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Council set to refuse plans for 2,000 homes at Sandleford

Tough stance after developer says it won't help pay for A339 access road

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

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01635 886632

Council set to refuse plans for 2,000 homes at Sandleford

WEST Berkshire Council is set to refuse planning permission for up to 2,000 homes and two new primary schools at Sandleford Park after developer Bloor Homes refused to help pay for an access road on to the A339.

The council insists that the development is only deliverable with four access roads into the site – two from Monks Lane, one from the A343 Warren Road and another from the A339 Newtown Road.

But Bloor Homes remains adamant the site can be served by just two roads on to Monks Lane and doesn’t want to make a financial contribution to the A339 access.

This week, in a damning response to the district’s largest application, the council’s highways team says that the two parties are unlikely to reach an agreement and has recommended the plans are turned down.

It comes in the same week that Bloor submitted a fresh application for 1,000 homes and one primary school.

The council has already secured £2.9m of the money it needs for the A339 access, but was banking on the developer coughing up the remainder.

Highways development control leader Paul Goddard said: “The argument on whether this site can, or at least 1,900 houses of it, be served by just two accesses on to Monks Lane instead of the council’s requirement for three, or preferably four, accesses, has impacted on all consideration of this planning application.

“It has impacted upon it to such an extent that I consider that I can no longer make any progress and therefore I must recommend refusal of it.”

He added: “I have concluded that it’s unlikely that we are going to reach any agreement with the applicants on issues such as how this development is going to be provided with regards to the provision of accesses and mitigation.

“A stage has now been reached where the applicants are refusing to have little or no involvement in the delivery of the A343 and the A339 access.”

The council’s highways team also says proposals to improve Newbury’s fragile road network are insufficient and slammed Bloor Homes for ‘ignoring and dismissing’ its concerns about traffic.

The highways response adds: “The proposed mitigation continues to be insufficient in a number of ways, as it does not reduce traffic queues at some key junctions.

“In fact in some cases it makes them longer, consistently narrow traffic lanes, detriment to pedestrians and cyclists and in some instances what is being proposed is undeliverable and is contrary to plans being pursued by the highway authority.”

Concluding, he says: “The applicants have repeatedly demanded further meetings, but unless there is a fundamental change in direction by the applicants, from all that is written above, I consider such a process has now been exhausted and would not be a good use of council time and money to go over the same arguments.

“It would seem that we not going to agree on items such as access strategy as we haven’t done so in three years, and it would also seem that we are not going to agree mitigation either.

“We are therefore quite ready to refuse the planning application.”

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Article comments

  • Oldmoaner

    28/12/2016 - 10:10

    If this ridiculous scheme were to go ahead it should start with the developers paying for a road linking the Swan roundabout on the A339 to a new roundabout on the A343 near the Woodpecker. Feeder roads into this would save polluting Newbury any further. Off course practically it makes sense if West Berkshire needs to grow it should be along the M4 corridor making use of the existing infrastructure, this would also hopefully attract more business development.

    Reply

    • WashCommoner

      29/12/2016 - 23:11

      Agree with this. Or a more cost effective way would simply be to have an access road onto the new development from the Woodpecker that goes behind Garden Close Lane. Developers want to make ridiculous profits and not contribute to infrastructure needs generated by their developments. At least WBDC didn't decide to plough ahead with this as they did with the Town Centre development where they gave away £4million of land for free. Nice to know they can make the correct decisions sometimes.

      Reply

    • NWNREADER

      28/12/2016 - 18:06

      I agree with your first proposal, not with the second

      Reply

  • Browntrout

    28/12/2016 - 10:10

    The best news I have heard for ages - forget this scheme entirely and use the land for farming and/or parkland for our community. Park house needs upgrading though and we need to provision better for other local infrastructure by utilising a small amount of the land near the college. A fitting memorial for Richard Adams - Well done WBC.

    Reply

  • NewburyLad

    28/12/2016 - 09:09

    As usual, developers more than happy to make heaps of money from every piece of land they can get their mitts on, but unwilling to help contribute towards resolving some of the mess that their developments will bring.

    Reply

  • grumpy

    28/12/2016 - 09:09

    yay , great news !!

    Reply

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