SANDLEFORD Park developer Bloor Homes has submitted a fresh application for 1,000 homes and one primary school and is urging West Berkshire Council to approve it “without delay”.
Bloor knows that the council is relying heavily on the Sandleford development to meet its housing targets and has put in the new plans to “facilitate early delivery of this important allocated site”.
Bloor’s previous application – for 2,000 homes and two new primary schools – included land owned by a third party, Donnington New Homes.
However, the two parties have been unable to work together to come up with a single application, so Bloor has simply decided to submit one just for the land it owns in an attempt to prevent any further delays.
But there is a problem – that goes against the council’s request for a single application for the entire site.
Say No to Sandleford campaigner Peter Norman has this week accused Bloor of displaying an “extraordinary level of arrogance” by trying to ‘fast-track’ the application.
In its application, Bloor says: “The early delivery of this allocated site would strengthen the council’s housing land supply position and assist in the rebuttal of other speculative applications.”
It adds: “The development proposed is on land that is owned or controlled by the applicants.
“The accesses for which planning permission is sought involves only highway land and no third party land.
“This allows for commencement of development at Sandleford Park without delay, facilitating early delivery of this site of strategic importance for West Berkshire.
“The early delivery of this allocated site will make a significant contribution to West Berkshire’s housing need.
“The planning application which accords with the Development Plan Sandleford Park Planning Statement should be approved without delay.”
On the subject of the council’s housing targets, it says: “The most recent appeal decisions in West Berkshire indicate that the council cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land, thus the importance of the timely delivery of this allocated site is given heightened importance.”
Bloor says that under this application, first completions could be expected in 2018, with 400 new homes being provided by the end of 2022.
A spokesman for Bloor Homes, Simon Faulkner, said: “In order to facilitate early delivery of this important allocated site, Bloor Homes and Sandleford Farm Partnership has prepared a further outline application for up to 1,000 homes, a primary school, local facilities, significant open space including a country park and wider infrastructure.
“This application covers a smaller area of land in comparison to the original application and relates to land within our control.”