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Pond Close residents joy as new housing plan sunk

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Sovereign Housing Association had applied to build the homes as assisted living accommodation and had gained the support of council planning officers who recommended approval.
However forceful speeches from residents, the ward member Adrian Edward (Con, Falkland), and Newbury Town Council and Newbury Society representative Anthony Pick (Con, St Johns), councillors on the Western Area Planning Committee voted to unanimously object to the application.
Over-development of an already crowded street already inaccessible for refuse lorries to entirely access was a major reason for refusal.
Residents were at pains to point out how cars park on grass and other properties in a scramble for spaces, and that a new development would not only displace that with new vehicles but also add the problem of plant works.
The claustrophobic nature of the busy cul-de-sac was spelled out for councillors who criticised Sovereign for not informing the committee the homes were assisted living flats, and for not attending the meeting to put their argument across.
Clay Hill councillor Jeff Beck (Con) added that Sovereign's absence last night was "shameful" and their lack of proper consultation showed a lack of respect to the residents given the application's controversial nature.
The housing association has six months to decide whether to appeal to the Government over the decision.

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