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Plans for more than 100 homes in Theale submitted

Scheme proposed for alternative primary school site

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Plans for more than 100 homes in Theale submitted

PLANS for more than 100 homes on the edge of Theale to “meet an identified housing need” have been lodged with West Berkshire Council.

Englefield Estate Trust Corporation Ltd has submitted an outline planning application for up to 110 homes on land between The Green and the A340.

The 7.15-hectare triangular section of land is owned by Englefield Estates, of which Newbury MP Richard Benyon is a director.

The site was listed as a preferred housing site, for approximately 100 homes, in West Berkshire Council’s development plan document.

The land was considered an alternative site for a new primary school in the village.

But the council said that it had discounted it and 10 other sites, because of either additional costs or because they had been put forward for housing.

Documents submitted with the application say that the site was identified as suitable for development because of its proximity to existing housing and other facilities in the village.

The documents state that the scheme aims to create “a distinctive and connected addition to Theale with a rich character that reflects that of the village and adjacent villages”.

The developer also wants to provide “a natural extension and new gateway to Theale from the west” and “provide homes to meet the identified local need for both market and affordable housing”.

The proposal will include affordable and private market one- and two-bedroom apartments, two- and three-bed terraced and semi-detached houses, as well as larger three- and four-bed family houses.

Access is proposed to come off a new priority-controlled T-junction on The Green. 

A vehicle-controlled emergency access is also proposed on to The Green, west of the site access.

The development also proposes a community orchard, equipped play areas for pre-school and primary age children, and walking routes through new woodland and open spaces. 

Documents say that the site is not subject to any statutory or non-statutory designation of nature conservation interest.

“Therefore, given the nature of the proposed development and the limited number of local nature conservation sites, it is considered unlikely that there will be any negative impact upon any site of nature conservation interest arising from this proposed development.”

The developer adds that more than two thirds of the 84 people who gave feedback at a public exhibition said that they supported the proposals “to a lesser or greater extent”.

Of the 110 homes, 40 per cent (44) will be classed as affordable and will be interspersed with the private market housing.

The mix is yet to be determined and the development represents an average density of 33 dwellings per hectare.

Theale’s district councillor Alan Macro (Lib Dem) said: “There’s quite a lot of concern about any extra housing because of the strain it’s putting on doctors and so on.

“You have to wait three weeks for an appointment. 

“One of the things I am concerned about is the fact that they want to build up to 110 homes, not 100 as in the allocated site plan. 

“I’m also not particularly happy about where they want to put the access, opposite houses and not opposite the lakeside site.” 

A decision is expected from West Berkshire Council by August 16.

The plans can be viewed and commented on by entering 19/01172/OUTMAJ into the council’s planning website. 

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