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Decision on Sandleford application delayed indefinitely

Plans on hold to allow developer more time to address council concerns

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

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01635 886632

Sandleford

A DECISION on whether to allow up to 2,000 homes to be built at Sandleford Park in Newbury has been delayed indefinitely.

West Berkshire Council was due to decide on whether to approve or refuse planning permission for the district’s largest-ever housing development by February 10.

However, on February 10, the council announced the deadline would be extended to ‘allow further discussions’ to take place.

Developer Bloor Homes submitted the plans in December 2015, but Bloor and the council still disagree on a number of key issues, including access roads and funding for schools.

Bloor remains adamant the site can be served by two access roads on to Monks Lane – but the council say only four roads will work.

In a damning response, the council’s highways and transport team said it was “quite ready to refuse the application” if the issues weren’t resolved.

Fears have been raised that delays to the application could jeopardise the council’s chances of meeting its target for building new homes and lead to speculative plans being submitted for other sites in West Berkshire

The council says that planning officers have been discussing the ‘complex applications’ with the developer, but do not have all the information required to make a decision.

The extension was mutually agreed with the applicant.

Speaking about the plans, Hilary Cole, West Berkshire Council’s executive member for planning said: “The site at Sandleford is important and could help us build some of the housing we need in our district.

“As it stands, the application which has been submitted is not acceptable and would be refused.

“We want to give the developers the time they need to submit a proper plan so that we can consider it on its merits.

“To do anything else would waste the effort already put in.

“This is not an usual situation and often with developments of this scale and complexity more time is needed to work through the plans and get to a point where we can make an informed decision.

“I’m confident we will get there and we will decide whether this development can go ahead.”

No definite target date for a decision will be set until progress on the most recent application for 1,000 homes can be assessed.

The separate application was submitted by Bloor to ‘facilitate early delivery’of the site.

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Article comments

  • Concerned

    16/02/2017 - 18:06

    With the number of valid points raised in the objections it may take Bloor some time to come up with something that's factually reliable and workable. I still fail to understand why the Warren Road Access is still under consideration when it is blatantly a risk to our local school children and other non-motorised road users - an opinion supported by Newbury Town Council. Houses fine but they need supporting infrastructure and to accept that the residents WILL leave the perimeter of their new development, most likely with their car!

    Reply

  • Louise

    Louise

    16/02/2017 - 12:12

    It's stated elsewhere that 50% of the UK's projected new home requirements are required for immigrants; surely when we finally have that down to sustainable levels, these targets will all need reviewing...downwards. The need to meet these unattainable figures set by Central Government diktat is a handy card to play and over ride concerns raised by local authorities & their taxpayers about destruction of our green & pleasant land.

    Reply

    • EugeneStryker

      17/02/2017 - 10:10

      Louise, I fear that people who attribute our problems to immigration and assume that the solution is simply less of it are going to be disappointed in the coming years after Brexit. As an example, Theresa May's discussions with India have already focused heavily on loosening visa restrictions and I suspect that she will have similar conversations as she travels the globe. You'll still get to the 50% figure (I think even MigrantWatch peg it at 45%), but instead of Europeans we'll have people from BRICS. I wonder how you'd feel about that?

      Reply

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