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Council denies it was misled over Sandleford

Authority dismisses claims over application for 2,000 home site

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

Issues still surround Sandleford application

WEST Berkshire Council has denied it was misled over the deliverability of Sandleford Park.

Developer Bloor Homes submitted plans for up to 2,000 homes and two primary schools on land off Monks Lane, Newbury, in December 2015.

However, 18 months later the plans have still not been approved as the council and Bloor continue to disagree over key issues, including the number of access roads and funding for new schools.

The council is adamant that the site can only work with four access roads, but Bloor insists it can be delivered with two.

The delays to the Sandleford application was the primary reason plans to build up to 401 homes in North Newbury – near Vodafone’s headquarters – were allowed on appeal.

At a recent West Berkshire Council meeting, Wash Common resident Peter Norman asked whether it was time for the council to “re-appraise its housing strategy”.

He said that there was a chance that all three of the council’s shortlisted strategic housing sites – North Newbury, Siegecross and Sandleford – would be built, resulting in a loss of green space.

Mr Norman asked: “Are we not in danger now of seeing all three of those sites developed and has the council not been misled over deliverability of Sandleford?’’

The council’s portfolio holder for planning and housing, Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley), answered: “With regard to Sandleford I don’t think we’ve been misled over deliverability. When we put out the call for sites in 2012, North Newbury was not worked up as a site and was never taken forward.

“I think it is inevitable within the new call for sites that we will see several sites come forward that could be viewed as strategic sites.”

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Article comments

  • Blizzard

    17/06/2017 - 10:10

    Problem with developers is they build the homes and let the rest of the district figure out the rest. What about policing this new area? Dentist, GP's, local shops, childcare centre, a local hall?


  • rosebud

    15/06/2017 - 15:03

    It seems to be concerned with access roads and the provision of new schools but I see no mention of medical facilities/hospitals, which are already creaking under the strain of the population we have in the area


    • juzzthefuzz

      17/06/2017 - 01:01

      I will agree with you on this one. Infrastructure is one thing entirely and I can understand the concerns raised, however there does need to be a greater push for more housing, especially affordable housing, in Newbury and West Berks as a whole. With this in mind, it is absolutely necessary to include medical facilities in this. In all honesty, the best way to go forward with this would be to put clauses in submitting large development proposals to ensure GP Surgeries are built, say 1 per 1000 homes, and for the developers to put aside cash to fund local NHS facilities. The Government isn't exactly doing much to help this issue with funding the NHS, so perhaps as an interim measure, it would be down to developers to put money into funding local services depending on the number of houses proposed.