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Plans submitted to West Berkshire Council to build care units within a Victorian walled garden at Audley Inglewood in Kintbury trigger howls of protest

Plans to build care units within a Victorian walled garden have triggered howls of protest.

The owners of Audley Inglewood retirement village in Kintbury aim to create an extra 22 units and a new pavilion.

The plans have been called in to the next Western Area Planning Committee
The plans have been called in to the next Western Area Planning Committee

But the proposals have generated around 70 letters of objection at the potential loss of the historic village garden.

Many objectors, including Kintbury Parish Council, fear increased traffic from such a development in the countryside.

Others fears the loss of a heritage asset, albeit a neglected one.

Retirement village resident Michael Hncher said the garden was historically used to grow vegetables for the benefit of the village and could be used in the same way again.

He added: “It would be criminal to obliterate local history like that.”

In a formal written objection, Angela Swayles said: “The construction of 22 units, with a possible intake of 46 people of advanced age, would be an additional strain on the already stretched NHS facilities in the area...it’s not easy to get a doctor's appointment."

Phillippa Jonstone said: “Templeton Road is already too busy with cars, deliveries and other vehicles.

“Kintbury village also does not need more through traffic clogging up the roads.”

Richard Nash said: “I have noticed with regret how difficult it is becoming to drive through the High Street at all times of the day, not only peak hours.

“It causes me to have to carefully plan when I travel to my jobs and frequently get held up. I dread how much more traffic extra housing would create together with associated services."

There are 12 letters of support for the plans.

Diana Waterlow said: “I moved to Inglewood four years ago and there was mention of the possibility of building in the walled garden.

“This is a derelict, overgrown four acres.

“There is no reason at all why [the proposed development] should be detrimental to the existing residents.”

Alan and Gillian Robinson, who moved to Audley Inglewood four years ago, said: “The only current ‘eyesore’ is the derelict walled garden and the lack of recreational facilities.

“I understand that plans are proposed for the construction of a pavilion to enable residents to meet in all weathers and to enjoy the various other options that such a development would provide.

“This would be a great facility for all of those who live here.

“During the last 30 years, I have watched the walled garden degenerate from a market garden where I bought many of my own plants and shrubs to a ramshackle, overgrown ruin.”

District council planning officers recommended permission be granted for the project.

However the application has now been called in by district councillors to West Berkshire Council’s western area planning committee for a decision.

The committee is due to meet tonight (Wednesday).

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