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Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to lodge review into appeal decision which allows 270 homes to be build in Wash Water, south of Newbury





A local authority “does not accept” the decision to allow an appeal which will see 270 homes built just south of Newbury.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council now plans to lodge a statutory review of the decision in an attempt to overturn it.

This is the site between the A34 and Andover Road where the 270 homes would be built
This is the site between the A34 and Andover Road where the 270 homes would be built

The development in question, Watermill Bridge, would be located just south of the county border in Hampshire, on a patch of land between the A34 and Andover Road.

The Watermill Bridge plans were put forward by Baughurst-based housing developer Bewley Homes in November 2021 but were rejected by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council last April.

Bewley appealed the council’s decision and this was upheld by the Planning Inspectorate on January 29.

A council spokesperson said: “The council does not accept all of the conclusions in the Planning Inspector's decision to allow the Watermill Bridge appeal.

An aerial view of what Watermill Bridge might look like once completed, credit: Bewley Homes
An aerial view of what Watermill Bridge might look like once completed, credit: Bewley Homes

“We have asked the High Court for permission to proceed with a statutory review of the inspector's decision, on a point of law.

“We will be advised by the court whether permission has been granted to proceed with this review, but this process can take some months.”

Bewley has already responded to the announcement of the council’s decision.

Its head of strategic land Andy Morris said: “We are very surprised and disappointed about the council’s decision to lodge a statutory review at Watermill Bridge, based on the findings of the inspector at the appeal which set out very clearly why the overall benefits of the scheme outweighed the council’s decision to refuse consent.

An artist's impression of what Watermill Bridge might look like, credit: Bewley Homes
An artist's impression of what Watermill Bridge might look like, credit: Bewley Homes

“Permission was granted following a two-week planning inquiry, and the inspector gave significant weight in his decision to the provision of both market and affordable housing in the face of the council failing to maintain a minimum five-year provision.

“We have included 108 affordable homes in our plans for the Watermill Bridge scheme, which will be provided through a housing association partner and will start to house local people on the council’s waiting list, currently standing at over 5,000 families, one of the worst records in the country.”

The housing developer has also accused the council of “failing its residents” with its current housing situation.

Bewley managing director Andrew Brooks added: “Both the government and local authorities have no bigger responsibility than to provide housing for local people in need.

An artist's impression of what Watermill Bridge might look like, credit: Bewley Homes
An artist's impression of what Watermill Bridge might look like, credit: Bewley Homes

“Fundamentally, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council are failing its residents and this most recent action, in challenging an appeal decision and Secretary of State guidance, thoroughly supports my stance on this matter.

“Whilst the objectors and some local people with homes might feel it’s a good use of taxpayers’ money to submit a review, I am sure the 5,000 families sitting on housing waiting lists in Basingstoke would not agree.”



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