Loddon District Scouts will have a new meeting hall, complete with storage facilities, off Waingels Road in Charvil.
It would be larger than the site that it replaces, and is located within ancient woodland. Officers felt that the site was well screened from the road by mature trees.
The proposal would see 17 trees removed, but 57 large and small trees would be planted in their place.
Cllr Simon Weeks said that it was an enhancement of something that already existed and that it should be a straightforward application to approve as it would help younger residents as they emerge from lockdown, letting them build fires and roam in the woodland and “doing the other things that Scouts do”.
Cllr Gary Cowan (Ind, Arborfield) again raised the lack of information that councillors had received and calls for trees to be planted specific to that location.
Officers said that of the trees that would be planted include 10 English oaks, five squat pines and 10 small leaf lime trees. There would be also be hazel trees, hornbeams and these had been agreed with the council’s trees and landscaping depart-ment and that the officers were happy with the scheme.
Cllr Rachelle Shepherd Dubey (Lib Dem, Winnersh) said that it was a shame that the same couldn’t be done for other Scout troops, but Cllr Weeks said that the planning committee was not the place to discuss this
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen (Con, Hillside) said she was very much in favour of the application as it would be used by Scouts from across the borough.
Cllr Andrew Mickleburgh (Lib Dem, Hawkedon) said that the scheme had considerable merit, and called for an increase in the number of allocated parking space for bicycles. He also wanted solar panels to be considered for the application.
Cllr Weeks said that this was a heavily wooded site, which could cause problems for solar panels.
Cllr Carl Doran said that the trees were “a good replacement” but they are small trees being planted and the committee needed to mindful of that.
The committee approved the plans.