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Inquiry into south Newbury housing scheme begins

Developer challenges council's refusal for 85 homes near Sandleford

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AN inquiry to determine whether 85 homes will be built a stone’s throw away from the 2,000-home development at Sandleford Park is under way. 

Cheshire-based Gladman Developments is appealing against West Berkshire Council’s refusal of its plans to build south of Garden Close Lane.  

The council turned the scheme down because it said the homes were not in its local plan and that it could demonstrate a five-year supply of housing.

It also said that the homes would have “a serious and detrimental impact on the rural setting to the south of Newbury”. Furthermore, it would urbanise the area between Wash Common and Enborne Row, effectively merging the two. 

Gladman has challenged the council’s housing supply and said that the only reason standing in its way is the alleged harm to landscape. 

Counsel for Gladman, Jonathan Easton, said that the landscape was not a valued one and was an “entirely logical and suitable location for development”.

He said the development would deliver a number of benefits, most notably “the construction of affordable homes in an area where many homes are out of reach for the less well-off and where the council has consistently been missing its targets”. 

In response, Emmaline Lambert, representing the council, said that the council could demonstrate a five-year housing supply.

She said that a recent decision against Gladman over a scheme at Man’s Hill in Burghfield Common had found the council’s need of housing assessment to be “authorititive and convincing”.

Mrs Lambert said that the site was in a valued landscape and that “housing for the sake of housing cannot override development plan policies”. 

She said that planning inspector Jonathan Manning “need not be troubled” by the decision to approve 400 homes at north Newbury on appeal.

The council had accepted it had a shortfall of 203 in its five-year supply, but since then, additional sites were able to be included in the figures. 

In addition, the council said it had reviewed sites that it thought were not deliverable at that point in time.

The inquiry will conclude next Thursday and Mr Manning’s decision will be issued later this year.

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Article comments

  • juzzthefuzz

    30/06/2017 - 22:10

    Although I call bulls**t on the whole idea of it being because WBC can already demonstrate a 5 year supply. Just have a look on the satellite view of the area. Look at the types of houses. Building more would devalue the existing houses. Well, oh dear, we can't build more houses in that area because some poor residents would have their £1m homes devalued (Current Average Price via Zoopla), otherwise they might not vote Tory again. This all comes down to Politics, Nimbyism and Money. Nothing more, nothing less. It shows no concern for the diversity of Newbury. Only concern here is for Wealth and Votes.

    Reply

  • PhilW

    30/06/2017 - 20:08

    It's all very well citing the Burghfield case, where WBC's housing assessment to be fine - but that ignores the decision on the 400 homes in Shaw - where WBC's five year land supply was found to be inadequate. As long as Sandleford remains unbuilt this will be an ongoing problem that will be used by other developers to appeal against WBC refusals of planning permission.

    Reply

  • PhilW

    30/06/2017 - 20:08

    It's all very well citing the Burghfield case, where WBC's housing assessment to be fine - but that ignores the decision on the 400 homes in Shaw - where WBC's five year land supply was found to be inadequate. As long as Sandleford remains unbuilt this will be an ongoing problem that will be used by other developers to appeal against WBC refusals of planning permission.

    Reply

  • juzzthefuzz

    30/06/2017 - 18:06

    West Berks Council has demonstrated nothing but its inadequacies in dealing with the housing situation. When will they actually get their NIMBY heads in gear and realise the urgent need for homes for the younger generations in the area. There are 20,000 residents between 18-30 years old in West Berkshire as a whole and 1600 houses of 5 years just does not even scratch the surface of the problem. Should anyone from the council be reading this, I suggest you get your heads out of your arses which seem to be time-locked in the 1970s and get on with providing the necessary housing that this area desperately needs.

    Reply

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