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Proposals for major Aldermaston residential development withdrawn

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Following an objection from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), planners have withdrawn a scheme for a 229-apartment development in Aldermaston.

Manchester-based firm Praxis Real Estate Management had sought permission to convert Manor House and Portland House for residential use, and to demolish Oxford House and the adjacent cricket pavilion.

In an application submitted in 2019, it was suggested that this would allow for the restoration of historic Manor House, a Grade II-listed site.

An artist's impression of the development.
An artist's impression of the development.

However, the plans ran into significant opposition locally, with objectors - including Aldermaston Parish Council - arguing that the development would be highly obstructive, entailing a negative visual impact on the local landscape.

A final blow was dealt to the scheme by the MoD, when a spokesperson stated that residential development of the site, close to AWE Aldermaston, would be inappropriate.

In a letter dated May 2020, MoD town planner Paul Hinton said: "Approving the application would fail to protect the wider security and defence requirements for the nation by restricting current and future use of the site which could compromise the UK’s warhead capability.

"In addition, the proposal could potentially risk the safety of potential residential occupiers due to their proximity to AWE Aldermaston."

On July 6, the application was withdrawn by the developer.

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