RESIDENTS have criticised the designs of more than 700 homes destined for the eastern edge of Newbury Racecourse’s housing development.
Developer David Wilson Homes has submitted detailed plans for the appearance, layout, scale and landscaping of up to 712 properties in the eastern wedge of the course. The plans also include retail and community facilities and a coach park.
West Berkshire Council has already granted overall planning permission for building the homes, which contribute towards the 1,500 properties that are being built at the course.
The stretch of course where the homes are to be built is outside the settlement boundary and residents at Lower Farm, which borders the site, have accused the developer of not sticking to promises made regarding the height and design of the housing that will border a nature reserve and conservation area.
The developer states in its application that the four-storey apartment building drops to give way to three-storey town houses, and that a variety of house types and heights has been used in the housing area.
It adds the design of the buildings has been influenced by the nearby buildings at Lower Farm Court.
However, one resident, Mrs Savage, said that locals had been assured by the racecourse’s former joint managing director Sarah Hordern and David Wilson Home’s Giuseppe Zanre that the development would reflect the rural nature of the site, and landscaping would be provided to screen residents from the development. Instead, she said, the developer was now pushing for monotonous, overbearing town houses and flats with no con-sideration for the surrounding rural area.
Another resident, Marie Lewis, highlighted the fact that residents at the western end of racecourse development were already reporting problems with parking owing to a lack of spaces, something she feared would be repeated in the eastern area.
West Berkshire’s Council’s transport officers are also concerned, saying that it would be vital to avoid repeating the problems that are being caused by overspill parking at the western end.
Lower Farm resident Adrian Abbs said that the tranquil landscape outside the settlement boundary would be destroyed and, unless very careful consideration were giv-en, developers would use the inappropriate plan to justify further building and turn the area into a huge housing estate.
“This development brings many issues, as well as houses, to Newbury.”
However, the project man-ager at David Wilson Homes, Daniel Pavely, told the Newbury Weekly News yesterday (Wednesday) that it was trying to address residents’ concerns and was submitting new drawings for the housing, with both the height of the apartment building and the proposed three-storey houses at the eastern side, reduced to two storeys.
“We want to make sure the eastern corner is sympathetic to the area. We want to improve things and we're to do as much as we can to alleviate these concerns,” he said.
To check on the application, type number 14/03377RESMAJ into West Berkshire Council’s planning portal on its website www.westberks.gov.uk