'Dog's dinner' Barkham plans refusedBy Laura Herbert
January 24, 2013
Plans to use part of the countryside in Barkham for business and storage use have been refused.
David Cook submitted a retrospective application to Wokingham Borough Council to use part of the site at Woodlands Farm, in Wood Lane, for storage and to park vehicles.
At the council’s planning committee meeting last Wednesday Pam Stubbs, chairwoman of Barkham Parish Council, said: “This is an application that should never have been allowed to proceed to this stage.
“This is an applicant who has played the planning system over the last 10 years or more. The planning department have been working with the applicant to make the problem go away and that’s to grant him anything he could ever want.”
Part of the site was previously granted a certificate of lawfulness and the remaining area of land is part of the planning application.
Steve Arnold, who works as a planning consultant and represents people living in the area, said: “This is one of the worst cases of breaching planning controls I have ever experienced.
“The officers appear to say nothing can be done but to recommend approval. This is not sustainable development and any so-called benefits are demonstrably outweighed.”
Neighbours objected to the plans fearing increased traffic and HGVs travelling past The Coombes Primary School.
Committee member Councillor Lindsay Ferris, added: “This application is a dog’s dinner. I’m very concerned about how we deal with situations that have occurred like this.”
Seven committee members voted to refuse the application and one councillor voted to approve.