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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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