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Developers vow to appeal Donnington homes refusal

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Council throws out application in heated planning meeting

Developers have vowed to appeal a decision made last night by West Berkshire Council to refuse a controversial proposal for 401 homes in north Newbury.

It was at a packed Western Area Planning meeting at Newbury’s Market Street offices that councillors unanimously threw out the large-scale development brought forward by Commercial Estate Group.

A spokesperson said following the meeting: “CEG is extremely disappointed that the planning committee has decided to refuse the planning application and now has no option but to appeal against the decision.

“Having consulted on its proposals diligently and made a number of important amendments to the plans to accommodate comments from local people, the Council and statutory consultees to resolve any outstanding issues, we are extremely frustrated with the Council’s decision to refuse the application”

“The decision is all the more disappointing given the support the scheme enjoys from a number of local groups and the fact that the Town Council has raised no objections.”

At last night's planning meeting there was rapturous applause as councillors warned of giving developers carte blanche when putting forward proposals that were outside of the district’s own council-backed development plan.

Referring to the recently revealed DPD which sets out housing allocation across the district Councillor Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley) said: “We have to have a plan.

“If flies in the face of our plan if we as a planning committee approve this application this evening.

“We wouldn’t be adhering to our policies, and it would be absolutely disastrous for us.”

Before councillors voted to agree the officers recommendation to refuse the project Councillor Paul Hewer (Con, Hungerford) left a stark warning to local residents and the large turnout of the Donnington Valley Action Group who turned out in force to voice their opposition.

He said: “I do feel that for residents in and around the village this is merely a battle in a war that is going to come back to them.”

For a full report of the meeting and all of the reaction pick up a copy of next week’s Newbury Weekly News.

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