Sun, 20 Aug 2017
CONTROVERSIAL plans to develop 157 homes on land between Greenham and Newbury have once again been given the go-ahead by West Berkshire councillors.
Residents and parish councillors had raised fears that the homes would be an overdevelopment, putting undue strain on the local infrastructure, while concerns over traffic safety had also been cited.
However, the proposals from developer Rivar were approved at a meeting of West Berkshire Council’s western area planning committee last Wednesday.
The land had been included in West Berkshire Council’s list of preferred development sites, which councillors agreed on earlier this year as the local authority continues to battle to meet its five-year land supply requirement.
And West Berkshire and Greenham parish councillor Billy Drummond, who voted against the scheme, accepted that the need to build more houses in the district meant the plans were always likely to be approved.
“It was a done deal,” he said.
“It was always going to go through because we’re desperate for houses.
“I think it will be an overdevelopment.
“It’s getting horrendous around here, but there’s nothing the council can really do.
“They have got pressure from the Government to build these houses.
“Every bit of land will go around here eventually.”
It is the second time plans to build 157 homes on the site have been approved, with councillors giving the green light for the development in January, only for the application to then be withdrawn for technical reasons.
The development will consist of two separate sites – the eastern site will contain 87 homes with a new vehicular access off Greenham Road to the east and an additional access off Haysoms Drive to the west.
The western site will comprise 70 dwellings, with an access off Pinchington Lane to the south.
The development will consist of maisonettes and a mixture of two-, three- and four-bed homes.
A total of 63 of the homes will be affordable.
However, the development of the former landfill site is the now the latest in a string of housing projects for south Newbury and Greenham, with plans for 71 homes on land just the other side of Greenham Road having been approved last month.
Despite the green light from the committee, Mr Drummond again raised fears over increased traffic from the site with concerns over congestion and pedestrian safety.
He also raised well-voiced concerns that the new estate would create a rat-run between Pinchington Lane and Greenham Road.
Mr Drummond said: “I’m pleased that 63 of the homes will be affordable, but I’m still concerned about the road going all the way through.
“It’s going to be used as a rat-run, there’s no doubt about it.
“The council said they will put bollards in if that is the case and I’m going to keep on it.
“If I need to put pressure on the council then I will.”
Architect Pro Vision says in the application that not developing the land would be a “missed opportunity”.
The application goes on to state: “The development will create a green lung that would tie together the pockets of development to the north and south, developing the land in a way so as to minimise impact on existing ecology.”
The 3.13-hectare parcel of land is also home to great-crested newts and other wildlife for which the developer, according to the application, will provide protected areas of habitat.