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Council refuses 2,000-home development at Sandleford

"Landowners have not delivered on assurances"

John Herring

Reporter:

John Herring

Contact:

01635 886633

Council refuses 2,000-home development at Sandleford

PLANS for West Berkshire's largest housing development, 2,000-homes at Sandleford Park, have been thrown out. 

West Berkshire Council refused plans for the sprawling development in south Newbury because of a lack of detail in the proposals.

Bloor Homes and the Sandleford Farm Partnership submitted plans in 2015 for up to 2,000 houses as well as retail and business space.

But disagreements over access, education and other infrastructure between the two developers and the council has led to an impasse. 

The council said it had refused the plans, after careful consideration, because of the lack of detail in the proposals and plans for such a large development and no positive sign of the situation changing.

In a statement the council said it had "a duty to ensure applicants manage the impact of developments on the local community when it considers planning applications.

"Since the application was submitted in 2015 the council has been working with the developers in the hope of ensuring the comprehensive and successful progress of the important housing provision.

"However, uncertainty still remains around how, amongst other matters, the proposal would manage the impact on local roads, schools and other local infrastructure."

A smaller application, also from Bloor Homes and Sandleford Farm Partnership, for 321 homes on part of the large, allocated site has also been refused on similar grounds.

West Berkshire Council’s executive member for planning, Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley) said: “This is a disappointing outcome to a saga which has continued for far too long.

"I am saddened that the landowners have not delivered on assurances they gave us that they would work together on one cohesive plan which benefits our community.

"They have failed to demonstrate that they can work together and have failed to put forward a comprehensive plan. As such we are not in a position where we can progress with this application.

“Whilst this is a disappointing outcome we are still on track to deliver the houses needed in the district over the coming years.

"During the delays other applications have been approved so the housing local people need will continue to be delivered.”

The saga continues, however, as an application for 1,000 homes submitted by Bloor Homes Southern is yet to be determined.

A decision on that application will be made by the Western Area Planning Committee before December 18.

But the council has said it is likely that planning officers will recommend that those plans also be refused.

The council said that the area could still be developed if new applications are submitted. 

It said that Sandleford Park would remain a chosen development site as part of West Berkshire Council’s Core Strategy – a document which sets the council’s vision for the area until 2026, and how it will be delivered.

The council announced that it had refused the application after the Newbury Weekly News went to press yesterday.

See next week's Newbury Weekly News for more reaction.

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Article comments

  • juzzthefuzz

    14/11/2017 - 14:02

    In contrast to previous commentators, this is terrible news for a lot of the younger generation living in the town. With the right management and infrastructure (Anyone heard of Section 106?), this could have been exactly what Newbury needed. All that was needed was a guiding hand, for the council to work with the developers to set out better plans, rather than giving a straight up no. These are elected individuals working for themselves, not for those who elected them. Great job WBC, you've completely alienated the youth of West Berkshire. How can we afford homes? We cant. Where are we going to live? Not here. I'm personally sick and tired of seeing refusals for the necessary housing needed for an area like here. Sure, the plans could have been more detailed. Then, WBC, work with them, find out whats needed, work it into the plans rather than denying a generation the affordable homes they desperately need.

    Reply

  • Josh 2

    11/11/2017 - 19:07

    The impact on the local community, and the infrastructure are the most important aspects of any development. The Council is to be applauded. Perhaps in due course, the scale of this proposed development could be very substantially scaled down. 2000 houses to the south of Newbury would have a potentially disastrous affect on the whole community and that cannot be allowed to happen. Surely there is land to the north of Newbury that could take a significant share of the required housing. DB49

    Reply

  • dazzer

    10/11/2017 - 11:11

    I am amazed this was thrown out - Really happy about it - I am of the opinion that West Berkshire Council has ruined this town by allowing houses and flats to be built everywhere - Newbury was a nice little market town just 10 - 15 years ago but now it it saturated and struggling to cope - Roads and traffic a mess - Drs waiting times terrible, Schools over crowded. I hope one day all responsible for ruining Newbury will be held accountable!

    Reply

  • Browntrout

    10/11/2017 - 09:09

    A Great Brave Decision WBC! Rip up the playbook and start again with sustainable ideas that can be properly delivered. Bloor Homes have NO respect for Newbury; their piecemeal plans are fundamentally floored and they deserve to be permanently kicked in to touch. We do need new developments in Newbury but not on this scale – slowly but surely…..

    Reply

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