A DECISION on whether to allow up to 2,000 homes to be built at Sandleford Park has now been delayed until November.
The first of three planning applications, for the site off Monks Lane in south Newbury, was submitted by developer Bloor Homes in December 2015.
However, 16 months on, discussions over the project continue to stall and there are still some key issues which remain unresolved – including the number of access roads needed.
Bloor is adamant the site can be served via two access roads on to Monks Lane.
However, West Berkshire Council says that is ‘anything but proven’ and remains adamant it will only work with four roads – two from Monks Lane, one from the A339 and another via Warren Road.
The two parties are also locked in negotiations over funding for schools and roads.
In a previous response, the council’s highways team said it was “quite ready” to refuse the application if the issues weren’t addressed. And earlier this year, it laid out eight reasons why plans to build the homes should be rejected.
Highways officers state the development would have a “severe impact” on the district’s roads and junctions, which the proposals fail to mitigate against.
The ongoing dispute has had wider implications for West Berkshire as plans for up to 401 homes in Donnington were approved last month.
The development was granted permission on appeal by the planning inspector as a direct result of delays to the Sandleford scheme.
At a meeting of Newbury Town Council’s planning and highways committee recently, vice-chairman John Gardner accused Sandleford developers of “holding Newbury to ransom”.
The development, if approved, would be the largest housing development seen in West Berkshire.