Tue, 18 Aug 2015
“THATCHAM is already overpopulated”, Cold Ash would be “swallowed into Thatcham” and “traffic chaos” would ensure if homes at Henwick Park are built.
Those are the views of residents who have objected to Croudace’s proposals to build up to 265 homes, a park, sports pitch, allotments and children’s play areas at Hatchgate Farm, north of Heath Lane and west of Cold Ash Hill.
The developer also says there is provision for a GP surgery and flood defences with the application, which they say will provide economic, social and environmental benefits.
And following public consultations and pre-application meetings with West Berkshire Council, Croudace concluded that additional public services were “a pressing concern”.
A financial contribution towards local infrastructure will also be made.
However, residents have said that building on the site, referred to as Henwick Park by the developer, would bring more problems.
Jessica Bate said: “Thatcham is already over-populated and our greenfield sites are reducing in number all the time.
“It is becoming a less pleasant place to live.”
And, while, in favour of the open spaces and community areas, Mrs Bate said she felt very strongly that Thatcham could not continue increasing its population without considering the lack of a proper hospital and school places.
“I hope that if, in the end, it does still go ahead that it will be for fewer houses and with more public services,” she said.
Meanwhile, Cold Ash resident Mrs New said that building on the site would mean that: “Cold Ash will no longer be a village on its own, it will be swallowed into Thatcham. There should be a definite divide between the town and villages.”
She also said that “traffic chaos” would ensue owing to increased number of vehicles coming with the homes.
Mrs New questions West Berkshire Council as to whether a new relief road will be needed to divert traffic from the existing bypass.
Also feeling that inevitable traffic chaos would be caused by Henwick Park is Rob Manderson, who said his road was “already at bursting point”.
He said: “The area is already maxed out with homes so why should the council build more and destroy what little countryside is left in the area?
“If these plans are approved, we will have to move out of our home of 12 years to go somewhere more quiet.”
And resident Mrs Elstow said that the sports pitch would bring more traffic to the area.
“We already have the lovely Henwick pitch and Kennet School pitch. Is it necessary to build another?” she asks.
To view the application enter 15/01949/OUTMAJ into West Berkshire Council’s planning website.