Thu, 09 Nov 2017
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.