MORE than 200 homes could be built within the historic grounds of Aldermaston Manor Park if proposals go ahead.
The grounds and former office buildings have been empty since 2008 and the estate, used as a hotel, entered administration in 2012.
Praxis Holdings acquired the manor park and 140-acre estate for £4.7m last year.
Last week residents, landowners, businesses and councillors heard about Praxis’ plans to renovate and restore the Grade II-listed manor house and lodge for residential use and build up to 247 homes on the derelict cricket ground on the east of the site.
Praxis said that it had explored a number of options for the site, including new offices, a residential care home, a hotel, conference venue and private hospital but all were deemed unviable.
It is now pursuing an Enabling Development route which could allow West Berkshire Council to grant special planning permission to free up the site’s development potential.
The proposals also include the demolition of the office buildings constructed by cement manufacturer Blue Circle, such as Oxford House and Portland House, in order to return the gardens and grounds to their former glory.
English Heritage has placed the grounds and gardens at risk from falling into disrepair.
Director at Praxis, Gabriel McLaughlin, said: “We have all worked hard to find the right solution for Aldermaston Court and secure its future.
“We were very keen to put these new plans in front of local residents, businesses and of course councillors to hear their comments and gather their feedback.
“We are pleased and reassured by the response so far, and following feedback from West Berkshire District Council to our pre-application, we hope to be in a position to submit our planning application in the summer.”
Proposals to develop part of Aldermaston Manor to include 38 residential apartments were rejected by the district council and thrown out by the Government planning inspector in 2004.
Chairman of Aldermaston Parish Council, Dave Shirt, said that the homes would see the size of the village increase by 300 per cent, which he said would be extremely difficult to manage.
Mr Shirt said that another big challenge thrown up by the homes would be their proximity to the Atomic Weapons Establishment facility.
The village lies within a detailed emergency planning zone, where members of the public would be required to take shelter to protect themselves from the impact of a radiation emergency.
“The question is are their figures correct and do they need that many houses?” Mr Shirt said. “The other question is, is it worth putting up with that increase in size for the sake of restoring the manor house?”
More information about the proposals can be seen at www.aldermastoncourt.co.uk