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Number of homes needed to be built in West Berkshire each year revealed

Figure "challenging" for West Berkshire owing to constraints

John Herring

Reporter:

John Herring

Email:

john.herring@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886633

Houses

665

That's how many homes that will need to be built in West Berkshire each year to meet the district's housing needs. 

The figure follows a Berkshire-wide Strategic Housing Marketing Assessment, which assesses how many homes will need to be built in the county by 2036. 

The study revealed that 4,900 homes will need to be built during this period. It also suggests how they should be split between the six Berkshire councils: 

-       Bracknell Forest: 635

-       Reading: 699

-       Slough: 927

-       South Bucks: 376

-       West Berkshire: 665

-       Windsor and Maidenhead: 712

-       Wokingham: 856

West Berkshire's counillor for planning, Alan Law (Con, Basildon) said: "In West Berkshire it’s important that we plan for the future to make sure there are enough homes for local people, especially key workers and aspiring first-time buyers. We know continued prosperity requires continued economic growth which in turn requires appropriate housing.

“It’s now clear from the studies to achieve these goals we’ll need to build 665 houses each year for the next twenty years. This will be challenging as we have a number of constraints, not least an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and significant flood plains. Also, housing is often an emotional issue and we’ll have to work hard with our communities, with landowners and house builders to achieve the appropriate balance.”

The SHMA was produced by the six Berkshire local authorities and the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership. It also assesses the need for affordable housing and what housing is needed for specific groups such as older people.

The information will be used to prepare a new  Local Plan for West Berkshire, which will be discussed with local communities and open to consultation.

The council will be announcing its preferred list of non-strategic housing sites, which could include Thatcham's Lower Way field and land off the A4 at Speen, on November 5. 

For more, see the Newbury Weekly News out on Thursday. Also visit www.westberks.gov.uk/shma.  

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