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Unauthorised development plans at Lawrences Lane, Thatcham, to be discussed in West Berkshire Council committee

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The future of an unauthorised development at Lawrences Lane, Thatcham, will be discussed at West Berkshire Council's eastern area planning committee tomorrow (Wednesday).

Applicant Ms C Gumble is applying for the change of use of the land to seven traveller pitches comprising of seven static caravans, seven day rooms, seven touring caravans and associated works.

The development, which commenced on August 13 without planning permission, faced a stop order from West Berkshire Council when it was initially spotted.

Lawrence Lane Development Thatcham (50263131)
Lawrence Lane Development Thatcham (50263131)

West Berkshire Council went to High Court in September to get an injunction to stop the development, where the hearing was adjourned to December 8.

A retrospective planning application has since received more than 250 objections.

Ward councillor Lee Dillon said that a site visit was carried out with planning officers from West Berkshire Council, representatives from Cold Ash Paris and Thatcham Town Council, as well as local residents and Mr Dillon himself.

Lawrence Lane, Thatcham .Ref: 43-2421. (52683781)
Lawrence Lane, Thatcham .Ref: 43-2421. (52683781)

He said the visit was to “draw attention to issues [they] felt relevant for when they make their determination tomorrow”.

Some of the issues discussed on the visit were the character of the land, the narrow access and surface water runoff.

Mr Dillon said: “There are strong grounds for refusal, it will be interesting to see which way they vote.”

Thatcham Town Council objected to the plans on five main grounds, including the issue of it impacting the character of the neighbourhood, conflicting with the proposal to make Lawrences Lane an active travel route, and the issue of it being outside of the settlement boundary.

Cold Ash Parish Council also objected to the plans on the basis of 14 different issues, including the destruction of the countryside, the development of travellers pitches being deemed inappropriate and the lanes being too narrow.

The application can still be viewed by searching 21/02112/FUL into the West Berkshire Council online planning portal.

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