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Scheme for 15 homes in Headley submitted

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Plans to build 15 more homes in Headley have been submitted – on the same site where a scheme for nine homes was turned down last year.

Willowcrest Homes – a Hampshire property developer – hopes to build the houses on land next to the old sawmill site off the A339, which already has planning permission from the same company for nine houses.

The other application for nine homes has now gone to appeal.

The site plan. (54140234)
The site plan. (54140234)

The applicant said the new, larger scheme has been submitted to allow for six affordable housing units and a different mix of units to meet the council’s housing market assessment, while also providing a community infrastructure levy payment which can be spent on Headley recreation facilities.

Willowcrest Homes also hopes to take advantage of the borough council’s lack of a five-year housing land supply, and argues that the council’s development plan policies are out of date, meaning the delivery of houses should be favoured in any application.

Six of the buildings will be classed as ‘affordable housing’ and will be two or three bedrooms, with the remainder being a mix of larger three and four bedroom houses.

In the planning statement, Willowcrest Homes argues that “there are clear social and environmental gains and the site is not remote from infrastructure.

“As such it is sustainable development where the presumption in favour should be applied so as to enable housing provision in light of the current Local Plan/five-year shortfall.

“In short, the ‘tilted’ balance of the planning policy situation must weigh in favour of development and the development should proceed.”

It said the development should be considered a “cluster” rather than an isolated development, and said “it is proximate to larger settlements and the appropriate infrastructure including New Greenham Park which is both a ‘protected employment area’ and ‘strategic employment site’ as identified in the development plan for West Berkshire.

“This is within walking distance of the application site as well as being linked by bus services.”

The application will now go to the borough council for consideration, which is under pressure by central Government to build 17,820 more homes by 2039.

The council has twice objected to the Government over this allocation, criticising the methodology behind it.

To view this application, go to the council’s planning portal and enter the reference 21/03656/FUL.

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