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'Very strong message' to developers after Thatcham appeals turned down

Secretary of state supports council's plan, says housing councillor

'Very strong message' to developers after Thatcham appeals turned down

THE Government’s decision to turn down two appeals – which would have resulted in more than 700 homes being built in Thatcham – is a strong warning to developers. 

That was the message from West Berkshire Council’s executive member for housing, Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley), after the crucial ruling.

As reported in the Newbury Weekly News, the secretary of state for communities and local government, Sajid Javid, stepped in to overturn the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to approve the 495 and 225 home schemes at Siege Cross and Henwick Park.

Mr Javid said that, while the schemes would have provided some benefit, these only attracted moderate weight.

And as the council could now demonstrate a five-year land supply for housing, this generated substantial weight and led to the inspector’s recommendation for approval being overruled. 

Speaking to the NWN about the decision, Mrs Cole said: “I’m delighted with this outcome and it sends a very strong message to developers that the secretary of state recognises that West Berkshire is a plan-led authority and supports us in that.” 

Developers A2Dominion and Croudace Strategic had challenged the council over its housing supply and claimed that its figures were out of date. 

At the time of the appeals being heard in November, the secretary of state had not approved the council’s Housing Site Allocations Development Plan Document, which outlines its preferred sites for development. 

In March, West Berkshire Council was dealt a huge blow when the Planning Inspectorate overruled its decision to refuse permission for 401 homes to be built to the north and west of Vodafone’s headquarters in Shaw-cum-Donnington.  

When granting approval, the inspector said that delays to the anticipated 2,000-home development at Sandleford Park had led to a shortfall and that the 401 properties would help to make up the numbers. 

At the time, Mrs Cole said that the decision had been “extremely disappointing”, but had been made before the DPD had been fully adopted.

Referring to the Thatcham schemes, she said: “We can now demonstrate a five-year land supply, so to these developers who are challenging our supply, the secretary of state is sending a very, very strong message out saying that’s not the case.”

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Article comments

  • Justin S

    15/08/2017 - 13:01

    Houses can be made affordable . It depends on if the people wanting them can abstain from blowing money on credit cards , latest phones and holidays !! Neighbours daughters have recently bought houses and saved and cut back and did it. We have a massive shortage of houses, but what annoys is people who think breeding then gives them the right to be given houses. Sadly as the green party said after a chat with him ' sadly we have to put them somewhere' . We do need more homes, but we need more infrastructure around to support this. We will all be blue in the face saying it and no one listens. Also housing companies who build them are under pressure to built social housing and have to give them away at a cut down cost. This means the projects have to be bigger to make this arrangement affordable and then thats where the cuts start on infrastructure. And who implements this way of working ?

    Reply

  • BerrysBottom

    15/08/2017 - 10:10

    I wouldn't mind if they built nice houses with space around them and greenery in between and put proper infrastructure in like roads, proper healthcare provision and schools (not just bung a primary school in to tick a box). Until the WBC work together with developers to improve infrastructure and see the issues that building a large amount of houses in one area will bring then no further development should go ahead. I'm sure gridlocked roads and long journeys to work, plus not being able to get a school place or a doctors appointment are issues that will put people off of living somewhere too!

    Reply

  • AllSeeingEyes

    15/08/2017 - 08:08

    Unfortunately WB council would like to remain in the dark ages & not address the severe housing shortage within Thatcham & Newbury, Hence why these are declining areas regarding trade & business, most conpanies are now relocating to the thriving area of Reading

    Reply

    • Bombey

      15/08/2017 - 09:09

      Yes lets make Newbury more like Reading...

      Reply

      • NewburyLad

        15/08/2017 - 09:09

        No thanks. I still want to feel like I live in England and not in Africa, the Middle East or Asia. If I want to live in a foreign culture, I will move overseas.

        Reply

        • AllSeeingEyes

          16/08/2017 - 20:08

          Bless you Newbury lad I pray for, with your underlying Islamophobia & racial profiling, let's keep Newbury white yeah, how's that turned out it's become a crime ridden cesspit with the offenders predominantly white but there not Muslim offenders so we're ok

          Reply

        • grumpy

          15/08/2017 - 14:02

          I agree Newbury Lad, but I think we are in a minority :-(

          Reply

        • NewburyDenizen

          15/08/2017 - 13:01

          Your fear of different people and cultures wouldn't be missed.

          Reply

        • NewburyLad

          15/08/2017 - 17:05

          And you will miss British culture when Sharia law is fully installed, when girls are regularly raped by Muslim Asian gangs and when your children are bullied on the street for wearing too little clothing. But you will of course blame everyone else for it. Idiot.

          Reply

        • EugeneStryker

          16/08/2017 - 09:09

          NewburyLad, I was wrong to label you a plonker. Your incisive thinking has hit the nail on the head again. We all have to fear 'Lefties' infiltrating officialdom and also hard right Muslims wanting to implement Sharia Law. I'm with you in thinking that it is foreigners that put our most vulnerable at risk and not the closure of 377 children centres and 30 refuges for female victims of domestic abuse (many of whom will have children) between 2010 - 2016 (ignoring the 16% drop in Police officers, 19% drop in Probation officers and 16% drop in school nurses).

          Reply

        • Bombey

          15/08/2017 - 18:06

          Yes,so much different from 'British Culture'....

          Reply

        • Bombey

          15/08/2017 - 12:12

          Last time I looked, Reading was in England.

          Reply

        • NewburyLad

          15/08/2017 - 17:05

          Reading may be still located in England but it definitely feels more like Reading is in another continent - so I would rather not have Newbury turned into another Reading.

          Reply

    • Kayaker Pete

      15/08/2017 - 09:09

      "Hence why these are declining areas regarding trade & business, most conpanies are now relocating to the thriving area of Reading" That's opinion posing as nonsense!

      Reply

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