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Objections to 110 homes for Theale

Parish councillors brand scheme 'ridiculous'

Local Democracy Reporter Alex Seabrook

Plans for more than 100 homes in Theale submitted

THEALE Parish Council will formally object to plans to build 110 new homes on the west side of the village.

The properties are planned for the triangle of land between the A340 and the Green, owned by Englefield Estates, of which Newbury MP Richard Benyon is a director of the trust.

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

Theale parish councillors voted on Monday to object to the plans because of concerns about infrastructure, parking and pedestrian safety.

Councillor Alan Clark said: “That area can’t hold the sewage it’s got now.

“Another 110 is out of the question. It’s ridiculous.

“What’s the doctor’s surgery going to do? They’re going to have to make it bigger and bigger.

“We have got to come to a point where we say enough is enough.”

Lisa Cox said: “Current residents are struggling to park.

“I think it’ll become a bit of a nightmare.

“I’m concerned for the current residents, they’re going to struggle even more.

“Families moving in will probably use Dead Man’s Lane to get to the new school, but it’s not suitable.”

The site had been considered for a new primary school but the council said that it had discounted it and 10 other sites because of additional costs or because they had been put forward for housing.

Englefield Estates director Edward Crookes said: “The site was selected as suitable for new homes by West Berkshire Council in 2017 as it sought the most appropriate sites throughout the district to help meet the needs of the area’s expanding population.

“Our proposals include 40 per cent affordable housing which means 44 new homes will be made available for local people whose housing needs are not being met by the market.

“We expect 31 of these homes will be available for social rent.

“Alongside the homes are new play areas and woodland, as well as a community orchard and a central green area for the whole village to enjoy.

“The plans will also generate funds for West Berkshire Council and Theale Parish Council through the Community Infrastructure Levy, or CIL.

“These funds are used for improvements to schools, health centres and GP surgeries, public transport, sports centres and parks and recreation, among others.

“We estimate this site will generate hundreds of thousands of pounds to be invested in the community, although we can’t calculate the final figure until the detailed design stage.”

As well as the 110 planned homes, more than 300 are also planned for the Lakeside development south of the Green and north of the Bath Road. 

If the application is approved by planning officers, West Berkshire councillor Alan Macro (Lib Dem, Theale) said he will ask the plans to go to committee and recommend refusal.

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