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'Go back to the drawing board' - Newbury Town Council tells developers

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Waller Drive developers have been ticked off by Newbury town councillors for ‘hanging a noose of viability’ around their necks.

Amended plans for 70 homes on the scrapyard site near Turnpike Industrial Estate were roundly objected to for a second time on Monday night.

“They need to go back to the drawing board,” said Jeff Beck (Con, Clay Hill).

“They have shown a considerable lack of concern on a number of issues.

"There are clear concerns about whether the existing Thames Water drains are capable of handling this development, there is no pedestrian link to Cavendish Court and there needs to be a review of speeding limits along Waller Drive as well.”

Seventy new homes are proposed, of which 21 will be affordable.

These new homes will include a variety of types and sizes – from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom family houses.

But councillors on the town council's planning and highways committee wanted to see more social housing.

“This plan shows contempt for affordable housing, let alone social housing,” said Steve Masters (Green, Speenhamland)

Councillors were also angry that no change had been made over the proposed installation of gas boilers – which will become illegal for new homes in 2025.

“We objected to this last time, and asked for more car charging points and renewable energy solutions such as ground source heating pumps,” said Gary Norman (Lib Dem, Wash Common).

“I am sick of developers hanging a noose of ‘viability’ over us,” added Mr Masters.

“When is West Berkshire Council going to step in on these applications and stop developers using viability of schemes as an excuse?”

The plans are due before West Berkshire’s planning committee in November.

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