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75-home scheme for Thatcham goes to appeal

Developer challenges Tull Way refusal

John Herring

Reporter:

John Herring

Contact:

01635 886633

75 home plan from Thatcham submitted

ANOTHER housing scheme for Thatcham has gone to appeal.

Bloor Homes is challenging West Berkshire Council’s refusal of its plans for 75 homes on agricultural land to the north of the Henwick Worthy sports ground and east of Tull Way.

Bloor said that its scheme could be slotted in to the northern area of the town without having an adverse impact on the character of the area.

However, the council disagreed and said that the homes would have “an urbanising and detrimental impact on the character and appearance of this attractive part of Thatcham”.

At the time of refusal, Bloor said that it was considering its options and is now trying to overturn the council’s decision at a planning inquiry.

The field lies within Thatcham’s settlement boundary and was not included as a preferred site for housing by the council in its development plan document (DPD).

However, the DPD only focussed on sites that fell outside of settlement boundaries and Bloor is arguing that its scheme can provide housing that complies with existing policies.

In its appeal statement, Bloor said: “The appeal scheme... shows how the right balance has been struck, between bringing forward a site within the settlement boundary for much needed sustainable housing, including affordable housing; and achieving an acceptable scale and layout of development, which ensures that views of the development from the north and west would not be significantly harmed.”

The appeal marks the second time that a developer has taken the site to the planning inspectorate.

Plans for 90 homes in the field were turned down in 2013 because of the impact it would have on the character of west Thatcham.

The appeal follows developers wanting to build up to 720 homes in the town, 495 at Siege Cross and 225 at Henwick Park, which have just been heard at a planning inquiry. 

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