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Cold Ash luxury homes development appeal is approved

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An appeal for five new luxury homes in Cold Ash has been approved.

The development has been given the go ahead following a series of objections from nearby residents.

The new homes, which are to sit on land adjacent to Summerfield on The Ridge, were granted outline planning permission in 2017 for change of use from an existing agricultural field to residential.

The appeal was approved in February
The appeal was approved in February

Applicant, property developer TA Fisher, then bought the land to provide five independently standing “luxury homes” on the site.

Its application was refused by West Berkshire Council in July 2021 but an appeal, lodged in November 2021, has now been accepted, subject to conditions.

The main issue with the development, the basis for West Berkshire Council's refusal, was its effect on the character and appearance of the area – notably the scale of the proposed garages.

The district council described them as "out of character with the area” and an “overdevelopment”.

The appellant has since applied to alter the design and scale of two of the proposed garages, plots two and four, to give them gable roofs rather than the previously approved hipped roofs to accommodate home offices.

Additionally, they have been made taller than that approved but “not to a substantial degree”.

However, the planning inspector stated the proposed amended garages would not be harmful to the character and appearance of the development nor the wider area and stated that they were in accordance with the relevant planning policies.

The report said: “Being in a set back position from the road, this increase in height would have a negligible visual impact.”

It was also found that the proposals would not have any adverse effect on the natural beauty of the setting of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – contrary to the opinions of the objecting local residents.

It was concluded that, with conditions, the development, which has not yet begun on site, can go ahead.

The conditions, suggested by the district council in December last year, require selected windows to be top opening and have obscure glazing, external areas above the first floor not be used as balconies, an installation of electric vehicle charging points, and others.

It also stated that no enlargements or extensions to the houses to be made are to be made.

The report said: “It is now for the appellant and council to discuss the way forward for these conditions following this appeal being allowed.”

The planning application, full conditions and objections, can be viewed by searching 21/01203/REM on West Berkshire’s planning portal.

The appeal can be viewed by searching 37279937 into the Government’s Appeals Casework Portal.

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