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Residents of new Hungerford development warned to expect hostile reception

DEVELOPERS warned residents of Hungerford's new Lancaster Park development to expect a hostile reception, town councillors have been told.

The extraordinary claim was made at a full meeting of Hungerford Town Council on Monday (October 4) night.

Councillors expressed dismay and town mayor Helen Simpson said afterwards that a special 'welcome pack' had been delivered to the new residents to offset any such fears.

Lancaster Park (51930568)
Lancaster Park (51930568)

The meeting heard that, during a town councillors' surgery, members were approached by residents who said developers Bewley Homes had warned them that they should expect a hostile reception from townsfolk.

Nothing could be further from the truth, the meeting heard and, to refute this the welcome packs, including a message from the mayor and information about the Town & Manor of Hungerford, had been gifted to each new, occupied home.

In 2019 Bewley Homes won permission for the development at a meeting of West Berkshire Council’s western area planning committee, despite fierce opposition from the town council and from the area’s district councillors.

Meanwhile there have been allegations that residents had been asked to sign non disclosure agreements (NDAs).

One nearby resident of Kennedy Meadow also claimed one Lancaster Park house buyer had to move out into a motor caravan parked outside their front door while repairs were carried out.

Bewley Homes did not address the specific allegation of NDAs but said in a statement: "We cannot comment on individual properties as we have to respect the privacy and confidentiality of our customers."

However, it added: "We take our commitments to our customers extremely seriously and we are committed to building quality homes and providing a high standard of customer service.

"Should our customers encounter any issues, and these are brought to our attention, it is our full intention to address them.”

Meanwhile problems continue at the roundabout at Lancaster Park, which Bewley Homes has laid at the door of the district council.

The developer said in a statement: "The roundabout outside our development at Lancaster Park has been designed and built in line with West Berkshire District Council’s strict highways criteria.

"It was also inspected by the council at every stage through design and construction period.

"The design was fully approved by [West Berkshire Council].

"The design has also been reviewed and approved through independent road safety audits.

“The roundabout has now been deemed by the council to be too small for the largest lorries, so we have been asked to make some modifications over the coming weeks.”

West Berkshire Council had not responded to a request for a comment as this newspaper went to press.

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