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Donnington homes plan set for refusal

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Application for 401 homes gets thumbs down from council officers

Plans for hundreds of homes and a new primary school on a green gateway into Newbury have been recommended for refusal by council officers ahead of a meeting that will decide its fate.

Developer Commercial Estates Group is seeking to build up to 401 homes on 11.35 acres of land to the north and west of Vodafone HQ at Donnington and the proposals have been the subject of discussions and resubmitted plans for more than a year.

Amended plans submitted last month moved an access road to the development on Love Lane further east to be used solely as a drop-off point for a school bus.

The main access roads are planned off the A339 via the Vodafone roundabout and off the Oxford Road. Under the new plan, flood defences for the site have also been relocated and a recently-built pedestrian crossing on Love Lane will be moved westwards.

Shaw-Cum-Donnington and Speen parish council have both objected to the plans which have received around 150 letters of representation from concerned residents.

Officers have now recommended the application be refused altogether ahead of a western area planning meeting at Newbury’s Market Street officers on Wednesday at 6.30pm.

A report prepared by officers ahead of the meeting warned that the plans would leave land east of the A339 isolated from the proposed new school and other amenities to the west, with access only available through footpaths near Vodafone.

Council officers also pointed out that it would lead to a surge in traffic at the Robin Hood gyratory on the A339 during peak times.

Summarising the recommendation West Berkshire Council said: “The proposal is not balanced in favour of sustainable modes of travel; would not give people a real choice about how they travel; would not improve and promote opportunities for healthy and safe travel; and would not create safe environments which address crime prevention and community safety.”

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