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Tadley concerns over Aldermaston Court housing scheme

Fears over manor house conversion and 227-home plan

Latest steps in Aldermaston Court housing scheme

TADLEY town councillors have raised concerns about proposals for 227 new houses just across the border at Aldermaston Court.

At a meeting of Tadley Town Council’s highways and planning committee last Monday, a cross-border consultation on the application was discussed

Plans by developer Praxis, which will be decided by West Berkshire Council, include 14 five-bedroom, 28 four-bedroom, 118 three-bedroom and 67 two-bedroom houses.

Tadley town councillors expressed concerns about the proximity of the site to AWE Aldermaston – it is within the 3km detailed emergency planning zone surrounding AWE.

Development in this zone is restricted, to allow for free and swift movement of traffic and emergency vehicles in the event of any incident at AWE, which manufactures and maintains the nuclear deterrent Trident.

Councillors said the development would create “significant extra vehicle movements” to and from the site, creating an adverse effect on local roads. 

They also pointed out that there was a lack of affordable housing included in the plans.

Praxis has said that it can’t provide affordable housing because it needs to build the 227 homes to fund the restoration of the manor house – which it wants to convert into 23 apartments.

Tadley South councillor Martin Russell said he had asked for the item to be debated owing to worries about the effects of the proposals on Tadley’s infrastructure.

This included the impact on already overstretched doctors and dentists.

Tadley East councillor John Moss pointed out there had been a hard fight to get existing houses built in the same area, near Aldermaston Primary School.

It was agreed the town council should write to West Berkshire Council expressing its concerns.

However, the town council was unable to officially object regarding any cross-border consultation.

Councillors also argued the development was a substantial change to the use of the area, which has many ancient trees on site.

In December last year, The Woodland Trust launched a campaign to save trees in the historic grounds from being bulldozed.

It called on people to oppose the plans, which it said would have a devastating impact on local wildlife.

The homes to be constructed would fund the restoration of the 19th-century manor house, built on the last remnant of a medieval deer park.

Under the plans, more than 180 trees – 60 per cent of those in the application area, some of which are centuries old – would be lost.

The development would take up 15 per cent of the site.

Once part of the great hunting forest that the Saxon kings and William the Conqueror called Windsor Forest, Aldermaston was first recorded on maps in 1202.

For more on the campaign and the trust, visit www.woodlandtrust.org. uk 

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