There’ll soon be a new look to a shopping frontage in Winnersh as redevelopment plans for a restaurant, takeaway and six flats has now been approved.
The proposal, which has been given the thumbs up by Wokingham Borough Council, will see the demolition of an existing building and be replaced with a 2.5 storey building comprising of two commercial units on the ground floor and six residential apartments above, along with associated parking. Of the two commercial units one will be a restaurant and the other a hot food takeaway.
These approved plans have been created taking on board feedback from council officers after a previous redevelopment proposal was refused. The refusal was due to a number of aspects including the vitality of the design, adequate parking provision and the character of the building negatively impacting the local area.
Senior Planner Rosie Brace from ET Planning worked with the client to ensure that the feedback from the previous refused plans were taken on board and that the planning statement gave evidence to how these areas and concerns had now been met.
Vitality of the design
The existing building, now due for demolition, comprises of two flats above the commercial units. This proposal seeks to increase the residential units available to four 1-bedroom apartments and two 2-bedroom apartments. This will bring a much needed housing supply to the local area.
In the planning statement it was noted that the Planning Officer stated in their Delegated Report for the previous application that “It is not considered that the provision of additional units would harmfully impact the vitality of viability of the district centre. Especially as there appear to be a significant number of other residential units in adjacent buildings”.
By reflecting council officer’s earlier statements, increasing the number of residential units in the proposal was shown as acceptable in principle.
Character of the local area
Rosie also put forward an explanation of how the character of the local area would not be negatively impacted by the new development. It was noted that in fact, the local area had a varied character and as such the high-quality design of the proposed building would actually positively contribute to this.
The planning statement also brought to the attention that the development design would meet and support Paragraph 131 of the National Planning Policy Framework which states that “In determining applications, great weight should be given to outstanding or innovative designs which promote high levels of sustainability, or help raise the standard of design more generally in an area, so long as they fit in with the overall form and layout of their surroundings.”
The plans for the site include 17 car parking spaces; 10 reserved for commercial units, 6 for residential use and 1 visitor space.
An independent transport and traffic consultant from Motion was brought in to review how members of the public, and current residents, used the site. This helped to determine if the proposed parking provision would be suitable.
Not only did the consultant verify the use of the site but they also provided evidence that the site is well located to encourage new residents to make a significant number of journeys by walking, cycling and using public transport. As such, the site actually has the potential to reduce the reliance upon using private cars.
Highlighting and addressing these core elements of the proposal was fundamental to the successful result which has now been achieved. The council, the community and our client can now move forward and wait in anticipation of this new development and all that it will bring. So, it’s a win all round!
If you’re looking to incorporate commercial and residential designs, or perhaps you’ve recently received a planning refusal and are unsure how to take it forward, talk to one of our experienced planners today so that you too can realise the vision for your planning project.