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Redevelopment of eyesore Sterling site stalls once again

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Plans to demolish the 250ft tower and other buildings on the estate, and replace them with a mix of three- to eight-storey blocks to provide 167 apartments, were approved by West Berkshire Council last year.
A long-awaited link road through the site, from Sainsbury’s to the Hambridge Road junction to act as a bypass for Kings Road and Mill Lane, was also included.
The scheme would be part funded by developer Nelson Geneva and the district council, as well as a £2.335m grant from the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.
However, the plans have now been deemed invalid due to a change of ownership of the site, of which the council was not informed.
It is now nine years since initial plans for the site’s redevelopment were brought forward, during which time several applications have been submitted.
A spokesman for West Berkshire Council, Keith Ulyatt, said: “Unfortunately, the application to redevelop this site has been found to be invalid because of an error made by the applicant.
“Under Section 65 of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act, the applicant has to serve notices on the landowners of the site. Unfortunately they did not do this which means the council has no choice but to deem the application invalid and stop dealing with it.”
New plans must now be submitted to the council – and must once again be approved by planners – before the development, and the link road, can continue.
For more on this story, pick up a copy of today's Newbury Weekly News.

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