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Retirement flats and new Co-op approved for Tadley

Proposal for site gets go-ahead despite concerns over delivery vehicles

Jonathan Ashby

Jonathan Ashby

jonathan.ashby@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886637

Retirement flats plan on store site

PLANS have been approved for 42 retirement flats and a Co-op retail store on New Road, Tadley.

Councillors from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s development control committee gave the proposal the green light despite concerns about the effect of a layby and delivery vehicles on the surrounding residential area.

In a meeting on Wednesday, councillors voted through the application – made by McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd – by seven to three, with one abstention.

Of particular issue during the debate was the effect of a layby on New Road servicing the proposed retail store, with an estimated four to seven deliveries a week by vehicles 12 metres long and 2.5 metres wide.

Concerns were raised about how the delivery vehicles, particularly heavy goods vehicles, would return to the A340 – the main road through Tadley.

Suggestions from the applicant included vehicles proceeding along New Road before turning right into Gutteridge Lane, then turn immediately right into Barlows Road and  right again into Pinehurst, thus back on to New Road.

Another proposed looping around to the A340 using Gutteridge Lane and Mount Pleasant, while a third option involved continuing through Baughurst and returning to the A340 via the B3051.

David Potter (Lab, Popley East) blasted the layby proposals, describing the attempts to mitigate the problem as “stupid”.

“I’m sure the residents of Gutteridge Lane, Barlows Road and Pinehurst would be thrilled about the prospect of 40-foot long, eight-foot wide lorries going through their residential development,” Mr Potter said.

“These are relatively narrow residential roads and to encourage circulation of these lorries seems bizarre.

“For the highways office to be relaxed about that really does dismay me.”

David Leeks (Con, Tadley South) noted that the application in general was acceptable, stating that the housing development would be good for the area, but he also had huge concerns about the layby.

“The Gutteridge Lane estate is just like any of your town roads in Basingstoke,” he said.

“As for going through Baughurst, that’s ludicrous. Absolutely ludicrous.

“It’s just country roads – imagine driving around there and suddenly coming across a lorry.”

Hampshire Highways assistant planning manager Gregg Chapman pointed out the existing development on the site – electrical appliance store Reading Warehouses – also required deliveries and was considerably larger in size than the proposed Co-op.

He said: “I can understand the members’ concerns about the position of the layby, but in planning terms there is very limited scope for looking at this in a negative way in terms of basis for refusal.”

The approval comes after the decision had originally been deferred by the committee in September.

Objections had been raised by Tadley Town Council about the complex’s lack of affordable housing, but that was resolved after the applicant put forward three options for affordable housing, with the third including a commuted sum of £100,000.

The council also voiced its concerns that the proposal for a Co-op on site would put the nearby independent convenience store Koala out of business.

The plans will also result in the demolition of Reading Warehouses, which has been in Tadley since the late 1960s.

McCarthy & Stone is looking to raise about £300m for a fund to invest in more flats nationally.

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