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Woolhampton's‘unwanted creeping urbanisation’ as plans for 16 homes rejected - for now

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Woolhampton says its existence as a village is under threat from ‘unwanted creeping urbanisation’.

On Thursday night it won a battle, but not the war, after plans for 16 more homes on a field outside the village were turned down by West Berkshire Council.

But further down the A4 a vast, 19,305 sq m warehouse development was given the go-ahead to expand Colthrop business park.

Woolhampton (56658506)
Woolhampton (56658506)

It may be only a matter of time before the housing plan, which was rejected because it sits outside the current boundary, gets the go ahead.

The emerging Local Plan for the district is likely to include the patch as ripe for development.

Councillors voted down the proposal after stiff opposition, and a 150-name petition was handed in at the eastern area planning committee.

“This plan has no local support,” said councillor Anthony Fenn of Midgham Parish Council.

“It is unwanted creeping urbanisation. Sixteen dwellings will have an effect on ancient woodlands surrounding the site. And we would lose village identity.”

Thirty-nine objections were sent in, along with the petition.

Matthew Partridge, representing Woolhampton residents, said: “The village has already accommodated substantial development of 40 homes at Reed Gardens.

“Another generic new build will change the character of the village forever.

“Woolhampton has already played its part in providing new housing for the area.

“The Thames Water system in Woolhampton is already over capacity.

“Station Road residents have reported the backing up of their drainage systems. Thames Water has deployed lorries to siphon it off and carry it over the canal.”

Douglas Bond, speaking on behalf of the applicant JPP Land Ltd, said the development would bring ‘significant merit’.

“The last refusal was not on grounds of access or flooding or foul drainage,” he said. “And in the emerging Local Plan the site is anticipated to remain in. ”

Councillors refused the application because the new Local Plan is yet to be delivered, and the site is not on the current Local Plan.

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