NEWBURY Town Council has objected to fresh plans to build up to 1,000 homes and a new primary school at Sandleford Park, due to concerns over access, traffic and air pollution.
The town council agrees with West Berkshire Council’s view that the site can only be served by four access roads – from the A339, Monks Lane and the A343 Warren Road – despite developer Bloor Homes’ insistence it can be delivered with two.
This was just one of a number of issues raised by councillors during a recent Newbury Town Council planning and highways committee meeting.
At the meeting, councillors spent an hour quizzing representatives from Bloor about the plans, which the developer says have been submitted “to facilitate early delivery of this important allocated site”.
John Gardner (Lib Dem, St John’s) said: “As you know, certain parts of Newbury have been exposed to unsafe levels of pollution.
“Any increase in traffic is going to make that worse.”
He added: “I’m also a little bit surprised you can say two access roads are okay for 1,000 homes.”
Anthony Pick (Con, St John’s) shared that view, saying: “Can you state why, in your view, two access points will adequately serve 1,000 homes?”
To which Daniel Hayman, representing Bloor, replied: “Our traffic surveys show this is the case.”
Plans to build homes on the land, off Monks Lane in south Newbury, have been in the pipeline for years.
In December 2015, Bloor submitted a ‘masterplan’ application to build up to 2,000 homes and two primary schools on the site.
However, it has been unable to work with other landowners to come up with a single application, so has decided to submit the new application for just the land it owns instead.
But there lies the problem - it goes against West Berkshire Council’s request for one single application for the entire site.
West Berkshire Council officers will make a recommendation on whether to approve or refuse the plans for 2,000 homes by February 11.
The council’s highways team said it was ‘more than happy’ to refuse the application due to Bloor’s reluctance to help fund an access road on to the A339.