PLANS to build a further 22 flats on the former Travis Perkins site in Mill Lane, Newbury, have finally been rubber stamped by West Berkshire Council.
The application for the one- and two-bed apartments had already been approved by the council’s western area planning committee and the district planning committee, and, following the agreement of section 106 obligations with the developer, work can now begin.
The plans will mean the loss of protected employment land, but will guarantee the local authority much-needed affordable homes.
At a meeting in September 2016, members of the council’s district planning committee agreed with officers’ recommendations to approve the plans.
It was the inclusion of 11 affordable homes that ultimately swayed councillors in favour of the plans, despite the scheme proposing to build residential units in an industrial area.
Developer David Wilson Homes had initially planned to build an office block, along with the now-completed 37 homes on the site, in 2014.
However, after being unable to find any takers for the proposed office space, the developer submitted an application to build 22 two-bed homes on the site instead.
And, in an effort to secure planning permission, David Wilson Homes offered to build 50 per cent affordable homes in a section 106 agreement, rather than the usual 30 per cent required when developing on a brownfield site.
To make sure the developer delivers on its promise, Alan Law (Con, Basildon) said at the meeting in September: “They have agreed a section 106 for 50-per-cent affordable housing.
“If it doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t get approved.”
And last week the council ratified the decision agreeing the s106 terms with the developer.