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Application lodged to build 9 first time homes on land opposite Lawrences Lane development



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A permission in principle application has been submitted for the erection of nine first time homes in Thatcham.

The applicant, Westbuild Homes, has applied to build the residential dwellings on the land adjacent to Little Copse in Thatcham

The proposed site lies adjacent to the recently unauthorized development on land at the end of Lawrences Lane.

Proposed site for the development. Ref: 43-2421. (52683770)
Proposed site for the development. Ref: 43-2421. (52683770)

If consent is granted, a more detailed technical consent application will be submitted at a later stage.

The plans have already faced objection from Thatcham councillors for a number of reasons.

The council firstly objected on the grounds that the site is outside of the settlement boundary.

Lawrence Lane, Thatcham .Ref: 43-2421. (52683781)
Lawrence Lane, Thatcham .Ref: 43-2421. (52683781)

Additionally, the access to the site was dubbed “inappropriate” as Lawrences Lane is narrow and therefore “unsuitable” for any increase in traffic that may come from this development.

The council also noted that the application itself conflicts with West Berkshire Council’s proposal to restrict access and make Lawrences Lane a route for “active travel” and leisure use, which the council supported when consulted.

Councillors also expressed worry over the future of this development should permission be granted.

John Boyd (Lib Dem, Thatcham, Colthrop & Crookham) said that he viewed it with “great scepticism” given the proximity to the recent developments on Lawrences Lane.

Richard Crumly (Con, Thatcham Central) called the development an “absolute no no” and said that it went against West Berkshire Council planning policy.

However, the planning statement submitted by the applicant states that it will assist West Berkshire in meeting its affordable housing requirements.

It also mentions that it will seek to deliver these nine homes within the “national agenda to increase home ownership across England”.

Additionally, these dwellings, which it notes as “entry-level affordable housing”, will contribute in counteracting the shortfall of affordable housing in the district.

Manging director of Westbuild Homes Guy West said: “There is an acute shortage of homes available to the younger generations.

“The application is to merely establish if the principle of a small development of homes for purely first time buyers, is acceptable.

“The homes would be capped at a price of £250,000.”

As of yet, there have been no concerns in regards to environmental health impacts, though the environmental health officers note that their current decision is “based on the limited information available to date”.



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