Thatcham residents rally to oppose flats plan
Objections include overlooking and concerns over traffic
RESIDENTS in a Thatcham cul-de-sac have rallied together to oppose plans for four flats to be built there.
People in Stroller Close and Winston Way are against plans for the flats at 258 and 260 Benham Hill. The application, submitted by GAL Promotions, would see the two-storey building built in gardens behind the two properties.
Access would come from Stroller Close and four car parking and eight cycle spaces were being proposed.
Residents have lodged 31 objections with West Berkshire Council’s planning department, citing traffic and being overlooked as grounds for refusal.
One resident, Terry Lawrenson, said that the already congested road would struggle to cope with extra cars.
“Owing to house building at the end of the cul de sac, there is limited parking available, nowhere to turn your car around and let’s just hope no one in our street needs a fire appliance – they just won’t be able to get down the road to the fire.
“Stroller Close is already struggling with access and the binmen often cannot access the road and therefore bins do not get emptied.
“It is totally unjustified that building works attached to Benham Hill can then have access granted to them from a different housing estate already stretched to capacity.”
Another resident, Linda Toop, added: “There are many children living on this estate and I feel before long there may well be the potential for an accident to occur whilst having to cross between parked cars.”
GAL Promotions said that the occupiers of 258 and 260 did not make full use of their present gardens and that similar development of long rear gardens had already occurred further east.
Resident Grace Ryder disagreed.
She said: “This can in no way be compared to the development of 27 and 28 Pegasus Close, which was constructed on to a circular close suitable for turning.
“The dwellings were two homes and not flats and were in-keeping with the existing homes and provided front gardens with driveways.”
The developer said that the layout had been designed to safeguard neighbours’ privacy, including glazed win-dows, and there was no significant overlooking from upper windows on the east elevation.
It said: “The proposal will make good use of under-utilised land to provide additional, and much-needed, small residential units to the district’s housing stock.
“The scheme has been designed with care to meet relevant planning policies and appropriate design guidelines and it will make a positive contribution to the area.”
To view the application search 16/02044/FULD in West Berkshire Council’s planning website.