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Amended plans for Newbury's Sandleford Park submitted by Bloor Homes

Councillor says the devil is in the detail

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Amended plans for Newbury's Sandleford Park submitted by Bloor Homes

UPDATED plans for more than 1,000 homes at Sandleford Park have been submitted in the latest efforts to develop the site.

Bloor Homes has submitted the application which includes additional information and amendments that have been discussed with the council subsequent to the refusal of previous applications. 

Sandleford was identified for up to 2,000 homes in 2010 and West Berkshire Council has insisted that the site should be covered by one application and planned as a single site.

Bloor Homes’ development proposals for Sandleford Park will deliver up to 1,080 new homes, 40 per cent affordable, of which 80 units will be extra-care housing. 

It will also include a 155-acre public country park, new primary school, land for expansion of Park House School, a local centre of retail outlets and £7.5m of community infrastructure contributions through CIL payments.

Contributions to improve playing pitches at Newbury Rugby Club, Falkland Surgery and land suitable for a local centre are included. 

Donnington New Homes, which controls land at the western edge of Sandleford, wants to build up to 500 homes on land off Warren Road. 

Amended plans for Sandleford Park West were submitted in December, but the application has not yet been determined.

Together, the developers say that the planning applications are co-ordinated development schemes and provide for the infrastructure for the Sandleford development. 

Bloor Homes senior planning director David Joseph said: “For several years now, we have been promoting the development proposals for Sandleford Park, one of West Berkshire’s allocated sites for future new homes.

“This new application brings together in a single package those schemes that we submitted in 2018 and 2019.

“We now hope that the development responds to all the planning, highways and environmental concerns and objections of the council and one that also brings a host of community benefits.”

West Berkshire Council refused two separate applications for Sandleford in 2017, saying that the two developers had not delivered on assurances that they would work together on one cohesive plan.

The developers signed a memorandum of understanding “setting out who brings what to the party” in terms of infrastructure following the council’s refusal.

Access to the site will come via two routes from Monks Lane.

The eastern access from Monks Lane will be a priority-controlled junction, while the western access from Monks Lane will be a three-arm roundabout.

Access to Sandleford Park West is proposed via improving Warren Road on to Andover Road. 

A traffic assessment said that with the proposed highway improvement schemes at Pinchington Lane/A339/Monks Lane junction, “the impact of the proposed developments at these junctions in the year 2031 during both peak periods is considered minor and not severe.

“Whilst the model results indicate additional queuing on the northbound arm at St John’s Road roundabout in 2031 with the development, the overall impact of the development as this junction is considered minor.”

Construction of a main access road to the boundary of Sandleford Park West must be built within six years of the commencement of development.

A main access road to the boundary of Newbury College prior to the occupation of the 300th dwelling at the Sandleford Park site and a highway link from the Newtown Road reycling centre to allow connection to the Newbury College link are also proposed.

Wash Common councillor Tony Vickers (Lib Dem) said the proposed road construction had raised concern.

He said: “What concerns me most of what I’ve read so far is that Bloor have been given six years to complete the spine road from Monks Lane on to the A343. 

“It is an expensive road.

“It’s going to include a rather ugly crossing of the main central valley of the site… and only a single road in each direction, but that’s essential if you’re going to have a single community in Sandleford Park with a local centre.

“You need to have those community facilities built out early on as a single development and this has always been the problem.

“You have two developers with different ideas about the phasing of the build-out and also different ideas about who should pay for different bits of off-site infrastructure and things like the spine road, which they share, that’s where the devil is in the detail.”  

Mr Vickers said that the Sandleford saga was council policy and the council had an obligation to work with the developer to deliver it. 

On the latest plans, he said: “There’s a lot more for us in opposing it to push back on, but I have a feeling at the end of the day that the council is desperate to push this one through.”

Details of the outline planning applications can be found on West Berkshire Council’s planning portal. 

The Bloor Homes application reference is 20/01238/OUTMAJ.

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Article comments

  • brunin the bear

    15/07/2020 - 13:15

    Let's get it done....