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Respite for villagers after homes plan is withdrawn

16-home plan pulled, for now


THERE is respite this week for villagers opposed to a plan for new homes in East Garston.

Developer SPM Homes had applied for permission to build 16 new homes on land at Roger’s Lane.

The 1.2-hectare site comprises open countryside and falls within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The proposals generated nearly 100 letters of objection, including a recent one from the North Wessex Downs AONB group.

The matter had therefore been destined to be decided by West Berkshire Council’s western area planning committee following a full debate.

However, the agent for the applicant has now written to the planning department’s case officer, principal planning officer Michael Butler, stating it wishes to withdraw the application.

The respite for opponents of the plan may be temporary, however.

A spokeswoman for the council, Peta Stoddart-Crompton, said the applicant was under no obligation to give a reason for the withdrawal and, indeed, had not done so.

But she revealed that it had been advised by the planning department that a planning officer’s report was going to recommend refusal to the committee.

Often, applicants take the opportunity to withdraw the application, revise it according to planning advice and then resubmit an amended version at a later date.

Ms Stoddart-Crompton added that, as a consequence, “they may be revising it for a resubmission”.

SPM Homes was contacted for a comment but had not responded as this newspaper went to press.

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