A DEVELOPER wanting to build more than 200 homes between Thatcham and Cold Ash has changed its plans just weeks before two inquiries that could change the shape of Thatcham are heard.
Croudace Strategic had its plans for 265 homes at Henwick Park, west of Cold Ash Hill and north of Heath Lane, turned down in December last year.
The developer has struck back by appealing against the council’s decision and submitting a separate application for 225 homes at the site.
But now, just weeks before the appeal is to be heard, Croudace has said that it will not defend the 265-home scheme at appeal.
It is instead appealing its plans for 225 homes – although West Berkshire Council is yet to rule on the plans.
Croudace has amended the scheme, which sees the number of homes along the northern edge of the site reduced, leading to a higher density of homes across the site, mostly in the eastern section.
Croudace said that it was comfortable with the density for a scheme of this scale.
“The proposed revision has a number of advantages including the potential savings in terms of inquiry time,” planning agents Nexus said.
Croudace also acknowledged that the final version of the 265-home masterplan, submitted last year, had not been widely consulted upon.
The amendment comes weeks before an inquiry into Henwick Park and another developer’s proposals to build up to 495 homes at Siege Cross Farm, north of the A4 and east of Floral Way.
West Berkshire Council turned down A2Dominion’s scheme last year, ruling that the homes would have a detrimental impact on Thatcham’s education provision.
A2Dominion had proposed building a new primary school on the site, with the potential to move Francis Baily there and free up space for Kennet School to expand.
A planning inspector will open an inquiry into both appeals in the council’s Market Street offices on Tuesday, November 15.
The inquiry is scheduled to close on Thursday, December 8.
The appeal will discuss the demand for and supply of housing land and the effect this would have on the decision process; issues surrounding countryside, landscaping, and the setting of the town and the impact Siege Cross would have on Thatcham’s infrastructure.
People can attend the inquiry and express their views at the inspector’s discretion.