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Sandleford homes: '2000 is too many'

Developer speaks out after joint submission for 1,500 dwellings

Fiona Tomas

Fiona Tomas

fiona.tomas@newburynews.co.uk

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Sandleford homes: '2000 is too many'

FITTING 2,000 homes on Sandleford Park would be wrong, one of the developers for the site has stated.

Up to 2,000 homes have been outlined on the south Newbury land since 2012, when West Berkshire Council placed the development in its core strategy. 

Developers Donnington New Homes and Bloor Homes have resubmitted plans for 1,500 homes –  500 and 1,000 respectively –  on land under their control.

However, speaking to the Newbury Weekly News last week, the managing director of Donnington New Homes, Mark Norgate, said it would be wrong to fit an extra 500 homes atSandleford.

He said that the density or height of the homes would have to be increased to fit the criteria, which would be in conflict within the setting of Sandleford’s country park.  

A community centre is also being built on Bloor’s land, with the intention of using the building for commercial or retail use.

Asked about the lack of GP provision, the strategic planning director at Bloor Homes, David Jospeh, said: “The intention is to expand Falkland Surgery, rather than fragmenting the health offer, to expand that to deal with additional demand. 

“That seems to be what they [the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group] want to do at that moment.

“We can just respond to how we are being directed on the impact of the scheme. “If that changes, we will have to deal with it.”

The developers also revealed that discussions over placing visitor parking within the country park area of the plan are being held.  

The applications are amended resubmissions of plans that were refused by West Berkshire Council last year. 

Among more than 20 reasons for refusal, the council said that there was a lack of detail for such a large development.

It added that questions remained over Sandleford’s impact on Newbury, including education and traffic.

The two developers have since signed a memorandum of understanding “setting out who brings what to the party” in terms of infrastructure. 

Despite the previous refusals, both developers said that they were confident about the latest plans. 

Mr Norgate said: “They [the council] are broadly happy with what’s in the memorandum of understanding.

“We have done our best to cover it so there are no gaps and so it’s a logical development. 

“It ticks all the boxes.”

Mr Joseph added: “They want us to go jointly as far as we can.

“This is the first time they have something that  joins up. I hope that’s sufficient.” 

The developers are awaiting the results of traffic modelling, which Mr Joseph said would show “what junctions need to be improved at what particular stage”.

Mr Joseph said he was hopeful that the applications would be heard in September or October this year.

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Article comments

  • Racegoer

    13/06/2018 - 18:06

    New houses are a good thing BUT the associated infrastructure (say for 6,000 people) must ALSO be provided - education, medical, social. Another 1500+ commuters into town and beyond means road improvements, buses to town/the station, etc. With joined up planning then such developments will benefit the town. Without the infrastructure they cause problems.

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  • Alain

    09/06/2018 - 23:11

    http://planning.westberks.gov.uk/rpp/showimage.asp... Neither did WBC Highways. Just a shame they never mentioned their concerns back in 2012 prior to adopting the Core Strategy? Or in 2015 when producing the Sandleford Supplementary Planning Document? See comment below from link above. "c. There are instances where the highway network fails with all scenarios such as the A343 Andover Road and the A339 within the centre of Newbury. I have stated previously that I do not believe that 2,000 houses can be provided within the development. A more realistic proposal on the number of houses, and I note that a planning application has now been submitted that would result in a total of 1,390 houses within the site." Incidentally, Neither the core strategy or the SPD require an “All vehicular access” to be delivered via Warren Road, ONLY EXPLORED. The Developers would also have known this a long time ago. It’s just PR.

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