HUNGERFORD Town Council has thrown its weight behind plans for seven new homes at Prosperous Home Farm.
Sovereign Housing has applied for permission to remove the existing agricultural buildings to create the new homes at the site in Salisbury Road, Hungerford.
As previously reported by this newspaper, the proposed development comprises three new-build homes, two of which will constitute ‘affordable’ housing, conversion and extension of four other buildings and grain silos, improvements to the existing farmhouse and provision of car parking and access.
The town council’s environment and planning committee has now written to town planners formally supporting the application, adding: “The development makes good use of redundant land and buildings.”
At a recent meeting of Hungerford Town Council, committee chairwoman Carolann Farrell, reiterated: “We strongly support this application.”
However, West Berkshire Council’s highways and transport department assistant engineer, Steph Edwards, has warned: “Seven dwellings of this size in this location could generate around 50 vehicle movements per day.
"Whilst this location may be appropriate for a farm use, I am concerned that almost all of the proposed vehicle movements will be by private vehicle in what is a relatively unsustainable location.”
A design and access statement prepared on the applicant’s behalf claims that the new homes would represent a “contribution towards meeting an unmet demonstrable local housing need”.
It goes on to state that “the existing buildings are suitable for the proposed new use(s) without needing extensive alterations, rebuilding and/or enlargement; and the conversion would not have a detrimental effect on the fabric, character and setting of (existing) historic buildings.”
However James Podger (Con, Hungerford) indicated that, if council planners recommended the application for refusal, he would call it in to West Berkshire Council’s western area planning committee for a full discussion by elected members before a vote was taken to decide the issue.
Mr Hewer confirmed at the town council meeting that the proposal has been placed on the agenda of the next western area planning committee of the district council for a final decision.