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Plans for 75 homes in Cold Ash set to be decided tonight

Controversial housing project recommended for approval

Chris Ord

Reporter:

Chris Ord

Contact:

01635 886639

Cold Ash planning - Col011 - cold ash hill

PLANS for a 75-home development in north Newbury could get the go-ahead tonight (Thursday), after councillors initially rejected the application at a meeting in November.

Proposals for the new homes on land at Coley Farm in Stoney Lane, Cold Ash, will go before West Berkshire Council’s district planning committee when members will ultimately decide if the project is to go ahead or not.

Last month, members of the western area planning committee voted to controversially reject the plans, despite the land having been included in the council’s own list of preferred development sites.

The plans, submitted by Newbury developer Donnington New Homes, would see a mix of one-, two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom homes built on the 3.75 hectare site, with 40 per cent of the homes to be affordable.

Donnington New Homes also plans to include a total of 162 parking spaces and two access points on to Stoney Lane, which would be widened in an effort to improve safety.

The plans have once again been recommended for approval by the council’s planning officer, who states in his report to the committee: “If all technical difficulties arising from the proposal are satisfied [and officers have concluded that this is indeed the case] the development is acceptable, and, indeed, will deliver important planning benefits in terms of affordable housing and the widening of an existing substandard highway at no cost to the council.

“There is also the enhancement of local play areas, to take into account and locally improved footway provision.”

The report goes on to note that if the plans are rejected it would “fundamentally undermine the council’s adopted plan-led approach to new housing in the district”.

Any such move, according to the council’s planning officer, would seriously weaken the council’s defence of the “many ongoing housing appeals”, such as Henwick Park and Seige Cross on the outskirts of Thatcham.

The application came in for heavy criticism in front of the western area planning committee, however, with concerns over flooding and the impact on the local landscape.

Residents, parish councillors and West Berkshire ward councillor Garth Simpson (Con, Cold Ash) warned members about the road safety issues that would arise as a result of the increased traffic, with Mr Simpson telling the committee they would have “blood on their hands” if the scheme was approved.

Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News this week, Mr Simpson said he “sincerely hoped” his fellow councillors would again opt to refuse planning permission.

He said: “I think the thoughts I expressed at the western area planning meeting remain exactly the same.

“You have experienced people from the eastern and western planning committees making the decision on Thursday and I hope to achieve the same result.”

He added: “I still have very grave concerns as to why it got in the portfolio of preferred sites in the first place.”

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Article comments

  • boris

    15/12/2016 - 20:08

    A single track Stoney Lane, suffers from poor visibility, obstructed by curves and no lighting, etc, • At least 5 recent accidents, including an upturned car, head-on collision, a car crashing into a boundary fence and catching fire, a lorry reversing into a driveway and knocking it down, etc took place on Stoney Lane, demonstrating already existing, un-mitigatable problems of the landscape restricting road safety • Currently, 140 households are situated on Stoney Lane. Addition of another 75-100 houses will increase the amount of traffic down the Stoney lane into Kiln/Turnpike Rd by 50-80%. • Stoney Lane (widely used by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders) will be made even more dangerous, especially after adding a site entrance, or two (!) into the new Development from the Stoney Lane. • Unrealistic mitigation suggested by Council, like “improving travel choices” (!!!), when there are NONE. • Kiln and Turnpike roads’ safety will decrease due to extra traffic too. These roads are w

    Reply

    • Bombey

      16/12/2016 - 11:11

      Stoney Lane is to be widened as part of the scheme.

      Reply

  • boris

    15/12/2016 - 20:08

    We have plenty of immigrants in newbury and as the majority live as more than one family per house because they cannot afford the rent they keep the rent prices high and as for the likes of donnington new homes they will just keep appealing till they get it through Stoney lane is not really a two lane road in some parts 75 houses 150 more cars creating more congestion as there is no public transport up there but who cares the builders greed and avarice they do not care about destruction of country land and the harm they cause to people living in the vicinity lets see if they would like it built next to where they live probably not ay mr norgate

    Reply

  • Tommy

    15/12/2016 - 14:02

    This country is in desperate need of more social housing, you need to be on a very good income to buy these days, something not everyone, shop workers etc. are not. But of course around wealthy Newbury there is always the cry of 'OH NO' from the NOT IN MY BACK YARD contingent.

    Reply

    • Bombey

      15/12/2016 - 18:06

      plans are to be approved....no nimbyism here...

      Reply

  • Louise

    Louise

    15/12/2016 - 10:10

    Donnington New Homes will only be happy when all fields around area, are built on whole area covered with unsustainable developments/ supposedly to help WBC meet outlandish Government housing targets. Driven in considerable part by the immigration crisis overwhelming UK, where host nation is expected to house/ educate & feed them. Other nations sensibly do not prostrate themselves in such a manner. Once Donnington New Homes built on all the local greenfields, will then see new venture to continue their insatiable desire to make ever more money, regardless of the impact on others..

    Reply

    • rach1978

      15/12/2016 - 14:02

      Immigration is hardly at "crisis" proportions in Newbury, and is hardly a "considerable" part of fuelling the housing crisis - this is something which has been fuelled by headlines in the Daily Mail. It is just one of four other factors: increasing single-person households, a general increase in the adult population and an increase in the pensioner population (i.e. people are living longer and need their houses for longer). Whilst the Government housing targets might be outlandish, they are in line with what the country needs to satisfy a growing, aging and demographically changing population. I am, however, vehemently against greenbelt development and Newbury, as a town, has an infrastructure which is already creaking at the scenes. It simply can't support new developments (which the town does need) without radical change. A joined up development and infrastructure policy for West Berks as a whole is sorely needed.

      Reply

    • Bombey

      15/12/2016 - 11:11

      What immigration crisis do we have here? Are you talking about EU nationals who come to the UK to work, pay taxes & contribute to the UK economy? Why shouldn't they be able to buy a house?

      Reply

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