Rutland County Council set to consider children’s centre move plans after they were rejected by planning committee

Rutland County Council news. Photo: Alan Walters EMN-150923-095002001
Rutland County Council news. Photo: Alan Walters EMN-150923-095002001
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Plans to build a new home for Visions Children’s Centre next to Oakham Library were rejected this week by a planning committee but will now be considered by the whole council.

Members of the council’s development control and licensing committee met on Tuesday and refused plans for a single-storey extension to the existing Oakham Library building to house Visions services.

But now that decision is being referred to full council, which will meet at 7pm on Monday, November 14 in the main council chamber. There it will be discussed by all 26 of the county’s elected members. The agenda will be published seven days before the meeting.

The application was considered on Tuesday but the committee voted to refuse planning permission by seven votes to four on the grounds that designs for the new building were inappropriate and would have a negative impact on the surrounding Conservation Area.

The four members of the committee who voted against the refusal have since requested the decision be referred to full council. They are Conservative councillors David Wilby, Tony Mathias, James Lammie and Gary Conde.

Leader and portfolio holder for development Terry King (Con) was present at Tuesday’s meeting but declared an interest and did not cast a vote.

He said: “The development control and licensing committee makes decisions about planning applications but these powers are delegated to the committee by full council.

“Where committee members believe a decision needs further consideration they can refer it back to full council for wider discussion and so that all elected members become involved in the decision making process. This is what is now happening in relation to the children’s centre decision.”

Last week, some residents of Alwyne Close, Oakham, which is adjacent to the library, contacted the Mercury to say they were opposed to the move.

They cited concerns, including traffic congestion, a lack of parking, and a perceived lack of communication with those living nearby about the proposals.

Ahead of the meeting they handed out leaflets urging people to attend Tuesday’s meeting. About 30 residents attended.

The planned refurbishment of Oakham Library, which is due to commence in January 2017, is unaffected by the decision and will go ahead as planned.

Initial proposals to relocate Visions Children Centre from Catmose College to a new location in Oakham were added to the council’s forward plan in July and were approved by cabinet on September 20.