Wed, 06 May 2020
WORK on a masterplan for future development around Thatcham is still ongoing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Newbury Weekly News exclusively reported in February that West Berkshire Council was building evidence to defend edge-of-town sites from housing developments.
Sites that would accommodate around 3,000 homes if they were all developed have been put forward by landowners and developers.
Last week, the council’s planning and transport policy manager, Bryan Lyttle, said: “The team are continuing to work on the roll forward of the local plan and it is business as usual, even with the coronavirus.
“However, what that means is working from home and using Zoom to hold virtual meetings.”
With developers “wanting to surround Thatcham with development” and the council needing to supply homes, a masterplanning exercise of three assessments is being put together.
The first looked at Thatcham’s history and how it had grown since the 1940s.
The second assessed the town now.
The third part asked community representatives what they would want to see if more homes came to Thatcham.
The event, held at the Regency Park Hotel in February, allowed community organisations and stakeholders to express views on what the town needed and where development should be focussed.
Attendees were handed iPads and asked to add homes to Thatcham, which would then trigger infrastructure requirements.
Mr Lyttle said that nothing had been decided yet and that the next stage of the project would be a public consultation of the plan in the autumn.