Hungerford mayor's "clear message" after Bewley Homes' Lancaster Park visit
DEVELOPERS at Hungerford's new 100-homes project have invited civic leaders to look round, following reports of ill feeling towards local residents.
At this month's full town council meeting, town councillors were told that Bewley Homes had taken the unusual step of warning newcomers to expect a hostile reception from established townsfolk.
This had prompted the town councillors, who said they were horrified at the possibility, to issue special 'welcome' packs
The Newbury Weekly News understands that new residents have been subjected to filming and meanwhile graffiti branding the estate 'rip off park' had appeared nearby.
In 2019 Bewley Homes won permission for the development at a meeting of West Berkshire Council’s western area planning committee, despite fierce opposition from the town council and from the area’s district councillors.
There had been reports of residents being asked to sign non disclosure agreements - but this has been categorically denied.
Today (Wednesday), town mayor Helen Simpson and town councillor John Downe were invited to a guided tour.
Afterwards the two parties released a joint statement which said, in part: "A number of items were discussed during the tour including how Bewley can further play its role in the community, as well as addressing some of the issues raised at the recent town council meeting."
Bewley Homes managing director, Andrew Brooks, said: "I was delighted to show councillor Simpson and councillor Downe around Lancaster Park and showcase the progress we are making on the build, as well as viewing our popular show home.
“We were particularly pleased to have the opportunity to discuss Bewley Homes’ perspectives on some local concerns and queries that have arisen over the course of the last 18 months.”
Mrs Simpson said: “It was good to meet Andrew and his team and discuss some of the issues they have faced at Lancaster Park.
"We would like to send a very clear message - Hungerford very much welcomes all new residents at Lancaster Park, some of whom might be moving into the town for the first time.
"It is very gratifying to see new families putting down roots and making their forever home at Lancaster Park. We would like to welcome everyone into our community with its schools and wealth of sports, social and support groups. ”
She added: “We were shown around the development and it was very pleasing to see the planned affordable homes being built and now starting to be occupied.
"Bewley, like many housebuilders in the UK, is suffering from the shortage of key materials which makes building on schedule very challenging.
"We were also able to discuss a number of exciting community initiatives that Bewley might be able to get involved with in Hungerford.”
Bewley Homes said it is approaching 35 per cent sales on site since its launch less than nine months ago.