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Detailed plans for Thatcham housing scheme submitted

Next step towards building 75 homes on Tull Way

Detailed plans for Thatcham housing scheme submitted

DETAILED plans for the development of 75 new homes on the edge of Thatcham have been submitted.  

Bloor Homes won permission to build on land to the east of Tull Way and north of the Henwick Worthy sports ground on appeal last year.

The developer has now submitted a reserved matters application detailing the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the houses.

Bloor has said that the development will provide “a soft transition between the built area of Thatcham and countryside beyond”.

It adds that it will integrate the homes within the surrounding area through links to existing streets and rights of way.

The private homes will comprise a mix of eight two-bed, 19 three-bed and 18 four-bed properties. 

Thirty of the homes (40 per cent) will be affordable and split between a mix of eight one-bed, 14 two-bed and eight three-bed properties.  

Bloor has said that the majority of the homes will be two-storey arranged in detached, semi-detached and short terrace formations, with some small format two-storey blocks of apartments. Some bungalows will also be placed along the northern edge of the development. 

Access to the homes will come via a new priority controlled T-junction off Tull Way and a right-turn ghost island.

Further pedestrian and cycle access will be included on the northern boundary and existing public right of way along the southern edge.

Bloor has said that car parking and cycle provision will be in line with West Berkshire Council guidance. 

Open space and a play area are also included in the design, along with details about sustainable drainage towards the lower southern edge. 

The site lies within Thatcham’s settlement boundary and was therefore not included in West Berkshire Council’s development plan document, which outlined ‘preferred’ housing sites in the district.

The district council had refused the scheme, saying that the homes would have “an urbanising and detrimental impact on the character and appearance of this attractive part of Thatcham”.

However, when the plans came to appeal, the council withdrew its single reason for refusal and did not submit any evidence to the inquiry. 

After considering the impact on boosting housing supply, the council said that, on balance, it would no longer contest the appeal.  

Approving the scheme, planning inspector Ms L Gibbons said: “While the proposed development would cause some very limited harm to the character and appearance of the area, it would not do so to a material extent.”

The scheme’s approval was questioned by Thatcham town councillor Jeff Brooks (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) who said that he was surprised and confused that the development had snuck through.

The site was subject to a planning application for 90 homes in 2012, which was refused on appeal the following year. 

View the plans by entering 18/00307/RESMAJ into West Berkshire Council’s planning website.

A decision is expected from the council by Thursday, May 17.

Thatcham Town Council will discuss the plans at a meeting tonight, commencing at 6.30pm in the council chamber in Brownsfield Road. 

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