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Appeal for 21 new homes in Hermitage submitted

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A planning application for new homes on Newbury Road in Hermitage has been appealed.

The appeal application, which was validated in December last year means that the development of 21 new homes on land at The Old Farmhouse could still go ahead.

The outline planning permission granted by West Berkshire Council on 20 November 2018 was for the “demolition farmyard buildings, retention of The Old Farmhouse and the erection of up to 21 new dwellings, improved vehicular access off Newbury Road, car parking, public open space and landscaping”.

The proposed develeopment for 21 new homes in Hermitage. Picture by: TA Fisher. (54421021)
The proposed develeopment for 21 new homes in Hermitage. Picture by: TA Fisher. (54421021)

In total, 21 dwellings are proposed by applicants TA Fisher, which will comprise a mix of detached and semi-detatched houses, together with four apartments located in coach house style accommodation.

The new homes will included a mix of styles and sizes ranging from one-bed apartments to five bedroom houses, which consists of eight affordable homes and 13 open market homes.

The development site, of approximately 1.38 hectares, is located within the settlement boundary of Hermitage although it is within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The location plan for applicant, TA Fishers proposed development site. Picture by: Ascot Design. (54420976)
The location plan for applicant, TA Fishers proposed development site. Picture by: Ascot Design. (54420976)

The proposal comprises a linear form of development with dwellings arranged along a “central spine road” through the site.

The road will be a buffer between the built development, which will sit on the southern part of the site, and the existing pond, open space and local play area which are all located on the northern half of the site.

The matters to be considered now are appearance, landscaping, layout and scale.

An application, following the approved outline proposal, was made in December 2019, amending the parameter plan to make it possible to deliver 21 homes on the approved development area.

The application seeking to amend the size was refused in July 2020.

An appeal was later submitted in September of the same year and having not conflicted with the council's policies, it was allowed within the month.

The appeal has now been submitted and the council has March 16 penciled in as a determination deadline date.

TA Fisher's design and access statement has highlighted sustainability as a feature of the development noting that it will accommodate energy efficiency, sustainable design, water resource management and flood risk management.

The Environmental Agency’s Flood Map for Planning identifies the site is situated within Flood Zone 1, meaning it has a low probability of flooding.

Environmental Health has said that the layout cannot be fully considered as of yet, due to concerns surrounding “noise from the adjacent White Horse Pub”.

Thames Valley Police has said the development will have a “negative impact” on crime with particular concern about crime, antisocial behaviour and police resources.

Its response stated a particular concern as “the lack of surveillance from the dwellings out to the public realm as well as the private realm including the parking provisions” and suggested suitable amendments.

Both Natural England and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service have not made comments on the application.

The application can be viewed by searching 21/02923/RESMAJ in the West Berkshire Council planning portal.

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