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Bid for 199 homes comes under fire

Town council objects to Hungerford's 'biggest development for 20 years'

John Garvey

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John Garvey

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PLANNERS are to consider an application to build 119 new homes in Hungerford – the largest single development in the town over the past two decades.

The proposed site is land off Salisbury Road, earmarked as ideal for development for “approximately 100” homes in West Berkshire Council’s housing site allocation Development Plan Document (DPD).

However, the town council is withering in its response to developing that particular area.

The application states: “The scheme provides a mix of different types and tenures of housing, including affordable housing directed at contributing to local needs and expanding choice in the area.”

The proposals have been submitted by applicants CALA Management Limited and Wates Developments Limited.

The applicants’ agent, PRO Vision, states: “The proposed development takes the form of a logical urban extension on the southern edge of Hungerford.”

It is said to comprise around 40 per cent of affordable homes and the cost of construction is said reportedly around £4.49m.

The statement adds: “This direct expenditure during construction will be of significant benefit to the local economy.

“Indirect and induced expenditure during construction will also have a positive local economic impact.

“The average spend per household in the UK per annum is circa £25,150.

“A development of 119 households will therefore generate spending power of about £2,992,850 per annum.”

Hungerford Town Council’s environment and planning committee has yet to discuss the specific application.

However, in its response to the DPD, the town council stated that it favoured “pepperpotting” new homes around several other sites.

It said of the application site that developing it “would increase traffic impacts on the A338 thorough the town centre” and that “what is proposed is far larger than any single development in Hungerford in the last 20 years”.

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The town council also warned that such a proposal would bring about the “irrevocable development of part of what has been acknowledged as a protected landscape”.

Its response added: “Hungerford Town Council considers that the existing development at Kennedy Meadow to the north of the proposed allocation already extends the town further to the south than would have been desirable.

“The proposed allocation would extend the built-up area still further south.”

Regarding any predicted economic benefit, the town council opined: “Patterns of expenditure by new households are difficult to predict, and it could not be said with any confidence that more expenditure would be retained in the local area from the proposed site than from any others.”

In addition, the council concluded, the site is “located in a protected landscape to which the highest degree of protection is afforded”.

The application can be viewed in full, and commented upon, by visiting the planning section of West Berkshire Council’s website and using the reference 16/03061/OUTMAJ.

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Article comments

  • juzzthefuzz

    04/12/2016 - 23:11

    Another much needed scheme of housing quashed, because of desirability. Does it matter that its a little further south than "desirable". When it comes to proving homes for people who really need them, you cannot afford to be nit-picky about whether its desirable or not. Is it doable? Yes. Is it practical? Yes. Does it provide homes for our ever growing population? Yes! The majority of the problem with house prices comes down to town councils approving and declining the wrong kinds of development. Just look at Market Street in Newbury. 6% affordable. The remaining 94% will be out of reach to most of the first time buyers in the area. The last two housing estates to be declined permission (Station Road near Speen and this one) both had 40% affordable housing. More than West Berkshire council sets as a standard, yet they get declined. What is going to happen to those on lower wages, just scraping the barrel, trying to move out of their parents houses?

    Reply

    • GlassHalfFull

      05/12/2016 - 13:01

      "Does it matter that its a little further south than "desirable".". That depends on why it's desirable. In this case - Yes. Look at a map. The vast majority of traffic leaving Hungerford is heading to the A4 or M4 (to Reading, Newbury, Swindon or to link up with the A34). Very little is heading south on the A338 to Burbage. By building to the south of Hungerford, all that traffic must go through the already-congested high street (or use the rat-runs of Lower Denford or Kintbury). Instead, the planners should concentrate on building north of Hungerford where there are acres of land next to the A4. It's not about whether the houses should be built, it's a case of being sensible about WHERE they are built. PS. The headine appears to be wrong - it says 199 houses while the article in several places mentions 119.

      Reply

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