)        That listed building consent for application 221233/LBC be granted, subject to the conditions and informatives as recommended in the original report.

Wards affected: Abbey;


07/12/2022 - 220028/FUL - 62 Goldsmid Road ref: 813    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 07/12/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 13/01/2023

Effective from: 07/12/2022

Decision:

Proposed erection of a part single part two storey rear extension to dwelling, following demolition of the existing outbuilding and conversion to HMO.

 

The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the above application.  A verbal update was given at the meeting to clarify that Councillors Page and Rowland had called in the application.

 

Comments and objections were received and considered.

 

Resolved –

 

          That consideration of application 2200028/FUL be deferred for more information on the proposed kitchen layout and how potential ventilation issues would be addressed.

Wards affected: Abbey;


07/12/2022 - 62 Tilehurst Road - Proposal to add to the List of Locally-Important Buildings and Structures ref: 812    For Determination

Decision Maker: Planning Applications Committee

Made at meeting: 07/12/2022 - Planning Applications Committee

Decision published: 13/01/2023

Effective from: 07/12/2022

Decision:

The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on a proposal to add 62 Tilehurst Road to the List of Locally-Important Buildings and Structures.  The following documents were attached to the report:

 

·       Appendix 1: Location map

·       Appendix 2: Relevant photos and images

·       Appendix 3: Proposed Local List text

·       Appendix 4: Nomination form

 

The report set out details of consultation on the proposal and an assessment against the criteria in Appendix 2 of the Reading Borough Local Plan, concluding with reasons why the building qualified for addition to the Local List.

 

At the meeting the Committee expressed interest in inclusion of the neighbouring Coach House within the Listing on the grounds that the buildings formed a group which as a whole had a unified architectural or historic value to the local area.  Officers were requested to carry out the required consultation on the Coach House and report back to a future meeting of the Committee.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)           That 62 Tilehurst Road be added to the list of Locally-Important Buildings and Structures;

 

(2)           That a report be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee on the potential inclusion of the Coach House within the Listing.

Wards affected: Battle;